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Sep 13, 4:33 PM EDT

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Michelle Obama thinks her daughters will have a "tough time" leaving the White House because they grew up there.

The first lady says her family will miss the staff the most because they helped raise 18-year-old Malia and 15-year-old Sasha. She adds that the staff has "loved us" and "taken care of us" but says "the minute we leave, that's it."

The first lady commented during an appearance Tuesday as co-host of the "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

Mrs. Obama says her girls think they're ready, but that it's hard leaving the place where you grew up. She says she and President Barack Obama are encouraging their daughters to "step back" and appreciate such moments as walking on the South Lawn or taking in the view from the Truman Balcony.

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