Welcome to my personal blog!

Just as I share some of my personal thoughts and views, I invite you to share yours. All I ask is that you keep your comments appropriate. I won’t feel badly about removing comments that are offensive. That doesn’t mean you can’t be honest—I want honest feedback—but I like to fill my life with positive people and positive things. I guess that means that if you have to say something negative, say it nicely!

More than anything, I want you to leave here feeling inspired and valued—and like we've had a nice visit!



Deserved Praise

Shortly after Sterling’s stroke, in a round about and inspired way, we found a program that would help him learn how to reverse cardiovascular and related diseases. Without hesitation, he committed to attending sessions for four hours, twice a week (Monday evening and Saturday morning), for nine weeks.

The program focused on four elements...nutrition, exercise, group therapy, and stress management. His personal priority was getting off of medication as quickly as possible, which he did within a few weeks of starting the program. In the process, he’s also lost the weight he put on since arriving in Hawaii (I can’t say the same for me!).

After hours of homework, in addition to the sessions, he finally “graduated” with his caring cohort of ten. One of the staff did a spotlight on him, and these are some excerpts from her letter:

“Even on the tough days…he was honest about his trials and challenges, allowing himself to show his vulnerability and courage at the same time—a true inspiration on what it means to be fully authentic as a human being, going through this journey of unexpected events and blessings in life, all with a gentle and strong heart of faith and trust.”

“He even extended his kindness to me personally when I was feeling lots of tension in my shoulders, and with his background in massage therapy, he offered to reduce my physical tension, which really did help.”

“Sterling, …I personally am touched by your willingness to extend your generous smile and light to me, our team here, and your fellow cohort participants simply with your bright and loving presence.”

Those of you who know my sweetheart know he’s deserving of the praise he received. Sterling was diligent and disciplined in his efforts, and I’m so proud of him!



Textured Wedding Card 

We received a sweet thank you card this week for our wedding gift (this card with cash tucked inside...my kind of easy gift-giving!), and not your typical, generic one either. We were touched by the thoughtful sentiment and plan to keep it in our mission album. The P.S. read, "Love the card, Sister Gardner!" Hopefully you will too.


Twice in One Day

Yesterday was a special day—one we’ve anticipated with excitement! Elder Holland, one of our favorite speakers, came to the Honolulu Tabernacle and spoke to us in an afternoon missionary meeting as well as in an evening devotional.

Waiting for the doors to open for the missionary meeting, all the missionaries (young and senior) greeted each other with hugs and visited in the courtyard. I haven’t felt like it’s appropriate to share a lot of photos of missionaries on my blog, but these are two of my favorite missionaries, and I hope they don’t mind.

When we heard about the devotional, we decided to sing in the choir to be guaranteed a “good seat”. I’m kind of embarrassed to say that that was my motivation, but for those who know me, you know I’m not very musically inclined, and I was nervous. After practicing for weeks, the song was beautiful and really added to the spiritual experience of the day. In fact, Elder Gardner says we should join our ward choir when we get home to develop our lacking talent. Hmmm. I suppose he’s right. He usually is.

Of the several messages he shared, Elder Holland spoke passionately about how we all matter to God, even the one, and that we need to stand up and be someone the Lord can count on to do His will. It was a powerful message and one I needed to be reminded of. He illustrated his point with stories from the Bible and the Book of Mormon as well as modern day examples. I wish you could have been there.

Being taught in person by an Apostle of Jesus Christ and shaking his hand (especially watching each young missionary shake his hand and beam with delight) was truly a remarkable and humbling experience—one I hope to always remember and cherish.


Crosby Family Visit

Vonna and Sean and their three youngest were here on vacation this week, and we were lucky enough to have dinner with them twice—at the beginning of their trip and at the end. Both times, we left them feeling like our time together is never long enough…we so enjoy our visits!

Last night’s dinner was special because it was Sean’s big 5-0! When we arrived at Roy’s, we were delighted to be seated in a little room all to ourselves at a large round table, which made it easy and fun to visit with and hear everyone. Thanks, Sean, for letting us share in your celebration!



Stockpile of Projects

I’ve saved some photos of projects for “rainy days” when I have nothing to blog about, but since I’ve not been posting very often (sorry...I just can't believe how the days come and go so quickly!), I’ve got a little stockpile of projects to share.

Here are a couple of cute baby cards…and I’ll try to catch up over the next couple of weeks.