letters to our children | january 2013

I am so very honored to participate in a “Letters To Our Children” blog circle project with other moms and photographers who have inspired me in countless ways.  On the 25th of each month, we will post our letters to our children.  Be sure to click on the link at the bottom of this post to follow our circle.  Be ready to see a mother’s heart through words and images.  Pretty certain that this project will bring tears every time.  Happy tears, of course.  Blessed tears.

And my first letter.  To my third.

January 24, 2013  10:54 p.m.

My sweet, serious Grant,

You very seldom come first.  You are often the third one in line.  The third child to be mentioned.  The third name to be written.  Very seldom the first.  Because you are my third baby.  And I like to do things in order.

For 2013, I have been inspired to write a letter a month to one of my children.  My first instinct was to write to your older brother for my first letter.  And as I sat down to write the letter, you came to my mind.  Today you stayed home because you have a bad cold while your siblings went to school.  You and I shared a “just the two of us” morning.  We don’t get that too often, do we?  So, because I want to remember even the tiniest detail of our special time together, I am writing the first letter to you.  And because you seldom come first.

You are often the first responder when I ask for some helpers.  And you happily help.  Today I asked for your help to put away clothes that no longer fit you and your brother and to fill your closet with big brother’s hand me downs.  And you made what is usually a somewhat boring yet necessary task enjoyable.  You took every piece of clothing and decided on whose side of the closet to hang it on or to get rid of it because it was “uninspiring”.  How I marveled at your thought process.  Not only thinking about what you like but what your twin brother would like.  That is just who you are.  Always aware of others’ feelings.  You are older than your four years.

Once the job was done, you didn’t hesitate with your answer when I asked what you wanted to do next.  Color together.  How you love to draw and color.  Such an observer while paying attention to details.  Always thinking.  Your characteristics are evident in your artwork.  If you are drawing a hamburger, you add sesame seeds to the bun.  When you draw a person, you are sure to add eyelashes and dimples.  Looking at your artwork is a wonderful gift for it allows me to see the world through your eyes.  Sweet, serious eyes.

You are so very precious to me, sweet boy.  You are the third of four.  And how I love you as if you were the only.  I love you for who God made you to be.   A thinker.  A helper.  An artist.  Sweet.  Serious.  Older than your years.



Thank you, Lord, for blessing my life with my Grant. I am blessed beyond measure. Beyond comprehension. Because you are good. So very good. Amen.

Continue to follow the Letters To Our Children blog circle by reading Jennifer Bacher’s letter to her birthday boy.  I feel so very blessed to have met Jennifer who also is a contributor with me for Click It Up a Notch. Not only is she a kind-hearted mom of four but I am consistently inspired by her words and images.  And I am blessed to call her “friend”.


Jennifer - This is a beautiful letter Shannon. If only I could write like you! I need to work on being less wordy…ha ha. Thanks for your sweet words my friend. These pics seem to portray his personality perfectly. He will treasure this someday :)

Amanda Norton - What a beautiful letter!! Grant and my son would get along so well with their caring hearts and love for art. Jacob is 4 with a twin too. I’m so excited to learn more about each of you in this circle.

Laurie - You are a writer, Shannon! I love your letter and your images. What a special little man!

Courtney - I love that you didn’t start with your oldest :) You certainly have a way with words! I especially loved your prayer at the end. He sounds like an amazing child!! So excited to do this with you!

18/365 | golden rule joy

Treat others the way you want to be treated.  The Golden Rule.

I’m a big enforcer of that rule in our house.

And when my children are not following the golden rule, firm but fair discussions happen.  And if the disrespectful attitude continues, privileges are taken away.

Tears flow.  Doors slam.  Covers go over heads.  Time to be sad and mad and think.  Sometimes fall asleep.

Life lessons are hard lessons.  But absolutely essential lessons to teach and to learn.

He is disappointed and upset now.  But he will thank me later.

All because I love him.

Golden Rule joy


Margaret - Being a mom is HARD sometimes!! He is blessed because you love him enough to stick to what’s right and best vs giving in to the easy way out. Love the first shot and the emotion that it communicates.

Sarah - I love the story your pictures tell! This one is an all to familiar one in our house. With 3 small children sometimes I feel like all I do is correct them. But I agree, one day they will thank me.

Courtney - We have been dealing with this a lot in our house as well :) Great shots to remember these life lessons.

17/365 | blankies at breakfast joy

Every morning they come downstairs ready for breakfast.  Blankies in hand.

And every morning they ask me to wrap their blankies around them when they sit at the table.

And how they giggle when I wrap them up and kiss their sweet little faces.

These are the moments to cherish.  Because in a blink these moments will be gone.

Blankies at breakfast joy

Tami - I LOVE toes pictures! Cute idea.

16/365 | click it up a notch joy

3 years ago, I started this photo a day project.  Through daily blogging and visiting other fellow 365er’s blogs, I have met some amazing photographers along the way.  And not only are they ubber talented but they are truly some of the kindest, most sincere individuals.  And how I long to meet them in real life some day.  One of those amazing, inspiring photographers is Courtney.  It was such a treat to visit her blog to ooh and aah at her images and to interact with her on Clickin Moms.  Courtney is passionate about teaching and photography so it was only natural for her to create Click It Up A Notch.  A friendly, inviting website where she teaches various aspects of photography to both hobbyists and professionals.  A website that I frequently visit for inspiration and more knowledge about photography.

In November, I was surprised and humbled when I received an email from Courtney asking me to be a guest blogger for Click It Up A Notch.  Without question, I said yes :).  You can read my guest post here.

A few weeks later, I receive another email from Courtney asking me to join the Click It Up A Notch team this year!  Talk about surprised and humbled and honored and thrilled!  Not only do I get to share my passion of photography but I get to work with some truly amazing, talented women.  You can read a little about each one of them here.  See what I mean?   They are fabulous!  There are truly no words to describe how grateful I am for this opportunity.  I am so very, very blessed <3.

Click It Up A Notch joy

Courtney - I’m honored and humbled that you would join us!! I’m so excited to get to know you even better this year and to continue to learn from you!! It’s going to be a great year!!!

Shannon - I feel exactly the same, Courtney! Wee bit excited to be a part of the team :)

Lacey - Congratulations, Shannon! Click It Up A Notch is so fabulous and I admire Courtney so much. They are very blessed to have you as a part of their team! <3

Hanna - That’s awesome! I love that blog :)

15/365 | peaceful morning joy

Kids are all at school.


House is quiet.

Peace. Thankful for the peaceful morning.

peaceful morning joy

Joy Knight - Look forward to following your 365 project! I am just starting my first and pretty pumped! Love your images and your input on clickitupanotch!

Shannon - Thank you so much, Joy! And I must say… LOVE your name 😉