Imagine her with blond hair and a bigger waist...

She's who I'm going to attempt to be from here on out.  She's Super-Mom.  

ANNOUNCEMENT... I was offered a job as the Account Executive for the Cache-Rich Association of Realtors.  It's a full time job.  It's going to require some travel, longer hours, and a much more organized meal plan for my family.

It's not going to allow me time to chill at home and watch Grey's Anatomy reruns on Lifetime while munching popcorn.  Some sacrifices just have to be made.

I'm excited.  Really, I am.  I get to work with the same great group of Realtors that I've come to love.  But, instead of selling houses, I'll be doing administrative work instead.  These next couple of months I'll be making the transition.  There is sure to be some bumps along the way, but my family is committed to helping me, and I have the support of many wonderful Realtors.

I can do it.  I will do it.  I will be "Super-Working-Mom" whose just as fabulous as the original.


Holy Snow Batman

Of course... a huge snowstorm hits while my husband is out of town.

Of course... my husband leaves me a snow blower with no gas.

Of course... when I get to the gas station, my wallet is not in my purse.

Thankfully... my brother-in-law was at the gas station and kindly bought me some gas (thanks Erik).

Thankfully... we only got 14 inches of snow, and not 24 inches on the west side of Cache Valley.

Thankfully... Brielle took good care of her pup by carving paths in the snow.

And I hear the bigger storm has yet to grace Northern Utah with her presence.  How wonderful (insert sarcasm).


Our Best Bites

I stumbled onto a new blog, and I have a feeling that I'm really, really going to love it. 

Two Mormon moms, cooking up fabulous recipes and creating some really fun crafts.  Here is a sampling of some of the stuff they do...

Looks good, right?  I'm heading to the store to pick up their cookbook AND making a list of all the scrumptious things I want to make.  That's right, I said scrumptious.



I'm No Pioneer

We were out on the farm this weekend.  And Sunday, while Chris's family was  at church and the turkey was roasting away in the oven, I got the idea to make rolls.  You just can't have turkey and gravy without rolls.

Thing is, I've never made rolls.  I've successfully made bread, and figured rolls couldn't be to hard.  While making the dough, I ran into several problems...

Problem #1.  When doubling the recipe, a small bowl just won't do.
Problem #2.  Find the yeast before you begin.
Problem #3.  Don't try to knead the dough by hand.

You may think that because of the above mentioned problems that my first go at making rolls was a failure of epic proportions.  Surprisingly, it wasn't.

After dividing the dough (which still didn't have all the flour in it) between two bowls, I found the yeast.  I mixed and mixed and mixed the dough by hand until the cramps in my arms would no longer let me, I grabbed the mixer and finished the process.  

My sister-in-law, probably laughing internally at my struggles, asked... "Makes you appreciate the pioneers, doesn't it?"

Yes.  But let's be honest... it made me appreciate my Bosch Mixer and KitchenAid more.

The rolls did rise, they baked and they were delicious with strawberry jam.  And the turkey and gravy.


New Babes

Melt my heart.

4 Days Old



These are my muck boots.

You might be wondering why I would post a picture of the boots I walk around in horse shat with, but it's for good reason.

Last year, these boots wouldn't bit over my fat calves.  They pinched my legs, cutting of circulation and wouldn't even go up all the way.  Now, not only do they fit over my calves, I can even tuck my jeans inside.  One small victory at a time.


Not Just a Valentine Celebration

Today isn't just the day we celebrate Valentine's Day...  
It's the day our  family gets to celebrate a birthday, too!

Happy Birthday Izzy-Frizzy!

Born February 14, 2010
Joined our family March 26, 2010

Izz-the-Frizz weighs 50 lbs and is still growing.
Loves bacon and eats all the apples that fall off the apple tree.
Will destroy anything containing stuffing.
Shakes her bum when she wags her tail.
Has a cat complex.
Is afraid to jump out of the back of the truck.
Licks the sweat off your legs and arms.
Is the sweetest pup you'll ever meet.

Oh, and she L.O.V.E.S Peanut Butter, so we celebrated
with some Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes,
adorned with a chocolate bone.

Some may think that this is a bit over the top for a pup's birthday,
but this is hugely scaled down from what Brielle wanted to do.


Heart Hair

Brielle's school has a fantastic PTA, who planned a special school Valentine's Tea Party.  They asked all the kids to come dressed in their very best.  Brielle has been so excited, she planned her "best dress" last week and asked for a special hair style for the special Valentine Tea Party. 

Being that a typical day consists of a ponytail for Brielle, I turned to the internet to find the most special Valentine up-do.  Thank you Google, we found just the perfect thing.

A heart in her hair... perfectly fitting on Valentine's Day, right?

By the way... there is something else very special about this day.  
But you'll have to wait until later to find out!

Oh! And you can find many more Cute Girl Hairstyles
with video tutorials by clicking the link on the
left hand side of my blog.


Change of Shoes

I get asked all the time.  Why do you want to be a cowgirl?  How did this happen?  When did this happen?   Seriously... why?  

I didn't grow up with or even near horses.  I knew nothing of farm life, raising livestock or the real color of fresh chicken eggs.  My husband did.  He had a horse, woke up in the wee hours of the morning to do chores and even showed pigs at the fair (go ahead -- I laughed).  Then he grew up and left the farm to move to the big city.  Poor thing.  He thought he got away from all that.

Almost 5 years ago, we moved to Cache Valley and what can I say, I got a glimpse of rural life.  The pace suits me.  I soon saw that the life I wanted was very different from the life I had. My transformation started in 2008, mostly in part to Brielle.  She's a lover of all things animal, that girl.  Chris and I talked about how great it would be for her to have a horse of her own.  Enter equine #1...

Brielle picked out this little guy, and 6 months later (when he was ready to leave his mama) we loaded him up and brought him home to love and enjoy.  And we have.  

Enter pup #1...


Then I sorta tricked Chris into equine #2...


I've learned many lessons as a pet owner, most of which, I've documented on my family blog.  Some lessons were painful and some really stunk (literally), but I love these animals.  They changed my life, and introduced to me to a lifestyle I hope never to lose.

So... I'm trading in my shoes. 

These.......                                                               For These.

I'm not a horse expert, but I hope to become one.  I enjoy grooming, feeding and riding. I don't mind the chores -- in fact, it's my favorite time of day.  One day I'll have a ranch of my own with 3 horses (one for each of us), maybe a cow and some chickens just for fun.  My name is Emily Merkley, and I'm a wanna-be-cowgirl.


Missing my DandyMan

Isn't he handsome?

This is DandyWood -- AKA DandyMan.  He's my horse.  What?  All our animals have nicknames. 

Although, he doesn't feel like my horse. At least, not yet, because he's not here with us in Cache Valley.  Chris's dad happened to be making a trip out here from the Basin with the horse trailer, and for a brief moment I was giddy.  That was before Chris stated "I've paid for him to be fed through April, so until then, he stays."  Break my heart.

I love the markings in DandyMan's face.  It's not at all perfect, like Mr. Cocoa, but it's unique.  He's quite a bit taller than Cocoa, too.  I laughed at Uncle Gordon when he put DandyMan in a ditch just to mount him.  I stopped laughing when I had to do the same.

I'm counting down the days until my horse joins us.  After that, I'll be counting down the days until I have a horse pasture of my own, right in my back yard.  Hey, my motives are not purely selfish... Cocoa-Ca-Cho really needs a buddy.



I'm not a good decision maker.  I stew over problems for days, weighing pros, considering cons, wondering if I'm about to do the right thing.  Some decisions are not this complex.  Take milk for example... I don't care what brand, just give me what's cheap.  Shoes... I want comfort and cuteness.

Unfortunately, the decision I currently face is not so simple.  It has great potential, but also has the possibility of changing certain aspects of my life that I prefer not change.  What to do, what to do?

I've learned over the past several years (being in real estate) that basing decisions on a 10-year plan can be unrealistic.  Will you have the same job?  Same income?  What if the needs of your family changes?  Say you get a horse or two?  All three of these items affected my family within the last 5 years, and what I thought I needed back then is far from what I need now.  Or want, for that matter.

And what happens when the right decision is not blatantly clear?  What if there are 3 possibilities, all with outstanding pros and equally challenging cons?  Each decision has the potential to be good.

One self-proclaimed expert I found while googling said "avoid the analysis period."  He states that spending too much time analyzing just wastes time.  "You can always change if you found you made the wrong choice" is his advice.

To me, this is a big, fat load of bull crap.  He makes it sound as if all decisions are so simple, and if wrong, just change paths (again).  I think for the most part, with more life changing decisions, this is not as easy as it sounds.

So...  I'm off to stew for a few more days.


Foyer de Sion -- Update

January 20th, my dad took two other men and left for Haiti, returning on the 31st.  They had a long list of project they wanted to accomplish.  They were told that the shipping containers, which held all the supplies would arrive before the 18th.  They never did make it, so they did as much prep work as they could and completing the concrete sealer on the exterior and interior.

My dad took climbing gear (after having had an impromptu lesson at his house just days before leaving) to paint paint the exterior.  Since the paint was in the shipment containers, they practiced their climbing skills just putting on the primer.  They certainly did the best they could with what they had.

( We've come a long way! )

Before Christmas, my dad had taken some tools down and they were able to cut in the gas line for the two gas ranges that were donated.  They too, will arrive in the shipment containers.  The tile crews have been back to work, as more money was raised to complete the floor on the first, second and part of the third floor.  It should be mostly complete by the end of next week and it has made a tremendous difference in the building.  It feels very close to being finished!

The iron workers have been busy installing railings and security doors, and should be installing the iron work in the windows on the third floor by next week.  We have all but $10,000 to complete all iron work.  In addition to that, we still need $21,780 to finish bathrooms and other miscellaneous work.  My dad is hopefully to have these funds raised within a week or two.  If they are successful, they will be able to keep workers on-site until the orphanage is completed.

If money can be raised, we are on schedule to have the building completed by the end of February.  At that point, my dad will return with a team to complete the following:
  • Install plexi-glass panels on the roof
  • Install solar array
  • Install gas line in kitchen
  • Paint the exterior
  • Install the water line from the well to the building
  • Install sinks and toilets
While completing these project, we will also have people moving in the furnishings, assembling and installing.  Volunteer groups go down looking for things to do, so we left the interior painting unfinished, as it would provide projects for them to finish.  One group started painting a couple of rooms while we were there, and another will arrive sometime this month.  

Every contribution, large or small, has been greatly appreciated and put to good use.  If you are able, we encourage you to continue donations to help us meet our goal of completion by the end of February.