all my lambs gathered home

 photo EI3C9421copy_zps1db9bd33.jpg
It was Ben’s idea,
 photo EI3C9464copy-1_zps6066efaf.jpg
to hang our Easter lights in the front yard rather than the back,

 photo EI3C9476copy_zps62605480.jpg
to greet my sister’s family as they drove in from San Diego Saturday night.

 photo EI3C9489copy_zps33b6b8b6.jpg
And so, we began our holiday at sunset, speaking of the light and hope of Christ entering the world on Easter morning.

 photo EI3C9509copy_zpsbe0460f3.jpg
The moment when they stepped from the car and my children rushed forward might have been a good photo, but my arms were busy hugging people big and small.
 photo EI3C9526copy_zps08e38370.jpg
Welcome beautiful ones.

 photo EI3C9541copy_zps8964f92d.jpg
I’d known for several days Easter morning would require careful planning. We needed to feed our two families, get ready for church at 11 a.m., hold an Easter egg hunt and prepare food for friends stopping by after Ben’s talk about his mission in church. And most importantly (for me)– accomplish all this without impatience or snapping at anyone.

 photo EI3C9682copy_zps42919a30.jpg

Someone did scold Mary for walking across the counter, but at least it wasn’t me. And isn’t she cute?

 photo EI3C9757copy_zps80d675fb.jpg

Our last Easter hunt together was in 2001, before half these kids were born.

 photo EI3C9817copy_zps3ee70ba4.jpg
 photo EI3C9864copy_zps1a6dea70.jpg
 photo EI3C9886-1copy_zps097d3aff.jpg
 photo EI3C9912copy_zpsa7a98a41.jpg
 photo EI3C9934copy_zps7d95f88f.jpg
 photo EI3C9942copy_zpsc9119236.jpg
John was still collecting jellybeans when Mary and Zoe set up the Easter candy trading post.

 photo EI3C0005copy_zps39c80787.jpg
 photo EI3C0016copy_zps6844c1c6.jpg
 photo EI3C0028copy_zpsb3ccc947.jpg

 photo EI3C0056copy_zpse65cada6.jpg

 photo EI3C0053copy_zps61911135.jpg
sorting the loot

 photo EI3C0099copy_zpsfbb2cfe7.jpg
 photo EI3C0105copy_zps76b521f4.jpg
 photo Untitled-1-1_zps6c8d13da.jpg

 photo EI3C9626copy_zps2592f21e.jpg

 photo EI3C0134copy-1_zps87c54e20.jpg

 photo EI3C0147copy_zps663c5ef6.jpg

creating the leaning tower of Peeps

 photo EI3C9600copy_zpscd08caef.jpg

At church, Ben spoke beautifully on the healing power of the atonement. After, we filled the house with friends and food and laughter.

So much food. Unbelievable amounts of pasta and fruit, salads and rolls and tiramisu. All the Italian missionaries helped with cooking tips and organization. We were so grateful and humbled by the many many friends who came by all through the day and into the evening.

Days like these give us a glimpse of heaven– our favorite people gathered round, abundance and laughter, hugs and cheek kisses offered freely, love so tangible you want to bottle it, box it, store it in your heart for a cloudy day.

 photo EI3C0314copy_zps9afb9843.jpg
When the Linkous’ arrived at dusk Ben said, “Someone run to the car and grab me a baby.”

 photo EI3C0204-2copy_zpse9e67869.jpg

We are baby obsessed at our house.

 photo EI3C0229copy_zps4a3f4d0f.jpg

 photo EI3C0346copy_zps29330502.jpg
crazy flag parade
 photo EI3C0447copy_zps65af4e50.jpg
 photo EI3C0463copy_zpsfc1f1216.jpg
Lizzy the Bunny Killer

 photo EI3C0492copy_zpsa9601e93.jpg
 photo EI3C0544copy_zps703b1041.jpg
 photo EI3C0637copy_zpsa8152f37.jpg
the day came full circle as we lit the lanterns once again, spoke of Christ

 photo EI3C0727copy_zpsa97f5436.jpg
and held tightly to Hope

 photo EI3C0751copy_zpsbfdc4eaf.jpg

April 11, 2013



  1. jen

    April 5, 2013

    It’s interesting that you had the Easter lights in the front yard on Saturday night. The Catholic church and some Protestant denominations have Easter Vigil which starts with a bonfire at sunset. (My friend’s Confirmation kids usually roast marshmellows over the fire afterwards with Peeps.)

  2. Alison

    April 5, 2013

    Gorgeous family, beautifully captured, Michelle.

  3. Tracy

    April 5, 2013

    I’m so glad your sister and her family came. I thought of you all – all day. xo

    Love you,
    ps – I covet that puppy dress from Anthro. It’s on my shortlist this season of must haves. xo

  4. Cath

    April 5, 2013

    So sweet Michelle. So happy Ruth have been able to stay all week. I can feel your joy. Your lantern photos are beautiful! And I think Gordon may have hidden someone’s bag of carrot reese’s pieces while in your basement. At least that’s what he told me. Sorry! Lunch was so lovely and it was such a delight to meet Ben. xoxo

  5. Selwyn

    April 6, 2013

    Lovely, my lovely. Hugs to you all.

  6. Denise Schild

    April 6, 2013

    You are truly blessed. just beautiful

Comments are closed.