This whole last week has been filled right up. My girls were in town for my niece (their cousin)’s wedding. So, I have to say all last week was like a little early Mother’s Day for me. I mean, can you ask for anything better to celebrate motherhood than to become a grand mother? And to watch your kids become parents? There isn’t much better than snuggling a new grand baby. And then that goodness is followed by getting to squeeze up your other kids who now live far away from home? Nope, I don’t think there’s much better than that. Now here I am, in the wake of having all my “big” girls home. Trying to catch up as I’m washed over with so much gratitude for these kids I get to call my own.

Shawni and Dave with their "big" girls home, at the temple

This one on the right down below too!

Lucy and her cousin

Let’s back up and talk about this:

what happens when all those girls are home:

My shoes are strewn around in every corner of the house, discarded after various events (we all wear the same size). One pair with a hole in the toe from a daughter serving one too many times on the tennis court.

My dresses too…I kept getting girls confused because everyone kept switching up dresses…see if you can keep them straight in the following pictures. Ha!

The laundry room is in various stages of the business of doing laundry, constantly.

Every pool towel is draped over stuff in the back yard from all the cousins who have come to join us to swim.

My giant water cup I love having always filled up with ice water is always bone-dry.

The kitchen is always filled up with activity, and the fridge is definitely not staying put how Lucy keeps trying to train us to organize it.

We are up late and also up early.

I find myself wanting to be everywhere with them.

But Oh! How good it all is!

All the Good Stuff

Their little sister gets all the love in the world:

four big girls standing in the sunset

Different groupings of people surround our kitchen table…

kitchen table filled with people playing a game

…and also fill up our pool.

kids at the pool

Our favorite food is eaten.

Dave, Shawni and all their "big" girls home and smiling

The Suns are cheered for heartily.

family cheering for the Suns game

Boo on last night’s game BTW 🙁

One girl gets strep throat (thankfully this was near the beginning), and keeps her distance from the rest of us when she can pull herself out of bed.

family playing games with one set apart

(Thankfully she gets antibiotics speedy quick and is back ready for the festivities also speedy-quick.)

The rest of us marvel at Lucy’s Codenames abilities using her magnifier and her sharp mind.

Lucy playing Codenames with her magnifier to help
family playing games

Heights are measured.

sisters measuring height

One sister may have passed the other one up…

Our kids continue to want to join us at our workouts, which we adore.

We love F45.


There is a pre-wedding dinner.

Jaylee's wedding dinner

Elle is a bridesmaid, and we get to see this “quad squad” who have grown up with each other reunited.

And the pool is filled up again.

cousins at the pool

Then it is wedding day.

With a beautiful bride.

Jaylee and Andrew leaving the temple when they got married
Lots of family all together

An impromptu pre-wedding reception dinner is held at our house.

And on to the dance party celebration:

In awe of this family I get to be a part of. And the power of families in general.

Sundays are the best.

I find my girls outside church huddled around a phone, and this is what I see:

Shawni and "big" girls going ga-ga over baby Murphy


Sunset walks are basked in.

Jonah, Shawni and kids on a Sunday walk

And then they leave.

They leave all the bedsheets washed and beds made up crisp, all the “stuff” tidied up.

And our house echos with missing them.

How grateful I am to be their mother, as I sit in the wake of having those precious “big” girls home.

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  1. Hi Shawni – I’ve been trying to stealthily figure out where you get your cotton (looking, at least) high neck work out tops forever! I try not to ask because I know that can be annoying but I’m just not sure and most, like lulu, seem to be wicking poly, or maybe I’m not looking at the right style name? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Madeleine! I’ve gathered tanks from different places through the years. I’d say check Athleta, Amazon and LuLu Lemon (they have good sales sometimes!)

  2. I would love so much to see all of the lovely family pictures and the new baby, but the new blog format is making it next to impossible to view them. The header takes a large half of the computer screen and the large Ad at the bottom takes up so much room that your photos only show about 2 inches at the most. I’m not sure if there is a different way that I can view the pictures?

    1. Oh no! It’s still not working? We changed the header to scroll with the pictures so that it doesn’t show, is that not showing up for you?

  3. Let’s not forget, this Mothers Day weekend, that you are the one who taught them to launder those sheets and remake those beds afresh. Congrats on your great parenting.

    1. Aw that’s true, maybe it was all the guilt trips. Ha! They are really just conscientious girls and I’m so grateful!

  4. Hi Shawni,
    I just want to let you know that the subscriptions thing isn’t working properly again.

    When I’ve clicked on subscribe to comments I don’t receive an e-mail to click on in my inbox.

      1. Dang it, so sorry about this, Josh is so busy with end-of-the-year school stuff but I asked the blog designer to look into it. Hopefully she can fix it!

  5. Where do you all get your beautiful dresses? I have a summer wedding to attend and would love to find something like your green dress.

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