There he goes …

I’m processing.


  1. Mary Beth says:

    Best wishes to the whole Julian family! Good luck to Clark! Know that you, Stacy, have sent your young man off with the best possible grounding….so he’ll be free to FLY!!

  2. great photo – hugs – remember you raised him to be strong and capable out in the big word

  3. Wonderful.

  4. Delilas says:

    This is the best 2 years for his life. All those emotions just came back, remembering watching 2 of my sons leave for those 2 years. The first year will go by slowly but the next year will be fast until the last 2 months. They come back men!
    You are allowed to be a mess!

  5. dianelynn says:

    Mom to mom, my thoughts and prayers are with you. {{hugs}}

  6. Nancy B says:

    oh, how bittersweet! He looks so purposeful. Big HUGS! It will go amazingly fast.

  7. That photo makes me think of this quote:

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

    He walks away with a piece of your heart but oh, he will make you so proud!

  8. Boy do I remember this day. A great day. A happy day.

  9. He’s going to be GREAT!!!

  10. That makes my heart hurt. I’ve watched my oldest daughter get married and my son go off to college within 6 weeks of each other last year. That was tough. But raising independent, loving, good kids is worth it.

  11. Holy Cow! I didn’t realize he was leaving so soon. He will be an amazing missionary! Go to DQ for a frozen hot chocolate and shed a few tears (maybe on a regular basis), but live knowing he’s where he’s supposed to be.

  12. SherriS. says:

    You are processing ~ that says it all to me.

    I can relate to that statement since my son just joined the Army and I am proud of him wanting to serve his country. My heart is breaking because he will be taking my grandson somewhere else in this big world. Those that have replied to you are also speaking to my heart.

    God bless Clark and you and your family during this journey!

  13. Molly McCarthy says:

    Hugs. BIG hugs. xoxox

  14. Francisca, from the Netherlands says:

    When I saw the photo my first thought was: ‘Wow…., that is one handsome missionary’. :)
    I’ve learned that from difficult moments in life good things can happen. It might just take a while to see it that way.


  15. Meredith says:

    There goes a happy and excited young man. Big changes for you. Congratulations and speedy processing! I am happy/sad for you.

  16. Some scrappy therapy in your studio might be just the thing ??!! These changes are sooo hard. My thoughts are sure with you today.

  17. Wow, this made me cry.
    I teach the youngest kids in my preschool (2 year olds), and we start the school year very slowly, talking to the parents A LOT about separation. For most families, their child, their baby has been in the constant care of a parent or caregiver, and preschool is often the first time the kids have experiences outside of their immediate family. It’s exciting and scary and bittersweet. My former director used to say to the parents, “but in a way, this is why we raise them, so they can go off and make their own way, and be productive members of society.” You’re on the other end of that process of separation, but all your work and love helped to make him be able to do this.
    But it still hurts.

  18. Hold fast – it does get easier. Go make a LO in your happiest colour.

  19. You can see him smiling – I love it! When my brother left on his mission he was so happy and excited that all I could do was laugh and be excited for him. He had a great mission because of his great attitude. It goes by so fast… once it’s over. :) Best wishes!

  20. Eileen VanDyke says:

    He looks very excited! This must be so hard for you!! Hang in there, he’ll do great!!!

  21. Christine says:

    Hang in there Stacy with your “new normal” We raise them up and then off into the world they go. It will never be easy. My daughter left on a two year mission with the Peace Corps. I know its not quite the same as a church mission but I have a pretty good idea about how you are feeling. You and I will have something to celebrate in two years.

  22. Kathryn Benfiet says:

    Celebrate the young man you are sending away and know that when you see him again in two years, that he will be changed in so many ways…becoming who God meant him to be. Our daughter is a Marine and will be home for a few weeks in July before deploying to Afghanistan. She’s been “gone” from our home for more than a year. There are days when I miss her so much my heart feels like it will break. We have limited phone and texting time due to her training schedule and once she deploys it will be sporadic at best. We’ve both been blessed with strong children with a heart for serving…cry, have a favorite snack, take a walk, pray and know that you are not alone.

  23. Good Luck, Clark. What an incredible journey you are about to take!!!! (It’s actually MOM who’s in for the bumpy ride!!! GET THE KLEENEX SOMEONE!!!)

  24. Maureen says:

    oh my, who stole your little boy and replaced him with a man?

  25. Kary in Colorado says:

    He looks so excited! And I know how you feel! It is so hard, and yet so WONDERFUL. You will be amazed at how he grows and matures and the things he learns (and you all learn). It is a wonderful time, but the first bit of it is SO hard. Write him lots of letters–he will never appreciate a word from home as much in his life as he will the first week or two in the MTC. He will be a great missionary–you have prepared him well. ((Hugs!!))

  26. I know how you feel. The first six months are slow and then it speeds up. Thinking of all of you!

  27. Whew. You can do it. Just think of the amazing things he’ll see! And call Wendy : )

  28. We are currently in month 14, and it has been an amazing ride. The night after I dropped him off at the MTC I read the story of Hannah in Samuel chapter 1. The last verse gave me strength: “Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord.” If Hannah could lend her son for his whole life, I could certainly do it for 2 years. The blessings have not stopped flowing and overflowing.

    Hugs to you, Stacy

  29. Karen Freeman says:

    Wow Thanks so much for letting us know…go process… take your time… he looks so happy and has an amazing boucne in his step. Remember how your parents felt when you left them, and how you felt when you left them… Big hugs…He is a super young man as you all know… he has a super family and a super super Mom! Thinking of you all. Karen (Mudgie)

  30. You can do it. You can. And so will he. As you well remember, it’s always tougher on the ones left behind.

  31. Hugs, mama. And prayers. And Kleenex. And more prayers.

  32. Aww….this brought tears to my eyes. Beginning of a new journey. Good luck to Clark! Good job Mom!

  33. AnnnieB says:

    What a wonderful blessing in so many ways.

  34. Anne-Liesse says:

    Wow. I think I’d have to process that one, too.

  35. Rebecca says:

    One of the moments you’ve been preparing him for his whole life… but how do we prepare ourselves to let go? Hugs and prayers to all of you!

  36. Liz Brown says:

    He’ll be great! You can just tell by the smile on his face! Plus, you have a great family and have raised him well! Big hugs to you! I’m sure it will be hard, but I’m also sure you’ll probably see him once or twice, right?

  37. Alma 56:47

    “…yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.”

    What an exciting adventure for your son…and the whole family!

  38. Excitement and fear, all wrapped up in one young man! Thinking of you, and know ing he will do well, and you will adjust. Best wishes!

  39. Tirzah Shirley says:

    the best two years…

  40. Lynn Moll says:

    Stacy- I well remember the day I left my daughter at college, knowing she would never “really” return home. It’s not the same as a two year separation, but every mother out here in the world can identify with the mixture of hurt and pride in your heart right now. It is so easy to see what an incredible young man you have raised….this is what you’ve been preparing him for since the day he was born; and you have done an outstanding job. So now, let your heart process, find the joy in this new chapter in motherhood (the most heartbreaking/joy producing job in the world), feel pride in the fact that you mastered the most important thing you will ever do…you raised an exemplary young person who will go out and change the world for the better for many, many people….just like his mom has. Those of us who have grown to love you have no doubt that your children will follow in your footsteps, and be a positive life force for many, many hearts and souls. Have some chocolate, do all the things that bring you joy, and give thanks for the wonder of your first born son, and the privelege of sharing him with the world. Heartfelt love to you, Stacy…we are all here, collectively sending warm hugs, tons of love, and buckets of sprinkles! Lynn in Florida

    • Wow. That is beautiful. I may just print your comment and save it — I’m so blessed by those who read my blog — seriously, thank YOU!

    • Lynn, you are so right! It’s hard to let them go but it’s amazing to watch them become ‘adults’. Hugs Stacy.

  41. Stacy I remember the day I guessed where your son would be going. My first impulse was to put down Salt Lake City and then thought, cruel joke. Who would want to serve their mission here? (I live in Murray). My son gets home in September. No doubt it is hard. You will miss him more than you can know. But what a joy and a great great time as well. I feel your pain sister. I will keep my eye out for him. Love to you and your family.

  42. Barb in AK says:

    I hope the 2 years will fly by for you.

  43. I hope you’re processing all the things you have done so well to have raised your son to be going off so eagerly and confidently for those 2 years. So much captured in a quick photo. While you might not be eager for those 2 years, I’m confident that you and the rest of your family will adjust and grow as much as he does through those 2 years. Thanks for sharing.

  44. I’m thinking of you! It must be hard letting your boy go for 2 whole years. But I’m sure it will go by faster than you think!!

  45. so exciting for him! so heartbreaking for you…this mama job thing is super hard…but you’ve done a fabulous job! sending prayers your way…hugs, V

  46. He will be great! It will be a long 2 years for you but it will be his best 2 years, right? (I’m speaking as a sister not a mother of a missionary, though, BUT I cried more than my mother did so, well, I still get it!) Hugs and prayers to you and your family!

  47. Karen Schmidt says:

    Hang in there Stacy! We love you, your prayers are with you.. We will be here when your ready.

  48. Janelle says:

    My son, Sean, was one of Clark’s friends at BYU (He said he’s met you before). Unfortunately we never got to meet Clark. Well, Sean being one week longer at the MTC than Clark, finally wrote to us today and said he saw Clark at dinner and it was fun catching up! As hard as it is to see them go, it’s very exciting to have a missionary! Sean is our 4th and final child to serve a mission (whew) and our missionary before him arrived home May 15, they had a farewell/homecoming meeting, and then Sean went in on May 30! So fun!

    The funniest part of these two friends (Clark and Sean) is that I’d heard about Clark but I didn’t know much about him. I had been watching your Photo Freedom shows on My Craft Channel and one day I put two and two together and figured out Sean’s friend Clark was your son Clark! I thought that was fun!

    Good luck to all of you! It’s going to be a great two years The blessings are wonderful!

    • No way! What a FUN connection. Do you have a blog, or can you send me FB link or something, so I can see Sean? I’ll have to ask Clark about seeing him at dinner — thanks for posting!

  49. Ann Snider says:

    Stacy, My oldest will be home in 235 days…but who is counting?!!!! It goes by very, very quickly! I promise. Because my husband was in graduate school, working on his PhD and serving as a counselor in a Stake Presidency when our oldest was born, he and I became very close. I missed him when I sent off to BYU and miss him as he is away on his mission! I ask myself everday: Would you want him anywhere else? I always answer, “NO!” Our son was called to Mexico-Tijuana mission. We thought he was joking because I grew up in San Diego. Let me tell you, this mission has been the perfect fit for him! Mondays have become my favorite day of the week–e-mail day!

    I love that the missionaries in the TJ mission have a US address. We have been able to send all those fun packages and do the fun things that you read and see others doing! It has been such a blessing!

  50. I don’t normally comment, but had to add my thoughts to everyone else’s. It is a bittersweet moment (that DOES take processing). I have sent two sons off, experienced the processing moments, watched them grow, and had the joy of seeing them return with honor. It is an amazing experience and the blessings that come are such tender mercies. Clark will be blessed and so will your family (not to mention those that he serves). It’s true that it will go fast, but there will be days when it seems two years is FOREVER – especially the last 2 weeks :) – but I can say from experience that next two years will be like one giant sprinkle!

  51. I don’t know if this helps, but how happy I should have been to send y of my two grown sons on a mission… None of them chose to go and that is so sad. Be happy that he wants to do this, you are so lucky.


  1. […] better versions of themselves. You can read more about Clark (and Chase) serving missions here, here and here. It’s actually interesting because the award-winning musical, The Book of Mormon is […]

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