As we made the trip to Utah to tuck Claire into her new experience in the dorms for summer school, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the sky was outside my window, and of course made an analogy to life in it:

The sun setting on her experience at home in the lower part of the sky, and the “sky’s the limit” in the upper half…adventure awaiting.

And then after my little analogy I couldn’t stop taking pictures because that sky and earth joining up took my breath away.

We walked through the airport, her with her funny pink cowboy hat she and her siblings have worn to so many “spirit days” at school and that her friend handed to her at the airport and she had nothing better to do with than either throw in the trash can or prop it on her head, (she chose the latter), and marched out to greet that “new world.”

(It’s been interesting to watch the progression the last month or so from being in complete denial about high school ending to being ready to embrace all this change.)

But first, it was Father’s Day so we got to keep her one extra day:

(more about that back HERE)

Then the big “move-in” with lots of helpers and extra friends we met along the way (there are so many kids up there!).

We took a couple of them to lunch…her cousin (on the right below) and her volleyball club teammate from a couple years ago (on the left) who will be playing on the BYU volleyball team:

I didn’t get any “first day of school” pictures of that girl, just this one where she was in the midst of trying to figure out where all her classes were with us the day before:


She ended up switching all but one of them and learned so much in the process.

It was a whirlwind I tell you. Amidst all that organization of classes and trying to figure out the BYU campus (where she is doing summer school), she was also being introduced to the UVU campus where she’ll be playing volleyball.

The assistant coach took us on a tour and showed us all the places and people she’d need as she embarks on that new endeavor.

She was excited (and nervous) to meet all these teammates when practice started yesterday:

But that girl knows how to get things done and after all the stress (and a little bit of panic figuring out those classes), she found the right ones, she started practice, we finished getting her dorm room all set up (or at least live-able for now), and she has entrenched herself with all kinds of new friends.

So much so that we haven’t been able to hardly talk to her since.


Thank Heaven’s it was Grace’s birthday on Sunday and we got her (along with everyone else aside from Elle and Carson) to catch up on how in the world it was all going.

She’s surviving (and thriving) just fine.

More to come as volleyball gets heating up, but for now it feels so good as her mama to have her settling in so happy.

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  1. Not from the utah area so I’m curious… why summer school at BYU and volleyball at UVU? Does UVU not offer summer classes? I’ve seen a lot of mormon tiktokers at BYU summer school so I’m guessing they offer some special program. Interested to find out what that is.

    1. I’m also a little confused but notice the pattern. Claire’s aunts went to other universities and even her mom but still managed to do a term or 2 at BYU Provo. And do the BYU Jerusalem program as well. There is a visiting student category at BYU and from what I remember one aunt took some religion classes there while there. A visiting student can earn transfer credit and perhaps take some classes their school in which they are a degree seeking student does not have like religion. It does seem odd she can play for one school while attending another. But I don’t understand college sports. It is like taking a few community college classes that can transfer back home during summer session, only she is taking them at a four year college instead. It is probably to have connection with a church affiliated school? And then there might be a year or two break to take a mission followed by marriage before graduating possibly. The summer classes are a good idea. It can sometimes take extra time to finish based on when you can get into a particular class needed to graduate. And given there might be interruption for mission getting some credits in summer or at least getting used to college classes is a really good idea. UVU is very close in location to BYU. So basically summer before college take some classes at a school you don’t need to be admitted to, like the visiting student program or a community college where you don’t need to really apply to in order to take classes. First year of college take classes. Second year of college continue classes and wait for mission call. Middle of second year of college leave for 18 months to serve a mission. Return at age 20 and wait for the next semester to start up classes again. Take another year of classes and get married. First year of marriage finish up school and work and maybe have a baby. Wait another year for your husband to finish as he had 24 of a mission instead of 18 months. Maybe longer if her husband does graduate school or in younger. Maybe she will too? The economies and schools of Utah and Idaho are well set up for students marrying and having kids while in school. Taking a summer term or getting credit while in high school can be a big help to the timeline. Especially when you don’t know what the degree you want or change your major. Missions can throw off the rhythm. Some classes you can take the first semester of Spanish only in fall. You go on a mission and get back in the fall. You need the spring session to finish up that year of Spanish before you can take Spanish 2. So it’s not just the months gone on mission it also the timing. All universities have made it easier to take classes for single students, working students, remote students.. so that might not be the problem is would have been years ago. BYU is very affordable for members of their church, they get a special rate as the church school is supported by tithing they pay.

    2. Good question. BYU summer school is just a good chance to have a dorm experience (UVU doesn’t have dorms), and get some GE classes under your belt (easily transferable to UVU). Claire decided to do this before she realized she’d be playing volleyball for UVU. This balance has been a little tricky but I think she’s doing a pretty great job so far!

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