Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Above All

There's so much going on. We just got back from visiting our friends in Idaho last night, and have so much to share. We are getting everything ready for family to arrive from Oregon tonight. We were busy rounding up our girls, unpacking, planning a pie and cleaning the house last night. I'm baking, cleaning, washing, and wrapping today. I have so many blog posts to post. Things to do. Plans to make. Texts and emails to return. Bills to pay. People to call. But, right now ~ all else seems unimportant until I get this out.  Weaving his way through, and rising above all else, there's one person.  He's all we can think about.  

Towards the end of January, we went to his Deployment Party,

While it was a great party, I can't say it wasn't hard. I had never been to one of those parties, or even around many military people. It was truly surreal to be up close and personal and witness what their family might be going through.

As we speak, Sgt. Merenda is currently in a volatile part of Afghanistan. I'm feeling every shade of emotion lately. I am so proud to know him, and be part of his life, and family and vice versa, but I am feeling anxious in light of all he is walking into. I am also feeling heavily for his family. I'm thinking of his Mom Deborah,

his Dad Rick,

 and and his brother.

I am also thinking of his wife Mel, their kids, and also their upcoming baby girl. 

The only way I know how to best channel my emotions these days is by making pie and writing, so I am doing both. For tonight, our pie is going to be called, 

"The Makings of  Merenda Pie." 

This pie is Strawberry & Blueberry. With Vanilla Ice Cream it will be Red, White & Blue. This pie will represent this very man, of many men who sacrifice all ~ for us.

Although there are different interpretations, I choose this one for my pie, and this soldier.

Red for the love he has shown for our country, and all of us.

White for his purity in spirit.

Blue for vigilance and perseverance.

I was baking away, and as I was cutting the stars out, the teetering tears ~ spilled over. I was blinded by not only tears, but consumed by thoughts. So much so, I chopped off too much crust, and needed to immediately enlist the pie doctor for repair.

Here are some pictures thus far...

Whatever your feelings, and whomever you go to for positive energy, please keep this family close. They're all enduring so much for our country.


Merenda Family ~

Please know our whole family is holding you close to our hearts and surrounding Sgt. Merenda with prayers of safety and well being. 

We love you all!

Sgt. Merenda ~

Thank you for doing what you do. 
Thank you for sacrificing for all of us.
All our love to you.


  1. I know what you are going through... My brother just left for the same place 5 days ago and I am counting down the days until he gets home (175 days!). So scary. I will be thinking of you guys and of him and his family. I will include him in my prayers. What a great pie to make for him! Shame you couldn't get away with sending it! I think it probably counts as perishables : ) x

  2. Thank you sgt. Merenda indeed. Your pies always make me so hungry.the closest thing I have in the house is gluten free waffles & trader joe's frozen berry medley...it doesn't quite stack up. :)

  3. Jennifer, thank you so much for this Blog, it allowed me for the first time to let go and cry since we had to say good bye to Richard, I have held back my emotions, trying to be strong for Richard, for his wife and our precious little granddaughters, whom miss him terribly, as they are daddy's little girls. We just had them this past weekend and so many times I just wanted to cry, especially when Breanne asked me why her daddy had to go, but when I explained to her, best I could for a young near 8 yr old, she learned to stand taller and be proud and understand he just had to do this for all of us, but inside I just wanted to cry. But, tonight, I read this, as you told me you were writing this, and you gave me a way to let go and feel. Thank you Jennifer, for everything. And as horrible the circumstance is that brought our 2 families together, at the same time, it has become a blessing also. Much love to you all too, and will remember you, of course, when we have that Homecoming Party when he returns!!Much love, Jennifer, and hugs to Aviana, precious little angel.

  4. OOps, found my old account to sign in..lol. Again, thank you

  5. What a perfect pie! I hope you can make a whole lot of them for his Homecoming party! I don't know anyone personally in Afghanistan so I'll be proud to pray for him and his safety and for his family.

  6. I wish Sgt. Merenda all of the best! What a great man and family. I will pray for his safety and his family. I love the pie idea!

  7. Said prayers for him, his family, and his unit. We, as a country, are so blessed to have honorable men like him. Gratefulness to our military isn't expressed often enough in my opinion, this post did that well. Thank you to all the troops, may we never take you for granted!