Friday, May 29, 2015


Today is Friday.

Friday is lots of things.
First and foremost, Friday starts the weekend. Which means anticipation of a Saturday where maybe life slows down a little bit. Or if not, at least is different. It does not mean sleeping in...because weekend or no, Brandon will still have gymnastics.

Sometimes Friday means date night. But only if it is an early date night...because, gymnastics. Did I mention that already? And I drive carpool Friday nights.

Friday means I stay up late. Not because I get to sleep in on Saturdays (see above). But because usually Julianne is out on a date or at a party and I feel like I should wait up for her as a good Mommy is wont to do.

Friday is garbage day. So after sending Lilian off to catch the school bus, I run around the house in a mad dash to get all the house garbages emptied and into the big, black garbage can and out to the curb in a race against the garbage truck's arrival. Sometimes I miss it. Sometimes I purposely decide the big, black can isn't overly full anyhow so I'm not going to worry about it. Sometimes I think I really ought to deal with it all on Thursday night but usually I'm not that organized.

Friday used to be Winder Dairy delivery day and oh, how we would look forward to that chocolate chip pumpkin bread that was on our standard order. But then Bryan decided that paying $2.99 for a half gallon of milk when you could pay $2.50 for a whole gallon at the grocery store down the street was just protestations of taste, quality and convenience notwithstanding. We put a stop to our Winder Dairy deliveries. And it was for the best, it really was. But I do miss that pumpkin bread.

If I'm really on the ball, Friday means dry cleaning pick-up. Or drop off if I've left something out on Tuesday.

Friday is early-out schedule for Lilian. Which is sometimes good and sometimes bad. Early-out throws my schedule all cockeyed what with having to remember that Lilian comes home two hours earlier that day. I'm always worried that I'll forget and be having a lovely lunch somewhere with a friend, only to get an indignant call from my 2nd grader wondering where I am and what she's supposed to do in the meantime?

But most importantly? Friday is P-DAY! At least for these next couple of weeks while Rebekah is at the MTC.
P-Day means an email. And if I'm lucky and happen to be on-line at the right time, a little back and forthing with the emails which kind of, sort of feels like texting? Hey, I'll take it. Because once she gets to London we'll have a 7 hour time difference. Which means I'll be up in the middle of the night if I want to back and forth email with her. And really, I'm not sure how often it will happen. Oh, I'm most definitely willing to give up sleep for it...maybe just not every week. Realistically, I'm not entirely sure what time she'll be on-line today. So no guarantees really, of anything more than a newsie little email from my missionary girl. But when you are really missing that missionary email is worth its weight in gold. (Well, emails don't actually weigh anything...but you get the idea. Just go with it.)


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Missionary photo shoot

Singing the praises of our friend and photographer Jon Woodbury again this morning. He took some absolutely incredible pictures of our missionary girl. He took Rebekah's senior pictures last year, her mission pictures this a few years we'll have him photograph her wedding. He's watching her grow up through the lens of his camera!

Here's some of my favorites....
(And forgive me for the sheer number but I was having a ridiculous time just choosing a few...they are all just that good!)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Saying goodbye

Yesterday we dropped Rebekah off at the Missionary Training Center in Provo to start her mission. Called to the England London Mission, we were informed she would spend 3 weeks in the MTC before heading across the pond. There is an MTC in England and we were asked often why Rebekah wasn't starting there. And the answer...who knows? But I'm thankful. Because, baby steps. I can't talk to her or see her or do anything more than send her letters and emails. But it is kind of comforting to think she is just a little over an hour drive down the freeway. (The same amount of drive time to Logan and her home at USU this past year interestingly enough...just in the exact opposite direction.) And having her at the Provo MTC means I can easily send her packages of any and all things she may have forgotten...or just cookies and treats. Originally we thought her stay there would be just two weeks. But we've heard the reason for that third week may have to do with visitor center training. Because while serving in London, some of her time will be spend working in the Hyde Park Chapel Visitors Center.

(Rebekah's picture was already up on the missionary board a the stake center when she went to get set apart as a full time missionary. Also...she found this in a fortune cookie right before we left for the MTC. I thought it was rather appropriate...)

I kind of dreaded this day. And yet as it got closer I just wanted to get it done with. The past two and a half weeks were a mad dash as we scrambled to get everything done before the big day. With Rebekah in Logan finishing up winter semester, we didn't have a lot of time to do our shopping and mission prep leisurely.

Me: "Rebekah, you need to come home more weekends so we can do mission shopping."
Rebekah: "I have lots of homework....I need to pass my classes, Mom."

How do you argue against that?

So between dealing with shopping and planning and lists and prep, we also had to deal with putting together a big open house after her farewell. And so by the time yesterday arrived I was completely burned out. As much as I hated the idea of saying goodbye, I knew there was no fighting was going to happen. So I was almost wishing it here faster, just so we could get going already. Let's just do this thing, you know?
Her arrival time for the MTC was 12:30. We sent everyone off to school and work in the morning, finished up packing...and then checked everyone back out of school, picked up Bryan from his office and headed to Provo early. We landed at the Provo Temple around noon with just enough time to take some pictures and spend some time saying goodbye. The MTC is drop-off only so it has become fairly common for missionary families to do exactly what we did...and we saw lots of missionary hugs and pictures and goodbyes.

I held it together fairly well at the temple. Rebekah let me hold her hand as we walked back to the car. And then kept holding it through the 3 minute drive across the street to the MTC. Because she would've had to climb over me to get out of the truck, I got out and helped get her suitcases despite there being a person there assigned to help Rebekah with her luggage. Which meant that I was kindly offered the opportunity to give Rebekah one last hug before she walked off. I told her I loved her. I told her I was so proud of her. I told her to enjoy this awesome adventure. I kissed my baby on the cheek and then watched her walk away.
Then I got in the car and Julianne passed me some kleenex. All of us were crying at that point. But because it was lunch time we stopped at Cafe Rio on our way through town. A word of advice...if you have just dropped your missionary off at the MTC, waiting in line to order food is not the best time to start looking at all the texts and messages that have come in on your iPhone. I got plenty of strange looks as tears started pouring down my face...and I decided that maybe I should wait to read all the friendly messages of support until after I was in the privacy of my own home.

Except that arriving home was worse. I felt like I had handled things fairly well with the goodbyes and the MTC drop off. There were tears yes, but a respectable amount. However when I walked in my house and saw all of her belongings, the things that she hadn't taken with her but were still sitting out, all the evidence of her being there just a few short hours before...reality came crushing down on me. And that's when I lost it. Julianne, Brandon and Lilian all took naps, so emotionally drained. I went to my bedroom and read through all my messages. Every text, email and facebook comment brought a new wave of tears...but I was SO thankful for the support and love. And the tears were cathartic.

It's been not quite 24 hours since we last saw Rebekah. I'm doing better today, but am still emotionally fragile. I hear that's normal. I've been told that over the next few weeks I'll find myself surprised by emotion creeping up on me at random times. That makes sense. I'm glad that we had a year of Rebekah at college...because once again, baby steps. She could call and text and there were visits every few weeks. But we got used to her being gone. So this mission thing isn't cold turkey for us. And for that I'm thankful.

I put a letter in the mailbox this morning. She should get it tomorrow. I ordered a missionary countdown map so we can start marking off the days. I'm a missionary momma now, as crazy as that thought it. I'm excited for the experiences and growth and adventures Rebekah will have. I'm excited about the people she will meet and the friends she will make. I'm so proud of her desire to share with the people of Great Britain the message of a God who loves us and knows us individually and personally, a Savior who atoned for us, the joy of eternal families and the knowledge that a prophet lives on the earth today.

My Rebekah...she makes my heart happy proud.

Monday, May 18, 2015


The big day finally arrived....the FAREWELL! Oh, wait. We don't officially call it that anymore, do we? Ummm....the day Rebekah was asked to speak in church before she leaves on her mission? Nah, Farewell is just easier to say.
 (Working on her talk...)

Rebekah's Farewell was combined with Madie's Homecoming (another girl from our ward) was a sister missionary double header! But that also meant that the meeting was packed...bursting at the seams, more like it! The chapel and cultural hall beyond were filled to capacity and they still brought in chairs to make extra rows between the two rooms. I heard more chairs were added to the foyers as well. The meeting was incredibly awesome. I was super proud of Rebekah...she did a beautiful job with her talk. She seemed so poised and articulate. And her testimony was strong and sweet.

After the meeting we had an open house where everyone came over for lunch...sandwiches, salads, fruit and veggies, chips, treats and all you can eat soft ice cream. I wish I had counted but I'm not sure it was even possible to really get an accurate number of everyone who came to the house. I'm still hearing of people who stopped by that I didn't even see. We had people at our house from about 12:15 after our meeting ended to 9:00 that evening! Family...grandparents, aunts, and uncles and cousins (some of my aunts and uncles, even), high school friends, college friends, parents of friends who were already on their own missions, current wardies, neighbors from our old ward, and even friends of mine that were there to support me just as much as to celebrate Rebekah. It was the very best way. It was incredibly heartwarming to see so many people who loved my girl and wanted to send her off with their good wishes. It was such a great day!
(And when I say all you can eat soft ice-cream...I wasn't kidding. Good stuff!)

And now it's time for picture-polooza....

Alyssa was Rebekah's roommate at USU. She just received her mission call to Houston, Texas. Another high school friend made necklaces for the girls...Houston and London, respectively. I think their plan was for Alyssa to take the London necklace while Rebekah took the Houston one in remembrance of each other while they were both gone.

Jon Woodbury had his polaroid camera with him and took some shots of Rebekah and her friends. I don't think many of them had ever seen a polaroid picture develop before! Rebekah packed the pictures in her luggage to take with her, but I scanned them first so I could have a copy.
So...I look teary in this picture but I believe it or not, I did not cry once at the Farewell or the open house afterwards. I even took precautions and made sure to wear waterproof mascara, but somehow I made it through without any waterworks.

These are my high school "musketeers"....Chellie, Lori, Kami and Heather. All of them came to support Rebekah at her farewell.

And here we are in Rebekah's baby blessing. I have some really incredible friends!

Thanks to everyone who came!