Tuesday, December 28, 2010


The following are not pretty pictures but they are the pictures of progress. We have made steps towards finishing our basement. Again, nothing beautiful but both deemed structurally necessary.

First, we put in an egress window. Check that. Handyman A1 Services put in an egress window. It's Andersen like the rest of our new windows and it looks out onto a lovely steel surround accentuated by a steel ladder and right now, some snow. Aside from the nonstop digging by hand our faithful contractors did, it seemed to be a pretty easy, seamless process. One still better left to experts, however, since it involved cutting into our foundation. End result: We can now, legally, put a bedroom downstairs thus converting our three bedroom home to four.
The newest Andersen

Then, after great debate and much deliberation and discussion among us, neighbors, friends, coworkers, family and experts, we decided to go ahead and install some drain tile. Again, we didn't, G. Gardner Concrete and Water Proofing did. It seems rare on Ruggles to waterproof our seemingly dry basements but we wanted to insure the money we'll be investing in this redo and like they always say, better to be safe then sorry. It was a less glamorous project then even the window. It involved two days of jack-hammering, hand removal of concrete slabs, laying of PVC piping, new concrete and then there was the dust, everywhere. They did their best to shield our belongings from all the dust but to no avail, most things downstairs are a slightly lighter shade then what they started.
The new concrete slope that surrounds all four walls

Forgive me, the following photo is upside down and I'm too lazy to fix it. Who cares, it's not pretty either.
Our brand new, beautiful sump pump

Both projects were granted permission by the city of Roseville and their subsequent permits and both were inspected as being completely up to code and shall we say, perfect? We are very satisfied with the work done and would recommend either contractor to anyone. Next up, designing a floor plan. We finally took an hour last night to completely measure out the basement and it's now my duty to take those numbers and draw an accurate representation using floorplanner.com. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Jordyn Grace DeBoer was born on Wednesday, November 17th. Team DeBoer had to wait 10 whole days to exchanged acquaintances with her on Saturday, November 27th. She's the cutest, littlest, quietest baby girl we've ever seen! Props go to her parents for adorning her with Hawkeye black and gold in honor of the Iowa versus Minnesota football game. Pity it didn't work in their favor. She must have known Minnesooootans were in town. *muah-aa-aa*

It's been so long since I've seen a newborn I forgot out teeny tiny they are. The only thing not small are her dimples! I'm inspired to see the DeBoer dimples were passed down! Granted you can't really see hers right now unless she wails or has gas, but trust me, they're there and they're adorable. She's even got a chin dimple thanks to her Maumma. You wouldn't think a baby could have that many cute features but you'd be wrong. She's perfect, healthy and most importantly, very loved.

We've had the pleasure of seeing her since our initial visit and look forward to all visits to come. We have a love/hate relationship with Interstate 35.  

Pay no attention to the dweebazoid… just appreciate the whimsical baby.

She's Chuck Norris Approved.

The rule: if she's poops when you're holding her, you get to change her. What if she poops while you're changing her Uncle Shawn?

Dad came in to help a hysterical Jordyn. Do two DeBoers make a right? Scary.


Meet this year's Team DeBoer Annual Family Christmas Tree
I'm not a huge holiday fan to start with so the thought of having to celebrate Christmas this year just seemed… like a chore. So much so that I was ready to forgo getting a tree and decorating our house altogether. I'm not exactly sure what or when I changed my mind but I did and so we did in fact, get a tree. Shawn and I each dawned a pair of my Dad's old hunting boots and set out in the Camry to Hampton Hills Tree Farm to scope out and saw down our chosen tree. In keeping with tradition, it was freezing, it was snowy, it was fun. This is the first year the mister and I opted for a tree a little… different. For our fourth go-round, we chose a squat, small, short, toad-of-a-tree. And we couldn't be more pleased.

Notice there are no decorations near the bottom. Or as we like to say, there are no decorations at basset height. There were some but they've either been broken, chewed, ate or misplaced. I have to believe a majority have fallen to the newness of Leo but I can't let Norman off the hook completely. He's not the brightest light in the harbor therefore he could be peer pressured into doing something naughty. In fact, we've been witness to it on many occasions. Leo's definitely the leader and Norman's definitely the dopey follower.

Other then our toad, I did break out the stockings. It had to be done since this is the first year with our new fireplace. You'll have to be patient for photos of that later, if I can remember to take some. We added a fourth stocking for Mr. Leo and thanks to Shawn's brilliant idea, adequately labeled the stockings for the boys. See we have a couple of basset ornaments which are usually too heavy for the tree anyway. So instead, Shawn suggested we hang them with the stocking on our stocking holders to signify which belong to the dogs… since they're not labeled in any other fashion. It was perfect. Norman got the standing ornament with it's tail held high and Leo got the sitting ornament with it's stomach ready to be rubbed.

There. Now there is some semblance of Christmas in our house. It wasn't easy but it turned out to be just as fun and I'm glad we did it. My holidays will forever be different but there's one thing we can always do, we can always go cut down our Christmas tree. We did it every year in Dad's family and even though we thought it lame in our "cool" high school years, I'm so grateful for the tradition.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I dedicate the following photos to the Cornstubles in Virginia.

Shawn had to bribe the boys with Cheerios to get them to risk their "boys" to the frozen tundra.
This is where the sidewalk ends.
What appears of a car down the road.
This is looking from our garage, down the driveway to the street at the beast of a Cav.
This is obviously at the end of our driveway looking up at the fishbowl that is our house.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I apologize for the timing of this post, being so close to Christmas and all, but mental illness and tragedy don't seem to take time off for the holidays so neither should we when it comes to our family, friends, pets and any other loved ones we have. In fact, it's a great time to appreciate this said group of people, kiss and hug them, tell them you love them and find out how they're doing. Lord knows we don't need the holidays for this but take advantage of the timing when you get to see so many in such a lump sum.

I have the giant burden of filling an entire hand with the people I know who have loss their lives to suicide. It's hit home enough for me to draw the line and make it a personal cause of mine to educate anyone and everyone who is willing to learn about mental illness and it's correlation to suicide. Mental illness is a disease, often undiagnosed or untreated. It's this disease that is often times linked with suicide. It's this disease, which comes in many forms, that needs to be talked about. The stigma needs to be dropped. Period. Just like any other disease, those affected by mental illness do not chose to be so. It's beyond their control and the last thing they need is to be judged for it. They need to know they're not alone, frankly, it's not uncommon, there is help and countless people really, really care.

I am not an expert, a scientist or doctor. I by no means claim to know anything about what anyone is going through or the problems they face or the obstacles they're up against. I'm looking to merely be a messenger of greater resources so that a conversation can be had. One of the greatest resources I've found is the organization SAVE. There are many more such as National Suicide Prevention Hotline and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Let these be educational resources as well as sounding boards for any concerns or questions. They're also great tools to find local fundraisers and benefits happening in the name of suicide prevention. You can help raise funds, honor a loved one or learn more about these organizations through these events. Nothing seems better to help a person know they're not alone then when a mass of people can get together and say so.

Personally, I deal with anxiety and OCD, literally. Over the past year I've seen a counselor, started taking Celexa (anti-anxiety medication) and started running and doing yoga. I'm hitting my issues hard with a three-headed monster because I no longer fear it and know there are steps I can take to help myself. I'm sure I make some people uncomfortable by being so blunt and candid but I'm not trying to brag, toot my own horn or receive attention. I'm just saying it's okay to have these issues (many people do or have worse), to talk about them and to find resolve. I also know I will not need medication forever, but for however long I do need it, it's okay. I had to deal with some personal stigma at the onset of my journey but I've learned so much since then it's made an astronomical difference in how I feel about it or deal with it. I also know though, I'm one tiny, small, minuscule example in a world of examples which brings me back to my point. So many people are affected it's about time we start learning and more importantly, talking (or blogging).

Disclosure: Please know that I am not an expert on the subject, nor do I claim to be and anything in this post should not be read as factual. I am not a doctor, scientist, therapist or the like. I'm just a person affected by suicide looking to help educate others. Many are just the opinions of this mere person as determined by information I have read, learned or witnessed. Please seek expert help if needed or consult any of the sites listed for more information.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Reason I love Ruggles, number 720: Hockey

On the north side of the street, directly across from us, there is a family that creates a hockey rink in their backyard every winter. Okay, they don't technically reside on Ruggles, they belong to Summer, but we can still see their backyard from our house so I count it.

They are out playing hockey on that rink every, single, night. No matter the temperature, darkness of the sky or day of the week. If for some chance we decide to brave the elements and head outside, odds are we will be greeted by the sound of hockey sticks hitting the ice, kids bantering back and forth or their family dog barking and cheering from the sidelines. The sounds make me smile.

The kids are not inside playing video games, they are not planted in front of the tube watching mindless shows, they are not out running around causing trouble, they are out doing what kids in Minnesota do. They are playing hockey. They are getting old fashion exercise, engaging in friendly competition and honing in their skills. Listening to them play creates the only nostalgia I've been able to muster this winter season. While I think they're crazy for being outside is subzero temps, I appreciate their dedication, I acknowledge they're love for something simple and I'm deeply appreciative for the glimpse they provide back into childhood.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I've always said I'm not a fan of Kate Gosselin or the show she tortures her kids with. Having children should not put you on TV. People do it every day. I've also always said I'm not a fan of Sarah Palin. Worse then her politics is her current reality TV series. I've boycotted TLC for giving both these women their own series. Any station that stoops this low is not worth a moment of my precious time.

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, TLC went and effin combined them! Kate and her kids are visiting and camping with Sarah and her family. WTF. First of all, I shouldn't even know this! I don't watch the damn station, why is it being advertised elsewhere? How ridiculously low are people stooping? Second of all, I'm sure the exaggeration of how down right asinine this is is what will make people watch but I hope for the sake of entertainment, television and families everywhere, it doesn't.

Do your part. Revolt this episode. Revolt these shows. Revolt this station. If enough people stop watching they'll learn they are not important enough to be on TV, they are not the center of the universe and they are not entertainment empires. They are families and it's about time they just get back to that.

By the way, you  have no idea how hard it was for me to try not to use the word hate during this post. I think I'm a better person for it. So much so that maybe I deserve my own TV show.


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