mission prep

  • Mar 3, 2011

We’re down to just days now– 13 exactly– until Ben waves goodbye and enters the MTC for two months until departing to Italy. Part time job behind him, he’s concentrating on projects in the basement (a room full of shelves and a photography backdrop for me) while memorizing Italian cue cards that Erik has placed all over the house.


Every visitor who walks through our doors gives Ben a moment of nostalgia– “Little Grace is going to get so big while I’m gone.” “Roger Dudley is the best- isn’t he?” “I like your friend Chelle.” “Can we babysit the Linkous girls one more time before I go?” And I think that’s the best way to begin a mission: appreciative of the good people surrounding you, ready to see the best in everyone.

As for me, I’m excited rather than melancholy. Italy! Italy! It’s such a grand adventure. I’ve been cooking all his favorite meals as well as making a batch of cookies each day to stash in the freezer for our big party on the 13th when he speaks in church. Ben is afraid I will overdo the lunch– “Nothing fancy, nothing special– just keep it low key, Mom.” But how can I resist hanging a giant Italian flag in our window, experimenting with pesto sauces and crafting a delicious Mormon tiramisu? Overdoing is what I do best.

The shopping– two suits, 12 white shirts, belts, shoes, a 3-way coat etc.– gives my thrifty child a panic attack each time I pull out the credit card. “I’ve been planning for this your whole life.” I tell him. “Don’t worry about it.” And yes, for all their tacky commercials, we’ve completely fallen in love with Mr. Mac.


Despite owning an orchestra tux for years, this is Ben’s first suit. He couldn’t resist playing James Bond.


Ben claims that my photos show him only as a placid smiling boy– so I’ve included a few revealing his true personality.











Hmm, which one shall I enlarge to a 64″ x 80″ (well, maybe just a 16”x20″) and hang on my wall?

March 1, 2011
March 5, 2011



  1. Reply


    March 3, 2011

    The first black and white or the third to last one. Although really, could any of them not be incredible? I’m SO excited for him! He will be an amazing missionary for the Lord.

  2. Reply


    March 3, 2011

    In some of those pictures I see so much of your mom in him. Congratulations on this huge life event!

  3. Reply

    The Planet Pink

    March 3, 2011

    He is going to leave a boy and return home a man. What a fine job you’ve done mama.

  4. Reply


    March 3, 2011

    Beautiful pictures. He will be such a wonderful, selfless missionary.

    BTW, when we took pictures at temple square we looked everywhere for that gorgeous gate and couldn’t find it. Where have you hidden it? haha

  5. Reply


    March 3, 2011

    I say make a poster for every room. Except maybe not the bathroom. Congratulations to you all. Such an exciting time.

  6. Reply


    March 3, 2011

    So fantastic Michelle! You can tell he is going to be an amazing missionary. My favorites are 1,5, & 6 🙂

  7. Reply


    March 3, 2011

    I wish he would wear safety glasses while using that saw!

  8. Reply


    March 4, 2011

    Blow one up to a life-size cut out.
    My neighbor did that while her son was out. They had it in the line at their daughter’s reception.

  9. Reply


    March 4, 2011

    we gotta schedule one last haircut for that cute boy. and believe it or not, i am a little teary writing that. he’s just so dang cute/nice/good! what a lucky mom you are michelle. what a fine boy you’ve raised!

  10. Reply


    March 4, 2011

    What a cute boy you have there…he certainly looks happy and ready to go! By the way, you had me at tiramisu.

  11. Reply

    house of 7

    March 6, 2011

    these are amazing photos! i wish him the very best on his mission! he will be incredible.

  12. Reply


    March 7, 2011

    I never thought about the changes needed to make Mormon tiramisu. If you need any help with that one, I’d love to be a part of it! 🙂

    Ben looks spectacular in his suit and so ready to go out there and fulfill his mission well.

  13. Reply

    Anne Marie

    March 9, 2011

    How he radiates God’s love! Brilliant.

  14. Reply


    March 11, 2011

    I am not sure how I came across your blog..mutual blogging friend maybe….
    i loved your story about Darren. It touched my heart with such sweetness.
    As I scrolled down I saw you writing about your son going into the MTC that he is going to Italy.
    May I ask which Mission?
    My son Robert, Anziano Bona, is serving in the Milan Mission and has been out a year and one week.
    If you like you can contact me…

  15. Reply


    March 11, 2011

    He is sooo handsome! And, I love how you overdo things. Italian food… yum!