This is my family:I adore them.

And I adore that I get to be with them in this gorgeous spot.

We had our reunion last week.

It was complete with our traditional campfire and music CD:

Some serious races:I was going to only post the ones of us winning because I must admit our family came out strong in the racing category (and hey, it’s a blog and that’s the sunny stuff), but these faces were too good not to include:
We had our annual doubles tennis tournament (Elle got to be Grandfather’s partner this year).

Elder Perry even showed up for an impromptu visit:
We went to Bloomington Lake (more on that later), ate delicious food, didn’t sleep hardly a wink, got eaten alive by mosquitoes, and fell in love with each other more than ever. (Yeah, we are cheesy.)

Man, I love these people. Let’s look at one more picture:There we go.

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  1. Just finished the wonderful book you and your mother wrote, and I cannot say enough good about it. Such an inspiring book, I feel like it has changed my whole outlook on motherhood. I am a young mom with babies 15 months apart, and I could so relate when I read about you with Max and Elle and just trying to get through the day without really enjoying them!!! It's been a couple weeks now since I finished the book, and I can feel the difference in our home. Your are an answer to prayer! I don't know how to thank you other than trying to spread the word about you on my own blog!

  2. Oh, I love that picture! It was so good to meet with you over dinner at the retreat. Your mom told us to imagine ourselves 30 years from now and when I see that family picture, that's where I hope to be! surrounded by the people I love the most. Have a good time!

  3. gorgeous pictures and gorgeous memories being created there! I think those photos are so beautiful and definitely capture the fun and love you guys have together.


  4. Wow- great family photo. And how nice to have Elder Perry visit.
    And I'm amazed that you love your family more after being together. That's awesome!

  5. Wow! What a beautiful picture. First thought that came to mind was, "All because two people fell in love." Cliche' maybe but I think that quote is perfect for that photo.
    I heard you and your wonderful mom speak at TOFW in Ogden. You were amazing, and real. I so needed to hear your sweet, encouraging words that night. I came home that night and checked out your blog and promptly placed a link to it on my blog.
    I am inspired by you and your love for your family. Reading your blog is always uplifting to me and if I ever find myself getting that sting of jealousy I just let it become a little motivation to get myself moving.
    Many times I have found myself repeating in my mind, "We do hard things." Very simple but strong words, words that I so want my kids to know and understand. Thank YOU for that quote 🙂

  6. Hi Shawni…

    I haven't been by in a while, so I was catching up on some of your old posts. The post about blogs being a huge cause of depression for moms really hit home for me, because despite the fact that I KNOW that blogs portray the best of what goes on in our homes, I find myself comparing. I get commenters on my blog constantly asking how I keep my house so clean. I always laugh and reply back "it's called photo staging". You don't see the mess I moved behind me to get that perfect photo. I KNOW it logically, but my heart still compares. It's silly really. But it concerns me as well.

    I do want you to know, that ever since I discovered you had a blog, I have come here to be inspired. I am grateful to have known you for as long as I have. And despite the fact that you say you're not perfect (and I believe that since none of us are) you are an inspiration, an example for good, and a wonderful mom – even if you forget dinner once in a while.

    Can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks.


  7. Driving there tomorrow! Yay! I was in charge of planning all of our reunion activities, since I'm the one most familiar with Bear Lake. I've never been to Bloomington Lake, but I kept seeing it on the map and wondering if we should go. Is it worth a trip? Do we need trucks or jeeps to get there? I'd love to know more….takes us three days to get there, so I've still got time to edit the itinerary. Thanks!

  8. I love the photo too! I am really curious how you did it…being an amateur photographer myself. After reading your book…I want to join your family so I can have those amazing reunions! Thank you for inspiring me to be a better mom, wife, daughter, sister and woman.

  9. Beautiful pics. I love how handsome and glowing (Don't tell a teenage boy I said he was glowing) that Max looks in the picture with Elder Perry. So sweet!

  10. Your family is BIG! Love that picture so much! I sure wish my immediate family could ALL get together like that! There would be 41 total of us! But we are spread out all over the place! Kentucky, Florida, Upper MI, Milwaukee WI and Chicago! CRAZY now!!!

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