My Daughter, the Artist


Blondes is really taking her drawings to the next level.

Here we all are dressed like royalty (a common theme). We are all thinking about how Roo should go to bed. Meanwhile all of our hair, except for Easy's got sucked up in the crack (upper left hand corner).

p.s. I'm personally digging the puffy shoulders on my dress.




That is what Easy's dad calls her.

And what the MA called her at the Doctor's office last week when we sat her on the scale. 17lbs.

It's hard to believe that a year ago I was waddling around feeling cramped and waiting for the arrival of sweet baby we called Three. She would present her self just 6 weeks from this date - tumbling out onto a hospital bed with no one to receive her - another girl - just as it should be.


I've been thinking about that moment lately as we approach her first birthday. I'm reminded of how I was in control at that moment - I was birthing my baby. No one was counting me through pushes. No one was telling me what to do - how to breathe - when to rest - to push harder.

I'm honestly considering just doing it on our own the next time. I'm not announcing anything, but there will be another Gardiner here someday - we hope - and I think that when he/she comes I might like to be in my own home. I think I might like my girls close by and my warm bed to rest in immediately afterward. I think that I might like doing it all on my own terms and in my own way. I also think that I could skip out on the hospital food.

Sure it might sound crazy, but is it really?


For me, I don't seem to think so anymore.



Room to Breathe


Block IV is tough. I'm hoping I can make it through. My instructor talks in fast-forward, the material is serious stuff, and I'm missing my husband. That six week break was like gold to us. We talk about it like it was the "good ol days."

I took Tuesday off and Jord and Christen came over to hang with me.

We sat at my table and made hair accessories while our little ones caused mischief all about the house.

We ate actual food for lunch (no p&j, mac&cheese, or quesadillas), we laughed - talked about our marriages, our kids, school, callings, our plans for fall and just took some time to breathe.


Just as Jord was leaving at around 4pm the dark clouds rolled in and dumped a fantastic summer monsoon on us.


The girls giggled with delight as we jumped at the thunder, searched for rainbows, and finally all sat in a trance staring at the chaos out our windows.

Yes, I seem to like breathing.



Fisherman's Wish


Lookie what we stumbled upon!

Well actually we went in search of it, but still we found our credenza.


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Teak oil +steel wool = beautiful wood. Just rub it in until your arms hurt...and viola!

p.s. we are soooo excited we can cut holes in our walls :) no more cords!



Aly Dear,


Happy Birthday!

I can't wait to see your face tomorrow (even though it will be after my first eight hour clinical at the Psychiatric Ward).






Remember this?

Well I did it! I went nuts on my hair.

And it's red. Like really red. Red as sin.

So red in fact that when Easy wants my attention he calls me Red.

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before and after (man that before pic is b.a.d.)

You know what though?

I like it.


This is My Life


...at least the better parts of it. :)


August Faves and Craves


1. We have been frequenting the self serve frozen yogurt shops that seem to be popping up by the dozens around here. There happens to be a Yumberi about a mile from us. Mmmmm!

2. Urban has the best quilts. I love the colors on this one - perfect for August.

3. My Sister-in-law told me about Ruche last year and I have been drooling over it ever since. I love these shoes for fall/end of summer! T-strap and open toe? Hot dog!

4. Perfect waves. Hands down. Even better on the 2nd and 3rd day after washing.

5. We have been searching for a mid-century credenza for like 2 years. Unfortunately we are unwilling to spend over $1000 on one. We keep waiting for something to pop up on Craigslist, but to no avail we are left wanting.

6. Just ordered my first pair of post-pregnancy jeans for fall. I'm hoping they fit. Gap usually does not fail me - see the little zippers?

7. Dark chocolate. Mmmm. Costco!

8. I used to be convinced that Clinique had the best mascara, but Maybelline's new Falsies are my new favorite.

9. My girls request their nails to be painted weekly - all four of us (even Roo) dig Sally Hansen's palettes.


Picking Teams

The Girls. Cedar Breaks. July 2010.

Saturday. 8am. Easy rode his bike.

I made French Toast.

Blondes was playing in fairy-princess-polly-pocket-barbie-land.

and Mae...

Well, Mae was bonking Roo in the head with a wand.

So this means that at 8:05am Roo was screaming and it was time for me to put on the mom face even though it felt entirely too early.

I pick up my Roo, and eject the wand, which gets "thrown into the trash" and Mae gets sent to a time-out while erupting into a waterfall of tears on her own.

She is always doing things like this. She looks for attention. She tests the boundaries and she often acts on impulses before thinking through any sort of consequence.

Blondes goes to inspect the trash and she doesn't see the wand in it, because of course I'm a weenie and didn't actually through it in there (It was $5). Mae gets out of time out, wipes the tears out of those big blue eyes, and promises to be a nice girl. I continue with one hand, flipping the egg-laden bread while Roo does the last of her whimpering and snuggles into me.

Blondes: "Sissy. Don't worry, I will make you a new wand out of paper."

Hmmm. We sit at the table and I ask the girls to get their plates. Mae just looks at me somberly.

"I'll do it! Sissy, do you want the pink fork?"

Hmmm. Just like my oldest girl. She looks out for her pesky little sister. She keeps the peace around here. Thank goodness for her.

"Here! I know, you can have this cute plate with the princesses on it!"

Me: "Hey, what's going on? Why are you being so nice to her?"

Blondes is sassy now. She stares me down and furrows her eyebrows that are barely there,

"Because YOU threw her wand in the garbage!!!"

...and suddenly I'm the bad guy.

At least I have my Roo.


Waking up to San Diego

We have 2 new little friends in our house.

And even though the advice we got was almost totally against it - we didn't listen.


Meet our Zebra Finches:


One species at a time, we are working our way up in the pet world.

Every morning they wake us with their little chirps. They play all day hopping around, nibbling, and calling to each other. Lately, San Diego has been singing to Raspberry which is slightly annoying, but cute at the same time.

Late into the afternoon they get quiet and settle down for the night - cuddling up against one another like little love birds.


by a thread

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i think it's time to let this one go...


casually composting: a photo series


Soybean and Egg Shells

August 6th, 2010


A Camping We Will Go


I think that we just might have camped in the most beautiful country.


It felt like it anyway.

Rolling hills, a little lake, cabins nestled, The General Store, wild horses, cattle ranches, creeks, waterfalls, wildflowers. You name it!


We were nestled in the southern portion of Cenral Utah, Panguitch Lake, a 6-7 hour drive from Phoenix. The car was packed so full I thought it might burst. We fished. We sat around the fire and told stories (scary ones even), we picked flowers, the boys went shooting, we played "Oed Maid," we cooked, and sipped hot cocoa and licorice tea as it rained.

By the way, there is this little part of me that loves camping in the rain. Easy loves it too. It means that we all get to crawl into the tent together and wrestle each other, snuggle and tickle our girls, and finally just crash and listen to the rain pitter-patter on the tent.


I love this man.


Summer is OVER!


And my life is insane...again.

*So my baby is huge. And adorable as ever. She spends her days crawling around the house and getting into everything. She is cutting like 17 teeth right now. Okay, 4. She can waved and point and has the sweetest MaMaMaMaMa whine when she is hungry. I love it and can't help but scoop that peanut up and kiss her big fat cheeks.

*I'm still doing camping laundry. We camped for 5 days and 4 nights. I slept in the car with the previously mentioned peanut because she turned evil on us all and everyone in a 5 mile radius at night. More to come on the camping.

*I started class again on Monday night. I felt my stomach crawling the whole time because I'm almost done with this madness. Block IV focuses on patients who are acutely ill (ICU) as well as psych patients. That also makes my stomach crawl a little.

*I'm giving a talk in church this Sunday on service - something I have a strong testimony of. Also I was just asked to be the new Nursery leader for our congregation (teaching and caring for the 18 month to 3 year old children). Oy!

*To manage my madness I'm doing Yoga again. Yay!


Shady Gardiners - A Lesson in Screen Printing

Disclaimer: This is not screen printing in the traditional sense. If you are looking for the traditional screen printing method using photo emulsion you are not going to find it here, however I believe that the results are very similar and is a great alternative if you lack the skills, supplies, or confidence (like me).


Embroidery Loom*
Podge (or other non-water soluble glue)*
Ballpoint pen & tape
Sheer curtain paneling*
Screen printing paint*
Toothpicks and paint brushes
Foam brush
an Image

*These items can be found at craft stores like Hobby Lobby or JOanns


1) Image Selection. For starters, you will want to select an image that has high contrast and has well approximated edges. The more defined the image is the easier it is to transfer. My image was, well, difficult to say the least.

2) Transfer. Secure the image to the curtain paneling and using tape. With a ball point trace image on paneling then remove image and tape.


3) Paint...Or Glue. Place your traced curtain paneling in embroidery loom. With a paint brush and tooth pick (for the teeny tiny details) paint the Mod Podge glue onto the negative space of the image (or the areas where you do not want the paint to go). Allow the glue to cure.

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4) Paint again! When glue has thoroughly dried, place the paneling onto shirt or surface to be printed. You can keep it in the loom, but I actually preferred just laying it on the shirt and securing it with my fingers. Using a foam brush you can then paint your image just as you would a stencil paying attention to get all the corners. Actually just squirting the paint directly on the paneling proved to be the best way to get a nice even layer of paint onto the shirt then working it in. Also, I would carefully peel back the paneling to make sure I was getting enough paint on the more detailed areas. The paint seeps through the teeny tiny holes in the paneling where you did not paint the Mod Podge.


5) Set. Let the paint set for 24 hours then you can heat set it on the highest setting the fabric can handle without steam. Use a cotton cloth in between your iron and the paint when you do this.


6) Rock it. See below.

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