Getting Out

Tomorrow we will welcome the month of May with some Colorado snow.

I'm not too worried about it - I actually have loved living in the snow this year. It falls beautifully and then it melts in a few days. I'll be surprised if any of it sticks tomorrow.
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With tomorrow being unseasonably chilly we have spent much of today outside.

I love nothing more than to be out in nature with my children. The warm sun and cool breeze provide therapy to us all. They collected bugs in the grass and rode their scooters up and down the street this morning. It was just as simple as that, but it felt wonderful. I was the designated bug-sitter...a job that pays horribly, but is actually enjoyable with a few pesky lady bugs and roly-polies.

I am so eager to take my family out exploring this summer. I have been dreaming about it for weeks. 17 more days of school!!!

On the list:

Mount Rushmore!!
Camping in the Rockies (c'mon Rosie you need to walk!!!)
Mt Evans
Hiking Timp in UT
Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque (have yet to talk to Easy about this one)

what am i missing??

oh yes, many many weekdays at the pool.


Like a Little Lizard

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A. Rose Gardiner 
April 2013

Our little Rosie.

She gives the best squeezes and kisses, she loves books and toys she can manipulate, she adores her bunny and blankie, and she is an expert crawler. Like, I wish there was some sort of contest we could enter her in for it.

So, it hasn't really bothered me that she isn't walking. She is so tiny that I don't mind packing her around and as we all know babies grow entirely too fast so her still crawling has in a way stunted her in the baby phase for me.

But seriously though...it's kinda getting ridiculous. She is ripping holes in all her leggings and she has bloodied the tops of her feet on the driveway more than once.

I have got to get this baby to walk!!!

She is 17 months.
She is capable.
She is strong.


She is STUBBORN and scared.

She does great holding on to anything with both her hands, but when I try to let go she digs her little nails in, cries, lowers her self to the ground, and shoots off crawling like a little lizard.

I even bought her squeaky shoes. She just sits on the floor with them banging her heels on the ground to get them to squeak then she squeals with delight about it.

I can't help but laugh when I think about her going to nursery at church in a few weeks and crawling after all the kids when they go down the hall for drink of water. They will have to tie the rope they hold onto around her little waist and she'll be the caboose.



Giving Sugar the X

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A couple weeks ago my dear friend Rach posted a pic on Instagram that she was going off sugar. I thought she was crazy because well THAT IS CRAZY. 

Well she kept posting these food pics and then she started talking about how good she felt. 

Meanwhile, I started to take a little inventory on how much sugar and what I was actually consuming. 

I learned that I was eating crap. 

The second I got a feeling of hunger I went to the candy jar, drank some juice, or had some other sort of snack that would burn right through me. 

So Rach sent me the rules of the 21 day sugar cleanse and I committed to do it - mostly just to see if I could. I was not expecting anything huge.

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Basically no sugar, fruit, and simple carbs. Oh, and no dairy - I've had bits of good quality cheese.

Sugar is sugar to the body whether it's fructose, sucrose, lactose...etc.

That morning I got up drank a huge glass of water, had an egg, carrots, and a handful of mixed nuts.

And that was 9 days ago!

The first 5 days were brutal. I was a grumpy grouchy mess and was so lethargic I thought I might die. I had major headaches and these crazy hot-flashes like I was a 60 year old woman - but I kept going. I just kept eating the good stuff.

The craziest feeling is being completely full and wanting something, not really knowing what it is, and knowing that you can't have it - all while trying to find a stupid substitute. Right after eating I would want a little something sweet soooo bad - I've learned to just walk away.

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What have I been eating?

  • Leftover salad from the night before with lemon juice, a splash of olive oil, and s&p (yes it's rough eating salad for breakfast)
  • Hard boiled eggs, almond milk, veggies (usually sautéed), bacon
  • Veggie omelet - zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, fresh eggs topped with avocado and tomatoes
  • Raw veggies and hummus 
  • Handful of nuts and goji berries (loving macadamia nuts and pine nuts)
  • Hard boiled egg and avocado chopped and mixed with cilantro, garlic, s&p
  • Tomatoes with avocado, cilantro, lime, garlic, onion
  • Leftovers from night before! 
  • Make a new salad
  • Salmon with brown rice and salad
  • Chicken and quinoa soup with rosemary, carrot, celery, onion, beans, and parsley
  • Burrito bowls with shredded chicken, beans, brown rice, lettuce, red and yellow bells, avocado, cilantro (I added a tiny bit of cheese and a dollop of sour cream - eeeek!)
  • Pork tenderloin with corn on the cob and salad
  • Enchilada soup with grass fed beef, diced green chilies, tomatoes, beans, onions, cilantro
  • Chicken coconut curry soup
  • Sautéed shrimp with veggies
  • Fried rice with veggies

  • Water water water - adding cucumber, lemon and lime to spice it up
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Small sips of pure carrot juice 
  • Kombucha!

Day 6 was a huge turning point where my body figured out that it actually wasn't going to die without sugar. I have had crazy energy without the usual ups and downs. It's maintained all day long and I feel stronger, happier, and have been sleeping better. 

Easy is amazed that I haven't caved and he has also chose to consume less sugar/simple carbs, but not do the full cleanse - not a good idea with work being so intense. 

I'll check in again when I'm done, but I really feel like this is something I want to maintain with the addition of fruits and more more whole grains - like oatmeal :) 

I'll take my cake on special occasions. 

oh and guess what I ran faster yesterday without even trying. paced 10 min/mile!!!


me and running. running and me.

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Good Morning Colorado! 
7am run. 4/22/13

Running. I am not a fan.

I have tried and tried and tried to love it. I just don't.

It burns my lungs, makes my knees ache, and honestly every time I do it I think to myself, "Why in the Hell am I doing this? I hate it!"

I'm not quite ready to give up though. I kinda think that buried reeeeeally deep inside me there is a runner begging to get out.

This morning I went from last weeks pace of 13 min/mile to 10.5 min /mile and you know what - that felt good. Really good!

Maybe it was because I was listening to that catchy little Taylor Swift.
Maybe it was because of this crazy 21 day sugar cleanse I'm on (more on that soon).
Maybe it was because it was colder than expected out and I really wanted to get home.

Most likely though it's because I have been FORCING myself to get out and do it.

So after I dropped Ava off at school I toted the other girls with me to the running store to get new shoes - to serve as a reward and motivation. Gosh, I really really needed some new ones.

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We walked out with new custom molded insoles, a running/foot assessment, new socks, and a pair of kicking (bright) running shoes to get me all trained up for Ragnar.

I learned that I have more problems with my right foot because I put more weight on it and my left knee because I'm more flexible/pronate more on the left. Crazy!

Wednesday morning I'll hit the road again to try these babies out extending my distance more.
Even if I hate every minute of it.

hey running friends!
i need music.
whatcha got for me?

ps. thanks for all your sweet comments on my last post. glad that you are still enjoying The Dirt and glad that some of you are still blogging. sorry i have such a hard time checking private blogs - they don't work with my reader.


Dried Up Dirt

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In the last year my blogging changed.

Have you noticed? I have. 

It's not near as personal or as simple. It's dry. The Dirt is dry. 

I feel like lately I'm only blogging about the big things (trips, holidays, events) and not the day to day joy that once defined my blog. The Dirt used to always be in the back of my mind and I would document everything and write about the silliest little things. Lately it has become more of a chore - and I hate that. 

I know that many many many of my old blog friends have quit - given it up. One by one. Where are you???? I miss you! 

The absolute truth that I refuse to accept is that my life has changed. It's a different season now. I have kids in school. We have moved again -and again. I am constantly running from one thing to another and I feel frazzled and uptight. 

So here is the deal. I've decided to resurrect this dry boring blog and bring it back to what I always envisioned and loved from the beginning. 

I am determined that with a new attitude and a new-found determination to document more of the day to day bliss I will look back on these (busy, hectic, crazy) days with the same fondness that I feel when I read through my archives. I love my archives. I love looking at my family from the outside through photos and written word where we had three little girls, a beautiful garden, I was immersed in nursing school, raised our very own backyard chickens, bought and fixed up our first home, baked cakes for no reason at all and celebrated even the tiniest of milestones. 

I've realized that even though blogging is sort of dead (why why why?? - Facebook?? Instagram??) 

The Dirt doesn't have to be. 

On that note I found my very own egg lady!!! Or she kinda found me. 

And the craziest and sort-of grossest thing...I have 11 duck eggs sitting in my fridge and I have almost no idea what to do with them. 

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Oh you know what else has changed? Blogger. I hate hate hate the new editor. I HATE that I can't custom size my photos. And I hate that the new iMac doesn't have an RSS reader in Mail and now Google Reader is going away this summer. Lame. 


Snow Monsters

It's 7:30 am

I'm supposed to be getting the girls up and off to school.

But there is 12+ inches of snow on the ground and I'm trying to convince myself that they need a snow day.

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See how much they love it?

Little snow monsters. 




This year for spring break we took our little family and ventured off for the red rocks, arches, dirt, and sunshine of Moab, UT. It was a great adventure and one we have been planning ever since we moved to CO 6 months ago.

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Easy's brother Chad, who just moved to Denver in January, came along with us while their sister Ashley (a favorite aunt) and her husband, Andrew, met us there from SLC. It was amazing having the extra little help.

Roo adores her uncle Chad and he obviously adores her too as he hiked a few miles with her on his shoulders through the weekend. When hiking on her own she would start out strong, "I'm so good at this!" she would say. Then after about 1/4 mile in she would start moaning and telling us how tired she was. Immediately after Chad would pick her up she would announce, "I love hiking! It is so beautiful!" 


With our National Parks Pass we were all able to load in the minivan and spend a lot of time (2 days) in Arches National Park. It's a great place for kids since a lot of the sites are not too far off the road and are so magnificent.


Ava and Mae were troopers and turned out to be the best little explorers and hikers. We collected rocks and searched for the prefect sticks. They loved crawling around on boulders and finding little crevices to hide in while fighting over whose turn it was to hold their aunt's hand.


Of course the hike to Delicate Arch was the most memorable and the most difficult for our girls. The view is so spectacular though. 


What you don't see in these pics is that there is a GIANT hole just in front of the arch that you have to walk around (carefully and holding onto little hands reeeeeeally tight). Here is a great pic of it.

Easy, Ava, Mae and Roo under Delicate

Anyway this guy decided to just climb on down in there and ended up sliding down on his butt about 20 feet then falling another 20. He quickly jumped up (adrenaline and probably embarrassed from 200+ people watching) then later hobbled around a little to finally just sit there. On our hike out we saw an ambulance pull up to get the poor (slightly stupid) dude. 


Landscape Arch was my favorite. It looks tiny and kinda lame here but it spans just under 300 ft and looks as though it could crumble at any moment. My favorite picture from the trip was a panorama shot of it taken on my phone:

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At one point either when we were packing up or on the way home Easy asked me if I wanted to go back in a month. Without any hesitation I said yes.


Everywhere you look you can't help but feel so grateful for this beautiful earth. The landscape is so breathtaking that at times it can be a little overwhelming. I felt blessed to wake up Easter morning in our little one-room cabin with the girls yawning, stretching, and excited about the holiday.  It felt amazing to breath the cool morning desert air and feel the warm sun beat on our backs as we attended sacrament meeting then ventured off to soak in more of the desert.

You really can't help but feel romantic about the many ways God had blessed us all when surrounded by such beauty. 

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With Age

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Easy's birthday came and went. 

I guess March did too. 
What happened to March??

I can honestly say that my husband gets better with age and more handsome with age. 33 is looking mighty good on him. 

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We had a quiet fabulous birthday for him at home. I took his bike to the shop and had it tuned up for our trip to Moab and the girls and I baked an apple pie for him and mixed up some homemade vanilla ice cream.

For dinner we had the requested Grilled Salmon with Avocado Butter then opened his gift:

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Back in January I started a quilt for him. I worked on it while he was out of town on business then while he was at work during the day. 

This baby is huge. It measures 6'x6' and was a pain in the butt to quilt/bind. The back is a Star Wars Death Star print. I'm so proud of it. I saw the pattern online then I swapped the colors and added onto it as the one I saw was only about half the size.

It's perfect for movie night.

After that we cut into the apple pie and quickly realized that it was undercooked. The apples were hard and the juices were waaaaay runny. Dang - the next day I popped it back in the oven for another 20 minutes and it was perfect - just a day late. :)

We had a big wrestling match with the girls and called it a night.

Happy Birthday Babe!

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