Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013

This week was spring break. It has been a busy week for our family with lots to get done, a family vacation to the coast, and of course Easter. While I had planned to blog in chronological order and blog today about our vacation and talk about Easter later, given that today is Easter it just does not seen right to not talk about it. That being said, check back in a week or so for our vacation wrap up.

I feel like Easter really caught me off guard this year. We were out of town until Friday evening. That just left Saturday to get back on top of everything that got neglected while we were gone and get prepared for Easter.

Our Easter celebration began on Saturday morning with the city Easter egg hunt. There were lots of people there and the hunt was over very quickly. They also had pictures with the Easter bunny. While Merrick was a good sport about it, it was honestly the freakiest looking Easter bunny I have ever seen. For me the highlight of the experience was at the start of the hunt, Merrick ran off to get an egg. When he finally got one he held it up, yelled "I got one", and started to run back to us. Jeremy eventually had to run out and help him so that he got more than one.

Ok, so speaking of helping Merrick with an Easter egg hunt, it is time to tell a long time family secret. Two years ago at Easter time we went to Jeremy's aunt's house for dinner and an Easter egg hunt. Their family tradition is to hide a few eggs with money in them. Jensen was tempted by the money and wanted to participate in the hunt, but was told he was too old by his aunts. He may have been a little bitter and started to text Jeremy about it. Jeremy told him that if he could not win, he could help Merrick win. Jensen went out while they were hiding the eggs, watched where they hid the $10 egg (which happened to be a giant golden egg), and texted Jeremy. When the hunt started we just walked Merrick over to the golden egg and acted shocked when we found out there was $10 inside. We knew everyone would be ticked if they knew we cheated so none of us never said a word...until now. We just could not let the story be forgotten over time and hopefully it has been long enough now that no one will be too upset hearing it.

Anyway, back to this Easter, today the golden egg made an appearance first thing this morning with a note from the Easter bunny. The note said it was full of extra eggs for a family Easter egg hunt and that the Easter bunny had hidden all of our baskets and we would need to go find them. Merrick found them pretty quickly behind the chair in the baby's room and was very excited to find not only lots of candy, but also a new puzzle and hat. He even got to have his fist experience with peeps.

After baskets we got ready for church, which was obviously the most important thing we did today. After church we had our family egg hunt, a big family dinner and an extended family egg hunt with eggs full of puzzle pieces for puzzles of pictures of Jesus.

The day is now winding to a close and I am exhausted, but I could not have asked for a better Easter celebration.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Reward Day

You may remember that for Valentine's Day this year we gave Merrick a scratchers card with some different presents and fun experiences for us to do as a family. Well, this week we decided it would be a good time to take him to redeem his go-kart racing trip. Jeremy has been working REALLY hard on a mid-term paper for his International Tax class and he needed something to look forward to as much as Merrick.

Friday afternoon, after I was done with preschool and Jeremy had turned in his paper we headed to the nearby Family Fun Zone. We started with the go-kart track and it was a good thing we did. The track is outdoors and while it was not raining at the time, it started raining shortly thereafter. Merrick had a blast riding shotgun with Daddy. When he got done he came running up to me and said "I got to ride up front with Daddy!" and that night at bedtime he was still talking about it. He told me "You could not ride because you had the job to watch and take pictures, but I had the way more fun job to ride go-karts with Daddy."

After go-karts we went inside to play some arcade games. There were a few ticket games that Merrick was interested in, but by far he was the most interested in the racing games. I am fairly certain we played every racing game in the building, which let me tell you was a lot.

We wrapped up our trip to the Family Fun Zone in the playland which was like a McDonald's playland on steroids. Merrick was in heaven, but he drug Jeremy along for most of the time and by the end Jeremy's back reminded him that he is not 20 anymore. In the end we had to bribe Merrick to leave by promising him his favorite restaurant for dinner, Panda Express.

While the Panda Express was a little lack luster, the rest of the afternoon/evening was a blast. Perhaps the best part of the night was when we got home and we let Merrick eat the Fundip he bought with some of the tickets he won...he got a little messy.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


It really is amazing how fast Merrick is growing up and hitting some major milestones. In church he hit one of those milestones this year when he graduated from nursery and was able to go to primary. It doesn't seem that long ago that he would cry when we told him it was time to go to nursery and then wouldn't let us leave the classroom, a few times we had to have the teachers distract him so we could sneak out. Now, as soon as the closing prayer is said in sacrament meeting he looks at us, asks if it is time to go to Primary, and then bolts out of the chapel for the primary room. He loves everything about primary. He is glad he is old enough to be in primary with his cousins and he loves the singing time and usually ends up singing the songs throughout the week.

Today was a big day in his primary experience because he was asked to say the opening prayer. We didn't have any clue this was happening, but luckily in our church program they print the program for the primary and Jeremy saw that Merrick was going to say the opening prayer today. Merrick had quite the cheering section as Jeremy, Nana, Papa, and I all went to hear his first primary prayer. It was so cute to see him walk right up and sit in one of the front chairs reserved for those that are going to give the opening prayer, scripture and talk and then when it was his turn he walked right up to the podium and with out any hesitation repeated the words to the prayer that I gave him.

It is so amazing how quickly he is growing up. Today it was his first primary prayer, but if I blink I am sure it will be time for his first day of school. I guess I will have to practice not blinking.

Since it was not appropriate to take pictures of a prayer, here are some pictures from his first Sunday in primary.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Winds of Change

This week my dad/parents signed an employment contract with a company in India. This is about to bring a tidal wave of change into our live that will continue to ripple long after they have left. Here are just some of the changes that will take place over the next several months.

1) My dad will move to India as soon as his visa comes through (probably mid April) and my mom will likely join him around July.
2) My parents will be selling their (also our current) home.
3) We will be moving once the house sells.
4) My parent's dog and possibly our dog will be finding new homes the same time we do.
5) We will have a new baby.
6) I will need to find a replacement teacher to fill my mom's place at the preschool this fall.

As you can imagine these changes are bringing a lot of stress and anxiety right now, but ultimately I have faith that everything will work out for the best. I am really excited for my parents and it will be such a positive experience for them in so many ways. It will also be really good for Jeremy and I. While it may bring additional stress, being on our own again will definitely bring us closer together and cause us to lean on each other more than we have over the last year and a half.

As my new motto says,"Everything will be all right in the end and if it's not all right, then it's not yet the end" (from the movie "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel").

Sunday, March 3, 2013

View at the Top

Slowly but surely the weather is beginning to improve in this part of the world. Most of the week the high has been in the 50's and we have been trying to get out more. Last year Jeremy really struggled with the weather and I think that a big part of making this year better is getting out whenever the weather is good. We have gone on lots of walks around our neighborhood and I have been reminded of all the beauty around us. When the clouds are low and everything is gray it is easy to forget, but we live on the top of a large hill and when the skies clear the views are amazing.

I took my camera on our last walk. I don't think my pictures do the views justice, but at least it gives a hint of the beauty at our doorstep.