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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's inevitable and Normal


I know every mother has a post like this - so b/c I'm a mother I might as well have one too!

My kids are growing up . . . I have noticed it more than ever in just one day of getting back home from our trip. it's like they both just grew up - I mean we did expect so much from them on the trip and now they seem so much older.

Carson says "thomas" instead of "nano"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (for Thomas the tank engine)
He answers my questions that I ask him with correct answers. Anyone that has a 2 year old can attest to the fact that conversation is awkward at first - but now he is actually giving me answers to things I ask him - a HUMONGOUS leap in the conversation realm. He understands very clearly EVERY command that i give him; even ones that I don't expect him to understand. It's amazing to me to see his little brain turning like crazy, learning every day!

Landon - is crawling all over our floor now!!!!!!!! he crawls all the way from the living room to the kitchen to be near me, and goes all over the floor pulling pots down on himself and bags of flour. He started clapping his hands together on the trip. He can go from the sitting position to the crawling position in 2 seconds flat.

Their interaction is so cute now too - it's like they passed into a new world of brotherhood. Carson tells me when Landon is getting into something in the other room, Carson will stand far away from Landon and say "come on landon, come on Landon" begging him to crawl to him. Landon dies laughing at most things Carson does.

I know it's normal and I love watching them grow - but i just can't believe that they are changing so much. I want to cherish these days and enjoy them b/c they change all the time. So here's to taking each day one moment at a time and Loving Life!
God give me wisdom in teaching them your ways.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Colorado!!!!!

As you probably realized I've been gone for a while. at least I hope you realized it b/c if you didn't that means no one checks this thing. hahahahaha
Anyways - we had this family vacation trip planned for a while and I can't believe it's already done with. We packed TONS of stuff into our trip in a pretty short amount of time! But we enjoyed every second of it.
I'll let you in on a little of our craziness - and hopefully you don't get to confused. :)
1. Leave on Wednesday evening after Richard's work (june 15th) to stay at Brother's house near Philly airport (well, sorta near, closer than we are anyways)
2. Wake up at 2:30 AM (eastern time) on Thursday, june 16th, drive to airport with boys and catch flight at 6 AM. Flight was fine, kids did great. Arrive in Denver CO at 8:30 (Mountain Time) ready to hit the ground running literally for wedding preparations

Carson loves Airplanes right now!!!! He loved seeing so many and yelled "airplane" a million times I think. He was a little aprehensive about the whole take off/stomach doign weird things/load odd noises that happens when you're actually in an airplane, but no crying just looking at mom and dad for reassurance that everything was ok.


3. Enjoy a weekend of utter craziness between 13 grandkids (all but 2 are boys under the age of 8), practically everyone from out of town, aunts, cousins, amidst a lot of wedding work. the wedding was Absolutely beautiful. We were honored to watch Richard's sister Becky get married. She was beautiful and everything went on without a hitch. Congratulations Becky, and Welcome to the crazy family Chris Fuller. :)

The "con cunadas" (sister in laws) that married the
3 Gardner boys
The 6 Sisters
Richard with his Brother and Grandparents
I love this one!
4. since Richard's parents had all their grandkids in town at the same time (we are pretty spread out from HI to PA) we took advantage of it on June 19th, Sunday and drove to Breckenridge CO to spend the day. lovely town in the beautiful Mountains, petting zoo, burro riding, ice cream and coffee, great lunch, and great walking. It was a good day to be together

Richard loved it; Carson was pretty aprehensive
Look at our entourage - tons of kids and mothers and strollers
all waiting patiently for a restaurant
to let us ALL in. :) It was very good!
Beautiful Mountains
This was a common site for us! :)

Petting Zoo in Breckenridge CO
5. After our time in Breckenridge we drove the rest of the 3 hours over the mountains to Grand Junction CO where Richard's parents live. We got in late but were so happy to be in Grand Junction visiting again. We spent 4 and half days there.
We filled the days with a Big family BBQ celebrating Josiah (the oldest grandson's) Birthday; shopping for the ladies and golf for Richard with his dad, the coolest pool-blow-up-slide thing EVER; Going up to "the Mesa" (i think biggest flat top mountain or something like that) for a big family picnic; going out to eat; chilling; chatting. You know all that vacation stuff

Family BBQ celebrating Birthday
Poor Landon always seems to be
left out in the yard :)
Coolest toy EVER! It somehow sets up the tee on it's own
Kids Favorite thing

We borrowed this cool blow up thing and it was a major hit!!! Kids loved it!
Family Picnic on "the Mesa"
A beautiful place
grandma :)

6. Leave on Friday June 24th to go back to Denver, switch cars with sister and brother and drive to Fort Collins CO to attend a Church Planting Conference called "the Catalyst" that was put on by The Crossway Chapel. go check it out. That weekend was PACKED with meeting tons of new-very-nice-and-caring people. This weekend was GREAT but pretty draining- both intellectually and emotionally. But we are so thankful to go to it. We were so encouraged by it. We have not been as encouraged, challenged, convicted and uplifted spiritually as we were at this conference for a while - so we loved it. More on that to come as we pray and make decisions . . .

7. Leave on Sunday afternoon (june 26th) to drive back to Denver to stay with Richard's brother overnight.
8. Wake up at 5:24AM (mountain time) June 27th, when needing to leave house at 5:30!!!! and drive to airport; leave on a Jet plane hopefully we'll be back again (and soon maybe). We made it on the plane, but no without rushing a lot and not getting my coffee until we landed and started to drive home!!!!!! (if you know me - that's ludicrous-y)
(side note: they do not make security easy with families and strollers, with all the take off shoes, put their precious blanket on the belt, fold up stroller and put on belt and then carry both children crying in your arms barefoot on gross floor, leave wallet out in the wide open for anyone to take, get to other side, try to set up stroller again with 2 kids screaming in both hands barefoot while husband is being patted down, offering no help to me, then asking to test my babyfood. hahaha - we still made it fine and actually lived through it - but not that simple)

9. get to Philly airport around 1:30 PM (eastern time), sister in law pick us up, drive to her place, once again switch our stuff and car seats to our car and drive the hour and half back to our HOME! Finally getting my coffee of the day!

I wish i could count the number of times Richard switched our car seats back and forth from cars; or loaded and unloaded our stuff; or how many granola bars Carson ate (and then how many meals he did not eat); or how many times I fed Landon in the Car Seat; or how few hours of sleep my children got . . . (actually if I was as good as my mom i would've already counted all that stuff and known very detailed what happened :) )
My boys did Awesome! We required a lot from them and they passed with Flying colors. Carson slept on air mattresses, floors, couches, or was moved in the middle of the night; Landon slept in like 4 or 5 different pack and plays; meal times were abnormal; 2 Hour time change; lots of time in the car; carted around a million places; met tons of people. But most of the time they were Happy, respectful, polite (as polite as a 9 month old can be anyways) slept when asked to sleep; awake when asked to be awake - Just What Every Parent Wants their kid to be like. I'm so proud of them. I as the mother, prayed a lot about this trip, that the kids would do good, that things would go smoothly and I'm so thankful that God gave us wisdom and grace to enjoy this trip!

Overall it was a PERFECT vacation! Richard spent all day each day with us. We were with our dear family and met cousins we had never met, grandma squeezed cheeks she isn't usually able to squeeze, and truly enjoyed ourselves.
Now Back to reality . . .

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

4 Months

Yup - you guessed it! It's been 4 months now since I've decided to make a concerted effort to wake up earlier to start my day with my God! I'm posting these mostly for my own accountability - but also to challenge others.
It really has changed my life. Sleep is over-rated anyways, right?. (jk, I love sleeping in the mornings, not going to sleep at night, weird, I know)
The discipline of waking up early - setting my mind on things above, waking up, exercising, and drinking a cup of coffee before my day starts has done wonders.
I've been reading through 1 and 2 Samuel. Love the narrative of a story to keep up with. And lets face it, I don't remember very much of the order of when things happened, so reading straight through has helped with that and put things in order for me. I'm also reading through 1 Peter. Lots of exhortation to love people and be holy b/c of our high calling. I started reading a commentary with it which is helpful.
I have missed a few mornings here and there. Some mornings still are very hard to get up - but I understand how different my mindset is when I do get up and read/exercise and that far outweighs the difficult-ness of getting out of bed. Hopefully soon - I will be getting up naturally. It is way easier though.
How are you doing? Has anyone else made an effort to start their day with perspective and with God? I would love to hear about your journey.
P.S. I will be gone for a while. We are taking a BIG family vacation to see family, so my posts might be a little sparse for a while. I will try to update a little as time allows. B/C we are afterall going to a beautiful place with Family to do lots of exciting things. :) And Please pray if you think of it - we hope to have a few answers by the end of this trip as far as our future goes! See ya real soon.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Baby Bump Link UP!

Participating in "Rockin' the Baby Bump" over at Things I can't say.
It's fun to go back and look at it. But makes me more thankful for getting down to my Pre-pregnancy weight!!! Woohoo! So that's what I"m actually celebrating. :)
this is me - 26 weeks Pregnant with my
First Born - Carson
We went to Ecuador to visit my parents
and I was so happy to take a picture in front of this
beautiful snow capped mountain in their backyard

this is me 30 weeks Pregnant with my Second Born - Landon
Little did I know I only had 4 weeks left
before I would not be pregnant anymore.
I feel like I got more comfortable with myself being pregnant
in the second one, and definitely felt more
confident in my belly! And I think it showed.

Monday Morning

Monday are (as much as I can control) a day to stay at home and regroup from the weekend, and clean and do laundry.
This morning this is what I'm faced with as i start my day.

Don't judge me - I'm putting myself out there for the world! I hope I'm not the only one that wakes up to Monday's looking like this in their house!

I also am packing, but what better way than
with the help of this cheery guy? :)
Thankfully I had a good long (4.3 miles, farthest I've gone in a year and half) Run and I'm invigorated to start the day.

Who am I kidding - I'm on my second cup of coffee and just
put in my 1st load of laundry.

The excitement of our vacation is what's getting me going today! I cannot wait to spend every single day for 12 days straight with Richard and our boys, to see family and all be together! and to be in the wonderful state of CO!

So I light the Nice Smelling Candle, Turn on Pandora
Dive into action.
And Pray that I can bring Honor and Glory
to God in my actions throughout the day!

What are you doing on this fine Monday Morning?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Project Marriage

I am so excited to be able to write this post. I'm linking up with Life without Pink and her endeavor to keep the Flame of love alive in our marriages with Project Marriage. there are a few options to choose from to write about this month, but I'm choosing our proposal, b/c it makes me so happy when I think about how wonderful Richard made our story.

I hope I can get across just how surprised I actually was . . .

I was a senior in college, ready to graduate, but no where to go. My parents live in Ecuador and so that made "going home to live with my parents" a little challenging - I would never have been able to work or make a life for myself there. I had been dating Richard for about a year and we had discussed our relationship very in depth and we were both convinced that we would be married soon. Richard is a patient man. He is slow to making decisions, wise and very thoughtful about his actions. He had worked out to go to Wyoming and work for a man mowing lawns for the summer to make money for a ring and to save for "life". Now, I was "a wreck". Where do I go? What do I do? I'm not engaged yet, so I can't start planning for a wedding and making plans for marriage, but while waiting I needed to do something -I couldn't just sit around and twiddle my thumbs. I "threatened" Richard with going to Nanny in Spain for a year to see what his reactions to me being gone that long would be. didn't get much answers there. Pondered working for Sport's camp ministries. that didn't really go anywhere. so I settled on going to live with my wonderful Auntie Terre for the summer and see what happened and trying to get a job there in Woburn MA. (right outside of Boston). This was my hometown in the US growing up, so i did know a few people there.
Now the problem is knowing that we were going to be apart, I also realized probably the next time we planned to see each other again would be our engagement. I really wanted to be surprised. It was hard to talk with Richard about plans for our future b/c we weren't technically engaged yet, and he hadn't actually said word for word that we were going to get married. We had just talked about our commitment to the relationship.

I was had a huge DILEMMA - and didn't know what to do. I questioned Richard's "leadership" commitment or his level of understanding towards my situation - did he realize he was putting me through this time of worry b/c I didn't know what he was going to do?????

Anyways - get to the exciting part.
It was right after graduation from a small college in WI - my parents drove me and all my stuff out to MA to move in with my Aunt. the day we showed up, I had scheduled to meet with a friend to go look at a place for pictures for her wedding! I was tired and didn't really feel like going, but my mom pretty much made me keep that appointment to meet up with my friend. She picked me up and we drove at sunset to a beautiful lighthouse on the coast in MA somewhere. (hahaha, I think it's called Marblehead). Now also realize her wedding was scheduled for December, and while we were getting out of the car to look around at the lighthouse, the ocean and the view I even asked her, "isn't it going to be cold in December to take pictures out here?" hahaha, I don't even know what she said, but she made up some lame excuse.
Also realize - my crazy mind of mine had already wondered if Richard would be in MA to surprise me. But he had called me earlier that day and talked all about Mountain biking and hurting his knee, and even had a conversation with his mother while talking to me. All so that I would think he was in CO with his family!!!!! So after that phone conversation I was completely disappointed with the idea that he might be surprising me.

-back to the Lighthouse - As we turn around a bend, in the distance i see Richard Gardner sitting on a bench looking my way, he stood up when he saw me, and started walking towards me. (my friend ran away, and I have no idea where she went). Completely surprised to see him and speechless, he gets down on one knee and proposes to me. Of course I say "yes". And the rest is our lives together!!!!

The amazing part is that he was planning this for a few months, to time it all with my parents, to find this lighthouse online and work with my friend in setting it all up, in buying the ring, and plane ticket, and faking like he was in CO. All of it!!!! He COMPLETELY surprised me!
I was one happy girl that night!!!!!
And really - I am blessed to be called his wife, I am honored that he chose me. He is so forgiving f my faults and flaws and he LOVES me very unconditionally!!!!
This was our Wonderful Wedding Day!!!!
I can't believe I'm saying this but "We look so Young" !!!!!!
And our journey continues together.
We've had our dry times and our bountiful times
I'm sure there are many more to come
but through it all
We are committed to each other
We love Each Other
Thank you Richard Gardner for your LOVE!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Nothing Makes your heart melt more




My day sorta changed around here when Carson woke up with a really random-out-of-the-blue fever. I had a couple appointments for Landon, so gave Carson some tylenol and he seemed better and we went on our way. It was so random I didn't think much about it. Well by the time we got home he was getting worse. And it went down hill so fast. By 11:30 he was MISERABLE. So that changed my plans for the day fast. WE just stayed in our little bedroom where our only air conditioner is and tried to stay as comfortable as possible.
Thankfully Richard came home at a very good time. And I took that opportunity to run to the store and get a couple things. Came home and Carson was just as sick as when I left, poor guy.

But the point of this post is - no matter how "miserable" the sick little boy can be, or how tired you are of "mothering". When I hear my husband tell me that the whole time I was gone, he kept asking for me and where I was, b/c he wanted to sit in my lap - MY HEART JUST MELTS!!!!! You see, carson is not that cuddly or huggy. . . he never really cares if I'm around or not, and has never had separation issues with me. But there is just something about a Mother's touch when you're sick, that Dad's cannot fulfill AT ALL!!! So gladly will I spend the day with him in my lap, eat supper with him in my lap and hold him until he falls asleep!!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

9 Months old




I was debating all day what to post for the "post of the day". Should I post a picture for Wordless Wednesday? Should I write a post about my marriage for the June Project Marriage post? Should I write about another day in the sun? All questions i was thinking about today until I was talking to a friend and realized that Landon is 9 Months old today!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will probably sound repetitive - but . . . I cannot believe this kid. exactly 9 months and almost 4 days ago, my water broke on Sept 8th. (Now my Due date was Oct 14th!!!!) The thoughts that went rushing through my head on that day were unspeakable. (it was a sunday and church that morning was not a good idea for me, I knew something was wrong) I was scared, worried, anxious, and had a lot of questions. I thought my baby is going to be born today, and I don't have ONE thing ready for him. Richard rushed around in the basement finding an outfit to bring him home in, and blankets, and getting out the car seat. I was trying to "waddle" around to put stuff in a bag for myself (b/c for anyone that doesn't water breaking is not like the movies and sorry for the bluntness but it never stops), and Richard was also on the phone trying to figure out what we were going to do with our 1st born son! (17months old)
I was pretty emotional that day, and cried a lot! So many emotions. But Landon was not born that day, or the next, and had to wait until the next night (tues evening) before labor even started. I labored all night and My precious Landon was born at 5:30 AM weds Sept 8th!!!!. I got to hold him for about 30 sec. and they wisked him away (if you want to read about my birth story go Here, I love it b/c I am just so grateful that it worked out the way it did). They had warned us (we were in the hospital long enough and seen enough docs and nurses to be explained everything!) that he would probably need help breathing and that he would probably be in the NICU for a while. So I was ready mentally for them to take him so soon, and for me not to be able to feed him right away.
I can't explain the feelings that go through you when you give birth, but then can't hold your baby, you get transferred to a new room but no baby, people visit you, but no baby, and you go home but no baby!!!! I recovered very fast which turned out to be good, b/c I was walking a ton - back and forth from NICU and once I got home, I tried to spend as much time as I could in the NICU so I could feed him as much as possible! Needless to say, I was exhausted and Very Emotional!
Anyways, enough about the hard days - he came home 6 days later and has been THRIVING since!!!! I have noticed he is a little delayed with his "development" but nothing I'm worried about!
He is doing so good - so happy and Smiley.
He is close to crawling but not quite yet. He rolls all around the floor, but has gotten up on all fours a handful of times. it's only a matter of time. And has a PERFECT nap schedule
He loves attention - he GRINS SO BIG when Carson and I go in and get him. Every time you go up to his face and say "landon" his face lights up!!!! the most laid back baby ever - unless it's meal time - then you better watch out - he gets mad. Or if he is getting sleepy and I walk away from him. Otherwise he is so happy and easy going.
He puts up with so so much from Carson . . . but at the same time I think he likes the attention from Carson. they grab at each other and roll all over each other. (just trying to figure out how to tell Carson that there is a line that he shouldn't cross and it usually is right about when Landon starts SCREAMING for help). Every time I get Carson up in the AM or from a nap he looks at me and says, "Go get Landon?" then puts his finger up the his mouth and says "SHHHHHHH". I guess I did that one time so that Carson didn't go barging into his room and wake him up - and now Carson always does it. So cute! Another thing that is so cute between the two of them - Lately as soon as Landon is done with his food, Carson says "Landon get down". Then once Landon is down Carson says, "Landon other room to play". I LOVE IT!!!!!!
But looking back at that week of our lives to now - boy have I been blessed. (I also realize our situation as hard as it was to go through is nothing compared to others)

Sorry this post got so long
guess i got a little long winded.
I'm just blessed!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Routine

I was enlightened to write a post like this by my new blogger friend over at TV's Take, and her post about Routine. (check it out). I have loved reading more about her, and her posts always make you think about life in a different way, and not just go through the motions of life.

Anyways - I consider myself a very "routine" person. I do the same things the exact same order EVERY day, if I can help it. I get ready the same way, I go to bed the same way, I make my bed every day, I shower in the same order every time, dry off, and apply make -up etc, you get the idea. I am always amazed when my husband didn't realize I was going to do something right then, and i tell him, don't I always do it the same way/order every day???? (and I'm not necessarily going to write about this in this post, but, Richard is not routine in any way, and does things as random as possible every single day, and hates monotony. Has caused lots of "conversations" in our household) hahahaha

In the same respect, I also plan my days, and weeks, and have certain expectations of when/how things will get acomplished. i would never consider myself SUPER organized or extremely tied to a schedule (b/c I do a lot of social activities last minute pretty easily) but in my mind I like certain things to get accomplished during the week, and it throws me off when stuff happens that affects that.
So, the hard part about my life is Richard works for a 24/7 emergency response job. It's a little confusing and people always ask me what he does. it's complicated, but in short - he worts for a water/fire damage, mold remediation restoration company. It's a small company, that services damage in homes for Insurance companies. They do anything from pipes leaking, storm damage, sewer leaks/backups, and remodeling. He has normal hours that he works, but any given day can be out until who knows when. Now he can ask for time off, and if there is something urgent that he needs to attend, he can get off. But overall - any night is subject to him not coming home. Very rarely is he called out in the middle of the night - it's usually jobs coming in late in the afternoon, and then working until all hours at night. So he can leave in the AM and I always have to keep in mind that i don't know exactly when he will be home. he is very good at telling me as soon as he knows what's going on, or updating me, or working fast to get home as soon as he can - but it's hard on me.
I don't want to complain - or sound like I'm complaining. This job God has used to provide for us monetarily everything we need each month, and also has the perks of bringing home items that the people are getting rid of, and I will admit, that we have a lot of stuff in our house that his job has provided for, that we did not have to purchase ourselves.
But it's hard when I have a menu planned for the week, the day i want to go grocery shopping when he gets home, nights I have worked out to run with a friend, or things at the seminary for the wives . . . countless nights of plans getting changed, re-arranged, dinners turned to left overs or cereal night for us, making our last week's groceries last one more day b/c I'm not mentally prepared to head out to the grocery store with both boys, or throw the kids in the car with me b/c now I have to take them with me to wherever I was going to go.
Flexibility is something I have come to learn. And although some days I do not respond correctly (ok, lets' be honest, it's really really hard to be content when plans get messed up, and I'm not good at it at all), I have grown in my ability to look at the big scheme of life, understand that it's not his fault, be thankful for the work he does have, and remember that God ordained even this small event in my life that I can use to bring Glory to Him. I'm a work in progress. . .

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Yard Sale - ing!!!

What did you do this weekend???? I got up SUPER early, with my two boys and very supportive loving husband, and got all our junk packed up and then laid back out again in efforts to sell it to unsuspecting people that want my "junk" hahahahaha.
Today was yard sale day! A big group of us got together and planned this. Looking ahead to the weather it looked great! Sunny, no rain fore-casted and not very hot!

We had TONS of stuff!! It's very hard to believe how much we actually did have unless you see a picture, so we took pictures. :) We were all ready for the day, we had our change, our bags, our sunscreen, and our lunches. All our things were laid out!!!

But I'm sad to announce that it started raining earlier than our stopping time. So we had to pack up, and we still ended up packing up so much stuff. We all had high hopes of selling ALL of our "Junk" (literally) We were all sad to have to pack up a lot still.

But I do think we all made some money. So we are richer than when we started out the day - and we have slightly less junk than we did before. (although we were exchanging junk between all of us too :) )
Yard sale -ing is a funny thing that us Americans do. So interesting to sit back and think about this - What would other cultures think of us? - all putting out TONS of stuff that we own for some reason, then having other people coming to buy it to sit in their houses? Such a weird phenomenon us Americans do.




Look at Landon sitting there in the back. I was amazed at how well both my boys did the whole day. My family is so tolerant of my shindigs. hahaha. Thanks guys for putting up with it and even helping me pack unpack, and repack it all. Maybe soon we'll sell all our stuff. :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Pre Father's Day!


I should wait until Father's day to do this post - but I can't wait that long to show you these pictures and also we will be super busy with wedding/family trip to CO over Father's Day so the chances of having time to do a post are slim. So I'll do it today :)

Richard is the best father. I know everyone probably says that about their own father or husbands, but Richard is perfect for me and for our boys!!! There is a long list of things I could go into, but in short, he lets me go running and gets up with the boys almost every morning, (which he claims he really enjoys) he puts them to bed and gives baths if I have to go to a meeting or something. Carson gets SUPER excited when he walks in the door. And instantly rambles stuff to him, "wrestle???", "Fix it", "go outside", or stories about his day that are practically unintelligable. :) Carson loves to play with his father. He loves the attention, and you should just see the excitement that wells up in his face (I sorta wish I had a nicer camera and was more photographer -y so I could capture that face) when Richard responds, "you want to wrestle? I'm going to get you" It's the cutest thing ever!!!!!! Also you should see Landon's face when Richard looks at him or starts talking to him. My boys adore their father. There's nothing like being the mother and a wife and watching your kids adore their father. Thank you God for this gift of Family, thank you for Richard and thank you that you chose for this to be a blessing in our lives.

Here are a few pictures that were captured by our photographer friends!!! I love all of them!!!!!





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