Being Well

This is my brother and his sweet family.


They are some of my favorite people.

When Matt returned from his mission to Finland I was so excited to see him. Just before he left and through our letters those 2 years we became very close. I missed him a lot, but when he got off the plane he kinda weirded me out. He was so soft spoken and his English was perfect. I couldn't understand why he was being so timid. Come on Matt, your home! Your back! He just nodded and whispered. What is wrong with him? I wondered.

Whenever anyone asked Matt how he was doing or how he was feeling he would politely reply, "I'm very well, thank you." Weird? To this day I have never heard him just say, "I'm good."

I've learned that the Finnish are soft spoken and very polite. Their English is proper. Matt just wasn't one of the loud Americans anymore. Especially the Loud Lewis Americans. I think it's pretty cool.

Reasons why I'm very well today:

1. I balanced on my head last night for 2 minutes (yes, I counted) and I held this pose without a spot for a few seconds. It was invigorating.

2. We are carving pumpkins tonight, eating Pumpkin Casserole, and sipping hot cocoa with friends. Mmmm!

3. Blondie was a little scared last night so she requested to sleep with us. It was nice to have her little body next to mine though E seemed very far away
and she is a really sweaty sleeper.

4. Tomorrow is Halloween. Yay! We are going to E's office to Trick-or-Treat and making scary lady fingers to bring with us.

5. I got a new shirt from Old Navy yesterday. It's yellow and I love it. It makes me happy. $7 baby.


6. THIS just came. Wahoo! Thank you FedEx for being on time! I'll be rocking out all afternoon and neglecting my chillins.

7. I went visiting teaching this morning.

8. Blondie requests the "kelcun dance" whenever I'm at the computer (like right now). It never gets old to us.

Yes, I'm very well, thank you!

Oh, I almost forgot my winners for the GPK cards. A random number selection by Blondie.
She chose 20-teen, 14, 3, and 5.

So I guess that means the winners are Lori and Brent (the 3 and 5)

Congrats! I'll get them in the mail. Prepare to be totally grossed out. We now all understand why our parents didn't want us having them. Yuck!


Pumpkin Brains Casserole

Pumpkin Casserole

I added the "brains" part just to be spooky. Well, I guess when you scoop it out it is a little brainy - I hope this doesn't discourage you trying it out.

1 onion chopped
2 tbs olive oil
1-2 lbs ground beef (i use turkey)
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs brown sugar
1 can sliced mushrooms drained (if you aren't mandy and kelly)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1-1/2 c cooked rice (i use brown)
1 8oz can water chestnuts
1 gutted pumpkin
salt and pepper to taste

Oven at 350. Saute onion in oil, add meat and brown. Drain drippings. Add soy sauce, mushrooms, b. sugar, chicken soup, and simmer 10 min. Add cooked rice and chestnuts. Place lid on pumpkin and bake 1 hour until tender inside. Scoop and eat! Yummy!

I make this dinner once a year.
I get excited about it when I see the first pumpkins out in early October.

I believe it is especially popular among young bats, spiders, witches, mummies, ghosts, and vampires. Wait. Not vampires. They just drink blood.


She's Back

...to her old tricks again

Untitled from gardiner4 on Vimeo.


While He Was Away

Can I tell you that it has been absolutly crazy these past 5 days? I was so looking forward to Easy E coming home and now, he is gone again, to work all day. It makes me sad.


So backtracking -

The Halloween lunch on Wednesday was, well yummy and crazy. It was a little chaotic with 6 little ones and only 2 adults. We had fun though and love our friends.

The show on Saturday didn't go so well. Way too many vendors selling way too many baby things way cheaper than mine.


At least Blondie had fun watching movies, eating snacks, and making crafts. She really is a lucky girl and I found her a fabulous new jacket for her birthday.

We made it to the Trunk-or-Treat, but only for about an hour.


Really, she is the cutest Mummy you have ever seen, right? Speaking of my Miss Mummy Pants. She is climbing on everything. Tables, chairs, and sinks are her favorite. Yesterday I found her with my scissors. I sometimes will accidentally leave them on the corner of my desk. I put them away and 5 minutes later she has them again. This time I put them back and watched her. She casually walks over to the chair, climbs up, climbs onto the table and retrieves the scissors. Way too smart.

We left early (from the TOT) so I could go to this. Blondie loved staying with Livi and I had such fun with my friends and baby girl.

Can I tell you how beautiful it was when Nie's little girls got on the stage to sing for their parents? The auditorium was silent as those 2 little girls walked across that huge stage. It. Was. Silent. Then, they sang and there wasn't a dry eye in the whole place. Beautiful.

We are so ready for a freaky week. I'm sure that my kids will be in costume every day (I can't seem to keep Ava out of her cat costume) This is our favorite Halloween tune. It's in this weeks playlist.

The Specials
Ghost Town



make a little time, read this, and give someone close to you some lovin



go to Hissyfits for show

sit in the sun with my Ava for a good 5 hours and sell PoppySeeds goodies. Make some money, eat some snacks, read my book

finish the mummy costume and get all spooky

take girls to trunk-or-treat. eat chili.

go to concert with Sally, Shelly and my baby


A Gross Giveaway

Yes my friends, just in time for Halloween a


Hooray! Wahoo! Yipee!

Remember these?

Well, I have three packs of truly gross GPK cards for your flashback pleasure. I of course, have to keep one for myself, but I'm going to giveaway 2 away to 2 of you! Just my way of saying thanks for reading. Oh yes, they even have the green gum in them.

Show a little love and you'll be entered to WIN!



Many days have I gone without a shower or lunch being too busy cleaning, feeding, wiping, reading, building, drawing...did I say wiping? It's easy to forget about myself when so focused on the children (especially when they are tiny and helpless), but there are those moments, the ones that seem to be fleeting, where my MaeMae smiles with delight upon my picking her up and where Ava will give me unrequested affection or tell me that I (not showered) am so pretty. Those moments are the most nourishing and fill my cup to the brim. These moments make it all worth it.

We had a very busy day today and I am tired. Please bear with me as I have a moment that needs saving.


Last night
I was putting Blondie to bed. She is so silly. She wants to cuddle up and chat with me, but I just want to sleep. She wants me to run my fingers through her hair - rub her back - touch her face, but she can't handle it and giggles, kicks the covers, and thrashes around. I'm about to regret my decision when she pleads only for more of my affections. I agree if she holds still and stays quiet. She giggles a little, but slowly relaxes as I run my fingers from forehead to chin. Over and over. Forehead to chin. I know this little face I can see it with my fingers. I have it memorized. It is beautiful. I can tell she is drifting off and I think she is finally asleep as I roll to my back. I'm thinking about Eric when I then feel tiny fingers on my forehead that move down to my chin. Forehead to chin. Over and over. I want to freeze this moment. Save it. She is nourishing me. Filling my cup. A fleeting moment. A tender mercy and it's worth it.


Midweek Musings


Please put this in your queue. I'm sure that you will enjoy it.
We did.

Our Nation:

Is anyone else sick of these guys?


I am. They are driving me crazy! I think I may go third party on the 4th. I couldn't even watch the last debate. I'm totally over it.
Basically, Obama has it in the bag, right?



Mae had her 15 month yesterday. 11th% weight (20.4 lbs) and 75th% height.
She is a bird.
We have to take the bottle and binky away. Doc says, from here on out it will only get tougher. Everyone told me that with the second baby, I would want to keep her little as long as I could. Even though I hate hate hate the phrase, "I told you so." I admit that, you did, "tell me so." I'm going to be tough though. First the bottle then the pacifier. We are doing it by 18 months. For those of you who don't believe we can do it, in a few months, perhaps I will have my own "I told you so."
The bottles are already packed away.
Any advice on the binky?
Right now, she only has it at nap and bedtime.


( I have a weak spot for Mountain Man Eric. He is H-O-T.)

My love has a trip planned to Yosemite to hike with his buddy. I am sad and will totally miss him when he goes. I'm a little peeved that he is staying in a condo instead of roughing it.
Wimps I tell ya, WIMPS!
I'm will miss my man terribly, but am determined to have plenty or girly-type fun when he goes to keep the melancholy at bay.


Yay! Tomorrow we are having a Halloween-ey lunch party with friends and plenty of this:

Happy Hump-Day to Ya!


Here Kitty

We got a little black cat just in time for


Here Kitty from gardiner4 on Vimeo.


Knock Knock

Thursday morning Easy shot me an Email. This is how we communicate through the day. It's always nice to get a note from him, but this one was a little different:

Hows your day going?
Is Sis still miserable?
I got a surprise for you.
I love you.

Oh, I love a surprise. Any kind will do as long as it had that special word attached to it. The problem is that I can't handle
A: not knowing
and B: not spoiling it

So, I was a really good girl and patiently waited all day for my surprise. When he got home I was distracted and asked only about it a few times. At 9:30 we were sitting on the front porch just enjoying the evening with our groggy and sad teething baby. I kept wanting to go in, but E just wanted to stay out and enjoy the night.

We eventually put the baby back to bed and ended up talking in the living room. He says, "I think your surprise is here." What? As in, it wasn't here before? Just then the door bell rang. What? Who? How di...What? "Go open it."

I glance through the peep hole thinking that I just may catch a doorbell-ditcher, but much to my surprise, I see my Father-in-Law peering at me with beady eyes. Ah hah!

E explained to the Lost Hayley that Grandpa was here to watch the girls for a night. E and I were to go enjoy camping without them in Sedona.

Oh, glorious day!


Sedona was breathtaking and beautiful as always.


I guess that we weren't completely alone. We brought along the newest addition to our family...Sonya:

(yep, he convinced me and we love her already)

To the lame dude that stole all our firewood in the night,

You are not forgiven. I am crazy with a hatchet. Though it is dull as a rock, I am not afraid to use it.

You really should know better. -H

To Eric,

I love you!
I also love Lemon Propel, but baby, I love you more.



Oh, and these guys had a great time too:

I'm sure that you noticed the incredibly rad blue beanie that I am wearing. It accompanies me on every camping trip. Yes, I made it. It is OOAK and will always be so. I often will make something once and then never again. This goes for hats, skirts, bags, etc. I don't use patterns. My bro Matt taught me how to make one and I somehow managed to add the ear flaps, strings, and pompom all on my own. Yep, never again. Well, maybe.


Taking it Easy


We have had a few lazy days. With Mae cutting molars we haven't been able to do much besides try to make her happy and give her a little extra love. She has been napping great, so I love that, as does Blondie since she gets extra mommy time.

This is my birthday cake adorned with "prinkles." I made play-dough for the first time yesterday. It has been a hit and will entertain her for hours.

So glad that we can enjoy the weather outside now. You wouldn't believe how great it feels to get into a cool car and sit outside with my kids. Too bad we had to wait until October, right?



Midweek Musings

Please be prepared. Purely random post ahead.

We'll start with food:
I'm addicted!

I'm loving Izze Sparkling Juices. You can get a box of twelve at Costco. I'll be enjoying my last one today at lunch.

I have been obsessing over these Back to Nature cookies for months. You can find them in the Natural Foods Dept at the grocery store. There is nothing dirty in them, but
(thanks to E) I'm recently aware that 2 of them = a candy bar in calories.


Eric and I hooking up in another era...

(I'm thinking he's a tad bit out of my league)
E and H in the 50's

(ugh, I'm still not rad enough)
Early 90's


I have listened to this song probably 50x in the last week and I still love it.

Cutting more molars. We are up all night.

Waiting to Meet:
My sweet new nephew Jason
photo courtesy of Kiersten



So... Y T Y C D !

I got Alisha and I tickets to So You Think You Can Dance.

You wanna know how excited I was?

This excited.

Pretty much uncontainable and

The perfect date with my best-girlfriend. We talked about how awkward it was going to a show like this - as wives and mothers. After we realized that every other girl was there with their best friends the awkwardness slipped away and we enjoyed screaming, dancing, and yes, even heckling the dancers (they kept talking and we just wanted to see them dance).


We reminisced about going to see the Chili Pepper's when we were only 15. Only 15! (I can't believe our parents let us go!) And about quick costume changes, nervously waiting in the wings, and sweating through a dance performance.


After the show I mentioned hanging around to see if we could meet the dancers.
Next thing I know Aly is bolting through the bleachers and I'm trailing her just like we are 15 again.

We spotted Chelsea and Aly shouted for her come over by the bleachers. She was so sweet to agree to take a photo with us and chat for a minute. Alisha mentioned hooking her up with a non-existent brother and talks about Orem. I couldn't help but shake my head and laugh at my funny friend. She has always had a way of making friends with everyone...instantly. Chelsea informed us of the meet and greet at Gate 7.


We went outside and waited...and waited...and waited until they showed.

Blistered feet.
That's what you get for being a barefoot housewife on the run in heels.

We had a blast being 15 again. I must say though - I throughly enjoyed going home, kissing my sleeping babies, and cuddling up to my ever loving and passed-out husband.


FFA #21 - My First Car

Here she is!

the perfect hand-me-down

So cute, right? I loved this car to pieces.
Literally, when I was done with her she was almost in pieces.


My junior year of HS Alisha and I decided to ditch school in the BMW to go to the lake with friends. On the way out of town we rear ended a flat bed truck. Of course, the truck wasn't hurt. My little car was leaking fluid all over the road and suffered a smashed hood and right front fender. Poor thing. Aly and I were fine and only worried about getting into trouble about ditching if the flatbed owner called the cops. We convinced him not to and drove the car back to Alisha's house. I think we still went to the lake.

After that incident my car was white with a black hood and black front fender from the pick-and-pull. I didn't care. I still loved her. The sunroof crank was busted. The passenger window had to be rolled down with vise-grips. The driver seat was crooked and hurt my back. She was gutless. Even though, the AC and heater were broke and I'd have to pull over whenever she was overheating to put water in her OR turn on the hot air vent in the middle of summer to cool her down, I still was in love. Yes, even on the drive to early morning seminary in January huddled in a denim quilt, she was mine...

...and you could bet on any given day that this would be playing from the 10 disc changer:

What was your first car?

I'm OUT!


It's Coming

Are you ready?



Glitter skulls via Erica via Pottery Barn


Eric's ladle from our college ceramics class.
It's creepy, but I love it and
it's only allowed out at Halloween.

Ornaments via Lori with my Halloween spin

Oh, and here is a sneak-peek at my unfinished Little Miss Mummy Pants:

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