Monday, July 01, 2013


Jay and Tyler Howells (who also spoke in church w/ Jay).
Tyler was Jay's leader at church, as well as his employer. He is one amazing mentor. Jay has been so fortunate to have his support and guidance over the years.

Yesterday was Jay's missionary farewell at church (and pie party afterwards--thanks to the Stephenson fam!)--and it was such a happy day.

Jay did a great job speaking at church and had a ton of support from ward/congregation family and friends. 

It was humbling and overwhelming to think of all the people who help and love our family on a daily basis. We are so blessed. 

And we felt that blessing yesterday. (It reminded me of an old-fashioned barn-raising: all of the love and support that people lend on special days. It's just an awesome feeling, and I pray we remember to lend that support/love to others on their special days. It means so much.)

Jay, we love you. It's hard to imagine that this day is finally here. We are going to miss your guts. BUT, we are so happy for you--for this opportunity to serve other people full-time. It's going to be life-changing. You are an awesome young man and we can hardly wait for you to make this journey. It's SO AWESOME to be your parents and see you GROW and STRETCH.

We love you. To the moon and back.

Heather and Brian, with Jay.

Jay's mission prep teacher, Seth.

Jay's dear friends, Roma and Courtney.

Bam and her friend Cam. (Ha, it rhymes.)

Papaya, Zu, and Jr.

My BFF Christine's kiddos (who came from out-of-state).

Amy and her sweet daughter.

Jr and his BFF, Janae's nephew.

My BFFs Janae and Shannon.

Jr. (who gets his braces off on July 17).

Jay and his cross-fit buddy, Ryan.

Bam and friends.

The Langs with Jay.

Jr. and Christine's son.

Christine, Me, Dave-man, and Jay.

It was a beautiful day. Thanks to the Stephensons and Petersons for hosting.

Papaya and her BFF.

Jay and Me--eating a lot of pie.

Christine's kiddos with Lu.

Dave and his BFF, Jeff--who has a son leaving for his mission in August!


PS: Thanks to everyone for the bday wishes (and gifts). I had a super day. It was the best birthday in a long long time. So fun. I got lots of presents (earrings, bracelets, sandals, cute clothes), we had a pinata (thanks Janae, Kristen, Whitt, Liz, and Shannon), and ate WAY too much food (Chinese!).

Papaya and my bday pinata.
(Filled with tons of candy, "Jesus clappers"--see below, and thong underwear. Oh my!)

Bday card/popsicle (looked so real).

Liz, Janae, and Me--pre-pinata smack-down.