August 08, 2017

As He Grows From Boy To Man

We give our children roots and wings.
We want them to leave us, to learn, to grow, to serve.

And yet, as they progress to the next momentous stage of life we know they are leaving behind a stage that we love. We will mourn the loss of boy even as we love the new man.

Jakob has caused me my fair share of heartaches.  But oh how I love that kid.

We were out running errands and had lunch at some big taco joint.  I told him I really wasn't sad that he was leaving.  I'm SO happy for him and I really don't want him at home watching dumb TV for the rest of his life.  He looked into my eyes with his twinkling half smile and said.  "Ok mom.  So you won't cry when you don't see my coat hanging on the kitchen chair."  I cried just thinking about that.
I can't help it.

I love that child SO much. 
I LOVE having my kids all together, playing in the pool, singing in the car, squabbling at the dinner table, teasing in the church pew, laughing, sleeping, working, just being together.
THIS stage of togetherness has ended.
That hurts.
But, every single sunset in my life has been followed by a beautiful sunrise.  

I bawled when Jakob left for kindergarten.  Bawled.
And then, he came home happy and told me all the wonderful things he had learned.  And, my ache was less.
He was scared of the mean lunch ladies and didn't know what a "single smile line" was, but he figured things out.  
We both did.

When Drew left home the next year it was still hard (for me and him) but not as hard because Jakob had led the way, with a smile and a wave and the assurance that he would be fine.

God sent me Jakob first because He knew I would need his strength and confidence.

Oh my dear, dear boy.
Know every second of your life that you are loved.  Know that God is real, that He hears your prayers, that Heaven is near, and that you have angels on your right hand and on your left.
Serve with your heart, might, mind, and strength.
Love like your mom taught you how to.
And take lots of pictures.
We will miss you and celebrate all that you are.
Two years.  A life tithe.  
Oh, what a beautiful plan.  

I think I'm going to love this new stage.
Life is good.
This is the best kind of hard.

August 06, 2017

Family Dinner

(The Elders in our ward today.)
I believe in family dinner.

I'm SO excited for Jakob to serve a mission.  He is ready. I am ready.

But, I just get choked up at the little "lasts".

Tonight I made a one minute Instagram video of everyone sitting around the dinner table.  Our last Sunday dinner together for at least three years because Drew will be gone when Jakob gets home.

While I'm typing this Ellie is braiding Anna's hair trying to copy a picture she's looking at from Pinterest.  Ellie is telling Anna "You could let me do your hair everyday for school and you'd look so cute.  You're almost 16 do t you want to date guys?"

My years and years of wrangling little kids to Church is almost over.  Those years have been hard and wonderful.  

Today my 6 oldest kids all bore sweet, powerful testimonies.  They feel God in their lives. I love that.

I'm standing here on the edge of another milestone. An era of eight kids at home is coming to an end.  It was a good era.

Life's seasons are sacred.
I know it.
Life is good. 
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