Thursday, April 29, 2010


Once she learned how to stand, she couldn't get enough of it.
She was playing quietly in her room for awhile when I looked down the hall and saw this:
Standing and playing with toys on the rocking chair that her Great Grandmother gave to her
I'm loving the fact that she is so entertained with finding things to pull herself up with. She stood at this coffee table for at least 20 minutes patting the wood. Whatever floats your boat...
However, with standing comes falling and this girl has taken many a spill. Poor kid. We're practicing our "You're okay!" Thumbs-up-smile-and-pretend-that-falling-over-doesn't-hurt, act.

Along with standing and exploring. Remember that Bumbo that she craftily learned how to escape from? She is now crawling back into it. Make up your mind little lady.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Feeling Blah

Since my Grandma passed away I have been in a funk. I'm sure its a combination of things but I'm not feeling like myself and its starting to bug me. I'm done feeling cranky and blah, but I'm not quite sure how to get my head out of this fog. In the meantime, here are some pictures from my phone.
Grace helping Kyle get some work done
First experience with an ice cube
Swinging with Aubrey in the park
I'm not sure why I took this picture, but its awesome. Let's take it all in, shall we. Grace's lack of clothing, me still in my jammies, a half eaten bottle, baby tylenol, a diet Dr. Pepper, and Cash Cab on in the background. Classic.
The Toe Mookie (pacifier). Whenever we're in the car and we hear a loud slurping sound we know that Grace is sucking on her toes. Its quite impressive actually.
Flying from D.C. to Salt Lake. There was a seat between me and my brother so we decided to strap Grace in. It lasted for about 30 seconds, but made for a cute picture.
Checking out the scenery
Those pictures make me smile. I'm one step closer to getting out of this stupid funk.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Funeral

Last Wednesday Grace and I boarded a plane to D.C. (thanks to my Mom's copious amount of skymiles) to be with my Mom and the rest of our family. It was really strange to be so excited to see family yet sad that the reason we were getting together was a funeral. Reality didn't set in right when we got there so we enjoyed some bonding time.
(Photos courtesy of Ashby Hatch)
Ryan and Grace (they are serious buddies)
Emma and Brooklyn (who flew in from Arizona) loving on Taylor
Carly and Grace. I never held Grace longer than a few minutes when Carly was around.
Things started unraveling (emotionally) on Friday. That night we had the viewing for my Grandmother. The mixed emotions were in full force as we smiled, cried, and laughed when we saw cousins and family members that we haven't seen in awhile and as we said our goodbyes to our Grandmother.
My Grandfather and Ryan
Elena and Brooklyn (second cousins)
At one point I went over to my Grandpa and we were chatting. I asked him how he was doing. Tears welled up in his eyes as he turned to me and said, "I'm going to miss her. I'm always going to miss her." I couldn't stop the tears from coming, I couldn't hold it together like I had done earlier. I just held his hand and cried. I'm going to miss her too...
Saturday we had the funeral service. It was absolutely beautiful. The history, talks, memories, and songs that were shared made us laugh and cry as we honored what an incredible woman she was in our lives.

As we headed to the burial site I could feel myself getting the closure that I needed. I felt happy standing in the sun with my beautiful sisters and my Mom.
We walked to the burial site and watched as my Grandma's grandsons carried her casket. Such great men, she would have been so proud.
The mood was lighter and happier, maybe it was all the vitamin D we were getting...
My Grandmother left an incredible legacy
Four children
David, Craig, Karen, and John
Twenty Grandchildren
The first time in years that we have all been together
and 13 Great Grandchildren (with 3 on the way)

This brought the entire family together (minus two spouses and two Great Grandchildren). She was probably smiling seeing us all together.
We headed to a luncheon, spent time as an extended family, watched a wonderful slideshow of my Grandmother's life (thanks Ashby), and ate some delicious food.
Grace meeting her second cousins Coraleigh and Janie. They were all born within 6 weeks of each other
It was a whirlwind weekend. I'm so grateful that Grace and I were able to go. It was such a good experience and it made me realize just how important family is.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Marjorie Clark Merrell

A few days ago I found out that my Grandmother wasn't doing well. That night I laid in bed and cried. "Did she know? Did she know how much I loved her? Did I tell her that she played a huge role in making me the person that I am today?"

The next day my Mom held her cell phone up to my Grandmother's ear. I knew she wouldn't respond. In between sobs I tried to tell her how amazing I thought she was, how much I loved her. But all the things I wanted to say weren't coming out, all the beautiful thoughts and words I had created the night before just turned into mush as I sobbed and told her I loved her.

From that point on it was a waiting game.

At 10:00pm last night my Dad called. With all the strength and love that only a Dad could offer he told me my Grandmother passed away.

I knew it was coming. I knew what to expect. But it still hit me like a freight train.

I cried.

I cried for myself. I cried for my Mother. I cried for my family. The Matriarch of our family, the glue that held it all together, was gone.

In the moments after, the moments Aaron held me as I cried, I realized how intertwined my Grandmother was in my life.

The family gatherings, her famous salads, the sleepovers at her house, the frozen milanos after dinner, the paintings of all the grandchildren, her perfectly organized shoes, her hello and goodbye hugs, hearing her say "Oh my heavens!", her sweater vests, and the way she would squeeze you and say "Oh, I love you."

She was an amazing woman. I'm glad I got to call her my Grandmother
I'm glad that her life and Grace's life were able to overlap just a little so that I could see them together.
You will be missed Grandma.

Friday, April 9, 2010

She Stands

As an early birthday gift to her Mema, Grace learned how to pull herself up to her feet.
Heaven help me

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

7 Months

I've been very nostalgic lately (can you tell?) and figured that I would continue down that road.

Last April I had a few visits to the hospital (blasted kidneys) and on one such visit Aaron and I were walking around the hospital so I could stretch my legs and so we wouldn't lose our sanity. We moseyed our way to the gift shop where I spotted these tiny onesies that stated where the baby was born. I expressed to Aaron how cute I thought they were and how the baby could always have it as a keepsake.

Fast forward to September 2009. While I was in labor Aaron snuck down to the gift shop (believe me, he had plenty of time) and bought Grace one of the onesies I was melting over just months earlier. He brought it into the room and I almost cried. I urged my mom to take some pictures and I thought to myself, "I can't wait until we can put her in it."
Its been 7 months since that little shirt was purchased, and I'm sorry to say that I never put Grace in it. I was going through Grace's drawers and cleaning out the clothes she doesn't fit into anymore when I spotted it. I knew it was now too small but I put it on her anyway. I didn't want all that thoughtfulness to go to waste
The fit was snug but the picture was taken and Grace can always have it. Years from now she can be nostalgic about it (My Dad got me this shirt the day I was born...).

Here are some recent pictures of our 7 month old Brown Eyed Girl
Checking out the "other" baby
Mmmm tags...
Helping Dad make some important calls before work
The Facts:

-She continues to be a scooting machine
-Is learning how to pull herself up
-Finds/chews on any and every tag she sees
-Loves looking at herself in the mirror
-Knows the difference between familiar faces and strangers (aka is comfortable with people she sees a lot and cries when someone new holds her)
-Has no teeth and, from what I can tell, no teeth coming anytime soon
-Can sit up on her own
-Is called (by us) Little Aaron because she is just like her Dad

Happy 7 months Gracie Kate

Monday, April 5, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes

While we were dying eggs on Saturday we laughed with the Sagers about how we were celebrating out Friendship-aversary. The first time we really hung out with the Sagers we dyed eggs together.

Case and point: Kyle and Mel April 2009
Kyle and Mel April 2010
In April of 2009 we found out we were having a girl. While dying eggs Aaron made an egg with the initials GKB. He turned to me and said, "I hope we go with that name, or this won't make sense".
One year later (April 2010) Aaron donned the same outfit and made another blue egg with the initials GKB. Obviously we went with the name. The only thing that has changed is how tired Aaron is these days. Oh the life of the working man...
Easter 2009 was the first time that someone asked me if I was pregnant. I was beyond excited that someone finally noticed.
One year later I'm laying eggs on the ground for the same little bug that made my stomach barely poke out.
This baby a year ago
Is this baby today.
What a difference a year makes.


Easter weekend was fantastic. It started off with a little egg dying.
(and a lot of awesomeness)

Then Sunday after conference we headed over to the Sagers to do Easter baskets and dinner.

We had an "egg hunt" for Grace. More like a scoot and grab.
Mel and I hid the rest of the eggs and sent the boys on a legit egg hunt.
After a fabulous Easter feast made by Mel we watched Sherlock Holmes and dug into the bunny dessert.
It was a wonderful weekend, and we're all looking forward to eating our Easter candy