Sunday, October 26, 2014

Accepting I'm No Superstar

Sometimes admitting weakness is really hard. Especially when your life is great and you don't want to feel like you're complaining. I hope this doesn't come across as complaining. I love my life. I have a great husband and I have wonderful kids. We have been blessed beyond measure. I am a lucky lady! But, even the luckiest of us have troubles.

For the past year in a half I have felt trapped in someone else's life. All of a sudden the happy I felt seemed overtaken by sadness, worry, and anxiety. The happy was still there, but for some reason I have had to make the effort to uncover it. It. Has. Been. Hard. And, I think the hardest part was not being able to give it a name. By name, I mean a reason. Why was I feeling this way?

Lately, I have been able to feel the fog in my brain starting to lift. Mostly because I have the energy to lift it now. Before, it just seemed too much. The thought of figuring out the "why" was so overwhelming, I just wanted to go to sleep- well, I just wanted to sleep all the time, period. The thought of doing ANYTHING was overwhelming. The name I have given my situation is depression. I'm pretty certain what I have been feeling is a type of depression. And I think it all started with having a baby.

I have always had a little depression with my kids, but I have always been able to overcome it pretty quickly. I was back to my "normal" self in a few months. So why was this baby different?

After I had Britten, we sold our house of 13 years. We moved into a new house. I was now surrounded by people I didn't know and they didn't know me. I think all the change at once was too much for me. I couldn't handle it. I was clearly not the superwoman I thought I was. This has been hard to admit. Not because I think I'm so great, I know I'm not. But, because it would mean I needed help. I like knowing I can do things for my self.
 I have come to realize I am not getting out of this blackness by myself. I'm beginning to realize that's okay. It was lonely when I was fighting alone. In fact it got me nowhere. I was completely unsuccessful. Once I opened my mouth and heart, and was honest, I had the help I needed to start seeing through the sadness, worry, and fear. It has been awakening!

What a blessing it has been to realize I don't have to do anything alone; I'm no superhero. What a lesson! We are on this earth to help each other. Asking for help doesn't equal weakness. Asking for help means you recognize the strength that can be found when you let someone walk your journey with you.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Birthday Interviews for Kate, Aaron, Becca, & Grace

We'll just say I'm a tad Okay, A LOT! Kate's birthday was in May! But, better late than never!

I can't believe this girl is 10!! Almost 10 1/2! She is such a great girl. She is my most affectionate child. She loves to be hugged, kissed, or tickled. She is a big help with the baby and is our go to girl to bathe him. She is smart and is a great speller! She has gotten 100% on all of her pre-tests in Spelling and has yet to take a test! She loves to be active and wants to be doing something. Her normal wake time is 6:30 am. Yes, she is our early riser! One of her best qualities is that she is friendly. She loves to be with friends! We love you Katie Bug!

Kate's Interview

color: red
food: pizza
 subject in school: math
candy bar: Kit Kat
book: Among the Hidden
tv show: Survivor
movie: Harry Potter series
fruit: banana
vegetable: broccoli
chore: sweep
 I asked her three questions. 
1) What would you do with a million dollars? He answer was, "I would make the first Lego phone." This girl LOVES Lego's!!
2) If you could do something nice, what would you do and who would it be for? She answered, "I would clean the house for you!"
3) What do you want to be when you grow up? She wants to be a cowgirl or a cop.


Aaron is absolutely our biggest helper. He always wants to be doing something. And he loves doing it with his dad! He's Dustin's little- well big, he's about 5'8 now- sidekick. He's a smarty pants too. He's pretty much had straight As all of his school years. I made him take some honor classes this year- and he is doing great ( he should have been all along, but I get tired of fighting about it). Aaron is someone who sticks to his guns. A great quality, but's hard to convince him once his mind is set on something. I love watching my teenagers grow no matter how much we might fight about things at times. Aaron is responsible and will always do what he says he will. He will do random acts of kindness and I love that about him! You don't have to usually ask him to do something. He sees the need and just does it!! He's 15 and I can't believe it!!

Aaron's Birthday Interview

color: blue
food: steak
subject in school: gym
candy bar: Take 5
book: none (he doesn't like reading)
tv show: Psych
movie: Guardians of the Galaxy
fruit: apple pears- they're a real fruit!
vegetable: green beans
chore: none

What would you do with a million dollars?
His answer, "Go on an exotic hunt." Not sure what he'd do with the rest.
2) If you could do something nice for someone, what would you do and who would you do it for?
 Answer: "I would play with Britten."
3) What is your future job? He wants to be a Fish & Game Warden.

Holy cow, this girl!! Becca is 9!! And she is too much all of the time!! But, we lover her. The other night the missionaries were over for dinner. She had them laughing. One elder finally asked, "Where do you get your big personality from?!" Her answer was, "My dad." It's true. She is the female version of Dustin. She is wild, she is crazy, she is fun! I would describe Rebecca as light. You never see her sad. She loves people. She loves the spotlight. This has helped her in all of her talents. She excels in school, loves to sing, and we recently discovered she's a pretty darn good soccer player! The sport is perfect for her! She is so energetic and it comes out on the field. We love you Becca!! Life would certainly be dull without you!

Becca's Interview

color: teal
food: : "yellow rice"- it's a cheesy rice
subject in school: handwriting- she's learning cursive this year
candy bar: twix
book: the Dork Diaries series
tv show: Livi and Maddy
movie: Frozen
fruit: pineapple
vegetable: broccoli
chore: sweep

1) What would you do with a million dollars?  She would buy anything she wanted!
2) If you could do anything nice, what would you and who would you do it for?
Answer: "I would buy flowers for Mrs. Chapman because she's always so nice to me!" Mrs. Chapman was her 2nd grade teacher and is amazing. She deserves flowers!
3) What do you want to be when you grow up? She would be a veterinarian, or a cop.

I'm not sure what it is, but when my kids turn 13, my heart breaks a little. I love that they are growing up, I do. But, it just seems it's all flying by! Grace is 13!! I have three teenagers!! But, they are great teenagers. They have their own minds and need convincing, but most of the time they are totally obedient and respectful. Grace is my most responsible child. She seldom forgets a thing. She is sweet, loving, and kind. We have had a few moments with her response to people when she feels she is being picked on, but she is working on it and doing great! She really does want to be the best her possible. And I love that about her! She works hard in school and her grades show it! She is mad when she gets a B. Her goal is to attend BYU-I, so I told her she would need to work hard. She is Britten's second mom- great and annoying all at the same time, but I'll take the bad with the good any day! She loves babysitting and is really good at it. She used to be my "shy" kid, but has totally turned that around!! It's been great to witness! We love you, Grace!

Grace's Interview

color: turquoise
food: hot wings
subject in school: math
candy bar: Symphony (no nuts)
book: The Falling Stars series
tv show: Spongebob ???
movie: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
fruit: strawberry
vegetable: carrot
chore: clean the family room

1) What would you do with a million dollars? She would save it. Yes, yes she would!! That girl is a saver!
2) If you could do something nice for someone, what would you do and who for? 
Answer: "I would feed the homeless." LOVE!
What do you want your future job to be? She still would like to move to Paris and open a doughnut shop.

I love my kids!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thoughts on a Late Summer's Evening- Mostly about being better

Warning: These are the ramblings of my mind when my husband is gone and my children are in bed. I have no idea where this post may go. Or, if it will have any point.

I initially got on to post about my Grandma Taylor. I've been meaning to for quite sometime. I started a post about a couple weeks ago and I was going to finish it. But, I lost my notebook that had all my notes about her. Well, I'm pretty sure it's misplaced. It's misplaced because I shoved it somewhere so I could say my room was clean. My husband and I still fight about things like that. I leave things out. He puts them away. He doesn't like when I leave things out. We usually end up fighting about it. Not really "fighting,"  but we get completely annoyed with each other because it is a part of our lives where we are so different. And neither one of us has any intention of changing about it. So, I stuff things away so they are out of sight, and I end up losing them. Yeah. Maybe I should work on that a bit.

I can't believe another summer has come and gone. They seem to go by faster and faster. My mom says it is a sign of the times. I remember reading something about it. I'm sure she's right. My mom is pretty smart about things like that. It makes me really sad though. My kids are getting way too big! Ryan started his junior year, Aaron is now a freshman, Grace started Jr high, Kate is 5th grade, and Rebecca is in 3rd!
(That is a ton of kids!)

We did some pretty fun things this summer. We went to Family Education week, Lagoon, we hiked Mount Timpanogas. I don't have many pictures because I have become a really lame mom. I don't mean to be, but it is happening. 
Anyway, our big family vacation this summer was trip up to BYU-Idaho. We attended their Family Education Week.  We went with our neighbors the Andersons. We had a real enjoyable time. I would recommend it to anyone! The kids loved it and we are planning on going next year as well. 
One of my favorite classes was about celebrating our victories. The man teaching the class was a recovering pornography addict. He was a young guy, but very insightful. He talked of how we, as a Mormon culture, remain silent about our struggles/weaknesses. It's taboo to talk about- I would completely agree with him on this. We like to talk about all that is pretty and perfect and because of this, a lot of things go left un-talked about. He gave the example of his own struggle with pornography. Once he opened up about it, he couldn't believe how many people were like, "Oh, I completely understand. I was there once." Even his own father made a similar comment. He was thinking he could never approach his father about his situation. But in reality, his father told him he wished he had known sooner. He gave everyone a fun, little pin to put on their shirt, or purse, or scripture case. It read, "Victory." It was to show others that you have overcome something hard. That you know what it's like to be in the trenches of life. That if they needed someone to understand, you did. After we got our pins, we signed his banner. His banner was full of names of those who have struggled. It was nice to feel part of a group where all have felt heartbreak in some way. Because that's really what we are. We are a group of people who are on this earth all experiencing different heartbreaks, different challenges, but in the end we were put on this earth to help lift and encourage one another. I left that class so motivated to be better and to be willing to share the not-so-pretty parts of my life. 

Mount Timpanogas was fun!  We went with the Andersons as well. They are a fun family and our kids are the some ages. I really enjoyed the hike. It was about 1.5 miles. it was pretty steep in some parts, but still doable. The caves were awesome! I couldn't believe the difference in temperature. Out side was high 70s and inside was mid 40s. After our hike, we ate lunch up the canyon. It was nice to be in the outdoors!

It was nice to spend time as a family! I was nice to have the kids' attention. We have gotten way too wrapped up in screen time. I mentioned to Dustin about doing a screen fast. he kind of chuckled. I could go without for quite a while, but the rest of the Merritt bunch...they're all pretty attached to electronics. We will be working on it.

So much to be working on!! But, I'd rather be moving forward and being better than sitting still, or even worse, going backward! I hope to be a little more real this coming year. Not necessarily on the blog, or social media in general, but just in life. I think we could use more of it. Struggles make us better. We should be willing to embrace those who are in need, letting them know we understand. We need to let them know we have been where they are, or if we haven't, we are willing to go with them.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Power in the Temple

I went to the temple this afternoon. It has been a while. Since moving out of the Salt Lake Valley, we no longer have a 10 min drive to the temple. I can't believe how adding 20 minutes to that drive has changed everything!! I know people who have to drive hours and I'm worried about 20 minutes!! It's kind of crazy!

I chose to do initiatory work. I walked into the dressing room and entered the Initiatory room and was shocked! They have redone the whole thing! It was beautiful! The waiting room was very calming and comfortable. Much different than the previous one. I sat across from a large picture of Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem. I had never seen that picture before and wondered why they had chosen that picture to put in the waiting room. Were we to think of Mary? Did this event somehow tie into the initiatory? I plan on studying it in detail and see what I can learn.

I only did the work for four names. One was crossed out. I found that interesting as well. I've never experienced that before. There were two names that stuck out to me. The first was, Aleida Peters and the second, Paula Petronella Peters. I'm thinking they were mother and daughter. They came from the same town in the Netherlands. There was a difference of 19 years. These names caught my eye because they were so different. I love different names and when I'm at the temple, I love thinking about the people I am doing the work for. It gave me happy thoughts to know this mother and daughter were receiving their blessing on the same day!

When the temple worker was talking to me, I found myself listening so intently. I was thinking about every word coming out of her mouth. I'm not sure if it was because of the Ordain Women stuff in the news recently, or what. I just really listened and really liked what I heard! As I listened I realized something that I often forget: my Heavenly Father gives me power! He never intended me to be a weak, sitting on the sidelines kind of gal (which I've always known and have always been taught). That whole ordinance is talking about the power that is in my divine nature. Each body part of mine is blessed and given power! It was wonderful to listen to. It made me want to attend everyday, just to hear all those promises again. Those promises are for me! His power is for me! I am a daughter of God, who loves me...

Friday, May 30, 2014

Sixth Grade Graduation

I've come to realize that while I'm helping my kids through their life, there are going to be events that cause me to remember things of my childhood. Today was one those days. 

I was at Grace's  6th grade graduation. The principal made a speech. Something I really liked from her speech was this advice, "Show me your friends and I'll show you your future."  I couldn't agree more with her, though I realize there are always those exceptions. Friends are important. As a mom, I will never downplay that. I just hope my kids keep being/making good friends.

During the day's events, I started thinking about my 6th grade graduation. I graduated form Hazel Grove Elementary in Lee's Summit, MO. I had only lived there for about 5 years, but the friends I made there are still fresh in my mind. I had good friends. And though a lot of them probably barley remember me, they will always hold a special place in my heart. I know that sounds cliche, but it's true. I believe nothing can replace childhood friends.  The memories you make with them are irreplaceable! And for me, the lessons I learned from them changed me. A lot happened for me between the ages of 8 and 13.

I started thinking of Grace and how much she has grown and matured this year. She dealt with some drama this year. Drama that made her grow. Her growth was good. I remember the stuff I went through in 6th grade. It changed me for the better as well. In 6th grade I learned the importance of being kind, not swearing, and being true to who I am. I'm starting to think 6th grade is HUGE!!

I am grateful she had an amazing teacher to help her through the events this year. She loves Mrs. Nielsen! I appreciate the fact that Mrs. Nielsen saw goodness in Grace and reminded her daily how great she was. As we were telling her goodbye today, her last words to Grace were, "You're amazing." I love that another adult can see that in my Grace and would be so willing to tell her. I kept in touch with my 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Dunn, for years! I hope Grace chooses to do the same.

We were leaving the gym and a friend stopped her and congratulated her- she graduated with "honors". I know it's only 6th grade, but she still worked hard! This lady (Angie Alvey) also said to her, "You're half way there!" GULP! 6 more years and this girl will be graduated form high school! Terror ran through me, but only for a minute. I reminded myself we were talking about Grace. Grace has a plan.

When she graduates, she will graduate with straight As so she can attend BYU-Idaho ( I asked her why not BYU. She didn't know. She just wants to go to Idaho.) She will get a degree in whatever she needs to be able to go to Paris and open a doughnut shop. Her best friend, Anneli, will have a beauty salon right next door. This has been her plan for a few years. It's a good plan for a 12 year old. I like the straight As part. And the doughnut part too. We like doughnuts in our house. I remember my 6th grade plan. I was going to come back to the mid-west and go to Kansas University and be roommates with my friend, Dana  Jackson. I never made it back and I never made it to college, but it was a good plan.

Sometimes our 6th grade plans don't work out. I hope Grace's does. I think she would fit perfectly in Paris. I hope she gets to accomplish all she wants to. But if not, I hope she will always remember how amazing her life is anyway. The number one thing life has taught me is that good things come from surprises. We just have to be willing to find them!!

getting certificate

 Grace and Martha (one of her good friends who chose not to believe all the "stuff")

Grace and Mrs. Nielsen

I just wanted to remember a few cute things from this memory:

*Grace held a poll on Instagram helping her to decide what to wear
* We went to lunch afterwards to Apple Bee's. She had burgers, I had steak. We shared.
*Her crush (Brandon, also her teacher's son) gave her a high five goodbye. She was excited!

I can't believe she'll be in jr high!!!  Knock 'em dead, Grace!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Journal or Scrapbook?

When I started this blog, I knew I would share the events of my little spot in this world. I really like how it started. I would just share the nothingness, but everything, of our day. After a little while it morphed into little snip-its about me. Now, I feel like this blog has become more like a scrapbook that I work on when I have time.

I realize my life is crazy. I am pulled every which way, never really knowing where I'm going. But I never thought I wouldn't take the time to write about my experiences in this journey. I want to do better. I want to share the exciting, the mundane, the whatever. I hope to turn this back into something I take the time for. I want to read this 10 years from now and still find the enjoyment in simple things. It can be so easy to take those for granted. The simple things. I don't want to be lame like that. How do I not be so lame?

I thought that was the end of this post, but it's not.

I just walked into the living room and saw the mess that my family has left in their paths today. It reminded me what an overwhelming day today has been. Dustin has been out of town. When he is out of town, I get lazy. We get lazy. You see, he's the organized, clean freak in our home. I'm not. I grew up in a home with 11 children for crying out loud. A few things out of place doesn't send me to the wall wanting to bash my head against it. I can walk around without ever noticing it.

I noticed it tonight. I don't think it means I'm going to get all organized and crazy. It still didn't bother me. Is it weird that I wanted to take a picture of the mess? I feel like maybe I should have captured a moment of what our house looks like after a crazy day. The people in my new neighborhood have yet to see anything out of place. I've been trying really hard to keep my new house clean. I like it a whole lot more when it's clean. But it's not the true me. I don't think a family of eight could live in the confusion that is me. Maybe it's good we live like Dustin. It felt good to let the lazy, disorganized monster out for a second. Now I need to go clean it. Tomorrow will come way too fast and I won't have time to take care of it then.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Late Night Thoughts

I always find myself awake late when Dustin is gone. It used to be when he worked graves as a police officer. Tonight, it is because he is traveling for work. I hate feeling lonely at night. You would think I wouldn't. There are 6 other little bodies in this home! During the day I'm fine. I have all my "mother chores" to keep me busy. At night, my mind has a lot of time to wander. And boy does it! 

It's always crazy too. Last night I drifted off to sleep worrying about being alone in the house and thinking of all the things that could happen. It rolled over into my dream. All night I was trying to escape a kidnapper. It was so real and detailed. I woke up telling myself that it would've been an awesome movie! I should have written it all down when it was fresh. I could've been rich!!

I always end up thinking about my life after raising kids. I never get a real chance to do this in the midst of chaos. And letting my mind really wander enough to comprehend and prepare for it starts giving me anxiety. Which is really weird because I really like the thought of having something else in my life that defines me differently. Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom. In my opinion it is the greatest thing I will ever do. I just like the thought of diapers, laundry and playing referee not consuming all of me. So I find it ironic that the thought of these being minimized freaks me out!!

I end up sifting through old photos, pulling out incomplete scrapbooks and crying A LOT! I look at my babies and they are getting so big! I can't believe it. It went too fast and I wan a do over, but not was hard work the first time and I know it won't be easier the 2nd. That;s the funny thing to me! I really enjoy my kids at the stage they are in (Britten doesn't count. He just entered the stage I hate most). They are fun and active! They are smart and independent-just working on Becca's ability to get her own bowls and cups. They are sweet and caring. I have been blessed with great kids!

Why do I do this? I really don't understand. I don't consider myself scared of change or an anxious person. It's annoying because if I want to plan past being a mom, my emotions take over and I completely shut down! I'm trying to plan my life here!!! It would be nice if I could get some cooperation.