Monday, April 26, 2010

Mourning the Melting Pot

I know I must be a little out of the loop, but my favorite restaurant, The Melting Pot, has closed. :( I guess it's been closed for a couple of months now. Big bummer. BIG bummer. My parents took me there for my birthday one year, and then Tony and I have celebrated our past two anniversaries by eating there. The last time we went was especially nice -- we got a private booth/room and spent about 2 hours there enjoying the fondue goodness. Our anniversary is coming up again in a couple of weeks, so I was going online to check out The Melting Pot menu and the place is GONE!!!! Ugh. So now time to find a new nice restaurant to enjoy. If anyone has any recommendations, please let me know. We aren't afraid to spend a bit of money -- it's our anniversary, after all.

Bye Melting Pot!!! I will miss you!!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Workin' woman

In case you didn't know, a few weeks ago I got a part-time, temporary job with the Census Bureau. I was a QAC, or a worker at a questionnaire assistance center, and I basically got paid $10.50/hour to sit in community centers and libraries to answer people's questions about the Census. (Nobody came and asked me any questions, so I got paid to read the newspaper and my Harry Potter book.) It was a super easy job and only 10-13 hours/week for a couple of weeks. That job ended on April 19, and they offered me a different job doing data entry at their main office here. I'm going to be working four days per week, 6-8 hours/day. Most of my shifts will be 6-midnight, but I'll be working 3:30-midnight whenever I can (basically whenever we have someone to watch Ruth that long). The job will last 4-6 weeks, so generally speaking I'm not worried about being away from Ruth. What will be hard, I think, will be not seeing Tony as much and having less time to do stuff around the house and the yard. But it's only temporary, so I'm sure we will survive. I train on Tuesday and start on Thursday.

To make this whole job situation work, we went out and bought something we've been wanting for a very long time now: another car! We paid $1100 for a lovely Buick Regal. Tony sees it as a "project car" (it needs some minor fixes - for example, it's missing a radio) and is enjoying it so far. I like not having to coordinate picking Tony up from work and school with my appointments. So yay for owning another car!
Also, we had Stake Conference today. I enjoyed Stake Conference very much, but I will say it's a BIG challenge to attend with a grouchy toddler. We had to go find an empty room for a time-out at one point. She eventually got distracted by a sticker book I brought along. I figure it's important that we go, and as she gets older she will get used to being there.

Anyway, busy week ahead! I'll let you know how the job goes!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


You know that show, Fear Factor, where they have people do really freaky, gross things for money? Well I've decided I would never survive on that show. The primary reason:


I hate snakes. I think I would faint if a snake slithered over my foot or something, let alone lots of snakes slithering over my face or whole body, like in this Fear Factor photo:

Unfortuntely, we have a ton of snakes in our yard. I grew up with snakes being an infrequent sight, and now I am seeing them on an almost daily basis. The problem: The dozens and dozens of old railroad ties we have in our yard. They're used for terracing and landscaping, and a lot of them are rotted out and need to be replaced. Snakes love them -- they're like snake magnets. *shudder* I've had nightmares about snakes since the weather warmed up. Not even kidding. Maybe I need to see a therapist or something.

The most disgusting sighting happened last week, when I saw a knot of snakes sunning on top of the chain-link fence in our back yard. They were all curled up together doing who knows what. At first I thought they might be dead, but as I moved closer I saw they were definitely alive. I later watched them slither down the fence and into the nearby rocks. *shudder again* Totally gross. I thought I got a picture on my phone, but it didn't save.

Unfortunately, replacing all the railroad ties with new lumber will be an expensive undertaking that we will probably have done by a professional landscaper. So I am resigned to deal with the snakes for at least a summer or two. I know, I know, garter snakes aren't harmful at all -- they're actually good for your lawn and garden and whatnot. I just hate them because they have a tendency to startle me, and, well, they just look gross. And since there are so many of them, I'm freaked out by the possibility of one finding its way into my basement. I proceed into my basement with caution now because I'm paranoid. I know, I need to get over it.

Pray for me! :P

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cute ideas for Ruth's room

So I have been slowly gathering cute decorating ideas for Ruth's room, which is pretty far down the list when it comes to things we want to redo in our house. But I'm probably most excited to take care of her room because little girl rooms can be so cute! Right now we're still planning on painting it yellow. But who knows -- that may change between now and whenever we actually do it. Anyway, here are some things I want to put in her room:

1. Group of different sized photo frames with neat pictures/drawings/paper inside
From YoungHouseLove

These people used scrapbook paper and clippings out of magazines for some of their art. I think this grouping looks so fresh and cute.

2. Floating bookshelves, either made or purchased from someplace like Target (on sale this week for $5-$8 apiece). These could also go other places in the house.

3. Armoire, probably made by Tony. This plan is from one of my favorite blogs, KnockOffWood, which features plans for beautiful homemade furniture. Some pieces are knock-offs designed to look like furniture you would by at high-end stores, hence the blog name. :)

4. Cutest homemade kitchen play set, ever!

I saw this and immediately fell in love. It was featured on KnockOffWood, but the plans are by CraftingChicks. This would be more for a playroom than Ruth's room, since there probably wouldn't be enough space to fit it all in Ruth's room. But I love it!!! The person who made this spent $127 for everything, including fabric and accessories, but she made this out of high-quality wood. It will be a hand-me-down toy. Maybe a future Christmas or birthday gift?

Anyway, I'll keep you posted on future decorating ideas! Our goal right now is to get some landscaping and yard work done during the next month, and then hopefully we can start working on the inside of the house.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Disney World

After a long hiatus, I am back to blogging! I thought I better start out with a quick overview of our trip to Disney World. We had a great time, and our week was jam-packed with fun stuff! Ruth did pretty well on the plane trip there, and then right after we arrived at our resort, we went to the Hoop-Di-Do Musical Review dinner show, which was lots of fun. Then we rested up for our first day out in the theme parks on Tuesday. We hit the Magic Kingdom first, starting with the princess breakfast in the Cinderella Castle. The breakfast was amazing, and the girls looked so cute in the princess dresses Grandma made for them. Here is Ruth with Princess Jasmine:
We enjoyed balloons, ice cream treats and fun rides on Magic Kingdom day. I think it was my favorite theme park.

Here is Tony trying to pull the sword out of the stone:
He was not successful.

On Wednesday, we went to Animal Kingdom with the kids, and then the adults went to Hollywood Studios in the evening. We watched the amazing Fantasmic show and rode on the Toy Story ride, which was lots of fun.

On Thursday, we went to Epcot, where we saw Nemo and lots of cool fish. We enjoyed many other rides there and had another "princess" meal, this time dinner. I love Epcot, where you can see the "world."

Then, Friday, it was time to head back home. Here are some pics of Tony with his siblings, and Grandma with her grandbabies.
It was so wonderful to see our family, and we can't wait to do something like this again in a few years! We love you and miss you, Jenny, Mike, Mike, Janalee, Marcie and Leila! And we are grateful to Tony's mom for providing us with such a fun, wonderful trip. Thank you!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Gardner Family: A new post about posting posts, but mostly about my wife.

Gardner Family: A new post about posting posts, but mostly about my wife.

A new post about posting posts, but mostly about my wife.

Greetings to all those faithful amrgardner.blogspot fans! (Namely my sister, Alissa/Victory, and a few others.)

As you may or may not have guessed, I do not normally do blog posts. My wonderful, beautiful wife Meredith is usually proactive about it. She'll take faithful pictures of my carpentry antics and post them while commenting lovingly on the craftsmanship of my hands, but I rarely have anything to say personally. I thought I'd take a stab at it.

I work for a fantastic wireless telephone company that employs other fantastic people. I have the pleasure of working with a team that is rich in background and character. Sometimes our discussions involve our client base, sometimes the company, and sometimes we talk about our personal lives and the different trials and tribulations we are faced with day to day. (Case in point, it taking me 6 hours to install a dishwasher. That's a funny story.)

As I sit back and listen to the stories that my workmates tell, I am struck with an amazing sense of gratitude for my sweet wife, Meredith. Really, every aspect of my life is made better by the fact that she chose to be sealed to me for time and also for all eternity. The things we go through as a couple here in the "time" part are fun, and frustrating, and heartwarming, and infuriating... all those emotions that come from constantly shifting perspectives, the constant moving of my eye from one goal to the next, then the next... but as I contemplate more and more the idea of keeping my eye single to the never-ending happiness and well-being of others, I realize that I wouldn't be able to achieve such results in their lives without first seeing to never-ending happiness and well-being of my beautiful wife. And oh, what a pleasure it is. I don't see why I don't try to do insanely cute things more often! I mean, I know that happiness and well-being is periodic now, but that isn't how it will always be.

One of the most stressful parts of adolescence were the relationships that existed with members of the opposite sex. As a young man (or woman, as I'm sure some of you can relate), there is a lot of drama! Who likes who, and who goes out with who, etc... it's just crazy! But now that I'm married, I don't have to worry about any of that. I have the immense joy and responsibility to treat my wife like a queen forever. In that movie Fireproof it talks about "getting your degree" in your spouse. I need to work on a few more credit hours of that this semester.

I should get back to work.