Saturday, November 29, 2014

Utah Living

Bonjour Bloggers! It's Megan.  Happy Holidays to all! As most of you know, I am now living in Utah. I was always that person who swore up and down I would never become "one of those Utah'ns" and yet..... here I am. All in all it hasn't been as bad as I thought!

I am a transfer student to Utah Valley University, a school I had never even heard of until this past April, and let's just say, it has been an answer to my prayers. After EAC, as much as I loved being there, I really needed a new adventure. Something I had never done before. So I picked living in a big city all by myself, in an area that is notoriously snowy and freezing cold.

I am living with three other girls, all fresh out of high school and living on their own for the first time. That has definitely been an experience for me. For the first time, I am the oldest and wisest in my home. They have started calling me Mama Megan, because I am always cleaning or helping them with homework, or all sorts of motherly activities. But I love these girls, and we have a lot of fun together.

At EAC I got my Associates Degree in Elementary Education so when I got to UVU I kept going with that. But about half way through the semester it just wasn't very fun and I wasn't really feeling a passion for it anymore so I switched to Secondary Education with an emphasis in Theater. I am so excited for my new path!!! Being a theater teacher is what I have always wanted to do, but I didn't really have the confidence to pursue it. Now with the support of my loving and wonderful family and friends, I am off! :)

Overall life is grand. Adjusting to not living in Arizona with my family has been hard, but with the beauty of modern day technology we are able to stay in constant communication. And hey, if anyone reading this ever ends up in Utah, let me know! It's always fun to see familiar faces!

Hope everyone stays safe and happy and healthy this season! FĂ©liz Navidad!

Life is Good

This is Cameron.  Freshman year has been grand so far! I am taking choir this year and I really love it. I had the chance to accompany my choir on a song called Dona Nobis. It was really pretty and my first time playing on a big stage like DV's with a full choir.

I am also really diggin' piano. My mom told me that I can sight read really well. I like being able to sit down and play any song. Its fun! I also am self-teaching myself how to fake book. Fake Booking is where you take a simple piece of music and you sort of improvise your way through the song. It's really fun!

Lately, I have been on a photography kick. I have used all my friends as models and even some of my Young Women's leader's kids. I also enjoy bugging my parents and make them model for me too!  For more pictures check out my blog: Bloominghappiily.blogspot.com








Monday, November 17, 2014

Catching up for Fall

We have not posted much this fall, but since this blog kind of serves as our Family Christmas Letter, we wanted to catch everyone up on the latest Gardner happenings.

Mike and Trish headed back to Jamaica this summer.  It was another lovely visit to our favorite place to go. 



In July, we took a family cruise to the Eastern Caribbean.  We stayed one night in Miami and then headed out for St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico and Grand Turk. 

Cameron's 14th birthday was the day we were in St. Maarten.  We went to Maho Beach on the Dutch side where the planes fly very low overhead, and then up to Orient Beach on the French side.

 We took a Catamaran trip in St. Kitts and did some fun snorkeling.  Puerto Rico was beautiful and we explored the city and one of the Forts.  Cameron took some beautiful pictures.  We went scuba diving as a family in Grand Turk and snorkeled with sharks.  All in all a great family trip!

The end of July brought the beginning of Ryan's mission.  We drove him up to the MTC in Provo, UT.  It was very difficult watching him walk away, but his cousin, Calvin, was waiting inside the MTC to greet him, and Ryan hasn't missed us since. 




He arrived in Russia October 1, and is loving every minute.  We put his letters on a mission blog if you want to read them.  www.russianryan.blogspot.com








Megan left to go up to Utah Valley University in Orem.  She has quite a few friends from EAC and some close cousins in the Provo/Orem area, so she's had people to hang out with in between studying.  We've missed having her be able to come home on weekends like she could while at EAC.   Cameron flew up and stayed with Megan for a long weekend.  Both girls had a blast.   All of us are looking forward to Thanksgiving.  Megan will fly home for a few days to spend the holiday.

Cameron is in her Freshman year at Desert Vista High School.  We were very proud to have her accompany her choir on the piano for one number in their fall concert.  She is taking Spanish, and enjoys knowing more espanol than her mom and dad.  She loves to craft, play the piano, take photos and plan parties!

Trish is still teaching in the school library!  It's a great job.  Mike is enjoying another year as a partner in the #1 Lobbying Firm in Arizona. 

We hope this holiday season finds each of you happy, and healthy!  We think of you all frequently.  Social media has made it easier to keep in touch with many of you, and we are grateful. 

All our love,  The Gardners