The first part of Christmas prep is back HERE, this is part 2 of all those swirling festivities.

I decided to get fancy this year and take all my girls, including my dear mother who was in town, on a special date to the fancy version of the Nutcracker at Symphony Hall.

Our friends came too who we love…

…and that’s a whole lotta girls!

I am continually more and more worried about Lucy enjoying all the things she loves as her eyesight continues to diminish.  There’s so much more emotion wrapped into that seemingly normal statement than I can put into a blog post about the Nutcracker, but as soon as we sat down in our seats Lucy got a little teary because she said she couldn’t see the stage.

My heart throbbed with the realization (which keeps coming more and more forcefully all the time) that I have to take that little girl’s vision into much deeper consideration as we go about daily “normalcy.”

Things aren’t going to be so “normal” as we go forward.

And in that split-second realization that she was supposed to be the one who would love this the most (she adores dancing and beauty like this), I realized I better get snap into action.

I ran out to check with will-call to see if they had any seats closer in and explained a little bit about Lucy.

And that sweet woman behind the glass with the kindest eyes told me she’d be happy to comp us two close-up tickets since the show wasn’t completely sold out.

So there we were, Lu and I relatively close and personal with that stage full of magic, and I had to stop in my tracks with gratitude as she sat on the very edge of her seat mesmerized, her eyes that are losing power still tracking, still in awe.

It was a different rendition of the Nutcracker than I was used to, but I loved it.

Loved that glittery blizzard in that picture up above.

Loved these angels:

Loved the simplicity and beauty.

I had my mom sit up there closer with Lucy during the second half and they both had a pretty grand time.

Oh how I love that mother of mine, and also all these girls who are so intertwined into my heart.

In other Christmas news, we drove in and out of this street countless times oooing and ahhing over and over again…and I have 163 pictures to show for it.  Ok not really but it still takes my breath away every time I drive in.

We walked a Christmas light street one night that won a television “battle of the lights” or something like that last year:

 We got some serious treats dropped off at our house…this one was all the way from China:

We went to dinner in between a couple of the festivities:

Lucy wrapped up and delivered glasses t-shirts to all her friends who take such great care of her.

(We got extras made with the same design we used at the Turkey Trot, and all those friends were pretty happy about them 🙂

Oh how grateful we are for all those who look out for this girl of ours so much.  Claire was the big helper up there.

 We heated the hot tub and had some good talks in there with friends coming and going to join us:

 The elf kept moving thanks to one particularly enthusiastic helper…

 The girls had fun with my dad:

 I went on a good little run with my Dad through the autumn splendor:

He and the girls worked on some practical jokes…this is one Claire played on him with the quarter and a pencil to make that mark on his face.  Ha!

 We went to see the temple lights:

(more on that back HERE.)

And had a few extra gingerbread-making-gatherings hosted by the girls:

And that’s a Christmas-wrap.  


  1. Beautiful Christmas holiday pictures…
    This is more a thought about Lucy. We have a lab who would not have made it into a service dog school! Learning to train our lab was super benifical to our daughter when she was in 4th grade. Now our dog is 7 years old.
    However are many puppies who are being trained to become service animals. Sometimes puppies are placed with a family for just 6 weeks and then go on through their training. Learning to train dogs to become service dogs might help reduce the anxiety all with regards to the possible future you have mentioned. Lucy's determination and personality will be an asset in the field of training dogs. It might be an area to research the possibility of a service dog/service dog training. Starting now will help Lucy be knowledgeable and safe. It's just a thought.

  2. I drop in and read occasionally. I like to see proof of someone who survived being raised in a family with 9 children and turned out relatively normal. haha I am sure you probably have much more advise you could give me on how to raise my 9 kids, but I just had a thought when I read this so I acted on the prompting. You are probably already doing this, because you are a proactive mom but here is my thought…Perhaps God gave you a special gift and ability to beautifully describe and illustrate with words a picture in the mortal mind…in Lucy's mind. He gave you this gift, and love of literature, to teach you how to trigger the sunrise with her other senses, as the sunsets on her visual world. Maybe when you see things that are visually pleasing to the eye, and you exclaim "LOOK at that beautiful this or that", you could get in the habit of winding down the window and also adding "HEAR the leaves or SMELL the air or FEEL this texture" so it doesn't leave her out someday. You could fill the car, room, or wherever you might be with words of poetic illustrations perfect for Lucy's mind. You could pull out pictures you have taken and use your beautiful gift to describe in detail the dull, the shadows, the sparkle, and the shine she can see now, so that one day when it is gone you can describe a place, a moment, and with your gift she will see it come to life in color, as if she has seen it herself, but it will be in her minds eye. That place her loving mother used her God given gift to bring light back to her daughters eyes.

    1. Glen, such a wonderful suggestion and so beautifully written as well! It would appear to me as if God spoke directly to Shawni through you today!

    2. Dear Glen, What mfg said is correct, I am in tears because your suggestion is exactly what I needed to hear today, and I thank you so very much for your beautiful words. Lucy's vision teacher suggested this when we left for China, and I have done it here and there, but this really is an answer to prayer as to what to do to help as we go forward right now. Something I can get the whole family on board to join me with and something I feel will make a big difference.

      Thank you for following that prompting to reach out, means so much to me.

      Much love,

  3. No thanks necessary. After hitting publish, I immediately returned thanks to the person who unexpectedly gave me those words intermingled with my poor grammar and punctuation. Thanks for having the courage to share your gift and family with this sometimes critical world.


    Sara…Glen's better half!!! haha

  4. Hi Shawni,

    Happy New Year!

    I sent you an email a few weeks ago. I would so love to purchase one of the glasses shirts. Is there a way to do this?! I searched around on a few different web-sites (Lucy's & Families Fighting Blindness) but wasn't able to find anything.

    Thank you!


  5. Love this post and the comments!!! What a privilege to have been there with you and especially to enjoy the second half with Lucy "Come what may and love it." Easy to say…so hard to do!

  6. I'm not sure I've ever commented on your blog but I've read every update for a few years now. Your post and the unposted words about Lucy touched my heart. I thought about my sleepless nights as I prepared myself for the removal of my 2 year olds front tooth after an accident. It's only a tooth and yet I was so upset. I can only begin to imagine your thoughts about dear Lucy and her sight. I'm sure the theatre lady with the kind eyes saw more than you told her…….
    After I read your blog I grabbed my 4 year old and told her how much I loved her. During dinner we spoke about the best bits of our day and my sweet girl said,'when you told me you loved me' Thank you for inspiring me to be a better mummy. Your blog posts always inspire me to be better. Thank you thank you. Sending love from across the pond in England xx

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