I am sitting here surrounded by piles of laundry and in the midst of mopping away the weekly grime while Lu is at dance class.  The shelves in my refrigerator are empty, there are fingerprints everywhere, and I know I have appointments and check-ups galore that I need to check my calendar to make sure I don’t forget.

But I must sit here for a minute and reflect.  Because here amidst the dirt and piles of mail and disorganization my heart is filled right to the very brim.

I am home.  And Dave’s home.  And I got to snuggle him and all the kids up and hold them tight last night and this morning.  We are all here in one spot.

And there’s not another airplane trip in sight.

I have been out of town for thirteen of the last eighteen days.

Dave has been gone nineteen of the last thirty. 

Part of those days away we overlapped.

I was in London while he was in China.  We were both home one day before I had to leave again for Utah.  We both returned from Washington D.C. together last night.  The stories and rich epiphanies we both gained are invaluable and will have to be told another day. 

But how the richness of those experiences made me appreciate the commonplace richness of an ordinary day here at home.

Those days when I can go volunteer at the school and have snacks ready for my children after school.  Those days when I can sit on the piano bench to help the kids with their piano lessons and even those moments when everyone is fighting and I realize I have the power as their mother to bring peace.  I’m so grateful that my presence here means I can crouch down on their level and look into their eyes and tell them I love them from deep within my heart.

The gift of the mundane “ordinary” day is so easy to take advantage of and get frustrated with until you leave it behind for a while.  Then you ache for those inside jokes you and your husband share over the dinner table, the late-night tuck-ins for teenagers, the stories the children bring home from school ready to spill out.  You even miss the teasing and the crazy carpools. 

Because that stuff means you are a mother.  And a wife.  And sometimes in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life that is too easy to take advantage of.

Although I know we were missed, the kids have been pleased as punch about the array of friends, babysitters, and family who have stepped in to help out, especially since my brother and his wife and their new sweet baby visiting from NYC have been the latest and greatest of the “helpers.”  It makes me want to cry just thinking about how grateful I am for such a support group and for their love and support.  I’m also so grateful that our kids had the chance to step it up in the responsibility category and really help take care of each other.

But mostly I’m just happy that we are home.  All together.

How I love it here.

And how blessed I feel to have the opportunities I’ve had over the last few weeks.  In our planning, Dave and I knew those experiences would work together to make our family stronger despite the time away they required.

But even more, how blessed I feel to be a mother…and to be home for the “ordinary days” that tend to get “extraordinary” around the end of the school year.  Bring them on.  I am ready.

(Especially since I’m armed with smoothie recipes galore {HERE} to give us all the energy it will take!  Thank you for those!!)

Some day I will get caught up weaving together the stories and pictures of my adventures away but for now, I’m off to enjoy the chance I have to change the laundry and mop the floor…and watch Lu at swim class. 🙂


  1. shawn, you are so good at making me ache for the life of a wife and mother. it is an amazing work you are doing through this blog, it really is. i just hope there aren't too many aching-for-wifehood-and-motherhood readers lurking around, because you really know how to pull at the heartstrings! (in such a real way). you're the best and i'm always so proud to be your sister. miss you, and super jealous you got to be with tal and anita and annina.

  2. I just have to say, I love your blog. You really inspire me to be a better mother and to appreciate the little things each day that sometimes drives me nuts if I let it. I really love my family and reading your blog reminds me how special my role really is. Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

    Take care and God bless. 🙂

  3. I would love to hear your tips on your ability to bring peace when your children are arguing. That does not seem to be a gift that I was born with!

  4. Love love love this. I'm happy your family is all together again.
    (I'm totally digging Charity's blog as well- the Eyre girls are amazing! Huge inspirations 🙂

  5. Shawni- Usually I love to just read all that goes on in your life, so I can remember that mine can be just as crazy at times.

    But I needed to say, "I AGREE!" I had oppertunity to babysit a friends 3 kids with my two kids while they went on a cruise. I stayed at their house the whole time. I now have a HUGE appreciation for all those mothers who have lots of kids.

    I am also grateful to have my "normal life" back. I even missed my 4 yr old fighting me to get ready in the morning. I learned how much I love my kids and my husband!

  6. Probably the only person who is gladder that you're home than you and Dave is me. I am so happy that you survived all that lack of sleep on overnight flights and lack of sleep thinking about so many issues at the AMI convention. Whew. Congrats on surviving and arriving home in one piece! Love you!

  7. That was great! It is now Tuesday morning and I was feeling those exact same motherhood feelings yesterday. I have thanked you before for sharing so openly your feelings on your blog. YOu touch the lives of others in such a positive way.
    God Bless you!

    Off to drive teenagers to seminary now with homemade banana muffins.
    Have a great Tuesday!


  8. So perfectly beautiful. Thank you for the sweet reminder! I sometimes forget when I am feeling overwhelmed. Glad you're home safe and sound xoxo

  9. I had the exact same day yesterday. My thing isn't travel so much, as errands and being gone to meetings all day. I love the days at home that we can just gel together and do some good old fashioned cleaning.

    Thanks for the reminder, about how much I love home, and being home with my kids! You said it so much better than I could, but perfectly described how I felt at the same time!

  10. I have five kids as well and I am starting a career in the nursing field. Between school and work, I am away a couple nights a week. My husband and I juggle our schedules and he is amazing, helps out a ton! STILL, I often have guilt about my time away from my family. I really enjoyed the part where you said that you were grateful that your kids have the opportunity to to step up and care for each other. I agree with this completely. My kids have really stepped up and helped out. I think that this is such a great lesson for them. I know that when I was at home 24 hours a day, I also had guilt so really the guilt is a part of motherhood. An unexpected part for me, but after 11 years I am getting used to feeling guilty about something. Even when you know you are doing the right thing, it is still hard to be gone. Anyways, thanks again for the post, was a nice reminder to me to just enjoy the daily life experience!

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