Now that it’s nearing the end of the month, I’m finally getting around to reporting on what I’ve been focusing on this month: “be there.” (I’m focusing on something new each month this year.) With all the end-of-the-year stuff going on I wanted to “be there” for my kids in body and in mind. My goal was to work on getting them where they needed to be on time and to concentrate fully on them instead of letting my mind slip into a billion different slices of life trying to multitask like the dickens along the way.

This meant making sure everything was “off” (cell phone, computer, etc.) when they got home from school and planning out my days a little better. Let me tell you, that’s not easy. That is tough work. But I loved making it a priority. And it paid off, especially on Mother’s Day when Grace told me the thing she loves about me most is that I “turn off the computer.” (This means, of course, that the computer’s obviously been “on” too much lately, but I’m trying.)

Don’t go thinking it was all smooth-sailing…we are down to two doll brushes to do the girls’ hair in the mornings, everyone’s been slacking on their jobs, I forgot two carpools, preschool snacks, blah blah blah. But I did plan better and we’ve had some wing dinger conversations because I’ve stopped everything else for long enough to really “see” my kids even better. I’ve noticed the little moments more which always makes me fall even deeper in love with them, and makes the chaos swirling on around me seem more do-able. I’ve occasionally grabbed my kids’ hands and written random “talents” I’ve noticed them exhibiting on their fingertips and watched them beam, and then that of course makes me beam right back (if you are wondering what the heck I’m talking about, click here.) I was even ten minutes early with Elle to her tennis lesson last week for crying out loud! We were both pleased as punch about that one.

I sort of lost focus and slipped into my next month’s focus a little early: “organize” because I could hardly stand how disheveled my life has become. I found this “Mind Organization for Moms”program on Power of Moms and it caught me, hook line and sinker. It spoke to me. It made me realize that if I can get my mind in order things like “being there” for my kids and husband come much more naturally.

So, I’m starting on my focus for month #6 too (organize)…and I’ll be writing much more on that later because man alive it’s changing my life already. THANK YOU April! (She’s the mastermind behind the Mind Organization for Moms.)

But for now, I’m off to “be there” to help these kids get up and ready for their third to last day of school (yes, we are counting down the days…anxiously).

I’ll leave you with some moments it was fun to “be there” for this month when we pulled out the bubble machine I got the kids for Easter and promptly forgot about ’til last week…I’m not sure why bubbles make life SO much more fun, but somehow they do.
Needless to say, they were quite excited for this long-lost present to emerge.


  1. shawni, awesome pictures! i am jealous it is warm enough to be outside in swim suits, it totally snowed here yesterday! crazy. miss you guys. come soon!!!

  2. Your blog inspires me! I heard you speak at Time out for Women in Spokane, WA- and loved everything you and your mom said. I've been reading your book and putting lots of it into practice in my family. We got our Mission Statement done and up last night- I was so excited. Check it out if you want- Thanks for your example and beautiful family to learn from! I love the month themes! Think I'll try that too.

  3. Amazing photos! I especially love the one of just bubbles- that one is magic.
    I would like to know more about how you organize your computer / cell phone time, especially how you will do it when school is over.
    I have tried really hard to not be on the computer when they're home. . . I love that you actually turn it off. I need to do that!!!
    How I love your blog. Thank you so much for sharing all that you do–you have truly inspired me.

  4. TOTALLY agree with the post about "talents". As a child I too was made to feel extra special…even to the extent that when I was younger my parents and grandparents were always commenting on how tall I was. Now that I'm older, in pictures I realize I am an average height, but in my head I still think I am tall. Isn't that weird? Now that I'm a parent, my mom gives me great advice about how I talk to my children. They are what you tell them they are! It is a really great mind trick that works! I'm always really careful about what I say about my children in front of them. They are ALWAYS listening to how I describe them and their actions. It's amazing how much words from a loved one can transform a person!

  5. Love the pics and especially the part about turning off the computer and the phone when your kids are home. More of us should do that!

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