It was strange to have only one child home for Mother’s Day.

I was with that one child last year as well, but back then we were fully enveloped in a hospital, just the two of us in the depths of a COVID-stricken world (no one else could even visit) as she recovered from her scoliosis surgery (back HERE and more about the surgery HERE). That’s one Mother’s Day I won’t soon forget!

My other “at-home” daughter was still in Denver (which I’ll recap next week).

This one and her dad were so nice to keep me pampered:

We sat at the breakfast table, me a little distracted worried our upcoming Mother’s Day lesson at church, until I opened the sweetest-ever notes.

I love when Lucy writes me Braille notes, and she knows it. And my sweet missionary remembered to send a note filled up to the brim with love too.

And then, also still sitting there at the table, I got to watch the sweetest video from my children (put together by that thoughtful Elle Belle), all about things I like to do, funny memories, what they love.

I sat there at the table and marveled that rubies and diamonds could never compare to being their mom.

We are back at the two-hour full block of church. We started this about a month ago and to me it is a beautiful thing. I didn’t realize how much I had missed it.

This means we have Relief Society meetings during the second hour twice a month.

I won’t here go into the detail of the planning of the lesson on Mother’s Day, it was a little chaotic with trying to help maneuver whether all the women could be there or not (the men usually take over the women’s teaching on Mother’s Day to let us all be together and we weren’t sure if that would happen so soon after church was back in session, blah blah blah), a little dessert to pamper the moms, and what the actual lesson would be (my counselor over lessons is so helpful with that though!).

But after the rigamarole of getting thing situated, the women in our congregation found ourselves all together that day in church, all of those women I have grown to love so much gathered in, with some of them giving the most beautiful thoughts on motherhood that had us all in tears. The spirit of sisterhood and love was so strong in that room.

And I was just so grateful for them: my fellow nurturers of the world around us.

I got to talk to these guys:

…as well as Elle who I somehow didn’t get a picture of.

I neglected to mention yesterday how much I LOVE my “kids-in-law” and how GRATEFUL I am for THEIR moms who raised them so beautifully. So I went and added that too. Because oh boy, my children and our family benefits so much from the nurturing and mothering they did to raise Abby and Carson.

I didn’t get my traditional Mother’s Day request (hiking…years ago I realized that my birthday and Mother’s Day were magical times to ask for hikes and actually get them without complainers).

But this Lucy’s vision has made her ability to hike dwindle pretty dramatically.

Luckily it still provides perfectly for tandem-bike-riding, and we had a good ride through the glory of the golden hour:

Plus I got some good hugs.

Lucy decided she really wanted to bake me some cookies all by herself.

This can be a frustrating task for both of us because it’s so difficult to know how to help her find her way around in the darkening world. But I was able to stop and just gently guide her. We felt each of the measuring spoons so she could learn and memorize what sizes were what (we need to figure out how to Braille some help on those things). I helped her feel the notches in the mixer so she could situate it all by herself. I took time to explain how she might tell the difference between the flour and sugar containers and we situated the cabinet so she can feel for the vanilla in the right place.

There was something so beautifully rewarding about that process of mothering on Mother’s Day. Together yet she felt independent. We need to get someone here to help us learn to situate things better like this, but I realized I need to slow down and teach and try to be in her world a little more.

And the cookies? Oh boy, I’ve never tasted better!

She served mine to me with a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream and it was divine.

In the meantime Claire and her team took second in the tournament and she came home safe and sound for big hugs that night.

I am so grateful for my children. For the light they carry with them. For the satisfying opportunity to watch them spread their wings.

And when I think of that, it makes me even more incredibly grateful for this man who gave them each to me.

That his blood runs through their veins, that his disposition and work-ethic and sense of humor and fierce protectiveness and unconditional love has helped shape them so beautifully. That he has a way to turn around even the darkest hours.

So grateful for the highs and lows of motherhood and all that it teaches. And that the glorious, painful, numbing, sorrowing, beautiful tasks of nurturing have made me draw closer than ever to my Heavenly Parents.


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  1. I always love the way you express love and feeling about family. It feels genuine and rich. What a blessing those relationships are. And I love that Elle put in the time to make something so thoughtful and for Lucy to want to make something for you. Acts of service are such a meaningful way of expressing love. Love that you have instilled that in them.
    (PS-Can I ask where you got your dress? Looking for something similar in color for an upcoming wedding. It looks beautiful on you!)

    1. Aw thank you for the kind words, Jenny.
      I got it from the Gap a couple years ago, I’m sorry that’s probably not a lot of help!

  2. What about a braille label maker? I remember being obsessed with the black tape labels with the raised letters as a kid. A quick Google search looks like they may have a braille one? Good luck!

  3. Shawni, you probably know about On the east coast, we have folks who will visit your home and help you tag things like the oven, microwave, measuring cups/spoons, etc. We try to make the experience fun for our users. Lucy might be able to lead the way on what she wants to tag.

    1. That’s what I’d love, someone to come visit our home to help us tag and “see” things that would help Lucy. I need to do more research but I keep thinking I can just teach her myself. It’s just not working the worse her vision gets. Thank you for the link, Lots of good information there!! So grateful for all the resources available for vision loss. We just need to figure out the right fit.

  4. This is a beautiful post – in so many, many ways! My heart aches for Lucy; yet, I know she wouldn’t it to! I picture that adorable little girl, face-planted on the pavement at the store. God knew she would need that stubborn and headstrong personality! Love your love of life, beauty and family!

    1. Thank you Denise. Yes, that stubborn personality is going to take her places! Sometimes I have to remind myself to be grateful for it 🙂

  5. I love this Shawni! I forgot about that last Mother’s Day in the hospital! That was one you’ll never forget! I am so proud of Claire’s incredible accomplishments with volleyball and I’m bursting with joy that Lucy sent you a note in Braille and is managing to make things bright, even as her world is going dark! Big Mother’s Day hug!

  6. I love your round table and chairs in the kitchen. Do you have those linked in a blog post anywhere?

    1. The chairs are from Overstock and the table is the biggest thing I get asked on this blog I think! We had it made years ago and I can’t seem to get a hold of the guy who made it…not for lack of trying. We are trying to get it refinished, the paint is chipping off so much. But we sure love it. If I ever find the info. I’ll have to post all about it.

      1. Shawni, thank you for taking the time to give me this information. I really appreciate your time. And love reading about your family and updates. Thank you for always sharing!

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