Monday, August 29, 2011

cutie pie

She's simply the best!

Are you not in love?!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Recent fun with Mylin's cousin Jace, friend Vince, and friend Ben - we're so blessed to be able to have them come to our house and play!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Zoo surprise

Disclaimer: I have the best husband in the world.

Friday morning my husband woke me up (like usual) at 7:15 to tell me goodbye, or so I thought, but was wearing shorts and a t-shirt...He said, "can you be ready in an hour to leave and go to the zoo?!  I packed the car and lunches for us."  I couldn't believe it!  He knows how much I love surprises and when they come from him they mean SO much to me :)
So I was thrilled!
I scrambled around to get ready and pick out a good 'zoo' outfit :) and was walking down the stairs at 8:15 (like I was told to) and my friend Lacey was walking up them?!
She said "are you ready to go to the zoo?!" with a big grin on her face - Joel had invited another family to come with us!
DOUBLE SUPRISE! (wow was he racking up the points!) we went for 3 hours of animals, snacks, walking, tantrums (minimal) and learning - it was a GORGEOUS day outside and a blessed day to spend with ones we love!

 Little Miss' first fat lip :(

I can't wait to go back!

Monday, August 22, 2011

God's greatest blessings!

What week it has been with our family and friends!

On Wednesday we found out that our friends, Aaron and Jill, were on their way to Utah to adopt their son, Israel! Their daughter, Ivy, is just a 9 month old big sister :)

On Thursday we found out that our friends, Kim and Dave, were on their way to the hospital to welcome their new little guy into the world, Leo David, early Friday morning!

Then on Friday, my brother David announced they are expecting mid-April...


God is so good and we are constantly left in awe of His provision, plan, and blessings!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

honesty and integrity

Lately God has been teaching me about transparency, vulnerability, intimacy in relationships, and above all: honesty and integrity
Other people in our lives are fearlessly living for the Lord and sharing their struggles and growth with reckless abandon.
They have been helping me to learn what a blessing humility and honesty are
Isn't it funny how God provides us many opporunities for growth in areas that we are praying for?!
(I say this in truth and in when we pray for patience God makes everything go not as planned or provides lots of obstacles for us in order for our patience to grow, right?!)

I feel that having boundaries and courage give me the freedom to be confident in my honesty!
Never would I want to offend or be rude...yet I know that I am capable of that (unfortunately)
So through this self-discovery and desire for growth I am learning that I am a proud person (dun, dun, dunnn...)
This was a suprise for me!
Not that I thought I was too humble and merciful to be struck by the sin of pride (like a proud person would feel, I would think...) but that I thought there were so many other sins in my life that was easy for me to identify to work on (and that I've been aware of for years, ignore, and struggle with...) - this area was was a shocker!

I realized through what I thought was harmless conversation with my husband, who I'm allowed to talk to about anything (right?!) that I was gossiping, slandering, and downright sinning!
Just because he's my husband doesn't mean that our communication and conversations are exempt from God's judgment, right?!
Wow.  That realization had me about flat on the floor in reverance and repentance...
Anyways...I realized that I was living in bitterness and resentment in a few relationships in my life because I was not being totally honest with them.
One of these, which as impacted me for my entire life has me in such twisted internal confusion that I knew this was a time for me to seek counseling
Through this process over the last several weeks God is blessing me with insight, gracious forgiveness, and mercy that is much needed and not deserved.

Now you know how to specifically pray for me (if you so desire)

I love how being transparent with each other is used to strength, encourage and teach one another!
I pray that God continues to mold me into an authentic woman after His own heart

In what ways is God growing you?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


SO....for all of you who watched the finale last week (I just got to watch it tonight!) I am beyond THRILLED that Melanie won!
She was my favorite from the beginning and I can't wait to see more of her around!

As for the poll...not sure that my advertising skills (or blog following...) is too fantastic since we only had 5 votes and 1 of them was me and 1 was Joel...
That might be due to the fact that a few of my readers (I promise, there are a few of you...) didn't get my youtube dance posts showing in their blogrolls... (help from anybody on this?!)
Nevertheless...the poll is complete!
Pasha and Sara are the winners!

Thanks for participating, friends :)

What can I do differently next time to enhance reader response?!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

30 day shred...

While I'm away and we're waiting for the poll to close on the So You Think You Can Dance dances...I thought I'd update you on something I've been doing lately...
Jillian's 30 day shred.
Yep, I think I've alluded to an interest in it before - but didn't start it until August 4th!
So now I'm in over a week and have bumped it up to Level 2
Its intense, I get sweaty, I alternate between cans of diced pineapple and tomato sauce as weights...
And I am feeling a difference!
I'm so psyched about this
I haven't noticed weight melting off yet...but I have noticed a difference in my endurance, and my leg and arm strength (come on abs, catch up!)

Have you ever done the 30 day shred?
What is your opinion of it?!

What is an exercise favorite that you could share with us?!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Did you remember to vote?!

We are going to be out of town for the next 4 days - so I'll be absent for awhile!
Don't forget to vote for your favorite (of my favorite) So You Think You Can Dance videos!

We'll discuss the winner of that poll and of this season when I return :)

Dance #1 with Pasha and Sara
Dance #2 with Joshua and Katee
Dance #3 with Mark and Chelsea
Dance #4 with Sabra and Neil
Dance #5 with Twitch and Katee

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Don't miss the finale of SYTYCD tonight!

I know I'm 'So You Think You Can Dance' crazy right now :)
Aren't the songs and stories inspiring and emotion-evoking?!
Tonight on Fox is the 2 hour finale of dancing
Tomorrow is the results show and one of the dancers will be crowned the winner!

Don't forget to 'tune in' to this blog to find out the results of the poll on which of my favorite 5 dances is everyone else's favorite!!!

I'll leave you with one more: my favorite dance (as of this posting) of this season!
Twitch (an all-star, featured yesterday in the poll) and this year's contestant, Sasha.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My all time favorite SYTYCD video!!!

Ok fans, now you've seen video #1, #2, #3, #4, and now #5 - vote for your favorite!!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Favorite SYTYCD video #4

Make sure and check out #1, #2, and #3!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Favorite SYTYCD video #3

Don't miss video #1 or #2!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Favorite SYTYCD video #2

Make sure you didn't miss video #1!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Favorite So You Think You Can Dance video #1

I am going to post my favorite dances from So You Think You Can Dance - a favorite t.v. show of mine (and Joels!)
At the end of several days and 5 Dance clip posts I will have a poll to vote for your favorites!

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

fun with family

This summer has been full of birthday parties (Mylin turned 1! and so did her cousin Jace, while Ethan turned 7)
And also our family from Alabama coming up for a visit - enjoy our summer overview with family in pictures :)

 Can you find the Cosi in this picture?! We couldn't find her playing anywhere in the house, and this is the scene I came upon when looking in their room...
 Crazy Uncle Joel let the kids paint his toenails!

 All eight Merkle grandkids (Mylin, Glenn(5), Cosi(3), Maddie(6), Ethan(7), Hudson(5), Luke(3), Andre(1)

Seriously. The cutest kids EVER!