I am sitting here in my quiet kitchen with a minute to think, trying not to itch my bug bites (a little souvenir from a pretty epic trip with my parents for their 50th wedding anniversary last week).  We have filled the last couple weeks full to the very brim.

Because first of all my growing-up people and their spouses are fun and funny and inspiring and good.  They push me to do better and be better and I adore them with my whole heart.  Dave and I felt so full of gratitude to be with them.  
And because we came home to our own whole family.  
All eight of us plus Elle’s friend-who-is-a-boy.
We have been living life hard I tell you!  
Amidst the countless loads of laundry over the last two days, and trying to fill up the fridge since we got back, trying to get a summary of all the craziness and wonderment that went on here while we were gone (the big kids babysat the littles and boy, did they have a great time!), we have played some good games, had some good discussions, we snuck away to the lake, the little girls and I went to Wicked (Lucy’s Christmas gift for the traveling production here in town), bags have been packed and unpacked and repacked, Elle left for her summer graphic design internship, Max and Abby are prepping to leave for their China internship, Grace is trying to figure out rooming and classes in Hawaii, Claire finished up her volleyball season, and Lucy and I are gearing up for another trip to Wisconsin tomorrow.  I am going from feeling like I just got hit by a truck from so much lack of sleep and jet lag to feeling like I’m walking on air with so many people I love surrounding me.  This is the good life I tell you!
Hopefully I can wrangle out enough pictures to post some things to keep all these velvety memories safe and tangible here on the blog, but for now, the kitchen is quiet except for the whir from the fridge while Max and Abby ran to the grocery store for me, and I just wanted to say hi 🙂


  1. Sounds typically exhausting. Not sure why you are referring to Elle's obvious boyfriend as "friend who is a boy"….. Her social media photos show them as being very "close" – one of her friends commented that his hands were "on her butt" in all the photos and Elle replied "as they should be". Elle also captioned one of the photos of the two of them as "lover". How many weeks until this wedding….?

    1. Ha! And I thought I knew too much about Eyrealm. Are you stalking them? Elle is in her early 20s living life to the fullest. She’s clearly enjoying the sand, surf, friendships, and dating. What’s the point of “tattling” on her to her mom? (Sure look like she’s having a lot more fun than a mission walking the muddy streets of a Romania or something. Good for her! There’ll be plenty of time in the future to be all earnest. )

    2. I'm not sure why you felt the need to cast stones at Elle publicly. However, it is a perfect modern example of what I just read in John 8:7 when a woman is tossed into a public arena to be shamed and humiliated for her actions. What does Christ say to the accusers? Christ said, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."

  2. Cherish these crazy fun-filled days with your growing kids. Hope all goes well In Wisconsin. Will keep you and Lucy in our prayers. Thank you for keeping it real, it helps parents with ill and/or children and teens with needs. You are a great inspiration, you always find joy. Thank your parents too for that gift. ❤️

  3. I'm on the other end of your spectrum, packing days full of birthday parties, diaper orders, and the never-ending food consuming and laundry, and I'm with you– there are equal parts joy and exhaustion and it's all, frankly, wonderful. Glad you got to fill your cup with your babies (even if now you have another cup that needs washing 😉 )

  4. Maria- I think it’s respectful of Shawnee towards her adult daughter to refer to him in that way and not disclose details of the relationship…on her mom blog. It is Elle’s relationship and only for her to determine how to label it and what to share. I’m sure you feel the same way with your adult children. I know I do.

  5. I did not say she should be ashamed. She is normal, doing normal boyfriend-girlfriend things. Even in LDS-land. I just wondered why Shawni didn't just call him "Elle's boyfriend"?

  6. Hi! This random comment doesn't go at all with this post, but I'm just wondering where you got your denim skirt from!? I've seen you in it in quite a few pictures from this blog and you were in it for your parents anniversary pictures recently. I've been looking everywhere for one like it. Thanks!

  7. Your remark was way out on line and crossed a lot of personal boundaries. Shawni and her daughter can refer to people they are close with anyway they want. Your intention may have not been to shame the both of them but it definitely comes across that way. Shawni and her family live a very different life than me and I am not LDS but I enjoy learning about their lifestyle and admire her approach to parenting. I'm afraid comments like yours will cause her to discontinue sharing.

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