Friday, September 23, 2016

the drop off

 Hello dear readers,
         Gosh, it's been awhile. So many thoughts bouncing around in my mind.  Before I could even do this post, I had to deal with google last week and a big old mess in trying to renew my domain, For three days in a row I spent a combined total of three plus hours on the phone with different google reps.  Basically, I needed an admin. account on google to renew (but had no idea what that account was) and no one seemed to have any answers.  It was a big fat problem, and in the end, I was the one that found the account.  Isn't that just so life? Sometimes you just have to find your own answers.  But, dear readers, I believe that is another post for another day.

SO..... On September 7th, I did what I said I'd never do again.... the curb drop off at the MTC. I'm not sure if I can tell you it was better or worse than dropping off Sadie.  Maybe a little better, because this time I did NOT promise Drew I wouldn't cry.  I totally did.  And so did he.

Our morning started early with the two of us catching a 6:00 a.m. flight to  Salt Lake.  It was a short night the night before as friends and family came to say goodbye to Drew for two years.  I think the most tender goodbye happened in our kitchen the morning of our flight as I watched Drew give Sierra and Gentry big bear hugs and say, "Don't forget to email me okay?" and "I'm going to miss you."  There were enough tears and love in that room to warm and break a heart in the very same moment.

My very sweet friend and her son (who just returned from his mission) offered to drive us to the airport so we wouldn't have to park and shuttle.  It was kind of surreal driving there.  And once again, I had to come back to my faith and everything I believe in to find some composure and peace. Drew slept most of the short flight. I couldn't help looking at my man child every few minutes and smiling and crying, and just trying to take in the last little bit of time we had together.

We rented a car when we arrived in Salt Lake and started the hour long drive to Provo.  Drew was nervous.  Like more nervous than I have ever seen the most relaxed, easy going kid I've ever met.  He mentioned a couple of times, "I just hope maybe I'll see someone I know in the MTC".  I told him that I thought the odds were pretty good considering the high Mormon population in our city of Gilbert.

When we got to Provo, we met up with Sadie and Andy and headed to Drew's very favorite Provo restaurant, Brick Oven.  Our waitress came up and asked what the occasion was.  When we told her Drew was going into the MTC that afternoon, she responded, "That's what I thought, your meal is on the house today!" (Gotta love Provo). Drew, who could usually eat the Man vs. Food guy under the table, barely ate anything.  I started looking around the restaurant and laughed as I noticed several other families with young men in white shirts and ties.  I commented to Drew, "Lot's of other missionaries getting ready to go in today too".  It really is kind of an interesting phenomena.

Soon, it was time.  Time to say goodbye.  I had Sadie and Andy sit in the front of our car so Andy could drive us.  By this time, Drew and I were both kind of starting to lose it.  I had made a point of telling Sadie and Andy that I didn't want any pictures when we actually said goodbye so I could really just be present and not living through social medial or anything else.  We stopped just before the MTC to get these pics.  When I was hugging Drew in this picture, his heart was absolutely racing.

And then, it was really, really time.  As we pulled up to the curb and I looked at Drew's face, I started to worry.  He was sweating and pale and I thought, "Oh my gosh, is he going to be able to do this?!"  But just at that moment, something wonderful happened.  Drew was looking out the window as we pulled up to the curb, and suddenly started yelling , "Hey...HEY, I know that kid!!"  And he hoped out of the car and ran around the back as I watched an escort missionary approaching us. Then, the escort and Drew gave each other this huge guy hug, complete with back slapping and a round of "Hey man, how are you!?" And suddenly, I knew everything was going to be okay as I watched the look on Drew's face melt from panic to excitement, resolve, and determination.   The escort that met us at the curb just happened to play on Drew's lacrosse team a couple of years ago.   I guess some people would say it was just a lucky coincidence. But, I know it was just a very tender and specific blessing from a loving Heavenly Father that knew exactly what Drew needed in that moment.

So, Sadie and Andy gave their hugs, and then it was my turn.  It was one of those hugs that just says "I love you" in a way that sometimes words can't.  Then Drew looked at us and said, "Okay, it's a quick two!".  (This has become a familiar saying with Drew's outgoing missionary friends).  Then I laughed, and gave my boy one more kiss on his check between both of our tears, and with that, he was off.  As I watched him walk away, I decided he was still feeling a little nervous  (since he let his escort carry both of his bags).  And all of the sudden I decided I did want a picture.  So I started yelling, "Andy! Hurry, get a picture!!" (Have I mentioned how much I love my sweet son-in-law?) And Andy was on it.

Then we gave one more shout out..."Drew, give us a wave" ...
and he did.  

As Andy drove away, I just let myself cry.  Big old round, fat tears, and it felt good to not hold it in.  I've be doing that for too long.  

When I composed myself, I started my solo drive in the rental car back to the airport.  It was a quiet drive as I tried to process what had just happened. I arrived at the airport and checked my bags. As I moved through security and started down the corridor, I saw a missionary coming toward me, heading the other direction.  A missionary coming home.  Then I smiled to myself and said,
 "Quick two Terra, quick two." 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

MTC bound (again)

It's a familiar site, although this time it's colorful socks, ties, and suits instead of skirts and dresses. In just over a week I will be flying to Utah with Drew to take him to the MTC.  It was almost exactly three years ago in September that we took Sadie there.  You can read about that experience here if you're new to my blog. I decided after taking Sadie to the curb drop off of the MTC three years ago, that I would never, ever do that scene again.  For months I've been telling Drew I would say good-bye to him at the Phoenix airport.  But, circumstances and situations change, and in the end, I decided I needed, to be able to have some closure and peace, do that curb scene one more time.    

It's been a beautiful couple of weeks as Drew had prepared himself to serve his mission in Jackson, Mississippi.  

We have been supported by amazing family and friends, for which we are tremendously grateful.  

Last weekend we got to have a quick visit from Sadie and Andy. 

Last Sunday we also had our last family dinner together for two years.  I made all of Drew's favorites, roast beef, mashed potatoes, corn, and orange rolls.  Bitter-sweet, but I keep remembering how much Sadie loved her mission to Houston,  and how it helped her grow and love and develop her relationship with her Heavenly Father in a way that she could not have gained through any other experience. 
So, just like I promised Sadie, I will also send Drew off with a smile.  I am so incredibly proud of this young man.  He is amazingly kind, and patient, and funny, and most of all, he knows how to love unconditionally.  He makes me want to be a better person.  Thank you Drewby.  Nothing brings me more joy in this world than being a mom to you and your sisters. 
I know you will bless many, many lives as you have the great privilege of serving the people of Jackson, Mississippi. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

miles to go

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
I believe I first became familiar with this poem during my sophomore year in high school.  I remember my English teacher, a tall women with a pixie haircut (although I can't remember her name) sharing it with our class.   She was a very kind and relaxed person and I remember that I enjoyed her class.  I also remember this poem resonating with me for some reason.  There was something about the quiet scene Frost's words painted in my mind that gave me both a sense of peace and foreboding. 
The last two lines of this poem seem to depict my life right now.  These words echo in my head all the time as I reflect on the very long and difficult journey I still have ahead of me.   Yet, in my mind,  I also still see the woods on this snowy evening.  I see the little horse's breath gather in front of him in smoky, warm clouds.  I feel the heat of the horse radiate and warm me against the bitter cold. I see the snow flakes falling softly, gracefully,  and I feel comfort in the lovely, dark.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

And Drew will be serving a mission in...

Jackson, Mississippi!!!

Thanks to all of his amazing friends who showed up to to see Drew open his letter. 

He is so very happy and excited. I know the people of Jackson will love him (almost) as much as I do.
So incredibly proud of this kid. 
So grateful for the amazing privilege of being his mom.  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

summer and waiting by the mail box

California is always so good to us. 

I especially appreciated my time with baby Max.

Happy Birthday America. 

Beach time was also divine.

Jade (Photo credit Sierra) 

And I discovered something this year.  I actually do think Disneyland might just be one of the happiest places on earth. Especially when Gentry and I had a wheelchair pass. #nowaitinginline

My favorite....Gentry was still restricted to minimum walking, but it was really no problem.

The girls will start school in just two weeks.  
And the waiting part of this post? 
On July 12th, in Salt Lake City, Drew was assigned his mission call.  He has been diligently checking the mail for days.  We are hoping it will come this week for sure. 
I promise to post when we find out....
I keep thinking Japan?!
Dang, I am going to miss this kid so much.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

the end of "the flo" and another mission

This was the text I got from Drew last week...

And he was serious, because, as you can see... "the flo" is no more.

But dang, he look good, right?!

Recently Drew made an important decision.   Just like Sadie, he has decided to serve a full time (two year) mission for our church.  Last night he had his final interview and submitted the last of his paper work.  We should know where he's going in two to three weeks.  He's really hoping to go somewhere besides the United States.  My gut is that he's going to be sent somewhere that has some significant challenges...somewhere where he will need to learn a new language.  We'll see.  With everything in my life that has completely blown up recently, this will be another bitter sweet chapter in my motherhood journey.   Sadie still considers her mission to be one of the very best experiences of her life.  It is my hope that Drew's mission will also be amazing. 
Just like he is.  Sometimes I don't even have words to express how much I love these kids of mine.
They are my greatest strength and the reason I keep getting up and trying to move forward each and every day.  

Monday, June 13, 2016


There are some very hard things going on in our family right now.  Things that I won't write about today, but things that I may write about someday. I considered taking a break from blogging, but this little blog is a big part of who I am.  So, I will continue to write.
 Yesterday this song helped me to get out of bed. 

There are times when you might feel aimless
And can't see the places where you belong
But you will find that there is a purpose
It's been there within you all along
And when you're near it you can almost hear it.

It's like a symphony just keep listening
And pretty soon you'll start to figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece in their own melodies
In each one of us, oh, it's glorious

So today I will just keep listening and trusting in God's love for me as I continue to move forward each day.  
There is nothing more glorious to me than the love our Savior has for each and everyone of us. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

class of 2016

we parked Gentry's walker and had her balance a minute for this one

Congratulations Drewby

How I love this kid