Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hooky In Da House...

Earlier this week I got to watch 15 new members of the Utah House of Representatives be sworn into office -- My Dad was one of them.
I can't tell you how proud I am of him.  He is chasing a dream.  He is committed to serve.  He is positive he can make an impact.  He will give it his all and enjoy the journey along the way as he represents the constituents in rural Utah that voted for him.
It got me thinking that no matter our opinion regarding our public officers... they have agreed to step up to the plate and take the initiative.  They aren't passive members of society who are content to  simply voice unrest and unhappiness.  They are citizens of the greatest country on earth who believe in a democracy that was Divinely inspired and they choose to serve this great nation.  
So, no matter our opinions about our leaders' hair style, personality, tact, or religious beliefs... we shouldn't degrade them - we should honor their work ethic and their dedication and lend them our support as our elected officers.
We will never all agree - that's the beauty of Democracy.  But we can and should put out positivity.  We can believe great things are coming and it will be.
Dad, you're setting such a great example for my sons.  Thank you for paving yet another path that demonstrates that life is what you make it.  I love that you're a mover and a shaker.  I love that retirement lasted all of a year with you before you jumped head first into your next endeavor.  I love that Mom is ever your supportive partner and best advocate.  What a team.
We're all excited to see what a ride you'll enjoy during your term.
Thanks for letting us play a small part in it.
Watch out world,
"Grandpa HOOKY is in da House!"

Sunday, January 22, 2017


This past week has been full of SNOW!
One big storm after another has pummeled our home and we are all thrilled about it.  
I love winter snow storms on weekends especially... everyone is together - we all go out to shovel and play and enjoy it - There is no rush to be here or there.  And when we aren't outside enjoying, we're inside cozying - which makes for some pretty perfect moments.
Ryno plows everyone's walks since he is in no hurry to head to a client.  So sweet.
We got about a foot yesterday on top of the 3-4 inches we had on the ground prior to that.  AND more is slated to come over the next few days.  I'm loving wearing nothing but leggings, sweaters, sorrels and beanies... the base layer that can quickly be added to.  
The boys are loving building forts, sledding, and snow ball fights with their friends. 
Side note - they're so COOL.  Right?
I bought those beanies when they were two.  TWO!  I was so excited to see my little groms wearing that little hat duo in the winter months and here they are - 7 & 6 - missing teeth and being COOL.
There is something both calming and invigorating about the world covered in snow, don't you think?  Plus, it does my rural heart good to know that our mountains are getting thoroughly soaked in h2o in various forms.  I think I might have been a farmer in another life?
 Boone takes sledding SO seriously.  He is so calm and content yet he DOES NOT crack a smile.  I think he thinks he is running the Iditarod or something?
 And so - you know where to find us this week.  We'll be out in the white stuff OR in with some hot chocolate and a good game of War, SlapJack, or Uno.
And I'll be paying good attention to the sky, the abundant comforts we have, and all my little fellers.  
 Happy Snow Days, to You!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Birthday Shenanigans...

Whelp Ryno's 40th Bday celebration has come and gone -- It was so much fun.
The morning of, the boys COULD NOT WAIT for him to open a couple of presents from them.  They had made sure to get him a Cubs jersey from them and I made sure to get him a vintage tee.
Then in the afternoon he came home to a decorated house and yard and Grandma & Grandpa Gardner who were whisking away the kiddos for the night!
And off I whisked him to Sundance for the night.
To those who wrote him a letter for his fortieth... thank you, sincerely.
It was SO fun to read them together at dinner.  He laughed and cried and sometimes both.
It was a great evening remembering lots of fun people who have been a part of his life.
Then - cue the snow and the bluest skies you've ever seen juxtaposed against them.
He and I got to ski the morning away together in that sunny, marshmallow world.
And in the afternoon the whole crew joined us for a day in the mountain tops.
We came home that evening to a sick babe and overly tired kiddos - but it was all worth it.
It's gonna be a great year, Ryno.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Big 4-0...

Today our RyGar turns 40.  
Which is strange to me, because at best he has the maturity of an eighteen year old!  I gotta say, Ryno... you're officially aged to perfection.  Now if only your hair and your goatee would go a little salt n' peppa for me I'd be in Heaven.  :)
For his fortieth I sent out a request, on the sly, to forty friends, family members, colleagues and mentors to mail a note to Ryan with a memory, some advise, or a funny quip about the birthday boy. Of course, everyone came through in droves to wish my main guy a happy milestone birthday and I'm so grateful for the time you took to send him a smile.  We have been so blessed to have you in our life and it sounds sappy, but it's true -- you've all played an integral role in shaping my favorite doooood.
Now on to my own anthem & memories for my main squeeze on his fortieth birthday...
It may shock you guys to know this - but initially, my Dad wasn't a fan of Ryno.  I think it had little to do with Ryan and LOTS to do with all the raw emotion of marrying off his first kiddo, let alone, his first daughter, but Ryno was ever a gentleman as we held "meetings" with my parents, and Carl "strongly urged" us to wait a little longer to tie the knot.  I was infuriated and stood up during one lunch in particular with a finger pointed at my Dad's face saying, "You'll regret this - I'll just head to Vegas  and elope tomorrow!" As I turned to leave, Ry grabbed my hand and sat me down and heard out the requests of a father who was struggling to let go of a daughter.  Somehow he had the where-with all to say something totally savvy like, "Well we've all shared our opinions.  We have a lot to think about, and I appreciate your feelings, Carl.  I hope you'll appreciate mine and Amber's as well as we work out a solution that everyone finds acceptable," as he simultaneously rubbed my knee beneath the table silently begging me to calm down, and looked "the enemy" (at the time) in the eye, as he held out a steady hand for a firm shake. 
I look back on it all now and just marvel at the role of "Switzerland" RyGar was able to play even when he was one of the opposing parties in the stand off.
Well, the rest is history.  I look back on the nine years we had together without kids and I just smile.  We were chasing career goals, flying to different cities and states, and enjoying our weekends more than any two people have ever done in the history of the world.  I don't exaggerate.  It was a charmed life with many a perks and we made the most of it.
We had our struggles - infertility being the main one, but again, with the patience of Job and the uncanny ability Ryno has to turn my head in the direction of all the positive things in our life, that chapter is a tiny shadow of what was our life at that time.  I'm grateful that he and I did not empower it to take up the majority of our thoughts or energy and we never lost hope or stopped believing as we made and collected memories.
And then it all culminated when we started our family.  Every love story is beautiful, as they say, but yes, ours is my favorite.  The miraculous arrival of Kael, Dax & Ace in short short succession was the best chaos my heart had ever wished for, come true.  And we get to relive those feelings of first becoming parents all over again with our little caboose, Boone.
Our life is SO good and I'm grateful every single day I chose you.  I love being your girl.  I love this sweet home we've built together.  I love watching you parent our boys and seeing the way they look up to you.  Mornings when we're all snuggled in bed together as the sun is rising are the most "feel good" moments of my life.  You're my best friend, a rock star teammate, and I have more than I should because of you.
You are so capable Ryno.  I believe whole-heartedly in you.  I know we've learned together that there are lots of things in life that aren't comfortable or ideal, but they could always be worse.  And a simple life of comfort does nothing to change us, mold us, make us into better, stronger or more beautiful versions of ourselves.
I look forward to figuring out the next forty years together and then at least another twenty after that. Let's play at least as hard as we work... let's choose happiness, let's make more beautiful things together and make mischief with our herd of "Mischievans".
 You're my number one -- and today, the world celebrates YOU and your arrival on this rock forty years ago.
XO Always, Birthday Boy.
You are so loved.