Friday, December 18, 2009

Defensive Bowling

When Ron, Audrey, Mom and I went Bowling after I defended my Dissertation we proved that the Merrell's are not great bowlers. Only one of us broke 100, but we sure had fun trying!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


So on my trip this summer I had to take a plane from Cleveland to Columbus. It ended up being a little tiny prop plane. It was crazy small! I was sitting right behind the prop on the left-hand side. It was a short ride, but takeoff and landing are crazy short in such a little plane!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Smells Like Money to Me

I grew up in a little tiny town called Animas, New Mexico. I didn't grow up on a farm, but I grew down the street from one. My childhood home was on Hog Farm Rd.
M & M Hog Farm was a joint venture. One 'M' stands for my grandpa Adair Merrell, and the other 'M' stands for his cousin and good buddy, Marcel Mortensen. My dad worked for them until the Hog Farm shut down in the early nineties.
As a pig farm, there was a pretty strong odor that was in evidence when you were downwind. My grandpa would always "smells like money to me!" I have so many great memories of growing up in a small town and growing up so close to my grandparents!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Blowing my nose purple

So for all of the years that i have lived in Provo, I've heard about the festival of colors at the Krishna Temple down in Spanish Fork that happens every spring. There has been something come up every year where I wasn't able to make it, but nothing kept me from it this year! Well, we kind of made it... We had to park so far away, that we were at the street in front of the temple right as they started throwing the colors.

There wasn't any color for Darcie and I to buy, but just wandering around in the middle of the crowd got us pretty colored up.
There were several people from the ward that we met there...
And you can't go to the Krishna Temple without saying hi to the llamas!!!
Breathing in all that dust made me blow my nose purple for days!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ms. no More

No, I'm not engaged, or even dating anyone, but I recently reached a milestone in my life. It has to do with getting a Ph.D., but it isn't graduation that I'm talking about. The fact that I have Ph.D. means that when I'm filling out forms and they require me to put a title before my name, I don't have to put Ms. anymore! I can now choose Dr. That's right, Dr. Karen Merrell.

Life is all about the little victories!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stuff It

I didn't have much of a garden this year, but I did get a few great tomatoes out of it. I had a few of them for dinner one day. I hollowed them out...
Cooked some quinoa in chicken stock in my little rice cooker...
I sauteed some onions...
Browned some sausage...
Mixed them all together, stuffed the tomatoes, and topped it with some cheese and baked until the cheese was golden and yummy!So Tasty! I love good food!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Heeeeere's Jonny!

I know this post is a little late in coming, but I want to introduce those of you who haven't met my newest nephew.

Jonathan Dean Merrell
Delivered 28 Jun 09, at 10:21am
(9 lbs 7 oz, 22 inches long)

He is taking after his Daddy in more than one way! He is so big! In this picture 7 week old Johnny is almost as big as 1 year old Kate!Here's the cute "little" family on the morning Johnny got blessed...
Here he is being loved on by Anna and Jared...
Showing off his ginormous man-baby hands sleeping on Anna's lap...
Here's the rest of the Merrell clan!

Friday, December 11, 2009

You want me to go WHERE!?!?

Speaking of Karl and Leslie's wedding reminds me of the trip down there. I drove down to St. George and went from there with my mom and little sister. We have to cross the Hoover Dam every time we want to get to NM via AZ.
Apparently, the Hoover Dam hasn't been holding up as well as it should, so the Powers That Be decided to build a suspension bridge over a different part of the canyon. It was well underway when we crossed the Dam. Here's my mom's reaction at the prospect of having to go over the bridge:She has had a fear of heights ever since Nana made her ride the huge Ferris wheel at the World's when she was a little girl. Little Babs had her eyes closed tight and Nana kept yelling at her to open her eyes and that she payed seventy-five cents for her to ride and she better get the most out of it. Apparently, this one experience scarred her for life. It make for a pretty funny picture, though!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Meal to Remember

Not only did I get to spend time with some amazing people and visit some great places, I was also got to eat some amazing food this summer. I can't share the actual food with all y'all, but I can share pictures of a few of the most notable meals with you!
I met up with an old BYU friend, Kathy, in Philly and she treated me to some amazing sushi! I didn't eat a lot of fish growing up, but I was introduced to sushi a few years ago and I discovered that I really liked it. Well, up until this summer I had mostly just tried the rolls. The big slabs of raw fish were a bit of a stretch for me, but I did like them. I may even like raw salmon better than cooked salmon. Well, sashimi-grade salmon. I'm not going to go out and buy me some raw fish to munch on.Here is the Philly cheese steak that I ate in Philly. It was so amazing! Cheesy, meaty goodness... soooo tasty!!
These were the foodstuffs at my cousin Karl's wedding. Horchata, yummy fresh fruit, pecan butter cookies and green-chile brisket soft tacos in fresh, soft corn tortillas. I seriously miss the food that I may have taken for granted when I lived in the Green Chile State!
This wasn't all that much to look at, but it was amazingly tasty. True Cod on a sweet potato hash. At a fish restaurant in Philly, and it was so good!
This was quite possibly the best thing I ate on my trip. Also eaten in Philly, at McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant. Blue Crab, Bay Shrimp and Artichoke Dip with fried Pita Chips. We had this for an appetizer on one day, and it was so good that I came back by myself the next day and ate just this as my lunch. Mmmmmmmm........

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More of Me to Love!

Like I said in my previous post, I love all of you, but I also love myself. So here are some pictures of me that I took on the same trip back east!
Here's me at the WWII memorial. It was so hot and humid in D.C. that I bought a hat from a shop in the Old Post Office run by a couple of Korean ladies. I was able to tuck my hair up in the hat and keep it off my neck. Not the most flattering look, but it was a lot cooler than otherwise.In Philly at the Liberty Bell...
Self-portrait at the White House...
At the Theodore Roosevelt memorial
Under the T-Rex at the Smithsonian
Me with Stephen...
Listening to the radio at the Teddy Roosevelt memorial...
In Philly on one of the oldest residential streets in the USA...
Me with Uncle Abe...
With Thomas Jefferson...
In the Dole Line...
And outside the Betsy Ross House. It was so much fun to be able to see all of these amazing monuments. Great tributes to some of the people that gave so much to help make this country what it is today!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Blessed with my Presence

This summer I was able to take a trip back east to visit some of my nearest and dearest friends. It was so much fun! I visited Kristina in DC. Kristina was my only Poly-Sci roommate, so it's all too appropriate that I got a picture of her next to the portrait of Stephen Colbert's portrait. He did run for president, after all...

How this particular portrait actually ended up in the Smithsonian is actually pretty funny. Check it out!

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Portrait Accepted - Brent Glass
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorU.S. Speedskating

I did hang out with my new friend Mike at the Mass Spectrometry conference I attended in Philadelphia. Mike is a fellow BYU student and neither of us knew the other one was going to the conference. The conference was several days long, and it was nice to have someone to hang out with. Here he is with the infamous Liberty Bell:

Ah, Holly. How I've missed your delightful giggle! I was able to hang out with Holly during the D.C. leg of my trip. We ate some really great food together, and went to a few of the monuments that I wouldn't have been able to make it to. I'm so glad I got to see you!

And then there's Lil Huff! I have missed her so much! I'm so so glad I was finally able to see your home state! And to meet Ben before you two made it final! It was so much fun to hang out with you guys and let Ben buy me food and cook you other food!

There are so many other friends that I love and miss terribly. So many little bits of who I am come from the people that I have lived, worked, and played with. Thanks to all of my family and friends who have helped me to learn and grow! I love you all!!