Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Heating Up

I think we may just have used up all our nice weather for the Spring here in Nevada.  It got up to 101 degrees yesterday and we felt the days climbing all through the week before.
So we have been spending lots of time playing in the tiny wading pool we got Clark 3 years ago.  Might be time to upgrade to a little bigger one now that there are two little fishys trying to swim :)
I have stopped trying to put swimming suits on them.  As soon as I turn my back to weed the garden or water the flowers, the boys strip down the nothin' and throw their suits on the porch.
A triple melon slushy.
The boys approved
And are now having a hard time settling for just plain old water after a long day of swimming
The kids have both been fighting being sick.... still.  So we have sorta been stuck at home lately.  We've been finding things to keep us busy and fight the cabin fever.
We made Aunt Nancy's oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies.  My favorite recipe ever!!!!
Should have injected a few with the boys medicine!
We spent some time putting together a care package for some lovely people that we miss oh so much!!!!
The boys have their cartoons that they love and they often hold hands while watching them together.  So cute!!!  They're either holding hands or hitting.  Never anything in between with these two.
As things heat up, Im feeling less and less motivated to be in the kitchen.  Boy do I hate cooking when its hot!
Summer fruits are starting to ripen and we're generally pretty happy to have that as a meal
That and homemade salsa!  We've got tomatoes on the vine... they just need to ripen.  Cant wait!!!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Women Who Have Inspired Me

Isadora Duncan

If you don't know who this is, I'm not surprised.  If you are a dancer and you don't know who this is, I'm completely shocked!  Isadora Duncan was an amazing woman... totally crazy, but amazing!!  Many would argue that she changed the art of dance forever, and I would agree with them.  She was raised in California in the 1800s and brought up by a very artistic family.  She started ballet, but didn't like It.  She didn't like the "stiffness" of it all.  She was the first in her time to dance in bare feet and nothing but a tunic.  She moved around a lot, mostly in Europe.  She was homeless a few times.  She talks about practically living on the steps of the Louvre with her brother.  She would go from rich to poor in a matter of months.  She was very extravagant and didn't believe in marriage.  She was a serious hippy and there are a lot of her philosophies that I don't agree with. (Although her autobiography is a very interesting read)  But, her dancing was something to be admired and respected.  She had the courage to do something that a lot of people very much looked down on.  But it was like she was being willed by this pioneer soul and she just couldn't contain it.  She had so much spirit and personality, it burst from her in her movement and her speech.  She would never allow her dancing to be filmed, but it is described as hypnotic.  After a lot of hard years, she became very famous, especially in Europe, because of how entrancing her movements were.  She opened a few different schools, in Paris and Russia, and taught her little dancers in bare feet and tunics.  There is still an Isadora Duncan School, taught by people who were taught by people who were taught by Isadora.. or something like that.  Anyway, its a direct line and I think that's awesome!!  A life long dream of mine is to go see one of their performances.  They even have choreography that she herself danced.  She left a legacy to be proud of.  She had a sad life though.  She lost her children in a devastating accident when they were very young.  And she herself died in 1927 in a car accident.  She was wearing a silk scarf that got caught in the wheel of the car and it killed her.  She is one that I will love to meet some day in the next life :)    
"You were wild once.  Don't let them tame you."
-Isadora Duncan
Kate Bush

Yet another one no one has heard of.  And she as well, is totally crazy.  But I love her.  She is a musician and was popular (I use the word popular loosely) in the 70's/80's.  She wrote a lot of music and some of it is super weird and abstract, but most of it is amazing!  The first song I ever heard of hers was "This Woman's Work" and I was blown away.  It still to this day is my all time favorite song!  Look it up.  But make sure its Kate Bush, cuz there have been a lot of covers.  Another favorite, "Hounds of Love".  Wow!  And her song, "Wuthering Heights" is what made me want to read the book "Wuthering Heights" and I fell inlove with it and read it far too much.  She didn't really have a crazy life.  Raised in England by a good family.  Loved piano and dance.  Slowly made her way into music.  Married and has children and settled back in England.  She didn't write any music for a long time, but in like 2005 she came out with her last album and it was like the best day of my life!!  Really more than anything, its her lyrics.  They just speak to me.  And yes, she has got some crazy ideas.  She is a practicing wicken... weird.  But I still love her.
"There is thunder in our hearts"
-Kate Bush
"I know you have a little life in you yet.  I know you have a lot of strength left"
-Kate Bush
Audrey Hepburn

How do I even begin to describe how much I admire this woman?!  She is absolutely fabulous.  I have been a little bit obsessed with her since I was very young.  I grew up watching her movies and have been inspired by here for years.  I vowed as a 12 year old that if I ever had a daughter, her name would be, Audrey.  Don't steal it from me!  I will hurt you!  I know that everyone loves her for her classic movies and the fact that she is gorgeous, but have you ever read about her life?  Wow!  Its seriously inspiring!!  Her life in Europe during WWII, her dreams of being a dancer, crushed, her difficulties in becoming a mother, her humanitarian work, cancer.  She is amazing!  Read about her!  I'll never forget reading about her life as a child.  She use to sneak secret messages for the underground rebellion, in her shoes passed Nazi soldiers when she was just a little girl.  She talks about taking ballet classes in freezing cold studios in the middle of winter and secretly performing recitals for the rebellion.  She said that they had to be so quiet that no one could clap at the end of each dance and that those were her favorite performances in her life.. the ones with a silent audience.  She talks about starving and her father leaving to join the Nazi movement.  She went through a lot in her life and it made her so wise and so compassionate.  I feel like she is such a good role model for young girls, and that's so very rare these days.  I could go on about her forever.  She was so wise and so kind.  Another one I'd love to meet and talk with in the next life.   
"I believe in pink.  I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner.  I believe in kissing.  Kissing a lot.  I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong.  I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.  I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."
-Audrey Hepburn

"The best thing to hold onto in life is each other"
-Audrey Hepburn

"Elegance is the only beauty that never fades"
-Audrey Hepburn
"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others.  For beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness.  And for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone"
-Audrey Hepburn

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow"
-Audrey Hepburn

"You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him."
-Audrey Hepburn

"Paris is always a good idea"
-Audrey Hepburn
Marjorie Hinkley

I know, I know.  How can I just lump her in with these others, right?  I swear, this woman is the wisest woman that ever lived!!  Every time I read anything she has ever written or said, I feel like she is speaking directly to me.  She was so smart and so strong.  And she and I share a birthday :)  November 23rd.  Also, she has a son named, Clark.  I swear I did not copy her, just a happy accident.  Those are the only two ways in which we are alike, I think.  Unless you count me trying everyday to be even a 10th as good a person as she was.  She grew up in Salt Lake and graduated from East High School.  Yes yes, the same school "High School Musical" was filmed at.  (I know that's embarrassing, but I don't care)  She and Gordon B Hinkley lived right across the street from each other.  How cute is that?  What has always amazed me most about her is how much she loved her life!!  She was so proud of being a wife and a mother and a grandmother.  She did a lot, but that was who she was and what she wanted to be doing.  I think its pretty easy these days to feel like we have to be doing so much else to make up for the fact that we are "just  a wife".  "just a mom".  Just a grandmother".  Its the age of the "pinterest mom" as I call it.  Its time we take a lesson from Marjorie Hinkley and remember just how impotant our role as wife, mother and grandmother is and stop making excuses.  Focus on that part of being a woman more than any other and be proud of it.  Being a woman does not mean you have a clean house all the time.  It does not mean that you are an expert chef and have a super-model figure.  It doesn't mean that you can make Christmas ornaments our of recycled paper and flowers arrangements from wood shavings and homemade soap that matches the interior of each bathroom and chore charts that would make Martha Stewart choke on her craft supplies.  Marjorie Hinkley knew that being a woman was about kindness and service and compassion and healing and nurturing and patience.  She is who we should be trying to be like.. not Angelina Jolie and Jessica Alba or that supermom in your ward.  She knew what it was all about.  And I guarantee that she is just as much a teacher in heaven as she was here on earth! 

"The trick is to enjoy life.  Don't wish away your days waiting for better ones ahead."
-Marjorie Hinkley

"The grand and the simple.  They are equally wonderful"
-Marjorie Hinkley

"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car wearing beautifully tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.  I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking the kids to scout camp.  I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.  I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping weed someones garden.  I want to be there with childrens sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friends on my shoulder.  I want the lord to know I was really here and that I really lived."
-Marjorie Hinkley

"Everything you are learning is preparing you for something else."
-Marjorie Hinkley

"People are wonderful.  Each one has a story.  Each something to give.  Each knows something interesting.  Something that can make your life richer."
-Marjorie Hinkley

"Be kind.  Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle"
-Marjorie Hinkley

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up and totally worn out and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow what a ride'."
-Marjorie Hinkley   

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Isn't it funny how easy it is to become so bored with everyday life?  You get so tired of doing the same thing day in and day out.  And then something happens that makes you remember how very fragile life is.  And whenever that happens, all you really want is home.  All you want is the normal and the mundane. 
Instead of being frustrated with all the noise and messes, you're just happy to have two healthy children who are happy and playing.

Instead of being bored with the same old chores, you're grateful you have a home.

Instead of envying and pinteresting and window-shopping and day-dreaming, you realize how blessed you are and how much you have.

Instead of dragging your feet to make spaghetti yet again for dinner, you're so happy you have food to feed your family.

Instead of being upset that the kids wont sleep, you feel lucky to rock your baby and feel his little hands cling to you and his small breaths on your neck.

Instead of wishing you could go out, you're just so happy to sit on the couch and talk to your husband.

Instead of laying in bed and stressing over the day that's been or the day that's to come, you simply feel all the peace that comes with knowing your family is all home together, sleeping and safe.
How much easier life would be if we could always remember what is truly important and live in the moment.  I've always envied most, the people who are able to be happy no matter what.  The people who are completely content and don't fill their minds with the past, wondering what might have been or wishing they could just go back and change one thing.  Who don't fear the future or spend their days saying that they "wont be happy until...."  My goal has always been to be more content and stop worrying so much.  I'm trying more to increase my faith and my gratitude each day.  On the days when this is the focus, I'm always happy.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Madelyn Rose Merkley

My brother Nathan and his wife Kaitlin are two amazing people.  I've always known this.  But the past few days I've found myself in complete awe of their wisdom and quiet strength.  They've wanted a family since the day they got married.  They were so happy this last fall with the news that they were expecting.  They were even more thrilled with the news a few months later that they were having a little girl.  We had months of buying baby clothes, making baby blankets, talking about names and all of us picturing them being parents. (which is so easy to do)  We were all anxiously awaiting May 22nd 2013!!  On April 11th 2013, we were all devastated to hear the news that their sweet baby daughter, had died.  I cannot imagine hearing those words from your doctor.  I cannot imagine that terrible moment.  I cannot imagine the strength it must have taken to go home that night to their apartment and see her nursery, her bed and prepare to go to the hospital the next morning to be induced and deliver the baby.  I did not sleep that night.  I cried and cried.  My heart broke for them.  It killed me not being there with them.  Clark wanted to know what was going on.  We explained things to him and he seemed so sad and looked over at Kalvin and said "Is our baby going to die?"  My heart broke again.  We talked a while more and he seemed to feel better.  His concern then was if Jesus knew how to take care  of a baby :)  I watched my babies sleep and tried not to imagine what I would have done if it had happened to me.  Brad and I laid in bed, waiting for a phone call or a text or something.  The next day, Brad had to go to school and I spent the day waiting by the phone.  I talked to my Mom probably 20 times and Kaitlin's sweet sister, Kelsey forwarded me messages from their Mom, who was in the delivery room with Nathan and Kaitlin.  I wasn't there, but everyone seemed so amazed at how calm they both were.  That they were handling things so well.  That they felt peace and comfort and were an incredible example to the rest of us all falling apart.  They had oh so many prayers being said for them in those 24 hours.  I probably can account for half.  I know the spirit was with them and it was with other family members.  I didn't sleep the next night either.  Just laid there holding my phone and waiting.   The baby was born this morning.  They were able to hold her and say goodbye.  They said that she was beautiful and perfect and that they know they will see her again one day.    
I cant help but think of the Hymn "God Be With You Til We Meet Again".  Its been running through my mind for two days now.  How blessed we are to have the gospel and a true understanding of things during a tragedy like this.  Nathan and Kaitlin have a long road of healing ahead of them.  But I know them.  Like I said, they are amazing.  They will get through this.  They will heal.  They will have a family.  All my prayers and thoughts are with them.  All my love is with them and their daughter.  And I will remember her every April.  And every time I see the color coral :) To end with the words of a man much wiser than I...
"Hope on.  Journey on."
-Jeffrey R. Holland  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

General Conference

"The most powerful work you will ever do is within the walls of your home."
-Boyd K. Packer
"What e're thou art, act well thy part"
-Elaine S. Dalton 
"Learn to receive and act upon inspiration and revelation"
-Boyd K. Packer
"Recognize the good in others"
-Richard G. Scott
"Fan the flame of your faith"
-Jeffrey R. Holland
"Bloom where you are planted"
-Stanley G. Ellis
"In order to contend, you need two people, and I will never be one of them"
-Enrique R. Falabella
"There are few things more powerful than the faithful prayers of a righteous mother"
-Boyd K. Packer
"Keep the full-time missionaries in your thoughts and prayers"
-Neil L. Andersen
"We need to trust in the Lord and his timing"
-Richard G. Scott
"How we raise our children in far more important than where"
-Stanley G. Ellis
"Be wise in how you embrace technology"
-Richard G. Scott
"Obedience to the law is Liberty"
-L. Tom Perry
"Marriage is a gift from god.  The quality of our marriage is our gift to him."
-L. Whitney Clayton
"Hope on.  Journey on."
-Jeffrey R. Holland
"Seek the Lord's acceptance"
-Erich W. Kopischke
"Rise up and become the person you were designed to be"
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"No force in the entire world can stop the work of the Lord"
-Thomas S. Monson

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Saddest Day

A few weeks ago, our little Kalvin got sick.  We took him to the doctor and they said he had Bronchiolitis.  We got him some medicine and he started doing much better.  Then, on March 25th, suddenly he got sick again.  It got much worse that night.  We were up all night long.  Finally, at about 4am, he was really struggling to breathe.  He looked like a little bullfrog, the way his whole body was working to take one little breath.  His hearth was racing and we just didnt feel good about how things were looking.  Brad gave him a blessing and then he took our little man to the ER at Mountain View Hospital.  And I waited.  That sucked.  I sat on the couch freaking out for a good two hours before Brad texted me the above picture and said that they ran some tests and that they were going to transfer him via ambulance to Summerlin Hospital so he could be admitted.  Thats when I really started to freak out!!  I started to get things together.  I called my wonderful sister-in-law, Pauline who said she would take me to the Hospital to pick up our car (since Brad would be riding in the ambulance with Kal) and take Clark back home with her, so I could stay at the hospital.  Clarky woke and stumbled out of his room asking where Kalvin was.  He gave me his magnadoodle to give to Kalvin, so Kalvin "wouldnt be scared". 
Then Brad texted us, Pauline picked us up and dropped me at the Hospital and I raced to Summerlin.  Is that not the saddest thing in the entire world??  He is so tiny!!
Brad said that the paramedics were awesome with him.  One even got out his ipad so Kalvin could watch "Cars" for the trip. 
I got to the hospital before they did.  They took me up to wait in his room and the second I put my stuff down, they wheeled him in.  That was the saddest part!  Actually seeing him all strapped down and stuff.  He didnt see me at first, but Brad did and he looked relieved to see me.  He said it was pretty hard all morning, seeing Kal crying and sick and scared.  As soon as I could hold Kalvin though, I felt a million times better!!!!  I didnt want to put him down the rest of the day!!!  He was such a trooper, I couldnt believe it!!!  All the breathing treatments and taking blood and the IV and strangers poking and prodding him and he took it all in stride.  He was so sweet and hardly cried.  He just laid there and held on tight to his Goobey.  Everyone was inlove with him and he barely slept, cuz people kept wanting to poke their heads in to see him and somment on how adorable he was.  The doctor and nurses and everyone was just amazing and we were so impressed!!  The doctor said that what happened was that Kalvin caught a virus that caused and asthma attack.  Well, he said if the child is under 6, its called airway restrictive disease, but that its basically the same thing as asthma.  And it doesnt mean that he is going to have asthma.  This could be the one and only time he ever has an attack.  So he said that as soon as Kal could go 4 hours breathing easily between breathing treatments, we could go home.  Yay!! 
So we finally got Kal to go to sleep for a bit and Brad and I had a tasty lunch of a protein bars and watched "Full House" and waited.  4 hours later, they let us take our baby home!!!  Yay!! Kalvin was so ready to go.  And, he was starving too.  We strapped him in the car and he started shouting, "nuggets! nuggets! nuggets!"  haha  So we got the boy some nuggets and picked up Clark and came home and rested and ate Pauline's delicious taco soup.  It was a rough few days of up all nighters and a baby hopped up on steroids and watching his breathing like a crazy person, but he is now so much better!!!  Thank heavens!!  Im so so so thankful for Hospitals and good doctors and nurses and medicine and Brad and the Priesthood and Family that you can rely on and friends who care and a ward who loves you and more than anything, a healthy baby!!!!