My sisters, mom and I were a little spoiled with an opportunity to spend a few days in California the weekend before Max got home.
It was the best not only because I got to be with these lovely ladies, but because I got to be distracted during those last days before Max got home 😉

I may have burst with anticipation without them!

We missed Charity who is so dang far away in London, but were so grateful for the opportunity to soak in beauty like this:

..with the best beauty-lovers I know.

We rode bikes from Newport to Huntington:

Rode up and down the boardwalk lots and lots:

Watched the sunset each night…one night on the pier above, one night snuggled under towels (it was freezing), eating this beauty:

..and one night we took a little boat out to bask in the sunset in all it’s glory:

Saydi took a video that I can’t seem to upload right now, but I’m grateful to have it…we were all in that boat on smooth waters listening to the most gorgeous music, my Mom tearing up at all the beauty…

…right when we were almost capsized by the gigantic wake of a huge cruiser coming back from their own sunset basking.

Got my heart racing a little right there!

We also tried the “dock and dine” thing in that little boat which was quite an adventure of it’s own trying to navigeate through pitch dark waters.  Made for some pretty great memories.

Not only did we soak up sunsets, but we liked the sunrises too…

Ok, it wasn’t really sunrise but close, and we did sunrise yoga (at “the wedge”)

On Sunday we sure tried to go to church…tried two different chapels that had empty parking lots and then realized it was regional conference.

Luckily the last church we went to had the coolest art work lining the hallways and we had our own little Sunday School taking it in.

Nothing better than looking at art with these guys.

Good beach talks:

A visit to Crystal Cove Beach Comber restaurant:

…with the best pancakes:

…and a walk in all this beauty:

How I love these ladies:

….and Charity too…and all my in-law sisters.
I’m inspired by all those good women more than I can ever express.


  1. I love reading your blog. I've been a reader for a LONG time now and have watched your kids grow up. It's been inspirational and uplifting. However, recently when I've been reading your blog, I feel very depressed and jealous and in awe of your life. How do you have so much time AND money to travel the way you do? And to get away by yourself so often?! You must have an amazingly supportive husband who has an incredible job that pays awesomely. (I don't even know what Dave does for a living). I can' help but not want to read your blog anymore because it's always so "showy"…. and I know it's my own choice whether to read it or not.

    1. What does Shawni going on vacation have anything to do with you? If you're old enough to be a mom you're old enough to know comparing your life to others over social media/blogs is a mentality appropriately left in middle school. Shawni and Dave have plenty of challenges and heartache. Money does not = happiness. I grew up in a big house and had a pretty miserable time as a teenager.

    2. Then choose not to read the blog. It’s Shawnis life and it’s not her job to make others feel comfortable with it. I don’t follow anyone on social media or blogs who make me feel discontentment with my life. Take a step back and stop reading for a while. Shawni has heartaches and challenges just like the rest of us, she just has a fabulous house to go with it. And coming from a husband who also travels a lot, it is a huge challenge to have them gone so much, but the perks are hotel and airline points that allow my family to travel often.

    3. I guess I agree with April. It would be nice to hear an acknowledgement from Shawni once in awhile saying she knows her life is not how the rest of us live…

    4. Shawni doesn't need to acknowledge that her life is not how the rest of us live. She doesn't need to "apologize" or "feel bad" for having the life she has. If any of us feel bad about our lives, we need to rethink what we're doing in life. Jealousy and envy are poisons. Learning to rid yourself of that is the best thing you can do for yourself. It's ok to be happy for other people's success and opportunities.

      You know what? We ALL have trials and challenges. To act like Shawni's life is so much "easier" than the rest of ours because of her opportunities is kind of insensitive to the trials and challenges she and her family do have. Shawni and her family experience heartbreaking trials that nobody would wish for. And if Shawni is like me, some are probably too personal to share with the world.

      Thank you for sharing these GORGEOUS beach, ocean, and sunset photos, Shawni. Glad you could spend time with your mom and sisters.

    5. Sometimes before we comment on blog posts/social media we may want to ask ourselves "Is this necessary?" followed by "Is this kind?"

      If you are struggling with jealousy when you read Shawni's blog, simply don't read it. But Shawni isn't to blame for the fact that you feel jealous. We alone are responsible for our thoughts and thus what emotions we experience. Shawni doesn't have the power to make any of us feel anything.

    6. Oh man, this a a tough one. First, it’s great that you are acknowledging how you feel, and that reading or not reading a blog is your choice. At various times in our lives we all have thoughts of comparison. However, I have found that is often a reflect of how we feel and what is going on in our lives that leading factors. (I can’t speak to your circumstances, that is what I have found in my life) Second, I too have been a blog reader for a long time and have felt uplifted and found inspiration from Shawni’s blog. I’ve noticed that without writing it in a detailed and direct manor, which I also wouldn’t do, Shawni does have trials and difficulties like the rest of us. In my reading of her blog I have found that she chooses to look and the positive ascpects and highlights the good. Hopefully if you continue to read her blog you will notice that as well.

    7. Thank you for these thoughtful replies. It is true that we are all coming from such different backgrounds, such different things fulfill us, we each carry such different burdens as our own secret sorrows, and we find joy in so many varying ways. But I totally get it that even though we know this, sometimes it's so tough not to compare. Especially when it comes to social media because we tend to compare our worst to other's "best"…that's just what what people tend to put out there.

      My main goal on this blog is to keep a family record, and in doing so I hope to be able to lift and bring light any way I can. I'm so sorry if you are not getting that from this blog, and I would encourage you to find something that does build you and give you light in the ways you personally need it. Because that light is a powerful thing!

      Much love,

  2. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Shawni! Love reading your posts. Glad to see you had a great trip with your sisters and mom. 🙂

  3. We all have different circumstances in life. There will always be people who have more than you and people who have less than you. I am grateful for how generous this family is in sharing their good and hard times. They are truly an example for me.

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