Monday, June 28, 2010


Payton Rae rockin my fedora
Ainsley Lee lookin like JLo
Natalie Marie moochin like Blue Steel
Quinn Paul playin happy in the pool

Monday, June 21, 2010


Inspired by my friend and coworker, Miss Nikki, I've decided to insert a random poll.

Tell me one thing you prefer in vanilla versus chocolate.

When I was asked this question, I couldn't come up with anything. Why would anyone want vanilla when they can have chocolate? That was the rhetorical question that popped into my head as my answer. Since I'm a chocoholic, I'm biased and therefore I'm polling the masses. Surely others will have legitimate answers to this completely pointless poll. Please, do tell yours.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I love my husband… because he makes me giggle. Countdown to Canada: T minus eight days.


It's our fault really. We told them to kennel up…


I think… I think it's time we clean out our gutters.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Wednesday, April 7th, 2010, a memorial service was held for Dad. Thursday, April 8th, 2010, Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Prior to this, Shawn and I always talked about how lucky we were. We had our family, our friends and we all had our health. Partially because of this luck and partially because I'm just paranoid, I was always fearful of when the other shoe would drop, so to speak. Easter weekend, I took a sucker punch to the stomach, grew an ache in my heart and ended up barefoot, without warning. Luckily, I had my soul sister in front of me, my husband walking on one side of me and my Mom on the other. A Mom who despite her own health issues, drove in the middle of the night to be by my side. A Mom who remained by my side while I said goodbye to Dad. A Mom who put herself aside to care for the rest of us. A Mom who has since survived cancer.

The lump was stage 1, grade 2; the most optimistic of diagnoses. As quickly as the news was delivered, the lump was removed. The tissue surrounding it was deemed negative and Mom was officially on the road to recovery. Fast track to present day and radiation treatment is underway. I cannot speculate how things are going because I can't imagine having to go through it. I do know this, I'm now by Mom's side. It was easy to fall in step beside her knowing without a doubt, she'd be okay. Quite frankly, she has to be because I selfishly say so dammit. I know what I say has no real legitimate pull on the weight of the world, but I like to say it anyway. My Mom is my world.

Call me a sappy sucker but even this cynic can't continue this post. Frankly, there really aren't words left to describe what my parents mean to me. My feelings are unexplainable and irreplaceable. Ironically, now a new lump has formed. It's the lump in my throat. It generates from the bruise on my stomach, from the ache in my heart and from my feet that are still bare. Luckily, Mom and I wear the same size shoes.

Okay, I've swayed the tears, time for something funny. Leave it to Mom's monkeybutt, Ainsley, to return my smirk.

"Whatchutalkinbout Gramma?"

Monday, June 14, 2010


In addition to the grilled cheese and french fries I eat, I veer off Maturity Main Street toward a few other alleys in life that are probably considered childish. I choose to coin these things, "reconnecting with my youth." These are the few things I do just because they make me feel like a kid again and therefore, make me smile. Case in point: I buy and wear cartoon band-aids. My reoccurring friend: Scooby Doo. My current infatuation: Toy Story.

I think everyone should do one or two or many things a kid would do. Everyone should do something silly for no other reason then it makes them smile. I dare you to look down at Buzz Lightyear on the same finger as your wedding ring and not crack a grin.

Tell me something you do that might be considered childish but always makes you smile?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I have wanted to pierce my nose since just after high school. The idea has come and gone every so often or on an occasional birthday. Finally at the ripe old age of 28, I bit the bullet.

Back track one night.

We were sitting at the Woodruffs for an impromptu Friday night happy hour and somehow nose piercing came up. I again voiced my desires for my nose as the conversation continued it's journey along the sporadic lines of topics between the participants. The next day I was at Home Depot on my pot search when Sara called and asked how serious I was about getting my nose pierced. I said "Completely!" With that we made plans to meet up in 10 minutes and head to get 'er done. A hop, skip, jump and jaunt to Uptown later, we ended up at Saint Sabrina's with an appointment to get a nostril piercing (that was the technical term) from a guy named Nate.

After I signed my life away we headed upstairs to the room, which coincidentally, came with a bed to lie down on. It felt just like a medical room and was just as, if not more, sterile. As I watched Sara lie down to get her current nose piercing changed, I was slightly startled. Nate had stuck a very large, somewhat intimidating rod up her nostril. 10 seconds later he was done. It was a bit frightening but done in the blink of an eye. With her new piercing in place, I stepped up to the plate next and felt an intense urge to want to blow my nose. I couldn't recall any previous occasions where someone was going to be looking straight up my nose, on purpose. With no tissues in sight, I surrendered my self consciousness to the expert. Nate cleaned around the area, drew his little dot and told me to check it out in the mirror. I gave my two thumbs up and took my place lying back down on the table. I was staring up at the lovely photo he had taped to the ceiling when he told me to take a deep breath, I felt a pinch, I let my held breath out and then a quick sharp pain came through my nose, followed by a flood from my left eye. That was it.

I was done. It was done. I had my little diamond bling all up in my nose. I looked in the mirror and saw a big ass, cheesy grin staring back at me. Ever since, I can't stop looking at it in the mirror or out of the corner of my eye. I love it. I've gotten used to the cleanings and questions about when I got it done or if I've always had it. Overall, I'm stoked. I can't do Zoolander as well as Shawn can but below is my best attempt.
If you dare, you can click on the photo for a larger (and more unattractive) view


Even though the post title says wordless, I feel a caption is at least necessary. I stumbled across this photo while checking up on Mandi's blog process. It's from the grumpy grandparents 50th anniversary celebration. It just makes me smile. The socks and sandals, the hat, the buttons on the hat, the pen in the pocket, the posture… I only hope I'm this content and happy 50 years in to my marriage.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Dad turned 51 on Sunday, May 30, 2010. I'm sure you're supposed to say, "would have turned," but I haven't yet come to terms with such verbiage (and frankly I don't care to) so you'll just have to pardon the grammatical inaccuracy. To me, sadly, it still seems as if Dad is on vacation. I know we spent the worst weekend of my life in a hospital, I know we had a visitation and a funeral, I know we had a small luncheon after. I just feel like, okay, we did all the pomp and circumstances and now we can go back to normal. It's not final. It's not my new reality. I'll see him again.

Over the past couple of months though, that mentality has been challenged. I've learned that after a short duration of time, there's a big drop off in communication. One minute you are surrounded by friends and family and the next you're back home and back to work. Life returns to some version of what "normal" used to look like. It's just as surreal as the tragedy. Then, it happens. Small little events creep into your everyday life and force you to acknowledge Dad is in fact, gone.

There was the first time someone asked me about my parents and if they lived close by and I had to use the words "passed away."

There was the time our water heater just started running nonstop and all of our water turned blazing hot and we had a constant stream in the basement. My instinct was to call Dad. Dad will know what happened and what to do. Instead I had to call a plumber and pay for a new one.

There's also every time I step into my kitchen. Dad did the kitchen. The perfect result wouldn't have been possible without him.

Then there's every time someone asks about the green band I wear on my wrist or the green ribbon I pin to my shirts. Everyone has heard of the yellow bands from Lance Armstrong so they automatically associate it with an organization and ask what I'm supporting. I usually just have to say: "My Dad was an organ donor." That's all the farther I get before I get the sympathetic head tilt and weary smile. Not to mention every time I look down at it, I think of him. Ironically, his favorite color was green.

Then of course there was his birthday he wasn't around to celebrate with. We were advised to do something fun to celebrate. Get out and be happy for the day. We did. When we got home we watched the Twins game, grilled out, played a round of Cornhole and a marathon game of Catch Phrase. I was all smiles until I read some of the clues. Shawn had to try to get me to guess "father-in-law" and I had to get Tammy and Ty to guess "Easter" for example. We made it through the game, I managed to smile, laugh and have fun until the end, and then I escaped safely to my room before I melted.

That's the bizarre part. The sadness strikes you at the oddest times and always unannounced. The happiness has just as peculiar timing though. I'll be sitting at work listening to my iTunes and Spirit in the Sky comes on and I involuntarily start tapping my foot and smiling. Not all songs have this effect or I would walk around with my iPod in my ears at all times. I still haven't brought myself to listen to Piano Man. Mandi posted the lyrics on FB on the day of his birthday. Reading that was hard enough.

Needless to say I'm still wallowing in self-pity. I'm okay with my wallowing though because I have acknowledged it. I haven't come to terms with my new reality but I know it's okay not to for now. Ask me in a year. Ask me after Father's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter. There's no manual but as Shawn always tells me, however I react or whatever I do or feel will always be right. So I'll just keep on keeping on.

I have to apologize for what seems like such a grim posting. Normally I would shy away from posting something so personal but it's still such a dominate part of my personality these days I couldn't ignore it or his birthday. You need to know there is also tons of good going on, it just doesn't negate the void. The crowds and questions have dissipated but my love has not. So, at the very least, I need to publicly say (although like me, Dad would hate the attention): I love and miss you Dad and I hope you did something fun to celebrate your special day!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


It all started with a box. A Kleenex box. This is the Kleenex box that inspired my now infamous bathroom. It's what I took into Sherwin Williams the day I went in search of paint. It's what turned my color wheel green, bright green. It's what's caused either joy or horror when visitors have entered or used our facilities. No matter others verdicts, personally, I love it.

I'm sorry to report, tragedy has struck Ruggles Street. I can no longer find this Kleenex box, anywhere, to purchase. Ever since the bathroom has been painted, I bought this exact box every time I went to Target. Sometimes I would come home with five boxes. When we went grocery shopping, I would have to stop in the tissue isle to see if there were any. Shawn would keep walking on with annoyance but it was the highlight of my market experience. I had a store-stocked shelve in my linen closet. Now, this very box you see above, is my last. In honor of it's apparent discontinuation, below is my homage to it and it's inspiration… my bathroom.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Staci over at Our Happily Ever After awarded me with the Honest Scrap Award. Part of accepting the award is telling 10 things about yourself. Instead of over thinking these (like I would tend to want to do), I'm going to rattle 10 things, off the cuff.

1. I hate pretreating laundry. There are four loads in my house. Whites, darks, reds and jeans.

2. Clutter=chaos

3. Dogs are THE best therapy.

4. I just pierced my nose on Saturday.

5. I'm currently self conscious about my feet. Sand volleyball and pedicures do not mix.

6. I have a new found love for onions. Cold, red onions are the best.

7. I still balance my check book.

8. My hair is the longest it's ever been and I love it.

9. I'm currently addicted to the Whip It soundtrack, K'naan's Wavin' Flag, the movie 27 Dresses (although I don't know why because I relate more to cynical man than the main actress), the Challenge on MTV and animal crackers for breakfast.

10. I enjoy blogging. I hate Facebook.

My top fave blogs (in no particular order) that I'm now presenting this award to:
Journe On by Sara
In the life of DREW by Drew
Two Plus One Makes Three by Jordan

I'd like to add a fourth in hopes that she will again be a part of the blogging world:
Team Cornstuble


I am a plant neophyte. I don't know how it happened. My grandma has plants, my mom has plants, my sister has plants. Somewhere along the gene pool my green thumb hitchhiked elsewhere. Until this year. A few months back I made the conscious decision to familiarize myself with some foliage for inside the house. Having no idea where to start, I called Mom. She trekked it up north one Saturday and I came home with four plants, four pots and some potting soil. Over the months, all but one have survived. The fallen was actually due to a broken pot incident, I believe involving Norman. For a beginner, I'd say my record is pretty par for the course.

Last April after my Dad's passing, I inherited about a dozen more plants. Plants of all shapes, sizes, colors and instructions. This dozen sat on my buffet and surrounding floor for close to two months. Until last Saturday. After donating about three or four plants to the neighbors, I went in search of pots for the rest. I hate shopping for pots. Hate. Loath. Would rather shop for anything else. They are so expensive! I never know what size to get, what material, how tall. Plus, I just plain can never find them.

My search started at Home Goods. Cheap was the name of my game and this store is pretty affordable. However, they had squat. Next was Target. I came out with one pot. Discouraged, I then visited Pier One. I don't know why I bothered. They had less then squat. After a quick Taco Bell run, my next stop was Home Depot. I knew Home Depot had pots because that's where I purchased a few of my beginners. I also know when I say pots are expensive, I'm specifically referring to Home Depot pots. As the karmic gods would have it, I remembered a $20 gift card to Home Depot that had been burning a hole in my billfold for months now. That and a helpful tip from a neighbor about a 3-for-1 deal on pots at the grocery store, I scored six pots for $30. If you know pots, you know that's a deal. We're talking good pots here too. Ceramic, pretty colors, drain trays attached; the works. I was elated to finally scratch this task off of my to do list and clear the clutter off of my buffet.

Disclosure: Luckily, no four-legged friends ever thought about marking a single plant. 

Kitchen atop the fridge - with a nice yellow leaf I just noticed
Norman and Leo's room atop the shelf
Guest room against the wall - no easy feat to move I might add
Guest room atop the night stand - I have the least confidence in this plant
The only plant to stay atop the buffet
My original favorite atop the entertainment center - although it just keeps losing leaves lately
This is one of my originals that had to be re-potted twice thanks to the Normster

The craziest plant I've ever seen sitting atop my one and only plant stand - I figured this one was safest near the floor due to it's intimidating appearance


You might also like: