Oh boy, we have so many moving pieces going on in this family of ours! Let’s take a minute for a little update on this “transition mode” we are in the midst of right now.

As a young mother I fell in love with this quote:

Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

Elizabeth Stone

I loved it because it explained the new young-mother-heart I was feeling so deeply. My heart was outside of my body, tucked inside of each of my children. I could feel, quite tangibly when it was pierced with their pain. It jumped with their jubilation. My heart was divided and fit carefully into each of theirs.

But now I feel that quote on a whole new level.

My heart isn’t just walking around outside of my body in my immediate vicinity. It’s not close to me making messes, learning self-control, making new friends and learning to love unconditionally. It is spread out all over the place, stretching and learning and growing in ways I can’t even describe.

It is a strange thing for a mother when your children grow up. Their lives have become their own, yet your heart is still walking around inside them.

All our Kids are in Transition

Right now everyone in our family has some big, hefty changes going on.

Let’s do a little update on where everyone is, carrying around my heart with them.

Max & Abby are waiting for Peanut’s grand arrival.

What Abby’s up to:

Today is Abby’s due date. She had lots of things going on last week that we thought for sure meant this baby was on her way quickly into the world. But then things stopped, and we are just wait, wait, waiting for any news (can’t wait for the update after the 40-week appointment today!).

Abby has been a champ through this whole pregnancy I have to say. That little basketball she’s carrying around hasn’t stopped her one bit. And I LOVE that every time we’re together she’s quick to grab my hand and let me feel little Peanut moving around in there like nobody’s business. She is also so good at checking in and letting me know the updates and I honestly cannot even tell you what that means to me. I am so grateful.

Abby has been going through all kinds of transitions getting ready to be a mother. She made the difficult decision to let go of her job for now. She has loved it, but it’s a lot of work, and she really wants to focus on this baby.

The fun thing is that my niece is taking over for her at her job, so she’s been busy training her and I think they’ve had a lot of fun working together for a couple weeks to make a smooth transition.

What Max is up to:

Max is pretty over-the-moon excited to be a dad. I know it does NOT look like it in this pic. HA!

Max hanging a picture painted by Abby over the baby bassinet.
Abby painted that painting to hang above the baby’s basinet, isn’t it so beautiful??

Maybe this one shows his excitement a little more:

Max and Abby at their baby shower

Whenever we talk about the baby it is so fun to see his eyes light up. He may have always been my most IWAN kid…or maybe Claire is a pretty tough competition. This makes me even more excited to see him as a Dad.

Max has been working hard at his job, and in any free time he is coding like crazy. He is so into music and has made a website called “What’s Turning” that explores a new music album every day. His purpose is to expose people to more music, including what he feels are some hidden gems.

I’m sure he’d love any feedback if anyone wants to make an account and check it out!

Elle & Carson just moved right across the country.

These two have been working their hearts out getting ready for their externship adventure.

It’s so much more than an adventure of being in six new places for six months. I mean, that is quite an adventure on it’s own, right? But it was also quite an adventure selling all their stuff, figuring out what to do with their car, their apartment, finding places to live, transportation and flights, what they would need to bring, what they would try to store.

Because they will be back in Florida in six months to finish Carson’s last year of podiatry school. They really tried to figure out how to sub-let their apartment so they could go back to the same place, but that wasn’t in the cards. So they sold everything and packed up.

Does that make anyone else sad?

Kinda marks the end of an era for them. And we all loved that apartment…it was so fun for me to help them move in three years ago. How fast time flies!

Elle will continue to do her freelance graphic design. She works for three different companies and can work remotely anywhere they are so that is such a huge blessing!

As anyone who has moved before knows, that dealio is a Herculean effort! I SO wanted to be there with them to help out, but there were a few things going on here too (I forgot to add this moving thing to the list of “why I’m a basket-case right now.”) But it was a big piece of my heart too!

Luckily, if any duo can do something like that, these two can! And they did it with flying colors!

Elle and Carson driving as they transition to living in Los Angeles.

They are, as we speak, settling into their new place in L.A., ready for a brand new adventure to begin! Thank you THANK YOU, dear blog reader who is letting them stay at their guest house. What a huge blessing that is to them! We LOVE you!

Grace just finished another semester and is looking to start an internship.

This girl has worked her tail off with school, figuring out her major, and working at work too. Oh, and she’s mixed a few social things in there too!

She has had such a great situation with roommates (two from her mission), and also is in love with the fact that she gets to live close to so many cousins. Did I mention that there are 38 cousins up in Utah?? Yes, it’s true. These two who are her age are pretty dear friends and that makes a mama so happy.

She is in serious transition right now as she’s trying to narrow down her major (she’s pretty sure Public Health) as well as what she wants to do for her summer internship alongside her work.

She has a few different options that are hopefully kicking in, but please send advice or tips if anyone has any grand ideas about internships to dive more in depth learning about Public Health.

Grace is also pretty happy to be sharing work right now with Claire. Love to see these two together so much up there in Provo.

Grace and Claire working together at Bowls restaurant.

Claire is getting ready to head off on study abroad in London this summer.

Claire called a few mornings ago in tears since she just had to say goodbye to her group of dearest friends. These friends have been such an incredible blessing to her, and gosh, it’s hard to say goodbye!

The majority of them have gone home to prepare for their next big step: missions!

Claire and one of them are heading on Study Abroad to London in June so she’ll get to see her again soon. And why are we crying? I mean, she’s heading to California to see a bunch of them next week for crying out loud! But it is true they are really getting ready to head all over the whole wide world. Heading to places like El Salvador, the Adriatic North, Vancouver, Spain, England, Florida, Philippines, and Brazil to serve as missionaries. There are some who are staying as well, but everyone will be stretched out and things just won’t be the same.

Not only is it hard to say goodbye to friends, it’s hard to bid goodbye to a pretty awesome Freshman year at college. I joined her in the tears on the phone the other morning when she called. Tears of gratitude that this year has come together in such beautiful ways, from friends to a season of college volleyball, boy oh boy, she has learned a lot! She has (along with Grace) worked her tail off with school and work…and again, fit in lots of good social stuff too.

She has been taking an extra class in preparation for London, and she’s feeling so excited for that adventure that awaits.

Lucy is getting ready for her big summer camp.

I haven’t written about this yet, and it deserves a post of it’s own. But for now I’ll just say that Lucy got accepted to a pretty incredible summer camp through the Foundation for Blind Children. It has been a journey to get here, to this spot, but she is pretty cautiously optimistic and even excited about this prospect.

She is working so hard to try to get a little more independent before she goes to stay in those dorms. On Saturday we went and met up with a bunch of other kids from the Foundation for Blind Children to go kayaking.

She did NOT want to go, of course, because this is uncomfortable stuff. But she came out glowing and proud. Another skill to add to her abilities.

She is working hard to learn how to braid, we’re trying to figure out her shot, we’re trying to infuse her with all kinds of confidence and skills so that she can feel confident at the camp.

Lucy is feeling a sigh of relief that one of Elle’s best friends, the famous McKenna Breinholt, is willing to come piggy-back on what Saydi taught her last week. She’s teaching her to play the piano by ear.

Dave and I are in our own transitions.

I explained how we had some big transitions in our church callings last week.

I gathered with my presidency to finish putting together our birthday bracelets to drop off to all the women we didn’t get to give them to yet.

Relief Society presidency packaging gifts at the table.

As we had a little dinner together and worked together for probably the last time, I felt so filled up with gratitude for each of them. That they were the best supporters and ministers with the best ideas to gather. To love. And to keep us all organized. I feel so lucky that church links you up in such a way that you can get to know and love people deeper.

Relief Society presidency's last meeting together before the transition.

Love these women forever!

Dave is already deep in the trenches of helping this new ward get situated. It was fun to get to know the bishopric and their wives a little over dessert over the weekend:

New Bishopric members and their wives gathering for the first time.

That’s going to be a pretty great group!

Reunion of the Kids in Utah

This weekend, as Elle and Carson had a stop-over in Utah en route to L.A., Elle sent this pic in our group family text as they started to gather all together:

kids reuniting together after being apart

And then this one too when they went to meet up with Grace.

Kids eating acai bowls together

My heart swelled right up thinking about all those pieces of my heart walking around outside of me.

Not only doing good things and learning and growing in so many different ways, but building each other up in the process.

And that sure feels good for a mother’s heart.

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  1. I love your adult children updates since my two are very similar in age. My youngest is heading off soon for a summer internship in Rome (the end of this month!!) and just had her apartment rental CANCELLED so she (with my help because it’s very stressful!) is scrambling to find a place to stay. Any tips from readers would be a big help!

    1. Has she asked the people at her internship for help? Maybe they know a place where she can stay, or they can get her in contact with other interns, maybe she can take over the place of another intern? You could also ask the tourist information. They may have connections to people who have rooms or apartments to rent. Hope that helps!

      1. Hi! She did ask then and they replied…”it’s challenging”
        I think she’s found a place now after much searching but thanks for your help!!

  2. My husband is an epidemiologist, and the director of the public health program at Utah State. He has worked at the CDC in Atlanta and in Ft. Collins. He also has great contacts in the public health program at BYU. If your daughter is looking for any advice and direction, she could contact him. He’s great at counseling students 😊. Let me know if you want his contact information, and I can private message you.

    1. I would love his contact information as well! I am currently in my Junior year earning a degree in Public Health through BYUI. I’m looking for some options for a capstone project in the next year or so.

    2. I would love his contact info! I am currently working towards my degree in public health through BYUI. I will need to complete a capstone project in the next year or so.

    3. Thank you SO very much for reaching out about that Korryn! Grace figured out her internship for this summer, but would definitely love to talk to him and glean any advice she can! I will reach out through email for more details. Thank you, thank you!

  3. so many transitions! Would love to hear from Elle and her husband about the externship process and what she’ll be up to while he’s working/learning. Your kids seem to do a really spectacular job of balancing work and school, as well as handling life changes. If they’re ever able to share how they navigate that, I think many blog readers would be eagerly taking notes!

    1. Oh I need to add that to this post! Elle will continue to do her freelance graphic design. She works for three different companies and can work remotely anywhere they are so that is such a huge blessing!

  4. Is Grace interested in global public health (vs. US-focused)? If so, Partners in Health is a great organization, based in Boston and founded by the late Paul Farmer – I’d encourage her to look for internships there!

    1. Hi Anna! She’s still trying to figure that out, she’ll have to look into Partners in Health. Thank you for the tip!!

  5. Oh wow, thank you so much for sharing these beautiful updates! It is so cool to read about all of this. I can only begin to imagine how exciting it is to anticipate Peanut’s arrival!!! Also, did Max graduate from UVU? I feel like I must have missed that! So many wishes for all the adventures that lie ahead!

  6. And Claire has been watching my babies!! And Max & Abby taking a childbirth class with me 🥰🥰 Love having your kids in Provo! (Were there 4 tiny cousins included in the cousin count??)

    1. Yes she sure has, and she loves it so much. The 34 is just the big cousins, we better add the little ones to the count too! Love you!!

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