Monday, January 1, 2018

A New Year, A New Word - 2018

I really struggled in 2017. I can say it wasn't my year. I took time off of doing goals because I felt too much pressure. But, in doing so, I felt absolutely lost in purpose. It taught me a great deal of why I should always be working on something!

This year will be different. I have chosen my word for the year (remember when I used to do that?). After tossing a few around, I chose my focus of the year would be the word: FRIEND. We're working on it as a family. We came up with a list of what we think a friend is.

A Friend Is:
-there for you whenever
-patient with your weaknesses
-interested in my life

In order to have friends, you have to be a friend. It's a two way street. By focusing on this, we hope to become better friends with our family, those who are outside of our home, but we also are going to focus on our relationship with Jesus Christ. He is our greatest friend, and we want to be His! We chose to focus on John 15:14:

"Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you." The Savior is always our friend, but we must be working on knowing Him better and becoming His friend. By keeping this in mind, we hope to become the best of us possible! 

Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 15, 2017

No More Braces!!

We have been on a countdown over here! Grace has been waiting three years to say goodbye to her braces. Today, she was finally able to. The last month it has been all we heard about. "30 more days, 20 more days, 10 more days, 5 more days. Tomorrow!" We can now all be joyful with her. No more countdown!! 

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!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween 2017

This was a great year for trick-or-treating. Britten was really grasping the concept. HE wandered the neighbor hood in his "army guy" costume. For months he told me he was going to be Spider Man. But, when he saw the army uniform, with helmet (I think it's what swayed him), there was no talking him into the other. I even was holding the Spider Man! I'll admit, he makes a pretty cute solider.

Kate and Becca were the others who dressed up this year. They actually hit the streets in search of candy together! They were gone for two hours and came back with a huge haul! They both wanted something of their own making this year. Not store bought, but more creative. Becca's friends were going to all dress up as characters from the Wizard of Oz. Becca chose Dorothy. We couldn't find a dress, but we found some ideas of being a kind of tomboy Dorothy.

Kate decided on Where's Waldo. She already had the glasses. She just added a beanie, striped shirt, and red shoes!

My years for dress up are dwindling. I'm thankful they were good sports to not only dress up, but let me get some pictures too!!

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:

Friday, October 20, 2017

+E Ranch: Our First Time

Dustin and I wanted to do something different for the kids during Fall Break. I was thinking like a corn maze. We found the last working ranch in the Salt Lake valley, +E. There were three corn mazes! There was also bouncing, slides, donuts, animals, a huge corn pit. It was a fun day. It's always nice to do something new!