Yesterday I put away all my extra “stuff” early before my sleepy-eyed children gathered for scriptures.

I opted to pull out the cereal rather than making a fuss with pancakes or waffles and squeezed in between two of them to listen in as they read a few verses. Dave asked me to offer the prayer on our breakfast and I did. I added in how grateful we are to be a family. And to have our Dad who takes care of so much. And I prayed that we could all make good decisions and look out for those who may need extra help.

I looked into Max’s eyes before he ran off to catch the bus. “How I love him.” I thought.

Then I watched my stringy-haired girls interact at breakfast. I asked them thought-out questions and we laughed about Lucy’s obsession with the alphabet.I whispered to Claire to check out how handsome her dad is and her eyes lit up.

I cradled Lucy’s cheeks in the palms of my hands and told her how I love her.

We even carved out some time to admire their school pictures before they took off happily for school.

It was the same as every other morning. We make lunches. We rush around to get things in. We cram in the last little bits of homework and “agenda” signing.

But the difference is that yesterday morning I was “there.” My mind and heart wrapped tight around those children and that husband instead of spread over fifty different “to-do” items.

Today it was back to the madness again. Two alarms did not go off and I had a Young Women letter I had to print and get in the mail and a salad for the junior high teacher appreciation lunch to be dropped off before nine. Grace was in tears because she forgot to bring home part of her homework she wanted me to check and she got all grumpy because I didn’t want her to wear her tight, short cut-off shorts to school for “Hippy Day.”

Today wasn’t so good, but gradually I’m trying to train myself to be the “present” mom I was yesterday, especially since I got this insight from a wise blog reader the other day:

“What is interesting is most really don’t know how or what being ‘present’ is. Think of an example in your life…when your child got hurt…or your pet…or you see a beautiful view that stops you…the birth of your children…or a moment when the full force of a beautiful piece of music hits you…in each of those moments…where was your thinking mind? It was quiet. It was completely still and present. (Of course when the moment passed…what happened…your mind starts up again and our addiction to thinking returns!) It truly is possible…to be that still all day long.”

I’m trying to keep my mind “quiet” so that I can live in the moments more. And it makes a difference for our whole family.

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  1. You're a fantastic mother! I love my mom too, but she owns her own business so we don't get a whole lot of family time. I anticipate reading your blog every day because I love seeing what's going on in the mind of a "composed and flawless mother." Thank you for sharing. I love your family to bits and pieces! Have a wonderful day!

  2. Thank you! As one of my daughters headed out the door for school I thought to myself that I was thinking about 20 other things as she was telling me about her day ahead and I realized that I didn't pay attention to half of what she was saying. I am going to work on quieting my mind as I listen to my children. What a wonderful goal to make our home even more joyous!

  3. I am stunned you buy school pictures! WHAT?? I stopped buying them years ago because I would rather have professional pics and don't want to pay for both. Some insight as to why you buy those… PLEASE! 🙂

  4. That's a cute picture with the kids holding their school pictures in front of their faces.
    Being present is always a work in progress for me I don't know that I will ever get perfect at it with so many things that clutter my mind.
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  5. ♥This is one of the reasons I enjoy reading your blog so much! As a mom just starting out, I'm grateful for these little insights.
    The work you put into your family doesn't go unnoticed. Thank you Shawni!

  6. Such a great post! The business of life doesn't seem to go away and so I think you are exactly right we need to slow down and be present. This is something I need to work on because I love to multi-task and cross things off the list. In the end nothing matters more than being present for a child and building that relationship. Kids don't care if everything is perfect they just want to feel LOVED!

  7. i always think about mary and martha… i love "one thing is needful." i think that concept is the same as your present.

    i also love the concept "singleness of heart" {D&C 59:9-13}. When my days are full of singleness of heart, cheerfulness and thanksgiving… my life is good.

    i wrote a blog about this concept here…

    oh… i wish i could just remember this every moment of my life!!
    thanks for the reminder!

  8. Great post, I need to do this with my kids. I'm always thinking of what needs to be done next.

    Love the cute picture with their class picture, going to do that with my kids.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. I had a hectic day (morning to night) with parent-teacher conference, sport practices, and piano lessons, among the usual day activities. I was dizzy. I don't think I "heard" everyone of my little ones. Tomorrow I will do things a little differently, I kept saying to myself. Thanks for sharing your insight into how different I can make it for my kids and myself. I like quiet and still too.

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