Right now we are involved in the interesting work of joining up two families.

It’s interesting because it’s such unchartered territory.  I mean, first of all, you are infiltrated with all the emotions that come with one of your children getting married.  But second, there is another family connected to that person your child is marrying who you just hope with all your might will be a perfect match as a “second” family for that part of your heart you are trying to gracefully let go.

And that “work” of letting go becomes a lot easier in my opinion when you realize that 1) that piece of your heart chose a pretty perfect marriage match (which we already knew was the case), and 2) that new in-law family includes parents you love.

So we were SO grateful for the opportunity we had to hang out not only with Max and Abby last weekend up in Provo, but we got to hang with Abby’s parents too.

And guess what?

We LOVE them!

I had met her mom last summer when we {luckily} crossed paths both passing through town.

But Dave and I thought Sarah (Abby’s mom) had a great idea to meet up and be together before all the hurricane swirling wedding stuff comes around.  
Oh wait…it already has.  Ha!  
We got up bright and early to catch a flight to get up there.  I had to snap a pic of this sky because look at it:

Isn’t that so pretty?

And that sky landed us up in this sky:

Utah in the Fall is the best.

Some of the things we did:

Met up for dinner that first night and just talked and talked:

 Admired all the gorgeous colors Provo is showing off right now:

We got freshly picked Utah apples:

We had another go with taking some engagement shots (we snapped a few options over Fall break).

Now, if a girl elicits this kind of smiles from your son, you’ve got to be pretty sure that’s a good match πŸ™‚

I know it may sound to some like sticking toothpicks in your eyes to take wedding pictures, but we had so much fun trying to help pose these kids (there’s a “little bit” of a height difference which makes it an extra adventure :).

 …Dave is more of the “toothpick in the eyeballs” kind of a guy, but he was pretty amused at our work:

 These guys are funny.

After all that “work” we ate the most delicious tacos and headed to a women’s volleyball game.

 It was PACKED!

We had general admission tickets and I swear every seat was taken.

 Finally the nicest guy had mercy on us and got us some great seats right up front and center…

 …with this view:

 Oh yeah.

This game was extra exciting for us specifically because we were picturing Max with the Men’s volleyball team on that court next season.  Who knows how much playing time he’ll get, but it still gave us butterflies to think about.

It was the BEST game, those women are amazing athletes!  There was an amazing 4-block play that blew us all away.

And the crowd was pretty fun too.

We were welcomed back to our car with a big boot on the tire, and decided to drown our sorrows about that with trying another one of the cookie places up there that are hopping in that college town.

(I think we all decided Crumbl was our favorite…oh man, makes my mouth water to think of them!)
The next morning we did yoga to work off all those cookies.  Ha!
Max had a big audience to try on a suit for the wedding:

Part of this journey was a little bit of a date for me and Dave, and I loved getting a chance to stop the rest of life for a minute and be with him on the side.  I like that guy a lot πŸ™‚

We were able to visit my brother Noah and his office since Dave is working with him a little bit and it was his birthday:

 Happy bday, Noah!!

We stopped by later to say hi to the whole family:

And we went to Seven Brothers in honor of our Hawaiian girl (this is a place that’s popular in her college town across the sea and they’ve opened one in Provo):

We came home so GRATEFUL.
Because families joining isn’t going to be so bad after all πŸ™‚

What a great family Max gets to marry into!
I love these pics. because here’s Abby with her parents:
…and us with our boy:

 We’re holding on to those kids tight right now…

…but this is the result of letting them go:

They are going to do a lot of good in the world, those two.  
And I’m excited to watch their story continue to unfold…the tough and the grand, all wrapped up together to create their own family.  


  1. Your last sentiment was heartwarming. As moms we raise our kids to go out and be amazing in the world, Max definitely looks like he's doing just that, congrats!

  2. my parents got married at 20 and had only 1/2 the support these kids do, and they celebrated their 51st anniversary this year. I learned from them that it isn't always easy and you have to grow and change together – and I know these two are going to have the love and support of both of your beautiful families to see them through. Congrats!

  3. Doesn't it sure give you appreciation now, for what your parents (and Dave's) went through? I tell you I didn't realize it, until our first was married (our son), and I just wanted to give my MIL a big hug, and tell ask her, "HOW did you ever let your son/my husband, go?"

  4. What a beautiful couple! Parents amaze me with each chapter in life! Letting go must one of the toughest. PS what was up with the Boot on the car? They just throw that puppy on there for parking too long?

    Fun to read the journey! Thank you for sharing!

  5. I look at these beautiful pics and wonder how far off this chapter of life may be for me…my kids are just slightly younger than yours. Nice to have a preview of how 'joining families' might feel…you seem like wonderfully supportive parents for both Max and Abby. I grew up with the original 'Seven Brothers' (their mom was my YW leader) and have heard they are now big in Provo. How fun to see their restaurant!

  6. This is so fun and I love this whole post. She seems like she comes from such a great family as well!

    Can I ask how lucy is handling it too? She’s such a great girl but her and max had such a special bond!

  7. My goodness, it's so obvious how completely in love Abby and Max are— they can't stop smiling, they can't stop laughing— I can't decide which photo is the best- the one in which she's putting her leg on the rail, the one in which she's laughing while sitting on his lap, the one in which they're bending over laughing- two kids right there, completely + utterly + absolutely in love— Beautiful. Just beautiful.

  8. Oh this post just warmed my heart! I love the idea of a weekend with the future in-laws, I’m keeping this in mind for the future.
    Crumbl is my very favorite too, those sugar cookies are to die for!!

  9. I have followed you on this blog off and on for years and Abby's mom on Instagram as well. I don't know either of you but have admired your families, you marriages, you as women. I was so excited a few months ago when pictures of your two oldest children were in love with each other and then engaged! This is was the happiest news ever. So fun, they seem like a great match and to both get such great inlaws. So exciting. I can't wait for the wedding pictures!!! Congrats to all of you.

  10. My daughter Abby is at BYU Hawaii, she raves about 7 Brothers too! Guess we will have to try it! She is in your daughters ward, I think your daughter has been over for Sunday dinner at her place a time or two! Such a small world!

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