12.17.2014

It's beginning to look...


Last Saturday the weather was just beautiful. The girls played outside for hours.

Just after lunch GM bursted through the front door and yelled something about Santa and music and firetrucks. 

I went to look and sure enough Santa was making his way down the street visiting with everyone home and giving out candy canes. 

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I was determined to have a real tree this year and out of convenience we just picked up a wrapped from Costco. To be honest it didn't look real great in one section and I naively thought that a good drink of water was all it needed. 

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We got it home, put it up and man, it smelled wonderfully! We all loved it.  Just 4 days later it turned on us and just kept looking worse and worse despite my best efforts. My heart sank as I took the ornaments off and dragged the monster out to the garage. Bless Costco for their wonderful return policy - we didn't even have to bring it back. ps our garage now smells heavenly so at least we have that ;)

A few days later I put up our old dependable non-smelly fake tree. 

Other than the minor tree problem Christmas 2014 is off to a great start. 


We have been to parties, watched Gigi dance her little heart out at her recital, we've decorated, sent and received Christmas cards, shopped, wrapped, and baked something delicious, creamy, buttery, and sugary, most days of the week.

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I love my holiday home.

It's cozy.

The lights are twinkling, the Christmas tunes are blaring, hot cocoa is basically on tap, and we snuggle together by the fire while introducing the girls to movies like Home Alone.

"Merry Christmas ya filthy animal!"



12.15.2014

Thankful

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Thanksgiving took us to Utah this year to be with Easy's family. It's always fun seeing his siblings and parents interact with the girls. An extra bonus is that we also have little Luke to hold and play with. Almost every time you would see Luke you would find one of my girls right next to him or holding him.



Grandma prepared a wonderful feast for us and we all ate and ate to our hearts content.


Another treat was visiting E's grandma Carol at her assisted living home. She was as sweet at ever and hilarious as expected. 


To top things off we got to see my newest nephew just a day after his big debut. I was in complete shock over how tiny he was.


We decided on going to see the temple lights with my brother Matt's family on what we didn't realized was the opening night. It was crazy! We found an open spot on the grass to let the kids reconnect and play for a bit. We enjoyed a quick and cramped view of the lights then we got out of there! 

Finally we spent an evening with my brother's families enjoying all the things I am thankful for:

Watching my children laugh and play
Cooking and dancing with my sister-in-law in the kitchen
Eyeing my handsome witty husband from afar 
and just basking in the time spent with our dear ones





12.14.2014

Werkin It

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2nd interview day. nov 7

Back in october E and I talked about my going back to work. 

We both felt like it was time.
Things have been stable for us here in Colorado.
 I have been home for 2+ years.
The girls are more and more independent and frankly, waiting any longer would mean that getting a job would be increasingly more difficult. 

My neighbor works at a local hospital and through her I was able to get my resume to an Oncology manger and score an interview for a full-time day shift position - not exactly what I was looking for, but I wasn't going to complain since the field in Colorado is competitive and saturated with nurses. 

The interview was tough and I left feeling deflated. I could tell that they didn't really value my previous experience and I felt concerned about the time I have taken off.

The next 2+ weeks that I spent waiting to hear from them I was a wreck. I sifted through daycare options, after school care options and carpools. Worry. Worry. Worry. After a while I accepted the fact that I would likely be turned down and in a frenzy I applied to 20-something more jobs, emailed recruiters, and networked with more friends of friends. 

Honestly, it was pretty rough not getting that job. Rejection is hard. I began to question our choices, the time I've spent at home, and I even wondered if going to nursing school 5 years ago was the right thing at the right time. 

A few days later I perked up a little when I received another call. This one was for an elective surgery unit at a smaller hospital nearby. I talked to the recruiter, told her I was interested, then the manager called me. I instantly felt like this was a "good" thing. The position posted was a weekend night job where I'd be working mostly 1 and sometimes 2 nights a week. Not only did the schedule work out perfectly for my family, but conversation flowed easily and I could tell they really liked me.

The interview went so well. They asked tough questions, but it was such a positive experience. I left feeling excited and optimistic about the opportunity. Just a couple hours later I about jumped through the roof when I received a phone call with a verbal job offer. 

I spent last week at orientation and will get to know the flow of the floor and likely take some patients this week. I'm honestly so excited, a little nervous, and mostly praying it's a like riding a bike.  


12.05.2014

November Girls

  

We have 2 birthdays in November that are about a week apart. 

It is the best of times. 

Rosie has had a huge obsession with "pink-princess-kitty-cats" lately and so we really delivered on that this year. Everything was pink, and princessy, and kittied-up. 



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Rosie is such a joy. She has the biggest smile and the best giggle. She is constantly being tickled and chased because we all love hearing her laugh so much. She loves being the center of attention and will do anything to turn all eyes toward her. She is completely adored and every-bit the baby of the family - even though she is trying really hard to convince us that she is big.

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Lately she has been telling Easy and I, "You can't houd my anymore, because I'm getting bigga and bigga!"

What she doesn't know is that I will hold her as long as I possibly can. 


On Ava's birthday E and I took her on a little date. It was so fun to sit and chat, laugh and hear her ideas over lunch. 

Ava is a constant source of peace in our home. She is attentive, patient, and kind. She is adored and admired by all who know her. 

Last summer 2 of her best friend's moved away. Then a couple more friends from church decided to home-school. For months she carried on at school without any close friends to play with, but she didn't complain about it. I asked her why she didn't play with Ellie, or Emily, or Marin at recess and she simply said that she didn't like what they played and she preferred to just do the monkey-bars or swing on her own. She silently kept looking for a friend though and when another quiet 3rd grader moved into the other class she swooped in and befriended her. Now they are inseparable.

This is what I admire most about her. She knows what she wants and she doesn't mind standing on her own if the crowd is going another way. She has a quiet strength and gentle compassion that I just love. I hope she keeps these amazing qualities as she grows up, they will serve her well. 



That night we went to the Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanical Gardens. It was perfect for our artsy girl. 


11.19.2014

Halloween2014

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If there is one thing us Gardiner's really know how to do; it is Halloween. 

We love it.

Our costumes are mostly homemade, we fill our bellies with all sorts of treats as we attend party after party, spooky music plays constantly, our house turns a little haunted, we watch scary movies, and we dance...a lot.

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This year we even grew our own pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns.



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5 Dead or Alive

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We had quite the cute little party for Roo and her friends. Complete with a pumpkin head-balancing contest, pin the bow tie on the skeleton, a marshmallow tossing pumpkin game, a monster piƱata and finally presents.

I'm a big fan of summer birthdays, but Halloween is right up there. We had so much fun!

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5 year olds are so much fun!

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Video here!

11.10.2014

While He's Out

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I have created a habit where when E goes out of town I tackle big projects that usually keep me busy and up late at night. 

It softens the blow of him being away and I get to keep my hands busy and my mind off zombies attacking me in my sleep. 

The latest has been our master bedroom. 

It was the same ol boring beige as the rest of the house. 

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I wanted it to be a cool white to open the room up and I wanted to give it an accent wall with the eggshell grey I found on the "oops paint" shelf at Home Depot - make a note now to always check that shelf when you go. You just can't beat $7 for a gallon of paint. 

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All day and night I taped and painted, then Sarah came in with DQ treats and helped me with the last bits.

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It really is beautiful now and I feel like it serves as a sanctuary (when it's clean) to us. I just need to fix that gallery wall. Something doesn't feel right about it and it's been bugging me for weeks! Maybe I need a focal piece (a big frame) and I need to squish it together a little.

I also have been meaning to get in the bathroom and paint it the same cool green/blue as the kitchen.


Looks like he just needs to leave again.



11.04.2014

Piercing Studio



On Roo's birthday she decided she wanted her ears pierced. We have agreed that 5 is a fine age for them to learn responsibility and take care of their piercings if they wish to have it done.

The only problem is that Easy and I are a little tired of getting ripped off by The Mall.

After GM's were done he had the idea to just buy a gun and do it ourselves. I agreed and for Roo we just went online and bought one. I figured with a nursing degree and plenty of experience in giving injections I'd be able to do a better job than a 20-something at Claire's. 

She was calm and patient. A little giddy. Then when the first earring went in BAM! little tears came falling down her cheeks as I tried to free the gun from the earring. She whimpered as Ava quickly got her a mirror to look. She hesitantly agreed to have the other done and BAM! I got it in without a hitch but then she howled and howled afterward. 

I think it was way more dramatic doing it at home. I seriously doubt she would have made such a fuss for someone else. It took a little time for her to calm down, but she forgot all about it shortly afterward as we went to get burgers and ice cream.

She reminds us to clean them nightly and she admires the pink sparkle like any 5 year old would.

Now I'm just making mental note to have that gun locked away or tossed for when these girls hit their teen years. 

11.03.2014

Birthday Roo

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A couple of weeks ago one of my favorite girl's turned 5. 

Roo is such a joy to us. 

Around others she is a little timid and bashful, but at home she is always putting on some sort of a show. She jumps and dances, she sings and hollers, she is creative and a little wild. 

She loves to stay up late and pretty often sneaks off to play quietly on her own during the day. Her heart belongs to every creepy crawly thing and critter - bugs, worms, puppies, butterflies, bunnies, etc. 

Her eyes are deep and soulful, her giggle brightens up a room, and she talks and talks and talks.

Happy Birthday Roo! We adore you!








10.18.2014

Final Retreat




The weekend before school started and our summer of non-stop fun and travel came to an end we decided to cruise up to Rocky Mountain National Park for one last camping haul. The weather on the way up made us second guess ourselves a few times, but luckily it cleared just as we hit our campsite. 

  

We had friends join us so the kids really ate it up. RMNP is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. It never gets old to me. Whenever we are up there my heart just sings. The landscape is absolutely incredible with it's wide valleys, craggy peaks, clear blue lakes, alpine tundra, and diverse wildlife. 

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Since we had a lot of kids with us we decided to keep our day trips simple. We hiked around lake Irene then hit up Adam's Falls to start off.



Lake Irene is small and quaint. It's reflections are always perfect.

Adam's Falls is basically a big waterpark for the kids. The hike up is short and just above the falls there is a calm area where the kids can hop from rock-to-rock and play pretty safely. 



I was in love with these little "ants on a log."


Along the roads in the park you can always bet on seeing some elk. So, we were a little surprised  when we came across a moose and the Rowberry's also saw a bear from their car, but still hadn't seen many elk. 

At the very top of the tundra we finally saw a herd right off the road. Just chillin. 


Just before heading home we stopped and climbed up the stairs at the Alpine Visitors Center to 12,000 feet and took in the views. 

Kids have a way of knowing just how to make their parents squirm at high altitudes as they are  hanging over little barriers. 


Ranger Rosie reminds you to "STAY OFF THE TUNDRA!"

Two days later my big girls went to school and broke my heart.




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