I’m taking a break from posting glowing pictures of the end of school to talk about perceptions vs. reality for a minute.  I’m trying so hard to catch up with life that I’m speeding posting about the highlight moments.  And when I do that it’s so easy to skim over the not-so-awesome parts and show off the grand and the beautiful since that’s what I have pictures of.

I wrote a post a while back about writing talents on fingers (I know, sounds weird, much better explanation HERE).  I love to do that even [especially] in the midst of the tough stuff, because it makes those kids of mine glow.  I love that my parents did that for me.  Looking at the bright side is just kind of what I do.

Which is why I love Dave who gives me a dose of reality.  He’s the one I mentioned (after that “fingers” post, in a new one HERE) who wants to come in behind me and write the things our kids need to WORK on on each of their toes:)  Ha!

There needs to be a balance, right?

Sometimes I think he should write some of the blog posts here.  Because I know that despite the fact that I do try to “keep it real,” sometimes I honestly do see only rainbows and butterflies.  And Dave reminds me that there are moths and spiders and wasps in the mix too.  Oh sure, he sees the good as well, but he helps keep me grounded and I’m grateful.

Not everyone can have a medal.

So, despite the glowing things I often post here and the fact that I like to take pictures of pretty things, I hope readers realize that life is real, and there are struggles right along with the beauty I may or may not be sharing.

I loved this slide they showed at this social media awareness night I went to a couple weeks ago:

I’m mentioning this (again…I try to mention it often because that iceberg is real), because I’ve been thinking a lot lately though about perceptions.  
Mostly social media ones since I’ve had that on my mind a LOT lately.
I worry because I’m raising girls growing up in this land of often “fake” reality.  It is human nature to put the “good” things out there.  But because of that, these kids are bombarded with perfection in every direction.  Friends and role models alike are posting everything from the perfect clothes to the perfect bodies to the perfect friends, and I think that’s great, to a certain extent.  We want to celebrate the good, right?  But sometimes when we see the good, we think it just happened like that.  And sure, sometimes it does.  But in general, when something good happens, there’s a lot of heartache and work and blood and sweat and tears that goes into it (just like it shows under that iceberg pic. up there above).
So, what I’m trying to say is that in my “rainbows and butterflies” mind we do have some things figured out over here, and I love to share them just as I love others to share what they’ve figured out.  
There’s power in that.  But I know there’s also power in vulnerability.  (Have you listened to Brene Brown’s TED talk on that?  It’s so good…and it is HERE.)
So for today I just thought I’d leave with this special note Lucy “awarded” me on Mother’s Day.
That girl says it like it is and it’s the perfect, light-hearted example of what I’m trying to get at.
I’m glad I’m so good at being late and ignoring 🙂
Oh man I love her.  At least she summed it up by proclaiming that I SHOW that love…even if I sure mess up along the way.
I think that right there is the perfect example of her “writing” on my fingers as well as my toes 🙂


  1. Precious keepsake from Lucy. I love how kids say what they feel.
    Ah, social media…yes, such an important topic that the prophet just asked the youth to go on a 7 day fast from social media. I was just talking to a friend about this very thing. I had taken a trip out of state to watch my stepson graduate high school. I posted some pictures of the things we were able to see on the LONG drive home. When I saw her at church she said, "Looks like you had a great trip." I said, "I only posted the good stuff." She said, "Isn't that what people always do?" The reality was, I was so sick throughout that trip…I mean, SICK! It was pretty miserable. I wasn't about to post about that part because I feel people want the positive…or maybe that's just me. I grew up in a negative environment and I am trying hard to break the cycle of negativity and complaining about everything. I always want to try and uplift and be positive. I love your posts because you show a lot of the good, positive stuff, but I have never once thought that was the only reality. I know there are hard things happening. Personal things happening– and that's why I love your posts so much, because you find and see the good around you despite life's challenges.

  2. Oh my heavens I love Lucy !!! My daughter a few years ago did the same type of questionaire it asked “ what does your mum do all day “ her reply was “ absolutely nothing, she sits and watches TV “ .. the funny thing was I didn’t have a TV at the time ����.. me and my husband had a FHE that night on what mommy does all day lol
    We too are doing the 7 day challenge! It’s been hard and refreshing and it’s onky day 2!

    1. For me, I’m taking a break from IG, FB, if I find something uplifting then to me it’s good! Each person can choose what they class as Social media I think.

    2. If you mean that everyone can choose from which social media you take a break, I absolutely agree! No judgement here!
      However I think the general definition of social media includes blogs. Therefore I had to smile a bit at your first comment. I hope it didn't offend you, because I did not intent that!

  3. This year my first grader wrote me the following Mother's Day note in school: "I think you are the best Mommy in the world. I really think you should try not to yell at me when you're mad. You're doing great this year!"

    #5 on Lucy's list also reminded me of this story: Our 6-yr-old twin neighbors came over to play, and their mom was visiting with me. One of the twins starting having some trouble, so the mom took her home. About 20 minutes later, the other twin asked if his mom had forgotten about him, "Because she's really good at forgetting things" !!

  4. I love the growth mindset picture. I just printed it out to hang up in the bathroom where everyone in my family will see and read it. I'm also going to send it to my daughter on a mission. This is just what I needed to see especially with the prophet's council to take a week break from social media. Thanks so much for posting it.

  5. I would have stopped reading your blog years ago, if you posted all the crappy stuff!!! I love seeing the life of a family, so different to mine, in a country quite different to mine! I love your photos, and i love seeing all the crazy end of year stuff! I treat my fb & insta as my visual diary. I only ever post stuff that I don't mind if people see – and I figure that is pretty much what your blog is to you. Who wants to remember all the day to days of fights with teenagers, nagging to do home work…we all know that happens, I hate that people make a big deal about only showing the "good stuff'. My kids know if I take a photo – it will probably go on social media, so unless they specifically tell me not to – it's posted! Keep sharing as you like & forget about what other people think! You and Dave appear to be doing a great job with those kids of yours – My 3 boys fall within the age group of your 5, and we live in Australia, so I find it lovely & interesting to see what families do, with kids of similar age, on the other side of the world! Siobhan from Melbourne, Australia.

  6. I absolutely love your blog and appreciate this post, too… you are a few years ahead of me in parenting and I love how you celebrate your children and yet show the "real" in a positive way. Thank you!

  7. I always look at activities like Lucy's as a family snapshot. You need to see the movie to know what really goes on in families! My daughter used to tell people she loved riding in the trunk all by herself since her second sister was born. Trunk, third row in a mini van…same thing, right?!

    Inquiring minds want to know – what's the craziest thing you've done?

  8. Hi Shawni,

    Not sure if you're familiar with Jody Moore but I love her podcast – it's very inspiring! In a recent podcast of hers (Self Respect), she said: "Being single in the Mormon church after you've graduated college isn't always the easiest place to be. Sometimes feels a little lonely and sometimes feels a little like where do I fit in? Am I ever going to get married?"

    As a non-mormon, this statement fascinates me and also makes me a bit sad for these young women graduating college and feeling this way at such a young age. I can't fathom the pressure that these girls must feel in college to find someone (is that the true purpose of college?).

    Related to that and your post about perceptions vs reality, I wonder if you've thought about how social media may distort the reality of relationships and marriage. While it's very exciting to be in a relationship and experience love, I've noticed that young LDS girls are overly effusive towards their significant other (pre/post marriage) on social media (compared to non-mormons in my opinion). Also, of course, only the good stuff gets posted. I just wonder how this may affect how other young girls view relationships and marriage. Sure, it is wonderful but it's also hard work and it's OKAY if it's not 100% perfect all the time. I feel what's being portrayed on social media may have younger mormon girls expecting to achieve something (the picture perfect relationship) that's not necessarily reality. Not sure if this has ever crossed your mind or been a concern of yours. Thanks!

  9. Oh goodness! That well-meaning teacher did not consider the mom-anxiety this little Mother's Day list may create. Agh! The last thing I want to hear as a mom on Mother's Day is what my kids think I need to do better or change–or do MORE of? Yikes!;) I'm hard enough on myself! I digress…thank you for any and all conversation about social media and technology. That topic weighs heavily on my mind with 3 teenagers. Even though I feel like we have been very conservative (like waiting until 8th grade for phones and limited social media access), it's still so pervasive! So much at their fingertips, for good or ill.

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