A Humming House

Easy's sister Rachel and her boyfriend Nic joined us from Bermuda. Nic is French. Appropriately they came bearing cheese.


The weekend came and went with a blur and now we are all here missing those that made our house hum for 4 days straight.

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Our meal was delicious. The bird cooked a little fast, but almost to perfection. On the side were buttery potatoes, fresh baked rolls, a colorful salad, and savory stuffing. After we all had our fill, we peeled away to crash on the couches and floor allowing those most vulnerable to be mauled by the little people.


Aunt Ashley has the talent of sleeping in the most uncomfortable positions.


And I think the tryptophan even effected little Roo.


I am blessed with some fantastic in-laws who enjoy nothing more than to lay around and laugh with and at each-other. I love this family as much as my own. Awe!


After shopping, hiking, eating, go-kart racing, and watching movies, we ended the weekend making cards for our missionary Elder Gardiner, in Columbia. Thanks to Rachel he will hopefully be receiving the package by Christmas. He will return next May and for the holidays we will have another Gardiner home to celebrate with us. We all can't wait.


I have another busy week of preceptorship ahead of me.
I'm tired just thinking about it, but you know what?
I'm almost done.
Totally done.
And that makes me very very happy. :)


If you were here...


You would find tables prepped for a feast.

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And babies propped on counters.


A turkey stuffed in a bag.


And stuffing out to dry.


Plus some family for good measure.


With love,

The Gardiners.


the gardiner's are coming!


in less than 24 hours our family will be here.

we all can't wait!

the girls have been beading bracelets for their grandma and aunts and i have donned my best fall apron.


starting 2 days early is the only way i can keep sane on the big day. after 3 years in a row of roasting birds i'm grateful to have learned a thing or two.

on the list for today: featherlight rolls, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes.

tomorrow i'll brine the bird and start the stuffing.

there is something so satisfying about spending days in my apron prepping for the feast. i love it - each and every step.

and when it's over i love lying around chatting with my favorite people - stuffed bellies and tired eyes included. i love the board games and laughter that follow and the cool walks around the neighborhood.

all is good in gratitude.

i can almost taste it!

travel safe and well gardiners! we are ready for you!


Just How Fairies Frolic.


A Fairy Party


First, they had to fit the part.


Tutu. Flower Crown. Wings. (after halloween sale. cha-ching)

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Then there was fairy dust to bottle.


And a little fawn missing his tail.


Some were a better shot than others. Notice the little one waaaaay to the right?


Games were played in the grass.

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And there were plenty of faces to paint and birdhouses to beautify.


Plus, freeze dancing - a hit as always.


Finally, candles to blow out, cupcakes to eat, and presents to unwrap.


My girl has never looked happier. I'm guessing that being five is a little like standing on the moon. At least, she sure makes it look that way.



A special shout-out to my BFF Ali and my amazing
husband Easy for supporting my craze.

Sorry that I went a little overboard. :)


Just What's Been Up.


This is where I have been and why The Dirt is lonely.

I guess that something has had to give lately and it has been my blogging. Maybe The Dirt will forgive me?

I do love it in that ER though. I love helping people feel better. I love lifting their spirits. I guess I really did find another calling in life.


No worries. Being a mom to these guys is still the very best thing ever - that and being married to my perfect match.

Oh, we are getting ready for Blondes' birthday this weekend. You know what? She is really going to do it. She will be five and no one can stop her. I hate and love that my girl is growing up.


We are going to be having a Forest Fairy party. I'm prepared with fairy dust to bottle, fairy houses to paint, tutus, wings, and flower crowns, a little deer to pin the tail on, a new face painting kit, and my best white birthday cake recipe.

This party is going to be off the hook...that is...if fairy parties can actually be "off the hook."

In other news - Roo is walking. She decided to ditch the crawling act all together, which is silly because she is so much more efficient at crawling. As E would say, she walks like a Tyrannosaurus - wide legged and leaning to each side with claws at her chest.

I am so smitten with this baby.


I'm Back.


I took a break last week from just about everything. Including the Dirt.

It felt great.

And it was followed by a fantastic weekend with my 4 favorite people.

Anyway, I'm back...tomorrow.


The Grand Finale

GWCC. Where it all goes down.

8:00am - i realize Easy and i are still in bed - sweet.

8:05 - get wailing Roo up.

8:15 - eat breakfast as family. i share my cereal with Roo. unfortunately she has a hard time sharing.

8:30 - take a refreshing morning walk.

9:00 - prep for the day. E taking girls to zoo. i'm off to study.

9:30 - call mom to have her say a prayer for me. she says to eat some pineapple.

9:45 - pick up Jamba Juice before heading to the library. i get Aloha Pineapple.

10:20 - arrive at PV library and attempt parking.

10:35 - park.

10:40 - meet up with Tasha and Amanda to study.

10:45 to 1:00 - study.

1:15 - home to eat lunch. tuna sandwich.

2:00 - watch Arrested Development on Hulu to give my brain a break. log onto Facebook. read encouraging messages.

3:30 - arrive at school to study more.

4:00 - Sarah joins me. we eat Chewy Werther's and do some last minute cramming.

5:00 - we chat outside the classroom until it's time. avoiding the inevitable.

Sarah and I, a few months back. This girl kept me sane - well, a little.

5:30 - business time. my stomach turns. i sweat - a lot. i pray - even more. i swear - a little.

7:00 - i turn in my test and finally breath again.

7:30 - LGO with some of my favorite girls from the program. we eat and laugh. we can't believe we are done. we talk about what we are going to do with our lives back. Rox is going to take drum lessons. i'm going to do more yoga. in 8 weeks Amanda will have a baby. Sarah will have an income.

not one of us can stop smiling.

we. are. done.

9:30 - home. kiss easy. check grades. relax. sleep. dream.

At 2:30 today I learned that I passed.
and another sweet moment was added to my life.


Finishing Up


For the next four days you will find me here. I'm glued to my books and notes as I study for my final final of nursing school. It's a pretty sweet feeling.


Easy was kind enough to take a couple of days off so little-girl distractions are minimal. Have I ever mentioned how miserable I would be without him? He makes my life manageable and incredibly sweet. Thanks Babe!

Gosh, I can't believe that we are actually here. Can you? Remember this? I feel like it was yesterday that I received that letter in the mail and we started this journey.


And now I'm here. I'm reviewing nursing considerations for intra-aortic balloon pumps and treatments and risk factors for septic shock.

I don't know how it's all happened so fast. In these two years things have changed so much. My children have changed so much. They have grown and we added another to our bunch. We moved...twice. We bought our first home. Adjustments were made, priorities were aligned, and things worked out.

Wow, it really can be done.

p.s. Tomorrow is my last clinical day. Woohoo!

Monday night I'll take my test. Any kind words of encouragement or prayers to keep focus are
welcome. I'd really like to rock this baby.


Breathing Green

Ah, it's that time of year, when all of us desert dwellers fall in love with Arizona again.

I'm sure you will see why in a minute.

check it. this photo is 100% straight out of the camera.
and that makes me happy.

The girls and I spent the day digging in the dirt. We planted new flowers and refilled the pots on my patio.

I needed a day like this after last night's nursing exit exam (aka the Hesi). A day to just breathe and allow my brain to be numb. I did well on the test, but still it was a grueling 160 questions. And Easy was out of town so there was a babysitter with the girls - which never truly allows me to relax.

Now I just have my final (on Monday. Agh!) then graduation.

Then you know we are going to party!

And after that I'm going to bust my butt and study like mad for the boards (aka NCLEX). Double Agh!


So anyway we planted, squashed ants, and played peek-a-boo with Roo.


I sat and picked at the garden, which is flourishing. We really are going to have tomatoes at Christmas!


And broccoli. Have you ever grown broccoli? It's beautiful!


I also threatened Perces because she hasn't laid an egg in like a month. What did I threaten her with? Barbecue sauce.

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Then I threatened the girls after I noticed them yanking all the oranges within their reach off the tree. What did I threaten them with? No more candy. Works every time. Thank you Halloween!

And another big thank you to Grandpa Kent who worked with Easy during his vacation here replacing almost all our sprinkler valves, heads, and planting seed so that we could have a beautiful green winter lawn.

We are loving it!




Holy smokes it's November.


I should start by apologizing for holding out on you. Please forgive me, but I am in shock at how quickly time is going by here and I'm a little distracted with my nursing final that is in a week. A week!

Anyway, I totally forgot to let you all in on how fabulous E and I looked for Halloween.


I know, right?

Hahaha! Every time I see this I can't help but smile.

It's sick.

We rocked 80's prom. Totally. Bodacious.


Styling 80's bangs is just like riding a bike. The curling. The fluffing. The hairspray. More fluffing. More hairspray. It was kinda liberating in a funny sort of way and it made me think of my mom - especially with the fuchsia lipstick and hot pink earrings.

Gary Lewis Family minus Brodie (the oldest) - 1988?


But that's what makes the 80's so great, right?

The hairspray, the clothes, the mullets, the music...and the fuchsia.
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