Monday, March 26, 2012

Who will be my mother?

It has been so long since I've posted! A lot has happened and it's all good stuff thank heavens! The biggest and best news is that I am pregnant! We are having a baby in August and we couldn't be more excited. My husband has wanted to have kids since we got married but I wasn't ready so we held off until I was prepared. I am so grateful for his support of me, especially through my mom's death and my grieving after. I still have my moments of tough grief. Yesterday was a hard day for me, I heard a story in church that made me just break down but thankfully those tough days are very few and far between. Being pregnant is hard too, so many hormones, so many questions to ask my mom, so many moments thinking if this is what her pregnancies were like. I know that she's right here with me through this entire thing and that makes me happy. I know that she would be so elated and such a wonderful grandma.

hi from inside my belly!

If you want to hear the story that made me cry like a baby in a public setting you can watch this video. The story starts on 18:37 and ends a few minutes later around 20:25. This video was a message from one of the leaders of my church. The Relief Society that she is speaking about is the female section of our church. If you'd like to learn more about the Relief Society or about my church go here.

I have asked myself that question many times. Who will be my mother? Everyone needs a loving wonderful mother like I had but if you don't have a mother you need someone. I am lucky enough to have my wonderful family and Andrew's wonderful family and all of my amazing friends. They don't replace my mom but they are such a joy and aid in my life. I hope more than anything I can be around for my babies until I am old but if I can't I know that there are so many wonderful people in my life that would step in and help my family in any way and that I am so grateful for.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Another fight well fought

Sad day yesterday. Pancreatic cancer took another amazing person. Someone posted this ad on the
 Facebook and I love it! Steve Jobs does the narrating.

here's a speech he gave to Harvard graduates in 2005 about his life. The whole thing is very interesting but his cancer story starts at 9:05.

More info: Pancreatic cancer & Steve Jobs

I found this video also via Facebook through a friend. here's their blog

What an amazing boy he is. What an amazing family he has.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

you've had a birthday shout hooray!

It's my mom's birthday today. She would be 52.

If she were still here this day would be filled with phone calls from friends and family wishing her their best and in some cases reminding her that she is old now. Aaron would have decorated the house the night before with the same "Happy Birthday" streamers and balloons that we've used for every birthday for the past 30 years. I would have previously done all of the birthday shopping and wrapping and hidden the presents somewhere in the house. My mom would have a relaxing day, maybe go to Sundance for lunch with Nancy or get a massage, or possibly both.

We would be going to Teppankyaki or Outback for dinner and probably stuff ourselves to the max. After trying to catch flaming hot shrimp in our mouths we would waddle to the car and drive ourselves home just to indulge further in the birthday celebration. Home would be filled with jamoca almond fudge ice cream cake from Baskin Robbin's, my dad humming a key so we could pretend to be even remotely good at singing "Happy Birthday", Diane would be with us (it's never a real bday without Diane), candles would be blown out, a wish made and presents would be opened. As part of our family tradition, the birthday cards would be selected previously with great care, a funny and slightly inappropriate card always goes a long way in the Gardner household. Andrew and I would have gotten her something cute that she wanted from Nordstrom, a purse, a cute top, or shoes. Aaron would have gotten her a book or a movie as per request and my dad would have gotten her an iPad. (We can dream right?)

Jared, Rose and Tyler (and Mason!) would call around this time to sing her "Happy Birthday" and she'd probably get teary and that would remind us all why birthday's are so happy. Smiles, laughter and "love you, Happy Birthday mom"s would fill the entire house and we would all be content.

To calm our bulging stomachs we would pull out her photo albums and force my mom to tell us about each photo in detail; who she was with, what they were doing, how old she was...and she would answer every question with a glimmer of nostalgia in her eyes. Reluctantly, the stories would stop, heavy eyelids would force Andrew and I to drive back to SLC and we would leave with lots of hugs, "I love you"s and everyone walking us to our car to wave us goodbye as we drive away.

I wish things were different. Daydreaming about it is fun though. Fun in a "cry my eyes out" sort of way but still has it's moments of fun. I can picture exactly what she would look like and her expressions. Her huge smile while we sing happy birthday even though we are so off key and the start of a tear when Tyler proudly tells her all about the present he made her.

It's been 2 and a half years. Sometimes it feels like an eternity and sometimes it feels so raw. Today it just feels raw. This helps though

Until we meet again mom, I am so grateful for you.
I love you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Today was a no good very bad day.
I hated today.
I wanted to cry almost every hour.
I work with a crazy person who may or may not have yelled at me during work.
I also may or may not have wanted to sucker punch a certain someone multiple times while on the
clock but didn't because I'm too fragile for prison life.
It's still freezing here and it won't stop raining.
I simply wasn't a fan of today.

In these times of self pity I try and pick myself up and dust off the dog hair but today that didn't work very well either.

So I'm going to blog about some of the things that I'm in love with right this moment to try and put on a happy face. Let's see if this works...

So I've been having some tough times coming to a compromise with my skin out here. When I think of the water here in the Cleve the Dave Matthew's Band song "Don't Drink the Water" comes to mind.
Seriously, just don't.
So I've been trying to find a solution that didn't involve burning the first 6 layers of my skin off with a chemical peel or Acutane. And ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you...
Darphin's Cleansing Gel with Water Lily found here
Clear skin in a matter of a week or so! Whoo hoo! No dryness or oilness either.

Whitney totally got me addicted. I finished season 1 and then Andrew cancelled our Netflix and I can't get season 2 anywhere online!!!!!! What is a girl to do?

and the last episode of "The Office"
"I am adequate."

If you don't want to watch the whole thing just start it at 2:20 and it'll pretty much sum up the awkwardness of the entire episode. Watch the whole episode on it's free!

my new straw fedora to protect my face from the beautiful sun this summer.
Random right? But it makes me happy!

something else that makes me new nephew!!!
Isn't he the CUTEST?!!! He looks exactly like Jared did when he was a babe.
I so wish that I had a photo to show you but trust me, he does.
Jared is my older brother just fyi, if you read this you probably already know that but just in case.
Congrats Jared and Rose, you did good!
Mason makes me happy. Tyler, his big brother, makes me happy too.
Okay, I'm feeling slightly better.

These goofs always make me feel better. Except when they have gas, so not cool.

In other awesome news, our countdown to Utah has begun!!! 10. more. days.
I've never been so excited to drive across the country even if we do have to pay $6 a gallon for gas.

In other not-so-awesome news, the anniversary of my mom's passing is on the 26th.
It's been a loooooooooooong 2 years. It's days like today that I really wish I could call and vent.
I need my mom sometimes most of the time. Tell your mom you love her, do it for me.
I really believe that there is a special bond between moms and their daughters. At least we had time to figure each other out before she went. We had some really wonderful times together those last few years and that I am grateful for. I don't cry so much and that's good, the pain isn't nearly as often but when it comes it is still brutal. I wonder if it will ever stop but I doubt it. This void can never be filled. I love you mom and I will miss you until we meet again.

It is very fitting that Easter is this weekend. Happy Easter all!
Go here for Easter inspiration, you won't regret it. Elder Uchtdorf's is my personal favorite.
I needed that so very much.
There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou - Thou art Being and Breath,
And what Thou art may never be destroyed.
-Emily Bronte

My issues with my coworker don't seem so dire now. I guess this worked in a strange sort of way.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

my lovely Diane

Yesterday was my little brother's 20th bday. I love him so much. He's too strong willed for his own good at times but I am proud of him. My mom loved her baby. He was such a handful growing up but always the life of the party, or in this case family. He's currently at Utah Valley University taking business classes and loving it. He's an adventure seeker, one of my best friends and the sweetest. But this post isn't about Aaron, I did a whole post on him on my other blog. You can read it at Aaron's bday post. This post is about Diane.

Diane has been a part of my family for longer than she hasn't. She is our honorary aunt and she lost her dear friend and roommate, Myrna, on Thursday. This is a humbling time. It brought back so many memories of a time of heartbreak. Diane was one of many who took care of me and my family while my mom was sick and after she passed away. Diane and I had weekly dates where we'd go to dinner and see a movie or something. She has one of the kindest hearts that I know and is just the sweetest. She cried with me when I needed someone and always made me feel better. She flew out to Cleveland with me to help me find an apartment. She was always present at family functions be it movie night, birthdays, holidays and for no special reason at all. My mom loved Diane so much. They were each other's cheerleaders. Diane used to make us her secret family recipe of spaghetti dinner and it blew all of our minds and then some. What would I do without Diane?

I feel so useless here in Cleveland while Diane is going through this process once again. I should be there to help her like she helped me.

But I'm here, in the Cleve, with a sore throat and clogged sinuses. boo.

I love you Diane. You are amazing and I am so grateful for you.
All my love and prayers are coming your way.

Friday, January 7, 2011


I have been very anti having a baby since Andrew and I got married, scared to death to be quite frank.

But lately, I don't know what is happening to me but I am really getting into this whole baby thing. I know that I'm partially terrified that I don't have my mom to turn to anymore when I can't figure out when the "dang thing won't stop crying" or when I am at my wits end changing poopy diapers and waking up every 2 hours. That I'm not so excited for.

But I'm just barely getting to the point where having a baby doesn't trigger my fight or flight reflex.

Over Christmas break I talked to my dear friends about how they want babies, went to a baby shower for Lisa Michelle aka the cutest mom to be I have ever seen, hung out with my neices and nephews and what do you know...something changed. I now look at baby quilts for no reason whatsoever. Like this one which I need right now. Sarah can you please use your amazing quilting skills to make this for my future baby? I'm begging you!

My cousin posted this from a friend's website and I thought it was hilarious, thanks Violet!

Thinking of having kids? Do this 11 step program first

Lesson 1
1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the paper.
5. Read it for the last time.
Lesson 2
Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their...

1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.

Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.
Lesson 3
A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...

1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)
Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.
Lesson 4
Can you stand the mess children make? To find out...

1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?
Lesson 5
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.

1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.
Time allowed for this - all morning.
Lesson 6
Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.

1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.
Lesson 7
Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.
Lesson 8
1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.
You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.
Lesson 9
Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking What's 'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.
Lesson 10
Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.
Lesson 11
Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

This is all very tongue in cheek; anyone who is parent will say 'it's all worth it!' Share it with your friends, both those who do and don't have kids. I guarantee they'll get a chuckle out of it. Remember, a sense of humor is one of the most important things you'll need when you become a parent!
oh the joys that lie ahead.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


My mom made the holidays. If you ever spent a holiday with her you will know what I mean. She made the holidays so special. It's not Christmas without you mom.

Christmas 2006

My dad has done a great job (with a little encouraging from me) since my mom passed away and I'm grateful for that. My mom was very good at giving gifts and I'm trying to keep up with her standard. We never got a ton of stuff but she tried her best to get us great gifts every year. I started doing all of her Christmas shopping the year she was diagnosed. She would come up with the ideas and I was given the credit card and sent on my merry way. I loved helping her and making her feel like she was still the Queen of Christmas. Even for our last Christmas together I thought that I had done all of the shopping but she had her elves (my Auntie V and Kathy) go shopping so I would be surprised by at least a few things. That meant a lot to me since I hadn't received a Christmas present that I hadn't picked out for myself in about 5 years.

Christmas 2008

This year I was trying to figure out what gifts to give everyone. Here's what we've come up with so far:

A turtle for Andrew's youngest brother, James. Totally Andrew's idea but I love it.

Personalized family descendant tree for my Grandpa Howerton. Found here on

Personalized thumbprint family descendant tree for Grandma and Grandpa Gardner.
Found here on

Gift card for Jared, Rose and Tyler. They took us to this place over Thanksgiving. It was heaven.
Here's their website.

We're doing service for the missionaries this year for Martsie and Dennis. We love our missionaries!

Now for Aaron and my Dad I have NO idea! What shall a girl do?
The rest must remain a secret so I don't give anything away.

Merry Christmas from us here in the Cleve!!!