My sister gave a talk a long time ago. I wasn’t even there…but she sent me a copy of her notes and you know how some things really affect you and stay with you? Well, those notes did that for me. The talk was all about the correlation between gratitude and happiness.

And I internalized it.

Ever since then I have been a firm believer that the more thankful you are in life, the happier you are. Some nights I’ll lay in bed with Dave and talk his ear off about all the things I’m thankful for.


So, I LOVE Thanksgiving. It makes me, and everyone around me happy. We realize how blessed we are. And we’re thankful.

I’m thankful for the “regulars”…the givens. You know, our house, our clothes, our car. So thankful. But this year I’ve been thinking a lot about all the little things I’m thankful for.

Like how Gracie writes little comments like “you rock” on my blog.

Or how Elle will take it upon herself to put Lucy in bed all by herself and will sit and read her stories forever before tucking her in.I’m thankful for Max’s slow smile that spreads across his face and lights up his super dark brown eyes.

I’m thankful that as much as I love photography, for the first time I’ve stayed firm to doing no photoshoots in December. Only one more to go. (Don’t get me wrong, I love them, but I always get pretty overwhelmed this time of year.)

I’m so thankful I get to sit here and snuggle my cute baby nephew who’s here for the weekend while his parents stepped out for a little while. I’m so thankful I got to snuggle my new niece in Boston. And I’m extra thankful that it didn’t make me desperate for another baby. I’m so thankful that even after drinking in all that newborn wonder, I still feel complete with my family just how it is…and I’m more thankful for them than ever.

I’m so thankful for the new look Lucy gives when you ask her to smile…she closes her eyes really tight, cocks her head to one side and puts on a little grin.I’m thankful my parents taught me to save money and make decisions in advance.

I’m thankful for disposable diapers.

I’m so thankful for how much my kids genuinely love each other.(This is their recent “club.”)
(And this is the “club kiss.”)
I’m thankful I get to have older kids who I can actually discuss basic politics and scriptures with and they “get it.”

I love how Claire’s eyes pop out and her jaw drops in excitement when she realizes she can do something new like snapping her fingers.

I’m so thankful that even though Dave talks the big talk about how tough Lucy is, he adores her as he does all the other kids…he’s such a great Dad.I love that at tithing settlement last night Lucy went around with puckered lips trying to kiss everyone in the room (even the bishop) smack dab on the lips.

I’m thankful that hair grows…especially after a particular haircut you really don’t like on one of your kids. (I won’t mention any names, but boy howdy I wish we could invest in some “Miracle Grow” or something!)

I’m so thankful I get to be a mom.I’m thankful for my testimony of what I know is true….we have a loving Father in Heaven who wants us to return to live with him again some day. I’m thankful for the example of Jesus Christ in my life and that I can share all this with my kids.

I’m thankful I have two little girls who are trying to pull me into the family room to watch their “dance show” they’ve been practicing…they even presented me with a full-on invitation. I better run watch.

Happy Thanksgiving!!


  1. You sure do have a way with words!!I think they all fantastic hair. I don’t know what you are talking about! I am getting the baby fever again and I have never had it this quickly. I guess that means we are not complete yet.

    Have a wonderful holiday and good for you for sticking with your guns!

  2. Love your thankful post. I completely agree gratitude is so important in our lives. You write so beautifully….

    So fun to see Wendy Greene’s family….she looks the same as she did 15 years ago when we use to be neighbors….darling family….Tell her hi from me if you think of it.

  3. what a great post. I have been working on one for my blog. I wanted to tell you I am thankful for your blog…it inspires me and I just love the way you love your kids and hubbie the same way I do…totally completely and honestly. Have a wonderful holiday Shawni and please please come to Chicago or any state that touches Illinois so you can take pictures of my family…not in December of course.

  4. Okay–as an outsider looking in–you sure have it all! You’re family is so adorable and cute–and so are you! It sure is fun to peek at your blog. And p.s. your photos are amazing!

  5. Wendi, I hope I don’t sound like I “have it all” like you said…we definitely have our issues! But I just think the more thankful I am for things the “issues” don’t bug me as much. When I concentrate on and am thankful for the good the bad doesn’t seem nearly so overwhelming.

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