I knew Elle was going to love Hawaii when we left her there.
Even through her worried eyes and her claim that she was feeling a little claustrophobia island fever coming on as we “abandoned” her there in all that gorgeousness.  
Yes, I knew she’d love it, and really, she did too, but it was all so unfamiliar and so far away from all her friends and all the hoopla of her Provo summer.  
We both knew, deep down, that this was the most perfect spot in the world for her.  Both our hearts had stilled over and over again with the guidance and peace that it fit her like a glove.
But I didn’t know that I should be worried we’d never get her back!  
She is in sheer Heaven over in that beautiful land.
And even though she is so far away, I love that we still feel at least a little connected.  That’s where I’m in love with technology.  It is my favorite thing in the world when it comes to kids being far away.

We get random pictures like these coming into our phones:

(Love that last view through surfboards on their way to surf.)

We get funny stuff that makes us laugh out loud too…

And Dave and my hearts melt as we hear her on FaceTime conversing with the girls as we make Sunday dinners, her cute face on my phone propped up against the paper towels, asking such nice questions and making those sisters of hers feel like a million bucks.

We were feeling kind of sad missing her at Lake Powell over Fall Break.  I mean, she adores that place, so we were kind of worried to send her any pics. so she wouldn’t get homesick.

But then we got these pictures from her…

…and we figured she was probably surviving A-OK 🙂

I knew she was doing this, and although I had done it before it’s a little different when your daughter does it!  Said some pretty mighty prayers when I knew she was jumping.

Not only is she playing hard she is working pretty dang hard over there on that island.  She just finished her first semester with outstanding teachers and small class sizes and working her tail off on homework and got a 4.0.

Yep, that’s my girl.

She’s also had the chance to do a couple family photo shoots over there on the side.  Hopefully that will keep up.

They just finished their semester the end of October and took full advantage of their week off school doing all kinds of hikes and adventures, and now they’re back at it in full force.  She’s doing sculpture this semester among other things for her graphic art major, and is surprised by how much she loves it.

So, as I work on my “Gratitude Posts” for November, I have to say that right up there at the top is gratitude for watching your children find themselves and fill up with things they love and adore, maneuvering through new worlds with problems and successes all mixed in together.  It is kind of fun.

Love you Elle Belle!

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  1. So fun!! I know all those places where she is! It truly is the most amazing place to be! I also went Sky diving and I remember my Mom saying, "Just please don't tell me about it until you are on the ground again"

    1. Hi Sarah, although I started a Facebook account years and years ago I never go on there. I should probably delete it. I wouldn't even know how to find your message there so just email me at sepphotography at gmail dot com. Thanks!

    1. We pay for the college part, (we started putting away money for that when we had our first baby but only plan to pay for our kids' freshman year…that's all a work in progress figuring out!) but she pays for everything else. She lives on very little over there, shops at Good Will and mostly hikes for entertainment but she's glad for photography jobs and is trying to figure out the best place to work when she heads back after Christmas. This skydiving was a little extravagant but she is a saver (we never worry about her with money, she makes smart choices…unlike some of our other kids…) and decided that was how she wanted to spend that money. All the other adventures are free so she has a pretty good gig over there!

  2. We are going to be in Oahu for vacation next summer… And have had the hardest time finding a photographer… Is there any chance she is staying summer term? Looks like an amazing experience all around, my mom went to BYU-H and tells great stories about her time there.

    1. Yes I'm aware. That picture has been used so many times I don't know how to track it any more! Thanks for your note, I appreciate it, and am grateful when people ask before they use pictures.

  3. What a breathtaking post! Those pictures just made my tummy turn! LOL about the poor girl with the pea-head! What a fabulous experience she is having! Add Elle to the lovers of Hawaii in the fam. It's a perfect fit!

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