• Mar 16, 2011
“Take a good look at that cute face,” my friend advised, “because you’ll never see it again. When he comes back he’ll be changed.”


I have so, so much to write. But for today– the day we said goodbye for two years– just photos.












already out of focus…
March 13, 2011
March 17, 2011



  1. Reply


    March 17, 2011

    Great photos! One of my BYU bishops is the president of the MTC. I know your son is in good hands.

  2. Reply


    March 17, 2011

    My missionary-mom heart has been feeling bittersweet for yours of late, but especially today. ((hugs))

  3. Reply

    Jan Russell

    March 17, 2011

    Such tender, sweet photos – I know this is one missionary who won’t want for care packages and letters and love from home!

  4. Reply


    March 17, 2011

    Michelle, I honestly just finished putting on mascara when I read this. It wasn’t dry yet, and you made me cry. I don’t know why, but thinking of momma’s saying goodbye makes my heart ache. Beautiful, classic-Michelle photos! Thank you for letting us share in this part of your journey! ♥

  5. Reply

    The Planet Pink

    March 17, 2011

    The day you’ve been parenting your whole life for – the day he spreads his wings. Well done mama.

  6. Reply


    March 17, 2011

    The picture of Mary hugging Ben did me in! I hope your heart feels peace and the empty feeling gets easier to bear. You’re continually in my thoughts and prayers…xoxo

  7. Reply


    March 17, 2011

    Wow…just…wow! So many emotions in each of these. He looks ready doesn’t he? Incidentally, you lost me at “already out of focus”…sniff sniff!

  8. Reply


    March 17, 2011

    I have been thinking of you all non-stop. My mama heart swells with happiness for this incredible journey…but Miss Mary with that tight embrace..gulp. sob.
    Love you dear friend.

  9. Reply


    March 17, 2011

    So beautiful and so touching. I cried over each picture. Somewhat because of my heart being sad for you, but mostly because my heart is SO happy for you! He will be AMAZING! Well done sweet mom.

  10. Reply

    Life Trekking Mama

    March 17, 2011

    Yay!!! What a handsome Elder! Tell him we are so proud of him. He’s the first great-grandchild to serve a fulltime mission. Seeing him go on a mission uplifts all of us. THANKS ELDER LEHNARDT & Cuz’ns!!! 😀

    Cuz’n A.

  11. Reply


    March 17, 2011

    I’ve been thinking so much about you. I’m in tears… I can only imagine faintly the emotions running through your heart. XOXO

  12. Reply


    March 17, 2011

    As hard as it is to say goodbye, remember you wouldn’t want him anywhere else!

  13. Reply

    Today's Gift

    March 17, 2011

    Such tender photos. He will be such a great missionary, I know that doesn’t make your mama heart any less lonely, but he will be wonderful!

  14. Reply


    March 17, 2011

    So happy and so sad for you all at once.

  15. Reply


    March 17, 2011

    I absolutely adore the picture of you two hugging. Be sure to blow that one up and put it by your bed. Megan is excited to feed him in the MTC. So happy and sad for you all at the same time.

  16. Reply


    March 17, 2011

    Thinking of you and hoping you managed to survive this day!

  17. Reply

    house of 7

    March 17, 2011

    tears!!! and so much joy for your family. my oldest is only 8, but my heart is heavy for you as his momma. he will be an example to many and many lives will change.
    god speed and keep him safe!

  18. Reply


    March 17, 2011

    It’s moments before bed. I should have walked away, but I wanted to see an update on Ben’s journey. Now I will sit in tears thinking of the beautiful picture of Mary hugging her brother. Daily prayers for your son.

  19. Reply


    March 17, 2011

    Such beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing this piece of your life. Can’t wait to hear about his updates.

  20. Reply


    March 17, 2011

    Tears here.

    But they come for lots of reasons. Because this is a tender time. Because I adore your family. Because I LOVE the MTC. Because it brings back so many memories of my own good-bye day — and I have enough of an idea of what amazing things await around the corner for him. I’ll never forget my last look back at my mom, but then the FEELING as I turned the corner and got my little ‘newbie missionary’ dot and started toward my room….


    Hold on tight and have fun. All of you. It will be a wonderful, difficult, life-changing ride (as you know).

    p.s. I also just LOVE Italy, so, that too.

  21. Reply


    March 17, 2011

    And you’ve been in my thoughts mucho this week. Loves.

  22. Reply


    March 17, 2011

    Oh, mama. I can’t imagine what it will be like six years from now when it’s my turn. Beautiful pics. The light just shines from your boy. He will do great things.

  23. Reply

    Anne Marie

    March 17, 2011

    Blessings to you, your family, your sweet son, and your mother heart that must be so full of so many feelings right now.

  24. Reply

    La Yen

    March 17, 2011

    I’ve been thinking of you all week–I bet there were twelve letters in the mail for him by the time he got to dinner!
    What an amazing example he is setting for the rest of the kids–I am so proud of these Young Men Who Know.

  25. Reply


    March 18, 2011

    A picture (at least one of yours) is worth a thousand words. And then some. I’ve thought of you all week, prayed for you. Can’t believe the big day finally came. He couldn’t be more prepared. Or more loved. xoxo

  26. Reply


    March 18, 2011

    No words… only tears.

  27. Reply


    March 22, 2011

    thought of you! hope you’re doing okay!

  28. Reply


    March 24, 2011

    love the photos!! How beautiful! I feel like I am preparing my boys for their missions every day… 8 short years away for me… thanks for sharing your journey! It inspires me…