Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks I Give Today

*I am thankful for my family- my gorgeous little girl who amazes me more each day; the loving husband who has been with me through thick and thin for eight years; my Mom who has supported me in every way she could for my entire life and who has grown to be one of my best friends; my Father who teaches me things, tells me what I need to hear, and gives me sound advice when I am down in the dumps; my step-parents, both of whom I adore incredibly- I think they are perfect matches for my parents, they have taught me so much, and I am beyond glad that they are in my life; my brothers, all of whom are unique and fun and loving, who could never be replaced; the family I have inherited from my hubby... I know everyone jokes about evil mother-in-laws and tragic family visits, but I truly love them and feel like I lucked out with my new extended family- I care deeply for each of you and I hope you already knew it. And the rest of my extended family, who I am closer with than most people- my cousins, who are some of my best friends, my Aunts and Uncles, who I have had so many fun times with, and the wonderful grandparents who helped spoil raise me. I am so happy to have you all today. I appreciate each and every one of you- thank you for being there, for living life along with us and bringing your own experiences to the table.

*I am so very grateful for the job I have now. Today is my one-year anniversary since I started this job! I love my position, my boss, my co-workers (except one, but we won't count him. *ahem*), and the company I work for. My job is stable and I work for a company that is in no danger of going under like so many others right now. I also feel like we truly do something meaningful (I work in the research field), which makes a huge difference to me. I am also grateful for the benefits my job provides- so many people right now are living without health care, and if we were in that boat right now, we would be seriously screwed. I won't go into why, but we REALLY needed the insurance. I sometimes think what would have happened to us if I didn't get this job, but it's a scary thought that I don't need to indulge, because THANKFULLY it's not the case. When I was pregnant, and after I had Ilyana, I couldn't find a job for a long time, but I believe it's because I was meant to end up here.

*I am grateful for my daughter's good health.

*I am grateful to have good food and a roof over our heads. It seems simple, but there are a lot of others right now just struggling to make ends meet.

*I am grateful that my husband found a position at a company that appreciates him and is quickly moving him up. I'm grateful that they see his potential and are giving him the opportunity to work with computers, which he has always wanted to do, even though he is self-taught.

*I am grateful that we are slowly working towards fixing our credit and ultimately achieving our goal of owning a home. Hopefully *fingers crossed* before Ilyana goes to school!

*I am grateful for the chance to shop celebrate and appreciate my friends and family on the holidays. *maniacal high-pitched voice* I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!

*I am grateful TO HAVE HEAT! WOOOOOOOoooooOOOOoooooOOOooo... Yeah, if you don't know about this little gem, you can read about the heat situation here

*I am grateful for my new camera to take photos of the people and things I love, for Dora the explorer, for dark chocolate, for Bavarian Wild Berry tea, for gifts from Mother Nature, for frozen strawberries (smoothies!), for Weeds and Worst Week and It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia... for Soap & Glory, Origins and Old Navy.... For so, so much more... I could go on all day...

So, what about you? What are you thankful for today, in this moment?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bloggy Fodder

First off... HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you all. I know it's early. But chances are, I won't be on here tomorrow, because I'll be too busy stuffing my face and anticipating the steals I will get on Black Friday. So now I've covered my bases.

Secondly, I have a few new blog awards!! Yay me :)

The first is from Elizabeth at Three Channels:

The qualifications to receive the award are:
A. Display a cheerful attitude.
B. Love one another.
C. Make mistakes.
D. Learn from others.
E. Be a positive contributor to the blog world.
F. Love life.
G. Love kids.

The Rules:

1. Must link it back to the creator.
2. Post the rules.
3. Choose 5 people to give it to.
4. Recipients must fill the characteristics above.
5. Create a post to share this.
6. You must thank the winner.


Then I got this one, which I have seen all over the bloggy world and been pining for someone to give to ME... And Noah's Mommy from Project Mommyhood has bestowed it upon me at long last!! Thank you, thank you! :)

So what I'm gonna do is combine these awards and give them to five blogs that I think fit both! It's hard for me to pick, but here goes with some of my faves:

Mama Dawg at Two Dogs Running

Kyla at The Journey

Caleb at The Daily Focal Point

Devin at Chasing Moments Photography

Stephanie at A Year Of Crockpotting

Finally, Hip Mama's Place is having an awesome Christmas Giveaway. So you should go and check it out. You won't be sorry, trust me!


Wordless Wednesdays #11- Our Little Graphic Designer

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Well, at least it is at OUR house!

We spent this Saturday setting up our FIRST EVER Christmas tree :) Yes, we've been together for over eight years, but since we are always at my Mom's on Christmas morning, and since we never had a little munchkin to enjoy it before, we never thought we needed one of our own. Yet. Last year, we thought about it, but our place was so small, as was the Ruggle, that it just wasn't worth it.

This year, we finally did! We had my Mom pick us up a tree from Big Lots and then her, my stepdad David and little brother Owen took the drive up to bring it to us and help us decorate it. I had a small box of ornaments given to my by my Dad- the ones that I had collected over the years at his house- and then we bought some from the Dollar Tree, since they are plastic and thus less of a fragile-scary-breakable-choking-hazard than regular ornaments. And I don't mind as much if the ruggle wants to play with them.


I got da balls, Momma.

Dada, Watch Dis!

David spent the day as photographer, which is why he's not in any of these.


The girl checks out the tree from ALL angles.

Amazingly, Owen was able to help us, even though he spent ALLLLLLL week sick with an unexplained fever. We are still waiting to hear what's going on with him, which is pretty scary. I was glad he perked up a little and was able to help me and Mom put on some ornaments...

He was showing off how tall and lanky he is. Look at him reaching almost to the top of the tree!

Odizz the decorator

Mama Ruggle the decoratess

Cey-Cey Ruggle the decoratess

"Could I help ya, Mumma?"

"Sure, honey, here's a delicate frog ornament (that was already broken once before) for you to put on the tree..."


"Momma, Momma, I break the froggie! Uh-Oh!"

*sigh* S'ok, Ruggle. Here are some plastic ones to play with instead. We'll just put Mr. Froggie aside to be repaired (again) at an unknown later date... i.e., hopefully by next year.

While we decorated the tree, Will (aka hubster) put together our bed frame. See, my Mom bought herself and David a new bed frame when they were out getting our tree. Which meant, HALLE-FREAKIN-LUJAH, they didn't need their old bed frame anymore. WHICH by proxy meant... you got it... I inherited their old one. Which is just AWESOME for me. No more sleeping with our mattress on the floor. w00t w00t :)

Of course, Illy helped. "Dada, where does this go?"

Here, lemme put it in your hann! Sanks, Dada.

Look at my pretty Momma helping me decorate! Thanks Momma :)

The two sexiest tree-decorators in town. Wanna hire us? Erm, for decorating, I mean. And nothing else.

DISCLAIMER: It's not that amazing being the sexiest anything in Enfield, NH. Just for the record. If you had seen the chickies walking around my town, you'd understand. I'm just sayin'.

Uhm, yeah. I love the Dollar Tree. My tree came out much better than I expected, and I got all the red and gold ornaments AND the ribbon for 7 bucks total. STEAL!

O contemplates the meaning of having a tree...

As I anally relocate ornaments that *just look off*


In the end, though, we had a "Pretty tree, pretty tree" (Yes, she did say that.)

Which Ilyana enjoyed all night long.

And had to check FIRSTTHING in the morning to be sure the pretty tree was still there.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

This is my first time participating in this meme that Candid Carrie started :)

The rules are as follows:

"In your Phriday personal post, include a phavorite photograph (like how I did that?) and a brief description of why it is your phave. Anything at all works for me ... one picture, more pictures, a video ... even if you participate it another blogger's Friday event you can double up as long as you link back to me within your post."

So here is one of my favorite photos, for your viewing pleasure...

Of course, it's a ruggle pic! It's one of the ones I took last year for the holidays. I love it for a ton of reasons- she's so small, the look on her face is priceless, hey piggytoes are too cute, and she actually kept the hat on for the photo- woooOOOooo :)

Happy F x 4!

Friday Fill-Ins #10

1. The last band I saw live was when I went to Warped Tour. I don't remember which band I saw last!
2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is visiting with my family AND the food. (if you don't celebrate thanksgiving, insert your favorite holiday)
3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is mostly done already!
4. Thoughts of baking, shopping, visiting, snow, and love fill my head. ('Tis the season, after all!)
5. I wish I could wear funky colored hair.
6. Bagpipes remind me of parades and men in kilts.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting more sleep! tomorrow my plans include hopefully visiting with my family and setting up our tree, but that depends on how my brother feels... and Sunday, I want to either clean and veg, or do the Saturday thing if they can't make it tomorrow!

Check out Friday-Fill Ins HERE... :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

These *R* A Few of My Favorite Things...

So, I was visiting a good bloggy friend of mine, Aubrey, over at The Fam Five, and she had participated in this fun post about her favorite things... The twist on it is this: you have to list ten of your favorite things that only begin with one letter.

Aubrey had an *I*. And she did *I*ncredibly *I*ngeniously with her list, if I do say so. Many of the things on there are things that I might say I love, too! Internet, ice cream (who doesn't?!?), iPod, Iron Chef... I won't give away her whole list, but it was pretty good. She asked any of us who wanted to rise to the challenge to give a *holla* and so I did...

And I got an *R*.

So, without further adieu (SIDETRACKED: is this the right way to spell this TYPE of adieu? I know it means "good-bye", but does it also mean "rambling on unnecessarily"? hmm...) here is a list of my favorite *R* things. At least, these *R* my favorite *R* things that I can think of *R*ight now. heh. In no particular order, other than the order in which they popped into my head...


Reading. I have always loved to read. I have so many books on my shelf that I haven't gotten to yet, it is *r*idiculous. A few favorite authors are: Jodi Picoult, Chuck Palahniuk, Gregory Maguire, Stephanie Meyer (yes, Twilight... lol), JK Rowling (oh shush!), Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, James Patterson, Francesca Lia Block...


Rest and/or Relaxation. Don't get much of it these days, but when I do... it is great! Who doesn't love to sleep... or curl up on the couch and veg with no obligations?


Reese's. Especially cold ones. They are oh so good.


Ribs. I am a sucker for some awesome, on-the-grill-all-day, meat-falling-off-the-bones ribs. Yum. Yum.


Running the dishwasher. Yes, you heard me. I am a little bit happier every time I turn that knob. That means less chores for me, fewer dirty dishes, more time to spend with the girl... it's all good, see?


Recipes. This is kind of cheating, because I'm using it to mean cooking and baking and in general, having fun in the kitchen. Although I couldn't do any of this without the recipes. I mean, I sorta could now, but before I ever used recipes to cook, you would NOT have wanted to try something I came up with on my own (it may have looked something like the recipe above, lol). Now that I have some experience WITH the recipes, I am better at inventing yummy things. So recipes= good. We have to eat, and it's better to have fun with it and try new things.


Raising my kiddo. Sometimes it's hard, sometimes it's frustrating... But it is always *R*ewarding, and I am always grateful for having her in my life. I couldn't imagine being without her.


Rewards. I am one of those survey-filler-outer, points-racker-upper people. I am a member of Upromise- which helps you save for your kids' college; Mypoints, which rewards you with gift cards once you've racked up a certain amount of points through doing any number of things, including surveys, online shopping, clicking on ads, etc.; and a bunch of survey sites, the best of which is Pinecone Research, which pays you $3 each time you fill out a survey, on top of at times sending you free products that are still in the development stage to try out and give feedback on.


Recycling and Reusing. Whenever I remember to do this, it makes me feel all nice and good and like I'm doing something to help the world. Which is a nice feeling. We have been trying to bring those reusable bags to the grocery store, and we have to go to the dump now for certain things anyway, so I like to try and recycle what we can when we go...


Riches. Both the show "The Riches" with Eddie Izzard (who is so freakin hilarious, if you haven't seen him before, YOU MUST. Go. Rent. Laugh. Be happy.) and real-life, actual, in your hands, cash money, riches. As if I have those. But someday, I hope to... And when I do, I know I WILL love them, trust me! hehe.

...So, there they *R*. This was a lot harder than I thought. I guess there aren't a ton of *R* things that make me so happy I dance and pee in my pants a little. But there *R* a few. Okay. I'll stop with the *R* now. *R* you annoyed yet?

PS: Let me know if you want to participate in this little listy! I swear I'll go to to pick your letter so you don't think I'm evil if you end up with, like... X. Or Z. And, just to be nice, if you don't think you can come up with ten for your first letter, I'll give you a new letter. But only once. Come on, we can't just keep picking letters here, that wouldn't be random enough! ;) *R* you up for it?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not Ready for a Winter Wonderland...

It's snowed here two out of the past three days.
My daughter has had to wear this getup:

on numerous occasions already.

The air smells cold and crisp each day, no longer the glittery golden of fall. The clouds are aching to burst with a big bout of this heavenly dandruff, flakes of condensed water, shaking it all over our withering foliage. I cross my fingers that this winter won't be like last, the ice-age encasement of our entire lives keeping us trapped in our homes, our driveways not plowed, our roads unmanageable and untraversable. Normal activity ceased and forced to conform to the whim of Mother Nature.

I wake to my car encased in an armor of frost crystals, ice-princess pretty but it doesn't feel quite as good as it looks. If we want to be comfortable on our drive, we have to ruin the beauty.

Days of fleeting warmth, walks on the green sipping iced tea and watching the girl run freely, so happy, have passed for this year. Farmer's Markets have shut down for the season. Foliage has come and gone, and I have missed the photos I promised myself to take. We get home and it is dark, too dark for the park, too dark to feel like you can do anything, too dark to spend that quality time on the swing-swing with Bendy Ruggles...

Am I the only one who isn't ready for the winter right now?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #9

1. Please feel free to DWAP my department director on the noggin today! He got on my nerrrvvveesss.... I'm SO glad it's Friday right now!
2. When I am burning a wax tart in my house I can't help sniffing it occasionally.
3. My favorite thing to cook is depends on my mood. But I love me some baking... I could go for some more of those cinnamon buns right now!
4. The holidays is are something I can't get enough of.
5. That's the thing I love most about the winter season.
6. Every time I talk to my landlord always makes me think to myself, what the heck?
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to dinner and maybe some shows, tomorrow my plans include cleaning and maybe going to pick up a xmas tree on sale at Big Lots and Sunday, I want to veg around and play with the Bendy Ruggle!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #6- Thanksgiving Edition!

The Thanksgiving Edition!! Can you believe it's only TWO WEEKS away?!?!

Here are my 13 FAVORITE THINGS TO DO on Thanksgiving

(1) Give Thanks. For my family, my health, my job, my friends, and (of course) for good food. This seems a little obvious, but it popped into my head first... and I know if I don't mention it, everyone will be all "don't-you-at-least-give-thanks-on-the-special-day-set-aside-for-doing-so-you-(insert expletive here)?!" So I'm saying it. The most obvious thing. And I'm even saying it first.

(2) Watch the Macy's day parade. Or at least parts of it. But I am seriously upset if I miss it all, which happened to me one year! It's something I can remember doing when I was itty-bitty at my Nana and Pep's house every year, watching and ooh-ing and aah-ing over the ginormous (*yes, that's a word in my eyes!*) floats and waiting, waiting for Santa...

(3) NOT watch football. In fact, I'd MUCH rather be helping in the kitchen than watching football. I know, I blaspheme. So sue me.

(4) Play outside with the kiddos! This sometimes takes the form of tossing a ball around, or playing tag, or hide and seek... But we try and get at least a little bit of air, since we're all cooped up in the house together, and it's usually one of the last days of the year that you CAN play outside without getting super-soggy-nasty feet from snow.

(5) CHOW DOWN! This should rightfully be higher up on the list, but we don't want to seem gluttonous, now do we?? Food is always a first priority on this holiday! I can almost smell the turkey now... mmm....

(6) Card games with the fam. Shanghai, anyone?

(7) Listen to Christmas music on the ride! Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday season... and we all know just how much of a CHRISTMAS lunatic fanatic I am. :P

(8) This is a new one, starting last year- dress up the Bendy Ruggle! It's always fun to do the mini-fashion show.

(9) Be family photographer. I just love taking pics. I'm sure I'll get shots this year of tryptophan-induced comas (BTW, I saw this on mythbusters and it's not true, unless you ate ONLY turkey and a lot of it... so stop blaming your laziness on the turkey, people!), gravy grins and post-meal vegging out.

(10) Try and decide WHICH of the 1,356,467.7 fabulous desserts I will allow to enter my body. I usually end up slicing a small piece off of a number of them, cuz let's face it, it's pretty impossible to choose just one.

(11) Take home some toot-kay! Nana makes the best, and she usually makes extras for this occasion, because she knows everyone will be fighting over the leftovers otherwise!

(12) Ponder what I will be buying the next day on the most nightmarish best shopping day of the year! Yes, I will be up and out of the house by 4:30 a.m. on Black Friday. No, I am not crazy. Yes, my Mom is coming as a shopping partner. No, I haven't figured out yet how I'll get HER out of bed and out of the house by said time! I'm working on some funky new wake-up-calls... heh.

(13) And lastly, I like to... drumroll, please... GO TO BED EARLY!

Come on, I'm getting up at 4 a.m. the next day! And I did eat a TON of turkey. Who believes those mythbusters, anyway? hah.

Butterfly Award

w00t w00t I got another award from Judi over at Where The Road Takes Us. Thanks Judi, you are so sweet! I love your blog, too!! :D

Now, here are the *rules* that go along with this award:

Rules if you choose to participate

1. Put the award up on your blog
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
3. Nominate at least seven other blogs
4. Add links to these blogs on your blog
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog

And I pass this award along to:

Dr. Cason
Aubrey at The Fam Five
Elizabeth at Three Channels
Issa at IssasCrazyWorld
Texan Mama at Who Put Me In Charge of These People?
Kyla at The Journey

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesdays #10- Playing House

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Birthday Weekend Post

(A peek at some lingering foliage in Nana and Papa's yard.)

So, last weekend was a blast! A little crazy, but fun nonetheless.

We did the whole trick or treat thing on Halloween (Friday) night, which you can experience second-hand through the post below... Down there... Keep scrolling. See it?

Saturday we hung around the house and I got the necessary cleaning done. Okay, most of the necessary cleaning. The damned kitchen floor is still filthy, but I am pretty much on strike when it comes to that. At least until I start feeling grit beneath my toes when I walk out there. Then I'll be sufficiently disgusted to yank out the ol' mop and bucket to do the maid good housewife thing. Ilyana spent most of the day:

Sitting in front of our computer watching "doo doo doo doo doo Dora!" in her pj's...

Attacking me with booger-nose kisses/ leftover breakfast face....

And stuffing her face with tomatoes at lunchtime. :D

Later that day, we headed down to Nashua to pick up my new cell phone (woooo!!) and eat a nice pot roast meal that my Stepdad David made for me. My brother Mitch came over for dinner, and after we ate and he went home, we all sat down and watched "The Happening" since my parents hadn't seen it yet. Most of the pictures I took that night didn't come out for some reason, so here's what I got.

Uncle Mitch tries to tempt Ilyana with the Halloween spider. It didn't work.

In fact, she was not too happy about it at all.

But she let her friend, the rat, try and scare the spider away.

I told you it wasn't much for pics. I must have been too busy enjoying myself and checking out my new phone to take that many photos. Don't worry, I made up for it the next day- when we went to visit Will's side of the family...

My MIL Patti made a great ham dinner for us! (Thanks again Mom :D) Complete with rolls, potatoes, fried carrots, raisin sauce and homemade pumpkin cheesecake... mmm.... I didn't get a picture of the ham (which is funny, since it was my favorite part... guess we were too busy chowing down on it to get any photos.) but here is a small idea of what the meal was like:

Momma Patti taking the warm rolls out of the oven. She threatened my life and/or the life of my camera if she was to make an appearance on my blog. So if I suddenly disappear, you all will know where to look first for my body... :P

Couldn't wait till they were off the stove to take a pic!

Homemade Pumpkin Cheesecake. Yummmm yummm... :D

We spent the rest of the day catching up (it had been way too long since we'd seen them!), visiting and playing with the kiddos- Ilyana and Kaden enjoy each other's company so much, it is just too adorable!

Kade shows Illy how to use the blocks

So she goes and grabs some for herself!

He stacks the blocks...

And she stacks the blocks!

They both love technology, too. Kaden spent much of the day trying to snap shots of me with Papa Dave's camera while I was trying to snap shots of him.

Doesn't he look like a little angel?

When he didn't have the camera in tow, he had to at least drag along his fake pink cell phone.

Bendy Ruggles wanted in on some phone action, too. But only because it's fake. If someone were to actually be trying to talk to her on the phone, she would most likely run away and refuse to say hi. Cuz that's how she rolls.

Illy was pretty fascinated by the swirling colored lights in this wand. And being able to press the "buttin" was a super bonus.

She also really enjoyed climbing up and down the stairs (with Dada's supervision, of course!)

Nana and Papa: OMG, Jade, Will! Look, over there! It's.....

A (really cute little) POWER RANGER!

All that playing and running around really wiped Bendy Ruggle out. So what's a girl to do?

Grab a monkey, make a face...

And tuck yourself in with big pouffy pillows on the couch!

I was so grateful to get to spend the whole weekend with so many people I love... My mom and stepdad, brother, mother and stepfather in law, my nephew, and- as always-

My wonderful hubby...

And my beautiful, beautiful Bendy Ruggles. <3
Creative Commons License
This work by Jaden Brulotte is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.