Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Saying Goodbye

She's been gone for 14 days. It's taken me that long to look at the pictures I took on the day she walked to her airport gate. I can't really describe what her absence has done to my heart. Pride and sorrow all combined. It's a strange state to live in.

We stood at the end of the security lines and hugged her tight. Each one of us taking our turn.

I held her as tight as I possibly could and whispered in her ear how much I loved her. And then I looked into her eyes and told her she was brave and courageous and inspiring.

We walked her all the way to the security check point. All of us with tears. My heart pounding so strongly, I thought it would stop.

And then she was gone. With one final wave goodbye. Her final words, "I'll see you soon." The Lord carried all of us that day. Her to Utah and us back home. I'm pretty sure He's still carrying me.

And the dearest of friends were on the other end of the plane trip. There to catch her and take care of her. She and her friend Emily are both serving missions in California, just different ends of the state.

They drove her to the MTC (Mission Training Center), hugged her tight and handed her off.

And now she's been gone 14 days. We've gotten 2 emails from her so far. I reread them over and over, just to hear her voice in my head. She's immersed in learning Spanish and loving her companion and district. She bears her testimony of the truthfulness she knows. Just like a missionary.

I don't think about the journey ahead. I can't. I simply focus on today and send her name up to heaven in all the ways I know how. What she is doing with her life, serving the Lord with everything she's got, is so inspiring and monumental. Her courage reverberates through our family. She is our light.

If you want to read her letters home to us, we've created a blog: The Missionary Life of Hermana Foster. Feel free to follow along.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Her Farewell

A missionary farewell is a strange day for a parent. First off all, I want to take my people and squeeze them all together forever. United time is ticking away. So our family unit becomes extraordinary in all it's ordinary ways.

You watch your child stand at the church pulpit and teach. She also bares testimony of truth, especially her truth. And as a parent, your heart is so full of pride and sadness and hope, so all you do is cry. You look at her in awe and cry.

And then she sings. Oh, when she sings. My heart tries to capture every word and hold it close. Because music is ingrained into her very being. And when I watch and hear her, I am caught in her beauty. I am reminded of her unfailing example of what it means to be a righteous, warrior of a woman.
It is such an honor to be this girl's mother. I was created for her, and she for me. And for the next 18 months we are both giving our hearts to the Lord. Mine is in letting her go. Hers is committed to teaching the Savior's truth. Noble, and honorable, and great, but also hard. Pretty much the perfect recipe for growth.

I gave Sam a necklace for Christmas. It's titled, "The Ties That Bind". It's five perfect circles centered inside one another. The 5 rings represent the 5 of us. This family of ours. For we will be with her with every step she takes and every door she knocks on. We will be right there on the hard days and cheering for her on the glorious days. And every night when she lays down to sleep, we will be right along side her holding her together with our love. What a mission for us all.

Santa Rosa, California is getting one awesome Sister Missionary.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Day After

Merry Christmas, Y'all.
I hope it was the loveliest of days.

And now it's the day after. The day you look around and realize you've got to find room for all this new stuff you just brought into your house. Why does this day always look like a tornado hit the family room? And the kitchen?!

I'm up early this morning with a migraine. #storyofmylife. And I've walked around to survey all the work I have to do today (or next week), and somehow my eyes don't see the mess. They sweep past the piles and decor. All my eyes see are blessings. Oh, and gratitude. Yes, gratitude for sure.

My blessings feel ever reaching today. My college girl is home. She leaves for her mission in 10 days. I'm drinking her in every minute. Yesterday I got to see my kids open presents with bright eyes and laughter. And when they opened something that they really wanted, That. Is. The. Best. I think I'm addicted to their joy.

The Husband and I hugged each other and took a good look at all we had created together. A hot mess and a whole bunch of awesome, all wrapped into one. That's pretty good odds. That man is half my soul. Truly.

These people are my very life strings. And yesterday I just got to soak them in and watch them glow. There really is no greater gift. Gratitude feels everywhere.

I hope you had the merriest of a Christmas.
I hope you got to gather with your people and just love each other. With presents thrown into the mix. That makes for the perfect kind of recipe.

Today, in all the aftermath, look around and see your joy.
It's goodness and gratitude and family.

Happy Holidays, friends.

Monday, December 21, 2015


Only the most special of friends gift you with a blow up moose head for Christmas.
The entry has never looked more chic.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas At Our House

This is how we decorate for the season. And by "we", I mean "me". Right? It only took me 30 minutes to vacuum up all the pine needles that fell off the tree as it was being fluffed. No big thang. Here's how our house looks for Christmas.

Happy Season of Giving
Happy Season of Putting Up All The Decor So We Can Take It Back Down
Happy Season of Buy All The Things
Happy Season of Eating All The Baked Goods


Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Best

An awesome photographer.
Plus one crazy family.

This is what you get.
This. This, right here.
Click to enlarge it. Seriously.
It makes it so much better to look at.

Have an awesome Saturday, homies.

Friday, December 4, 2015

It's Only Taken A Week To Recover

Y'all. I'm just now catching up. Thanksgiving week was a doozey. Just now, a week later, Christmas decorations are up and I can finally catch my breath.

Here's how our awesome week played out.

First and best: My college girl came home. Like, I could physically touch her and talk to her. I literally soaked her up for days. Just having our family all together again was my greatest blessing. Lots of hugs and screams at the airport.

We had family pictures taken. My favorite day of all time. Says no one ever.
But, just look. Aren't they adorable!? Family really is the greatest.

My girl went through the Temple (our sacred church where we make covenants with the Lord). It was such a special time to be with her there. She was over the moon excited. It was thrilling to be her mom that day.

We then had a family reunion in Austin! We spent 3 days at a lake house with all the cousins. Lots of cooking and even more laughter. We had an incredible time.

And then, to top it all off, the Baby Child had her 13th birthday! And by that point I was so exhausted, I didn't take one single picture of her or her celebration. Bless my heart.

I hope you're Thanksgiving was good. No. I hope it was special. Mine was filled with blessings. Front and center. All around. The best kind of way to enjoy them. But most of all, let's be grateful for family. They are all the things and then some.