I didn’t expect to cry when we took down the Christmas tree.

After all, it’s a chaotic production– six kids hauling boxes up and down the stairs (and up and down the ladder as they deornamented our 20 ft tree), strands of lights winding about the room, Colors blasting from the stereo and the sad crunch of one of our glass ornaments underfoot.


But the sentiment of a lifetime of Christmas baubles– the glass ballerina from my 6th Christmas, the pink birds from the year Mary was born, a herald of angels marking my mother’s death last year– and Ben’s beautiful face grinning at me through the branches was just too much. Christmas is over. Over. And we never made gingerbread, or sang enough carols. My heart was broken this year– did I push away my hurt enough and savor the joy?

Once the boxes were stored in the attic and the room swept, mopped and dusted, we treated ourselves to an afternoon on the sledding hill then a 4 p.m. lunch at Cafe Normandie (where we did indeed eat dessert first). With chocolate smeared faces and sweet potato fries between our fingers we began discussing resolutions. Xander and Gabriel want to write in their journals, Mary is going to say ‘hello’ to people and Hans is perfectly satisfied as is– “why would I want to change anything about myself? I love my life.”

I too, have no desire to resolve anything; I can’t think a whole year ahead. So I’ve simply made a list of joyful projects for the dark, snowy months before Spring enters the world.

Spend less time on the treadmill and more time on the sledding hill.

Plan extraordinary birthday parties for my family and fabulous activities for the Young Women.

Shop with Ben for every conceivable missionary need.

Finish Mary’s pink quilt and ski hats for all the boys.

Create a wedding photography website.

Wallpaper a room.


Write a screenplay with my sister and niece (not kidding– we’re convinced it’s the next romantic comedy blockbuster. My sister probably won’t be thrilled that I’m announcing this before the script is finished but I figure it’s never too soon to find an agent).

Cleaning the pantry and losing ten pounds may happen, but I doubt it. I intend to be kind to myself, to savor every happiness, to let my heart heal.

And I wish the same to you– may the new year bring you health, renewal and joy.

December 21, 2010



  1. Blue

    January 3, 2011

    I always marvel at how the lights in your photos sparkle like stars in the heavens. They are my favorite pictures of lights ever.

    I wish I was one of your YW. Or one of your kids! 😉 I love the goals you’ve set, they are perfect.

    I hope I can see you more in 2011. I’ve missed you! ♥

  2. jennie w.

    January 3, 2011

    That’s some cute wallpaper! Good luck!

  3. Lisa

    January 4, 2011

    I love the randomness of your goals…wallpaper, sledding, and a screenplay. Sounds like the beginning of a wonderful 2011.

  4. Tracy

    January 4, 2011

    Happy New Year, love. I hope to meet you this year IRL.

  5. Selwyn

    January 4, 2011

    Wong is still planning his movie – so much so, I bought him a shirt for his birthday that reads “They’ll make a movie about me someday.”

    I miss you, and always send hugs to you. Hope you get them =)

  6. Alyson (New England Living)

    January 4, 2011

    I love your goals of letting your heart heal and being kind to yourself! I have the same sorts of goals. Have you heard of a book called “Jesus Wept”? I got it from my LDS therapist 5 years ago and just started rereading it today. It’s all about healing from loss, any kind of loss. Anyway, it’s a great read to start off the new year! I wish you the best in 2011! xx

  7. Linn

    January 7, 2011

    This is beautiful friend. That is my theme for 2011, “Healing.” I’ve never been a New Year’s resolutions person, but I feel strongly this is my healing year. Speaking of, have you seen the new MormonMessage “Look Not Behind Thee”? That would be my motto this year. One that I KNOW will help me to heal. Love you Michelle.

  8. ~A

    January 9, 2011

    Those are some great goals for the new year! I wish you the best of luck at achieving every one of them.

    I love the different meanings of Christmas tree ornaments– in my house, everybody has one that is very special to them. This year, my Superman got to put up his special ornament on the tree- an orange motorcycle!

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