dear Stefan

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dear Stefan–

Today has been one of those magical, rare Sunday afternoons with glorious weather, nowhere we need to go and everyone in a good mood. Shortly after church Mary invited me up to her bedroom, sat me down at her little table, offered refreshments and outlined her plan for rearranging the furniture in her room. I especially liked her square marked off as “dancing space.” She seemed surprised when I readily agreed and delighted when Ben arrived home and helped her move her bed and table and baby dolls.

Hans and Gabe waged a Nerf gun war lasting 53 minutes without any fighting or crying. That, is absolutely a record. In fact, they ended simply because they were tired. I know you will find this hard to believe. They entertained me while I cooked dinner running from room to room, hiding around corners, rolling on the floor when they were hit. Of course, now they are having a knock-down drag out fight over the last scoop of ice cream in the carton, so you don’t need to worry they’ve had complete personality replacements.

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Lamenting the lack of Halloween parties in our family, Hans, Xander, Gabe and Mary planned a little kid party and invited a dozen three and four year olds. “You’re not in charge.” they informed me, “Take pictures if you want, but it’s our party.” Still, they let me do all the grocery shopping.

My filmmaking class (did I tell you I’m taking a film class?) assigned videotaping a live event this week– so I chose their party rather than Gabe’s soccer game (Gabe was NOT very excited about documenting his soccer game). It felt crazy to be holding the camera when I should be helping with the party, but they really didn’t need me. As you’ll see, they ran the party beautifully.

In the video, you’ll notice Xander’s arm in a sling. He fell while playing flag football at school and dislocated his clavicle. He’s in a lot of pain, but has been pretty cheerful, especially since he’s been excused from most of his chores and caught up on ‘Dr. Who.’

Halloween preparations seem to occupy every spare moment this week. We have some fun costumes planned. I won’t give anything away in this letter, but trust me, Dad’s costume is something to look forward to.

Another shocker. I’m going to the dentist tomorrow. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve visited the dentist? They terrify me. But I think I’ve found an office where they understand dental phobia. On my search for a benevolent dentist I asked one receptionist if they had experience dealing with scaredy-cats. “Well,” she explained, “you’ll be seeing the hygienist, not the dentist this time.”

“You don’t understand,” I wanted to reply, “I’m afraid of the hygienist too. I’m afraid of you.”

I think returning to the dentist after a long absence should be like returning to church after years of inactivity– don’t scold the person for how long they’ve been gone, simply admire them for finding the courage to come back.

We celebrated your six month mark this week. Well, Mary didn’t exactly celebrate. “It’s only been six months?” she cried. “It feels like a million years.”

I agree. Oh, I agree. You scarcely seem real anymore–it’s been so long. Of course, if you sent us a photo you might ease the pain. Please, please, please send a photo.

I love and miss you every day.

Hugs and kisses, mom

October 25, 2013



  1. adw

    October 28, 2013

    I also have a missionary who rarely sends photos! When he finally did a few weeks ago, it was of his companion. Who wants a picture of your companion??

  2. R a c h e l

    October 28, 2013

    Gorgeous post! As a young woman [well, a week away from 30!] just starting in motherhood, I admire you so much and I really look forward to your posts. I admire your mothering skills, your love of your faith, your love of life.
    Oh, and as a former dental nurse, I can assure you that is it just like returning to Church. No one will scold you!

  3. Jgalke

    October 28, 2013

    That video is cute, cute, cute! Naomi & I have watched it over & over.

  4. Kit Linkous

    October 29, 2013

    The video is so fun! We’ve been watching it over me over again, too…..pretty funny hearing Eden try to sing that song ;). It feels longer than six months to us, too. Ryn just said, “He has to be gone for Halloween?!”

  5. Cath

    October 30, 2013

    Oh Michelle, I was hoping you’d post pics of the party. This was even better! I loved seeing my boys side by side. They talked non-stop that night about the party. The balloon shoot-out was THE BEST! Brilliant job M, G, X, H. We love you!

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