Saturday, October 29, 2011

Nathan Byron Merrill

Our sweet little man is here!  We couldn't be more in love with a little boy.  We came to the hospital Thursday night to prep for the induction Friday morning and things moved a lot faster than they expected!  He was born at 9:39am Friday morning.  21 inches long and 8 lbs 4 oz... big healthy baby :) His name is Nathan, but we've already started calling him Nate.  His middle name is special too because it's after TWO people :)  My dad and Steve's great grandpa.  I got to hold him for about a minute right when he was born and then a few more minutes before they took him to the NICU.  He was there for a couple hours and then they took him across the street to the Children's Hospital.  It was so nice when they finally let me go over there last night and spend a few hours with him.  He really is a precious little baby.  The whole experience was amazing and it truly is a miracle!

As for his heart, the surgeons and cardiologists will conference about him on Monday and decide the surgery details.  Right now he's on some special medication and will probably have surgery Tuesday.  Thank you everyone for your prayers and support.  He's doing so well and we know the Lord is so aware of him and his situation.

Now, the part everyone's been asking!
The before picture

Couple minutes old

This is right before they took him to the Children's Hospital

He's already loving sucking on his fingers :)

I love his cute little face!

Grandma doing her thing!

Pictures don't do justice.  Nate is a cute one! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween a few days early...

We were so happy that our ward Halloween party was a few days before Halloween so we could go.  I've always loved dressing up, but never been good at creating the best costumes. Who knows how many Octobers I'll have a very ripe baby inside of me, so we had to take advantage of dressing up! So we dressed up like soccer players and the baby is a soccer ball (Hopefully you can tell from the picture...) And I think Steve looks very attractive in that outfit! FYI, the soccer ball design is way hard to draw!  I spent a good few hours trying to get it perfect and if you look closely at the shirt, you'll see LOTS of pencil marks going in every direction.  But I finally did get to at least look somewhat soccerballish.  Steve's brother, Dave, thinks we should make these shirts with all different sports and sell them.  It would be the sporty maternity look.  I think it'd be a good idea...maybe we'll get rich from it!
I really need to practice my "tough girl" face....

It was a really fun party and an awesome turn out from the ward.  I wish I had taken more pictures of some of the cute costumes we saw.  Our nieces were adorable little bugs :)  Hallie as a butterfly and Annie a sweet little love bug.  We love those girls. The activities were pretty fun as well.  We were wishing we had a child already to take around trunk or treating because we know we're too old...but we wanted some candy!  Thanks to Nikki...she snuck us some candy from Hallie's bag.  Did I feel guilty?...yes.  But did I take it anyway?...yes.  My poor children will never get to eat all their halloween candy because I love it too much :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

A week long celebration!

Steve had a break this last week from school and the timing worked out rather nicely for us. First of all, it's the week before our baby comes.  So we were able to play hard before it'll be harder to get out.  Second of all, the week ended with our anniversary.  So we got to celebrate our madly-in-love-ness all week long!  If I wasn't pregnant, we probably would've traveled somewhere like New York to celebrate...but lucky for us, we LIVE in a cool place, so we felt like tourists and vacationers and didn't even go far :)  We had a great time together.  Here are some pictures of our fun week:

Great Falls National Park---It's BEAUTIFUL there!  It actually reminded us a lot of our honeymoon in McCall Idaho...romantic, eh!

Isn't that a cool view to the other side?  The leaves were beautiful.

Handsome man in a beautiful wilderness...I am one LUCKY girl!

More of that pretty park!

Taking a break for the prego lady on top of a rock

Being tourists in DC and eating a hotdog

My favorite memorial--The Lincoln Memorial.  I look like I'm going to pop...

IMAX theater at the Musuem of Natural History (one of my favorites of all the museums)

Steve brought me these pretty things :)  I love them!  I wish flowers lived forever.

In Old Town Alexandria!  We ate lunch, then explored.  There's a lot to do there, so we're going back someday.

Sunday dinner on our happy day!  Our first roast was awesome! And of course some crystal light...our favorite.

I'm so sad we didn't get a picture of the cake I made for Steve.  I'm not the most amazing cook or anything, but this was AWESOME.  German chocolate bundt cake with hot fudge topping.  (Super easy recipe and tastes SO GOOD!)  The camera died before I got a picture of Steve enjoying his 4th piece of cake :)

So there you have it!  A super fun week for us.  I feel so lucky to be married to such a cool person like Steve.  We totally feel made for each other and are so glad we got married.  And now here we are one year later about to have a baby.  This next year of marriage will be exciting and adventurous for us! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011


My amazing sister, Kirsten, and her awesome husband, Mike, and their sweet 3 year old twin boys are looking to adopt.  When they found out they couldn't get pregnant they immediately researched different options.  In-Vitro was a pretty cool option that they looked into and miraculously were able to do it while they both finished up their undergrads at BYU.  The Lord blessed them with Tanner and Austin, the sweetest little men you'll ever meet.  When the time felt right to have another baby, they did in-vitro again, but this time it didn't work.  So after lots of prayers, they felt the adoption route was right.  So they're getting started and the best way really is to get their names out!  So, anybody who reads this, please keep the Pratts in mind and if you know of any opportunity at all, let us know!  Here's a link to their blog that they've just started so you can see how incredible of a family they are.

And I'll post some cute pics too :)
These boys are so much fun!
Never a boring moment with them...Seriously!

Aren't they just beautiful people!

They're still working on getting adoption profile stuff done and we're in the process of getting little cards made for them to hand out.  So there's still stuff to do, but we thought we'd start by just telling people.  So pass the word along if you can!  Thanks!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

38 Week mark

Today marks 38 weeks of pregnancy.  My goodness.  Just one more week from Friday and the big guy will be here :)  Thought I'd share my big belly with all you people who live across the country.  I've got a nice little shelf now :)  We love you all!

Friday, October 14, 2011

We made the Church news!

Well, Steve and I thought we were famous when we made the April 2011 BYU graduation slide show.  We're movin' up in the world folks!...we have now made the LDS Church news!  You probably wouldn't have known it was us though because the picture is little and there's a lot of people.  I most likely wouldn't have even found it if my sister-in-law Nikki hadn't showed it to us.  I'm the pregnant girl in the green shirt looking like she has no idea what's going on.  Steve is behind me with his hands on his hips looking like he doesn't know what's going on either :)  If you want to read the article, here's the link:  Virgina Stakes give statewide day of service .

It really was a cool thing.  I didn't get to go after packing up the food to drop it off at the food bank, but I heard they were amazed at how much food we were able to collect.  It was around 10x more than they expected...10 times!  Pretty cool :) It was a good opportunity for us to get to know people in our ward too.  We have a really cool ward.  The whole stake was involved with service that day, but each ward did something different for the community.  Just a little tip...if you have a service project the same day as another ward...label your donuts.  Another ward ate most of ours on accident :)  Ha, gotta love church activities.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our TV shows

With no TV, Steve and I have really enjoyed hulu.  There's honestly some weird stuff on there, but there are a few gems if you look hard enough.  One of those is the Dick Van Dyke Show.  That show is hilarious!  We love it and have enjoyed watching episode or 2 to relax before bed.  Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore as a couple really makes an enjoyable 25 minutes :)  

The other show that I've been watching laughing please...The Biggest Loser!  I love that show!  It shows on TV, I think on Tuesdays, so hulu puts it up Wednesdays.  I love seeing how determined these people are to lose weight.  Today I even cried while watching it as some contestants got to talk about their families.  I don't think there's a single person on the show that hasnt' been emotional a time or two expressing how they want to change their lives.  Now, I don't know how healthy it really is to lose 10+ pounds per week...but I'm glad there are people out there trying :)  (And if you're following the show...I'm really sad Mike went home.  I liked that guy and I think he could have gone far.)  

Having studied Public Health at BYU, I'm a believer in being healthy and it's exciting to see these people getting healthy. I recently started working a bit from home on some medical records, cleaning up charts and making them more readable.  I am absolutely amazed at how many people have heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other diseases resulting from lifestyle choices.  Not to be all "Health preachy" or anything, but this epidemic of obesity really is scary.  It was emphasized in ALL my classes the last few semesters of school how much longer and better of a life we can live if we just follow some simple rules.  If we eat healthy, exercise, and keep our weight in control, we can not only live longer...but we can live longer and happier. I'm determined to be a healthy person and to teach my children to be healthy too (especially since the doctor called my baby chubby and he's not even born yet.) And I know this may sound cheesy, but...I'm so proud of the people I know (and the ones on TV) for their efforts to be healthy :)  (I know I'm a cheeseball...but I really am proud of them!)

Okay...thank you to those who endured and read through this post....I needed to feel like I was in my public health classes again :) I miss them sometimes. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dear Journal...

 Last night Steve and I had an exciting evening as we read parts of journals to each other.  It's definitely another piece of evidence that boys are different from girls.  Here's an example:

Steve: "I took [so and so] on a date this weekend.  It was really fun.  I enjoy spending time with [so and so]."

Janae: "I went out with [so and so] last night and it was so fun!  It was our first date so we got to know each other better.  We went [here] and then [there] and we talked about his family and my family and about all kinds of things.  We have a lot in common.  He walked me to the door afterwards and I gave him a hug and thanked him.  He said he had a good time and that we should do it again sometime.  Score.  So I came inside and my roommates were all waiting there and we stayed up late talking about the date.  I had a good time.  If he asks me again, I will definitely say yes.  But it wasn't like a super magical date or anything.  [So and so] is a really good guy and all, but I just can't tell yet if he's exactly what I'm looking for.  I guess we'll see at church tomorrow if we sit by each other or something...."

Okay, so these aren't straight from our journals or anything...I made it up.  But seriously!  Did I really need to write all of that?  After a first date?  I guess it makes for good entertainment.  I'm slightly embarrassed to have Steve read it.  I was a silly girl.  Poor guy is learning that more and more each day :) But on the other hand...we have so many questions for Steve's date that night, and we'll never know.  Steve does, however, have an amazing journal.  The past week or so, he's gotten back into writing daily.  His entries are meaningful.  He does have a lot of the fun stuff that we all want to read about, but he seems to know what's important to write down.  I think his journals will be published into a book someday :)  I've decided to follow his example and keep a better journal.  I fell out of the habit a while ago and really regret it.  So, I'm going to start writing a bit every day.  I'm positive that it'll help me see the Lord's hand in my life more.  And it will help me do more productive things during the day because I will not want to sit down at the end of the day and say, "Today I....I....I...didn't do much."  Anyways...go through your journals, it'll make you laugh and motivate you to be better :)