There's something about Merrie

Have you met my sister-in-law Merrie?

You haven't?

Well, let me tell you a little bit about her.

She is Dean's little, big sister.

While she was growing up, she really took a lot of grief from Dean.

The stories are endless of the trouble Dean got into and how Merrie always had bail him out.

And still he wasn't even very nice to her.

One time, back in the day...right before the big Homecoming Dance, Dean took the hand mixer out of the cake batter, turned it on and let the beaters go whipping around in Merrie's newly fixed hair.

Merrie was a cheerleader and Homecoming Queen.

And come on...this was in the nineties. 
A girl's hair was all she had back then. 

I don't know if this picture was right before the "incident" but you can almost see the mischievous look on Dean's face as he thinks about his misdeed.

I don't know how she ever forgave him.

Despite having to grow up so close to Dean...
Merrie turned out to be an amazing human being.
Merrie managed to catch herself a rugged, rancher named Korey to marry
and now has five beautiful little'uns.

I should mention that Dean has a total of  SIX older mothers I mean sisters...

So why would I write just about Merrie instead of any of the other sisters?... like Karen for instance who is always so good to my kids, or about Dean's other sister Gayle who has an incredible laugh...
so on and so forth...?
Well, it's cause there's just something about Merrie.
You see, I usually spend my mornings with my feet kicked up on my computer desk, browsing facebook, eating chocolate truffles meant for someone else and instructing Kal on how to pour his own cereal.
Merrie on the other hand, apparently spends her time starting up a non-profit foundation and organizing a fundraising event to benefit research and programs to help blind children.
and so was born

A cause near and dear to all of us.

You see, two of Merrie and Korey's kids were born with a rare genetic disorder that causes blindness.
Kale and Mia...(hence the name Kalemia) are amazing, beautiful souls. 

So last weekend we pulled our lazy bones up out of bed to support Merrie and the family at the Kalemia fundraiser event in Heber City.

After breakfast, as everyone got ready for the big race...I was seriously contemplating my commitment.
I am not an exercise enthusiast.
I pat myself on the back for just walking an extra ten yards from the Wal-mart parking lot. 

 Merrie's main man gave a few words of inspiration and thanks and then pointed to something shiny in the sky to distract us...yelled GO! and then took off running.
We quickly tried to catch up to him.

                      You know how some people post their race results on facebook?
obviously so proud of their performance...?
Well, not me baby. As you can tell, I came in last place. Along with these two ladies, we banded together and decided to come in together. By the time we crossed the finish line, everyone had packed up and forgot that there was still a race going on.
They just thought we were first place in the kiddie run. We let them think that.

Here Merrie's real life track star daughter, Kaitlyn showed us all how it's done.

Go Merrie Go!

Brett stayed a constant ten paces in front this group so he could tell everyone that he was being chased by a bunch of girls all weekend.

Wade though, liked to be the one chasing the girls. Typical ten year old.

And at the end of the race, we all got a cute, plastic medal...

warmth in our hearts for supporting such a good cause.
all of that...and a kiss from a cousin...(
eww Kale...kissing cousins?...gross!)
After the race, and while some of us were still trying to catch our breath...the day's events continued with a mini rodeo and carnival. 

Complete with face painting... 
A fishing pond, bracelet making,
sack races, and...


When I took these pictures of Wade here and noticed his new shoes and socks getting swallowed up in the mud, I calculated the exact price
of each of those two items in my head.

Am I the only mother out there that keeps a running total
 on how much their kids owe them?

Later in the morning, Merrie took a moment in the announcer booth to thank everyone and announce the winners of the races. (somehow my name wasn't called... what?)

                                      I looked up at Merrie and was amazed.

This whole event was so much more than I had expected it to be.
Professional runners...t-shirts, signs, running routes, advertising, breakfast for hundreds, runners braille bracelts, corporate sponsors and donations...etc.
I couldn't have done what Merrie did.
Well, to be fair to myself...I once organized a PTA Halloween party for Lauren's class.
go me!

But to see so many people there last Saturday in support of Merrie and Co.
 Cousins, friends, neighbors, co-workers, grandparents, strangers...
It was very touching. 

and it all began because of one mother's love for her children. 

President Joseph F. Smith said regarding mothers:
"Those who we call extraordinary, remarkable, or unusual may make history, but they do not make real life. After all, to do well those things which God ordained, is the truest greatness."

For the past several months I have been working on a letter to Oprah about Merrie.
I have been trying to perfect it. I don't want the letter to sound too self-centered, or sappy, because Merrie is neither of those things. I can't get it right yet. At least Oprah has one more season of her I still have time, right? If I don't hear back from Oprah's people, I may just post my letter here for you to read.
That will mean more to Merrie than a new car, I'm sure.

Merrie is so many things to so many people,
it's hard to do her justice here on my little, pathetic blog.

But just trust me...
                               "There's something about Merrie!"


Candi and kids said…
I love reading your blog, the sarcasm overfloweth!! That was such a touching post your sister in law sounds like an amazing person!
Anne said…
I have always LOVED Merrie! She is truly amazing! You are pretty impressive too!
Roberts said…
That was sweet and I love all your pictures of the day. I forgot you were behind me in the race and seriously thought I was the last women to cross the line.
Ali said…
Hil - I have laughed AND cried again. She sounds so wonderful - I have many wonderful sisters in law - but this post made me want Merrie as my sis-in-law too!
Merrie said…
Wow Hil. You know I'll never live up to you. You are amazing and I love you. Thanks for being so kind. And thanks for the great pics of the race. I haven't even had time to ask you about them and here you've created this beautiful blog about it. On the last week of school no less. Thanks for all your support. You and your cute family are the absolute best.
Diana said…
This is such a sweet post. Thanks Hil for doing so much for Merrie. What a great woman--you too, sweetie. I better go and find a hanky.

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