Friday, December 31, 2010


We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.

Edith Lovejoy Pierce quotes

I find myself closing another chapter of myself and opening another one. When I look back on the year 2010 I see many good times. It has been one of the best years of my life. As I reflect, I have had so many amazing experiences and have learned so much about myself, others, and just life. I have had many hard times this year. As it has been probably the best year of my life, at the same time it has probably been the hardest year of my life. I have had some different challenges this year, but I have learned and grown so much from those particular challenges and know that it was necessary to go through those certain trials in order to be where I am today. If there is anything that I've learned more this year than, the fact that there is a plan for each of us, than I don't know what it would be. I have truly come to understand that God is mindful of us and knows what we are going through. I've learned that if we just trust in the lord and that he has a plan for us as individuals, that we can get through anything with his help. I have overcome some things in my life that I didn't think I could overcome. I am so blessed and I'm glad that just in the last week or so I have been able to step back and look at my life and see just how blessed I am. I think for a good portion of the last few months of my life I was really focused in on the challenges I have been facing and less on my blessings and all I have to be grateful for. Honestly, during the Holidays this year it has been hard for me to be grateful for everything I have. I have been so selfish, and I'm just seeing that now. Granted, I have faced some pretty hard things but shame on me. As soon as I realized how pathetic and selfish I was being I was able to step back and see how truly blessed I am in my life. I have been able to reflect on my blessings and realize that these challenges have been essential for my growth, and challenges for all of us, are essential for growth. If we don't go through hard things in life, then we don't have anything to learn and grow from. God won't put us through anything we can't handle and I think just knowing that, has helped through the particular challenges in my life this year. So as this year comes to a close in the next few hours I can stand and say that I am truly grateful for this year 2010, and for all I have learned. I'm grateful for all of the amazing experiences and memories that have been created this year. I'm grateful for the trials and hard ships of this year, because I know that those hardships and trials have formed the person I am today. I look at life differently now because of those challenges and I have learned from the people placed in my life at certain times, and how grateful I am for those people. I have learned that most of the time we have no idea what is just around the corner in our lives, but if we can be humble enough to trust that the lords sees the bigger picture, and he wants to help us, that we can get through these challenging times in our lives.

So, here we are facing a New Year. What a blessing it is that we can put this year to rest and try again. I'm so excited for this fresh start. I have many things I would like to accomplish this next year and I'm excited. I feel like this is MY year. Just that I am going to have a great year and learn so much. A lot of my goals are self-improvement goals and I'm looking forward to trying to focus more on my relationship with my savior. I know that all he wants is for me to trust in him and to be happy. I have learned that if I trust in him I will be happy so that's what I'm going to work on this year, is simply being happy. Not dwelling on the little things, or even sometimes life altering things. But just really focus on trusting in him. He loves me and wants me to be happy, and who doesn't want to be happy? I know I do. So I'm going to be. Like this quote says "the book is called Opportunity," we all have this amazing opportunity of having a great year, it's up to us what this year looks like. Let's make it a year to be proud of when we close it again next year. Let's make it a year worth living. So Cheers to this past year, to the good times and bad. Cheers to a New Year and new Opportunities in our lives! Happy New Year everyone!!!! Let's make 2011 count!!!

-Yours truly. :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Some Thoughts Throughout This Holiday Season

Merry Christmas everyone! Wow... hasn't it been an amazing Christmas? I feel so blessed today. As I woke up this morning it felt like just another day. It didn't even necessarily feel like Christmas, just another day. I would like to touch on one gift that I was particularly grateful for this Christmas Day 2010. Family. I had the opportunity to spend Christmas up at my oldest sister Dianne's house again this year and it was awesome. Dianne has such an amazing family and they just love me for who I am and take me in. Dianne shared her love with the family last night and I
was just grateful. I just realized how much my family really does love me and how much they all mean to me. I have always felt welcome in Dianne's home and feel like that was kind of my second home throughout high school when it was so challenging living at the ranch and so far away from everything. Dianne and Clark are such great examples and I am so grateful for their family. The Bayles' family really has taken me in and called me their own. Hailey Bug used to call me "Merilee Goates Bayles" and being so close in age to my nieces has been like having little sisters.
I was able to go up to South Ogden the other day to my oldest brother Jeff's house and was able visit with my niece Tessi, who I haven't seen in months and it was so good to see her. It's amazing how with some people that you haven't seen in so long, that when you finally get to see them it seems like no time has been lost. That's how it was with us. I have been reflecting lately on when Tessi and I first met and how we just became such good friends from the beginning. I am so grateful for her friendship in my life. I am also grateful for Jeff and Kim and their family in my life. I have learned in the last few months that my oldest brother that has always come off as a rough around the edges and intimidating, really does have a heart of gold. As he embraced me over Thanksgiving and told me that he loved me, I knew that he really meant it. And Kim, man is that woman talented. Two sets of twins and she is still sane. Between all of her amazing talents and chasing those adorable little girls around and still staying sane between all of that, hats off to you! Which leaves Izach. I love Izach and I am so grateful for his hugs and for his smile. Izach is the kind of hugs and always knows when I need them. I'm so excited for him to turn in his mission papers and to have that amazing experience of sharing the gospel.
I was able to visit with my sister Emily the other night as she came down to visit with a friend and give some haircuts this past week. (It seems like every time Emily is in town she's cutting several people's hair and aren't we grateful? I know I am.) Emily is such a sweetheart and I appreciate her love for me as well. I didn't know this until a few weeks ago, but when my mom told her about a challenge I had been facing in my life, she was in tears about it. She told my mom she was sad for me because she knew how hard this particular challenge
must have been for me and she was so excited for me and the fact that I was most likely going to be living with her next semester, but that wouldn't be happening. That just made me feel so cared for and important. As many in my family probably felt bad, that just touched me that she was so sad for me. I can just feel Emily's love for me every time I talk with her or when she wraps her arms around me and what a blessing that is. Then you have her other half Jay. Jay has this way of making me feel really important. I feel like he always knows the latest on me and he's always looking for someway of persuading me to transfer to the closest school to wherever they are located. This has made me feel important and like he always has his eye out for me. And their kids.. What great kids.
As for Mike. Mike definitely has a soft-spot in my heart for his love for me as well. Mike is a big talker, but I feel like at the end of the day he really would do anything for me. He's outspoken and honest which can be helpful and not so helpful at times, but it's always comforting to know t
hat you never have to guess what's on his mind because he will just give it to you how it is. And as soon as those little girls came into his life, and had him wrapped around their fingers he kind of became a softy, pushover anyway. And who could've picked a better match for Mike. Kristin is amazing and always has her girls hair looking fabulous and their cute matching outfits. She manages to keep up with their busy little girls. I love those little girls and the way they always run up to me with big hugs and tell me they love me.
Our Chicago family is coming back to Utah!!! Steve and T were here for a few days this past week looking for a place to live and what a blessing it is that they get to come back. Steve is very sensitive and loving. He is a great husband and father and works very hard to provide for his family. I can never seem to get enough of Steve's laugh and the way those kids make him light up. Tina is so talented as well... whether it be making an amazing cake or being patient with her kids. Their kids are so darling and I'm looking forward to them living closer so they can get to know their favorite Aunt Mer a little better too!
Rich, Rich, Rich... What a delight Rich is. The man never seems to be anything other than happy and positive. I can always expect a huge hug from Rich and to see him with a smile on his face, happy to see me. With Shauna, the two are a power couple. I love the way they express their love for each other through word and deed. Shauna is one of the most genuine people I know and looks for any and every opportunity to serve. They have 3 great kids who are adorable and make me feel loved as well.
Our successful brother Joe! Joe is my personal lifesaver. Anytime he's in town he is always fixing someone's body up and it's usually mine. He willingly fixes my body all up and tells me what I can do to make it better and boy am I lucky to have that advice. He's so smart and knows his stuff.. I appreciate his help in helping me strengthen my body and his willingness to always help me out. And Toni... what a beautiful and talented woman. Toni helped me with more than one dance solo throughout my High School years and what a blessing and help that was. I still remember going and watching her dance when she was in college and remember thinking that I wanted to be a dancer like her. Through her example, I have come to love to dance. And of course I love their cute kids Izzy and Russell and they way they make me laugh.
Ahh yes, My Sharp family. I had the amazing opportunity to live with the Sharps this summer and man did I learn a lot. First of all, I'm grateful that they took me for the entire summer and gave me a place to live, and food to eat, and made me feel so loved. Melanie and I had the chance to have some pretty amazing conversations and we were able to strengthen our relationship so much. She coached me through a lot and gave me a lot of great insight and a lot to think about. Phil is such a good dad and husband. I learned through living with Mel and Phil that we choose how we react to different situations. It can be whatever we want it to be, it's up to us. Noah, Eliza, and Gideon were amazing. They let me intrude their house all summer and let me play with them when I had the time. I was reminded everyday how much I not only love them, but all of my nieces and nephews and how much I really do love being an aunt to such amazing kids in my whole family. I loved reading books with them and being called on to pray just about every time we prayed. I appreciated the daily hugs and kisses as I do from all my nieces and nephews. I miss my California family and appreciate what they offered me this year.
I was able to also go visit my brother Jake, his wife Heidi, and little Jillian as I was out delivering some Christmas gifts for mom the other day. It was so good to be able to have some one on one time with them because it is hard in our family to have those intimate conversations when everyone is around. Heidi and I talked for a long while about some of the challenges in these past few months and she
was very sensitive to my feelings and helped me see those trial in a bit of a different light. I am so grateful for my relationship with her as well in my life and for the way she just loves everyone around her and her ability to relate. As for Jake, I have been thinking about him a lot lately too. Growing up I feel like Jake kind of took me under his wing. Anytime I was feeling like Andrew was picking on me or like anything was wrong, Jake was my brother that seemed like if anything ever happened, if I just went to him, he would take care of it. Jake is kind, fun, and such a good father. I look up to his example of faith very much. The way he looks at cute Jillian is priceless. Jillian and I were able to bond the other day and it just made me realize how amazing these little spirits really are.
Well almost everyday for the past two months, Allie's phone has been off the hook thanks to me. Mostly in tears, looking for some type of comfort, Allie has been there to offer me comfort and hope to get through each day. I feel like my relationship with Allie has only gotten stronger in the last little while and I am so grateful for her patience with me in being a broken record, but yet still listening whenever I needed to talk. Tanner has always been fun to play games with and I know that even though sometimes it gets heated, that at the end of the day he loves me (even if I did kick his trash at Blokus on Christmas eve ;) ). I have had fun the past couple of years to be able to go and stay in their home and appreciate all the fun times I have had in them. I love Mia and what a joy she is. She has a way of making me feel loved and I feel a special connection with these little ones, it's amazing.
What a busy year for Drew. It was so good to have Andrew come home and how excited we all were. I feel like mine and Drew's relationship is so different then before his mission but in such a good way. I feel like we have really connected and that we have gotten to know each other on a different level. I felt bad when I had to be so far away when he first got back, and then leaving him for the summer, but I feel like even though we haven't been close in distance much this year that we have made it work and that we make and effort to call and keep each other up to date. I appreciate the visits to Cedar he took, when it seemed like I needed it the most this last semester. Falling in love with Jessica the best thing that could've happened to Drew and I'm so excited for them. Jessica and I were able to hang out this past week as she was pretty much flat with her MONO and it was good for us to bond. I'm looking forward to getting to know Jessica even more, but love the fact that she makes my brother so unbelievably happy.
Last the best of all the game. This year I have felt particularly close to my baby sister Adrienne. She would've been 18 this year and probably would've been my roommate and away to school with me. It has really hit me hard this year how different my life would be if she were still here. I know that she is near and that she is looking out for me. I have felt her in these challenges I have been facing and I can feel her cheering me on. She has helped me understand that I am not alone, that I have her and more importantly I have my savior. I am so grateful for the plan of happiness and for the knowledge that I have that I can be with her again. I feel like I know more about her now than ever but I'm still getting to know her. I'm grateful for her in my life and for the constant cheerleader she has been for me personally throughout this year in particular and I'm looking forward to the day when I can run up to her and embrace. I'm looking forward to creating memories with her. She is my guardian angel and I'm grateful for her.
All because two people fell in love I have all this. My parents. What amazing people they are. These past few
years I have really grown close to my parents. I have learned that I can call my mom any hour for anything, whether it's to have her put someone's name on the prayer roll, or asking her how to cook something, she is always there for me. I've learned that anytime I need a father's blessing, I can ask for one. Even if it is every time I come home, my dad NEVER runs out. :) Especially in the last few months, I have come to realize that I am so blessed to have the priesthood in my family. I have learned
how powerful the priesthood is and that I really wouldn't be able to live without it. I am so grateful that I have a father and brothers who live worthily to hold the priesthood and the knowing that if I ever needed a blessing, I could call upon any of them, what a blessing. I'm grateful for the example of faith that mom and dad have showed me throughout my life, that as long as I live worthily and do my best that the lord will bless me and that everything will work out.
I'm grateful for the blessing of family and for all that they do for me. I can't imagine my life in a different family. Our family isn't perfect, but we do our best. I'm grateful for all of the amazing examples in my life and for the love and concern they each show for me. What an amazing posterity. I love you all!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pretty Pathetic... but yet a blessing

So I find myself this holiday season missing my friends.... like a lot. The first week I came back for break I found myself crying myself to sleep... pretty pathetic right? The more I think about it the more I just figure, what a blessing it is that I have such amazing roommates and friends that I actually miss them. You hear of a lot of people that can't wait for breaks to get away from their roommates, they just need a break. Wrongo with these people.
We all miss each other so much that it's pathetic how much. We can't seem to stay of facebook so we can comment on everything of each others, and I find myself texting all of them all day, everyday, which NEVER happens because I rarely ever text anymore because I'm always with the people I'm spending my days texting. This break has been hard without my girls, but look at the bright side, at least I'm catching up on my sleep so that I'm all ready to go when we reunite. I'm blessed to have these people and friends in my life. I don't know what I would do without them.

Shout out to Marla!

I would just like to give a shout out to my dear Marla. Marla is one of my very best friends for life and I honestly don't know what I would do in my life without her.. Marla is one of the most sincere, genuine people I know and I am very blessed to have her in my life and have her as a friend. Thank you Marla for everything you have done for me personally and just for loving me for who I am. You are such a role model to me and I love you!!

Your Spiritual Journey: You Know Enough

Something I have learned this year is that I don't know everything, but I do know enough. What a great talk.

Mormon Message - God's Love is Perfect

This Mormon Message has helped me through the past few months. I love these Mormon Messages. They are great. I discovered how great they are this summer, living with my second family the Sharps. :)

Do You Have Room? (New Christmas Song)

An Inspiring Video I found on youtube

Monday, December 20, 2010

Love these people!

So much to be grateful for

As Christmas is approaching the end of this week and the New Year next week, and I've had some time to relax, I find myself reflecting on this past year. This last year has been probably the best year of my life, but the hardest year of my life all at once. The best because I have learned so much about myself and I have had some pretty amazing experiences along the way. The hardest because I have had to face some of the hardest challenges of my life so far. With the help of my savior I have healed. I am still healing and probably will still be healing for a long time but I am grateful for the understanding that my savior has a plan for me. If there is anything that I have had to learn more than the fact that the lord is mindful of my prayers and if I have faith that he has a plan for me and I trust in that, everything will work out. Throughout this year and the many experiences I have had, I have learned that God really does know what's best for us, because he did in fact create us and he knows us better than we know ourselves. I have found through this challenging time of life that it has been very difficult for me to look at the positive side. It's very easy to get down and to focus on the negative things. I am doing my best to try and forget myself and serve and to remember how blessed I am and I have honestly been better this past week, but it can be challenging. We have so much to be grateful for. Throughout this year I have come to be grateful for a variety of different things. Grateful for the knowledge that everything happens for the reason, and that there is a plan for me and for each of us. I'm grateful for the support of so many great friends and for a couple of my sisters. I'm grateful for the fact that waking up every morning, it is a new day. I'm grateful that I can communicate with my father in heaven whenever, wherever and however much I want, and he WILL listen. In fact, he is the best listener I can think of. I have been blessed and I'm grateful. I know that someday this will all make sense but as for right now I just need to be patient. If there is anything the lord has tried to teach me this year, it has got to be patience. I know that there is a point in testing my patience and it has seemed to be the theme of my year so there must be a reason. I have faith that some day this will all make sense, and it may not be in this life but it will eventually make sense. Well those are my thoughts for now.

To be continued...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Life Goes On

Well, well, well...
Life the past few weeks has been a bit rough, between stressing over school and going through some heartbreak and some other things. I'm learning a lot of lessons but it has been difficult to stay positive and remind myself to learn something from such a painful experience. As I have pondered about my feelings and really just about how life is hard, not only for me but for everyone really. I've always loved the quote, "I didn't say it would be easy, but I said it would be worth it." I know that it is going to be worth it in the end. Sometimes in the process of reaching a goal it can be very difficult not to be blinded by the heartache and the disappointment, especially when it ends in such a positive and loving way. Sometimes it seems like it would just be easier to have it end badly so you could just hate and resent them and be able to move on faster but I am grateful that it happened in such a tactful way and that he was very gentle about it, it's just hard that I can't be angry about it. I'm not angry, just hurt. It's hard to look at the positive side when you don't really understand why it had to happen and understand all the why's and what if's, but I am learning that the lord is trying to teach me, yet again, to trust in him. I'm realizing that I cannot do this alone, that as much as I don't want to rely on others and the lord, I have to. My roommates and family have been such a great support to me and I appreciate them in my life. Sometimes when you feel like no one understands how you're feeling, we have to remember the atonement and the fact that Christ suffered for "all pains" not just sin but heartbreak, disappointment, confusion, saddness, everything. It doesn't matter what words of comfort someone offers you, no one will be able to completely understand what we are going through in our lives. Sometimes people have had similar experiences and can relate in some way or another, but when it really comes down to our different challenges and trials, everyone experiences them differently and everyone has their own heart so no one knows EXACTLY how you feel, except the savior. That's why we are counseled to "turn to him" because he suffered all those pains for us and he does understand what we are going through. I guess I've never really looked at the atonement from that aspect until I was sitting in my institute class other day and we were talking about how the atonement has to do with every aspect in our lives. So as I have been feeling bad and sad about everything that happened I have realized that it's okay that I am feeling that way right now, and if I wasn't feeling this way it wouldn't be right because I really did love him and I really am heartbroken. Sometimes we don't understand why certain things in our lives have to happen and the timing of all of it, but keeping the focus and outlook that it will all make sense someday and that god has a plan for all of us, that everything will work out in time. Thinking about life and everyone and thier different challenges it hit me the other day that things like this happen everyday. On a really great day that I'm having, just thinking that someone got their heart broken just like I did in that same day. Or like in the same day I had my heart broken, worse things happen, someone maybe lost a mother, or a child, or a couple got divorced, ect. Sometimes when we are going through trials we get so caught up in our pain and how hard life is for us and if we can just step back and look at the lives of people around us and realize that life isn't "easy" for anyone. Everyone is here doing the best they can and we just need to support eachother throughout this life. Life is full of important choices and important lessons and if we can just remember to learn from our trials, learn from our mistakes, and be grateful for all of those things in our lives good and bad, then we can go about life in such a different light and find "joy in the journey" even in hard times. I've always loved the quote by President Monson, "The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it." If we can do that then we will be blessed and we will be so much happier in our lives. We have so much to be grateful for in this life and yeah sometimes it can be challenging, but that's life. We learn throught the hard times. So come with me and take the challenge to truly "find joy in the journey" and not let the crappy things in life get us down. Chin up and be happy, even if it is hard. :)


Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Okay okay so I know it has been far too long since I have written a post but I have been busy and just kind of wrapped up in the whole life thing. So this summer I had the chance to live in California with my wonderful sister Melanie and her cute family. At first, everything was kind of falling through and I wasn't sure how I would be able to swing spending a summer in California with no job but as I fasted and prayed about what to do I felt like I was still supposed to go to California even though nothing seemed to be working out. So I exercised faith that everything would work out and I did my best to put it in the lord's hands. Well sure enough the next job I applied for I basically got hired when they glanced at my application and everything seemed to start falling into place. Melanie made arrangements for me to move in and my job training was a couple weeks after I got out there.
So as soon as I got settled in, the first 2 weeks were lonely. I had to wait for my training to start so I had no friends and I was just staying home all day everyday so I was going crazy. Well at church that next Sunday Melanie introduced me to my first friend Samantha and then I started feeling good about life. I had one more week before I started training so Sam let me tag along and meet all of her friends and life was going well.
As soon as my job training started I started getting busy really fast. So I met a friend at my first day of training and he found out that I was a member of the church and started asking questions about the church and my beliefs and we became friends. It was nice to have someone there that accepted me because it seemed like as soon as everyone found out that I was the Mormon girl from Utah, I felt pretty alone and stuck out like a sore thumb. So things progressed with our conversation and I invited him to learn more and to come over and have dinner with the family and I had the chance to give him a Book of Mormon with my testimony written in it. It was an amazing opportunity for me. Something that I had never experienced in my life. So I invited him to go to a Volleyball night with my singles ward. I had so much fun and I met a lot of amazing people including a man that swept me off my feet and it all started with complementing his cool Nike shirt. So from that night forward my summer consisted of working all day everyday at the pool, and dating an amazing man, and all of this went down in California. Did I have the best summer ever? You guessed it, YEPP!
So as for now I'm back down at SUU for the moment and enjoying life or at least trying to. It has been an emotional rollercoaster that's for sure and I'm so lucky to live with my amazing roommates. I got a job this year so I'm working at the Financial Aid desk on campus and I really enjoy my co-workers. It's been a bit of a challenge to try and balance school, work, relationships, and just everything but it has been an interesting journey trying to figure it all out. I'm getting good grades and some sleep so life is good. I'm really going to try and write on my blog more so just be patient with me. :)


Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Children bring such joy into the lives of many. I absolutely love kids! Living with Melanie and Phil for the summer has been great because I get to have great adult conversations with them and then the child in me is brought out by these incredibly adorable kids. I told Mel the other day that it is hard to imagine how much I'm going to love children of my own more than I love hers (and all my nieces and nephews, and just children in general.) It's a crazy love parents have for their young ones and I can't wait to be a mother.
Also, I have had the chance to work with kids in many of different ways. For the summer I am Lifeguarding and teaching swimming lessons. I love interacting with kids and it has been a lot of fun! I have been lifeguarding and teaching for 4 years now... so I must be good at it or something... haha but I love working with kids! As soon as I figure out what I'm going to do with my life, I know that it will be something that involves children because I am so passionate about working with kids and it brings joy into my life. I love kids and the smiles that they bring to my face. Often times I wish I could be a kid again, but it is so fun to watch kids grow up!!! :)

Today I am simply grateful for children and for their enthusiasm for life!


Monday, June 21, 2010

The Scriptures, Gospel, and Beach... What more could you want?

So I have been far too lazy, and busy (in my defense) to be posting something every single day this week so I have decided on 3 things I am especially grateful for this week. Well I'll start out with the light stuff first. So I went to the ocean on Saturday as a Singles Ward Activity and it was really relaxing to kick back in the sun and chill the whole day with some of my new friends from the ward. I love the ocean and just watching the waves crash and just listening just made me reflect on how great this earth really is. Heavenly Father really knew what it was doing when he created this world and all of the beautiful and amazing things in it. So I am grateful for the ocean. Plus, I was able to kick a ball around again and get aggressive in a wayy fun game of soccer on the beach. It's been awhile since I've played so it felt good to get back in the swing of things again. Plus, I've never played soccer on the beach before so it was heaps of fun!
Secondly and Thirdly, (if that's even a word)
This last week I have been especially grateful for the scriptures and the gospel in my life. I have had the opportunity and privilege of sharing some of my beliefs to some of my non-member friends I have made through work. I have had missionary opportunities before, but never in the case where they have heard absolutely NOTHING about the gospel, so it has been an interesting experience. I have had the great opportunity to share what I value most in life with one of my friends from work. It all started with just simply being nice to the person sitting next to me. We started small talking and the next thing I knew he was asking me about some of my beliefs. I have been able to bare my testimony on many occasions to my non-member friends but never to the extent where they knew nothing about the church. I prayed that I would be able to say and do the right things and the second day I knew my friend I was able to give him a Book of Mormon. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that it is true. I know that we can relate to it and that that revelation was had for us to benefit from. I'm thankful for the scriptures and for the comfort and guidance they offer in my life. I'm grateful for the wonderful gospel in my life and for all of the joy and happiness it brings to me personally. I couldn't believe the overwhelming feeling of joy I had and continue to have when I share the gospel with someone. My brother said once that he didn't think that anything could make him as happy as sharing the gospel with others did, and I have kind of had the chance to know how he feels. It feels good to share the gospel and it feels right. Sometimes we don't understand why we do things, we just do them because they are right. I wasn't exactly sure what I was getting myself into coming out to California this summer. It was the type of thing that sounded really cool and ideal but not likely. As soon as I knew it, after everything kind of just fell into place, I was on my way out here to stay for the summer. I know for fact that it was no accident that I came out here for the summer. I was supposed to meet some of my non-member friends to hopefully touch their hearts and make them feel open to the spirit and the gospel, and I know that I was supposed to meet the amazing people I have met and continue to meet through my ward and the church. I am a big believer in everything happens for a reason, and everything will work out the way it is supposed to. I know that these things are true.

Well It's been a long day so I'm checkin' out!
<3 Mer Bear

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wayyy Busy This last week...

I'm sorry that I have been so lazy this week about writing on my blog but I have just been super busy and I'm trying to get used to my new crazy schedule. Quick update though...
I am absolutely loving California!! I am meeting lots of really cool people and learning lots of lessons but I still miss my friends back home and am looking forward to getting back to normal life in Cedar. I had my work training all this last week and it was really long and boring and I am sooo glad that it is over with! I'm looking forward to starting work next week so that I can just get on a regular schedule. Life is good...
So I'm just going to start of with what I'm grateful for this last week... It's kind of silly but I'm grateful for even the little things in life like.... Cookies... :)

Sam and I made cookies the other night and it was a lot of fun! It's always nice to have some sweets around if you are like me and totally have a sweet tooth. Also, I like making cookies so I can give them to others to make them happy because I like making others smile. While we were making cookies I was telling Mel and Sam that I used to make cookies a lot this past year being in the Relief Society Presidency just to give to someone who was having a bad week or for whatever reason... Sometimes I would just simply make them for my roommates or for my neighbors but I enjoy baking a lot and it was fun to make cookies with Sam and talk more with her about our lives so we can continue to get to know each other because she is so awesome!!! :)

Stay tuned for my next post because it's a really cool story about what has also been going on this week and something I am extremely thankful for.. :)(I would write about it now but I'm short on time..)

Lots of Love,

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Crazy Weekend...

Okay okay okay... I know I have missed a few days for my blog and I am sorry but I have been sooo busy and sooo tired. I promise I will get back on track tomorrow. I have however been making friends in the midst of my crazy busy schedule this weekend and am starting work tomorrow so now the summer is beginning at last. I went to my new singles ward today and I am looking forward to getting involved with that. Life is good and I am happy. :) That's all I have the energy to say today....

Checking out!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Make New Friends.

On Sunday my wonderful sister Melanie introduced me to Samantha. I knew that we were going to be great friends from the get-go because she didn't just shake my hand when we met, she gave me a hug. It may sounds lame but I don't think anyone understands how much of a relief it was to make a friend. I have only been out here for two weeks but I knew that I needed to start making friends, and I needed to start making friends FAST! Tonight Samantha invited me to hang out. We went to Borders, Starbucks, and Chipotle. It was a good time. I am looking forward to getting to know Samantha more and spending the summer with her. We have an exciting day tomorrow to look forward to as well, we are going to a movie, shopping, and a dance together. I am just radiating with happiness that I have a friend out here. But don't worry, I haven't forgotten about my friends back home.. Ya know the old song "make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold"? Well it's true. I'm making new friends but I still have my other friends. :) So today I am thankful for Samantha and for her so willingly taking me in and make me feel so loved.

Lovin' life,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Blessing of Parenthood and Life

Today as I was sitting in on my sister's conversation with her friend Debbie, Melanie made a very profound comment. She was talking about going to her best friends wedding in Hawaii and how she was thinking about being a parent and how important it is for parents to decide when they are going to have a child. She talked about how people look at her and think that she is crazy for having 3 kids under the age of 3, but how she loves being a mom and it doesn't matter what other people think because it is a very personal decision. Anyway, so as she was at Suzy's wedding she was thinking about how Suzy's parent's had no idea that when they decided to have their 4th child, Suzy, that she would be such a big part and blessing in my sister's life. It just made me think about how because so many parents have decided to have children when they did, how many of those babies have blessed my life.
It made me think about if my mom would've stopped having kids and wouldn't have had me, where would I be? Being a parent is such a vital part of life and it brings such a joy into your life. I'm so grateful for all of the parents that have decided to have these precious babies that have truly blessed my life. There have been many who were born right at the perfect time and even though I didn't necessarily know these people as babies, I know them now and because of the faith of their wonderful parents, I have benefited greatly. We are all so blessed to have the people whom we love most in our lives and to be able to have the opportunity, someday in my case to have children that will bless the lives of many, like so many children have done for me. I am thankful for babies today, newborns, and ones that were once newborns that have come into my life later in my life. Something about holding a baby and the joy and peace that it brings is not quite like anything else in life. I remember when my sister had my niece Mia. I have been close with all of my nieces and nephews and I love them all a lot but Mia was different. I don't know if it was because she was born at kind of a tough time in my life or if it was just because I'm closer in age to Allie and I felt like I had a closer connection for some reason or what but Mia blessed my life from the first time I held her and I can honestly say that has been the case with many of my nieces and nephews. As I was glancing in my new nephew Gideon's eyes today, I thought to myself, how is it possible for me to love a baby of my own more than I love these children that come into my life all the time. Even though Gideon has been sad and sick to his stomach all day and crying and spitting up, I wanted to do anything and everything in my power to make him feel better. Gideon is not my child, but just watching him go through this pain was heartbreaking. It reminds me of how our heavenly father feels when we are going through hard times and how badly he just wants to make everything all right but life is all about trials and being tested. I know that through trusting in him he can and will help us be happier. I am really looking forward to being a parent and can't wait to bring those precious lives into this world realizing that they are going to be a blessing not only to me, but they are going to be a blessing to the lives of many others. Although this chapter of my life seems so farfetched, I know that it is just around the corner and I am ready for anything that happens.


P.s. so the pictures I have decided to post with my blog today represent some of the many "babies" that have recently or currently have blessed my life....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I Love My Mommy!!!

So my mom and I have had a lot of bonding time this last month as I have been home and not working much and her being stranded at home most days due to me totaling her car this last winter. :( It has been nice to be able to hang out with my mom lots! She came down to California with me for the first couple weeks I've been out here and she is leaving early tomorrow morning. I'm going to miss seeing my mom everyday and I won't have long when I come back from Cali before I move back down to Cedar for school so I'm going to miss her lots! My mom is such a great example to me of how to be the perfect mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and person. She has so many great qualities but one that just really hits home for me is her willingness to serve anyone and everyone around her. As she has been in California she keeps telling Melanie that she feels bad that she hasn't done anything since she has been here and we all just laugh in her face because if you know my mom she can't help but serve ALL the time. She has constantly been building cool temples, zoos, and various creations with the kids, or she has been at the sink washing every little dish, or she has been changing diapers here and there. The woman can't help but serve and do anything and everything, but yet, she always feels like she never does anything. All I have to say about my wonderful mother is that she has a direct one way ticket to the celestial kingdom and I hope to be half as wonderful as she is someday. I love you mommy and I'm going to miss you the next little while. Thanks for all you do!!!

Loving and Missing My Dear Mommy,

Monday, June 7, 2010

Games are the best! :)

Alright, I wrote this really nice and clever entry about what I am thankful for today and something weird happened so I'm just going to sum it up to this. Today I am grateful for games because games have helped my family grow a stronger bond. We have always been a family that has loved bonding through playing games and I love that it is a fun environment but yet we can still get competitive in a very loving way. I love my family and I enjoy playing games with them all. These pictures are of us playing one of our new favorites "Blokus" from tonight and it has been a fun and challenging game that we are still trying to figure out.

Peacin' out since this computer won't let me do anymore,
Mer to the Bear!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Today I am thankful for my family....

Today my nephew Gideon Issac was given a name and a blessing. This is the 34th grandchild in our family and he is just as cute and perfect as all of the others. My parents have such an amazing posterity and just to think, it's still growing. As I was sitting in the sweet fast and testimony meeting today I was reminded how lucky we are to have families and to able to be sealed to our families so we can all be together forever. I love my family and I am thankful for the blessing of the plan of happiness, so that I can be with my family forever.
I have always been excited to have a family of my own because I have had so many great examples of successful relationships, marriages, and families. I feel so blessed to be a member of the family I am a part of and I know it truly is an honor. I'm also grateful to be a daughter of god and to be a member of our eternal family. A woman that bore her testimony today said that she was thankful that we will all be together forever and that we will get to see the faces of the people we don't get to see very often, more often in the next life and I believe that and I'm grateful for that. I'm grateful that through god's plan, we can be with those that have already passed away and I am grateful of that knowledge. I am so grateful for my family and for all of the amazing examples they are to me.

Love you all!


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Great Friends and Nature

As the end of this wonderful Saturday comes to a close and I am reflecting on what I was grateful for in my life today two things came to mind and I can't decide between the two so I've decided to just acknowledge them both.
First, I am thankful for great friends and for the chance I had to have my good friend Jenna over to my sisters for a sleepover last night. Like I have stated in prior posts, I have been a bit down this week because I haven't made friends yet, but it was good to have Jenna over and so we could spend some time together and so I didn't feel so alone. I love Jenna and I look forward to hanging out with her throughout this summer. I'm so thankful also that Jenna, like me, is going back to SUU in the fall for school so we can bond and continue to hang out down in Cedar too! :) Jenna has literally been a lifesaver this last year whenever I have felt homesick or just like I needed some of my childhood friends back, it was nice to have Jenna by my side whenever I needed her, so thanks Jenna! :)
Next, I am grateful for all of God's many, unique creations. I know that's not very specific, but this is my blog and I can do and say whatever I want on it. haha Anyway, we went to the Zoo today and not only was it fun, it opened my eyes to a lot of things. I have never been an animal lover. I don't mind seeing animals from a distance but I will NEVER be a pet owner. Anyway, as I was walking through the San Fransisco Zoo today and talking with my sister she made a profound comment. She said something like this, "Isn't it just amazing how many different, unique animals and creatures god has created? God must have a crazy sense of humor to create some of these interesting animals." I thought that was so true. That god took so much time to design not only all of us to be so different and so original, but every creature and everything on this earth. It's incredible! We also got to go to the Ocean for a few minutes while we were waiting for the zoo to open and I don't know what it is about the Ocean, but I just love it. I feel so at peace when I watch the waves form and crash. Today I was overwhelmed with gratitude for our heavenly father and for all of his creations. Even though I'm not much of an animal lover, I came to love all of his creations today and have gained a greater appreciation for life in every form.

Lovin' life from the Cali-forn-i-a!
Miss Merilee Goates

Friday, June 4, 2010


Today as I am desperately missing my best friend I am thankful for Skype so we can still keep in touch and get to talk face to face so it's almost like we're together. Not quite, but almost. I'm trying to remember that I haven't met anyone yet and that's why I don't have any friends here yet but it has just been a bit of a struggle for me today. It would be different if I was going home on Wednesday with my mom, but I'm going to be here all summer and I think just trying to grasp that has been a bit overwhelming. I know that I'm going to learn a lot this summer but I'm just missing my best friend Kate today. Anyway, I'm very thankful that we can still chat over video chat so that we can be together even though we are thousands of miles apart.

Keep Holding on,