Wednesday, September 4, 2013

a pause for thoughts on a crazy day.

My thoughts are paralyzed.

I cannot compartmentalize them to help them quiet down so they swirl around like in random abandon and make my heart race.

The only solace I can think of is to write them down.  Writing is my therapy and I haven't been doing much of it lately, so maybe this will help.

There are some people who are made out to build homes.  They flit smoothly, seamlessly from one decision to the next.  They are composed.  They can conceptualize where they will someday want light switches and how textures and colors will work in harmony to create the space they envision for their family.

There are others who are not cut out for the job.  Little things throw them into a quandary of pro and con over thinking, lining their mind with details they will probably never again think about once they let themselves go forward.  And the decisions that don't get flustered about in the first place, and are made easily with a smile, get second-guessed eventually down the road when the pieces don't fit together as they were supposed to.

I am the second kind of person.

I am not good at this.

Right now we are supposed to be deciding stone and countertops and what color of metal roof should compliment the undecided stucco color below.  Flooring decisions have been made and re-made, and our trim guy has looked at me plenty of times with a look that says, "you don't have any idea what you are doing, do you?"  And my silent answer back is "I sure don't."  Walls will be painted tomorrow, unless I cannot make the decision, which will throw off shower tiling and cabinet installation...and flooring, and our move-in date.

Which, of course, isn't decided yet anyway.

The problem isn't that I don't have a vision.  That I have.  I know the feel I am going for.  I know I want clean-lines and natural light and contemporary simplicity.  And I know very well what I don't like.  But there are so many options and choices I am overwhelmed.

What I really want to do is snuggle on the couch with my children and lay in bed at night with my husband and think about something other than eaves and shelving.

I am not complaining.  Each of us in our family send prayers of gratitude up to Heaven every day for the opportunity to create a place for our growing children that is thought-out and perfect for our needs.  We feel deep gratitude for such a wonderful "problem" to have.

I am just reminding my future self that this is lot harder than I figured it would be.   And please, future self, don't ever get a bug to do it again!

I have a newfound respect for normalcy.  For those days when my children come home from school and I can cut up some strawberries for them and look into their sparkly eyes as they tell me about their day.  For those times I can sit and watch the dances they make up without having my mind split in forty-nine different directions to try to put out fires for things that are waiting to be done.  For time to cook balanced meals for them.  For the chance to call a friend or reach out to those who may need an extra hand.  I don't like being the one in the darkness grasping to hold on by the tips of my fingernails.

Last night Claire and I lay on our backs at the top of the stairs (I have no idea why there of all places, but that's where we found ourselves), taking turns holding her book up high and reading about various "Series of Unfortunate Events."  And as I looked at her as she snuggled in close, I felt such an overwhelming gratitude that I get to be her mother.  All of their mother.  I get to be a wife.  And a sister/daughter/friend.  And that in general I don't have to think about drywall and landscaping and how to cut up tile to make a new funky design.  Because in the end, those people I love more than anything on earth along with my relationship with God are all that matters.

How I need to keep that in perspective right now.

76 comments:

  1. This makes me sigh. :) love those tender mercies through the crazy days that bring you back to reality. Like a dirty two year old that gives you a messy kiss and says I love you mom. :)

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  2. Remember, if you don't like a paint colour - it can be changed in the future. Big decisions do need to be made, but nothing is forever. Your house is going to be amazing, and it'll be your family that makes it into home, even if you end up HATING the ceilings or whatever.

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  4. oh, having been through this whole process I learned a few things..
    1) it really isn't a big deal, just make a choice and go with it. don't re think about it, especially colours like paint, ina few years, you will want to change it out. I can imagine you go with a pale gray, if so, pick one, and be done :) same with countertops, honeslty in a new home everything just comes together! I promise!!! I spent hours going through the electrical book of light fixtures, I was sooo overwhelmed, I knew what I liked, and then in the end said, here is my style, give me 4 to choose from. simple! LOL
    for flooring, I would say go medium I hate my super dark shiny wood) ahahah.!!!

    if you have any questions, I love love this kind of thing, email me!
    xoxooxo you can do this, get it done and return back to normal!

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  5. It can be changed. Maybe not now but in 5 years it can all be changed.

    It is exciting to get to make so many choices. Some people have very little choice, like tarp or metal sheet for a a roof. So it's nice to have fun choices. Like what material, color, and how much countertop to have in the kitchen.

    Are you doing too much of the project yourselves? Sometimes God wants to bless the plumber or the electrician because they paid their full tithe. It's not a failing that I can't figure out how to get the garage door opener fixed. Someone else got that talent in life.

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  6. As a designer, a good word of advice is...remember to breathe and give yourself some credit. You ARE headed in the right direction. Prioritize and make the big decisions that will matter in 5 years, like roofing and eaves. Try to simplify the other ones. If you like grey, don't get stuck on "Dove" vs "Cloud" if they are essentially the same color. It can be VERY overwhelming, but you are almost there! Give your kids a squeeze, have a simple dinner and get those decisions made. Good luck! (And a blessing might help too.) :)

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  7. Oh Shawni, I totally get this. We have been doing a major reno for the past 2 years and it has all been diy. My amazing husband works all week in finance and then works all weekend renovating the house. It as been crazy. We're nearly there now (thank goodness because baby #6 is due in a couple of weeks) and one of the things that I am most looking forward to it getting all that headspace back. Good luck making your decisions!

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  8. Glad you are thinking about perspective. Be grateful you have these decisions to make. I don't think most people in this world ever will.

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  9. So yes, there is all that about first world problems. But if you're going to make an investment like this, consider hiring an interior decorator. I was astounded to see how well someone else can pick up on my style without my being able to myself. Just a thought.

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  10. I normally enjoy your blog despite our very different perspectives on life (or perhaps because of them), but this entry was very difficult for me to read.

    I would be really interested in reading how you reconcile your deeply held Christian principles with the (very!) privileged life you lead.

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  11. I enjoy your blog and I get this is really stressful for you, but really? Really? This reminds me of the person I overheard at a party this week who said, "People with kids? Who don't have a toy room? I just feel sorry for them!" First. World. Problems.

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  13. Oh, Shawni. I am so sorry that so many people are giving you such a hard time about this in not very kind ways! I am in the middle of building a home as well, and I think they're missing the point. It's not that you're not aware that this is a first world problem. Out of so many bloggers, I feel like you have a very good handle on that and make every effort to give of yourself and be charitable. But the problem with being in the middle of a project of this magnitude is that it does weigh you down, or at least it does me. Instead of focusing on those other things that you are usually able to focus on (charitable giving, focusing on family, etc.), there are a bunch of people waiting on you to make decisions and it's difficult. It's labor intensive. It's tedious and time consuming and pulls you away from where you really want your focus to be. And you should be able to vent about it for a minute on your blog, because, oh yeah, it's your blog! It's your record of your thoughts and experiences and you may want to look back and remember what this particular experience was like for you! I have read your blog for years and know that this post was not intended in the way that others are perceiving. From one mama to another in the trenches of building, you have my support!

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  14. Just go with your gut, I usually regret it if I don't. Of course you are thankful to be in a position to make these decisions, you clearly stated that. I don't understand the negative feedback. Your family seems to be very hardworking and appreciative, so I cannot imagine how anyone could feel like this contradicts your Christian values. Sorry for the rant, but comments like that are ridiculous.

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  15. Here I go again... You are also providing much needed jobs in a slow economy. That is good for everyone involved.

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  16. I'll never understand why people don't allow bloggers to just be human. If you are stressed about something in your life, this is your space and you have every right to vent about it however you choose (whether certain readers deem it is worthy to write about or not). If they feel it is a 'first world problem' (as much as I hate that trendy term), then they should move on and read another blog! They have no idea what personal struggles you face, how much you worry daily about Lucy, etc - bottom line, they don't know you (and neither do I for that matter). I just have to shake my head at the judgment - it's JUST a post... a moment in time that captures the thoughts running through your mind and I read it as nothing more than that!

    I'm sure you can take the criticism and judgment, but I just want to thank you for being real and being you... whether it's mission work in India, family reunions at Bear Lake, or picking out tile.

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  17. I don't know if this will help but if the contractor knows the vibe/ style you are going for, maybe he/ she can narrow down each decision to 3-5 choices. Usually people feel less stressed when they only have to choose from a few versus a lot.

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  18. Dang!!! Why do people have to be so mean!!! It's your space. Write what you want!!! I'm glad you are honest enough to say you have troubles! The truth is, we all do. Thats why we love your blog, you are honest and real. We recently renovated a house and it is very tough to make so many decisions. It's so nice when it's all over. Keep your chin up! I can't wait to see how it all turns out!!

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  19. Hang in there, Mama! And don't listen to the meanies. :) Big projects ARE stressful, they just are. But this too shall pass. I enjoy your blog so much - thank you for your inspiring example of intentional mothering... I thought it was sweet that in the midst of house-related stresses, you made time to lie on the floor and read with one of your girls. You're a great mom!

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  20. I love that you share your personal feelings and we all know you feel blessed here - - don't change what you write or how you feel for any of us readers. PS - check out houzz - online? It looks to have a lot of interior decorator ideas in one place.

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  21. Christianity allows its followers to have things. Even nice things. Provided they share as well as enjoy what they have been given. They obviously share. Her church requires they show tax returns and prove they paid a tithing to be in full standing. Most churches take your word for it or don't expect it at all. There are more expectations to being a member in good standing. And given the weddings they have attended over the years in their temple, they are paying their tithe and doing all the things their church expects of their members.

    Some preach the prosperity gospel. My church doesn't. I'm catholic. We are all about guilt and suffering. :-) But I know some of these prosperity churches would tell a family who just needed the roof repaired unexpectatedly that they would not have had that expense if they were current on their giving. I can testify to the blessings of being generous. But I think its the other way around. Some people might think they need to do the sweat equity themselves, to be more resourceful and cautious since they are spending a lot of money. It's a house. They cost a lot. I think we are expected to find people with the right talents, so they can be blessed. So I don't think of a crack in the furnace as a punishment from above. Just God's way of blessing the furnace guy. It's his turn to prosper and my job to let go of some of the riches I'm holding onto. I hope this one lasts longer than 7 years though. Gosh.

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    1. Her church doesn't require a member to show tax returns to prove the correct amount of tithing has been paid. How do I know this? It's my church too. I have never in my 47 years of adult membership in this church been asked to prove tithing amount with a tax return.

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    2. I'm a member of the church too (LDS) & I've never had to show any tax returns - not sure if that's just something that you do in the US, but it certainly doesn't happen in the UK.

      I have a very strong testimony of paying tithing & have been blessed by it.

      Part of being temple-worthy is being a full tithe payer. I take my covenants seriously and strive to live to live worthy of my precious temple recommend.

      Thank you for your thoughts on this.

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    3. Grandma Cebe, we replied at roughly the same time - although it's about 5.50am here - can't sleep properly!

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  22. I have been in your shoes!!! We have had project after project on our house, one very long one in particular. When it was over, I remember telling my husband, if one more person needs to do work in our house, I think I'm going to cry. Sometimes it is just too much to handle, because you can't entirely wrap your mind around any of it in the moment...the project, the kids, etc. Hang in there! When it's over, I'm sure it will all be worth it. We love our house so much more, now that we went through the pain of fixing it. Good luck! I love your blog!

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  23. Everyone seemed to question my choice of gray carpet and countertops and lighter gray (really white) walls and vinyl flooring 17 years ago. I wavered a bit, but finally stuck to what I knew I really wanted. I was just thinking yesterday how glad I was that I chose what I did. Just don't over-think it.

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  24. I'm sorry, I'm happy for you I really am but this post is incredibly shallow. It is great you get to build a big beautiful new house but some of your readers are probably laying in bed right now trying to figure out how they are going to feed their kids tomorrow. You are privileged and out of touch.

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    1. Wow. Did you actually read what she posted? Her eternal gratitude for being able to do this and even more thankfulness for her precious family? I'd say your response might be what's shallow...

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  25. I have heard unusual details about tithing settlements. My apologies. I only thought of it as being more sincere about meeting expectations about sharing than other relgions expect. Not intrusive.

    I agree about tithing. Most times we have increased giving to charity, church or cause, we come across a financial blessing. Bonus coming earlier, or a repair bill that didn't actually cost the estimate but less. When you share from first fruits you feel like you have more than enough and that is a comfortable feeling.

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  26. I can totally relate, our decision to move to New Zealand was a good "problem" to have, I didn't dare complain, but all that went into making this dream a reality was so overwhelming that I just remember craving that normalcy. We've been here two months and I've already began to forget the craziness and I would do it again in a heart beat. I'm sure you'll feel the same once you're settled in (if you ever get to that point :) Good luck!

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  27. Isn't it interesting that the people who leave the mean comments have either no profile or a private one?
    We love you here Shawni because you provide us with many smiles and inspiration each post you share with us. Hang in there with the project. Can't wait to see the finished product.

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  28. Wow - I was going to comment that I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product - but I am seriously stunned at how judgmental some people are over ONE post - you do so much good, not just in your community, but with your missions & trip to India. Your heart is definitely in the right place & you fully deserve to build a beautiful house for your family. Wow.

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  29. I look forward to reading your blog each post. Seldom do I read the comments. I must say I am appalled at people's reaction. You and your husband have worked hard to be able to build this home. I believe you said one time we do "HARD THINGS". Through reading your blog it appears you and your husband worked very hard. What a great example to your children.

    “One hundred years from now
    It will not matter
    What kind of car I drove,
    What kind of house I lived in,
    How much I had in my bank
    Nor what my clothes looked like.
    One hundred years from now
    It will not matter
    What kind of school I attended,
    What kind of typewriter I used,
    How large or small my church,
    But the world may be ...
    a little better because...
    I was important in the life of a child.
    ― Forest Whitcraft

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  30. No worries Shawni...I don't think some of the comments meant to be mean...it's just that people are in so many places in their lives and to read about other's difficulties often makes their problems seem to big...and sometimes so trivial.

    Life is stressful! Whether it is big stresses like the health difficulties you deal with Lucy or little stresses (which I know seem big) like making design decisions on a new house. I KNOW that you have a great amount of perspective and do know how blessed you are...both financially and to have your wonderful family (which I admit I am SOOO jealous of...your extended family just seems incredible).

    Please don't worry about any comments that may seem negative...they are just from people who are struggling right now. Keep doing hard things and continue just doing what you know is right ;)

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  31. You know what? It IS hard. And that's okay. You're not saying, "poor me, pity me". You're just admitting an area where you not perfect and what's wrong with that? I appreciate you for being honest about your reality. I know that doesn't mean you don't appreciate your reality.

    I, admittedly, rolled my eyes once at a friend who said that remodeling her house was one of the hardest things she had ever done. I was thinking, "Yeah, I wish I had your problems". And then I did a whole house remodel myself and I realized that it is hard. And I was even one of the first type of people you described- I made my decisions fast, I knew exactly what I wanted. So, it's even hard for those people too.

    Hang in there Shawni. This is a lot like childbirth- it's a happy problem to have and it can be painful. But once it's over and you're moved in you won't remember the pain. I promise.

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  33. ahh, I'm a bad friend! I never comment any more due to feeling you have so many comments and reading on my phone instead of the computer, but I wanted to let you know that all these decisions are window dressing. You will fiercely love your home just like you fiercely love your kids and your husband - not because they are perfect, but because they are yours. And they were your decision to have them. I fiercely love my little home with all its faults and paint dribbles. It's mine and it is where love is. You can do it! Hang in there :) I hate all of those types of decisions, too, but it somehow does come together in the end! te pup!

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  34. I don't think people were necessarily trying to be mean...I think we tend to judge people from where we stand, which isn't good, but it isn't always ill-intentioned. We're all human, right? For example, as a young mum of two children just starting out in life, the stress of building a big beautiful home sounds like some pretty good stress to me haha! But, that's because I'm looking at it from my skewed perspective. And, also because I am not in the situation Shawni is in, it's easy to judge other people's trials when they are not our own! Shawni, I'm grateful for everything you do to make the world a brighter place! I hope things get easier with your house and that it ends up being as beautiful as you hope. I know that you've worked very hard for the life you have, and that you are great at expressing appreciation for your blessings. That's what I take away from this post - that we all have different trials but we can still show immense gratitude for the good in our lives and patience with our struggles. Thank you!

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  35. Hire a professional designer; they will take your vision and run with it. And you can get back to doing what you love most.

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  36. I hope that you are so busy that you don't have time to read some of these ridiculous comments. Nothing like kicking a person when she is down. Some people's mountains are other peoples mole hills. What one person really struggles with seems insignificant to another. Our true test is whether we can show love and compassion at all times and in all things. Good luck with all of the decisions you are facing. Those things that zap us of our energy and strength are problems, whether others deem them worthy, it matters not.

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  37. Just want you to know I am cheering for you from Queen Creek!

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  38. I have never commented on any posts before now but I just want to say that I think it is ridiculous that people are criticizing you for this post. It's your blog and you can say whatever the heck you want on it! If they don't like it they can stop reading. I think the Internet makes people feel like they can say whatever they want and that's not always a good thing.

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  39. I love all things house. My advice? Go basic on the big finishes: for example, I LOVE white kitchens--so, plain (say shaker or something) cabinetry, light coloured counters, etc. Same idea if you love wood cabinetry or dark cabinets or whatever. Satin white paint on trim (wipeable, off the shelf white is fine), medium floors that are already "distressed" (if you're doing wood--really dark or light or shiny shows dirt and scratches very quickly), light coloured walls (mine are taupe, lots of people love grey or white,etc--and there's nothing wrong with having basically the same colour everywhere--makes decisions easier, and will provide at least the basis for a cohesive design). and function over form, if necessary--you have all those lovely kids, you won't regret it.
    it's a lot, and it's stressful. but stay simple, go with your gut, and you will be fine :). i would recommend a more expensive paint--it does make a difference for cleaning, etc. good luck!!

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  40. Yikes!! I love your blog...it's one of my fave-five I go to every. single. day. Call me shallow, but I can't wait to see what you are doing with your new place. Blog on Sista!

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  41. Jenny, Kate - jealousy is a terrible thing. Shawni doesn't owe you or anyone else a "reconciliation" of her life to her faith.

    Besides, "money" is not the root of all evil. Common misconception. The "love of money" is the root of all evil.

    The amount of your wealth and whether God approves of you have nothing to do with one another.

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  42. I have read your blog for a few months now and sadly I don't even know your name to be able to start this comment with a polite greeting. I also don't want to take the time to find the answer. ;) so I will begin like this,
    Dear sweet blogger.
    I wanted you to know that I heard your voice today. Life is busy. It is a blessing that it is busy but the stress and chaos has filled the areas that you want to be filled by relationships. It's necessary in order for the bigger picture of relationships, but it has damped the cause today.
    Do not get discouraged with the haters. Haters will hate. Anyone with a grace filled heart can see that you were not whining about your first world problems. You were expressing the stress that you are living with todayl I could write about the stress i have of planning a birthday party or raising a toddler. They are our realities. I am sorry those few readers decided to put their brokenness on to you.
    Keep building!

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  43. Oh sad. Some people must be in such a place of hurting.

    I didn't read your post and think "shallow". I read it as, "Holy cow her life is as crazy as mine and she feels unbalanced like me sometimes"

    It's nice to know we aren't alone in this mom thing. Sometimes life happens and it's stressful and busy and we wish it would slow down, but we keep going.

    Thanks for writing your true thoughts

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  44. I missed this post yesterday but went back and read it after your post today. You DON'T come across as shallow at all to me!!!! Just a normal mother who has LOTS to do with five children and sometimes it all gets overwhelming. I have four so I can relate! Yes, you are privileged to be able to build a house but you worked so hard and saved so hard to get there!! As my mom says, "Don't let the turkeys get you down!"

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  45. I completely agree with Emilie. I love reading about your wonderfully, crazy, fun life. I can relate to you so much. You and your family have worked very hard for what you have. Your kids seem very happy and responsible, you seem to be teaching them to give back to the world around them and have compassion for others. That's a wonderful thing. Don't let haters get you down.

    Blessings,

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  46. Shawni,

    HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE.

    When I get a hurtful comment...and, I DO...I pray for them. RIGHT THEN.

    I have been around a few years...long enough to know what jealousy looks like. I have a wise friend who taught me to be happy for those who are in a good place. Pray for them as you would pray for those who are going through a rough season. Rejoice with those who are in a good season!

    I rejoice with you Shawni...on your good days, and on your rough days.

    You responded in today's post with eloquence. You could have said that you would trade your new home in a fast second for sweet Lucy's eyesight.

    I applaud you. Carry on. Do hard things. I prayed for them...and for you.

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  47. Shawni, I never post because I read on a reader and its a pain, but I NeED to tell you that I read your post yesterday. Then today I read today's post and realized that some people must have left ugly comments.
    I have to tell you this. As I was reading your post last night my husband was on the Internet looking for discount brakes for the car. We have to choose whether to get brakes for his car or tires for my car. We can't get both, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that I am happy where I am... struggling to fix our 2 cars. We HAVE 2 cars. And that is awesome for us and the choices we have made in our life. Exactly like it is awesome for you to have to make the choices you have to make.
    Let those who can not be happy for you be miserable. You weren't gloating. You were expressing frustration over a situation that makes you frazzled. Humans do that.
    Love your blog and think you're doing a fantastic job!

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  48. Love ALL your posts and I am way excited to see what you do with your new home!

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  49. Just saying - I didn't take your post the way some seemed to take it. I love your blog! Keep sharing! There is nothing wrong with being human and sharing your thoughts. Besides, you didn't force anyone to read your blog!

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  50. The simple fact is that everyone has a different set of problems, trials, or stressors. Not everyone will be able to do the same things, just as not everyone will have the same struggles. I'd be stressed to bits if I were in your shoes - just buying our already built home was stress enough!

    We should appreciate what we DO have and what we have been given, rather than wallow & whine. This is stressful you, this is your blog, you have every right to talk about it!

    Regarding choices - go with the gut; the first samples you fell in love with. The more I research and analyze things, the more I end up beating the dead horse - rarely does it result in a better option. =]

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  51. poo poo to the haters. What is the point of having a blog if you can't write what you're REALLY thinking?

    I didn't take offense-- I get that this is a stressful time for you, and would be for anyone going through it!

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  52. I can't wait to see what you do with the new home! Such an exciting (and stressful) time. You are wonderful!!!

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  53. I love you Shawni! I love knowing you and getting a front seat to your crazy normal life. I wish everyone could see what I see, but sadly i am reminded of all the different ways people can hurt. I know your heart and I love that about you. Thank you for all your goodness my friend

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  54. Shawni-
    How sad for so many readers to be so negative & be so quick to judge. Thanks for sharing this post because I've been having a hard time trying to decide on a few things for our house. This post makes me feel a little more normal. :) I was starting to think that I was the only one that couldn't just walk into a store & know exactly what they wanted. I second guess everything & makes me feel better knowing that you do the same. Thanks again for sharing!! XO

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  56. Wowee, what an uproar :) Shawni, I've been following your family blog for about 6 months now, and I love it. You are real and inspiring and you make me feel like we've been friends forever and are chatting over a cup of coffee. Please don't take the awful comments to heart...keep writing the way you always do. It's what makes you who you are and it's why so many people check in with your family regularly. I read the now infamous "house" post and I'm really not sure how people got their knickers in such a knot over it...you clearly stated that you knew you were blessed to have such a problem and that your entire family expressed their gratitude. In my humble opinion that's more than most people do on a regular basis. And quite frankly we all need to be giving thanks a little more freely. So please do not let their comments add to your already 'frazzled' state of mind. And as far as your house choices just go with your heart...you'll never go wrong. My mother always taught us "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all". Hope you've got your smile back today :)

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  57. Keep up the good work Shawni! You are an amazing woman that is and does so much good. I hope that the decisions come easier and that this part of your life can fly by quickly so you can enjoy all of your hard work!

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  58. Love the blog, and love to read all of your posts. After living in a 100 year old house, we built our dream home. It was wonderful for our family and I wouldn't change a thing. Good luck!

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  59. My motto since I was 30: "What people think of me is none of my darn business."

    You have to be yourself when you write. That is why we all come here to read!

    You clearly started out very simply as a couple. Your post just shows what hard work can accomplish in the land of opportunity!

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  60. I enjoyed this post. I took it the way you intended it to be taken. Please keep sharing the way that you do. I love reading your blog!

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  61. I, like so many others truly enjoy your blog. I love that you are real when you could be fake. I've been so curious about your house and I'm super excited to see the finished product. One day I hope to be picking put countertops but today I get to just enjoy our rental. A time and season for all things right?!? Thanks for being real!

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  62. Shawni,
    I really appreciate this post! I'm not remodeling a home right now and dealing with those kind of issues, but I still relate to that sense of being overwhelmed and just looking for some normalcy in life. Thank you for posting this because this morning at this very moment it is what I needed to read...and the house things will work out. Take a deep breath. :)

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  63. Shawni-
    I have been reading your blog for months - and have found it rich in so many ways...kindness, laughter, family, faith, honesty, energy, compassion, gratitude and wisdom. I am a grandmother of five, and wish that I had been able to have had your insights when we were raising our daughters. You have had me in tears of both sadness and laughter more then once thinking "I wish I had done that, or approached the situation that way."
    I totally understood and appreciated your blog entry. Looking forward to seeing the progress on your new house - and hope that you will share with us as you turn it into your home.

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  64. Can I admit something? When I first read this post, I had a little bit of "woe is me" feeling in my stomach. I wondered if I'd ever be able to build my dream home since my husband left our family a few weeks ago and I just started school full time and I'm a SAHM to a 5yr and 4 yr. Can you feel the current pressure building up inside of me? I can assure you, my sour attitude had NOTHING to do with your attitude about your home. I have gone to a few girl's nights in the past month or so and have seen you or a family member there EVERY TIME and I quietly point out to my friends that one of my mommy heroes is so close. You're more exciting than any other "celebrity" I'm too scared to introduce myself to.
    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I love your realness. My sadness comes from the heartache I'm currenty enduring and yet, I am still so happy for your family. There is even a tiny belief that maybe one day Heavenly Father WILL bless me with some of those things. And if He doesn't, I know He will bless me with exactly what I need and I'm ok with that. :) Keep on blogging. Your posts always make me smile.

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  65. Good post! Please keep sharing! ;)

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  66. Not to be confused with the other Nancy K, as she and I have a completely different take on this... just wanted to say-

    Your blog is a chronicle of your life and I applaud your honesty and transparency about things big and small. It always drives me crazy when people lash out with extreme reactions- this isn't required reading. If something rubs you wrong or makes you angry there's a little 'x' in the top corner of your screen. Use it. I have "real" problems in my house (my husband was injured in Iraq and lost his right arm and left leg) and we remodeled (ADA) and it was STRESSFUL. And hard. So there. First world problem, sure. Valid feelings? Yes. Shawni- can't wait to see the finished product! :)

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  67. I liked your post because it makes me glad for my problems. I get tired of little things that drive me crazy in my house, and am often wishing I could just build another and have everything I want, right now. But now I remember that things rarely come that easy. Hang in there, my mom has built 2 houses and now a 3rd is around the bend, and each time it consumes her life, like a full time job with overtime. But we kids appreciated it, it was worth it.

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  68. Wow, just reread my comment above. We go to Yogurtland for girls nights and I've seen you there. :) hopefully that makes better sense.

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  69. Wow, what ever happened to "if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all?" Some of the comments you got were horrible! I for one LOVED your post because it seems like a lot of bloggers only blog the positive happy moments, and you showed that you're a real person with struggles. I love to be reminded that others have problems too, since my family deals with a fair share of health problems. Everyone's struggles are different, but everybody has them.

    Please keep sharing all the real moments with us! It gives me hope that my family can be more like yours when the kiddos are older!

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