Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Til we meet again Sister Allen

So we moved to Vegas two weeks ago. In the middle of packing for that, we were also getting Kate ready to leave on her mission to Argentina. 

Time line was this:she gets set apart as a missionary on the 24th of July (also Nora's birthday). Then Jeff and I take her to the mtc on July 26th. We drive back July 27th and we are out of our house in Ellensburg July 30th. Sound crazy? It was. 

She had her farewell, where she gives one last talk in church and bares witness of what she is about to go and do. And what is she about to go and do? Give all of her time and talents to teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Argentina for 18 months. In spanish. 

Before she was set apart as a missionary she wanted to go swimming one last time. Missionaries don't swim or go in the water for their entire mission. Even if they're in Hawaii. Or the Mediterranean. Or California. Or anywhere with water. 

Also I love this picture because all of my kids are together. I don't know when the next time will be. 

Kate was set apart by President Ron Gibb of our stake presidency. He is also the brother of my sister in law Amy. We have known him a long time and love him and his entire family. So it was a lovely thing to have him be the one to set her apart as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. When someone is set apart, they are given a blessing with guidance for what they are about to do. They are also given a charge to fulfill the commitment they have made.
It was really hard for me emotionally to be packing our house and also trying to pack her for 18 months. I had wished I could have spent more time devoted to getting her ready. Maybe it was better emotionally. It didn't feel like it at the time. So once we were out the door to drive her to Utah, it was nice to just focus on her. And to cry from time to time. 

Here we are at one of our favorite place. Costa Vida. Kate and Julia I love to eat yummy food together. All the time ha!

This is the basement parking of the MTC (missionary training center) in Provo. You pull up. Another missionary who has been there for a bit comes to help them get their stuff. They hug you goodbye quickly and then off they go. It was the happiest sorrow I have ever felt. So proud of her and glad she has chosen to be a missionary. So sad that I won't see her or hug her for 18 months. 




Its funny because I was alright at this moment. A little teary eyed. But excited for her. And I had just seen her so it didn't sink it. Its been almost 3 weeks. It has sunk in. In her entire life, I've never gone more than a few days without talking to her. It is surreal. The sacrifice by missionaries and their families is real. We wouldn't be willing to see her leave, and she wouldn't be willing to go without a firm testimony that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It is too great a thing to ask of anyone if they aren't aware of the tremendous blessings for themselves and the people that will hear the gospel because of these young missionaries.

How many other groups of 18-22 year olds do you know that sacrifice 18-24 months of their youth serving God? Its normally a pretty selfish time of life (it was for me) and so to see them willingly serve and come home changed is a blessing I would never want to deny any of my kids just so I wouldn't have to not see or talk to them.

I love my daughter. I am so proud of her. In a year when Julia leaves on her mission, I will be proud of her. And in 3 years when Charlie goes I will proud of him. And over arching all of it will be a profound happy sadness as their mom. So if you ask me how Kate is doing and I start to cry, its not because anythings wrong. Its because everything is right, I just miss my girl.

For more information on what Mormons believe and why anyone would sacrifice like this, visit and

Monday, July 24, 2017

Nora's 9th

I think that youngest children learn resilience younger than their older siblings. They get carted around to a lot more sports events, concerts and awards ceremonies. They spend more time in the car then their oldest siblings and with so much going on in a family of 8, and they learn to adapt pretty well. 

Case in point, Nora's 9th birthday. One month before we learned we would be moving to Las Vegas. And then two days after this picture, Jeff and I would be taking Kate to the MTC (missionary training center) in Provo. 

So here she sits, surrounded by boxes and chaos and as you can see from the pictures, she is still happy. Surrounded by her family, the people who love her most. And of course having your birthday list of Disney dolls come to life doesn't hurt either:)

I am so thankful that we received this little surprise we now know as Nora. She has been a gift of joy, happiness, easy going-ness, affability and just all around sweet, kind and fun.

Her birthday being so crazy was helped by the fact that she had a friend party, dessert with her grandparents and cousins who live in Ellensburg and then her "family" party with just us. 3 parties helps the bitter pill of moving go down easier I think:)

I can't believe she is 9. Seriously folks, don't take for granted the time your children are young. I know its hard, I know there is a lot of sleepless nights, poopy diapers and tantrums. Soak up every moment. There are new, just as wonderful times ahead of you, but those tiny babies, who just want their mommy go by all too quickly. I promise. I would shave my head for just one day with any of my children as 3 year olds again. And I would tell my younger self to not worry so much. They will all turn out just fine.

Happy Birthday darling Nora! thank you for being your bright, sunshiny self.
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