Yep, going back to April for a minute.

And I’m sneaking it in late on a Thursday night so it can fly under the radar a little because it is OLD news by now. But I love to keep all this stuff together so here we go.

April was that time when everyone was home and the weather was gorgeous and we couldn’t go anywhere and the world was semi-paused.

We were outside as much as we could be.

On different hikes.

We had a niece and two nephews come home from their missions, two because of the pandemic, and one because her time was up.

And it was a beautiful thing to see those three again, so filled-to-the-brim with light and goodness.

Missionaries were coming home right and left. And since no one could hug them or get close, we found creative ways to welcome them home…here are Julie and Grace busy at work on our neighbor’s garage:

…and Lucy with the remains of of our big “welcome home” banner we made that got ripped up by the wind:

All the while, as we welcomed missionaries home almost by the day, this girl was getting ready for her own mission adventure:

Aw I miss her!

We worked out together:

Played a bazillion games:

Did a whole slew of work projects:

I wrote ALL about so many things we did in quarantine including all these things back HERE.

On to Conference Weekend…prep with whipping up our traditional cinnamon rolls:

And lots of listening together. Getting filled right up with goodness from what we got to hear and see.

Salve to our souls In the midst of a global pandemic.

Lots more about conference weekend back HERE.

Lots of sisters reading Harry Potter:

Loved having these two here for a while, together, so happy and laid-back that a pandemic was ruining all their big plans to get hitched:

They both worked their hearts out on school work, and Elle’s senior thesis project:

And then, after debating through all of the issues going on, the best timing, how in the world to work out a marriage in the middle of a pandemic, OUR FIRST DAUGHTER GOT MARRIED. Lots of side thoughts on all the hoopla and emotions leading up to that big day back HERE, but here the girls are the night before making the “just married” banner, and on the right below are our friends who made a beautiful, covid-safe lunch for us to take on our way.

Random pictures…Claire at the wedding lunch on the left below…she doesn’t look too sure about that, does she? Also I’m on the right grabbing some weeds we thought would be pretty as part of the bouquet:

This whole wedding was so low stress as well as incredibly beautiful and sentimental.

(All wedding clothing compliments of Target, the only store open that we could really buy from at the time.)

It was a very happy, very memorable day, and we were SO HAPPY for them!

All the details about Elle’s wedding are back HERE.

Some pictures from their quick honeymoon through Las Vegas to Newport:

We came back from that wedding so happy and grateful, and were ready to greet Easter.

I wrote all kinds of things about Easter back in my Easter post, back HERE.

More walks:

Loved having these two stay longer after Elle and Carson took off on a little honeymoon road trip:

We worked on finishing Lucy and Claire’s bedrooms.

All about that, with pictures of the finished product of Claire’s room HERE, and Lucy’s room HERE.

The pandemic stretched on. Even when we thought it there would be no possible chance it could keep going (and now, as I write this months and months later, it is still raging on.) Thoughts on Liminal Space back HERE.

I took random screenshots to remember what kind of state the world was in:

Loved the little sidewalk messages we would come across on walks:

Lucy did her mobility training from home on FaceTime (see her up in the upper right picture on the left below, being taught how to navigate our neighborhood from her awesome teacher?).

We found a safe place to meet up with our friends for some take-out:

Some sibling bonding:

Spring is so beautiful in the desert. I love the carpet of yellow the palo verde trees leave covering the ground:

Neighbor birthdays:

Lucy and I read a little chapter from this awesome book every single night without fail:

You can find that book HERE, and it is really excellent in my opinion.

I liked this and I can’t remember where it’s from! Maybe Brooke Romney Writes? She always has such good things like this:

Elle GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE in the midst of all the hoopla in April.


A whole post about that big deal of college graduation that was supposed to be filled up with pomp and circumstance, but instead was filled up with people who love her on our back porch back over HERE.

We continued our podcast group that I love (talked about it and linked some of my fav. podcasts back HERE), but instead of meeting in person we met over Zoom:

Also kept on keeping on with our sister’s podcast zoom group:

More hikes:

Family pickleball:

Family at the lake:

Family church:

Lucy’s nice notes to my friends for their birthdays:

Astronomy night:

Stuffing new wedding invites/announcements that still didn’t know whether we’d ever be able to have a grand celebration of that union:

(and we still don’t…as of January of 2021…)

Elle and Carson went back to make their first home in Hawaii…quarantined for two weeks, and then joined the throngs of lines to get into Costco:

Max & Abby stayed a tad bit longer, and we soaked them in specifically on a little double date before they left.

And what’s that below? More hiking? Yep, we definitely took advantage of the fresh desert spring air any chance we got!

And there’s a wrap of April.

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  1. I honestly loved reading this post much later in January 2021. Its such a fun reminder of how starkly different everything had become at that time of year. Its crazy to think we have almost gone through a full year of this pandemic, and I really enjoy looking back at the start of it when everything felt especially different and had a sort of magnitude to it. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Love seeing what your family has been up to all in a flash. 🙂 Can you share the title of the book that appears to have a daily reading material? Thank you!

  3. Hi Shawni! My family and I are moving to Phoenix at the end of this month and would love any hiking recommendations you have. Your photos always look so beautiful.

    1. Oh you’re coming at the best time!! My best recommendation is to get “All Trails” app. It has all kinds of reviews and information. You’ll love it!

  4. I adore your design style. Any ideas if those outdoor planter boxes are still for sale? Tks so much! PS: I am neighbors with President & Sister Fox, who are fabulous. Hope your daughter is loving it here!

    1. No way, such a small world that you are neighbors with the Fox family! I got those planter boxes at, I bet you could find some more there!

  5. I would love to see the rest of the 75 “would you rather” questions for teens. Would you please share them?

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