Monday, September 30, 2013

vintage banner winner

Looks like entry #13 is LUCKY! 
Congratulations Ruth B. !!! 
You are the winner of the September Third Friday Giveaway!
Thank you so much to all of you that entered. 

I will be digging through my closets today to pull out all the halloween garb. We are being treated to temps under a hundred right now, and living in Arizona, that almost feels cool. We've even had low sixties at night. Time to light up my yankee harvest candle. Love.
Welcome Fall!
Happy Monday.

Friday, September 27, 2013

the hardest thing i've ever done

As I type this, Gregg and I are driving down a seemingly never-ending highway known as the Arizona Strip.  A long stretch of road surrounded by red dirt and sage brush, blue skies from one end of the horizon to the other, interrupted by little puffed clouds now and then. It’s beautiful and gives my hurting heart hope.
      Yesterday I woke up and thought,
This is it. This is the day I say goodbye to my daughter for eighteen months.
As I rolled out of bed and onto my knees, I poured out my heart to my Heavenly Father.  I told Him how hard this was, and how much I knew it was going to hurt.  I also told Him that I knew, without a doubt, that if He would help me, I could do it.  Then I prayed for Sadie to have strength and peace and joy in this journey.  Then I prayed for Madisen and her family, and I prayed for her flight to go well, without delays or problems.  When I got to this part, I suddenly felt very uneasy.  I finished my prayer, but continued thinking about Madisen.   
     About two hours later Gregg got a phone call from Madisen’s mom.  He came downstairs to give Sadie and I the news…Madisen had missed her six a.m. flight. She would have to be rescheduled for a later flight. Sadie and I looked at each other and I knew we were both thinking the same thing.
      How are we going to do this without her?  She was our sweet blessing to make this drop off thing possible. We were going to be there for her when her family couldn’t. Why had this happened???
  I have been around long enough to know that God’s plan for us is often full of a whole bunch of twists, turns, and detours that we’d rather not take.  I’ve also learned that trusting His plan and having faith usually works out better for me.  So, I put on my brave mom face, and said,
     It’ll be okay. And Madisen will be okay.
     It took everything I had hold back my tears the rest of the morning, but I knew I had to for Sadie’s sake.  She packed and repacked one more time.  We convinced her to go to lunch even though she said she wasn’t hungry.  She managed to eat a pastrami on rye from jason’s deli, and as we drove back to pick up her luggage, we were hit with an emotional sight.  As Sadie glanced into the lane next to us, she noticed another family in a truck. The dad was in the driver seat and next to him was  a young man looking very nervous. He was about Sadie’s age, and wearing a suit and tie. Sadie commented,
     I bet he’s checking into the MTC too!
 The truck pulled ahead of us and as we turned left, the other dad turned right and we watched as his brake lights flashed and he slowed and signaled to turn into the MTC.  At this point, Sadie was one hour from her check-in time and neither one of us could stand the anticipation for another second. And suddenly, we both erupted with this kind of teenage scream/ yell thing,
     Oh my gosh!  Oh my gosh!!!! Oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!!
     Sadie, you’re going on a mission!!!!
     Ahhhh!!!!! I’m really doing it!!!!!!!
      This little release was just what we needed to get us through to 1:03 p.m.  And then it was time. Sadie gave her aunt we’d been staying with a kiss and hug and we climbed into Gregg’s truck for the final ride. It takes less than five minutes to go from where we were staying to the MTC. As we drove out,  I kind of felt like my heart might come out of my chest as I tried to remember to breathe. I kept thinking “I wish Madisen and Sadie were going in together. Maybe just thinking they would be was the blessing we needed to get to this point.” And then, one second later, Sadie said,
     I think just believing Madisen would be with us was what I needed to keep me sane this week.
Yep, goosebumps for me.
Then Sadie started to say,
     I just want you to know how much I love you both...
and then broke off.
Gregg came to the rescue,
      We know babe!  We love you. We’re so proud of you!
And then I said,
     There’s a whole lot I want to say right now, but I hope you already know it, and if I do, I’ll cry.
At this point we are almost there and I am about having an anxiety attack but don’t want Sadie to know.  So, I roll down my window and take in as much fresh air as I can get.  And then, as we’re turning into the MTC  Sadie says,
     Roll up your window Mom!
And then she does one more of those “I think I’m going to blow up!” screams and then we are all laughing and crying at the same time. 
     There’s a man directing traffic at the gate. He gives Gregg a few instructions, and then says with a very kind smile, “Good luck mom!”   As we pulled around the corner to the “drop off”, there are little stations with numbers all along the curb, at least thirty.  The car in front of us pulls away and we pull into station number one.  All of the stations are “hosted” by an elder or sister missionary who helps the incoming missionary get situated.  Usually it’s missionary who is going on a foreign mission (and is spending at least a couple of weeks in the MTC).  So, we hop out of the truck and are greeted by this cutest sister missionary (leaving for Sweden on Monday) who announces to me,
    Okay Mom, first you have to give me a hug!

So I started laughing and crying even harder and happily give her one. Then these three elder missionaries come over and help Gregg unload Sadie’s luggage. And then, it was really, really time.  

So we hugged and kissed our daughter and smiled and cried as we watched her walk away into the next adventure of her life.

And she was so happy.
And as Gregg and I drove away I almost jumped out of our truck to run back and give her one last hug. But I didn’t. I knew it would be too hard for both of us.  And remember, I promised to send her off with a smile. 
And I did.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


I once heard a saying that made me laugh, "I blog, therefore I am".  Although I certainly hope my blog doesn't define me, I have found it to be an incredibly helpful tool as I have prepared for Sadie to leave on her mission.  Something about sharing this journey just makes it a little easier.
     Sadie gave her "farewell" address to our congregation this morning.   Her topic was the importance of the  family and God's plan for us to have an eternal family.  Yep, I went through a few kleenex.  But, after I came home and took a thirty minute power nap, I managed to regroup. Sadie's last day here will be filled with family and friends and words of encouragement and faith.

This last one was very bitter sweet....knowing it will be eighteen months before I can take another "complete" family picture.
I will just end this post with a quote from Sadie's talk today,
"I'm leaving my family for eighteen months, so other families can know they can be together forever."

Friday, September 20, 2013

september third friday giveaway

Yes, dear readers, I'm already getting very excited for halloween.  Cooler weather, changing leaves, pumpkin treats, little very favorite time to decorate.
For today's giveaway, I'm teaming up with Sherri Zellner of Zellner's Primitives to give away this vintage banner.  Love her etsy shop! Super fun vintage stuff and custom work available! Check out her website here.

          {How to enter}
1. Become a follower of terra's earth (by liking terra's earth on facebook OR via google friends connect.)
2. Leave a comment on this post telling me how you follow.
3. Also leave a contact email (with comment) if it's not linked to your profile (so I can let you know if you win:)

One winner will be selected from the comments using and announced on September 30th.

{the giveaway closes on september 29th, 2013 at midnight}
{contest open to those residing in the intercontinental u.s.-no p.o. boxes please)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

tender mercies

There's a phrase that a lot of mormons use (including me)  on kind of a regular basis. The phrase is "tender mercies".  It comes from this talk by Elder David Bednar given in 2005.  Basically a '"tender mercy" is described as a blessing from God that is very personal and individual.  A blessing that does not occur "randomly or by coincidence". I have felt of these blessings many times in my life.  Often, they are small, simple things that testify to me that God really does know me (and each one of us) individually.  And,  that He truly cares about the big and small details of our lives.
        Every Wednesday, year round, close to 500 missionaries enter the Provo MTC.  Because of these large numbers , there is a very organized system to dropping off your missionary.   There are several lanes for incoming cars, and each car is directed to  pull up to a certain point.  Then the missionaries unload, have time for a quick hug and kiss, and head out on their adventure (at least that's how we are referring to it around here these days).  Each missionary also has a specific check-in time, Sadie's is 1:15. When Sadie and Gregg and I  get to this point (this coming Wedsnesday, September 25th), I want to be able to send Sadie off with a smile (mixed with those tears that I know I won't be able to stop).  I want her to know how happy and excited I am for her, and I want her to know that I will be okay.  Sounds like a good plan, right?!  But, the closer we've come to this event, the more I've worried about being able to pull off the whole "smile" part.  Enter one of Gods' tender mercies...
       This is Madison. She's one of Sadie's very best friends from BYU. Madison is also preparing to serve a mission. She's going to Iowa.  She will be speaking Spanish, and was scheduled to go to the Mexico MTC in October.  Then bam.....she gets a correspondence saying that her MTC check-in date has been changed to September 25th, at 1:15 and that she will now be going to the Provo MTC, not Mexico.

        We were so happy to learn Sadie and Madison would  be training together.  Then....last week I get this funniest, cutest letter from Madison's mom.  Short version....Madison's family would be sending her off (September 25th) from their home town airport in Washington, and she needed a ride from the Salt Lake City airport to the MTC in Provo.   Picking up the message from there.....
 "possibility of asking your family for help. Mostly because I love the vision of the girls going in makes me feel better to picture her walking in with someone she loves. BUT. I don't even know if you are driving Sadie to the MTC. Or if you have power packed every last minute with her. Or if you simply don't want to share your last minutes with Sadie, which I would completely understand. AND. We do have some other options...a cousin living in Provo...a good friend in Spanish Fork. So don't feel compelled to say yes, please. (I also opted to ask you instead of having Madisen talk to Sadie because Madisen was worried Sadie would immediately agree without consulting with you. Thus the hopefully-not-too-awkward request from a practical stranger.)"
      Can I just tell you I love this women already!  And when I read the part about "the vision of the girls going in together" I knew, without a doubt that there was nothing random about Madison's date and location for training being changed.  It was such a sweet and comforting idea, and I knew that Heavenly Father had just extended to me (and both families) the most beautiful tender mercy. Because, although I've worried about being able to keep my composure in front of Sadie, I will keep when I'm on temporary mom duty for Madison and I will send both girls off with a smile. I continue to stand amazed at God's goodness and love as we were blessed with this very tender mercy.

And on a totally separate note...Don't forget tomorrow is THIRD FRIDAY GIVEAWAY!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

checking off the missionary list

We (finally) finished shopping for Sadie today.  The funniest part?  Trying to convince her to buy the "really kind of ugly" yet totally supportive orthotic shoes.

 And although she was completely bugged at how "not cute" they are, I hope she will be embracing them after her first week in Houston and  twelve hour days on her feet.  

I am feeling so mentally tired tonight, for lack of a better way to explain it.  Sadie is still very excited, but also starting to get nervous.  I've watched so many friends go through this, but experiencing it myself seems almost surreal.  I'm trying to gear up for the whole "mission drop off" thing....something I'll explain later this week.  
This past Sunday was hard. Sadie and I are both primary teachers (youth sunday school) for our congregation.  Sadie teaches the five year olds and I teach the six year olds.  Her little class sits right in front of mine for group time.  Sunday was Sadie's last time to teach her class before she leaves.  And as we sang "Families Can Be Together Forever" in singing time, I just completely came undone.  A train wreck, clean up aisle nine, "stick a fork in me cause I'm  done" kind of crying mess (and I am an ugly crier).  I had people passing me kleenex left and right, and a couple of other teachers even tearing up with me.  But not Sadie. She just smiled and said, "Are you okay mom?"  And then, I pulled myself together and said, "Yep". 
And  I am going to be okay, because I believe that somewhere, before both we came to this earth,  someone said, "And who would like to be Sadie's mom?"  I stood up and shouted and said, "Oh pick me! Pick me!"  

So, we are doing this thing, Gregg and Sadie and I. Right up to the very doors of the Provo MTC.
And I will just end this post with a quote that my dear friend sent me yesterday...
"The greater difficulty, the greater the glory" Cicero
Amen Brotha.

Monday, September 16, 2013

my third child

How I love this kid. She turned fourteen yesterday.

Streamers from friends.

Bff cousin time with Jade.

Sadie and Lilly.

Ice cream cake.

Candles and singing. 

And then  we brought out cake number two for a belated "happy birthday" for my cute mom-in-law.
Happy Birthday ladies!

Friday, September 13, 2013

counting down (again)...

When I want to be sad, I remember she is happy.

Eighteen months worth of skirts.

And other necessities to stuff into two large suitcases.

Eleven days before she checks into the mtc. Twenty-two days before Sadie meets Texas. 
It's going to be a good match.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

ten on ten september

horse food

people food

 last minute homework

 why is there no cat food?

treat day

sugar bowl. love.

eight-five today. happiness. 

 rain storm damage. worth it.



Thank you Rebekah for hosting ten on ten.