Change is not always an easy thing for me. Even if it's fun change, like planning for a vacation, oh my poor husband! I worry, I stew, and I fret. So with Kash getting ready to go on a mission, I have had to think about more change, and it's been a heavy load on my heart to carry, thinking about having two missionaries out at the same time.
But it's a load that I am happy to bear. I love that load! I'm so proud of my boys who have lived their lives in a way that has kept them worthy to be representatives of Jesus Christ.
The day is here now.
It seems like we just did this, even though it's been over a year ago with this handsome boy. (Sam's drop off day and my first experience with this gut wrenching change HERE)
It has been an absolute joy hearing his stories and meeting new friends as a result of his service!
So on to round 2.
Now, it's Kash's turn, and we could not be happier about his call to serve in Korea! It will be a big change for us and for him.
I don't know who will miss who more.
The night before, the Stake Presidency came to set him apart as a full time missionary for the church,
and we snapped one more picture of the whole family together. ;)
One thing that I love, was that last year, after Sam was set apart, we took the chair that he was sitting on at the time of his setting apart, turned it upside down and had him sign and date it as a special little keepsake documenting the special occasion.
So of course in keeping with tradition, we made sure Kash was sitting in the same chair and had him sign it too. We are NEVER getting rid of that chair. :)
It was a special night.
The next morning came early. A little too early for this night owl.
That will soon change with the 10:00 curfew at the MTC - hopefully!
Also in keeping with tradition we stopped at Sill's cafe for breakfast with the grandparents, and they sent him off with the best little "MTC Survival Kit" that they put together for him. So cute, my sweet parents!
One last kiss to last two years!
We arrived in Provo with plenty of time to enjoy being together on the temple grounds, jump on dad, take pictures, and show our love and affection for Kash (like we haven't killed him with it over the past couple months already) one more time.
I love this picture of my family walking towards the temple... it is so symbolical to me. There is nothing that makes me happier than to know that I can be together forever with these special people of mine because of the priesthood power to bind families eternally, that takes place in these dedicated temples. So thankful for temple ordinances!!!
Hold my heart.
I can't help but think of this scripture when I look at this next photo: ¶How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Isaiah 52:7
amazing isn't it, that these 18-19 year old young men and women are
willing to take two years out of their lives to join with the other
88,000 currently serving throughout the world?
(Shey at work....stay tuned!)
As we were sitting here, a group of missionaries walked past, and I saw one of them who looked a lot like one of Kash's friends. Just as I was thinking that I heard Kash call out to him.... sure enough, his dear friend from back home who will be serving in Texas!
So fun to see him!
A closeup of the CTR ring.
I kept my eye on this little guy, who was clearly feeling the weight of the day. Here is one little boy who loves his big brothers and has always looked up to them.
This was a big deal for him.
I watched him pick up a tiny pebble and start scratching his brother's name on the concrete. It was special when Kash noticed and said when he walks to the temple, he will look for it and think of him. Then, together they scratched his name behind the bench where less traffic would mean a better chance of it lasting awhile.
A tender moment... so special.
Check in time had arrived, so we got in the car, had a family prayer, and drove into the MTC parking lot. I halfway thought it would be easier the second time, but I'm here to tell you it's not. Nor should it be. Dropping your child off who you will not see for two years and not crying about it, is not something we should aspire to, in my opinion. Yes, serving a mission is a great thing for him and our family, and yes, I wouldn't want him anywhere else, but it's also okay to cry and, in my opinion, cry uncontrollably!
Wow, deja vu. I almost believe it's the same man from last year.
Time for goodbyes.
The sweet host missionary offered to take a picture of all of us. Kade's little face grips my heart, trying so hard to smile.
And just like that he was off.
Now, I've done this both ways. Once without the kids, and this time with the kids. And I have to say that it would have been much easier to leave the younger ones home. Not easier for me, but easier for them. In fact, little Kade said he would much rather have gone to school that day than be there for this sad moment, and he later called this day "the worst day ever."
At this point, I climbed over the seat and sandwiched myself in between the two youngest, wrapped my arms around them and together the three of us had a good cry.
We talked about this being the hardest part, and from now on, how fun it will be to get his emails. We talked about what kind of a picture they wanted to draw and send to their missionary brother. We talked through our feelings until our hearts felt a little better.
Rick drove us straight to Scheels to ride the big ferris wheel in an attempt to lighten the mood, bless his heart, but when we got there we learned it was closed for maintenance. So we signed up for scooter giveaways, and took advantage of a photo op instead.
And drove to Brick Oven for probably the worst meal ever.
We will seriously never eat there again.
But Kade would tell you the cheese pizza was awesome.
Maybe we should've all ordered that.
So, I am trying to embrace this new change in our household with all the grace and dignity that I can. And that is why if you visit my home, you will see Kash's mango lime rickey can right next to Sam's smoothie cup in our kitchen window.