Welcome to my blog!

I invite you to share your thoughts, but I do ask you to 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 also like to fill my life with positive people and positive things. I guess that means 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 fun chat!



No Walker in Sight

I attended several meetings at the home office yesterday, and several employees were surprised to see me walking without a cane. I realized that I hadn’t told anyone—I was given the OK to walk without a cane on Friday! Happy day! I walk slow, and always with someone nearby when I’m out of the house so I can reach out once in a while for a little stability, but I’m definitely not complaining!

And that’s not the only change. . .

  • No walker in sight
  • The hospital-style bed is gone
  • I’ve done my own hair every day for almost a week (except for yesterday because we shot some videos, so Megan did it)
  • Getting dressed by myself
  • The wheelchair is still around—in case I need it for a long jaunt—but I’m thinking it will be headed to storage very soon
  • Physical therapy only once a week; still doing occupational therapy twice a week

Of course, I’m moving slowly (much more slower than I would like) and there’s occasional discomfort, but that’s to be expected. I’m thrilled with the progress and am eagerly looking forward to the next big milestone—driving! I don’t have any photos of these milestones (you’ll just have to imagine it!), but you can bet I’ll take a photo of that one. . . me sitting in the car, looking very happy and grateful, celebrating my independence day! Sterling will probably be pretty happy about that too!

In the meantime, I’m just savoring every step I take. . .



Another Happy Birthday Bunch

Here’s another set of employee birthday cards. I like to share these with you, because we always need birthday cards, don’t we? Plus, because I need dozens of these every month, they’re typically pretty quick and easy  to make. And that’s always a plus too!

Happy stamping!



A Stampin' Up! Halloween

Note: Halloween is always a fun time at Stampin’ Up!, and I was sorry to miss it this year, but I asked Sara to tell us about it!

Happy Halloween!

It was fun to come in to the office today. . . music was playing, people were hanging out, a lot of people were dressed up, and we were having fun.

You all know we have a lot of creative people working at Stampin’ Up!, and Halloween is the perfect opportunity for many of them to express that creativity. I love to see the original and unique ideas that people come up with!

We have a costume contest every year—even have a walkway for everyone to strut their stuff. Some years, we have entire departments that dress up in group costumes; this year we didn’t have as much of that, although our HR team did do the Duck Dynasty thing.

Another highlight for me is seeing the kids that come in to trick or treat. A lot of the employees bring in their young children or grandchildren to trick or treat around the office; plenty of employees have candy stashes set aside for these cute kids.

This year we also had a Halloween breakfast. . . bagels, juice, yogurt, and fruit. Pretty healthy, which was good considering all of the candy floating around.

I left a little early, because like many other moms out there, I was helping out with a classroom Halloween party. . . when you’re a mother, it’s just one thing after another on Halloween, right? But it was fun while it lasted! I hope you had a fun day as well!






I'm Walking. . . Kind Of

I wanted to share a few highlights from the past several days.

As Sterling mentioned—I’m walking. . . with the help of a cane and someone holding my arm or hand. Woohoo! I never would have thought that walking would feel so great! I’m still using the walker inside the house when I’m alone and the wheelchair for any walking that requires long distances or longer periods of time (see the company meeting highlight below), but I used the cane when I went to all three hours of church this weekend, and also for our family photo shoot.

That’s another weekend highlight.

Like many families, we try to take an annual family photo, and we did that this weekend. Jon took the photo, and he did a great job! The kids are getting older, the outtakes are getting funnier (see the photos below), and it was wonderful to be with everyone. The grandchildren were all excited to see Grandma walking with a cane instead of in her wheelchair (now that makes me sound older than I want to be!), and I was as happy about it as they were!

I’m not sure, but I think the family photo will be unveiled in the next annual catalog. If they end up not using it, I’ll share it with you.

Finally, a high point for me was my first visit back to the home office, which happened last Thursday when I attended our quarterly company update meeting. It was on the two-month anniversary since the accident, and it was such a thrill to be back with my Stampin’ Up! family. Sterling pushed me in on my wheelchair, and it was a surprise for everyone—they didn’t know I would be there. I was so touched by everyone’s welcome, and I was especially grateful for the opportunity to stand (yes, I STOOD. . . didn’t take any steps, but I stood!) and thank everyone their for their amazing support and encouragement and continued hard work.

So, progress continues. . . I hope your weekend was as good as mine!






I'm Baaaack!

I thought I was being so careful, but someone found out that I had hacked Shelli’s blog. And they asked me to hack it again and give a quick update, so here I am. . .

Before I update you about Shelli, though, I thought I’d share an update on me. I noticed that Shelli’s last post was about the Gardner Girls Gathering, so I wanted to tell you about my weekend activities as well. Since the girls took Shelli away for a few days, it was the perfect opportunity for me to complete a service project I’ve been wanting to do for weeks—fix up a road that leads into the camp where we stayed on the Grand Canyon ride (it wasn’t the fire road where Shelli had her accident).

We noticed how terrible the road was when we arrived at the camp—four big mud holes that made the drive into camp pretty ugly. The land is forest service land, and we knew the forest service didn’t have the resources to fix the problem. So I told the ride manager that I’d come up one long weekend and take care of the problem.

Well, we all know I’ve been pretty busy taking care of other very important things, so the Grand Canyon project had to wait.

Until this weekend.

I headed down south on Wednesday, and worked Thursday, Friday, and Saturday—it was glorious and wonderful—for several different reasons. It always feels great to do hard physical labor, it’s wonderful to be involved in a service project, and it was definitely quiet. On Thursday, eight or nine cars came down the road. On Friday, four cars drove by, and one came by twice, so that doesn’t count. Then on Saturday, only one truck drove through! When I turned off the tractor, it was completely silent except for the breeze coming through the trees! Nothing more sublime than that. . .

A friend from Kanab hauled in seven loads of road base and gravel and then left me in solitude. Between loads, I took the harrow I had brought and drug up the meadow where 90-95 campers and trailers camp for the ride. Filled in the ruts and holes so it looks nice.

The winter weather will compact the dirt down and in the spring that meadow will look pretty.

I took a few pictures, including one right before I headed home Saturday evening. Shelli always tells me that to be interesting, a picture has to have people in it. I tried to ask a few deer that came dashing through camp if they’d take a picture of me, but they wouldn’t stop—pretty nervous with the deer hunt, I guess.

Eventually I settled for this photo of my working buddies off in the distance: Bertha (the Chevy Duramax), Bubba (the trailer), and Juan Puablo (the John Deer tractor)—ya gotta name your vehicles, don’t you? They were great workers and great weekend companions. . .

So, enough jabbering about me. . .

Let’s get to Shelli.

She’s doing exceptionally well.

We went to the doctor yesterday and hetook some new X-rays, and based on the results, he gave her permission to put full weight on her right side. That means she can start learning to walk again. Today, her PT put a belt around her waist and she walked for the first time in weeks.

She texted me afterwards (I wasn’t at home at the time) and told me that there would be a new woman at home waiting for me when I got home. . . hmmm. . . she was feeling pretty thrilled about finally being able to walk.

Other than that, things are pretty routine around the Gardner house. It takes us about an hour and half to get ready in the morning—even though she’s walking, there’s still a lot of things she can’t do on her own. I have to be honest, the last eight weeks have been kind of nice in a way because it’s slowed Shelli down to the point where I can actually keep up with her! She’s chomping at the bit now and is starting to get a little spunky on me, wanting to get up and go, and I can see that I’d better start getting back in shape again!

We are both grateful that so many prayers and well wishes have been offered in her behalf—we are convinced that they’ve had a huge impact on her speedy recovery. Her spirits have been consistently  high, and she’s so positive—to the point that it’s been rather frustrating to those of us (meaning me) who aren’t quite as positive.  And honestly, we (meaning me) wouldn’t have it any other way!