Tuesday Thyme: Eggs

Just a friendly reminder to not put your eggs in the door of the refrigerator! The frequent change in temperature is bad for the quality of the eggs.

French Omelet
2 eggs
1 T. water
1/8 t. salt
Dash of pepper
1 T. butter
Any fillings your heart desires (cheese, peppers, tomato, etc.)

1. Beat together the eggs, water, salt and pepper with a fork until combined but not frothy. In a 6 or 8 inch skillet with flared sides, heat the butter until it sizzles and browns slightly. Lift and tilt the pan to coat the sides.
2. Add egg mixture; cook over medium heat. As eggs set, run a spatula around the edge of the skillet, lifting the eggs to allow the uncooked portion to flow underneath.
3. When eggs are set but still shiny, remove from heat.
4. Fold omelet in half. (If making a filled omelet, spoon the filling across center. Fold 1/3 of omelet over filling. Overlap remaining 1/3 atop filling.) Slide omelet to edge of pan. Tilt skillet, then invert to roll omelet out onto a warm serving plate.


Catch Up

I am really far behind on posting about what we have done so here we go...

Internship Open House (December 10th)

Meeting Tyler and Thais! (December 18th)

I felt like we were on a date... so I proposed.

Merkley family Christmas party (December 20th)

We drove to Mesa on December 21st. I didn't bring a warm jacket but Mesa was actually cold so Adam (11 years old) let me borrow his. (Ignore my hair.)

We went to Amazing Jake's and stayed for 10 hours! (December 23rd)

A new tradition! We all pull down our stockings on Christmas Eve!

Christmas Eve at my Neil grandparents' house!
Driving to my grandparents' house. Sam, Adam, Emily.

My parents' Christmas tree.

My newly engaged cousin Makenzie and her fiance Chris.

These old farts didn't do the Nativity.

Christmas morning!
Waiting to go out.
Sheldon got Michelle a huge gun! I cannot remember what it is right now.
Sam has had this wallet for at least six years. I finally got him a new one and he threw the old one away!

Family activity. It was freezing! (December 26th)

Today we drove to Las Vegas for Kayla's wedding. The Hoover Dam was backed up for two hours!

I hope you enjoyed catching up!


Tuesday Thyme: Popcorn Balls

Merry Christmas! I am sure everyone is overdosing on candy but here is something we made in my cooking class and my mom loved them so maybe you will to!

Easy Caramel Popcorn Balls

2 1/4 c. brown sugar
1 cube butter
1 c. light corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/3 c. unpopped popcorn

1. Pop the popcorn. Put popped popcorn in multiple bowls. Don't overfill bowls.
2. In a 4-quart saucepan, boil the brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup on medium-high heat.
3. Add the sweetened condensed milk and cook, stirring constantly to the soft ball stage (235 degrees).
4. Pour over the popped popcorn. Do not scrape the pan. Stir well. Form into balls and wrap individually in plastic wrap.


My Best Brother, Matthew

I thought that i would write this little note to let you all know that my best brother in the whole world is Matthew. He is just so smart, and a stud too. Well, thats all for today.


Ummm, this is why I shouldn't stay logged in on a computer in my parents' house. Thanks, Matthew. I am glad you love yourself. -Emily


10 Things the Winter has Retaught Me

1. Snow is like poison ivy. It is pretty, but it will make you really uncomfortable very quickly.

2. To put my gloves on before I leave the classroom. If I wait, my hands immediately freeze and then I am too cold to put them on. Ditto on the ear muffs.

3. Favorite shoes cannot be worn year-round. Even if they are cute and comfortable.

4. No one knows how to drive in snow. Don't believe them if they tell you otherwise.

5. It looks like normal sidewalk? Wrong! It's ice. Now I am on my butt. And I will laugh.

6. Everyone falls at least once. If I feel embarrassed, I must stop. Everyone around me has felt the pain. Literally.

7. Washing cold hands in hot water is a bad idea. Perhaps the worst I have ever had (since the last time I did it at least).

8. It is safer to walk in a foot of snow than on a seemingly clear sidewalk.

9. How to walk like I have a really low self-esteem: eyes down, body slumped over. It helps, believe me.

10. Cold to husbands = cuddling, smothering, arm rested across my throat, and other such claustrophobic acts while I am trying to get my beauty sleep. Cold to wives = hot chocolate, socks, and blankets.


Our first date

We went on our first date exactly two years ago. It was two days before final exams. Yes, we are crazy. This is what I wrote in my journal after that date:

"So there is a guy in my ward that I think I may like. His name is Sam Merkley. He took me on a date and we went to see Beauty and the Beast at the Center Street Theater. Then he came over and we stayed up until 4am [we played ping pong, Boggle, and watched A Series of Unfortunate Events]."

Please disregard 4am. That is, uh, not something that needs to be reported to the Honor Code Office. Moving on.

It was a great date but Sam makes sure to take me on dates all the time. He sells his plasma twice a week so that he will have cash for dates. I love it and I am grateful for everything he does for me.Ben, Kaitlyn, and Sam (I'm taking the picture) at 1:30 in the morning a few days before our first date.

Emily and I had been flirting quite a bit prior to the first date, but I was actually kind of coerced into taking her out that first time. A friend of mine really wanted to take her roommate/cousin Justine out, but she wanted to go on a double date, so he called me and begged me to ask Emily out. He asked me on a Friday to ask her out for the next day. That kind of went against my standard of always allowing at least two days between asking for a date and the actual day of the date, but what can you do?

[Side note: I had been planning on asking Emily out, but because finals week was starting, I wasn't going to do it until after the Christmas break. You know how single guys always procrastinate asking girls out? Yeah, I was one of those guys.]

Anyway, I asked her out, and as was usual of 2 years ago Sam, I was nervous for the date, and convinced that she was going to leave the date bored and sick of me. Well, it didn't turn out that way at all. I may or may not have put my arm around her during the play, which was awesome! :-) And I was amazed at how well we were able to get along and talk to each other despite our age difference.

Tuesday Thyme: Fudge

Super Easy Fudge
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 bag (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts, optional
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Place a sheet of waxed paper in bottom of 8-inch square pan, allowing sides to stand up. [When your fudge has cooled, this will allow you to easily lift the fudge out of the pan for cutting.] Spray with cooking spray.
2. In 2-quart saucepan, heat milk and chocolate chips over low heat stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, remove from heat.
3. Quickly stir in nuts and vanilla. Spread in pan. Refrigerate or freeze about 1 hour 30 minutes or until firm. Lifting with wax paper, remove from pan and cut into 1-inch squares.


New Young Women Theme

So I know I am a little behind, but I just heard about the change to the Young Women Theme. They have added "virtue" to the list of values.

The letter from the First Presidency says, "We invite parents and leaders to teach the doctrine of chastity and moral purity to help each young woman to be virtuous and worthy to make and keep sacred covenants and receive the ordinances of the temple."

I am very excited for this new change. Even though it will be tricky at first, we can get it. It was hard to add in "strengthen home and family" at first too.

This is the new Theme:

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love him. We will "stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places" as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:


Divine Nature

Individual Worth


Choice and Accountability

Good Works

Integrity and


We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.


Is this real life?

Have you ever been sitting at a red light and listening to the radio and then you look into the car next to you and the driver is singing the very song you are listening to? So weird! I know this is not very rare, but it gives me the chills every time.

How I have learned helplessness

First, let's clear up that I am not an A student.

In the past, I have not been very good at doing the assigned reading and I would get Cs on exams. Sometimes I just wouldn't get to my 8am class. I have never skipped an assignment that had to be turned in, but I just wouldn't do the reading. Especially since the teacher would just talk about it in class. I didn't see the point.

My goal for this semester was to never miss class and to do all the assigned reading. I made it through the entire semester. I never missed class, although I was occasionally a few minutes late. I read every stinkin' assigned page. It took forever. It is an amazing feeling to look at my textbooks and realize that I have read every chapter in them. I love flipping through and seeing all of my highlighting a.k.a procrastination of learning.

I have learned so much more this semester than all other semesters combined. But it has not been reflected in my grades! I still get Cs on exams! I study more and I know more. I get 100% on almost every essay section of my exams. I just can't get the multiple choice parts right. I know the information but I try to apply the test questions to real life. This leads me to a lot of "all of the above" answers because a lot of things can happen in real life.

I read, I get a C on the test. I don't read, I get a C on the test. I want to continue doing all of the reading next semester because of how much I have learned but it is discouraging that it doesn't show in my grades. And this is how I have learned helplessness.


I will fight you.

You have probably noticed by now that I am pro at putting my foot in my mouth and offending people. Partly because I don't have a filter system for the things I say, partly because I like causing conflict, and partly because I like making people realize that they are not always right and need to step out of their perfect little world. I have a story that perfectly demonstrates this. I will tell you now.

So I was sitting in the library working on a class project with my group. Their names are Jenna, Shane, and Daniel. I have had quite a few classes with Shane and I knew the girl he was starting to date so I asked him if he kissed her and he said "yes." I was so excited for them.

Jenna was surprised that they had gone on multiple dates and had waited so long to kiss. She started talking about how she will kiss guys on the first date.

I jokingly said, "What are you? A whore?"


I said, "Did you just slap me." (Not a question. I was in shock.)

She said, "You slapped me verbally."

Jenna started crying a little and explained how her ex-boyfriend used to call her a whore all the time.

Daniel and Shane just laughed. For about five minutes. Really loud. In the middle of the library.

I would like to add that Jenna and I now laugh about this and we have become great friends. We actually switched our schedules the semester after this happened so that we could have a class together. This still baffles Sam to this day. If we see each other on campus, we hug. No matter what.

And I know I deserved it. I just never expected it to really happen.

The end.


Not another guilt trip

This isn't a guilt trip. It is just something to think about.

"All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, nor from want of honor or virtue, so much as downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation." -John Adams


Church Overtime

The seconds count down to the end of an exciting soccer, hockey, football, basketball game. Your team is just a few points behind and in the last seconds a shot/play is made. It is now a tied game, forcing the teams into overtime.

You now get to enjoy a few more minutes of this game; your team gets another chance to win!

It doesn't matter how long a game takes if you really care about the team. It doesn't matter how long Tiger takes to set up because all that matters is if that putt goes in. It doesn't matter how many practice swings Big Papi takes because he just needs to get a base hit.

Then you go to church. The speaker goes three minutes over, that one last person goes up to bear his/her testimony and gets a little teary, the relief society instructor ends right on the hour and you still have to sing and pray. And what happens? Shifting in seats, looks at the clock, cell phones getting pulled out of purses, and papers being shuffled.

We can spend two hours watching a movie and yet only go to the temple once a month, if even that.

There is something better to do, right? Something better than Christ. Better than learning. Better than being where we should be.

We have decided to only give three hours, once a week. Not three hours and five minutes. We weren't able to get there on time, but it doesn't matter because church should be over and it is time to go. Right now. Time is up. We have to go.

We can get through a favorite book multiple times a year, and yet the Book of Mormon gets finished once a year, or once every other year.

I am not innocent of this either but I encourage you to think about your priorities. Are you on the winning or losing team?

Will it be okay with you if church goes into overtime?


Tuesday Thyme: Ice Cream

No brilliant ideas today. Just a delicious recipe. Enjoy!

Raspberry Ice Cream
1/2 cup boiling water
1 c. ice
1 pkg. (3 oz.) raspberry jello
1 c. sugar
1 c. whipping cream (unwhipped)
1 c. raspberries
6 oz. evaporated milk
1 ¾ - 2 c. milk
1/3 box rock salt
1 bag of ice

1. Dissolve into 1/2 c. boiling water: 1 pkg. raspberry jello, 1 c. sugar.
2. Pour 1 cup ice cubes into mixture. Stir to dissolve ice.
3. Pour into 4 quart freezer can.
4. Add 1 cup whipping cream (unwhipped), 1 cup raspberries, 6 oz. evaporated milk, and milk.

5. Assemble and turn on ice cream maker. Freeze ice cream, layering ice and rock salt around drum. Use 1 part salt to 8 parts ice. As ice/salt mixture melts, add more ice and salt to keep outer drum full. Motor will slow down or stop (depending on type of ice cream maker) when ice cream is done. Remove plastic dasher and cover ice cream. Leave in ice cream maker with ice and salt to keep cold until serving.

I have an ice cream maker from here. Good luck!


Public Obsessions

*This post has some potential to offend. If you are going to yell at me, just go away.

I have never been really obsessed with anything. Even when people would ask me what my favorite color is, I would give a weird response that would change every day. I like brown. But I like maroon. And I like green. I do not love any of them. It's not indecision, it's just a lack of favoritism. My closet is not full of only brown clothing.

"You don't have a favorite color?!" No, but I will go slit my wrists now.

I do not love ice cream or Harry Potter or Disneyland. These are all nice things but my life would not be over if I never had them. I will not passionately preach to you about how great The Emperor's New Groove is. Even though I like it a lot, I do not think it needs to be your favorite movie nor do I need to prove to you how much I like it.

"Hate" is a strong word. How was "love" released from this same standard? It should be reserved for things that you care more deeply about than most anything else in the world. You love your family and you love milk? Yes, I understand that there are different degrees of love and hate. But people seem to be more proud of their love for milk than their love for their family because it makes them more unique. Want to realize how common you are? Come to BYU.

I have taken both of these pictures in the last week.

This is just unbelievable to me. Does this make a person a bigger fan than anyone else? "Oh you think YOU like Harry Potter? Just wait until you see my license plate!" You never even see your own license plate so what is the point of paying for this except to say that you are the best Twilight/Harry Potter fan ever? Do you really want to define yourself by one fad? I think everyone is judgmental so if they don't like whatever thing you worship, and that is all they know about you, they will probably not like you. That's how you fit into their schema. First impressions last for a long time. Is that the impression you want to make? You love Twilight more than anything else? You love it enough to put it on your license plate?

People think they have to be in love with something in each area of their lives to know who they are. I still know who I am.

If you love something, rock on. But please do not let someone tell you that you need to love something in order to be a real woman (wife, mother), soccer fan, pianist, whatever. You could change your mind every day and still be you. A different version of yourself than you were yesterday, but still you.

This reminds me of a family meal when I was younger...
Adam (youngest brother): Mom! I hate broccoli!
Mom: You liked it yesterday!
Adam: Oh, I did? Okay!


Wish Lists

Sam always wants 5 million things and he never gets them but these are our Christmas wish lists.

  • wallet
  • brown watch
  • detachable hard drive
  • Rock Band
  • X-Box 360
  • Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon DVD
  • a good book
  • striped shirt and tie combo
  • Guitar Hero 3
  • trip to China
  • Samsung Omnia
  • better internet
  • perfect score on GRE
  • Betty Crocker cookbook
  • Luggage
  • Aladdin DVD
  • Microsoft Office 2007
  • library card to read Twilight (I don't want to buy it because I will probably only read it once)


My Favorite Blog

My favorite thing about blogging is finding more and more blogs to read. Everyone should tell me their favorite blog as well because sometimes it is hard to find the good ones.

I enjoy everyone's blogs. And if you are on the side bar, I read every.single.post.you.write. If you are not over there, tell me and I will read your blog! It was hard to choose a favorite. Some blogs I love reading for the cute ideas and the family updates. Other blogs I love because they make me think about life or laugh hysterically.

Some people have found the perfect balance between personal stories, humor, and sarcasm. Camille is one of these people. Camille is from Mesa. Just like me. We went to the same high school but I never really knew her because she was so old! I now feel like I have known her my whole life. She is insane. No joke. She is straight up crazy. She just moved off of blogspot a few weeks ago which was a very sad day but good for her!

So everyone go read her blog! archiveslives.com. She rocks!


Joseph Bitner Wirthlin

June 11, 1917 - December 1, 2008

Joseph B. Wirthlin always had great insights on how to make my life better and I will miss him during the next conference.

I would just like to share my favorite part of his talk last conference "Come What May, and Love It."

"The next time you're tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead. It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable."

Now he's with his wife again. We have another day to reflect on the importance of the things we do in this life; a day to laugh, seek for the eternal, and trust in the Father and the Son.

Flannel is my brother

Flannel is the one on the right.

So I have the coolest siblings ever. Nathanael (I call him Flannel) is a senior in high school and he is taking a physics class right now. They were assigned to make a bridge out of toothpicks and glue only and it had to hold 135 newtons of force (so about 30 pounds).

This is Flannel's bridge from the top.

This is Flannel's bridge from the side.

His bridge weighed 20 grams and held all 30 pounds. It was the lightest bridge the teacher had ever seen hold all the weight and it was 10 grams lighter than the second place bridge. Good job, Flannel!

Tuesday Thyme: Blends

Spices everywhere and recipes are asking you to go buy more? Don't do it! Buy the basic spices and then make the blends yourself! It is really easy to find out what goes into them - just look it up online!

Mrs. Dash = onion, black pepper, parsley, celery seed, basil, bay leaf, marjoram, oregano, savory, thyme, cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, mustard seed, rosemary, garlic, carrot, orange peel, tomato, and lemon juice.

You probably have most of these in your spice rack. I made Mrs. Dash myself and it tasted great! I just saved eight dollars.

Steamed Carrots with Snow Peas

1 lb. (.45 kg) carrots
½ lb (.23 kg) snow peas
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. dry dill weed
1 Tbsp. butter
Sprinkle of dill weed
Mrs. Dash seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Peel the carrots and slice into ¼”-thick rounds.
2. Break off the ends of the peas; remove any strings; wash.
3. Place the garlic and dried dill weed in the flavor center of the steamer.
4. Spread the carrots in the steaming bowl. Cover.
5. Steam carrots for 12 minutes before adding the snow peas. Add snow peas.
6. Allow the vegetables to finish cooking for 9-10 additional minutes; stir.
7. Remove the steaming bowl and place it in your sink. Drizzle the melted butter over the vegetables, allowing the butter to drain into the sink. Place the vegetables in a serving bowl and sprinkle with the dill weed and the Mrs. Dash.
8. Yields about 4 ½ cups of vegetables.


Grateful and Stuff

Almost ready to eat.

Grace and Sam.


That's us.

Carving the turkey.

We used all of the pieces!

On Friday we went to the Bountiful temple. It was beautiful, inside and out. We figured since we almost got married there, I should probably go once before we moved away from Utah.

That was our Thanksgiving Break. Yay!

Run, Run, Dead

Two and a half weeks ago I registered for a 5K. Dumb? Yes. Sam's family is full of runners. Sam has done two marathons, his dad has done six-ish, his sister has done three, and I have done zero. I don't run.
On the way to the race.

At the starting line.

The run was on Saturday. It was a Santa Run so they gave us (more like we bought) a hat, shirt, and beard. I wore them while I walked. That's right. Walked. Sam stayed with me. We probably ran about a mile throughout the 5K but that was twenty seconds at a time. All of my saliva started tasting like blood and it was freezing! It was pretty miserable. I deserved it though. I should have trained. Or warmed up. Or something.
After we finished.

On our way to dinner.

The fam-damily.

Cute family (Grace, Anna, and Spencer)

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