Big news at our house! Over Thanksgiving weekend my daughter Lauren got engaged! We had a bit of an inkling in advance and they've been kind of pre-engaged for a little while. (Is "kind of pre-engaged" even possible? Or are you either engaged or not? This question has been a topic of conversation around here for a little while. Please advise.)  Early last week Patrick skyped with us to ask for our blessing and let us know it was happening soon, which was much appreciated--maybe even more than is usually the case in these situations, since we feel so very far away at times like this and we were happy to feel a part of it.  We had a good heart-to-heart and feel delighted to welcome Patrick into the family.

Side note: When we moved to Australia I joked with G that maybe we'd have a little Australian surprise addition to the family while we were here. Turns out he came fully grown, ha! And not Australian. Much easier to grow a family this way.

In case you're curious (and I always am about these things): They've known each other for four+ years--they met their freshman year at university when their apartments were assigned to the same FHE group. They were good friends and never dated but spent a lot of time together--I remember that Lauren thought he was terrific. They kept in touch on and off over the years and then when Lauren moved back to school after her mission in April, they ended up living right across the street from each other and the friendship picked up again. By the time we came to the states in July they had grown close and Lauren invited him to our family reunions on both sides--so he's had the chance to see what he's getting into, mwahaha. The engagement took place in Logan after several days of Thanksgivinging with G's side of the family. It was just the two of them on the grounds of the temple, lovely words, a ring, and a few tears, she said. Hooray for the kind souls who snapped a picture afterwards:

So bring on the wonderful world of wedding planning! From afar! (Insert emoji that combines joy and anxiety and anticipation and homesickness. With a dash of inherent but contained parental-control-freakery and hopefully twice as much go-with-the-flowness.) 

Although this is definitely not all about me (or even a little), it does feel surreal to be at this stage. I'm a mother of the bride! It's a stamp in my grown-up passport, for sure, to return to this land of weddings as a mother when I was last here as a bride over 25 years ago. Do I need to pass a certification of some kind? Have a badge? 

 The wedding will be fun to plan and I am eager to get any and all hints and recommendations for planning a lovely, hyggelig celebration--I'll pass along as much as I can here, too. Ultimately, though, it's about that marriage relationship and their future. It's about my daughter being happier than I've seen her. And it's about adding Patrick to our family with open arms, expanding even as we are shrinking, gaining even as we lose. I love what my good friend told her son as he was dating and getting close to getting engaged: "all I ask is that you choose someone who will let me love her." I can definitely get behind that sentiment: more people to love.