Allergic to... Snow Crab?

We hit the first playoff game of the MLS Westerern Conference, were ReAL creamated the Seattle Sounders 3-0.  We have yet to go to a game where our favorite soccer team hasn't won.

Just before the game started, something strange happened to Brielle.  Itchy eyes, scratchy throat, aching tummy and super warm cheeks.  She wouldn't wear a jacket (and it was cold).  This sudden onset of what seemed to be an allergic reaction was a first for Brielle.  But what the heck had caused it?

Earlier at dinner with our friend's the McB's, Brielle was determined to try the kid's Snow Crab bowl at Joe's Crab Shack (I suspect her daring choice of cuisine had to do with the fact that her friend, Macie, has just ordered the same thing).  You could tell, within a few bites, this poor girl was just not herself.

After a stadium hot dog (mustard only), a Sprite and 3 crazy good goals scored by ReAL, Brielle started to look more like herself again.

We left the stadium sure of two things...

1.  ReAL plays better when the Merkley's are in attendance.

2.  No more Snow Crab for Brielle.



Halloween is not my favorite holiday.  President's Day tops Halloween -- I get a day off for that holiday!

I came across a quote by a person I don't know (never heard of) but what he said is hilarious and makes perfect sense.

"There is nothing funny about Halloween. This sarcastic festival reflects, rather, an infernal demand for revenge by children on the adult world."

Go ahead kids... take my candy, make me spend a ridiculous amount of money on a costume you'll wear once for less than a couple of hours, and ring my door bell 'til 1:00 in the morning. 

Happy Freaking Halloween. 


Hunting Widow

You've heard the term "Hunting Widow" before, right?  When Chris goes hunting, I hear there "oh, I'm so sorry you're a Hunting Widow this weekend" at least a half-dozen times.

Thing is... this HW doesn't mind a bit.  It gives me an excuse to spend a special weekend with Brielle.  And we made it special, with snuggling in bed, playing games, loads of shopping, lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and a ReAL Salt Lake game.

Now, Brielle has never been to the Cheesecake Factory, so rather than have you imagine the joy she felt when looking at all the difference cheesecake options, I just took a picture.

It's a tough decision, even for me.  She settled on a Lemon Raspberry, although the one with Caramel, Butterfinger and Peanut Butter Cups was a close runner up.

I think she likes it...

After our 4000 calorie lunch, we headed down to Alpine to visit with cousins and see how big the Dane puppy was growing.  Just for kicks... this was Daisy the Dane back in August...

And this is Daisy now...

...complete with paws the size of... well, my own hand.

Yes, 3 months and probably 100 lbs of food will do this to a Great Dane.  They'll grow.  Fast.  And large.  Keep in mind that she's only about  months old, and won't reach full growth until the age of 1 to 1 1/2.

The game was fantastic, putting ReAL in the Western Conference Playoffs, which means another game next Saturday.  This time though, it won't be just us girls.  The hunter has returned.


So sad.  Fall Soccer is over.

Way to go "Orange Crush" on a winning season!  Until Spring...


Scene set up -- driving home with Chris & Brielle after a fabulous birthday outing.

Brielle:  We learned about pollination today at school.

Me:  Really, what did you learn about it?

Brielle:  That bees carry pollen to other plants, which fertilizes them and grows new baby plants.

Chris: That's how we get babies, too. Dads pollinate Moms. (with a chuckle).

(I look at Chris with a complete look of shock on my face, not wanting to have that conversation yet)

Brielle:  Oooooooo-Kay (while looking at him like an idiot).

Pollination.  A good way to discuss the birds and the bees?  Possibly, but hopefully not for awhile.  And I sure hope she doesn't go back to school and tell her teacher.


This Face

This face rarely gets captured on camera.  And when it does, he usually looks kinda grumpy (even though I don't really think that he is).

I love this face.  

When I see this face, it makes me happy and I feel calm.

This is the face of the most generous man I know.  It's the face of someone kind and giving.  He's thoughtful, generous and devoted to his family. 

This is my dad.  Seeing this picture made me think of all the many, many reasons that I love him.



Chris purchased an iPad recently.  He loves it.  Brielle loves it.  I want one of my own.  We just love all the fun things we can do!

He downloaded an app called "StumbleUpon" and if you have an iPad or iPhone, this is a MUST HAVE app.  It asks you questions about your interests and sends you suggestions of places to visit.  

(click the pic for more information)

For example, I love to cook and StumbleUpon now sends me suggestions for cooking sites and recipe blogs.  But not just any website or blog... ones that receive high reviews.

This morning, I stared at the iPad for 10 minutes trying to decide which yummy recipe I was going to make for conference morning breakfast (which we always try to make extra special).  If you want to know what I "StumbledUpon," visit my Recipes I Love page -- cause it was that good!