Running for the Hills


It's no secret that when things are tough there are those that like to run for the hills. 

We are those people. We run literally. In our car. 

Our weekdays have been so crazy since we moved to Idaho. Easy and I often high-five when he gets home and I am out the door for work. We go nights sleeping opposite schedules as he takes over nightly and morning duties while I recover from the hell that is night-shift. I spend days holed up in my daughters' bed with a heavy blanket draped over the window - we really need to finish the house off with blinds soon. 


While awaiting the day that I work only 2 nights a week (April!!) we have often found ourselves in the mountains to the north whenever we get a free day.


The fresh air, big skies, and just being together for a minute allows us to recharge enough to take another week on.


Come on April! These people need more of me!


And gosh, I need more of them!


a decade


Back in our early days here in Idaho this little miss here turned 10. 

We were able to celebrate back in Colorado with a group of her bestest friends and while the house was still in boxes here I did manage to make her favorite chicken pot pie, chocolate cake, and had a fancy little night just for her.  

Ava is a true gem. 

I often say that she parents herself and that is still 99% true. She just gets it. She is so self aware, responsible, kind, cautious and brave. 

I was reminded this summer when we hiked to Ice Lake that she is also strong which often surprises me. When things get hard she knows how to get to work and power through it. 

When we are out and about she is always watching out for her crazy little sisters and accounting for them. She willfully grabs their hands and keeps them safe and in sight when my hands are full. I catch her doing this and it just makes me smile. I often need her extra watchful eyes. 

She is usually up for any kind of fun and will often give new things a try once she has had a moment to process it. 

We are moving into tween and teen years with her and I'm honestly excited. I love hearing her laugh and interject with Easy and I.

She is turning into such a wonderful girl that I just adore.

A through the years:

Ava Suzanne Birth 11.21.05 - 13_2 

Scottsdale, March 2006 - 5_2

Reception Brent Gardiner, August 2006 CA - 1











Visitors! and the New Year!

2015 from gardiner4 on Vimeo.

We rounded out 2015 in our new home with my parents here. 

We are hopeful that 2016 will be equally satisfying. 

All in all it was a fantastic year. As I edited this video I couldn't help but feel it all. I love this dear little family of mine and the adventures we go on together. The phase of life we are currently in is so sweet and I can't seem to get enough of it. I think if I could keep my girls as they are now forever I'd truly be content. I also can't wait to see who they become and the wonderful things they will accomplish so I guess growing up is admissible for now. 


For New Year's my parents can to visit us. Having them here was such a treat and a lift to our spirits. We played games into the wee hours of the morning as everyone in the house made it until midnight. 



Happiest Holidays


The major push in bringing us from Colorado to Idaho was the potential to be closer to family. We are now 6 hours from Northern Nevada where I grew up and my parents still live and 5 hours from SLC where Eric's parents live. We also have a lot of siblings that are much closer. 

It's so nice being able to see them all more often. And we have already! 

For Thanksgiving we went down to Utah and spent the weekend with my family at my brother's house in Lehi. 


All of our kids are getting so much bigger! I am in awe of how my little nieces that I used to babysit have turned into full grown teenagers!!! 

We had a great low-key potluck turkey dinner and sat around laughing and playing games together. My favorite. 


My brother is the Assistant Athletic Director and Wrestling Coach at AF High School so we had the gym there to ourselves for the day and absolutely loved it. The kids wrestled, and we played volleyball, basketball, and had a handful of all-ages dodgeball games. 


These little ones just loved pretending that whole place was their stage.

A few weeks later we headed down again for Christmas. I'm not a big fan of having Christmas anywhere but in our own home these days, but E's sister was stateside and rented a nice historic home for us all to be together in. There was also plenty of snow in Ogden for us all to play in.

Just getting there was the hard part. E had packed up all the girls and gifts and driven down before me so he could spend a day snowboarding with his brothers. The girls hung out with grandparents and aunts and I...well I had I to work. :(

After my shift on the 23rd I slept a bit then headed to the airport since driving wasn't the best idea on 3 hours of sleep. Well my plane was delayed not once but 3 times actually so I sat in the Boise airport crying for a few hours completely broken that I was not with my dear husband and children. I was a mess as I had worked 5 of the last 6 nights and we had plans to see Star Wars that night as a family. It doesn't seem like a big deal now, but that night I was completely devastated.

The snow continued to fall as I watched and wished that I could just drive to Utah. I went home alone and slept away my sorrow to wake early the next morning to drive and join them on Christmas Eve. 

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And what a happy reunion it was. I could not get enough of my cute crew!

Christmas was filled with yummy food, SNOW, lots of babies, happy girls, games, and cozy nights chatting around the fire. It was perfect.



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