It'll be a long time before Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have an empty nest, but that doesn't mean it's easy for them to see their older kids fly the coop. With daughter Jill recently married and pregnant with her first child, and daughter Jessa engaged to Ben Seewald, the 19 Kids and Counting patriarch and matriarch are going through a period of major transition.
"Now that it's actually happening, there are all of these wonderful mixed emotions," Michelle wrote on her blog of watching her girls grow up and start families of their own. "You get the joy of watching a loving relationship unfold. Jill and Derick, and Jessa and Ben, are becoming best friends and really getting to know each other in such a sweet way. When the right one comes along, it's so exciting, shocking, and surprising all at the same time."
Michelle couldn't be happier to see her kids in love, but there's an element of sadness, too. "It's good, not bad, yet change is sometimes hard," she admitted. Her daughter Jordyn, 5, is having a particularly hard time with all the new developments, and burst into tears one day when Jessa left with her fiance's family. "She was worried that Jessa was leaving for good," Michelle wrote. "I had to comfort her and reassure her that Jessa wasn't married yet, just going for a visit."
Michelle also explained to Jordyn that Jessa and Ben's marriage will mean "even more great adventures" for the family. "Not only will Jessa get married, but we get Ben and the fun of spending time with them together," she blogged. "We'll be adding that much more love and that much more fun to our family."
Still, it's an emotional experience. "When [Jim Bob] talks about the girls getting married, he gets a little teary-eyed," Michelle shared. "It's a big deal for a dad to let go of his girls. He's handing them over, but he's handing them over to some really great guys...It's a joyful time."