After all the graduation hoopla and excitement, we stayed a couple extra days to help Elle and Carson pack up and leave Miami.

Oh I want so much to remember these days. They were really golden ones filled up with our two married couples and our Murphy Jane.

We did some exploring and loving up of this place they have fallen in love with. This place that has cradled Elle and Carson as home for so long.

There is just something about a place you make your home. It becomes sacred to you, and holds memories that have made you who you are.

My favorite thing about these couple days was the gift of time. There is nothing like having the luxury of TIME together for talking, and I never want to take it for granted.

I don’t have pictures of us hunkered down in the AirBNB talk, talk, talking late into the night about everything from testimonies to future to dreams and hopes. It was just so special to me. Makes me want to tear up even now as I write about it. I just love all these adult kids and the wise, conscientious and good people they are with all my heart.

No, no pictures of all that. But I do have pictures at the beach:)

The Beach

Murphy was not absolutely sure how she felt about her first time at the ocean…

And some time with Carson’s parents too.

But everyone eased her in pretty nicely 🙂

Elle & Carson’s Neighborhood

I love this little neighborhood. We marveled at how crazy it was that the three of us were there four years ago weighing the pros and cons of this place. So glad they picked it!

The Dock

We basked at Elle and Carson’s special sunset spot both nights:

A dock they walked to on repeat at dinnertime each night.

Sunshine or rain.

Which was kind of the latter both nights we were there.

But we’ll take it.

At the AirBNB

It was so fun to hang with Carson’s parents too, who are game masters.

And American Idol lovers along with us.

And also: CLAIRE.


We went to church for the last time in Elle and Carson’s ward.

Boo Hoo. Why am I so sentimental about all these lasts??

Loved that the guy Carson baptized a few years ago was there and we got to talk with him a little. Such a great guy.

Wynwood Walls & Design District

On a Boat

On our last morning we headed out on a boat. Our captain took us by all the big-wig houses and we got to get out and swim and take in the Miami skyline and gosh, I loved it.

So did Murphy.

OH MAN WE LOVE THAT BABY and all her antics.

Goodbye Miami!

These two had already packed up and/or sold the majority of what they own. Too difficult to get it all across the country to Palo Alto.

But we helped them load what they had left in their car, including their king-size mattress they had a handy dandy way to deflate and shrink wrap…

…so they could fit it in their car with everything else.

(Aside from the four big bags we brought home with us.)

Miracle workers I tell you!

As I mentioned, I was so melancholy for Elle and Lar closing up this chapter of their life. Florida has been so good to them, and they have loved it.

But I honestly think they will love anywhere they live. They are just like that.

On to the next chapter!

We all said goodbye for a few days until we get to reunite in the desert after their drive across the country.

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  1. Put a hat on that baby!
    Goodness, parents these days. She should be wearing a hat and long sleeves at the beach

      1. Oh, for God’s sake. Enough with dissing Karens. Could you elevate your vocabulary just a tad and come up with a different word?

      2. I’m sure she made her comment out of concern for Murphy, nothing unkind.

        When there’s a heatwave in the UK we are always told to keep out of the sun during the hottest part of the day & to include suncream & a hat. This especially applies to the elderly & young.

    1. Nothing wrong with the sun on her skin. In fact it’s good. for her. Vitamin D. The skin cancer sun myth has been proven wrong.

  2. Murphy just gets cuter and cuter! How fun that you could all be together for the closing of this chapter 🥰
    Would love to hear more on how Elle and Carson handled that move especially since you mentioned they’re taking a trip before settling into residency. Vacuum wrapping the mattress is so smart! I’m constantly impressed by your kids’ resourcefulness and lack of materialism that allows them to navigate life more easily. Would also love to hear from your grown kids about how they budget and support their homes on one income- I know things are tough right now especially for young adults and I think they could provide some insights to others.
    Excited for this next chapter for you all- and I’m sure you’re excited to be closer to them when they return from their trip!

    1. Hi Jane! I agree on the cute Murphy thing!:)

      It’s so fun to watch these young adults maneuver things! Financially and otherwise. I’d love for them to come write a blog post here on how they handle it all, but I don’t think we should hold our breath on that! You’re right, they are quite resourceful and do have a lack of materialism so that helps them cope with financial burdens. Dave and I have loved watching Elle and Carson maneuver loans and finances, and also save like nobody’s business. It’s interesting with medical/podiatry school and loans because there are all types of kids. There are the ones that take out the largest loans so they can live comfortably and there are others who scrimp by. Everyone has a different strategy. It’s been so great that Elle could continue working full time to support, and now they are so excited Carson will start to get his own paycheck with residency.

      Max and Abby are also just so good at budgeting. I think i’ve mentioned before that Max couldn’t hold onto a dime growing up, so his budget-consciousness floors me and Dave over and over again.

      We have been able to help with education, (something that is important to Dave), and we’re so grateful we have been able to chip in. But these kids have been so good with getting grants and loans too.

      Honestly, I feel like the most important thing to teach kids is the 10-20-70 principle. It takes a lot of discipline, but these two couples have both bought into that idea hook, line and sinker just like Dave and I did when we first got married. Compounding interest is real so savings are so important, even when it feels like you can’t quite make ends meet. Lots more about that here:, and even more here: (lots of links at the end of that one).

      As far as Elle and Carson’s trip, those two know how to budget travel! Their airbnbs range from $13-40 each night and they got a steal of a deal on airplane tickets. More on how to make family travel work here:

  3. As I read this post, all I could of was ‘what a lovely season you are in right now’. The young adults navigating these next chapters is just so exciting to watch. Thanks for sharing with us all.

    1. Oh I agree. We are in the best season of life! I keep thinking every season is the best though!!

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