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!



Focus on Owen

Owen was blessed in church yesterday, so family gathered for the occasion. This special event was also on Super Bowl Sunday, so because of Jon’s family’s tradition of finger foods and watching the game together, we joined them after church at Jon and Shalae’s for the festivities!

I felt the Spirit strongly in church, and the socializing during the game (because I was really more interested in visiting!) was so enjoyable. So, while it seemed odd to have the two events on the same day, the focus was definitely on Owen and being with family.



Life with RA

From the time Sterling and I returned home from our mission, our plan was to attend at least one event in all the markets and then maybe go on another mission or attend OnStage Local events—just be flexible. As we all know, plans don’t always go our way!

I mentioned in a recent post that my RA (rheumatoid arthritis) has been acting up lately. Well, to be completely honest, my flare started in September and has progressively gotten worse. To keep things short and simple, I’ll just say that I’ve felt worse than I’ve ever felt, and the discomfort (recently turned pain) has almost made me want to go on the prescribed RA drugs; but because it doesn’t feel right to me (and maybe because I’m a little stubborn!), I’ve made it my almost-full-time job to research everything possible and work with anyone who may be able to help me return to full health.

Because of that, Sterling and I decided that instead of planning and preparing for OnStage Live and not feeling well enough at the last minute, it would be best to plan on not traveling extensively for the next few months. Obviously, if things turn around, we’ll get on a plane and go to an OnStage event somewhere in the world. But either way, you’re in good hands!

I want you to know I’m feeling encouraged and hopeful and am trying to patiently trust in God’s timing. I haven’t said much because I don’t like to complain, and this is probably more information than you wanted to know, but I’ve always been pretty open about personal things.  And even though I have felt certain my health would improve any day, this is my current reality.

In the meantime, I’ve been told I’m an eternal optimist, so I’m going to continue to expect improved health every single day! As always, thank you for your thoughts and prayers.


Perfect Packaging

While Megan loves soaking in the sun (as you can see from the photo Nate took while they were in Hawaii a couple of months ago), she gets more excited about winter and the cold than anyone I know! Most of us grimace at the first snowfall, and Megan gets all giddy!

I felt like this was the perfect packaging for Megan's birthday gift. I’ve just been waiting for the perfect time to post it, and given all the snow we’ve had recently, it’s time!


Congratulations, Janet!

It’s been a few days now since Janet Wakeland achieved her one-million milestone, but as I told her over the phone, I like to call after the big achievement so I can extend the celebration…kind of like the delayed birthday card (no worries...this card was sent right away!) that makes you feel loved and celebrated for more days than just your birthday.

Well, I hope Janet feels loved and appreciated for her dedication to Stampin’ Up! and her business. Janet works her business well and adapts when changes need to be made—one of the things I admire about her and what’s made her accomplishment so noteworthy. I’m excited to celebrate Janet’s huge milestone in person when she comes to Utah in March. Until then, hugs and congratulations, Janet! 



Kicking My Feet Up in Kauai

We planned this trip over a year ago, and I had hoped to do the usual sightseeing and basking in the sun on the beach. Instead, I really just kicked my feet up in the condo. My RA has been acting up—more about that in a blog post soon—and although I wished the warmer and humid weather would do me some good (it didn’t!), I figured I could take it easy in Hawaii with family as easily as at home.

We flew with the Browns to Honolulu for a couple of days to see friends from our mission, took the kids to a few of our favorite food places (because vacations for the Gardners is all about the food…well a lot about food!), and then headed over to Kauai for a week.

Aside from an herbal tea farm tour, where I got bit in my mouth by a centipede…funny story (thank goodness for mulberry leaves!), one trip to the beach, and a couple of shorter sits by the pool, Sterling and I pretty much stayed in the condo and enjoyed the view and warm breeze from the lanai.

We were also thrilled to keep Owen while Shalae and Jon and their three older kids went to the beach, the pool, and tubing. It was a win-win. Most evenings, we all ventured out for dinner to enjoy the Hawaiian hospitality, yummy food, and charming atmosphere.

It may not have been the trip I imagined, but it was an enjoyable and relaxing vacation. I loved being with family, and it was Hawaii—warm and beautiful—and one of my favorite places!