Ok let’s get down to business and crank out a recap of January.

We started out this brand new year with a little double date to the Fiesta Bowl with these two:

Max and Abby were in Texas this Christmas, we missed them but got them before Christmas so we survived:)

(The Fiesta bowl along with the rest of New Year’s Day HERE.)

We started our Come Follow Me study of the Old Testament:

So much to learn in that book I tell you!

Fun for Elle & Carson to be in town for her friend’s baby’s father’s blessing at church:

Another date to Wisconsin doctors for these two:

Hiking beauty while they were gone:

Oh man, that sun was SO BEAUTIFUL!

I wrote all about how good it felt to be “the boss” again back HERE. HA!

Dinner at our fav. place:

Some pickleball action:

Carson had to get back for school but Elle stayed a little longer since she had a best friend’s wedding on Jan. 8th and she can work from home.

We got to do some of our favorite: Hot Yoga with Dave:

Sister shenanigans:

We made all our favorite foods and the girls hung out on the kitchen floor as per usual…

(Dear young mothers, those picky-eater kids you have right now really could turn into tremendous good-food-appreciators some day. Just want to keep you going when they turn their noses up at every meal when they’re little, things change and it’s awesome!)

Some of our favorites we made together this time around? Watermelon feta salad and Lentil Tacos.

Lucy loved being the basketball manager.

And driving to school each day with her sister.

Dave, my good-planner husband, sat down and did some planning with me:


Reading. Have I mentioned we’re reading the whole Narnia series again? I’m just so holding on to any reading requests I can with this girl:

Claire worked on college applications GALORE. I think this was when she turned in the very last one:

I love the light that can be shared on social media. Love @sharonsaysso on Instagram:

The most amazing gift basket from my friend Melissa (Modern Honey…one of my fav. recipe go-tos). This thing was INCREDIBLE!

Bo Jangles:

Volleyball. And more volleyball. And MORE volleyball:

Hiking season was officially on.

(I finally wrote up a desert hiking guide with our favorites over HERE.)

Max is loving his job. Abby sent us this pic. from a dinner they had.

It’s the best thing in the world when your kids find things that fulfill them.

Speaking of jobs, Claire got a new great one too, working in a dental office. Here she is on the first day:

A Come Follow Me devotional:

(HERE’s more info. on that devotional….never mind I can’t find it right now for some reason…maybe I never wrote about it? But some thoughts about it are HERE.)

A lunch with some of my favorite ladies: my Relief Society presidency along with our new secretary and the one moving on to a different calling:

I am SO GRATEFUL for each one of those women and the influence they have had on my life, and their willingness to step and do so much to love and support and lift the women in our church congregation.

We met up with friends we hadn’t seen forever for dinner…and we forgot to take pictures all together but here we are leaving:)

I cracked up when I saw this pic. Elle posted:

Lu does love reading together, but this one took some cajoling to get her on board with reading together (left below):

Sometimes it takes so much work to get that girl on board, and then her body gradually curls into mine and her interest perks up and she ends up asking such good questions filled up with thought.

Picture on the right is orange-glory season as I like to call it…resulting in liquid gold:

Yes, January is a great month for that.

I tried a bunch of new recipes. This one was just to picture that I stayed up late to finish a recipe for naan bread only to realize I had done the wrong recipe…then I stayed up the next night to try the next one. I know, weird, but I was determined to get it right after my friend had raved about it. And there were some hangers in the works that made it so we didnt’ eat until late.

But I have to say, every day seems like there are hangers in the works lately!

I am still going on cello lessons, and reading this book “The Coddling of the American Mind” that I will have to write about soon:

Daddy/daughter walks with Bo Jangles:

A cancelled volleyball travel tournament resulting in a road trip to California (for those on the team who didn’t get COVID):

(More about that back HERE.)

Meanwhile back at home, Lucy got some friends go to on a picnic with her:

More hikes:


During basketball season Lucy got to know all her older siblings’ favorite security guard:

You know those people who just carry light and is shines and they make you feel like a million bucks?

Our neighborhood went from this:

To this:

To this:

Oh how I love these trees!

And sky:

We had a mother/daughter ministering training evening. We had my neighbor be the “trainer” and she is so full of love and goodness:

So grateful for her, and all the wonderful mothers/daughters who showed up and shared times in their lives they have felt love from others as the room filled with that same love.

All about that training and these stickers (below) over HERE.


The first of our kids to turn eighteen while still in high school, so that’s strange.

All about that 18th bday back HERE.

She and some friends headed up to the mountains for a ski day the day after that big party (more about that in the link):

I had a birthday on the heels of Claires.

And this was a big, humongous one (50, yikes!)

Dave semi-surprised me with the married kids coming to town to help celebrate for a birthday weekend (so nice!)

Of course we did hot yoga, because I guess that is becoming our tradition:

We cooked together:

We hiked together:

And we did all kinds of other things together too (all about that bday stuff back HERE.)

One of my favorite pictures: cute Lucy being so helpful bringing the trash can in right when someone was taking a picture by all these embarrassing signs 🙂 I love that this is the moment she realized she was in the way 🙂

Dave threw a party for me that I was mortified by, but that turned out to be so nice (but never do that again, Dave!). Here are the stragglers still there at the end:

Again, all kinds of stuff about all that back HERE, but I didn’t get this nice close-up below of how the actual bday rounded up: the time when Bo was having a little problem and needed to be bathed at the end of the evening…I got to do the honors. Perfect way to wrap up the day. Ha!

So many nice and thoughtful things dropped off:

And a little portion of all the pictures Elle and the kids had plastered all around the kitchen.

I guess you only turn 50 once, so we had some good celebrations. Dinner with friends, and I also bought myself a cello!!

The cello part wasn’t part of the bday, but happened to coincide and I am SO HAPPY about that thing, love it.

The story of how that cello came to be back HERE.

A bday lunch:

Our neighbors are the best birthday people ever. They never cease to do the most thoughtful things for bdays. We found these outside our front door one evening:

The one on the left is “50 things we love about Shawni”

Bday flowers:

Now this is where it gets a little embarrassing because yes, another bday celebration: my sisters came to town. Because hey, you only turn fifty once, right?

We hiked and hiked and did MORE hikes:

We moved a refugee family into a new apartment.

We ate good food.

All about that sister visit back HERE.

And a follow-up with our in-town brother as well:

Gosh I sure love those people!

A little token to remember all the Relief Society thoughts and worries and feelings I had in the month of January:

I love my book club:

A basketball dinner with all these sweetest-ever new friends for Lucy at our house:

Dave’s favorite new spot:

All the while Claire had ten billion volleyball practices and tournaments with her new club team (who she loves):

More volleyball transition thoughts HERE, but they are rocking it and it’s so fun to watch.

And there we go, another January wrapped right up.

Other January links:

Sunset hike and back to being the boss:)

A desert hiking guide

Ministering training for youth

Claire turned 18!

Holding my breath into a big birthday

My very own cello!

How to extend your birthday if you love your sisters (a visit from sisters filled with pretty fun things)

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  1. A fun month!
    I know you have always talked about wanting your kids to be financially responsible. Does Claire pay for her own vehicle? We are just starting to navigate this. Do you have her pay her own gas, insurance etc? Does she have to ask permission to use it etc.

    1. We decided long ago that we would have family cars for high school kids to drive. Claire drives “Ted” the truck (we name our cars so no one gets mistaken and calls it their own car, because it’s the family car Elle and Grace both drove too). The car Max and Elle drove back in high school, named Jenna, got pretty beat up and had to bite the dust. Ted has been a pretty trusty one:). We fill up the tank once a month (Claire has so much volleyball and it’s not close, so we help her out with that), and we pay for insurance, but yes, she is supposed to ask (sometimes she forgets and has to be reminded). I know there are so many ways to navigate this car dealio, but this way has worked great in our family.

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