Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The greatest gift I have received

I couldn't find a more recent family photo. Sadly. it's missing the Mercers.

This time of year it is easy to get wrapped up in all the gift giving ( and receiving). Tom, Aileah, and I went to see the lights at Temple Square and I was struck with the feeling of being abundantly blessed! We have had our share of worries and struggles but what a great life I have. I am married to my best friend. I have an adorable, sweet, healthy baby girl. Tom and I have jobs. I have a family who loves and supports me through anything.
I have received so many wonderful gifts throughout my life. But by far the greatest was from my loving elder brother, who gave his life so I could repent of my sins and return to my Father in Heaven. He made it possible for me to be with those I love through eternity. I could not imagine a more wonderful gift!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lesson from a sunflower

Recently I learned an interesting fact about sunflowers. Why are sunflowers called sunflowers? Is it because they look like the sun? Nope. It is due to the fact that they will follow the sun throughout the day. As the sun moves across the sky the head of the flower will turn to face the light. This little tidbit of info has me thinking. I want to be more like a sunflower!
How do I react to trials, disappointments, and frustrations? Do I dwell on all the negatives or do I look to all the blessings I have been given? Sadly, it is so easy to think about how bad things are or about how you wish things were. But from this day on I will become a sunflower. I will look for and follow the light in my life... because I have been truly blessed by a loving Heavenly Father. And that is what I will choose to search out from here on out, rainy days and all.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The most wonderful time of the year!!!!

I just love this little face... even when she's crying!

Simply adorable!

Sweet tooth, already? Must be half Andes :)

The Skywalker Family Halloween 2009

The adorable Princess Leia

Aileah at 4 months... a little old now :>

Corn Maze at Pumpkinland!

Eating rice cereal for the first time.

No... not Christmas, although that is a pretty great time of the year! I'm talking about the Fall. I absolutely love it!!! This year has been a wonderfully long Autumn. Yay! It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Aileah is growing so fast! She's 5 months now. She has rolled over a few times... but now refuses to do it anymore. She amazes me everyday with the things she is doing. She loves to play peekaboo, suck on her toes, give cuddles, and look at books. She is usually such a happy, smiley, giggly baby. What a blessing she is in my life.

A bit of happy news to pass on... we are moving!!! Just to Provo... but it is a bigger and newer place. We started looking a couple weeks ago in the hopes of finding a place that will work for a preschool. So I will be starting one up in the fall. Please pray for us that things work out the way we are hoping! I am excited and nervous. But things fell into place so quickly and easily that it must be the Lord's plan for us. My question is... why do we keep moving in December? Our third move that wonderfully warm month.

Friday, October 2, 2009

My baby is 4 months?!

My smiley little girl!

She loves her gym... sometimes :)

My sister, Tiffany, came for a visit from Georgia.
Unfortunately, this was how Aileah was feeling
for most of the time she was visiting. Sorry, Tiff!

Aileah with 5 of her cousins... all the grandkids
on the Andes side. Aren't they super cute?!

Where does the time go? I can't believe Aileah will be turning 4 months on Sunday! I can't believe I haven't blogged since August! I am so grateful to have this cute, happy (yes, guys, she really is happy sometimes) little girl come to our family. Here is a run down on what she's been up to the last little while.
  • She hates tummy time and so decided to roll over to her back. She did this 4 times in one day... but not again since.
  • She loves, loves, loves blowing raspberries. A very wet, new development.
  • She loves to play, grab, and suck on her feet.
  • She is sucking her thumb lots. Not a Binky girl anymore.
  • She laughs... really laughs. It is adorable.
  • She rubs her eyes with the back of her hand when she's falling asleep.
  • She usually cries when we go visit someone at their home. Not so fun... but I promise she is a happy girl at home. Sorry not everyone gets to see that :(
  • She finally fits into "newborn" shoes... but still kicks them off.
Just a few of the things she does that makes me smile everyday. I love being a mom! She was definitely worth the wait!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hiking= good, clean fun!

On Tuesday my sister, Valerie, invited our little family to go on a "hike" to Devil's Kitchen in the Nebo Loop. It was a nice little stroll down the path to the overlook. It was a beautiful view of red rocked formations. It was a really short walk... but the drive and company were fabulous! Thanks for letting us tag along Mendozas!
Today I decided we needed to hike Donut Falls in Big Cottonwood canyon. Neither Tom nor I have been up to Big Cottonwood. It was so beautiful! We are looking forward to more hiking trips up there! Here are a few pics from our hikes.
Our little sun worshipper!

This is near the Donut Falls trailhead. The
falls are much bigger... and very popular!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Time Flies! A quick update

Ok. Where did June go?! I honestly don't think a month has ever flown by so quickly! Here's a rapid rundown of what we've been up to lately.

We took Aileah for her first "hike". Ok... so really it's more of a pleasant stroll. But you gotta start somewhere, right? We went up to Bridal Veil Falls. She is one outdoorsy girl! She could be crying super hard but then stop the minute we get outside. We hope this is a lasting trait of hers.

On the 4th of July our little girl turned 1 month! Aileah is such a good, happy baby. She smiles and coos at us all the time. I am fortunate to have this summer to be a stay-at-home mom. I'm loving this time I have to spend with her. It breaks my heart to think of going back to work at the end of summer! What an adorable, long-awaited blessing this girl is. I kinda like her... a lot!
More often than not we hear, "She looks just like her daddy!" Who do you think she looks like?

We had Aileah's blessing on July 5th. We had so many friends and family members with us to celebrate this special day. We love you all! Aileah was wide awake during her blessing but didn't make a sound. She just stared at her Daddy with her beautiful big eyes! Tom gave her a beautiful blessing!

On Monday, Tom and I decided to go to a couple of places we've never been before. We went to Young Living Farms and the Lotus Temple. It was so nice to get out as a family!

I love my life! I have truly been blessed beyond anything I deserve. I have the privilege of being married to my best friend! I love seeing him with Aileah- it makes me fall in love with him all over again! He is such a great husband and father! I have a sweet little girl, who melts my heart with her smile. I love this little family. Yes... life is good!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The circle of life

We are pleased to announce the arrival of our precious little girl, Aileah Brooklyn Mann! She was born June 4, 2009, weighing 8 lbs 6 oz and measuring 20 inches long. She has quite a bit hair... and we were convinced she'd be bald! She is such a good baby. As I look at her my heart fills with joy and gratitude. We are grateful for the chance to be her parents and pray for the Lord's guidance to help us be the parents she deserves. We never imagined how much we would love her... or how much we would worry about her. This beautiful girl has definetely been worth the wait!

We were able to leave the hospital on Sunday. We hadn"t been home for too long when I got a call from my mom. She had just found out that my Grandpa Bill was not going to be able to have a much needed heart surgery. The doctors were sending him home for hospice care. Mom flew out the next morning. She was able to be there when he passed away as he slept. I am glad that he knew about Aileah. He was bragging to all the hospital staff :) I will remember Grandpa for sense of humor, his arguments with the missionaries, and for the compliments he paid me. I will miss him but I am grateful for the knowledge that we can be together again!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sewing projects and some random pics!

Ok.. I hate pictures of me. But here I am one day before Aileah's due date.
Ugh! And I can't figure out how to turn it the right way... Sorry!

Tom took this sweet shot at Tracy Aviary!

Sorry... I can't figure out how to turn this one either!
A pelican shot I took at the Aviary.

A pinecone cluster at Thanksgiving Point.

The blanket I made for Aileah. It is super simple,
I know... but I did it to practice sewing straight lines.

The blessing gown! Grandma Stella helped rescue Aileah from
a fate worse than death... looking like white trash!
Thanks for all your patience and help, Mom!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Seven Days??!!!

I know, I know... I am a terrible blogger. Maybe I will feel more inclined to do it once I have Aileah to brag about. More desire, but less time. I cannot believe we are a week away from our due date! The past 9 months have, mostly, flown by! It doesn't really seem real yet that Tom and I will parents super soon! I am excited and nervous to see our precious little girl!
And now to catch you up on a couple of things that have been going on. The weekend after my last post I started (and almost finished) my practice blessing gown. I am grateful for my mom's patience with me. I am so worried that the gown will end up looking so white trash... but I know that my Mom will guide me through it and save us from that fate. I think the practice gown is coming along nicely... I have only the back and a hem left. Then on to the real thing!! Wish me luck!
On May 1st Tom and I escaped to Park City. My wonderful friend, Sofia, bought us a night stay at a Bed and Breakfast last year. We kept meaning to use it... but life gets so crazy! We used it 8 days before the gift certificate expired. We went up for a quick overnight trip. It was wonderful to get away and relax from work. We ended up having the entire house to ourselves. It was a new experience for the two of us. Neither of us had ever been to a B&B before. The house had been a condemned wreck until the owner came along and saved it. It was a rustic, older home. It was a fun night. Thanks for a much needed mini vacation, Sofia!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

What was I thinking?!

So... ever since I found out we were pregnant I have planning to sew a blessing gown/ outfit for the baby. The problem is I don't know how to sew! It is a pretty ambitious undertaking but I really want to try it. After realizing we are down to 9, yes NINE, weeks before Aileah comes I decided I ought start to learn how to sew something. Yikes! Where did all the time go?!
I headed over to my Mom and Dad's house for a sewing lesson from Mom. I have only ever sewed one other item... a scripture bag made from a place mat. That project required lots of help from my wonderful roommate, Jessica. Mom and I decided to start with a blanket. Mom and Sheri must have thought I know more than I do...but I don't know the first thing about sewing! I provided lots of laughs for the two of them as I struggled to make my little project. I was able to do most of it on my own! I did need a little help from the ladies along the way. But I have finished my second sewing project! Next week... a practice blessing gown. I will try to post pictures of the blanket and dress later. What was I thinking?! I must be crazy!

Monday, February 16, 2009

I'm such a lucky girl!

Happy Second Anniversary, my love! It is so hard to believe that Tom and I have been married for TWO years already! It has flown by so quickly! Here are a few reasons why I love him so much! (one for each month we've been married)
1- He tells me he loves me at least 6 times a day.
2-He is so patient (especially with my wacko mood swings).
3-He tells me I am beautiful at least once a day.
4-He compliments my cooking... even if what I made isn't really very good.
5-He gives great hugs.
6-He gives me neck or shoulder massages after a stressful day.
7-He is so go with the flow. He helps calm me down... you see, I am a bit of a worrier.
8-He is fiercely loyal.
9-He puts his family first. We are THE most important thing in his life.
10-He leaves me random love notes.
11-He cuddles with me when we fall asleep... and even a dead sleep he will scoot over to wrap his arms around me.
12- He dreams big.
13-He is a hard worker. He works jobs he hates to help support us.
14-He is so excited to be a dad. I can't wait to see him hold our baby girl.
15-He is generally optimistic.
16-He loves to be outdoors... he has taught me to enjoy it more. Although I still don't like to get dirty.
17-He will listen to me ramble on and on as we are trying to go to sleep.
18-He is very confident about himself and his abilities.
19-He honors his priesthood. I am so grateful to be able to ask him for a blessing any time I need it.
20-He always holds my hand as we are walking.
21-He is willing to help others.
22-He encourages me to try new things and believe in myself.
23-He gives me his shoulder to cry on.
24-He makes me laugh everyday.
I'm not saying we have a perfect marriage and that we don't occasionally drive each other crazy. But we often talk about how lucky we are to have found each other. I am so grateful to our Heavenly Father for allowing me to become friends with, fall in love, and marry Tom. He is such a great man! I know that He knows what is best for each and every one of us. I could never have imagined how happy I could be...being married to my best friend. I am a very lucky girl!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Finding Happiness

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about happiness and the things that bring us true, lasting happiness. I have been reading a little bit about being happy and wanted to share a couple of quotes I found that spoke to me.

"Happiness is a journey, not a destination; happiness is to be found along the way, not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over ant it's too late. The time for happiness is today not tomorrow." -Paul H. Dunn

I remember thinking when I finish college and get a real job...then I will be happy. When I am seriously dating then I will be happy. When I am married then I will be happy. I think of myself as a generally happy person... but I thought I would be completely happy when I met these goals. This is a powerful reminder to me to find the happiness in the journey; if I don't- I sure won't feel it at the end.

"Happiness does not depend on obtaining all the desires of our hearts. In a large measure, happiness depends on our ability to feel gratitude for the abundance we already have."
-Carolyn Wright
This quote struck me. How often do I forget all the little things that I have been given? How often do I stew over the things I want but don't have? I decided to compile a list of some things that have made me smile or laugh in the last couple of months. Then when I am feeling discouraged or down I can be reminded that happiness can be always be found... if I am just grateful enough to look for it.

1. Sometimes I crawl into bed after Tom has been asleep for awhile. I say good night again. I LOVE that he will always say I love you... mumbling and still asleep. I know that he means it...since he is dead to the world.

2. I have the pleasure of working with 4 and 5 year olds. They can be so frustrating... but they are also so funny. I was testing one of my kids this week. We tell them we are going to try to trick them and ask if we can or if they are too smart to be tricked. One of my little guys said, "I am allergic to tricky!" I had to laugh.

3. My nephew, Avi, is just beginning to speak. Yesterday I walked into my parents' house and he said, "Heather!" It melted my heart...it is only the second time I've heard him say my name... and the first time it has been spontaneous!

4. Having one of my girls in class, Cierra, whisper to me, "I really like sitting on your lap."

5. A couple of days ago Tom whispered into my belly, "Hi, Aileah. It's Daddy. You hang on tight in there." He is going to be such a great dad!

6. A girl in my class, Autumn, asked if she could kiss my baby. I told her it would probably be better if she blew the baby a kiss. She did and then she got three of the other girls in our class to blow kisses to the baby.

7. I love holding my newest nephew, Itai. I love getting him to smile his huge toothless smile.

8. I was eating snack with my class and one of the boys at my table turned to me and said, "Guess what. I love you." And then he just went back to eating. He has done this a couple of times... just said I love you in passing.

9. I love that my oldest nephew, Alex, tells Dad jokes. You know... those corny, "punny" jokes. He is a master of them. He spent the night a few weeks ago and boy, was he ever on a roll with them! Funny kid!

10. I love that my oldest niece, Elisa, is so gentle and loving to everyone. She is a great helper with Avi. He loves her to pieces and often wants her to carrying him around. Sweet girl!

11. My youngest niece, Sabrina, is so funny...sometimes without meaning to be. Tom and I were watching her and her two siblings for 5 days. She is a fairly picky eater and everything I suggested was turned down. Finally I said,"Do you like frozen pizza?" She said, "Um... a little. But can you cook it first?" My favorite Sabrina story!

12. I smile every time I have to get out of bed in the middle of the night. When I get back in Tom will scoot over to me and wrap his arms around me before going back to a dead sleep.

13. Feeling Aileah move, kick, or punch... or whatever she is doing in there. Tom is anxious to feel it too!

14. When we told Bella, my niece, that we "had a baby in my tummy." She tried to lift my shirt to see it. I tried to explain she couldn't see it yet. She leaned down and very gently kissed the baby. What a cute girl!

15. Being married to my best friend! I cannot imagine traveling on this journey with anyone else! I am so grateful for Tom in my life. I could list a million things he does to bring happiness to my life!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Ultrasound results

So... on Tuesday Tom and I went in for THE ultrasound. Since our trip to the ER in early December, when the ultrasound tech gave us a 85% chance I was carrying a boy, I have been convinced that we would be welcoming Elijah into our family. At our latest appointment the tech tried to find out the gender right away. The baby has, apparently, inherited my over modestness. It wasn't cooperating! After a wee while she tried again. Imagine my surprise when she said we are having a girl! We are excited. I didn't really care either way- just as long as the baby is healthy. To top it off we get the girl name we like. We were competing against my brother, Jared, and his wife. Hee hee (that is my diabolical laugh for you, Jared) We will be welcoming Aileah Brooklyn around May 30th, 2009!