a cookout

Cookouts in the canyon are so simple and fun that it’s a shame we ever eat at home. This time we were joined by the Nielsons– a family we love so much that we secretly(or not-so-secretly) hope one of our children marry into it one day.

If none of my boys manage to woo their gorgeous girls…

then maybe Mary can captivate one of the darling boys.

“Claudia and Brett turn around! I need your picture.”

I think you have to be happily married nearly 18 years to strike a pose this effortlessly.

Don’t hate Claudia because she’s beautiful, intelligent, a fabulous wife and the mother of six incredible kids. She came from the Mexican barrios and works tirelessly to give her kids a better life. I’ll tell you the story one day— but it may have to be a book. 😉

In the canyon, eating is secondary. It’s all about sticks and fire.

I love the smoke in these pictures.

Gabe’s “s’mores rock!” happy dance.

The girls are card sharks; my boys don’t seem to mind…..

The beautiful Miss K.
Gabe has had it. Time to go.

Ah… summer in Utah; it’s a beautiful thing.

June 28, 2008



  1. Annie

    June 26, 2008

    Oh! this gives me such a pang of longing for those beautiful Utah canyons. What beautiful photos (+subjects!). I love that last one, the walk back through the trees.

    Sometimes when I can’t sleep I mentally walk up the road that winds past my grandparents’ cabin in Provo Canyon. Heaven.

  2. Andrea

    June 26, 2008

    Those kids are gorgeous. I just can’t get over your pictures…you are so talented, it amazes me.

  3. Tiffany Turley

    June 26, 2008

    Michelle — your family is so cute! I have always admired how amazing you are for raising all those boys! And little Mary is so sweet — I am sure when she’s older that she’ll be able to “captivate” any boy she’d like! Glad all is well with your family! 🙂

  4. Shannon&Eli

    June 26, 2008

    i miss those canyons being so close sooo much!!!

  5. Ken

    June 26, 2008

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos and interesting captions!
    This brings back wonderful memories.

  6. Jan Russell

    June 27, 2008

    I can’t help it. I hate you both.

    Oh my beautiful people! Arranged marriages for everyone – can you even imagine what THEIR kids would look like?

  7. Blue

    June 27, 2008

    What boggles my mind is how both of you amazing women have managed to produce 6 kids each, who are all multi-talented and accomplished in their own rights, and yet you still retained and developed your own identities, personalities, talents, passions and outside interests. It’s really inspiring.

    Just wanted to say hello from Puerto Rico. We’ll be home the night of the 1st. Hope to see you soon!
    ♥ J

  8. Kim

    June 27, 2008

    What fab pictures! That family is beyond gorgeous (as is yours of course). I want to come to your next cook out! My girls are card sharks too!

  9. StubbyDog

    June 27, 2008

    Hello beautiful children. Who looks that good on a cookout? Think Jack is too young to snag one of those gorgeous girls? LOL He *is* cute. But distinctly un-Mormon. Hmmm.

  10. Claudia

    June 27, 2008

    Michelle, you rock girl! These pictures are awesome. They capture so beautifully all the little details of our cookout. The girls playing cards with your boys cracks me up. Don’t you just love the look on Hansies face and the mystery person he’s looking at. Little glimpse of color off the fruit bowl, the trees hanging over as we headed back down. Love it all. We’ll have to plan our next adventure soon! Love to YOU xoxo

  11. Mama

    June 28, 2008

    What I learn from Michelle’s blog: Mormons are impossibly beautiful, do lots of cool stuff, and somehow have gaggles of gorgeous, well-behaved children and yet still remain well-dressed and slender. All the while, I am letting my children play the Wii for hours while I eat Nutella out of a jar in my fat clothes and wonder if I can ever survive three kids, the thought of six blowing my mind to tiny, shaking shreds. You guys are AMAZING! Beautiful pictures, Michelle.

  12. Carrie Kay

    July 1, 2008

    Fun to see my bro and his wonderful wife Claudia and terrific kids in your blog. You are so lucky to be able to see them all the time. You must a wonderful lady with a wonderful family too.

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