I’m a big believer in having a “family motto.” Some kind of mantra that speaks for what our family is all about. Growing up our family went through several phases to come up with what stuck, “Broaden and Contribute.” I know it seems like a small thing…just a few words stuck together, but that little phrase became a big part of what we thought about and who we have become. One year right after my sister and I left for college we got it made up all fancy for my parents for Christmas and it’s been on our wall ever since:Well, it’s been a process for my own little family to come up with our own family motto too. When my husband and I were first married we had all kinds of different ideas. But after much deliberation and thought those ideas have evolved into something we all agree on (even the kids). And it is super simple. We purposely chose very elementary words because we want those words to be the seeds from which great things will come (we have big visions).

So what we came up with for our motto is “Learn, Work, Serve, Respect.” One little blog post can’t really do justice to explain the background behind why we chose each word, but believe me, this is quite thought-out. There are so many different levels and underlying messages behind each word, which we tend to talk about a bunch for family meetings.

The only thing I felt was missing in our motto was somehow incorporating “LOVE” into the mix, because really, love is sort of the underlying theme through all of it. In deciding out how to display our motto in our home (I’m pretty choosy on what things we put up on our walls which I explained here), I tried to figure out how I could draw those words into a heart, or something that would show that love was part of the very fiber of the motto.

Well, my talented sister-in-law Kara came up with the answer for that one with her whiz-bang skills at adobe illustrator and I fell in love:(See how LOVE is incorporated in there? Thank you Kara!!)

So, after I had the basic model it took like six months to figure out how to hang it up and display it.

Wait, let me say that again, it took six months (although I don’t need to remind Dave of that because I about drove him batty with all my deliberating). But I must emphasize this because, well, since it was such a huge pain let’s just sit and oooo and ahhhhh over it for a minute and have a moment of silence.

There we go.

Now I feel much better.

I know it looks super simple, which is what we wanted, but sometimes super simple takes time to figure out.

This hangs above our fireplace smack-dab in the middle of where we live life every day, and I’m so thankful that it’s there, reminding us of what we are…and what we want to become.

Shawni Pothier

Shawni Pothier

Shawni Eyre Pothier is living the life she always dreamed of: the one where she gets to be a wife and a mother. She and her husband live in Phoenix with their five children. Shawni takes her job as a mother very seriously and strives to promote joy in the often treacherous journey of motherhood on her blog. Shawni’s fifth child (a daughter named Lucy) was born with a rare genetic syndrome that causes blindness (amidst a myriad of other health problems). Shawni and her mother, Linda Eyre, started the I Love Lucy Project and have become advocates for the Foundation Fighting Blindness and other organizations that may be able to help Lucy. While serving as Arizona’s Young Mother of the Year, she was named the National Young Mother of the Year by American Mothers for 2011. http://www.71toes.com/
Shawni Pothier

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