Saturday, July 19, 2014

Life Update

I fail to write on this blog because I feel like I do not have a organized way of documenting our lives.  I want to share this wonderful journey we call life but my brain feels like scrambled eggs and I am easily distracted. However, I am always glad when I make the effort.

Today, I went cleaning, for my cleaning job.  I had to make a short Target run and hit up 7-eleven too.  My phone was dead as the car charger cord was not working and so, as I was cleaning, I was left to my own thoughts.  Pretty scary, as I was thinking about everything from, the homeless man, outside the offices I clean, who lives in his van and the young mother holding a sign on the side of the road that read, "recently widowed, single mother", who reminded of my friend who recently found herself in that exact same situation.  I also think of weird things like how do you spell the word rhetorical and what is the definition of infirmities.

I have realized some things while cleaning these past several months, the smaller spaces are often the dirtiest and it is often just as easy or easier to clean up after a many people as it is to clean up after a few.

Also about two months ago, I was called to be a compassionate service leader, and now I feel like I am walking around with my insides on the outside.  When you care; it hurts.   I have been searching the scriptures more and have felt like I have been in a constant state of prayer for all those I love and care for.
The one thing I need to practice more is smiling at other people.  I think when I am in my sweats running an errand on my way to go clean or on the way back I don't always smile much as not to bring attention to myself. (:

My kids are growing fast. Taylor will be turning five in a few months, Hannah is turning 3 in a couple weeks, and Ryan will be turning 1 in about a month.  They are still little and often beyond reasoning but they are coming into their own.  Taylor is learning basic reading and math and just finished his first swimming lessons.  He took like a fish to water and he was pretty much at his happiest.

Hannah is the Energizer Bunny.  She is always either into something or busy talking a mile a minute.  She has taken to calling Ryan, "Oddie" or "Artie"  depending on how you hear it.  She misses her friend, David "Choke" Choate, whose family is spending a year in France and often adds his name into our nightly family handshake.  She says sweet prayers and often uses the excuse, "Jesus told me to do it."

Ryan smiles from the moment he wakes up.  He is always standing up and pulling himself on things and will soon be walking.  With Mom or Dad right behind him he can climb all the way to the top of the stairs and he has just started saying Mama.  In the sun, his hair has a reddish tint and his is starting to lose some of his baby looks.  He got his first haircut from my friend, Krystle, and he is pretty much eating anything and everything now.  The only two things the doctor said he can not have at 10 months when he went in was liquid honey and cow's milk.  Other than those two things, everything else is fair game, ice cream, cheese, and scrambled eggs, etc.

Brian, last but not least, has gotten back into running he has run another half marathon and a 5K and has a 5K coming up next week.  We went on a date to the Provo Rec Center a couple weeks ago.  Brian ran around the track while I used the elliptical we both put in about 35 minutes.  And then went to the hot tub.  But that got boring and we decided to try a little bit of everything: going down the waterslides, jumping off the faux cliff in a deep pool, and swimming laps in the Big Pool.  We both were quite nervous jumping off the cliff, we are getting old, and are losing our daring sense of adventure.  We need to work on getting some of that in our lives.  I love this man and it is amazing how my love for him grows richer but is definitely different from the feelings in the beginning.  I love him and I love our little family.  He is such a wonderful and devoted father and husband.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Goals Update

It has been a long time since I have updated and reviewed my goals.   I have decided I am not doing this to guilt or punish myself but to be totally honest with myself and motivate myself to keep trying.  Life and my bad habits always seem to get in the way.  I get distracted and let my goals fall to the wayside.  
So here is how it is going, honestly.
Read the Book of Mormon as a family.  Study and read the scriptures.
Not doing good,  we are back to reading only one verse with the kids a day if at all.  I need to do better about this.  I am doing pretty well in my personal study whether it is reading conference talks, watching them, reading scriptures, or meeting with my scripture study group twice a month.  This week we are meeting and talking about Gifts of the Spirit.  Which from my study so far I believe the greatest gifts we receive next to eternal life are faith, hope, and charity.
Get along with and love my family.  I am doing pretty well with this.  Brian and I are making it a point to try to go on a date at least once a week. Sometimes the best we can do is a date at home. 
Go to the temple once a month.  Not doing well with this.  I have only gone once this year.
Run a 5k.  Not even close.
Lose 35 pounds. I am down about 8 pounds since the beginning of the year.  
Invest in relationships with grandparents and great grandparents.  I need to do better with this.  Last weekend, we did celebrate my Grandpa's 80th birthday and spent time with family we do not see very often.  We have also been getting together with the Merkley side once a month for Family night and so this is a good time to catch up on each other's happenings in our lives.  April is a busy month and a joyous one.  Haley and Logan are getting married.  Amy and Sean are both graduating with their Bachelor's; Amy with her Nursing degree.  Next week is General Conference and Easter is the week after that so I am sure we will be getting in lots of family time this month. 
Pay off debt and have savings.  We are now and still are debt free.  And we have savings and are able to save quite a bit every month.  But right now a lot of that money is going towards paying off medical bills which hopefully, will be completely paid off by the end of June.
Trade in car for SUV/minivan. (WE will not be trading in our car if we do get rid of it we will sell it. But right now we are going to see if it might work to have two cars until we can sell the car and get Brian a truck.)  We have been talking for a long time about getting another vehicle that is better for the mountains and a better fit for our growing family. But right now serious conversation is on hold until we get the medical bills paid off.
work on goals with my kids and husband.  Now despite how far off I may feel from achieving my goals this year, I know I have my family by my side.   Whether it be heading off to work to clean, or helping me watch neighbor kids, or dreaming about our trip to Disneyland I know they are there for me.  We are a great team.  Most of all, I love seeing all the great improvements they are making with potty training, sleeping in their bunkbeds in their new bedroom, learning to add and to read and their colors.  My husband is my best friend, he has been out hunting for deer and elk antlers which at the end of May he will turn around and sell.  So far he has found four good sized horns and hopes to find enough to pay for our Disneyland tickets.  We are going sometime around Christmas because that is when Brian already have time off.  Brian and his little sister, Alyssa, are also running a half marathon together the weekend of our 7th wedding anniversary and then we are taking off to Midway for an overnighter at Zermatt and a swim in the crater.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Our week in no particular order, I do not have the energy to write out the whole story but here are bits and pieces.
 In recovery, at Primary Children's, Brian says he looks like he is saying, "Get me out of here." I think, I agree.
My first helicopter ride was riding in Life Flight with my son.  

 I had feed him this baby food that day before Hannah put popcorn kernels in his mouth. 3 hours later he threw it up along with the kernels and started choking and acting less responsive/lethargic.  On Friday, after getting back from the hospital I feed him this same food and he had a similar reaction (throwing up and coughing/choking) but this time bounced back.  So investigation on allergies will be happening.
 We got to ride in an ambulance through rush hour traffic in downtown Provo; I heard someone say "That is a bad sign." from the back of the ambulance (I was in the front). I still do not know what they were referring to but by the time we got to the hospital I heard his oxygen saturation was at 95.  Many hours later, I heard that his saturation had been in the 70's.

 Popcorn Kernels that Hannah fed Ryan


At Primary Children's Hospital Ready to go home

Happy Beautiful Ryan

Goals Update

Read the Book of Mormon as a family.  Study and read the scriptures.
We are still reading the Book of Mormon every day. Most days, we only read a couple of verses and then some days we end up reading a chapter or two.  We are on track to read the whole Book of Mormon in one year.  This week we read about putting on the armor of God.  We talked to the kids about what armor is and they colored pictures of different cartoons in armor.  

Get along with and love my family.  I am learning to appreciate and love my family even more. My mom was talking to Brian and I about how 50% of marriages end in divorce and told us not to get a divorce.  I told her we love each other and we are not going to get a divorce.  But nowadays, you can not put your marriage on the back burner you need to make it your number one priority.  I hope Brian always knows how much I love him. I would not want to share sleeping on a hospital couch with anyone else.

Go to the temple once a month.  We were going to go to the Salt Lake Temple today and then to the Cheesecake factory but with everything that has gone on in the past few days we needed to stay closer to home.  It worked out that our car ended up in the shop so we went and cleaned offices together and ate at Cafe Rio.

Run a 5k
On Monday, I went running and walking around our neighborhood for 20 minutes.  I was sore for two days afterward.  I will do more this week.

Lose 35 pounds. I am down 4.5 pounds, even though I have done some stress eating the past few days.

Invest in relationships with grandparents and great grandparents.  Today, I brought my Great Grandma Payne (she is almost 105) the laundry my mom washed for her.  She seemed to be feeling good today and was up reading a book in her chair.  I walked down with her to her lunch table and got to meet two of the ladies she eats meals with.  She also eats her meals with my Grandma Merkley.  We are going to see Grandma Merkley tomorrow night at Merkley Family Night with Leslie and Brian. 

Pay off debt and have savings.  We saved $450 last month.  We hope to save at least the same this month.  We are also going to have to pay for the car to get fixed. And medical bills are going to start coming in.  We are getting our tax refund back on Tuesday.  It will be nice to have that money to pay our credit cad off and cover the unexpected medical expenses.

Trade in car for SUV/minivan.  In the works.  Today, we put all our kids in the back of my dad's Ford escape and I do not think it is the vehicle for us.  It was a tight fit with three carseats;  our car has more room in the backseat than the Escape.

Work on goals with my kids and husband. 
We are definitely a team and I am trying to accomplish these goals with them and for them.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Hannah pinned this house on Pinterest. Her favorite color is Pink.

Ryan has been making this face every time we feed him.  So far he has scarfed down squash, sweet potatoes, baby oatmeal, carrots, bananas and pears.  He keeps grabbing the spoon and keeping a death grip on it.  Needless to say, getting the spoon back to feed him can be difficult.

Hannah in front of Fish tanks at Cabela's
Taylor say "cheese"

The Three Musketeers

Where all good reading habits begin
"Dad, Do you want to Build a Snowman?"

Progress on Goals

Read the Book of Mormon as a family.  Study and read the scriptures.
We are still reading the Book of Mormon as a family and are caught up to read it in a year.  We do not always read more then a couple verses everyday but on other days we catch up.  We have been reading some of the Isaiah chapters in first Nephi.  It is so beautiful the love that the Lord has for all his children.  He will not forsake us.  I, Mom, have been meeting with a bunch of moms for a Scripture Study group every couple of weeks.  The last few weeks we have been studying compassion.  My friend, Nicky, comes up with questions for us to study and recommends chapters to read through.  We had about 7 women come to our house the last time we met.  And they will be here again this Thursday.  I am excited to be in love with the scriptures again.  

Get along with and love my family.
We are not perfect at this but we are implementing new strategies to make sure we understand each other more in our marriage and make time to really talk and listen to each other.  With the kids, we can lose our patience but the days we are doing things together and we get out of the house to do something fun tend to go better.  I know the kids appreciate when I am in a good mood because I get a lot of hugs and kisses. Same thing with Brian (:

Go to the temple once a month.  I got to go to the temple for the first time yesterday, since Ryan was born.  I made it in under the wire; my recommend expired the next day.  I was so glad to be able to go and soak in the quiet busyness of the temple.  I went during the same shift, Brian and I, worked on almost 5 years ago and saw many of the ordinance workers we worked with while we were there.  

Run a 5k - Brian is now signed up for his half marathon on May 3rd.  I have not signed up for the 5K that same day yet; but I will.  I just downloaded the Run5K app on the Iphone.  So let the running begin.

Lose 35 pounds -
I have lost about 4 pounds this week.  My friend, Nicky, and I decided to follow each other on Fitness Pal and have changed our settings so we can view each other's food and exercise diaries.  We help each other stay more accountable and write each other encouraging messages.  She had her little girl 3 days before I had Ryan so we are both ready to slim down. If you want to follow me on Fitness Pal my username is raemerk20.

Invest in relationships with grandparents and great grandparents.
We are going to see Grandma Merkley tomorrow at my parent's Superbowl party.  She wants to see all her great grand babies. It will be nice to spend time with her.  The kids love all the Grandparents and they love them.

Pay off debt and have savings.  The finance challenge I have been doing has been great.  We have been able to save about $500 this month. (This is huge for us!) Most of this is because I got paid from my new cleaning job.  This job has been a huge blessing and just the motivation I needed to budget and get ahead.

Trade in car for SUV/minivan. We are talking about getting our new vehicle.  We need to pay our car off first.  If we get the new vehicle this year we might go, with the kids, to Disneyland after Christmas.

work on goals with my kids and husband.
I could not reach any of my goals without them.  They motivate and encourage me everyday.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Goals Progress Update

Read the Book of Mormon as a family.  Study and read the scriptures.  
-We have been reading the Book of Mormon everyday as a family.  On Monday, I needed to catch up and ended up reading five chapters to the kids while they played with blocks and toys.  I starting following bookofmormon365 on Instagram which has helped a lot . It tells you what verses to read everyday and if you do not have scriptures you can read the verses right there on their Instagram.  I have found so much power in these scriptures especially ready through them so quickly and from cover to cover.  I see more of th beauty of the story. And especially the family dynamics and faith of Lehi and his family. How many times did they see angels or have dreams and visions?   How many times were they asked to go back to Jerusalem?  

Get along with and love my family.  
- I am not perfect at this but working on it.  

Go to the temple once a month.
- We have babysitting lined up to go next Saturday night. 

Run a 5k
- No progress with this yet.  Although Brian and I have decided I will be running my 5K on May 4th, our 7th wedding anniversary, and he will be running the half marathon.

Lose 35 pounds
-I am tracking my calories on Fitness Pal on my phone.  And I do not think I have had one day where I have been at or under my calorie goals. But I am becoming more aware of what I am eating and what changes I need to make.

Invest in relationships with grandparents and great grandparents.
-Last week, we went and visited Grandma Merkley in her new apartment and also got to see Grandma Payne.  And this week, the kids colored pictures and I wrote Thank You cards for all our Christmas gifts.  Many of the things we received from our grandparents and Grandma Payne.  We love all the gifts they have given us.  But most of all, we love having them in our lives.

Pay off debt and have savings. 
- I participated in a Spending Freeze last week.  I am following the blog Fun Cheap or Free and she is hosting a Finance challenge this month I am participating in.  Follow me on instagram bandraverett or on Facebook to see all the fun I am having doing this challenge.

Trade in car for SUV/minivan
- I have been working for 6 weeks cleaning offices, twice a week, I get my first paycheck this week. And this money will go towards saving up towards a new vehicle after we pay off some debt.  

work on goals with my kids and husband.
-everything is more fun when we encourage and help each other.