Oh wow.

I must apologize because I obviously struck a chord with my post yesterday.

And I must agree wholeheartedly that this is a first world issue and definitely something to be very grateful for.  I want to reiterate once again that we feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to build a house for our family.   I know there are many who would love to do the same thing and will never have the opportunity to do so.  What I was trying, in my frazzled state to explain, (and obviously didn’t do a super job), was that in my heart I know all this “stuff” I’m running around like crazy trying to get done is just stuff after all.  I’m trying to keep in perspective, lucky or grateful or not, what really matters.

But I had a wise friend tell me the other day that creating a home does matter.  No matter whether we live in a grass hut in Africa, a make-shift metal home in Thailand or a large or small house right here in the States, we have the ability to make our homes glow with light from within.  It doesn’t matter as much what our walls look like as it does that we make some place to kneel and pray with our families and to grow together in the best way we can.  I love this quote by Winston Churchill: “We shape our dwellings, and afterwards, our dwellings shape us.”  I do feel a certain desire to find the goodness in the  seemingly materialistic “things” that take up my days lately.  That’s why I’m so articulate about what I put on our walls (that post is back HERE).  And now I’m expanding that to a house.

I know that what I wrote made some people feel bad and that would never be my intention.  The trouble is that whether it’s shallow or not, I am in the middle of a huge project.  I haven’t written about it just for the precise reason that became even more apparent in those comments yesterday: it makes people uncomfortable.  But I have found over the last few months I can’t be as authentic as I want to be in my writing if I’m not telling the whole story.  And without authenticity why am I even writing here?  This is a record of our life, the good, the bad, the ugly and yes, sometimes the shallow.  If I only tell parts of the story well then it’s not real and I am a real person.  I finally decided I may as well include some things here because I want to remember this!  I spend the majority of every day sweating it out over in that half-finished house talking to contractors and measuring walls and re-thinking decisions and then staying up until the wee hours of the morning trying to figure out how to finish things on Houzz.com or drawing up walls on graph paper.  It takes so much of me right now.  I don’t want to go back some day and think, hmmmm…that whole building thing must have been a cakewalk because all I have are pictures of sunsets and everyone smiling.  I need the sawdust and heat and electrical wires included to make it whole.

So what I’d like to do is keep the house stuff separate so that those who have no interest in home-building can not be bothered by it.  I’ve tried to create a different blog for those posts, but I realize I cannot keep up two blogs.  So my new idea is to create a different tab for house stuff.  Those who are interested can click there, and those who are not can blacklist that little thing:)  But for better or for worse, I need the therapy of writing about it.  And so many readers have expressed interest I want to share it somewhere.  I’ll see what I can do about that.

In the meantime let’s check out these pictures my sister sent me that she found of my cute “boyfriend” I had back in my English days (that I wrote about back here).  I think I was a little aggressive!

And my “adorable” haircut back then.
Mom, what were you thinking?  Ha!

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  1. Shawni I feel very bad you feel like you had to adjust your blog in anyway for those that got offended. I would love to be building a new house but I didn't take offense that you get to. I'm sure you have worked hard for what you get and to say you can't complain about the process is like saying when you're car breaks down and it's stressful…well be luck you have a car, some people have to walk or when you get sick well be thankful you're alive. We have the right to be stressed out about life, you clearly stated that you were very grateful to have that "problem" love your blog and am very happy for you.

  2. Shawni I loved your post yesterday! Personally, I love when you share what you're going through on your house, it's so fun to experience the pain and joy vicariously! I say keep at it girl. Sometimes internet people are just so darn stupid

  3. Hey Shawni! Love those pictures! I'm from England and had a similar school uniform and it brought back memories. I was wondering though, I don't know if you'd ever consider addressing such a topic, but I would love to know your thoughts on wealth and the gospel. My husband is going into a field where he may well be earning quite a bit, and I've always struggled to understand how much is enough, or too much, you know. Scriptures usually talk about wealth as negative, though I do think that god wants to have his followers in all circles of society to be a light and make a difference. But then other times i wonder if we should all live like poor people. Anyway, not sure if that really makes sense or if you even have a second to think about it. Thanks for you happifying blog and good luck with the house!

  4. We built a new home a few years ago and it was so hard for me to share on my blog. I had many friends (true friends) who were genuinely excited for me and wanted constant updates. But the other side of me never wanted people to leave jealous, or not content with their own home.

    However, this is all life. We all have different things. And the comments about Christianity and being rich – those just irk me. I'm not even going to go into here – but it makes me mad.

    That's all πŸ™‚ And p.s. I am one who would LOVE to see house posts every day because I can understand the WORK that has gone into it and be genuinely excited for you and the choices you're making.

  5. Wow! I will have to go back and read the comments from yesterday. So sorry that you're feeling guilty but this is YOUR blog. I wouldn't adjust your blog to make other's feel more comfortable in their own lives. Let them find a new blog to read. You're wonderful and give so much inspiration to other mother's. Nothing you wrote about seemed shallow. You were venting to your online "friends". You were keeping it real and that's why we're all here. Hugs Lady!! Have a nice day!

  6. People who were offended are telling you more about themselves than you. It was not your most well-edited post ever but you knew that and what was on your heart came through loud and clear. It is difficult. It is a "good" problem but it is a problem and the ramifications are often something you have to live with for years. Lucky you to have this problem but from someone who is paralyzed by house decisions too, even on a "we need to replace the rug" scale–I get it.
    Your tab solution is elegant. Good luck with everything and getting through this not-enough-time season and thank you for putting your life out here for us to share. You have given me many great ideas and helped me refocus on my family and our goals on many days, and on others it's just fun to celebrate your kids' achievements with you. (And I second what Suzie said!)

  7. for what it's worth, I want to say "thank you." you unintentionally struck a cord, but you acknowledged it and even apologized – this is more than many bloggers do or would do under the same circumstance. thank you for truly leading by example.

  8. I'm so sorry that people were unkind about what you posted. I have been really excited about hearing all the fun things you get to choose and seeing what you are pinning on pinterest. I am thrilled to see how it all turns out. I don't know how you make those choices. They are also not in the right spirit to be making you feel that way about what you are currently doing. We have been finishing our basement and just with the few decisions I have had to make there I have had a hard time because there is a certain feel I want and I hope it all comes together that way. You are incredible, truly. You have changed the way I view parenting and how I appreciate every moment and I cannot thank you enough for that change in my parenting and life. Have fun with all the exciting things you are doing. Can't wait to see the finished product!

  9. You don't owe anyone an apoolgy. Jealousy reared its ugly head yesterday in some of those posts – please don't change your blog because of some readers with low self esteem who can't be happy for anyone since they are so miserable.

    I love your blog, and I appreciate the way you share your family with us. Keep on!

  10. I never comment but I read your blog all the time because I love it. It's your space to say what you want! I am also a mother of 5 and I love to read your perspective. I'm confused, I must have missed something, I thought you bought a house and are remodeling it, but it sounds like you've started from scratch?!!! Either way it would be daunting and stressful.

  11. I read your blog-post yesterday, and thought your post was well written and enjoyed it very much. I don't think you owe anyone an apology, I felt you were speaking from you heart, and that is beautiful. Keep up the "genuine" writing, I love reading it!!

  12. I read your post yesterday & I thought it was great that finally we get to hear/see about the new house. It's exciting stuff and should be written about. Making a house a home is extremely important in my book. Keep writing about it.
    **BTW, no child left the 1970s unscathed by a bad haircut. I got to spend 1979, age 5, looking like a boy because that's the haircut I got! Yes, a BOY haircut! I have a son, and his hair has never even been that short. WHAT the heck was my mother thinking??????

  13. Good for you for keeping it real on here. Whether building a house is a blessing or a curse, the fact remains that it is stressful! And this is YOUR blog! You can write about whatever is on your mind.

  14. I was actually thinking about wealth and being a Christian just last night, because I had been drawing up a budget for the new school year and realising how fortunate I am, especially in comparison to some of my friends, and how that fortunate was unearned and undeserved, and places a duty on me to make wise choices and to give assistance wherever I can. Following Jesus doesn't mean that you aren't allowed to have money, it doesn't mean that you aren't allowed to spend that money making your life more comfortable – but it does mean that you have a duty to give as much as you are able to others, and to focus on spiritual concerns not material ones. You do those things! Anyone who believes that they are a better Christian because they are poor is sadly mistaken. You are incredibly fortunate and incredibly blessed, but I've never seen even a hint of complacency about that. Your gratitude is obvious every time you post about things, good or bad. Keep doing what you're doing (and remember to rest sometimes!).

  15. You are so right. Choices in our home are important no matter your budget. I work at ikea (side note: your mom came in to the store the other day, it was nice to talk to her) and I talk to people all the time with low budgets and high budgets. Its my job to help them find what they need to make their house a home. Keep on writing!

  16. I found your blog about a month ago and have been following it ever since. There is nothing I love more than reading a blog that is real – and that means sharing the good and the bad. That being said, I don't feel like your post yesterday needs to be apologized for. You clearly stated that you realize you are blessed to have this sort of "problem" and that was enough for me. This is just my two cents, but I don't think you should have to make changes to your blog to keep the peace among those who chose to be offended, in fact, I hope that you don't change it.

  17. It hurts my heart that others were so mean about your post from yesterday! I love what you have to say and I appreciate your genuine desire to keep balance and perspective in your life.

    As far as the hair goes… In 3rd and 4th grade my bangs were permed and formed a perfect "rainbow" from ear to ear. I looked like a lion! It took me until 7th grade to grow that thing out. Making for many awkward school photos!

  18. You shouldn't feel bad. I'm sure you do things to help people and ard not shallow. We all struggle with things that stress us….and if it helps you to write about it you should be able to. I also wouldn't handle those types of decisions easily.

  19. Shawni, long time reader, but rarely comment. I read your post yesterday and was so thrilled for your family. Congratulations on the hard work that got you to the place where building your home is possible, and especially for putting your son to work all summer as part of the process.

    I read this post this morning and it struck me. http://www.sowonderfulsomarvelous.com/2013/06/moms-when-are-you-going-to-learn.html
    We all make choices as moms, and we are all doing our best. Let's celebrate it rather than judge it.

    Can't wait to see and hear more about the home!

  20. My heart hurts for you that anyone would say hurtful things to you about your posts. We all have a choice to read this blog! Please know how inspiring you are to so many of us – and that is with showing the good, bad and ugly. I'm sure I wouldn't want to read your blog if it was nothing but sunshine and none of the "real" stuff. I am not LDS, but you are inspirational to me, as I am a single mom of four teenagers. Their father died just four months ago and I am struggling to be everything to everyone. Your blog inspires me and also gives me ideas . . . I am interested in the house stuff because I am hoping to get ideas on how to organize your home to be more helpful when you have more than the average two children. Sure, your home may have custom-made things, but maybe I can recreate with substitutes from Target or Home Depot. Did anyone ever think of that? You don't have to be "rich" to get ideas.
    Thank you for sharing your life, your family, your ideas, your thoughts and your feelings.

  21. Thanks for this post. I was actually just pondering what to do about some negative backlash I had gotten on my own blog. Believe it or not, it never occurred to me to apologize! I'm glad you're here to be an example, house details and all.

  22. I agree with previous comments. It's too bad if people felt uncomfortable, but it's your blog and your memories to keep. You have every right to discuss the stresses you are under. Just because people in Syria are frightened about chemical warfare does not mean you should stop living a blessed life. I don't think anyone who suffers would want someone else to forego blessings and hopes of a beautiful home and life to try to appease those who have less. Please, keep dreaming big, discussing the stresses that daily life brings, and writing as you choose!

  23. I just wanted to say that I didn't find your previous blog post shallow or otherwise. Sure, it might be a first world problem, but I'm sure most of your readers have those including the ones who felt the need to tell you that. Creating a home is stressful, no matter the size or whatever else. As other readers have said, I come to your blog because you're a real person and honest. My husband and I hope to build our own home one day (it's often cheaper than buying in some of the places we'd like to live) so I can appreciate the thoughts you're having and will keep them in mind when we're ready to embark on the same journey.

  24. I just think everyone who reads blogs needs to remember it's the author's thoughts. Period. If you don't like it or if it makes you jealous of them, go read something else. I think you need to be free to say what you think in this, your online journal of sorts. I'm sorry there were some who felt the need to correct or shame you for how you feel. I'm 46 and single and will likely never have children of my own, live in a one bedroom condo and yet I love reading about your fun big family, your great trips, your wonderful husband, seeing pics of your beautiful home, etc. I appreciate the fact that my life is great in a lot of ways while yours is also great but totally different than mine. I don't begrudge you a thing that you have just like I wouldn't want anyone to feel the same about me. Keep on, keepin' on, Shawni! You're awesome.

  25. I've never commented before, and I really don't visit many blogs on a daily basis, but I do come to yours. It's because of the truths of your day to day life are written about, the good, the bad and the ugly! You strike a wonderful balance between celebrating your family and life and sharing when things are a little less 'picture perfect'. I've read many posts and walked away feeling better about my life and situation. I'm sorry you felt the need to apologize. I thought you very clearly stated that you KNEW these were lucky problems to have. I'm sorry that some people felt bad about what you wrote. The intention was clear to me. Good luck with your new house and I can't wait to see all of it!

  26. You shouldn't have to apologize because you have the means to build a nice house for your family and there shouldn't have been an outcry yesterday. The beauty of the freedoms the United States used to embrace was that of equal opportunity. No matter what a person was born into, they had the opportunity to work hard and use their mind and muscle to make the best of their resources and gain. Sadly, equal opportunity is being warped into a cry for equal outcome for everyone.

    Unfortunately we live in a society where being in an upper class means you're heartless and lucky and stealing from the poor. Judge the rich! They have to be doing something wrong!

    It's easily forgotten that whether your heart is in the right place or not or if you are being charitable enough isn't up for others to judge. That is between you and the Lord.

    And everyone has their own battles and trials. People in huts in Africa don't have to protect themselves and their families from pornography. Tiny example.

    You and Dave have obviously worked hard and been frugal and sacrificed to get where you are. Yes, it might have been easier for you than others and everything you have is a blessing from the Lord. But they're predicated on your choices. And everyone needs different blessings. Luckily someone more qualified then us determines all that! We control how we're qualified and you haven't been lounging around waiting for riches to fall into your lap. So enjoy it! And build the home you're envisioning and document what you're feeling in YOUR space.

    Obviously I'm a little too politically charged and passionate about this…just wanted you to know there are plenty of us who found nothing offensive about your "first-world problem" rant yesterday.

  27. I just don't understand people.
    This is YOUR blog, YOU should be able to write whatever YOU want. And, you're human, everyone one has good days and one of those days where everything is bother or a chore. I think you should keep your blog the way it is. If people don't like it, then they don't have to read it.

  28. Shawni–
    I just read both yesterday and today's blog posts in one sitting–so I didn't even bother to read yesterday's comments. All I have to say is this is YOUR blog–YOUR documentation of YOUR life! If people don't like who YOU are than they shouldn't be readers. It makes me so sad that you are so stressed used writing as a release and then had unfriendly or harsh comments–like that is what you needed. If anyone follows you on a regular basis they know what a beautiful person you are and how much you appreciate everything that God has gifted you with in this world! Thank you for sharing your life with us, I get some much mothering wisdom from you and your extended family! Good luck in all the decisions you will be making today and in the days to come and I can't wait to see the results in your beautiful home!!

  29. So sorry that you had a bad reaction to that post! Whether your stress is a 'positive stress' (building a house), or a 'negative stress' (financial hardship, STRESS IS STILL STRESS.
    We are going through some negative stress right now, but I take solace in the same thing you taking solace in…children, family, God, and the joy and stillness I find in those.
    I hope you will not be discouraged to share whatever you like on your blog, and I will love to see pictures of your new home when it is finished. I really enjoy your blog!

  30. p.s. Anyone who reads your story on a regular basis knows better. Ridiculous people. I always thought grown-ups would act…more grown-up. I am constantly proven wrong;)

  31. I love reading your blog but I don't usually comment. There is NO need for you to apologize about your post yesterday. You have a great life that you and your family have built together.

  32. Hi there! Simply wanted to comment that I was not offended by your post yesterday. No apology needed. I'm happy for you! I can't wait to see the new home.

  33. My only thought about your house posts are "I thought you bought a house. Are you building instead?" Can't WAIT to see the end product. I'm sure it will be beautiful.

  34. well I am DYING to read and see pics of the new house, seriously, I love this stuff, and you are SOOO right, it doesn't matter what size or where your home is, its your home, and you want to have it the way you do.. period, no one has a right to judge you, I love that you keep this blog real. When we were building I remember somedays wanting to stick my head in the gas oven.. so hang in there, don't second guess yourself, and love your home xoxoxoxoox

  35. LOVED your gracious & honest response to yesterday's ranters. Very classy. And I loved your post yesterday as well. I found myself in a similar situation earlier this year (remodeling & awful about choosing things). I found that hiring a decorator as a consultant REALLY helped me move forward & make decisions, and minimize my perseverating so that I could spend more time with my family & less time on things that need to be done right, but really aren't that important. Best of luck. (holy long sentence, batman)…

  36. I think you are gracious as always, in being considerate of others' feelings, even though this is YOUR blog and your life! That post resonated with me, because even though I'm not building a new house, I'm not great at those details either. And I find them extremely stressful. It's not that I don't care about design and decor, it's that it doesn't come naturally to me, so I have a hard time articulating or even knowing what I want until I'm stuck in the muck of the project. So I feel for you.

  37. one more thought… dunno if you're familiar with the website http://www.houzz.com, but that also helped me nail down exactly what i wanted… i found it easier than pintrest for house stuff… it's a great site. I pinned all the stuff i really liked, then the decorator I hired as a consultant would look at my boards & quickly zero in on stuff I would like.

  38. I read your blog frequently but rarely comment. The comments left on your post yesterday bothered me so much. I can't believe people would say "First World Problems" when most of the problems our society deals with on a daily basis are first world problems. That doesn't make them any less real or stressful. Everyone has good days and bad days. We all have problems. My parents built a home from scratch – it was very stressful with THOUSANDS of decisions that needed to be made. There were days they were overwhelmed and complained – doesn't mean they were jerks or shallow. I use to work at a very stressful desk job that required lots of traveling. There were days I was overwhelmed and complained – doesn't mean I was out of touch or forgot the months of struggling with unemployment. I am now a mother to a toddler. There are days that all I hear are crying and whining and it overwhelms me. I will call my mother or friends and vent – doesn't mean I'm an ungrateful mother or I have forgotten the pain that went along with years of infertility. How about instead of telling people they don't have problems or that their problems are trivial, we try to encourage them, ask how we can help them or say a prayer for them. The world is a tough place, we don't need to make it tougher.

  39. I cannot wait to see pics of the new house!! I feel like I am expierecing this expierence through you, because you are sharing it! Thank you for sharing this part if your real life, we would never want you to pretend its not happening! I think most of us wish it was happening in our lives and that is maybe the underlying feelings of some of the comments that were said. Sometimes ppl follow blogs that they can relate to, and this is something alot of us cannot relate too, so maybe that is what is going on here. You cannot control people's reactions….ppl will comment… And you just have accept that as a part of having a blog. Just don't change because of negative feedback, a people pleaser blog is boring and fake, real is refreshing and and for the most part relatable! I took it in as wow a lot of decision making and balancing a family is stressful, I can relate to that. Maybe it hasn't been the same kinds of decisions, but it doesn't matter we don't all have the same lives! We love following yours and learning and relating to you, keep it up πŸ™‚ I have 4 children by the way and are planning a 5th and that's why I love to look at your blog….you have 5 too πŸ™‚

  40. This year my family and I have had a new baby, sold our family business, my husband started a new job, and we have built/bought a new house. While all of these changes were good changes, they were still STRESSFUL. I found myself longing for the normalcy of life. We all have our challenges, but we need to not compare ourselves to others and remember that pride- the plague of our time does not just apply to the people on top looking down at others, but also those on the bottom looking up. It is so important to be grateful for the things that God has given us individually. ( I am mostly saying this to myself )

  41. I read a blog post from a woman to "teenage girls" about their posts on social media and how it makes them appear. The woman got beat up with comments about how righteous her post appeared and how her boys are pictured with their shirts off? People need to relax. We all have different experiences and different views. You work hard for the nice things you have and the experiences you provide for your family. It is not for us to judge and you are absolutely able to complain about the stress of building a home. It is definitely First World problems, but it is your life right now. This is YOUR blog. People can choose not to read it!!!

  42. It's interesting what happens when you decide to share your life with the world. If you're a good person, the response is mostly positive, but there is always a small amount negative. It's what makes us human – we're not saints.

    Anyway, love your blog. And I'm glad you made this post, not because I thought you should apologize, but because I liked what you said about authenticity.

  43. Just wanted to say that I love your blog and I so appreciate your honesty and keeping it real perspective. I have two little ones and can honestly say that you have helped shape my view on motherhood, and your perspective helps me appreciate this time of my life so much! Thank you for that! Also, for the record, I didn't think that post yesterday was shallow at all, and was surprised by your post today. You are awesome!

  44. Your response to yesterday's comments was really gracious and lovely as usual. I don't have a ton in common with you at this point in my life, but I love reading your blog because you and your family just seem really sweet, happy, and genuine. You seem like you are your real, true self on the blog, and that's rare. So it's a shame that different comments would make you feel as though you need to put the house stuff in a different area, but it is what it is. I for one can't wait to see updates!

  45. I appreciate your posts. I love that your family always seems so happy and loved (because they probably are for the most part, we all have bad days, but being generally happy is awesome)!!! Seeing your happy family doesn't make me feel like your life is super and mine stinks, it gives me more motivation to spend time with my family and kids and love them even more!! Which made me appreciate your posts yesterday, despite it being about *worldly things, they are still things that stress us out and cause pain and that's ok. Maybe it is a worry some aren't lucky enough to have, but it is your worry and you expressing it shows you are a real person too. But misery loves company, so I am guessing that is where some not so nice remarks come in. I just want to say that seeing your family brings a smile to my face and has taught me a lot! We have taken some of your traditions and family roles and incorporated them into our family and its been awesome! Keep it up!

  46. I have read your blog for several years and never commented. I absolutely love everything that you post here.
    What I find saddening about your post yesterday and the comments that followed is that the entire point of the post seemed to be lost to those who wanted to criticize. I didn't think that it was a post all about the house.
    I focused on the last paragraph.
    I took from your post that so often we can get caught up in the things that don't matter and that we put so much of our time, energy and talents into things that, in the end, won't make a difference.
    In the end all that matters is what happens in the home with the people you love. Being a mother and a wife and giving your family and our Heavenly Father your all. It's nice to have someone like you to remind me.
    That's what I took from your post, and I think it was written beautifully… as all of your posts are.
    As a mother of three little ones I am in a very different place in my life than you are, and I look up to you and the fine family that you've raised. And while we both have different challenges and stresses in our lives, your words are applicable to more than just those in your situation. I will continue to come back, again and again, and read your inspiring words as a mother who I truly look up to.
    Thank you Shawni.

  47. I was astounded by the negative comments on your previous post! You had clearly acknowledged that your stress over the house was such a first world problem! You are building a house that you want to be a good home for your family. Regardless of the square footage, cost, amenities, etc., that is what you are doing – creating a home and it is so natural to stress over getting it right. So, it is what it is people! If you are offended that Shawni is building a home and all that entails, please skip over those posts until the home is done and we can all celebrate with her. Don't change a thing – your blog is your blog! And another thing, please people don't be so crass to ask how one reconciles one's faith with any aspect of their life – that is not yours to judge! Ok…off my soap box….

  48. I love your blog, and have been following it for a little over a year. I thought yesterday's comments were quite insensitive. You do not need to apologize for building a home (or your financial status for that matter). I mean are you going to apologize for being kind, beautiful and intelligent, it just seems silly to me! We have little control over what happens in our lives, but we do have control over how we treat others, and I don't think those who chose to leave unkind comments yesterday thought about the feelings of the person behind the blog. This is YOUR blog and please post about what's going on in your life and make no apologies for any of it. πŸ™‚

  49. I didn't read any comments from yesterday and only a few from today, and the few I read from today I completely echo–I was in no way offended by yesterday's post. Perhaps a little jealous;) but that's it! Wait, and happy for you guys. How great that you get to make your home be everything you want it to be. There's no shame in that at all! I'm excited to read more about what you've decided. And one other thing, although my home and yours is very different in size and style, I hope to emulate the love you have for your family in my own home. You're a great example to me and the young family I have.

  50. I absolutely LOVE this blog. One of my very good friends and I read it daily and then talk about how you inspire us to be better moms and wives and just people. If one of us reads it first, we text the other to tell her to read it! I recommend it to all my friends! And the reason I do is because it's REAL. You've said that so many times and even have a tab to read that says exactly that on your blog main page. You are a writer (a beautiful one) and writers evoke all kinds of emotions…good and bad. You write about REAL life…and part of that is your home building. That topic may trigger positive or negative replies, but this is YOUR blog about YOUR life! We are all just along for the ride! And we LOVE it! Thank you for ministering to us through your words and letting us peek into your life!

  51. Shawni, I LOVED your last post about the challenge of making decisions and thought you posted it just for me. My husband and I feel so blessed we were able to just purchase a larger home for our family, but we are in the trenches of trying to re-do some things to make it "ours." I totally relate to the stress of the decisions – we are such analyzers that it kills the fun of the project. We're trying to balance all that with the needs of our little boy with brain cancer, an 8 week old, and 3 other children, new school, let just says it's a tough time. somedays I think I just want to go sit by a lake and watch the sunset but we just keep going, don't we,one step at a time! I can't wait to see what you decide to do with your house!

  52. I live in a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home, with 6 people in my family. (We live simply on purpose.) My husband and I even sleep in a bunk bed to save space! Crazy, I know!

    I suppose, if I were the jealous type, I could find fault with your "larger than life" world, but I do not. You are obviously a wonderful person, doing amazing things with your life, and you deserve every happiness in the world!

    I think your biggest flaw is that you have a fancy camera. Your camera helps you take perfect pictures, which makes your life appear perfect, so everyone expects perfection from you. (I have been tempted to go buy a fancy camera, just to make my life look more glamorous!)

    And though, sometimes, I find myself wondering how you manage this "picture-perfect" life, I just remind myself that it is not your life that is perfect, it is just the pictures that are perfect — captured skillfully in the right light, angle, and possibly even photoshopped a little … to be perfect. And that is all that we, as blog readers, see of your world.

    BUT, when I look past the perfect pictures, and really listen to your thought, then I can see the REAL you, and you are FABULOUS! Truly fabulous!

    I thank you for your blog, it is inspiring!

    Best wishes on your home!

  53. I do not know you personally, but happened upon your blog through other blogs a few years ago. I enjoy reading it and have never been offended by any of your posts. Bottom line, this is your blog, write as you like. If people don't like it, they can choose not to read it. You are writing this for YOU! Be yourself for yourself. πŸ™‚
    We finished building a home a year ago. Although we had a builder do the majority of it, we had our hands in a lot of it. It is not easy. It takes up a lot of your time. It's a huge job and there are a lot of emotions surrounding it (stress, being excited, frustration,etc.) We started a blog for our home building process and there was plenty of venting going on there. πŸ™‚
    By the way, I am horrible with decorating and colors in our house. Somehow ours turned out great and I'm sure yours will, too!

  54. Shawni,

    There is a reason why not coveting is one of the Ten Commandments.

    Heavenly Father knew that we needed it spelled out perfectly to not be covetous of each others spouses,servants,stuff etc…

    Human Nature being what it is, for those of us struggling through the recession who have lost our homes or been compelled to sell them for way under market value after losing twenty years of equity, reading of your dilemna actually struck me as sorta funny.

    I love the Eyre clan and read all of your blogs, but sometimes ya'll are a little cloying.

    When your Mom wrote about holding an Entitlement Trap training at a world class resort, I guess the irony was lost on her.

    Please feel free to point out all of my inconsistencies and general state of cluelessness.

    As Elizabeths Father said in Pride and Prejudice, "For what do we live, but to make sport of our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?"

    Feel free to laugh at me and my dilemnas, and if I have a chuckle now and again at the Eyres expense, we'll just call it life and hope that the touching and lasting things of eternity we promote on these blogs does some good in the world.


    Jenny Hatch

  55. Just wanted to say that I love keeping up with you and your family! =). God calls us all to different things and I'm glad that you are following His call on your life and your families life. Have a great day!

  56. Sister-this is your personal blog!!! Anyone who has read your blog should know better of what your post was intended. I find it sad you have to justify….your post was very clear. It's just stuff…you're keeping what is real. You should not apologize for being frustrated to make decisions about a new home. Your family works hard. People are rude to comment. Why is it wrong to be building a new home, you can afford, and work hard for. I love keeping up with your beautiful family and your photos make me happy.

    Don't justify because of others. You are such great people.

  57. I don't often comment on blogs – but I read your blog daily (or at least catch up weekly) and had to comment.

    I LOVED your post. It serves as a reminder that we all have our decisions to make and no matter how big or small, shallow or deep, they are important decisions to us. And, you chose to write your way through it, and I applaud you. Like you, I choose to write to help me process. I have slacked on it much in the past couple years, but my choice.

    It is a shame that you have to compartmentalize your blog, your space, when you expressly stated in your post yesterday you are not a compartmentalizer. What you are doing is HUGE! We just moved a little over a year ago and I agonized over the paint color for our living room for months. Then the rug, then the area rug. Meanwhile, the walls are still empty of pictures, artwork, etc. These are expensive mistakes to make.

    I actually wondered why you weren't posting more about the renovation. Post more – I could use seeing what you are thinking to help me along with finishing my house. πŸ™‚

  58. Shawni, I never post because I read on a reader and its a pain, but I NeED to tell you that I read your post yesterday. Then today I read today's post and realized that some people must have left ugly comments.
    I have to tell you this. As I was reading your post last night my husband was on the Internet looking for discount brakes for the car. We have to choose whether to get brakes for his car or tires for my car. We can't get both, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that I am happy where I am… struggling to fix our 2 cars. We HAVE 2 cars. And that is awesome for us and the choices we have made in our life. Exactly like it is awesome for you to have to make the choices you have to make.
    Let those who can not be happy for you be miserable. You weren't gloating. You were expressing frustration over a situation that makes you frazzled. Humans do that.
    Love your blog and think you're doing a fantastic job!

  59. I'm sorry there was a backlash. I think part of life is understanding that we all come from different backgrounds and have different resources and while the surface of our problems are different, deeper they are the same. I personally am that second type of person and know if I ever had to make decisions like you are currently doing it would be a nightmare and I'd fall apart daily/hourly. Good for you for being authentic. Thank you.

  60. Oh goodness… I don't comment much, if at all.. But I really enjoyed your post yesterday, and totally understood where you re coming from! I'm so looking forward to your house posts. You deserve it!

  61. I think you have to take peoples comments with a grain of salt. More than likely their comments are more a reflection of what is going on in their lives. I like your honesty! While building a house is a huge blessing, it is stressful;especially, on top of managing 5 children.

  62. I loved your post yesterday. It disgusts me that people would be so insensitive as to come to YOUR blog and make comments like that. Clearly they don't know you. I think someone else said this above, but those comments say a lot about THOSE people, not you. How upsetting.

    And, I just want to say thanks for your blog – I have been reading for a couple years now but I don't think I have ever commented. I have three little girls and I am so grateful for the insight that you give me into motherhood! I genuinely feel like I learn so much from you. You have been a wonderful influence to me and the way I mother my children. Thank you.

    Your blog is by far my favorite that I keep up with and I'm always so excited when a new post pops up in my feed. Thanks! It's also fun because my mom and sisters also read it, so it has fueled some great parenting discussions for us. πŸ™‚

    Oh, and I can't WAIT to read about more house stuff – I just love that sort of thing. I'm also the same way as you – I would be paralyzed about making all those decisions! Good luck! So happy for you.

  63. One of my favorite talks is "The Tongue can be a Swift Sword" by Elder Ashton. Reading your post made me think of this talk immediately. One of my favorite lessons I have learned from it is this:

    Charity is, perhaps, in many ways a misunderstood word. We often equate charity with visiting the sick, taking in casseroles to those in need, or sharing our excess with those who are less fortunate. But really, true charity is much, much more.

    Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. It makes the thought of being a basher repulsive.

    Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.

    None of us need one more person bashing or pointing out where we have failed or fallen short. Most of us are already well aware of the areas in which we are weak. What each of us does need is family, friends, employers, and brothers and sisters who support us, who have the patience to teach us, who believe in us, and who believe we’re trying to do the best we can, in spite of our weaknesses. What ever happened to giving each other the benefit of the doubt? What ever happened to hoping that another person would succeed or achieve? What ever happened to rooting for each other?

  64. I was saddened by the nasty comments you received. People shouldn't judge! Even if you do live a more privileged life than some you and your family do amazing things on a regular basis! I want to see your house projects on here!

  65. I've been reading your blog for a long time, but rarely comment. Thank you sharing your life and family with us. You inspire me as a woman, wife, and mom. I'm sorry for the harsh things people said yesterday. I'm very much looking forward to seeing and hearing about your new home. So exciting!

  66. Wow . . .seriously ?!?! Hellooo people . . . this is Shawni's blog and that means she can write whatever she wants . . . Get real people . . . I personally did not read the blog yesterday because I, too, have built a house before and it is a very tedious endeavor. I did not want to relive the horrors of having to decide where light switches go. . . . 10 years later and I still click on the wrong switch that I so perfectly designed . . .and did I mention that when I was rebuilding we were far less fortunate than we are today? You can rebuild or remodel a house at any income level . . . Give her a break! Her family has worked hard to be where they are today. Let her write about what she wants to write about!

  67. Shawni your blog inspires me each day. You've made me a better person with your inspirational blog posts and thoughtful ideas about parenting and family life.

    I clearly understood your frustration in your post and in no way considered it to read badly. You shouldn't change who you are for those who wrote negatively yesterday. Your true friendly blog readers seem to be saying the same thing – please don't change.

    We love you and I hope all the positive comments encourage you to keep writing and inspiring parents like me.

  68. I've been on both sides of the issue. I remember when I was young and had very young children and no money – I had friends who had home building issues and thought they were so whiney! My goodness, they even complained about their housekeepers – how would they like to figure out how to feed their families today, like me?!? Now I'm older and have grown kids as well as young kids, and have recently bought a house. I didn't NEED a house, but just thought we would love this area and a couple of extra bathrooms and larger kitchen would be nice. IT IS VERY STRESSFUL! I did not even build – just trying to move lots of people and decorate. And I'm with you – it matters what's on those walls and how we set things up. If we didn't have stuff to worry about, it wouldn't matter, but since we do have it…. But I learn a lot from you and look forward to some pictures of that new house:)

  69. I for one was not offended at all. I had the same problems when planning my wedding. I am a terrible decision maker and it all just seemed so important. I guess people must have gotten lost in another aspect of the post, where I genuinely felt bad for you. I look forward to reading more about your struggles and triumphs.

  70. This is your blog. Please continue blogging the way you always have. That is why we love you! We are all in different places in our lives. You should not be expected to keep certain aspects of your life hidden (unless you chose to do so). I love hearing about your house building experience and take no offense to you sharing your struggles. Keep up the great writing and sharing!

  71. you are such a woman of strength and great wisdom. keep being "real" and honest. the world needs more of it! soooo thankful for your blog-every single part of it!

  72. I always look forward to your blogs and rather than feeling envious of what you have I am grateful that you have it because it means that we can all have loving families, happy homes, and amazing lives.Your recipes, pictures, memories all give me ideas of what I can do to make my own life a little better, run a little smoother, and just relax. Write what YOU want to write. Don't let any of us change that. πŸ™‚

  73. Hi Shawni, just wanted to thank you for taking the time to write and post so much. Recently I have LOVED all your family reunion posts as my husband and I are planning a reunion next summer for his family of 32. I LOVED the video your brother made and was just showing it to my husband and son last night. My husband also had one of your parents' books on his last business trip last week to read. So your family is often on our minds and I sincerely thank you for your example. Today I am headed to TOFW in Richmond, VA which is where I first heard you and your mom a few years ago and I have been reading your blog ever since. Thank you so much, I have learned so much from you and look up to your example often. I am so excited to hear more about your house, I love that kind of stuff. Please keep sharing!!

  74. Would building a new house be amazing? Sure! Is that the plan the Lord has in store for my family right now? Not even a little bit.
    I wrote a post awhile back about being infertile and going through watching other mothers complain about the struggles of motherhood. To be honest, I appreciate it. Because when it is time for me to have children (I am currently pregnant. Yay) I will know the ups and downs of it. I will know what I am getting myself into. When I do struggle I will know that I am not alone, that there isn't something I am doing wrong but rather realize that motherhood can be difficult.
    I feel the same way about you building a house. If we ever do have the opportunity to build a house and decide to do so, you sharing your experiences will help prepare us to embark upon the huge project that it is.

  75. I am thrilled to hear about your crazy life and it keeps me motivated that if you can do it I can too. Thank you for sharing about your home and I am also thrilled to continue to see posts and the finished product.

  76. I also think that you and your husband work very hard for everything you have and it is obvious from your post that your are teaching that to your children also. So of course you deserve to have a beautiful home and the right to post all of the stresses that go along with that.
    On a side note my father is a contractor and I know what goes into building a house and I always tell my husband that I NEVER want to go through it.

  77. Shawn .. I got your point πŸ™‚ And I couldn't help but feel this morning that the life of a mother is full of "wires, walls and electrical outlets" as I sent my people off worried about all those things a mother worries about, temporal, spiritual, emotional and otherwise.

    Give up the AZ house. It's too hot there anyway πŸ˜‰ CO is calling! Love you guys.

    One day when the dust settles, couples weekend reunion ???

  78. You poor thing. It can't be tough to have a blog, to put things out there, and then be completely bombarded by angry comments and pettiness. Please know that there are a lot of us out here in blogland who LOVE your blog and your beautiful family, and are grateful for the things you write. Yep, it's a first-world problem, but you are building a FAMILY more than a house. You are constructing for the eternal, and that's what most of us *get*.

  79. Get ready for some cheerleading, because that's what I'm here for:

    Shawni – I've read your blog just about every morning for the past few years. One thing I love most is your honesty. You know your blessed financially, and tell us so. You know you are able to do many things others can't, and are quick to point out how blessed you feel because of it. We've also heard the flip side of that coin – how it's difficult for your family when your husband has to travel so much.

    We've also seen how you use your resources for good – the volunteering you do for organizations, taking your teens to serve orphans in India while caring for their leprous parents, helping to pull together a spiritual weekend for the youth in your life, not to mention the millions of "little things" that don't even make it onto your blog.

    Although my situation is far different from yours from a financial viewpoint, there are SO MANY MORE LEVELS to a person than that. You relate to your audience in so many other ways and I find it sad that some people are so critical of your success. I tend to think they are simply envious and having a hard time dealing with that.

    I, for one, and happy to hear that choosing a paint color is a monumental task for you – me too. I've been renting my home for over 3 years, have full permission from the owner to paint it whatever color I want – and I just can't commit to a color. :p

    I find comfort reading about your trials and how you overcome them – or endure them. I find inspiration when you share the parenting methods that work for your family and oftentimes apply them in my own.

    When I read your blog, I find strength, faith, courage, kindness, creativity, love, hope, and inspiration.

    Please don't take the negative comments to heart and second-guess yourself.

    And THANK YOU for sharing your life with us. At times like this, it must be difficult, but I want you to know that you and your family DO affect people for good.

    P.S. My all-time favorite post was a simple video of your kids dancing around and singing "Crazy Love" while cleaning the kitchen. That's brilliant parenting, right there. THAT'S what your kids will remember.;)

  80. First world problem or not, it's YOUR problem and weighing on YOUR heart, so totally blog worthy. Maybe those who have not been very nice are just a bit jealous?
    I know chances are, I will never have that problem, but it is still fun to read about your ups and downs with it….and besides, if someone doesn't want to read about it b/c they think you are being shallow, well then, they can take their eyes to someone else's blog where all they talk about is food storage and scripture reading and how perfect things are for them…but hey, I like real life. πŸ˜€
    My parents built a house and it takes a toooooooon of work. Good luck! I am sure it will be great!

  81. Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are… Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect Tomorrow. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in my pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.
    – Mary Jean Iron

    Normal will return soon. In the meantime, hang in there and keep blogging. Nothing like adding "blog drama" to your list of stressors.

  82. We are all different. I like YOU and YOUR BLOG because you are real. Your life is very different from mine but really that's all there is – a difference. I really am just like you: I am happy, sometimes I have to make myself happy, I love my child, I have ups and downs, etc. I love people and I love reading about your family. Thanks for sharing with us. Keep up the good posting – I look forward to every one.

  83. Saying you shouldn't complain because someone has it worse than you is like saying someone can't be happy because someone always has it better.

    This is your space. Do what you like and ignore those people who have a problem with it. I'm sure I'd have offended 1000s of folks if anyone actually read my blog. πŸ˜‰

  84. Shawni,

    Thank you for sharing your life, ideas, values and family with all of us. It takes a lot of time to document all that is going on especially with 5 children and all of their activities. I also think it takes a massive amount of courage to share the ups and downs with the public knowing that not everyone will agree with the choices made.

    That being said, I truly value all that you write (especially the great pictures). In every post I have read, I have the understanding that you wholeheartedly feel blessed and fortunate to have the family and life you have. Please don't let other's opinions keep you from holding back. You are kind enough to share we us and we should all respect that.

  85. Shawni, do not let ANYONE change who you are and what you post. I love your blog and have been reading it for years and have never once been offended. I am excited to see pics and to hear about your new home. So please post more about it!! Haters will always hate and if they are not happy with what you are posting they probably shouldn't come to your blog. Keep up the amazing work!

  86. Dear Shawni,
    I have rarely commented, but have been a loyal reader for many years.

    We have absolutely nothing in common. I am childfree, agnostic, live in a very different part of the world with a very different lifestyle.

    What I love most about blogs is that they are a story. I am in love with your family story. I love reading your entries. Each entry is a new chapter for me to enjoy. I don't care about the topic. Each entry allows me to get to know the characters (your family) better. I absolutely love that.

    Thank you for sharing all the parts of your story. It is the last thing I read before going to bed!

    I hope that you haven't been discouraged by the hard feedback.

    Thank you!

  87. Just clarifying what another poster said.

    She cared for kids living at a school whose parents have leprosy. She cared for patients with leprosy. She cared for the surrounding community with a building project as well. The kids she was caring for are not orphans. Care is the important word though.

    I don't hate anyone. Just an adoptive mom confronting the confusion between kids being raised away from family from kids who are orphans. Caring is the important word.

  88. really?? i can't believe the comments about yesterdays post. you should never have to apologize for what you write on your blog. your allowing us to be able to look in on your life and ppl should appreciate that. i would never want to read about someones blog that was always about happiness and rainbows and butterflies. because thats not reality.
    and whatever happened to "if you don't have anything nice to say don't say it" why do people think its ok to put someone down. i feel terrible for you and honestly angers me. we should respect each other in this crazy world of ours.
    i love your blog. and you inspire me everyday to be a better mother, i love your words of wisdom. know that theres lots of others out there that appreciate every post your write.

  89. yes, you really need to read 106th comment. πŸ™‚ please don't apologize for your thoughts- you can't offend anyone unless they choose to be offended. that's their problem. this is your blog. you have no need to defend yourself on your space. xo

  90. Ok, so I know you've had 100+ comments saying what I am about to say again…but I just have to tell you how much I LOVE your blog. I appreciate all the wonderful things you share about mothering and about navigating life and all it's craziness in the best and most thought-out way possible. You share your thoughts and family life so generously and through your blog it is obvious that you live you life with a heart seeking to love and serve and uplift all around you. In no way did your post about your house come across to me as being "out of touch" or entitled. Instead it came across as a mother who through hard work of her own and her husbands, and blessings from above, has the chance to thoughtfully plan out the details of her home and wants to make the best decision possible in order to create a place where love, faith, work, and service can take place. I think you are awesome and you handled all that criticism and spite with pure class. Thank you.

  91. Hello! I am somewhat new to your blog, but you must have mentioned somewhere that you were building a house. I actually had wondered why you had not mentioned new house things more often. We bought a different house a few years ago and doing an overhaul of just paint and flooring in about every room just about put me over the edge. I kept thinking to myself that I don't know if I could survive building new and making every decision! It is time to start updating the kitchen but I just don't know if I have it in me! (And I REALLY want an updated kitchen.) I think we may just rip out the teal (color of LDS hymnbook), speckled, Corian countertop with the white racing stripe and call it good for about 10 years! Keep smiling!

  92. I'm going to be another echo. πŸ™‚

    I've read your blog here and there for awhile now. And I adore it. I love your stories, the thoughts you share, the activites with your kids…I love how you see things. And I'm sorry people put you donw for sharing what was bothering you.

    Anyway, keep up the great work! And I hope the mean commenters don't make you second guess what you want to post on your blog.

  93. One of the reasons I come to your blog is because I love the beauty of your world. Mine has beauty too, I'm not mine does not. I like how you capture and and write about it, I learn from it. I know refer to my children's eyes as sparkly now, because of you. I wish you didn't feel you needed to change your blog because others don't like it. Your life is your life, and I for one want to hear all of it. It's good for me to remember that a family like yours has trials too. Thank you for writing and making it public like this, it is helpful to a mom that is 6 years behind you on her journey to rear her children.

  94. I feel so bad that you got such a backlash after sharing that part of your life… Whenever matters of image and "materialism" come up I remember this quote by Sister Susan W. Tanner: "We should keep the outside of our bodily temples looking clean and beautiful to reflect the sacred and holy nature of what is inside, just as the Church does with its temples." I know that's not entirely what you're talking about with building your home, but in my mind it totally applies. I think that Heavenly Father intends for us to be intentional and thoughtful about our surroundings and the way we look and do the very best we can… and I'm not talking about the financial side of it. Every time I'm in the temple I am reminded about the importance of this matter and believe you should be equally intentional with the care you take for planning your home. You and I both know what the bible dictionary has to say about the temple and the home πŸ™‚

    You're doing a wonderful job and someday this juggling act will be over and you'll be stronger for it.

  95. This is my second or maybe third time writing a comment on your blog, which I really like even though we don't have many things in common: I'm not married, have no children, not a Mormon, not American… but I still like reading how your life and your vision of it is. That's why people read other people's blogs, to learn, to discover, to appreciate. You open the door of your "house" (such an appropriate term by the way, haha) and the readers can choose to come in or stay out πŸ™‚

  96. Would you right a little back story in your new house. You bought of a year ago right? Originally it sounded like you were just going to do some romodeling. Now you're starting from th ground up? Keep the house posts coming. It's very interesting!

    Also, I love your blog! I am a young mother (my kids are five and under) and I just love reading your perspective and I LOVE that you keep it real and share your human moments. Too many bloggers only write and share the great things about their life and it just comes across as fake.

    I love your photos, your childhood memories, your advice!

  97. Shawni, I am just catching up on all your post and I am sad that someone couldn't hear about this process in your life. I have moved a lot that process has required a lot of building our house into a home. One thing I love about your blog is how real you are and how much you give back in sharing all these details. I don't think you should change what you say or do because someone else is feeling sad about their own life. Keep doing what your doing! My mom always taught me that if you have nothing nice to say then don't say anything at all. Many blessings in making your house a home!

  98. I can't even imagine the stress that you must feel right now. I can't even commit to making a decision on a new couch!! We have had the same couch for 14 years and it finally broke. The thought of buying another coach is stressful for me!! I was 21 when I purchased the first one, with money from my husbands Grandpa. We walked into Provo Furniture and purchased the first one we saw. It's been such an amazing couch that I can't dream that another one would be so perfect!! If only decisions could be as easy as they were when I was 21. Why do they get harder?? Also, my mind has been on the craziness of my schedule and the demand of motherhood and I loved reading your perspective. It helped to reset mine a little bit and remember that really it's the smiles, and snuggles and dance shows that matter…not the piano lessons, dance, swim practice, choir, band rehearsals, football practice, my teaching and job, GNO or the perfect couch that matters. I appreciate your honesty and thought that you were very clear about how thankful you are to be fortunate enough to be in the position to build a new house.

    Good luck with all of the decisions you have to make. Just reading all you have to think about makes me anxious!! πŸ™‚

  99. I love your inspirational posts and parenting posts, as well as your home-improvement posts! So, I will definitely be checking in on your "New House" tab/page. Try and enjoy the process and go with your gut on decisions. Good luck and can't wait to see the new house!

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