After my ritual of looking forward to this trip all year, I’m here. I’m in Salt Lake, en route to Rexburg first to visit Dave’s parents (can’t wait to see you guys!), then back for some photoshoots, then on to my luscious Bear Lake. We do Bear Lake every summer and I can’t get enough of it. We grew up living there from the time school got out until it started again and I don’t want my kids to miss out having at least a taste of that. And the best thing is that we don’t have to go back to that blasted heat at home until August. Yeehaw.

I’m here with Lu. Dave decided after a few precious car rides together that he’d rather fly the two of us up and drive with all the other kids himself than drive with her shenanigans for hours on end. Yep, in alternative to driving on a long road trip with Lu he’d also rather walk into a fiery furnace or poke his eyes out with hot coals. You get the picture. SO, Lu and I had a leisurely flight up last night, and we get a day here while Dave toughs it out with the other kids. What a trooper.

What led up to our flight though was pretty much what I’d call tough. It’s not easy to pack up a house and five kids for a month, let alone keep up with all the summer stuff going on. I’m far from complaining…just stating a few facts. This week I’ve been scrambling to get all the sheets and towels washed, clean out all the closets, clean out fridges, finish up editing a couple photoshoots, cramming in doctor and therapy appointments, finish up a new home project in our dining room, driving to and from swim team…you know, the stuff you do before a trip.

I thought I’d never make it here as I sat in the lab with Lucy yesterday. She had one more blood draw for a test one of the miriad of her doctors requested, and I really wanted to get it done before we left. I finally got a window of time 45 minutes before we were supposed to leave for the airport, called my “friend” at the lab (she knows us pretty well by now…this sweet lady with a southern accent) to see if she could fit us in and raced over there. After four pricks they still couldn’t get a good draw. I sat there trying to hold on to Lu through her desperate screaming and body flailing, a task made more slippery and difficult because by then her body was covered in her tears and sweat and drool as she was trying frantically to get out of my grasp. I felt so bad for her, the nurses trying to help, and me as I sat watching the minutes slip by wondering how I could ever make it for my flight but torn because I wanted to get this out of the way so bad.

So I left, 15 minutes later than I really needed to, with tears welling up in my eyes. All that time I could have spent at home doing other things to lessen the stress for Dave with all the other kids. A failed attempt at something we have to go do all over again when we get home (since they didn’t get any blood). I drove home through blurred eyes wondering when to call it quits. When to just stop all this running around in circles that gets us nowhere. When to stop listening to doctors and just snuggle up this baby and forget about all this darn medical stuff.

The answer of course, is never. I can’t give up. We need to go on and turn over every stone we can, gather all the info. humanly possible. But at least we get a break. No more doctors for a whole month.

Now that’s reason for a big sigh of relief!

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  1. Oh how I love vacation. There is something so liberating about having nothing to do but be on “vacation.” I’ve noticed how much happier our family is. The girls don’t fight, they eat better, and we just enjoy each other more. Somehow I need to figure out how to bring vacation home with us…

    An I hear you on trying to get ready for your vacation. It’s hard, and it’s scramble time. But man, it sure makes vacation even sweeter.

    Have a great month! Enjoy that lake and get a raspberry shake for me if that place is still there!

  2. a WHOL MONTH!?!?!?! that is beyond a dream. stepping out of reality and just have a carefree time is just what the dr. orderd for me. to bad he’s not paying. 🙂 have the best time.

    sorry about lu. don’t kids just break your heart.

  3. I’m glad all the pre-game show is behind you and you are HERE!!! I’m totally laughing at Dave wanting to drive the 12 hours alone with the older four.

    Enjoy your month! I was hoping my Utah vacation would be a month too, but it just wasn’t in the cards this year. Next year FOR SURE! I miss you already.

  4. oh, have a fabulous time. I wish i could spend a month back in UT. I miss it and am extremely homesick this summer. there is nothing else like the Wasatch mountains.

  5. That is so awesome to spend a whole month away! Super jealous! I had almost a whole week away from the distractions of life and it was heavenly. So glad you got everything done and you are THERE! But my heart goes out to you with your experience at the lab. I am so sorry about all that.

  6. I am so sorry about Lucy. Once again, I can’t relate — but my heart is tugged out when I think of you still looking for an answer and struggling to get that blood. Switching from Mom mode to Dr. mode is a tough thing for us to do. Our Garrett was in a study 4 years ago and needed to have his blood drawn — no way, no how — about the same as you described in your post.(they just took his saliva instead) BUT they did a follow up draw this week and guess what?? We were skeptical — but he did it!!!
    You will find an answer and Lucy will be okay — ESPECIALLY with you as her Mom!
    Okay, Loooong comment here — but if you are AT ALL available to do a photography session at Bear Lake we’d GLADLY drive up there !!! We will be there on July 12th for a Bear Lake Baptism.:) Plus, we’re close so anyday would work.
    (email me:
    THat raspberry shake place — LeBeaus — yep, it’s still there.:)

  7. We miss you guys already! For some reason, Charlotte thought you would be at the science museum with us today! I’ll let you know if we are going to be able to drop by in a few weeks.

  8. Hi. You don’t know me, but I read your blog everyday and LOVE it. Love the stories you tell, the photographs you share. I live in Idaho Falls and just read that you are in Rexburg?? Any time to cram in a photo session of my family? I know its a crazy time but I just had to ask. I would so drive to Rexburg.

  9. Oh Shawni…I feel for you. I know that it must be so frustrating to go to doctor after doctor and do test after test, hoping that you will get an answer. I am sure that it is exhausting – emotionally, mentally and physically. It probably feels all-consuming at times trying to figure it out yourself as well and spending time on the internet trying to self-diagnose.
    I just truly do feel for you. On a positive note, I am so glad that you have a chance to get away from it all and just enjoy beautiful country. You deserve it! I know that you give 110% to your family.
    Oh..and enjoy some serious raspberries – you lucky duck. I wish that I was at Bear Lake inhailing a fresh raspberry shake right now!! 🙂 Love that place.

  10. I can’t wait to see all the pics from your Bear Lake trip. I loved seeing them last year. Havea great relaxing vacation. You are doing the right thing with Lu…I would be feeling the same way.

  11. Wow – you have had a lot on your plate – I dropped that book off at your house, but I guess I missed you. If you get a chance to look it up it’s called “the Out of Sync Child” It’s really good. I hope you figure things out. I know how lab work is sooo hard – I have been through that several times with Will. Have you also heard of Emla cream? It’s kinda of a numming cream for shots for kids. Take the edge off – get your doctor to write you a perscription. Good Luck Shawnie – andi

  12. Have a super time. We’ll have to try the Bear Lake trip sometime.

    I had to laugh about Baby Lu and Dave not wanting to drive with her anymore. We almost didn’t survive our 2 hour trip to LA with our little one (about Lu’s age). I wonder if we can catch a flight to the LA area from our home. 🙂

    I’m sorry you are having such trouble with getting Lu the proper medical attention. Wish we lived closer so Jamie could check her but it sounds like you’ve tried every avenue. You are a great mom and your just trying to do your best in the situation. I would feel the same as you. Enjoy your month off!

    Love your blog. It keeps me going! Thanks.

  13. 1. love the new haircut!!!
    2. love the families hair cuts.
    2. You look like Katie Holmes, but even prettier.
    3. Jealous you are going to Bear Lake, love that place.
    4. Eat lots of Raspberry shakes while you are there
    5. So sorry about what you are going through with Lu.
    6. You’ve just got to have some answers soon, I hope and pray.
    7. Wish I could see you in Utah this summer, but we already went for a quick stay this year, not our usual 3 week stay. (bummer)
    8. Have a fun summer!!!
    Keep us posted on your bear lake fun so we can drool and wish we were there with you.

  14. It would seem that blogging is the wave of future communication. I found out that Candy has a blog and from hers I found yours. I’m so glad. I think about you often and those crazy good days in Romania. I have my own blog. It’s nothing exciting…and you are welcome to check it out. I look forward to keeping in touch through the blog.

  15. Hey I am Brittany! I know I am not the first person to get on here and say you don’t know me, but my neighbor does and she told me that you are an amazing photographer she knew back in Arizona and I should look at your blog… so here I am! I am a photographer/mommy too!! And I am a little excited to hear you are so close to Logan because I was going to ask about doing OUR family pictures… but again I am not the first and do NOT want to invade on fun family time!! Those shakes alone are worth the trip!! But I would love to get to know you more… Carolin (sp) who’s blog is whatsyourpotental is who sent me your way!! Also I wanted to say sorry about your daughter… my best friend’s daughter kept having some strange medical problems and they sent them all over the place and had no answers!! She was so frustrated, as any mother should be, and I felt like it was happening to one of my own!! I hope you find the answers that you are praying for!! Hope to hear from you soon! 🙂 p.s. sorry so long

  16. I think you always need a vacation from your vacation! It is so much work with kids. I’m sure you guys will have a blast though.
    Poor little Lucy! I got a little teary reading about your dr. visit. It is so hard to watch your baby hurting.
    And I am sure it will all pay off and you guys will figure it out!
    Have a great trip! Take lots of pictures for all of us to see… 🙂

  17. You are such a good mom. Lucy is in good hands. Have fun in good ol Utah. The drop in temp will feel nice.

    You hair is soooo cute!!!
    That must feel really good in 110+ weather. But with your face, you would look cute in any cut.

  18. Shawni,
    Have a fantastic time at Bear Lake — we are already missing Saydi, Hazel and Charlie, so give them hugs for us!
    And as for blood draws, ask them if they can use the cream to numb Lucy’s arms. We learned about it the hard [loud] way, and we’ll always ask for it now. It works like magic, and it not only makes them feel better, it makes you feel better!

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