die Fabrik

I’m home (since Monday– but I’m so behind on everything) and I brought chocolate for everyone.

I snuck away to Germany for a week with Erik, my dad and my brother to an international bakery equipment show. The show awed us with hall after hall of enormous ovens and mixers and freezers and indulged us with samples of bread, pastries and gelato. And as if the equivalent of visiting 50 bread factories wasn’t enough, in our free time we drove to the Ritter Sport and Porsche factories where we bought a ridiculous amount of chocolate and just stared at the Porsches longingly.

It’s a strange thing to visit Europe twice in one year. It starts to feel normal. I converted Euros without even thinking and became a bit more confident in my rusty German.

And to come home! The sky is bluer and larger, stretching from the mountains by my home to the Great Salt Lake out west. My children are impossibly charming with witty jokes and long sweet hugs and my work feels necessary and inspiring. I was chafed red and raw, but in my time away I’ve grown a fresh, resilient layer.

We left Ben as 1st in command and Stefan 2nd, with neighbors and my in-laws filling in the holes. It felt bold (and a bit crazy) but they were so kind, incredibly good to each other. The little ones had baths and stories and bouts of Candyland every night. Ben cooked meals and drove kids to practices while Stefan supervised homework and light saber wars. My drawers and pantry received a much needed cleaning from Ben and Xander made lunches for little Gabe.

I had so many years of diapers and 16 hour crying jags and temper tantrums and mornings where I dreaded getting out of bed because I couldn’t mother these children– it was an impossible task. And now, they’ve nurtured me when I needed it most.

They’re back to kid-mode again, “Drive me here.” “What’s for dinner?” “That’s not my job.” but it’s thrilling to know what they are capable of.

Which makes me think I may leave again….the next show is in just three years. And maybe my brother can pick up that Porsche he’s dreaming about; I’ll stick with chocolate.

October 4, 2009
October 16, 2009



  1. Justine

    October 15, 2009

    I’m glad you had a great time, and I’m glad you bought a lot of chocolate! Welcome home!

  2. Brandan and Becky

    October 15, 2009

    Your post makes me want to shout HOORAY! for fall leaves and rain and great kids and beautifully designed cars and chocolate. Glad you had a good trip.

  3. AzΓΊcar

    October 15, 2009

    Glaubest du das du kanst mich ein bisschen shokolade geben?

    Oder etwas?

  4. dalene

    October 15, 2009

    welcome back. and, for the record, i don’t think there is any such thing as a ridiculous amount of chocolate!

  5. Bonnie

    October 15, 2009

    Wow! The is a TON of chocolate! I’m glad I had a KitKat bar to munch on while I read this post…otherwise I’d be craving chocolate for the next week. πŸ™‚ And way to go Ben and Stephen for being so nurturing while you were gone – that’s awesome. πŸ™‚

  6. jennie w.

    October 16, 2009

    I want that Ritter Sport bag!!!!

  7. Tracy

    October 16, 2009

    You are gorgeous and YOU WERE MISSED GIRL!!!! Now I don’t have to hit refresh on your blog 79 times per day anymore wondering where you are. Please send chocolate.

  8. Selwyn

    October 16, 2009


    Ich lieber du!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Chelle

    October 16, 2009

    please bring chocolate to snack on during our run tomorrow morn. it doesn’t matter that it’s 5:45 am. : D xo

  10. Jimmy & Amy

    October 16, 2009


  11. ashli

    October 16, 2009

    i’m so glad that i got a piece of that yumminess! THANK YOU!! glad you are back! happy that it was therapeutic! talk with you soon!?!!

  12. M

    October 16, 2009

    That’s where you were! SO awesome.

  13. Mary Staples

    October 16, 2009

    Hopefully the next time you come you can swing by SWITZERLAND. Oh and the chocolate…I kinda don’t want to talk about it. Pretty sure I’ve gained 15 pounds since arriving. Cheese and chocolate…my life is over as I know it.

  14. Christie

    October 16, 2009

    All that delish chocolate makes the paltry Halloween offerings here look pathetic. I’m coming trick-or-treating to your house.

    Welcome back, friend.

  15. Claudia

    October 16, 2009

    I want to know just how long it will take you guys to go through that loot?

    Loved the picture of your sweet papa and of course you and the colorful umbrella.


  16. Linkous

    October 16, 2009

    If any kids could do a great job on their own it’s your bunch! Sounds like the trip was deservedly wonderful. Happy munching πŸ™‚

  17. Omgirl

    October 16, 2009

    I’m drooling all over my keyboard. I hope you bought some Jogurt Ritter Sport. It’s to die for.

  18. Linn

    October 16, 2009

    I’m so happy for you! What a wonderful opportunity and I LOVE that last photo! Welcome back.

  19. FoxyJ

    October 17, 2009

    Mmm…Gives me hope that maybe someday I’ll get back to Europe and can visit chocolate factories and such… Some day my children will grow up, right? πŸ™‚

  20. Heather

    October 17, 2009

    We are on the same chocolate wave length or something. Last Christmas-time when I was indulging in Lint truffle balls, you posted about them. Just recently my husband brought home a bunch of Ritter Sport chocolate from work, because he works for a German company and someone was visiting from Germany and brought some for everyone. Right after I had eaten them all I noticed that they actually sell them in our local grocery store. I never saw them when we lived in Salt Lake, maybe they have them here because of the big German population.

  21. Reluctant Nomad

    October 17, 2009

    thought of you while you were such a short jaunt away. Glad you got to go. πŸ™‚

  22. Reluctant Nomad

    October 17, 2009

    OH and Azucar–ich kann auch Schokolade dir schicken. Du muss nur mich fragen. πŸ˜‰ Don’t be surprised if each bar has a bite out of it though. I’m not THAT nice.

  23. Annie

    October 17, 2009

    Welcome home (did your boys tell you I called?). So glad you got to go…you have to grab those chances when you can. I hope your re-entry has been gentle πŸ™‚

    Standing ovation for sons who can hold down the fort, too!

  24. Jan Russell

    October 18, 2009

    Oh my goodness! That pile of chocolate! It was hard to pull my eyes away and read the rest of your post – ha! You are adorable Michelle, and I’m glad you had a fantastic time away with your hubby!

  25. Jeanelle

    October 19, 2009

    Love the pic of your dad with all of the chocolate and of your brother with the Porsche but most of all, I love getting to see a picture of you! So glad you’re doing well. xoxo

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