A few weeks ago I wrote some thoughts about spiritual creation and how I want to take a little more control of my life.

(That post is back HERE.)
And I would like to sing some praises to blog readers who had so many great suggestions to help me take some action.
My main concerns at that moment in time were (1) figuring out how to print this blog, (2) figuring out a great way to help my family eat more healthy, and (3) figuring out how to get papers and emails under control.

I got concrete ideas from blog readers to help on every single one of those things I was trying to “spiritually create.”

I thought I’d wait to report here until I had everything up and running like a well-oiled machine, but then I realized it’s all a learning process and I don’t think many things in life ever really turn out to be “well oiled machines,” especially when it comes to schedules and routines.

But I’m here to report on the process of the progress because maybe it will help others as well.  These are the things that are helping me “spiritually create” in those three areas, thanks to all the ideas shared:

(1) I am using Blog2Print to create digital files of my blog.  It isn’t a perfect system, and it is not laid out like I would like it to be if I were printing it out, but I got two months backed up and saved, so far…and that is progress!

Those pages look kinda blurry, but you get the idea.  I’m hoping I can do more than two months at a time as I go forward, but I’m making progress.  Thanks for that great idea, Rorie!

(2) As for healthy eating in our family, I got some good suggestions for Clean Simple Eats, which I have just barely dabbled into (I’ve got some work to do there), but I also got this suggestion: My good friend has a daughter with health issues that require her to follow a special diet that precludes her from eating a lot of treats, chips, sweets etc… It is not easy and led to many emotional battles between the two. She found a nutritionist that worked with adolescents to work with her and to sort of take her out of the dynamic of always having to be the “bad” guy or food police….
(Thank you, Minnie!)

And then this referral:  Janeen Alley as a nutrition coach. You can reach her at janeenalley.com. She is amazing with kids and nutrition, is a great friend, and actually introduced me to your blog. You give me so many great ideas, glad to share the wealth.
(Thank you, Christine!!)

So I got in touch with that Janeen.  We happened to reach each other on the phone while I was shopping with Elle one day while she was in town, and when I got off the phone I was close to tears and told Elle I think that lady may have been sent straight from Heaven ;).  She told me she can’t work with Lucy, but that she can work with me on lots of ideas to help Lucy (and in turn, my whole family), and I started a series of classes with her doing a 12-week course that is already helping me change our mindsets for the better around here.  It means I have a lot of “homework” to do but I’m sure learning a lot so far.

(3) I tried two of the great suggestions for my paper/email/life organization struggles.  I loved this suggestion from Sara amidst all those helpful comments:
HI! I have struggled so much with home organization and all the paper work and tasks that comes from being a homemaker! I admit I didn’t start off with a good basis for various reasons. I just started something recently that actually took. I still fall off the wagon but I realized that is life and start back up again but don’t berate myself for not doing it right. It sounds so simple but I really had to work hard to figure out a system that I could do and not spend all week running around not accomplishing anything fully.
Mondays: Master Bedroom, Mastering adulthood (the phone calls, bills etc) and menu planning. I also have my children focus on their rooms this day.
Tuesdays: Toilet rooms and I try to make all health appointments that I can on this day, as well as groceries
Wednesday: Wipe it down (dust, windows)
Thursday: Theater room (tv area–we don’t have a theater room:) it just sounds better!) I also try to do a thoughtful service or work on my church calling more in depth this day.
Friday: Floors– this one may sound easy but after picking up the house and vacuuming/sweeping then mopping it is huge.
If I can at least touch on that area of the day then I feel like I have accomplished something. If I don’t get to things for a few days I pick right back up again when I can. I also make sure the kitchen and dining room are tidy and clean each day.

Such a simple, great idea that just CLICKED for me. (Thank you, Sara!!)  I’ve re-organized all my files in my office to work on my own personalized things (like hers) each day and it’s making a big difference.

And then this one spoke to me as well since I LOVE April and Eric, and April has helped me on Mind Organization for Moms in the past.  I just spent time this summer taking the STEPsystem class from April and Eric Perry at LearnDoBecome to build a Command Central. It is amazing! Now I have a system for all the papers and emails (my in box is literally at zero most of the week!) And I have goals, plans and ideas. I’m still working on making everything a habit after a couple months I’m still doing it and think it’s the best investment I’ve made in myself and home in years.
Thank you for that suggestion, Aggie MW!  I signed up for that class lickety-split and sat there mesmerized and so empowered by how insightful and wonderful those guys are at explaining and encouraging.  Since then I am on the path to get my emails to “zero” (I’m SO sorry to those who have written to me in the past and I haven’t replied!  I always have the best of intentions of getting back to people, and thanking them for their love and wonderful ideas…and also wishing I could help spread all the good ideas people send that they want me to share.  I do read all my emails, and I so appreciate all the things people send, but I’m going to stop feeling guilty that I can’t get back to people as much as I wish I could.

For some reason this STEP program just came at the right time and although I’m still working on some things, I feel like I’ve taken some giant steps of action because of April and Eric’s help and I’m so grateful! 

Some screenshots from the class:

I’m telling you, this class is a pretty amazing little gem.  Check it out HERE if you want more info.
Anyway, just wanted to come back and report how much I appreciate all those good ideas.  So grateful for blog readers and all the awesome people out there who support and send love over here to this corner of the internet!


  1. Awesome! Thank you for sharing all this. I, too, am on a mission to find a good way to print my 11+ years of family blog content. I tried Blog2Print a while back, but like you said, it's just not exactly what I'm looking for, so after I printed one book (probably about 1-2 years worth), I haven't done any more with it.

  2. WOW how awesome! Love Love Sara's ideas, and I think perhaps younger kids could get excited about each day having a simple theme for chores… I'm thinking "Monday Moping, Tuesday Toilets, Wednesday Wipe Down (appliances and windows), Thursday…hmm not sure haha, Friday Fridge & Food (clean out fridge with my kids and fill it with Walmart grocery pick up). I also really loved your Saturday chores post a while back so thanks! Motherhood is continual re-vamping ha! Sure love you and grateful for ALL you share!

  3. amen. STEP is the absolute best. totally changed my life.
    i guess i always assumed you did that system already because i figured you were connected to them through power of moms and stuff- so its cool to know you are trying it now 🙂

  4. So great to hear! I'm glad it sounds like Janeen can help you. She has revolutionized our eating around here. I've been really struggling with staying on top of housework, so Sara's suggestion is very timely. And Shawni, I really appreciate how you use your blog as a sounding board so we can all swap ideas and learn from each other.

  5. I have 10 years worth with Blog2Print and while I agree there could be improvements, I love it so much! It's fairly quick and easy once you are caught up and our children LOVE to read them and look at the pictures. I usually split the year in half and do 2 books a year. I make them and then keep them in my online cart until a discount comes up and then I buy them. I also turned my mom's blog into books after she passed away so that anyone in the family could order those. It's like having my mom in book form! =)

  6. Shawni,
    I love your blog (followed for years!) and your perspective and thoughts on "Spiritual Creation." I have a weekly podcast called "MoJo For Moms" (MoJo=Mom Joy!) focused on encouraging mothers, especially with their emotional and mental health. My audience is generally not part of the LDS church but I gain a lot of wisdom and insights from your perspective, and wonder if I can interview you via phone/zoom/skype as a guest for a 25-minute future podcast on "spiritual creation"? I do special guest interviews every 10th episode.

    Please contact me if you're willing: wendy@mojoformoms.com

    Thanks so much!
    Wendy Connelly, M.Div.

    PS Here's yesterday's podcast on SoundCloud, called "The Bully In Your Brain": https://soundcloud.com/user-207135496/ep-8-the-bully-in-your-brain

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