My leg has a stress fracture.

It’s poetic, really. Life is stressful and my body replies with, “uh, huh. You’d better believe it.”

Besides the ugly black boot, the little fissure in my bone not a big deal. It just means that I have to move a little differently, take new paths, step carefully. And right now I’m welcoming anything that cracks my heart wide open.

Because I can’t run, I’ve been riding my ancient bike up the canyon, gasping for oxygen and literally praying myself to the end of the road. Just minutes from my house, Millcreek Canyon is one of God’s brightest gems. I run the trails several days a week and every single time (my friends will attest to this) I say out loud, “I can’t believe I live here. I can’t believe how beautiful it is!” My photographer brain constantly searches for the perfect vista to display Millcreek’s beauty, but I can’t find it. You simply have to throw your arms out wide, spin wildly and breathe in the smell of leaves and wood smoke and dust rising from the trail.

Eons ago, this glorious canyon began as a crack, a tiny fracture in the massive Wasatch range. Water and earthquakes and time formed massive granite walls, a meandering stream, paths for wildlife and fertile soil for trees and moss and wildflowers.

Mountain peaks are wonderful, but they are just so lofty and reserved for the fit and able. But canyons! Canyons welcome bird nests and babies and boardwalks for wheelchairs. They offer easy hikes and firepits and slow down enough for moss to grow on rocks and trees.

Before, I wanted to be a mountain– rising above all others. But now I want to be a canyon. Here is my heart, come in.

I love the way she’s airborne here. And yes, Stefan really is this nice. all. the. time.

Yes, there are too many photos of Mary. But goodness– that outfit!– how can I resist?

We drove up Sunday before Mary and Gabriel could change out of their church clothes and had so much fun that we came back again the next day with Grandpa.

It snowed in the mountains last night, but we’re headed up there again today.

Really, I shouldn’t allow such behavior on my pretty blog. Note the matching Converse.

October 1, 2009
October 4, 2009



  1. Claudia

    October 1, 2009

    Breathtaking. Loved, loved, loved it all!

  2. GeorgiaBecksteads

    October 1, 2009

    So beautiful, it is beyond words. I guess that’s when you realize how amazing the Lord’s creations really are – all of them.

  3. Selwyn

    October 1, 2009

    “Here is my heart, come in.”


    Like you.

    xoxo K

  4. Annie

    October 1, 2009

    “Before, I wanted to be a mountain– rising above all others. But now I want to be a canyon. Here is my heart, come in.”
    Sigh. Love this, love you.

  5. Shelah

    October 1, 2009

    First of all, nooooooooo! I’m so sorry about your leg. That just bites. Big time. But way to make lemonade, Michelle. Gorgeous pictures.

  6. sarah

    October 2, 2009

    oh, that just made me SOOOOOO homesick for my “old” back yard. I LOVE lOVE lOVE Millcreek and would give anything to enjoy it right about now. I know what you are talking about treking up that hill on your bike- have done it hundreds of times. miss it. The perfect place to just let the stresses of life go away . . . hope you are able to do that while up there even if it is for only an hour or so. oh, and go have me a yummy smore. mmmmmmm can taste and smell it now.

  7. jennie w.

    October 2, 2009

    Sorry I jinxed you by sending you a playlist for running!

  8. Jeanelle

    October 2, 2009

    I’m so sorry about your leg!! I hope you continue to take pictures like these – they are just stunning and beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing them with us!

  9. Brett Nielson

    October 2, 2009

    Beautiful shots as always!

  10. Kerry

    October 2, 2009

    It may be thanks to your blog that my husband gets his wish one day – to live in Utah. AMAZING photos of your neck of the woods. Literally. Love that last one of Gabe by the fire.

  11. Bonnie

    October 2, 2009

    Wow! Astounding post, Michelle. It was just perfect. I loved all he photos…and that last one was especially cool.

    I haven’t been up to the canyon yet, but I definitely plan to go soon. Oh, and I’m so sorry about your leg. I hope it get’s better soon.

  12. Melissa

    October 2, 2009

    Michelle, I’m so sorry about your leg! Amazed that you’re biking!

    I’ll be thinking about your canyon/mountain images for a long time. Thanks for inspiring me.

  13. Christie

    October 2, 2009

    I love all your work, but it is fun to see pics of your sweet family up here again. It warms my heart to see your Stefan loving Mary so much. What a gem.

    Sorry about the fracture. Bummer.

    And, oh, I miss those mountains.

  14. Andrea

    October 2, 2009


    Nothing makes me happier than you pictures of Mary and your boys. I love them all.

  15. Melissa

    October 3, 2009

    Michelle, you are amazing.

    Your words break my heart. Your pictures melt it.

    The photo of Gabe by the fire – So beautiful. Like you.

  16. Adri

    October 3, 2009

    sorry about your fracture, Michelle. Hope you’re back to running soon.

    Thank you for the beautiful pictures of Millcreek Canyon. I haven’t been in a few years, but that canyon holds so many, many memories for me. My grandparents lived in the last house on the right (before you get to the fee booth) for 55 years. My childhood is filled with wonderful memories of this place.

  17. seven smiles

    October 4, 2009


  18. Jennk

    October 6, 2009

    Feel better. I love the pictures and I love your family. Would’ve loved to grow up with 5 older brothers. Mary’s a lucky girl!

  19. Kerri

    October 7, 2009

    We just moved to North Salt Lake a week ago, and I’m afraid I’m a little teary after seeing your pics of my canyon. I love Millcreek. The love for that canyon is deep in my bones, and I don’t know if I can stand not living nearby. Gorgeous pictures, as always.

  20. Kerri

    October 7, 2009

    Oh, and by the way, the stress fracture thing just about breaks my heart for you. I’m glad you’re biking, but I’m not sure if you’re just being stoic or if you’re really ok about not running. Especially at this time in your life, it feels devastating that you’ve had running taken away from you.

  21. Mathmom and family

    October 9, 2009

    I am sorry that these last few months have been hard for you, Michelle. I am truly in awe of your ability to see the beauty through all things. You live in a beautiful world and you capture the everyday blessings that surround you so perfectly.

  22. Sue

    October 24, 2009

    Michelle, these photos are just enchanting. I had no idea. And I am now following your blog.


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