Sunday, November 5, 2017

Missing The Mark

Since I was a little girl, I can remember looking through the pages of an encyclopedia we had in our home. I would gaze at the pictures of the embryo that was a blob of cells. I was amazed at the transformation that took place as it developed into a baby. The pictures were in full color. They had my full attention every time. 

As I got older, I realized science was something I loved. Human biology was a favorite, along with anatomy. The body to me was a miracle. I knew that I wanted it to be a part of my life forever. I decided it would be awesome to be an obstetrician. Everyday I would have the pleasure of witnessing the development of fetuses, but also their birth. 

I left for Utah knowing I would have to wait a year to establish residency so I could afford college. I had a plan. I would work while attending college. I would start with community college and get my associates degree at a cheaper cost, then move to a university that would help me become an OBGYN. Now, in the greatest Larae fashion, that's all there was to plan. I would figure out the where to attend once I got settled. 

Seven  months into the plan, I met a young man named Dustin Merritt. Six months after that, I was engaged. I was married three months later, and pregnant four months after that. In a total of twenty months I went from single and having "plans", to married and having "new plans." Now, don't get me wrong. I was happy to be married, I was happy to be expecting. It all may have come sooner than I planned, but I was happy. I just had to adjust my plan, and move goals back a little later in life. After having 3 unexpected pregnancies in a twenty month time frame, I knew school would have to wait until kids were older. 

I had 5 children by the time I was 28. I knew that I could start school once the youngest was in school all day. That day arrived and I went and registered for school. My plans had changed a little. It would take way too much time to be an OBGYN. I thought of becoming a labor and delivery nurse, but settled on going to school to be an ultrasound technician. It would be a slow process, but eventually I'd have my four year degree. My plans were set and moving forward.

I found out I was pregnant with baby #6 a month after I registered for school. I was shocked! However, I was still determined to start school. I knew it would all work out. Then, I started getting sick. I was sick and tired, and old! In all reality, I knew it would be too much for me to be a full time mom, work, and be huge and pregnant going to school.  So, I decided I would tuck my goals away, again.

This time, the desire to go to school actually left. The thought of even attempting anything made me extremely tired, and I was okay saying it just wasn't going to happen. My children are my world and I love them!! I recognized I was lucky to have 6 little souls that are part of me, and part of Dustin. Watching them grow and coming into their own has been rewarding and fulfilling. And will be forever.

But, that Satan! Oh, he's sneaky. Once you have something at peace, he sure likes to stir it up again.  The past little while I have been comparing myself to others. Thinking about how I never got to have
the experiences I dreamed of. I noticed that other moms have gone on and done school, the whole works. What was wrong with me? Why did I just quit? Why didn't I get what I wanted? Why did they get to plan every one of their children? It was a bad place to go.

As I was driving home this week, listening to my Michael Mclean (you all know how much I love him), for the 20th + time. He was singing about the Pharisees and how they didn't recognize Christ for who He was because He didn't live the way they thought He should live. And that He couldn't be the Savior because He wasn't delivering them from the Gentiles. He wasn't being the Hero they were anticipating.

I got caught up in the story. Then I felt a warm hug. Not a real hug, but a gentle warmth all over my body. The thought came to me, "Larae, just like they missed the mark with Jesus, you are missing the mark of your own life. It may not be what you planned, but if you let me, I can make it all you need and more. You have purpose."

I had let my disappointment consume me. Because of that, I lost my purpose. I couldn't see my purpose! I believe in the power of grace. I know that the Lord can take what I can give and make it more. I may not be where I had planned in the beginning, but that doesn't equal failure. It means I have the opportunity to see what I can be. This time, I won't be doing it alone. Because of that, it might be even  better!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

School Pictures 2017-18

I know they are not always the best photos, but I love school pictures. It's like not official until you have that school picture to capture you at that age!!

Here are my kids for the year:

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Grace's First Dance: Homecoming

A few days after Grace turned 16, she received a special package at the door. Anyone who knows Grace, knows she loves donuts!! Her friend, Zach, asked her to the Homecoming Dance.

She responded a few days later!

We had fun deciding what dress to get and how to wear her hair. She was ready for the big day!!

The boys came and got the girls out of bed at 5:30 in the morning. They took them to breakfast. Grace came home slept a little, and then got ready for the day date. They took them to a fun park with go carts, mini golfing, arcade games, and other fun stuff! She got back at 4:30. I know she was tired, but she had to get ready for the dance! 
Here she was patiently waiting:

She was ready when he arrived at 6:00 pm. They were headed to do pictures, dinner, and finally the dance! She had so much fun! She arrived home by midnight, tired and ready for bed. It sure was night to remember. She was with many friends and couldn't have asked for a better date!!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Happy Sweet 16, Grace!

BIG things happen at 16 in our house! I'm not talking about driving. That doesn't actually happen until 17. Dustin saw too much stuff as a cop and won't let the kids have a license until they are older. But, they can date!! Grace has been waiting!! 

Grace is a sophomore. I can't believe the maturity that has taken place in just a year. She realizes she's growing up and acts accordingly. She has always done well in school. She is a perfectionist by nature. A natural worrier. I have noticed she's trying to chill out a little. She has been able to identify that she is in control of the things she wants to do and has taken the challenge by the horns. She's never been afraid of a challenge, but the way she handles them has blossomed. It's beautiful to watch. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Becca Is 12!!

When a young girl turns 12 in the LDS culture, it's a BIG deal! You are no longer considered a little kid, but a young woman. You start to go to an organized group for young women. It is called Young Women's! Well, now all of my girls are part of this organization! Becca became a Beehive! The first step for girls 12-13!! We are ready for her to start all the things that come with it. She will attend a weekly activity with the girls. She will be able to attend the temple and do temple baptisms for the dead. She will begin to earn her Young Women's medallion. All exciting new things for her!! they heart attacked her to welcome her to the Beehives!!

We celebrated with just our family this year. She wanted money. What tween doesn't? Hopefully, she will find something she wants!!

Becca is in the 6th grade and she loves it!! She is on the Student Council and represents her class well! She takes it very seriously. Even though she has a serious side, she is also fun and energetic. Becca is kind and a loyal friend. She is so stinking smart too!! She has been asked to help the other kids who struggle in her class. Anyone that is having a hard time, the teacher asks Becca to lead a little group. She helps them and teaches them. She is a natural born leader!! I have no doubt all this girl will do in her live! It will be amazing to watch! And, she'll do it all on her own...that's the amazing part!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

First Day of School Year 2017-18

Another school year is starting! Aaron is a Senior. Grace is  a Sophomore. Kate is in 8th grade. Rebecca is in 6th grade. Britten is in preschool with me!!

Aaron decided to take some college courses. He's taking a math class, psychology, a criminal justice class, and an English class. He is planning on attending USU. they offer a path to becoming a game warden. 

Grace is taking a dance class. That was super fun to hear. Our family was not blessed with rhythm,but she wants to know the basics. She is on her third year of French. 

Kate is ruling the school as an 8th grader. She loves science and history. She's excited to learn more. She decide to take a guitar class. More music in the house!!

Becca is excited to have Mrs Anderson. She is planning on running for student body. last year she tried and didn't make it. She wants to help and be involved. A new school opened this year and a lot of her friends went to it. She has a great opportunity to make new friends!!

Britten is with me!! It will be struggle to be his teacher, but I shall try!!
We're excited for a new school year and the learning opportunities ahead!!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

When He Knows Better Than You

This entry is very hard for me to write. I have been avoiding it. But, it's time.

The other day I was talking to some neighbors about how difficult it was to find out I was pregnant with Britten. It was hard. I had my family the way I wanted it and was ready to move past pregnancy, weight gain, sleepless nights, potty training, temper tantrums. We had moved past! Our 5th child was 6 and a half. I think the picture is set- I did not want to be pregnant.

I remember when I told Dustin. He fell to his knees like he was going to pass out. I don't think either one of us was scared to have another baby, or wondering how we were going to have another child. We just plain and simple did not want another child.  It breaks my heart as I write this, but it is honestly the way we felt.

I would like to shout from the roof tops, "I AM SO GRATEFUL WE HAVE OUR BRITTEN!!" We were wrong.  We did need another child. Dustin and I often talk about how old we are, but how having Britten makes us  feel young. He keeps us playful. When this home is full of teenage drama, here comes Britten with his cute dimples and happy eyes asking, "Will you play with me?" 

I watch my teenagers play superheroes, Candy Land, Trouble, cars, school. They do it without being asked. They want to play with him because I think it gives them a reason to go back in time and pretend all that matters is if Spider-Man beats the bad guy, or what color of car you want to play with today. Britten takes the worries of growing up away for a few moments. He reminds us to stay young, at least for now.

Yes, I was wrong. I thank the Heavens everyday for this baby. Everyday!