It’s almost impossible for snowbound Utahns to comprehend a warm climate this time of year. when we were packing for Thanksgiving I told the kids, “You won’t need a coat, but long sleeves, long pants. And we’ll go the the ocean but bring sweats and thick hoodies– you might not even want to get in the water.”

And then, the delight we walked onto the beach and felt warmth pour over our heads and trickle down our necks. We peeled off sweatshirts and let it bathe our shoulders and arms. Kicking off our shoes, the warm sand soaked our toes and feet with delicious heat.

Ooh! But the water was cold– I steeled my nerves as I walked into the ocean and yelped with the shock of each wave as it broke across my knees, my hips, my belly, my chest. In a moment of bravado I ducked under and let the ice water fill my ears and eyes and sent my hair streaming down my back.

I caught wave after wave with my nieces and nephews, my sons, my husband, my dad. Relishing the perfect moment when the crest lifts and pushes me straight to shore and relinquishing the bodyboard only after feeling selfish for keeping it much too long.

Yet, just as thrilling as the waves is the challenge of wielding a camera on the beach. I love the play of light and water, mist and shadow. One angle produces rich colors and another gains the barest outline– a mere silhouette.

I thought I’d spare you the traditional flexing photo– is this better?

Burying Uncle Mike.

My sweet nephew thinks he can fly– he may be right.

Everyone cheered when Grandpa headed toward the water.

I don’t have a zoom lens, so taking photos of the bodyboarders is a challenge– but I think this one is priceless.

Mary on a shell-searching expedition with Cheri.

the sun began to set

and the water-lovers played just a bit more

until we were all wrapped up in warmth and ready for home.

December 3, 2009
December 14, 2009



  1. Linn

    December 7, 2009

    My beach. I can hardly stand how beautiful those pictures are. Four years of being at that beach constantly. I didn’t realize you could feel homesick, even though you were home.

  2. Sue

    December 8, 2009

    Beautiful photos and family, as usual.

    Looks like it was plain wonderful.


  3. Blue

    December 8, 2009

    that’s awesome!

  4. Catherine Hess

    December 8, 2009

    ahhh… thanks for those warm pictures! i’ve been watching the snow dump outside all day, so it was really nice to see your beautiful photography. what a fun day at the beach!

  5. Claudia

    December 8, 2009

    What I wouldn’t give to feel the warmth of the sun on my bare arms, especially on a day like today!

    Those were heavenly. Thanks for sharing sunshine.

  6. ashli

    December 8, 2009

    love the sunshine! let it fill your soul on your dark days….
    love you!

  7. Michelle

    December 8, 2009

    I’m just surprised that no one has asked yet if Erik is pregnant. 😉

  8. Mitchell Family

    December 8, 2009

    Loved, loved, loved the photos. It is no longer warm here. Our yard is flooded and the wind is howling. But now we know that our roof doesn’t leak and the heater works. I know what Linn means about being homesick when you’re home. I feel that way whenever I see photos of the mountains. Ruth

  9. Alisa

    December 8, 2009

    how do you do it? Your pics are amazing! Lessons? Your son was darling at my house for the Christmas dance breakfast. Great kids having a great time. Lucky they are! Alisa

  10. Alisa

    December 8, 2009

    how do you do it? Your pics are amazing! Lessons? Your son was darling at my house for the Christmas dance breakfast. Great kids having a great time. Lucky they are!

  11. Denise

    December 8, 2009


    I love the last two posts. Despite the pains of this year, there’s truly so much to be grateful for. I love it that you and your family honed in on the greatest thing of all: Family, and gloried in it! Wonderful. Your Dad, at the head of the dining table, looks happy — as if he’s looking at eternity. I guess, really, he is…

    Much Love,


    P.S. When is Erik due?

  12. martha corinna

    December 8, 2009


    Oh, I hope Abram grows to be like your sons. Right now he is down stairs pounding on his little sister:(

  13. Linkous

    December 8, 2009

    gorgeous. you really have and give such a wonderful gift with these pictures. I’m smiling from ear to ear!
    love you

  14. Coach A.

    December 9, 2009

    Super photos & fun, fun times!!! Always…thanks for sharing, Michelle 🙂

    P.S. We didn’t have to ask about Erik, we already knew. It’s so hard to keep those things a secret for too long…LOL

  15. Tracy

    December 10, 2009

    I needed some warmth today with this below zero weather. Thank you for the sunshine.

  16. Jeanelle

    December 10, 2009

    It was 13 degrees when I got to work today so these pictures almost made me start crying. 😉 I miss being warm. Love the ones of your cute dad…what a fun trip!

  17. Bonnie

    December 12, 2009

    Those pictures were gorgeous! I totally agree, the light on the water is perfectly astounding…I loved the picture of the sunset glowing on the water.

  18. Brooke

    December 14, 2009

    i always think beach pictures are the best pictures on earth.

  19. jendoop

    December 15, 2009

    Just beautiful, thanks for sharing!

Comments are closed.