I have dreaded writing this post. But tonight I got up the courage to open my emotions about us parting from Alexandra. I knew two weeks into living with her that it will be a hard separation for all of us. We just fit. I’ve seen her heart. On good and bad days of life I’ve seen her composure her kindness, and strength. On the tough days she continues to love, smile, and hug my children. We have both seen some pretty personal sides of each other and she is comfortable with being who she. She is comfortable being right or admitting wrong. She has a handful of standout qualities that mark her and I’d like to share them with you.


First, She is naturally optimistic. She can be tired and hungry and still manage to be bright.


She has a strong work ethic. She puts herself into what she does. Planning school or talking a four year old out of a tantrum, she takes it all seriously.


She can laugh at herself. I love this about her the most! She can laugh at herself when she falls face first over two rolling suitcase and she can laugh at me when I relate to cannibalism (inside joke – I don’t eat people nor will I ever).


She is capable. Capable of stepping in and helping out when needed. From subways, cities, and airport security with our big crew she is capable of navigating foreign places all on her own. She is capable of speaking up when it needs to be done and knowing when it’s best to stay quiet.


She has a great family. I think the world of her mom, dad, and brother. But I want her to know that she has a firm second family with us.

I would drop anything to help you. I’d fly, hike, and train it where ever you need me to be. As you grow and experience the different ups and downs of life I will gladly be there in whatever capacity that you need me.

Everyday you where with us you ended each night saying the same 4 words to me. I’ll never forget your first night with us in Budapest when you said it for the first time as you went to bed. It gave me pause. I felt your appreciation and I couldn’t understand your gratitude towards a day that seemed pretty unremarkable. But days, weeks, and months later you continued to say it every single night before bed and it slowly created an appreciation in me for our aliveness. You acknowledged each day with a positivity that I soon learned each day deserved.


So, Alexandra I want to say back, Thank YOU for today.


But I also want to thank you for loving my children the way you do. For crying over them and smiling over them with me. I feel you are the only other person outside Derek and I that know our kids. KNOW their moods, how they think, and has seen the kind of people that is inside their little bodies. Thank you for trusting us enough to leave 2 days before starting University to go on a year trip with virtual strangers.  Thank you for the long days, the happy days, and the sick days.  And thank you for all of the future days ahead of us.


Love you.




Five Take Flight Faves

  • Sandie Tillotson
    Posted at 01:03h, 22 June Reply

    Amen! Beautifully written M’Kenzie!

    Filled with gratitude for your willingness to give it your all Alexandra !
    Looking forward to our next “family” adventure !

  • Joanne Clark
    Posted at 01:04h, 22 June Reply

    Awww… This is so sweet and heartfelt. I’ve enjoyed watching your beautiful family explore different parts of the world with Alexandra…I’ve often thought that not only is she incredibly lucky to have been chosen to join you on your adventure ( and the way that it came about ) but you are so very lucky to have found her to love your children the way that she so obviously does… I’m sure that you’ll be forever friends 💕

  • Laurie Szentirmai
    Posted at 02:14h, 22 June Reply

    Beautiful. So glad to hear Alexandra is a part of your family.

  • Donna Williams
    Posted at 02:53h, 22 June Reply

    Wow! As a live in nanny for 15 years and again when my children had grown I was in tears as I read this. I having bonded with families in the past knew from the beginning how tough this would be for all of you, but to see your love and admiration for Alexandra that I know she shares as well….you have been as much of a blessing to here as you feel she has been to you. And something tells me your journey together Is not complete! As I watch some of the closest family bonds I share now begin their own families, so of these littles I get to see….let me say that your love and appreciation of her is rare to see expressed.

    I have followed your journey and experiences from the beginning. The experiences you have shared as a family ….a gift. I look forward to seeing more adventures soon.

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