Friday, December 3, 2010


I can't believe that Thanksgiving has already come and gone! SHEESH, where is the time going? I mean, seriously...wasn't it just summer and now it's December? wow. For Thanksgiving this year Dillon got the whole week off from school and thanks to the blizzard we got, I did too (well almost, I had to go Monday but had the rest of the week off). Since the snow snowed us in, we sat cuddled up in blankets all day Tues watching 8 hours of Lonesome was great! :) By Wed the weather and cleared up some and we were able to jump in the car and head to SV to spend the rest of the week with my family. Although the snow had stopped and it was blue sky the roads were anything but great. I counted and on the freeway between Blackfoot and Idaho Falls (about 25 miles or so), just on our side of the freeway, when I was actually paying attention, we passed 28 places where people had gone off the road and 7 of those were "in progress." It was pretty bad. But once we got off the freeway in IF the rest of the drive luckily wasn't too bad and going around the Palisades was BEAUTIFUL! Thanksgiving was great as always! It was a LOT of fun spending time with pretty much all my family. Unfortunately the 2 babies of the family couldn't be there with us to stuff their faces, but we still included them in the Thanksgiving festivities! :) We missed you Cody and hope the Philippines treated you well on Turkey Day and Emily, we missed you as well and hope work treated you well and we're glad you got to go and eat at gma's house! Love you guys. Well Thursday was, of course, full of food food food and dirty dishes! The food was amazing (nothing beats mama's cookin!!) and the dishes...well they got done! :) Friday some of us fools braved the cold and snow and went in search of Christmas trees. It was very cold and there was LOTS and LOTS of snow we had to trudge through. I wish I could say it was worth it and that we ended up with the most gorgeous tree ever, but that would be a lie. We got a tree for Dillon and I and a tree for my sister and her hubby and, well...they were both pretty terrible! lol. But I guess it was still pretty fun! :) The rest of the time we all just kinda hung out, helped work on a few things on my parent's new addition to their house, put up my parent's Christmas tree and played with the nieces and nephews. We were sad to leave and come home Sat but glad we got home before the next big storm hit Sunday. Now that Thanksgiving is gone and December is here it is on to the craziness of Christmas. This year is especially crazy with Dillon's little sis getting married on the 18th! There is definitely LOTS going on this month but it's all fun stuff so it's all good!
Well here are a few pictures, ok lots of pictures, to sum up our Thanksgiving fun, enjoy! :)

The drive was taking forever so I got a little boredSkeeter dog enjoying the drive
The lake looked so pretty!I got caught red-handed! :)Trying to get Cody and Emily to do the dishesThe boys watching footballDon't you just love this face?!?!? I sure do!!!My sister made these hats for her little ones...they were adorable!Miss Sofia loved hers but Mister Lukas, did NOT! :)Trying to keep up with the mountain manThe snow was so deep that poor Skeeter couldn't hardly keep his head above it! lol. It was pretty funny watching him trying to run in it!

Sisters Sister Heather and Niece Abbi Jo
Paul BunyanThe Merrill family with our sad little tree :)
Dillon being a good man and hauling our trees out for us
Taking a little breakGrandpa wanted us to cut him down a tree too so this is what Abbi cut for himFinally made it back to the truckMy parent's tree we decoratedTowards the end Payzli, for some reason, got stuck on one little branch that she FILLED with was hilarious. Payzli posing by "her branch" with Aunt EmilyShowing Uncle Cody "her branch"Our tree looks a little better now that it's decorated...the ornaments help fill it in a little bit! :)

Friday, November 19, 2010


So, I did this last year and really wanted to do it again. This man really inspires me this time of year with his song "Thankful."

"Some days we forget to look around us, some days we can't see the joy that surrounds us. So caught up inside ourselves, we take what we should give. So for tonight we pray for what we know can be and everyday day we hope for what we still can't see. It's up to us to be the change and even tho we all can still do more, there is so much to be thankful for."

I am SO thankful for so many things in my life. Although this year, and particularly the last few months, have been hard...the blessings that the Lord has blessed me with far outweigh the trials he has asked me to endure.

This Thanksgiving season I am thankful for....

-I'm thankful to be living off of student loans because it means my husband is getting a good education and it means we have to be more conscious of what we spend money on, helping us to develop money management skills.

-I'm thankful for the last few months and the things we have gone through and for the things that I have learned about myself, my marriage, my husband, and my Savior as a result.

-I'm thankful for health care battles because it means we have health care available to us.

-I'm thankful for high gas/power bills because it means we have a home to live in and heat to keep us warm.

-I'm thankful for the little arguments Dillon and I have because each time we come away from them understanding each other a little better and loving each other that much more!

-I'm thankful for the struggles I see those I love go through because it means that the Lord trusts them with the trials he asks them to face. It means that the Lord loves them enough to let them struggle so they can grow in their testimony and in their love for him.

-I'm thankful for being so far away from my best friend because it means our relationship can grow and strengthen and that the time we do get to spend with each other is that much more meaningful and memorable.

-I'm thankful for the "stupid cows" and the "stupid horses" and the "stupid pipes" and the "stupid rocks" me and my siblings had to deal with growing up because it means that we were taught to work and to work hard.

-I'm thankful for the evidence Heavenly Father's hand in our life because I know that we are not alone in all we go through and He loves us SO much and is willing to help us in any and every way.

- etc. etc. etc

Friday, October 29, 2010


from the nieces and nephews
and your sisters

We love you and miss you but are SO proud of you!
Hope the Philippines treat you well on your big day!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

cats and dogs

Meet the newest additions to our family:
"the nice one"and
"the mean one"Yes, those are their names...and they fit! :) We got these little kitties from Dillon's grandma and grandpa shortly after we discovered mice in our house. Neither Dillon or I are cat lovers by ANY stretch of the imagination but, we do tend to like them better than mice! I was gone to Utah having fun with my mom and a few sisters when Dillon went and got them from his grandparents house. I really wish I had been there to video this process since Dillon told me it involved only him, his grandparents and the kitties locked in a shed, a fish net, a couple scratches, a bite or two and a box! lol. oh man. The first few days of the kitties being at our house we kept them in their box and tried spending time with them to tame them a little bit and to teach them their box was their home so they wouldn't run away as soon as we let them out. Spending time with them wasn't there very much fun seeing as how they weren't the nice, cuddly little kitties you picture when you picture kitties (they come from a long line of wild barnyard cats). But, after a few days we decided to let them outside and play with them a little and get them acquainted with skeeter!! EEEKK!! So...Dillon held skeeter on a leash (he REALLY doesn't like cats) and we let the kitties out of the box. It took some time, but we did make some progress.
We went from this
To thisAnd eventually to thisIt's now been about 3 weeks since we got the kitties and we are still making progress. We put the kitties box on the porch so they can climb in and out as they please. The first few days they were "free" they would only come to their box at night and would spend the days hiding in the shrubs (they still weren't thrilled with the idea of skeeter and he still wasn't thrilled with the idea of not being able to chase them). But since then they come and go all day and as soon as you step outside they are right there, under your feet, wanting food. Skeeter has only tried to eat them (unsuccessfully thankfully) twice. Each time it was over scraps we had taken out to them and Skeeter does NOT know how to/like to share. But don't worry, both kitties are safe. The saying of "fighting like cats and dogs" definitely rings true at our house. We will be sitting in the house and I'll look out the front door to check on them and Skeeter will be giving them kisses or they will all just be chilling together on the porch and then less then 5 mins later we will hear all sorts of yowling and hissing and Skeeter jumping off the porch!'s quite entertaining. The weekend after we got them these 2 people were here visiting us (YAY!!!!) and baby Cecily LOVED Skeeter and didn't mind the cats too much either. She would sit on the floor in our house and just stare out the screen door at Skeeter hanging out on the porch then she would just starting laughing. It was so cute. Once he was up close and personal, she wasn't quite as thrilled, but she loved him nontheless.Thanks for coming and visiting us Shay and Cecily! We LOVED having you!!!!!
Well, as far as an update on us, we are doing good. Dillon is starting to get his butt kicked in school but he's sticking with and and trucking right along. Any free time that he has (or makes) is spent hunting with Skeeter.
As for me, I FINALLY got a job! I'm working with Dillon's aunt at an Elementary here in Snake River. She is the main Special Education Teacher and I am her I basically just do as I'm told. lol. The best part is that Snake River School District is on a 4 day school week so I get all my fridays off!! YIPEE!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

honestly...what do you think?


Close up of the middle:So what do you all think? I hope it's cute, cuz I think it's cute! :) and better yet....very very cheap! Thank you DI, Lacie and mom for the idea and the help!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thank you!

I want to thank all of you for all of your love and support that you have showed and shared with us over the last few weeks. Thank you so much for all your words of wisdom, encouragement, and love. We are SO blessed to have such amazing friends and family that are willing to help out in any way they can! It is times like these that remind me how truly blessed I am to have such wonderful people in my life. These last 3 weeks have been full of emotions. Full of feelings of pain, anger, sadness, frustration, helplessness, jealousy, envy, confusion, and even stupidity. Since the miscarriage just wasn't happening on it's own and the risk of infection was rising every day we were finally able to go to the hospital and have the D&C. I was not excited for surgery but was excited to finally close this chapter of our lives and move on. When I woke up from surgery Tuesday afternoon the very first thought that came into my head was, "that's it, that is the end of what was left of my baby." Surprisingly I didn't burst into tears feeling sorry for myself or sad about what had just happened. Instead my eyes welled up with tears and I felt relief and peace for the first time in a LONG time. These last 3 weeks have been the hardest 3 weeks of my life, 3 weeks that I never want to relive EVER...but the things I have learned are things that I want to remember forever. This adventure has brought me closer to my Heavenly Father, closer to myself and closer to Dillon. Before all of this I thought I loved Dillon more than any one person can love another human being but now I know I can and I do love him even more. He has been my rock. He has let me spend countless hours crying on his shoulder, gave me many blessings, and reminded me numerous times that "it will all be ok." I know this has been just as hard on him and I so appreciate his strength and support. I love you Dillon and I love all of you for your thoughts and prayers offered in our behalf. THANK YOU!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

How quickly life can change

July 24th, 2010…the moment was here. It was time to see if the 3rd round of fertility meds were a success. Oh how hard I tried to balance hope, faith and reality. I tried my hardest to not get too excited while still hoping for the best. And the moment of truth... finally, the 14 ½ month wait was over, a positive pregnancy test! I couldn’t believe that the moment we had been hoping and praying for for so long was finally here. Dillon was still in bed and I couldn’t wait to go break the news. I snuck into our bedroom, climbed back into bed and leaned over to kiss him good morning. As soon as he opened his eyes I stuck that wonderful pee stick right in his face. I will NEVER forget that amazing moment as we kissed and held each other as tears ran down my face! We quickly said a prayer of gratitude to our Heavenly Father for blessing us with something so wonderful, something that we had worked so hard for! We were headed to SV that day so we hurried and got ready and left town. I could hardly contain my excitement, the whole time we were in SV around my family I just wanted to throw my hands in the air and yell, “WE ARE HAVING A BABY!” Since it was a bit early I did refrain but in time the good word starting leaking out. We only told a select few since it was early and we were being as cautiously excited as possible. A few weeks later we had a bit of a scare. I started bleeding pretty badly. I panicked. I didn’t want ANYTHING to happen to my precious little baby. I hurried and called my doctor’s office who told me to come in right then if I could. The doctor we had been seeing for fertility was not in office that day but we would be seeing another doctor. We went into the office and they took us back to one of the little rooms. We sat in there for what felt like an eternity. I was trying to be strong and think optimistically but couldn’t help but let a few tears sneak down my cheeks. Finally- the doctor came in…he talked to us for a few mins then sent us with one of the nurses for an ultrasound to see what things looked like. During the ultrasound things looked good. We were only measuring 5 wks and 5 days which was still very early and too early to see the baby. We were able to see the amniotic sac and see that everything looked just as it should for that stage of our pregnancy. Oh, what a relief! The doctor came back in, talked to us for a few more mins and explained that the bleeding was probably caused by the sac implanting to the side of the uterus. He explained that this “implantation bleeding” is not common but is not unusual either. He then told us that we probably ought to get another ultrasound done in 2 to 3 weeks just to make sure everything was still progressing correctly. We left his office completed relieved and very satisfied with the news. The bleeding stopped that day and we were once again VERY relieved. The next few weeks were VERY busy and filled with lots of packing and moving (for Dillon) and lots of throwing up (for me). We made it through the move and thanks to some wonderful medication I was able to spend less time hugging the toilet. By this time we were about 7 weeks along and were still waiting to make the big announcement, just in case. But, thanks to one VERY excited first time grandma (Dillon’s mom), word was spreading quicker than we ever thought. Since we had moved we wanted to go with a doctor that was a little bit closer and chose one in IF that we had heard VERY good things about. We set up a confirmation apt with his office and went in. We met with the doctor’s PA and he estimated our due date to be March 31st. I couldn’t believe it, mine and my dad’s birthday! But since it was still early the due date was subject to change. He spent some time talking to us and scheduled us an ultrasound in 2 weeks to check on things just as the doctor in Rexburg had advised. The ultrasound was scheduled for Aug 25th and I could not WAIT! We would be just past 9 wks and would be able to see our little baby and hear the little heartbeat. Since word was spreading faster and faster each day (thanks again to that very excited grandma :) we decided to make the big announcement after this apt. One month and one day after the positive pregnancy test the day had come. Dillon had started school and was going to have to meet me in IF for the ultrasound since he had class. Luckily his class got out early and we were able to make the drive together. We got into the office and was taken back to the little room and quickly got underway. The nurse doing the ultrasound showed us the uterus and pointed out the sac then quickly said she was going to go take a quick look at the ovaries then come back to the uterus for a closer look. She went and took a look at my ovaries, she looked and measured and said that everything looked good. She then went back to the uterus. My heart was racing with excitement. It was time to see our little baby! I searched the screen for anything that resembled a little baby. How come I couldn’t see that little growing jellybean? The nurse began measuring the sac and pointing out that the black we could see on the screen was all fluid. I didn’t care about fluid, I wanted to scream “SHOW ME MY BABY!” My heart was still racing but this time with more worry than excitement. I looked from the screen to the nurse hoping that her screen showed something different. She once again pointed out more black just outside the sac and said that that was blood. Now I was officially worried. Why hadn’t she showed me my baby, I didn’t care about all the fluid and blood! Then she spoke the words I will never forget, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news but your baby never developed.” I was in shock. I was in disbelief. I couldn’t speak. Finally, Dillon broke the silence and asked the nurse where we were supposed to go from there. She told us it wasn’t her place to give us our options but she would go find someone to answer all our questions. The doctor was out of town so she asked if we were comfortable talking with his PA that we had already met. We said yes and she went to get him. After she left I just laid there. I looked over at Dillon and all I could say is, “I’m so confused. What is she talking about?” I finally was able to move and quickly got dressed then we were moved to another room. We waited in this little room for what felt like an eternity. Dillon squeezed my hand and told me he loved me. It took a few seconds before I was finally able to squeek “I love you too.” I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know what to feel. So I just cried. The PA finally came in and very lovingly asked how we were doing. Again I couldn’t talk. He then started to explain what had happened. He started by telling us that the nurse had labeled our ultrasound as a “Blighted Ovum.” Basically a blighted ovum means that something happened with chromosomes early on and a baby never developed. I was still confused…how come everything had looked fine 3 weeks earlier and how come I had been SO sick? He explained that with a blighted ovum fertilization takes place, the body produces HCG (causing a positive pregnancy test) and continues producing HCG (causing pregnancy symptoms, especially nausea). Everything is just as if you are pregnant, just without the growing baby. He assured us that 20-25% of women experience blighted ovum and many women never even know unless they have an early ultrasound revealing the news, otherwise they just believe they had a normal miscarriage. He then told us that according to the blood spotted on the ultrasound I would be miscarrying the sac and tissue anytime within the next one to two weeks. I was once again in disbelief. Why did this happen to us? We had worked so hard for this! We wanted this more than anything! The PA told us our options. We could wait it out and let things take their course naturally. He could prescribe us some medication to speed up the process. Or we could go right then to the hospital for a D&C. We opted for the natural route. He gave us some last words of encouragement and comfort before letting us leave. The moment I stepped out of that building I lost it! I couldn’t hold it in any longer. We stood there, in the middle of the parking lot, holding each other, crying. The drive home seemed to last forever. I couldn’t stop crying as I replayed what had just happened over and over in my mind.

It has now been one week since we got the news that changed our lives in an instant. It hasn’t been until the last few days that we have been able to see signs that maybe, just maybe the miscarriage will happen soon. I still don’t completely understand why we must go through this trail right now in our lives but I do know that there is a reason. Heavenly Father loves us. He knows the desires of our heart and he knows what we are going through right now. This trial will bring something good into our lives and will be for our benefit. I am SO grateful for my knowledge of the gospel and the comfort that I have been able to feel in the last week. I am SO SO grateful for my WONDERFUL husband and the AWESOME support he has been to me and for the love that he has showed me. Not only has he put up with having a dirty house and no hot meals for the past almost month but now he has put up with bursts of emotion and is still there to rub my back as I refund breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am truly grateful for the wonderful man that he is and the great support he is. I don’t know what the next few weeks are going to be like or how hard they are going to be. I don’t know whether Dillon will be home when it happens or if I will be sitting here alone. All I do know is that we will make it through this trial. We will come out of this stronger individuals and with an even stronger relationship.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


...finally we have stopped traveling, finally we are moved and settled and FINALLY we have internet!!! :) I forgot how nice it is to sit in your own house doin what you need to do online! These last 2 months have been crazy to say the least but they have also been full of lots and family, friends and fun! Back in July we took a weekend and had 2 of my cute little nieces come and spend a few days with us, then we took a weekend to go camping with my bestest friend and her cute little family, then I took a day to hang out with and say goodbye to my buddies I made at Frontier Pies, we then took a weekend to celebrate our 2 year anniversary then we took a weekend to travel clear up to Northern Idaho to the BEAUTIFUL Priest Lake. Until this summer I never realized how many weekends July has!!! lol. August was slightly calmer but not by a whole lot. We spent a LOT of time in the car first coming home from Priest Lake, then makin countless trips back and forth between St Anthony, Star Valley, Shelley and Blackfoot for this or that. We are now, like i said, FINALLY moved and settled into our cute little place in Blackfoot! It is such a relief to be able to sleep in our own bed, sit on our own couch, watch our own TV, and look at all our own decorations! I didn't realize how bad i missed all of that over the past 8 months. Since we got moved in we've been spending our time finishin up odds and ends, canning lots and lots of apples/applesauce, and tryin to relax and enjoy the last of the summer. I can't believe that summer flew past as quick as it did. Seriously, where did it go? Wherever it went, it's gone and Dillon started school yesterday at ISU. Yesterday was orientation and today is the first day in classes. From the sounds of things it hasn't been too bad so far but he is very nervous since this year is supposed to be the hardest. He has one class that he has to get at least an 80% on e-v-e-r-y test or he fails and he can't get below a C- in any of his classes or he is KICKED OUT of the OT program. Cross your fingers for him although I think he will do great! :) As for me, today will mark my first day on payroll at the Blackfoot Community Center since I have to go in tonight for a staff meeting. I have met with the director of the center a few different times and we are working to get everything up and running for their new LEAPfrog preschool class that I will be teaching. I'm REALLY excited to get back into teaching preschool and hanging out with those funny little kids! The first day of preschool is not until the 14th of Sept but we have LOTS to get ready and figured out between now and then so I will be keeping busy. I could use a few more days to relax and just hang out but I'm sure I'll still get that in when I can :)
Here are just a few pictures to recap the last 2 months: