The moment Mary arrived home from school I scurried her upstairs to change, grabbed a snack for her and hustled her into the car for her 4-7 pm gymnastics. “I miss you,” I sighed, as we drove the familiar route. “I’m sorry our days are so busy.”

“Don’t worry Mom.” Mary replied, “I think I have time to play with you tomorrow.”



We are figuring things out around here. Will Xander play soccer or join the cross country team? What time are piano lessons again? Should Hans take driver’s ed online?

And I’m trying to figure things out. Although I have five hours to myself every day, I have enough work to fill forty. It’s a familiar pattern for me– pruning my interests to keep my family healthy.


Yesterday, Ben wrote (I updated his missionary blog! Well, mostly.):

Dear Mom,

I really thought a lot about you guys going back to school this last week and I remember when I went down to BYU. The biggest lesson I learned was just how much I loved our family. It’s a lesson I’m still learning, but I was so surprised at just how much you meant to me. I remember one weekend when I came home for something. We went to church and had pancakes and played ticket to ride and life just felt so good at home. As I drove away I wanted to cry and to my surprise I did. I stopped crying long enough to pick up Mary and talk to her family, but then as we passed Wasatch I couldn’t hold it back any more and after about thirty seconds I had to pull over and Mary was in shock asking me what was wrong. I said I didn’t know, just that the day at home had been so good. After a minute I pulled myself together still not completely sure of what had just happened.

The point is that I love you and everyone in our family.


And that’s my job, to keep everything good at home. Choosing what is best even when I’m pulled in a dozen directions.


Every few days, Mary wanders into the garden with her little basket. She snips and chooses, tucks her blooms in tiny vases, ponders for a bit and removes the star asters in favor of more lavender.


Her choices are often unexpected– not the way I’d do it– but full of surprises, blooms I’ve ignored, an interesting leaf I haven’t noticed before,


each bouquet uniquely, beautifully her own.


I’ll get my life arranged; some things will look silly and unnecessary to others, but as long as I wait and choose and ponder, allow some things to fall into place and other to fall out, home will be good,

and beautiful.

August 27, 2012
September 7, 2012



  1. Adri

    August 31, 2012

    Love this, Michelle. Motherhood is such a balancing act. I’m just entering into the stage of feeling pulled by too many things. Thank you for your insight and example!

  2. Annie

    August 31, 2012

    Ah, love this, love you. I love that passage in Ben’s letter to you. It snaps everything into focus.

  3. Rachelle

    August 31, 2012

    Really nice analogy. Ben’s letter was wonderful.

  4. Cath

    September 1, 2012

    Such sweet bundles of blooms. Favorite line: pruning your interests to keep your family healthy. You do this do well. It’s one of the many things I admire about you. And yes, Ben’s letter is tender.


    September 3, 2012

    Gorgeous Fabulous photos.

    I sooo loved them 🙂

  6. Lisa

    September 4, 2012

    I adore Miss Mary and her arrangements. Lovely post my friend!

  7. Linn

    September 5, 2012

    This is beautiful. I have told my husband a thousand times, the last four years in Boston have given us time to just focus on our family, in a way that we never have before. And I will always be grateful for that. Always.

  8. jenjamin

    September 10, 2012

    love this too!

Comments are closed.