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,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thoughtful Roommates

As today comes to a close I was trying to think of what I was thankful for today. Well much isn't happening yet since I haven't started my job so I haven't done much today and considering that my last 2 posts have kind of been about my sister and her family, today I am thankful for my thoughtful Roommates/ best friends. I was able to talk to my sweet roommate Jenny today for a minute while she was on her break from work and she called right when I needed to talk to a friend. I haven't been able to make friends really yet because I haven't started working yet and I haven't been to my sisters ward yet so I'm just kind of hangin with the fam this week. I'm hoping that I can meet some cool people when I start work and when I hopefully start attending singles ward. But today I was kind of lonely and Jenny called me basically just to tell me that she loved me and to check up on me. Then my other roommate Katy texted me about the awesome graduation she was at, at Gransville High and made me happy, which it's hard not to laugh and be happy when you talk to Katy. And now I am watching a movie with my family and IMing my best friend whom I miss very much! But I am thankful today for my good roommates/ bestfriends and for them making me happy when I am down on days like today. I miss you all very much! Love you all!

Chin up,

Merilee :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The blessing of Modern Day Technology

As I was trying to think of what I was grateful for today it boiled down to my beloved cell phone. I know this is kind of lame but today it was a very helpful tool.
As I was out for my run this morning, my sister Melanie decided that her body that had a baby 3 weeks ago just couldn't handle another run this morning, which who could blame her, I was seriously impressed with her the other day when she came running with me. She was in better shape than me and she had a baby three weeks ago and I have been running lately. Anyway, so today was my first run alone in my new area/home (for the summer.) So I thought I had a pretty good idea of where I was going but I brought my cell phone just in case, because let's face it, I'm not in Utah anymore. Well I thought I knew exactly where I was going but I took a little bit longer route because Melanie didn't think she could go as far as I was planning on going the day before, so I wanted to try this route we had mapped out the night before. So I went the little bit longer route and I forgot to take a certain street so about 3 blocks later I was seeing things that I had never seen before so I thought I better call Mel to see where I am and where I need to go to get home. So because of the great Modern Day Technology now a days I was able to call my sister and get back on track of where I needed to run. So my picture is of my tennis shoes and my cell phone because I was thankful to have my Cell while I was on my run this morning. Keep smiling all! :)


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Beginning My New Adventure

Well the last month has been pretty crazy moving home and getting settled in back at home, being back in Kamas, working some, attending my best friends' graduation, and my niece's wedding. Being back in Kamas for a month was harder than I ever expected. I don't know what made it so hard but I just really struggled. It was like I really wanted to spend time with my family and with my best friends but it was hard to just be home for some reason. Lately I don't really feel like I belong anywhere really so it has been hard to try and figure out where I do belong and what I should do or where I should go. Anyway, so I have been looking very forward to getting out here to Cali to live with my wonderful sister Melanie for the summer.
So when I was sitting at my Niece Tessi's wedding reception, it hit me that I am no longer a little girl and that I really am growing up... I know that I probably should've realized this when I moved away from home for the first time and being at college for a year, and I think I did, but it really hit home when I saw my niece married and starting her happily ever after. Anyway, as I was sitting at the reception chatting with my wonderful Aunt Dawn she gave me a cool idea of taking a picture of something, anything that I was grateful for everyday and posting it and explaining on my blog about why I am grateful for that specific thing in my life. So today is my first day of doing that and I'm going to try and do this because I think it is really important to recognize the things we are grateful for everyday, even the little things. So today I am grateful for....

my sister and my brother-in-law Phil for allowing me to come and live with them this summer. I didn't get a picture of them today but I snapped this shot of their cute house today. But I am looking SOOO forward to this summer and spending it with them and their cute family. :)