Friday, January 30, 2009

Challenge to Kick-Start My Bloggy Blues :)

I went to visit Angela over at This Woman's Beautiful Life (click it, you won't be sorry! She takes AMAZING photos. And I'm reading her book right now, which is also fantastic!) and saw that she was doing this challenge- The One Word Challenge put on by the Shutter Sisters. I wrote in my comment to her that I totally admire her ability to commit- I always want to participate in fun photo challenges like this, but then my nerves get the best of me, I start worrying mine will suck, and I flake. I hate flaking.

Angela convinced me to give this one a go. I mean, what do I really have to lose? If I don't follow through, I'm only disappointing myself in the end. And it should be fun. Really.

Here are the rules (cut & pasted from the Shutter Sisters' post):

Here's how it works:

1. Pick a word that best represents you or your focus. Your word should inspire images throughout the month of February. If a word doesn't come immediately to mind, scan Ali's extensive list of words to inspire you.

2. Once you've selected your word, share it here in the comments or blog about it in your space and leave a permalink to your post here so we can go check it out. The project begins on Sunday, February 1, but you can join the project any time after this date.

3. On February 1, begin shooting images that visually represent your word. You can shoot, tag and share your best photographs in the Shutter Sisters flickr group every day or whenever you feel moved to do so.

4. TITLE each of your One Word Project images to include your word (e.g., Hope, Love, Courage, Peace). TAG each of your images as follows: "oneword (month)" (e.g., "oneword february", "oneword march", "oneword april", etc.). Tagging is important as it's the only way we can find and enter your images in our contest.

5. Beginning February 1, check the new One Word Project page daily within this site to see if your image is featured. The first award-winning photo of the month will be chosen by the Shutter Sisters team and announced on March 1, along with the new One Word Project for March.

We've created a discussion thread in the Shutter Sisters flickr group to manage questions and answers. If you have any questions, check for the answer or post your question here.

* * *

You can find out more about the prizes, how to enter, or any other groovy details on their post.

The word I chose for the month of February is... ::::drumroll please:::: GROWTH!

So I am going to begin taking my shots on Sunday. I will not flake. I will not flake. I will not flake. This is my mantra.

::Edited to add:: I am thinking I am going to post my pictures once a week, just so that I don't tell myself I'll do it every day. Cuz let's be honest, I won't. If I just post my seven pictures for the week at the end of the week all together, that will be best. Plus, I'm thinking I might be able to also do some kind of snifty voting thing where you all could give me feedback if you wanted and vote on your favorite for the week. Yeah, that would be cool. ::end edit::

If any of you like this challenge, please play along. I would love to see what some of my other bloggy friends would come up with. Plus, then I won't feel so alone. And that would be one MORE reason for me NOT. TO. FLAKE.

Here's me right now. I'm a little bit of this:

but even more of this:

Minus the rollers, which is a good thing for all, I think. :P

Friday Fill-Ins #12

I swear I am still here. I know, I know... I said it before. It's just that there's so much going on lately, so much to remember and so much to worry about that I keep forgetting to bring my camera to do my posts. I keep forgetting what I was going to write about. And when I sit down to do it, I am at a loss for words.

Work has been a little busier than usual this past week, and I have felt swamped around the house. We had no hot water for two days (which meant icyfreezingfreakincoldassinducehypothermia-type showers) but I can thankfully say that as soon as I called my landlord she did something about it. Which, if you know about our previous heat situation, was something we had reason to worry she would not do. She had a plumber out to our house at 8:30 pm on the second day. But that still meant my dishes had been put off, Illy's bath had been put off... So yeah. Got a little behind this week.

I'm here. Still breathing. Still hanging on. Still working in little bits towards our goals and still (as per usual) reading everyone else. You all make me laugh, and you give my days a little bit of a reprieve. For that, I thank you. Thanks for being you, and thanks for letting me bitch and moan, and for still visiting us over here at the Ruggle house. Stay tuned...

And now, for the FRIDAY Fill-Ins. (Can I get a woo-haaaaaaa for Fridays? Thankies.)


1. I'd really like a day at the spa right now. I could totally use the relaxation. And pampering. And prettifying. Let's face it, stress isn't the best makeup.

2. DAMMIT! is the word you'd most often hear me say if I stubbed my toe. Course, I could also let loose with a more vulgar choice. I'm not really thinking about what I'm saying when my toe. is. throbbing.

3. Possession is a generally over-punished drug law.

4. I never cared much for Captain Jack Sparrow.

5. Marshmallows and fire go together like peas and carrots. I couldn't help it, all I could hear when I read that was Forrest Gump sayin' "we go together like PEAS and CARROTS." Plus, I had peas and carrots with dinner last night.

6. Life goes on and on.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to seeing my brother and Mom, tomorrow my plans include cleaning, cooking and Wii'ing a little and Sunday, I want to veg and ignore the superbowl that will inevitably be on TV!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Quote of The Day

Since the Friday Fill-Ins author seems to be slacking this week (there aren't new fill-ins for today up yet) I decided to share an inspiring quote with you today.

I am sure you have all seen the commercials for the Foundation for a Better Life. They also have a lot of billboards across the country. (Here are a few of my favorites:)

One day, I got curious after seeing an ad and visited their website. I signed up to receive their daily quotes. I LOVE THEM. I use them as my status messages for AIM, Gmail, Twitter, Myspace, Facebook, etc. all the time. They are great reminders of what is really important and sometimes help me to take a look at my life and re-focus. So, without further ado, here is today's quote:

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.”

—Ayn Rand (1905-1982); novelist, screenwriter, playwright,

If you love this quote, visit their site. There, you can view their billboards, sign up to receive daily quotes or their GOOD NEWSletter, or get materials to bring to your or your children's school.

Now, don't you feel a little bit more warm and fuzzy? :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama's First Day :)

I just thought this was a cool little snippet of an article, and I wanted to share. :)

Bush Street Renamed Obama Street in San Fran

And here is his first signature while President of the United States. Pretty, isn't it?

Edited to add: You should definitely check out this Lost Inauguration Commentary by Issa. It had me rolling! Her kids are hilarious! Urethra Franklin. hee. hee.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Buzzing, Ecstatic, Overwhelmed, Elated...

That's how I feel right now.

I just watched the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America. The FIRST African-American President ever.

He speaks so eloquently. He has faith and confidence and family values.

He gives me hope.

It's time to remake America. It's time for us to once again stand up and be proud of who we are- the many varied faces of who we are- and what we believe in.

It's time.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #11

1. Enough with the cold cold weather! People, it was NEGATIVE 23 fahrenheit this morning on my way to work. NO JOKE.

2. Applying for a new job causes me to be conflicted.

3. I've been craving ice cream this week.

4. Owen's new pic on wishpot makes me laugh.

5. I wish I could go to England to visit Merry next week.

6. Taxes has have been on my mind lately.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Wii fit and chillaxing, tomorrow my plans include grocery shopping and hanging with the Ruggle and Dada and Sunday, I want to maybe clean some stuff... finish my book and relax some more!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday Thirteen #7- About This Month

You can grab this, or any of a bunch of nifty headers for Thursday Thirteen from Jenn.
Find other Thursday Thirteen participants here now.

Thirteen things I want to remember about the first month in 2009 when I look back someday...

(1) Ilyana had conjunctivitis and an ear infection... and she kept trying to attack us with her *ah-fly tisses* (butterfly kisses) when she had it! It's very hard to turn down that sweet little voice saying- "Mama, ah-fly, ah-fly tiss!" Usually I love her ah-fly tisses, but I wasn't needing to get the pinkeye myself :P

(2) She learned how to say thank you. God, it melts my heart when I hand her a sippy and she cracks a big grin and says "Tank you, Mama, tank you."

(3) I applied for a job as a writer/ assistant editor in the Periodicals department at my work. Trying to move on up in my career! I don't want to be an admin forever, after all...

(4) Bendy is still not a big fan of the snow. She doesn't like stepping on or in it at all. In fact, she makes us carry her to the car every day because she doesn't want to walk on it. And whenever it's snowy or she gets snow on herself, she says it's snowing.

(5) The way she looks in her new outdoor gear. I mean, not that I'm biased or anything *ahem* but she totally belongs in a magazine:

(6) Hasn't happened yet (Dada! haha ;P), but... it is the month of Barack Obama's inauguration. I have high hopes of what his term will bring our country. I just know this economic crisis will turn around and we will once again all be proud to be Americans.

(7) Illy got a new Dora tent house for Christmas that she loves and she always wants me to "Shake house!" The other night we went into her room and I went to pick the house up and realized she had put all her stuffies in there. Apparently they had been cast out from the bed.

(8) After Christmas was over (ok, I guess this isn't really this month, but the very end of last...) she thought travelling around to everyone's house visiting and getting presents was just her new life, not a special occasion. She woke up a couple days after Christmas and looked at me and said- "Momma, I want Cey-cey, I want Gump, I want Pep, I want Gammy, I want Nana, I want pess-ents."

(9) This is the month she decided she doesn't like regular milk anymore. She is constantly asking for *Choc-it milk* instead. I try to pull the wool over her eyes and pretend I put some syrup in, but that girl is too smart. She'll hand it back and say, "No choc-it. I want choc-it." Of course, her Dada doesn't help much with this one. I keep telling him we have to give her regular milk and not give in so she doesn't think she's the boss, but the minute I turn around, here she comes running and tells on him- "Dada choc-it." And then I look, and lo and behold- her sippy has chocolate milk in it. Hmm... wonder how that happened?

(10) Her and Deuce dingle are playing together more and more. She likes to chase him around with something- whether it be her shopping cart, her car, or another push toy object, she just can't get enough. And he loves it! He chases her around and butts her with his nose, and chases the balls she throws for him. They are buddies. He even sleeps next to her bed some nights.

(11) She is getting so crafty and smart!! The other day, she figured out that if she holds her hula hoop around her body, she has enough control of it to hold it above her head and switch the light on and off. She drove Dada Ruggle batty when he was trying to take a nap! She has also taken to saying "ouch, ow, ow, ouch!" at night when it's time for bed and she doesn't want to sleep, because she knows that we always come running when she says ouch. Last night she was saying it and I went in there and guess what was wrong?? The RUG was crooked. Ouch, indeed. :P

(12) She's getting pickier about food. It seems all she ever wants is chicken nuggets and french fries. At least, when I ask her, that's all she ever says she wants. Do all kids go through this phase, or is she really just way too familiar with those golden arches? While travelling for the holidays, I think I might have caved on the nuggets one too many times. :P

(13) I ran out of paid time off this month, and our fiscal year goes till July! ACK! Hope nobody else gets sick for the next six months... *sigh*

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesdays #15 Two Poohs and a Dada- NYE 2008

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Take 5 Tuesday!

This is the first time I am ever participating in Take 5 Tuesday. The basic idea is that every Tuesday, that site gives you 5 topics. You are supposed to write 5 things on each one, or if you don't want to do them all, pick a few and write 5 on those. So here goes!

Happy New Year!

Today’s topics:

5 things you did for new years.
1- Played Wii- Super Mario Galaxy, to be exact
2- Took pics of the Bendy
3- Vegged out
4- Missed the ball drop (again)... but at least we made it to midnight this year!
5- Ate food. Nom nom nom...

5 goals you completed last year.
1- Found a place and moved to be closer to my work.
2- Started a savings account and started putting money into it!
3- Finished paying off some old debts, started working towards paying off others...
4- Threw my girl her first birthday party!
5- Started my blog. I guess it wasn't a total goal before last year, but once I figured the whole thing out, it was a goal of mine to find my niche, find other blogs I liked to read, and make some cyber friends. Cuz I don't have many in real life. Sad, but true. Hey, that sort of makes me sound like a loser, so let me clarify. I don't have friends cuz I can never find the time to hang out, not cuz I suck. Just so ya know. lol.

5 goals you want to complete this year.
1- Pay off more debts!
2- Hopefully move up in my career and get that job I applied for... *fingers crossed*
3- Learn more about photography and manual settings. Practice, practice, practice and get better at this new hobby!
4- Learn more about making jewelry. Maybe create an etsy shop?
5- Teach Ilyana something new, and take her camping!

5 lessons you learned last year.
1- Keep believing.
2- Make the choice that feels right.
3- Love like it's your last chance.
4- Enjoy every moment.
5- Take too many pictures. You're sure to get your money shot this way! :)

5 things you didn’t do last year, that you want to do this year.
1- Camp! I already put this, but it counts again, right?
2- Go on a vacation somewhere...
3- Force myself to write more often. Get going on that poetry blog I started a looonnnggg time ago and never write in.
4- Finish reading the Twilight series!
5- Make more time for my friends :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Our Great Big Crazy Chaotic Christmas


Four sets of grandparents.

Two very tired parents and one girl.

One Christmas Eve sickness.

A few big surprises.

Infinite joy.

Christmas Eve at my Mom's.

It's a time for coming together


Chatting and catching up

New pajamas

*hers say "chillin' with my homies"*

and warmth.

Christmas morning is a huge event. Twelve relatives pack a living room already stuffed to the brim with presents.

Left to right: Cey cey, Mama ruggles, Bendy Ruggles and the Great Hush.

Scuncle Miles munches a bagel and strikes an "unposed" pose.

Uncle O-Dizz

Left to right: Uncle Matt, Scuncle Bobby and Uncle Mitch nabbed the couch.

Aunt Tam-tam getting to know her new purse :)

Me and the beautiful bendy ruggles.

Dada Ruggle and the girl.

Left to right one more time: Cey Cey, O-dizz, The Great Hush and Grumps

Stacks tower high above the children, and finding your designated *spot* is sincerely a free-for-all. Stockings are opened at once; the rest of the gifts are opened one by one so they can be fully appreciated and celebrated by all.

It goes a little something like this:

MAJOR GIFT ALERT: Hush opening a new computer from the entire family!

MAJOR GIFT ALERT: Cey Cey strums her new guitar from the Grumps!

After a major gift is opened, there is always some form of dancing, chanting and revelling. Observe the O-dizz busting out with an improvised hoe-down dance.

If any explanation is required, it will come in the aftermath of said revelling.

We always break for food at some point. There's no way we could make it through our six hour (on average) celebration without some fuel.

Bendy Ruggles and her plate of munchables.

Father and son :)

Looks like David was able to grab a spot from one of the boys when they got up for food. What's that cheesy saying? Oh, yeah. *You move it, you lose it*... Especially on Christmas!

Christmas at Cey Cey and Grumps' is a magical gathering of many crazy personalities, but that's what makes it so special.

When we finish our celebration, we are overwhelmed with love and gratitude- and not just a little bit tired. In fact, some of us are prone to just laying down where we're standing and taking a catnap:

But we can't sleep for too long! There are other celebrations to be had...
Off we go to Massachusetts to visit with camera-shy Nana and Papa, Auntie Brigitte and cousin Kaden. We had more joyous gift-opening time, and then we all began to feel a little bit like this:

So we had to take a little bit of time to relax and recover.

Dada Ruggle checking out one of his new books.

Ilyana having a sit-down moment.

What do you mean why am I not napping? This IS me relaxed!

By the next day, we were refueled enough to play for a while

before saying good-bye and heading off to visit Grammy and Pep!

Kaden kisses Ilyana good-bye.

At Grammy and Pep's house, Ilyana spotted the radio flyer horse that Nana had gotten for her right away and immediately hopped on.

She spent a big part of the night bouncing and rocking away.

Of course, she still found time to sit with her Dada for a while.

When she got tired, she snuggled down in the beautiful new sweater her Grammy made for her and hugged her momma for a bit.

This is tired...

And these two are love-snug-huggly.

I don't think she was the only one who was feeling a little tired, though.

Droopy Dru

Mellowed Momma

Pooped-out Pep

Mitch seems like he's struggling to stay awake...

Jack taking a break.

I think my stepmother Liz (Grammy) was the only one still up, around, and perky at this point. She was actually doing things, and since I was barely moving from the couch at this point, she doesn't show up in the pics :(

We spent the night with Grammy, Pep and the boys. Got a good night's sleep in a comfy bed and had a bunch of yummy food (my Dad makes a killer carbonara!)... The next day, we were rejuvenated enough to make the trek home with our load of booty, unpack it, and start setting up. Oh, and to start playing our new Wii, which was a totally unexpected and amazing gift from Cey Cey and the Grumps :) I heart Wii fit.

Our last stop for Christmas festivities was Nana and Bumpa's house. Illy had a big stack of gifts waiting for her and especially loved the kidz jam station. As soon as she ripped that paper back, it had her full attention:

Illy opens the jam station

And once Dada and Bumpa showed her how to use it, she was hooked.

Dada and Bumpa figuring out all the knobs, whoosiewhatsits, and doodads on the jam station.

Ilyana jams to her heart's content.

Of course, she pretty much loves to jam anywhere, anytime. So we had to let her get in on some Guitar Hero when we busted it out. Who knew that she'd bang those drums like such a pro?

Funky pic Dada Ruggle caught where you can see her drumsticks moving. That girl knows what she's doing, I swear!

Cutest drummer around.

Sweet and innocent, tired little ruggle.

That night, me and Dada ruggle had the chance to get out for a date night, which was wonderful as well. A nice cap to a wonderful, but tiring and crazy, Christmas celebration.

I love Christmas because it's the time of year when we step back, take a breather, and spend some time with the people who are always
there for us... because even though family is the most important thing in life, sometimes we take them for granted.
Creative Commons License
This work by Jaden Brulotte is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.