Several friends warned me welcoming a missionary home induces the same sort of nesting instinct as expecting a new baby, but I didn’t quite understand the phenomenon until the last few weeks. We’ve been cleaning and dusting, raking the yard and hanging photos– all without the heartburn, varicose veins and every-three-minutes contractions.

Erik seems just as afflicted as myself. He was the one painting the ceiling, worrying Ben would think we’d trashed the place while he was gone and bemoaning the state of the boys’ shower (really, really gross. I’ll spare you the photos).

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I’ve always loved channeling that nesting energy into projects, so I welcomed the chance to tackle long-dreamt-of-but-never-carried-out ideas.

We do a lot of living and and dancing playing in our kitchen, thus the walls were covered with scuffs and scrapes. Ready for a new shade, we chose this gorgeous blue. I love it. Covering the walls with this color was like opening the aperture three stops on my camera– so much light!

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Besides a silly Xander, you might spy my sewing machine on the table and a quilt spread on the music room floor. 

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The quilt won’t be finished before Ben arrives home, but isn’t it gorgeous? I’ve been collecting fabric the entire time he’s been gone and I’m finally pulling it together.

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ready for Easter!

Eventually, we’ll paint the entire main floor in serene blue, but spreading the color on our way-too-tall entry hall might take us a while. Instead we pounded in dozens of nails creating a massive family gallery. Most of the frames were from my mom’s basement stash or crowding our bookshelves– the big empty one will hold a new photo of all six kids during the one month we have them home. You can see the hammer and a handful of frames to fill on the landing and we plan on changing out the photos regularly. Of course now I want Erik to build a giant bulletin board for all the prints we couldn’t hang, but I think I burned him out too quickly.

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Not all nesting projects turn out as planned. At my annual haircut, my fabulous friend Ashli suggested we weave in a few highlights. Not wanting to waste her time, I grabbed a box of L’Oreal at the grocery store which promised “triple the highlights.” And yes, I turned my hair orange. Tried to fix it and turned it blue. Smurf blue. Darling Ashli saved me with a dozen bottles of who knows what and two evenings of her time. Truly, she’s a saint. Lesson learned. But at 43, I figure I was well overdue for a major hair crisis.

back to my natural (but improved) color
The calendar says Spring, but our yard lacks any sort of color. We planted our pots with snow-proof flowers (and they’ve survived two storms since Saturday).

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Ah, it’s amazing how a few blooms transform the yard….

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Just as a baby doesn’t care one bit about the hand-knit sweater, beautifully decorated nursery or scrubbed kitchen floors, I’m sure there’s never been a missionary on earth who inspected the walls for scuffs upon their arrival home. But I think they do feel loved and it’s the perfect way to spend our last days and hours awaiting his arrival (though Erik suggested eating an entire cake today to calm his nerves). With just seven hours left, we’ll be dusting the shelves, kicking Hans out of Ben’s bedroom, painting ‘Welcome Home’ signs and hopefully, NOT eating an entire cake.



  1. Selwyn

    March 22, 2013

    Let there be cake!

    I’m so excited and happy for you guys!

  2. Lizzy

    March 23, 2013

    How fun to nest without any pregnancy symptoms. I love your wall of family pictures! Would you mind sharing what color of blue and brand of paint you used?

  3. ellen

    March 23, 2013

    I’ve been thinking about your family today!

  4. Alison

    March 23, 2013

    I love that you did this. Welcome home to your love. Also? Gorgeous quilt.

  5. jen

    March 23, 2013

    Thinking about you guys and being excited for you!

  6. chococatania

    March 23, 2013

    I’m so excited for you guys! The quilt looks great, the house looks beautiful.

    I think I need to go through nesting (minus the pregnancy symptoms!)


  7. k

    March 24, 2013

    what a truly gorgeous post! i just love the color you chose for your walls! i am betting your missionary is already home (at the time i am writing this) and i am so excited for you! wow, has it been 2 years already? (ha ha, had to write that. i’m sure you get that a lot.) enjoy your weekend! ♥

  8. Raluca

    March 26, 2013

    Can’t wait to read your “back home” report post! Kisses!

  9. lisastassforth

    March 28, 2013

    sweet! I’m excited for you…I have 4 months left till my Hermana returns home.

  10. Rachelle

    March 28, 2013

    Lovely! Can’t wait to see your reunion pics with Ben. YAY.

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