Dave and I had to talk the big talk to perk Claire’s interest to do summer school at BYU right after she graduated from high school. I mean, there was a lot on her plate with signing on to play college volleyball, adjusting to college life, leaving beloved high school behind. But although this option didn’t work for Max and Grace (volleyball and China got in the way), Elle adored it. And we had a hunch Claire would too.

Now, nearly a year later, she thanks her lucky stars (and her parents too) for that little push because boy howdy, that was a pretty special time for that girl of ours. Sure, she had to balance a lot. But in the midst of all that balancing (that helped her grow in so many ways), she met some pretty fantastic friends.

You know those friends who you just know have your back and love you unconditionally? And you love them right back? That’s how Claire feels about these girls. They are good from the inside out and they’ve have had some pretty great adventures together.

They decided to include a road trip to the desert among those adventures. They are all splitting up after this semester (the majority of them have mission calls and are heading out on their new adventures), so they wanted to get in one last hurrah.

So, eight girls packed into this small SUV and drove all the way down here to the warmth of the desert.


Those few days we got together were packed to the very brim with GIRLS! So many of them! Getting to know their stories, feeding them, entertaining them, and thanking God for them. Such awesome girls full of confidence and kindness with their heads on straight. Also, they let Lucy be right in there as “one of them” the whole time they were here. Which makes them extra golden to me!

That first night Jo and I made Japanese curry to welcome them (I actually can’t include much “I” in that because he pretty much is the master of Japanese curry.

The adults aren’t at the table in this pic, but we all had our fair share of time to grill them with all kinds of questions. They are from all over the place and it was fun to hear their growing-up experiences and thoughts on the future.

We took them to the lake one day…through the “super bloom” to get there.

Dave rocked having that boat jam-packed with girls!

I always love when we get to have this table filled up again.

Claire’s cousin/roommate/best friend Ava isn’t in some of these pictures since she was with
her family some of the time they were here. Love you Ava!!

That last morning we helped the girls pack up and clean-out, and squish them back into that little car for the long drive home. 

I don’t think they minded the ride:)

I was texting with the moms after they left and one said she felt like she had prayed these girls into her daughter’s life. And I felt like she took the words right out of my mouth.

There is so much beauty in watching friendships develop for your kids. So grateful for this great crew of girls (and also the few who couldn’t make it), and the influence they’ve had on our girl.

We are so excited to keep tabs on them as they head out to El Salvador San Salvador, Adriatic North, Vancouver, Spain, England, Florida, Philippines, and Brazil in the next few months!

Oh the adventures they’ll have! And how awesome is it that we have modern technology that they’ll be able to share those adventures in so many ways!

Love. All the way around.

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  1. Absolutely LOVED seeing this. What a joy to see so many of our dear friends’ granddaughter together. Who knew??? I just sent this to Margaret!

  2. I’m meeting up with 5 of my college girlfriends in a couple weeks. we are still friends 20 (!) years later. Claire will treasure these relationships her whole life. ♥️

  3. Your latest podcast about being a good friend brought me back to this post. It’s such a privilege to be the gathering spot for your kids’ friends, some of whom may really need a safe home at which to unwind. I also enjoyed what you shared about your parents taking such interest in your friends and treating them with such kindness. It’s such a vulnerable time and having the support of your friends’ parents can be really special, especially for those kids who are far from home. My mom is in her 70s and she and her siblings still talk fondly about their friends’ parents who made an impact on them. I’m sure 50 years from now you and your husband will have such a legacy!

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