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The entire drive to Provo the kids were silly, goofy, a little bit on edge. A few fights broke out in the back seat and yet another on the lawn while taking photos.
Because how do you say goodbye to a beloved brother for two years? 
You can’t. It’s too much to take in.

Stefan was happy, excited and only a little bit teary.

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And of course we want him to go, of course we are glad and grateful.

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But as he walked away, we all grew silent. Scarcely a word was spoken on the way home– just quiet sniffles and sobs.

Erik bought two cartons of ice cream; we finished them both. Skipped dance and swimming and soccer in favor of laying on the couch.

Tomorrow we’ll be strong.  Not today.

April 23, 2013
April 29, 2013



  1. Selwyn

    April 25, 2013

    Icecream is great first aid.

    Hugs from me and mine to you and yours.

    I (and my sons) are where we are because of missionaries. Thank you for raising your own sons as missionaries, and sharing them.

  2. Linn

    April 25, 2013

    Thinking of you all and crying a little for what you had to do yesterday. xoxo

  3. Mary Staples

    April 25, 2013

    On one hand I can’t imagine the blessings your little family receives as you send one of your handsome boys off after another. On the other hand WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? I don’t even know if I can handle this. 🙂 xoxoxo

  4. jen

    April 26, 2013


  5. Michelle

    April 26, 2013

    There are no words for the bittersweetness that the law of sacrifice often entails, and how beautifully and poignantly you capture this particular manifestation of it in the Mormon faith. My momma heart rejoices and hurts all at once.

    TThinking of and praying for and sniffling with you.

  6. Kim

    April 26, 2013

    My heart goes out to you, Michelle! I can’t imagine just getting Ben back and then having to say goodbye to Stefan. Huge hugs to you all!

  7. Tracy

    April 26, 2013

    So many hugs. I’m sobbing.

    xoxo, t

    P.S. I love Ben’s new clothes…Seriously, LOVE! xo

  8. chococatania

    April 26, 2013

    hugs to you all…

  9. chococatania

    April 26, 2013

    k…i just commented on this already, but then I came across this quote (only minutes later), and thought it was perfect:

    “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
    ~ Thomas Meeha


  10. meg duerksen

    April 26, 2013

    i found your blog through pinterest. 🙂 it’s so much fun! you are a GREAT photographer! you look so familiar… like i met you at a conference? who knows.
    what a challenge to see your son leave for so long!

    i found you while looking for chicken coop ideas. do you have the plans from building yours? i would love to get started on ours and i love the one you built!

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