Wednesday, May 26, 2010

9 years

Happy Anniversary to my very best friend. We were married 9 years ago today in the Bountiful, UT temple. I can only imagine how my life would have turned out if I hadn't married him. Before marrying him, I honestly thought I would be a multiple-divorcee, being unable to stay married to someone for life, let alone eternity. He treats me like a queen and is the best father I could ever ask for my children. He has given me a happier life than I could have ever imagined or hoped for.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pig tails

After wrestling Lauren every day to fix her hair, I've decided that the reason pig tails are called "pig tails" is because putting them on little girls is about as hard as it would be to put them on a little pig. The two cutest things about her are her big blue eyes and her wild, wild hair. As much as I love it, it has always been a challenge to tame. Here are some of my favorite hair pictures of my little princess.











As you can see, the longer it gets, the more challenging it has gotten. Thanks to my parents living in Indonesia, I think I found the solution to my hair troubles.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lists on Mother's Day

Having worked on the OB floor of the hospital and in a nursing home, I have come to realize how tender those two stages of life are: that of entering this life, and that of departing. You come to realize that although 80 + years of life might separate the two, they really aren't very distant from each other. The other day, as I fed my little Lauren her lunch, I was reminded of my days of working as a CNA at a nursing home on the Alzheimer's wing, feeding the elderly. I began thinking of all the similarities between babies and some of the very sweet but very forgetful elderly patients I took care of. Here are some of the ones I came up with:

-They wear diapers.
-They usually don't have teeth (and if they do, they usually don't know where to find them or what to do with them.
-They make a mess when they eat and like to play with their food.
-They wear bibs when they eat.
-You have to spoon-feed them.
-They can be slobbery.
-They cry a lot.
-They don't like being bathed.
-They're wobbly when they walk.
-They have a hard time expressing themselves and mix up their words.
-They are quick to get frustrated but are even quicker to forgive and forget.
-They love to laugh and give kisses.
-They are easily amused.
-They often babble in non-sensical words.
-Sometimes you have to rub their backs and hum to them to get them to fall asleep.
-They are scared of the dark and people that look like doctors.
-At the end of the day, all they want is their mommas.

I find this last similarity the most touching. No matter how old, or how many life experiences, the tender feelings they have in their hearts for their mothers are just as vivid as ever, if not more so at the end of life. When the elderly residents with Alzheimers would wake up afraid at night, they would often call for "Mother."

Here's a video I made for my mom's 60th birthday this year. Happy Mother's Day, Mom, I love you!!

Happy Birthday, Mom from Rita Merrick on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Change

Here are some personal thoughts, please forgive...

I've heard people say that as they listen to General Conference, they hear a general theme. I think this is right, but I think the theme everyone hears probably differs from other people, depending on what it is that they need to hear at the time.

I've been listening to General Conference on my Ipod as I exercise (I highly recommend this by the way-you can download it for free) and the theme I've heard over and over again is how much we need to focus on our primary role as parents and raising these little spirits. The more I listened to this theme being repeated over and over, the more anxiety I felt about my working situation. It's only one night per week but the day before and after my night shift I'm grumpy as I stress out about the lack of sleep. It throws off our family routine and overall is a challenge (actually I become a challenge to my family).

Last night Dennis and I both felt strongly that I should postpone my nursing career indefinitely and focus on being a mom. As soon as we decided this, I felt an overwhelming sense of joy. I literally felt overwhelmed with joy at having made this decision. Then, just as it seems to always happen, I felt a flood of doubts come into my mind. I lay awake in bed for a couple of hours as it seemed like a floodgate of doubts had been opened on my mind and I couldn't shut them off. What about our plans to pay off our mortgage early? What about our savings? Will I lose my skills as a nurse? My income from my work was only going to savings and debt elimination, but it will still create a hole in our finances. This flood of doubts actually confirmed to me further that I am making the correct decision. It seems like whenever the Spirit confirms something special and important to you, Satan moves in right after and tries to undo all that you've felt by inundating you in doubt and fear.

I remember feeling like this after I agreed to marry Dennis. I knew that whoever married Dennis would be the luckiest girl in the world but I still felt an overwhelming sense of doubt if I was to be that girl. This doubt was so consuming that I lost many nights of sleep and almost called off the wedding. One day after expressing these feelings to my dad he taught me this principle of the pattern of confirmation followed by doubt. I will always be grateful for that lesson. It scares me to think what my life would be like if I had followed those feelings of doubt and called off the wedding. Marrying Dennis was easily the best decision I've ever made in my life.

So here we go. I realize it might not seem like a big deal, but this is the first time since I've been a mom, that I've decided to be a 100% stay-at-home mom. I know some ego will have to be sacrified since I take pride in my nursing career. It will definitely be a change, but a great one, and I am thrilled.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Symbols of Hope 5k/Fun Run

Last weekend we had our first Symbols of Hope 5k/Fun Run. The crazy thought came to me a few months ago when I read President's Monson's encouragement to do what we could for the people affected by the earthquake in Haiti. I thought for a day or so about what I could do that would be meaningful and came up with the idea to put on this 5k/Fun Run. A few weeks into the planning process, the earthquake in Chile happened and I decided to shift my focus there since our country had already poured out so much financial support to the people in Haiti. I was afraid that because of the difficult economy and how generous people had already been, that the aid to Chile wouldn't be very much. What I thought was going to be a no-big-deal event turned into WAY more planning and time than I had orginally planned. It seemed like there was just one thing after another that kept coming up that I hadn't thought about. It's easily the most time-intensive thing I've ever done, including training for a marathon. I learned so much in the process and for that I am grateful. I have been so impressed and surprised by people's generosity and willingness to help a cause that involves people that live so far away from us. As terrible as things seem to be in the world, I do believe that there is much more good than there is bad. There really are some marvelous people out there.

The turn out was great with over 130 runners. One of my sponsors told me he had only heard of one race in the valley that had drawn over 100 runners it's first year so I was quite happy with our turn out. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the race that my brother Percy took. I was so appreciative of Percy, Cristina, Stanton, and Stanton's family's sacrifice to come the long way to support us. Stanton designed the logos and I think he did an awesome job. The weather was perfect, and despite a few mishaps, I think things went pretty well. These types of athletic events are something that I strongly believe in because I think it gets people excited and motivated about fitness. The feeling of excitement and comradery among the racers is my favorite part. It's addictive, I think.

I haven't decided for sure if I want to do something like this again next year, for whatever cause comes up between now and then, but I imagine I probably will. I've learned so much and hopefully things will run a little smoother and the preparation won't be as time-consuming because of many of the connections I've already made.

Thanks again to everyone that helped out!