I thought, when I was sorrowing away getting ready for Max to leave the nest, that if I could rip the bandaid off that time it must surely get better the next time I had to let someone go.

But guess what?

It doesn’t get better.

I just gets different.

Have I mentioned how much I hate letting kids go? Ha!

So we have been wading through all kinds of graduation hoopla (some day I will get to documenting it all), and then there we were on Sunday looking the “beginning of the end” right in the eyeballs.

The “beginning of the end” is Baccalaureate followed by seminary graduation: the first two formal events that send us right into graduation week.

They both always take place on the Sunday before graduation every year.

And they are GOOD I tell you. (This is my fourth one, and every time baccalaureate sure gets me).

You see, our school has such an excellent music program, and the kids get to vote in their favorite teacher for the main speaker, and the principal speaks as well as the student body president, and it’s short and sweet, and FILLED to the brim with music that moves you.

The bagpipes start it all off coming down the aisles with the principal followed by the orchestra playing gorgeous music as all the graduates file in.

Can you spot Claire glistening there in the middle of the crowd as she was walking in in the picture below?

It was fun that the speaker chosen by the students happened to be Claire’s assistant volleyball coach (who is the head coach for boy’s volleyball and who also teaches Spanish):

He knocked it out of the park I have to say.

They always play one of my very favorite songs in the whole wide world:

(“Come Thou Fount”…”Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it…”

And when they wrapped up, everyone heads out for pictures galore.

This one’s for you, Carson! (on the left below…he wanted to be on “71Toes” haha), and two other sweet friends:

The moms with their girls:

Then it was home for dinner and to hang out with my cousin and his daughter who were staying with us for a basketball tournament:

And then on to Seminary Graduation.

Yep, she did it.

Four years of seminary. They have “released time” where you take seminary as one of your classes at school here in the desert, which is so nice. I kinda wish Claire had been old enough to experience “early morning” seminary with Max and Elle when we lived in China though. That’s a pretty cool experience too.

So thankful for all the teachers and goodness and light shared right smack dab in the middle of the school day at seminary. And all these cute friends:

And also these awesome cousins…and grandparents who give this girl of ours so much light as well.

As long as we’re talking about seminary graduation let’s go ahead and watch this little clip of MY seminary graduation all those years ago. I put this clip on Instagram the other day because I found it on an old post and remembered who I got to shake hands with:

If you don’t recognize those two last guys I shook hands with, that’s President Hinckley (a former prophet in our church who I LOVE), and also President Nelson (our current prophet who I also love). I was good friends with President Nelson’s son and President Hinckley’s grandson…I can’t remember if we were in the same stake??

Anyway, I digress.

But it seems like in some ways I was JUST there.

And now here I am trying to hold on tight to this girl of mine who is exactly the age I was then.

Thank goodness I get to hold onto her forever (even if she’s leaving to spread her wings).

Related posts:

Seminary Graduation for Max, Elle & Grace

Baccalaureate for Max, Elle & Grace

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  1. All your kids graduate high school with a bachelor’s degree? Impressive. I didn’t even know that was possible!

    1. I think you might be confused. A Baccalaureate is a religious graduation ceremony held before the official high school ceremony.

  2. I’m trying to understand your religion a little better. Why do the girls wear little shorts, cropped tops, bikinis through the week but then wear pioneer dresses for church on Sunday?

    1. I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I have the same question as you, because Church standards are clear that modest clothing should be worn at all times, even if it’s unfashionable or hot outside.

      1. I would have you watch some BYU sport teams and then say with a straight face that what the Pothier kids wear for their exercise, swimming and sports are any more revealing. And many of the athletes at BYU have been through the temple. There are standards of dress once through the temple outside of swimming, sport and exercise when marrying or going on mission and then there is the before period. Those things don’t happen until 18 or older. The attire for missions have turned to encourage the fashionable. If you are talking strength of youth it’s a pamphlet that changes all the time. For instance hair curlers in public were deemed avoidable in one year’s publication. It’s like the beard policy at BYU I has nothing to do with the beard policy at BYU or BYU H or getting a recommend or getting it renewed or getting baptized. The three oldest have been through the temple or mission, wedding or both. They have pleased their current leaders. Perhaps the leadership in your area is not understanding the standard or you are just making up your own? The younger two are not old enough. They seem to be doing fine. Lots of Baptist, Catholics, Methodists wear a two piece on the beach but a dress to church. Clothing fits the activity. I think some parents in anticipation of the temple garments always dress the kids as if they were wearing them even though they don’t have them yet. Maybe they think they won’t go through the temple if it means changing their clothing outside of physical activity?

    2. Oh man I’m late coming back to this thread, and I’m curious where this question came from, (on this post?), but I will say that we dress up for church showing respect to God as most churches do. Lisa actually answers this question best below, and also, Kristine above. Thanks you two!

  3. The dresses the girls are wearing are in style now. I live in NYC and am not Mormon and that is what my daughter and friends wear. I don’t think it has to do with religion. Look on websites like ASOS, TopsShop etc… As far as the other more casual outfits, I assume Shawni’s daughters and her friends wear casual clothes for more casual events and dress up a bit for ceremonies, church, certain events etc… I don’t think that is unique to a particular religion

  4. What gets under my skin is the women clutching their pearls if they see a girl with 2 earrings in the same ear, or showing their shoulders, the judgement is terrible.
    But we are 💯 turning a blind eye or “ interpreting” things we want for the sake of fashion, like the temple garment, it should be worn through your lives as instructed in the temple. We have been told by prophets that the only time they should be removed is for intimacy and sports. It seems like “kids” want to get married in the temple because that’s what we do, parents want them to, because “ what would people think” yet turn a blind eye to it. Now we use the @ it’s between me and the lord at every corner, Tell me I’m wrong?

    1. In response to the comments about fashion and modesty, I think it’s important to remember that the temple garment is purely and simply (and beautifully) a reminder to ourselves about our personal covenants with God. It all goes back to God. The two great commandments: love God and love your fellow man. The garment is so much more than a modesty thing, it is something to remind us of those two great commandments. I think for some people wearing that reminder of those covenants comes easily and swiftly and for others it takes time to gain that deeper understanding. Isn’t that between that person and God? I don’t know how it would ever become our responsibility to judge how others are doing it? We can nurture and love those around us, and we can model what we feel is right, but in the end it really has to be a personal commitment between that person and God.

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