Monday, November 30, 2009


Ruby got a lot of love and attention last week - I think today was kinda a shock for her to be hanging out with just me again.

A little bit "back woods"

If you've been reading my blog for more than a year, you may have noticed that my family can be a little bit "back woods" at times. We get together and say things like "Let's shoot some guns!" or "Hey mom, do you have any pumpkins that need demolished?" or "We should go to Lunkers." Here is another example, and another and another and here's one more.

Dad took us to Three Oaks to shoot clay pigeons this Thanksgiving. It was hilarious - it's kinda like golf, you go to 12 different "holes" and each player gets 8 chances to shoot 8 clay disks as they're hurled through the air one-by-one in every direction. Each "hit" gives you a point.

Shooting a moving target is not easy, but we had a great time together!!


I tried something new over Thanksgiving break.
I'd never shot a weapon quite like this one until now... and I must say, IT WAS AWESOME!! Have you seen the movie "Shooter"? That's what I felt like - except that my target was a pumpkin.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Piano Babies

My dad caught this precious moment of Ruby and her Uncle Aaron at the piano on Thanksgiving Day...
Ryan's mom showed me this picture of Ryan when he was a baby. I had to scan it for you - check out the exact head-shape similarities! CRAZY!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Ruby's got "go-go gadget" arms. She's discovered how to reach out and grab onto anyone or anything. In her bouncy seat she pulls all the animals off the bar and collects them in her lap. She loves the monkey best. When I tie them on really good she pulls herself up and swings by them.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Faux Thanksgiving

(Ryan Ruby and I, Michael Luke and Kim, Ryan Parker Bree and Cash, Scott and Heidi)

Last night we gathered with a few friends for one of the best Faux Thanksgiving dinners we've ever had. The food was seriously amazing... Kim made the most ridiculously delicious sweet potatoes I've ever had. Heidi provided a crazy good chocolatey walnuty pie and Bree cooked up an incredible bird.

Cash and Luke are some of Ruby's little buddies.
On the way there in the car I got a little teary-eyed thinking about how important my friendships are to me. Bree and Kim have walked through the first 5 months of Ruby's life with me and I love the examples that they are as mothers.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

Tonight I made something new for dinner - and it was good! The smoke billowing from the oven 1/2 way through the cooking process didn't seem to affect the end product at all!

You should have seen Ruby's face while I was trying to air out the kitchen. She was opening and closing her mouth, sort of like she was eating the air, but had a scowl on her face the whole time since it tasted like smoke and balsamic vinegar.

I said to her, "wipe that scowl off your face while mommy is trying to cook! You aren't helping the situation!"

Amazingly it was deliciously golden brown and Ryan loved it! Thanks for the recipe Breanne!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I was reading my friends Jen and Nic's blog this morning and learned about a website that lists "awesome things." I didn't think it would be that awesome, but then I read a few and absolutely agreed with the awesomeness.

A few of my favorites:
  • #654 Peeling that thin plastic film off new electronics
  • #668 Walking faster than cars sitting in traffic
  • #715 Looking at how much dirt came off something you just cleaned
go to to see the awesomeness for yourself.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Aunts, Uncles and Hairs

We made a spontaneous decision to drive to to Granger for a quick trip on Saturday. Got to spend a few hours with Angela and John.
My little sister (who has awesome hair) is having a baby in March. Ang is a natural when it come to all things Ruby, so I'm sure she'll be an absolutely incredible mom to their little one.
Speaking of Angela's hair - she has always been the adventurous one when it comes to hair. I, on the other hand, got a nice haircut in 7th grade and stuck with it until today. Long layers. Sometimes I wear it in a ponytail. That's it.

Ang is so good at changin' it up - she does all sorts of lengths, colors, styles, accessories, and even managed to pull of bangs without a hitch. She is the type of person who you see and you say, "Oh, I should get some bangs to look cute like hers!" then you do it and it's a major disaster. All of that is to say, I love her hair, because her hair is an outward expression of the beauty within her and she is carefree and fun and adventurous. She's a stylist/cutter/colorist, so if you want great hair too you can make an appointment with her at Radius Salon.

Love you guys! So fun to see you! Can't wait for Thanksgiving!

Ruby and I ran into Chris and his buddies Luke, Jacob and Josh in Holland on Friday. Such a fun crew... had to snap a pic!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday Thankfulness Thoughts

Things I'm thinking about and thankful for today:
  • I am thankful for my husband - that he loves me. There were many times in my life from 6th grade through college when I wondered if anyone would ever fall in love with me and all of my antics. I am so thankful that Ryan did! Yahoo!!
  • I am thankful for Costco. Ryan and I just became members a few months ago and we can't get enough of the place! Every time I go there I find something great - like the pink polka-dot socks I am wearing right now.
  • I'm thankful for headbands and pony tail holders. My hair has done some amazing things from the time I got pregnant until now. It got lighter, it got curlier, it never fell out for months, it all fell out over the span of 4 weeks, and now the pieces that fell out are growing back again. I seem to have the opposite of a receding hairline. I have new tiny bangs all around my head. It's an interesting look that I'm figuring out how to deal with.
  • I'm thankful for cribs. Ruby doesn't nap if she's not in her crib. This is a whole new ball game because she used to nap wherever and whenever she felt like it. In my arms, on the floor, in her car seat, in her stroller, at the restaurant, on a train... it was beautiful. Now, if I am out and about during the hours that she should be napping, she just bugs her eyes wide open and stares at me (sometimes for hours) until she gets so tired she can't sleep. The last couple of days this has happened and it's pretty much ruined her for the evenings because she is overtired. Basically, I need to adjust my lifestyle to her needs a bit more now. I need to plan our outings/play dates during times when she isn't napping.
  • As I mentioned before, I'm thankful for Ryan. This month he is doing a rotation in ID (Infectious Disease)... so he comes home each day, takes his scrubs off in the breezeway of our house and heads straight for the shower. He was on call last night in the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) and only got to sleep for about 30 minutes. I am thankful that he had this afternoon to catch up on some sleep. I am also thankful that he is so cautious about germs. Ruby hasn't ever been sick and it's really incredible!
  • Speaking of Ruby getting sick... sometimes I have dreams about losing her, forgetting her, or not being able to get to her when she's hurt. I've heard from friends that this is normal - it just makes me realize how much love I am capable of and makes God's love for me even more unbelievable. I am so thankful for the love He has for us, and want to be better at loving Him back.
  • I am thankful for great books. It's cheezy, but I love Karen Kingsbury. I can't read enough of her books. I fly through them - I think I am good friends with the Baxter family and forget they are made-up characters. Would you believe they came to mind when I was making my list of people to send Christmas cards to?
  • I am thankful for communication. Remember when cell phones were invented? The first one I ever saw was watching Saved By The Bell and Zach Morris had one as big as an old-skool walkie-talkie. Also, I'm over my texting limit until Nov 22, so if you text me... just call me instead for a couple of weeks. :o)
  • Thanksgiving is coming soon, which means I get to see my family! We haven't all been together since Aaron and Tracy's wedding - and I miss them so much! I'd be lying if I told you I never wish Aaron and Tracy lived closer, but then I remember that they are surrounded by incredible friends and family in Florida who love them, and they both have great jobs serving Christ together at Summit Church. They love being in Florida and I am happy that they love it there. It makes me even more thankful for whatever time we get to spend together.
What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ruby is Already 5 Months Old!

She turned 5 months old yesterday - so I thought it was time for another video montage.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Varmint - The Rest of the Story

So.... who wants to know the rest of the story??

Some people may have chosen NOT to video tape something like this, but I'm not some people.

Thank you Mr. Critter Control guy!

Varmint Sitch"eww"ation - the continuing saga

Ryan closed the door to the laundry room last night - because we just were not too sure that the little varmint was going to stay in the pipe. Ryan said he saw the little paws poking through between the bottom of the pipe and the top of the water heater. Closing the door was the best precaution we could think of.

This morning before MOPS I went downstairs to throw in a load of laundry, and when I saw the closed door I remembered he might be in there! I slowly bent down and peeked through the crack under the door to see if anything looked out of place, as if the squirrel would rummage through my laundry. Everything looked fine, considering my vantage point through the crack of the door. I proceeded to SLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYYY opened the door, assuming at any moment a chipmunk would jump on my face... but nothing happened. So I quickly opened the dryer door and ducked (in case he was in the dryer). Luckily at that moment I heard the scurrying scalliwag in the pipe again. I knew I was safe.
I think when the little guy fell into the chimney thing on our roof he had a bunch of nuts with him... because he is still making a racket in that pipe! He's got enough food for survival - which is fine, except that the guy is coming to get him out at 4 today and is expecting something dead.

Should be interesting.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


We've got a varmint in our house...

I was working out this morning and heard a weird sound... then I heard it again and again - so I slowly began walking around with my ear sticking out trying to ID the location. I quickly realized it was coming from the laundry room in the basement, and more specifically, from the pipe that is on top of the water heater.

Here's what I heard:
(This video is for listening purposes... the visual is bad because I didn't turn the light on the tried to fix the footage afterward.)

There seems to be something furious and furry stuck in the pipe. What do you think? A chipmunk? Mouse? Squirrel? He seemed to be getting madder and madder as time went by, but I didn't know what to do, so I went out for a walk with my friend Emily and her daughter Madelyn.

About an hour later I came home and took Emily downstairs to let her listen to the little buddy... but we heard nothing. Not a peep, squeak, scratch, or thump. So I reached out my hand and knocked on the pipe... still nothing.

Emily looked at me like I was crazy, so I showed her the video - then she said "Maybe he got out" which led me down the following thought path:
  • The varmint is loose, scurrying around my house and is probably going to jump on my face tonight while I'm sleeping.
  • The varmint fell into the water heater and is polluting tomorrow's shower time. Perhaps we need a "boil water" ordinance.
  • The varmint is dead in the pipe - and the pipe is pretty warm, so he's probably going to be stinking up my house really soon.
  • The varmint is not alone - he has a family with 106 baby varmints and they're probably in the walls throughout our house.
What should I do about this sitch"eww"ation?


I heard our varmint in the pipe again! Hooray! He's not loose in the house... however, I heard something running in the ceiling while I was in Ruby's room this afternoon. YIKES!! We've got an infestation!!

_____________another update________________

When Ryan got home from work I told him all about my adventures with the varmint and how it is probably going to jump on our faces tonight. His response, "Hunny, this isn't Christmas Vacation."

All I have to say is, 'Won't he feel just like Chevy Chase when a squirrel jumps on his face tonight!'

...and now I am going to try to go to sleep.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Afternoon Distraction. You're Welcome

Colbert Nation | Winter Olympics

I love Stephen Colbert. Last night on his show he announced that the Colbert Nation will be the official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Team for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. Here are some quotes if you missed it:

  • "On their enormous, billboard thighs, it will say, 'Colbert Nation.'" Colbert said in an interview before Monday evening's taping. "Be looking for that logo as it comes around the final turn. It will be easy to see because it will be in first place..."
  • "My character sees the Olympics as war, but nobody gets hurt," Colbert said. "It's a way to peacefully figure out who has got the top country."
  • "It still tragically involves a lot of Canadians," the comedian said. "It's kind of unseemly how many Canadians I'm going to have to be dealing with."

Fall Photos | Chris Cox

Don't these pictures Chris took make you want to be sitting on that bench by Amanda? I love it!
A bunch of Chris Cox Photography is hanging on the walls at Lemonjellos Coffee Shop in Holland. Stop in and check it out. Many of the pieces are available for purchase at rediculously low prices. They won't be so cheap for long - Chris is going to be a professional you know.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Weekend in the Windy City

Since Ryan has to work a couple of weekends each month, we've made it a habit of taking full advantage of the few weekends that he has off - and this weekend was no exception.

Friday night we drove to Chicago to stay with our friends Bryan and Michelle. They were our neighbors during med school and both graduated from Hope. Amazingly, we did not know them during college even though we were all there at the same time. Needless to say, we met them at church and became fast friends.

Michelle is a whiz with kids. She has lots of experience as an aunt and I loved seeing her with Ruby, and seeing Ruby's reactions to her.
Ryan and Bryan enjoyed all the things they used to do together - here they are getting ready for a run with Bailey the dog. You wouldn't think a tiny little dog could run 4 miles, but this one likes to!
Saturday afternoon we met up with Aaron, Ashlee and their 2 year old daughter Hannah. Aaron and Ryan were roommates during their first year at Loyola. Ryan and I got married and moved down the street from Aaron - then he married Ashlee and we all got to hang out all the time together. Ashlee is expecting their 2nd little girl in February. So exciting!
We went downtown for the architectural tour up the Chicago River and into Lake Michigan. It was chilly.... really really chilly - which is why Aaron is wearing a ski mask. Also, he is a dermatologist and is good at protecting the skin on his face.
We all had dinner together at Claim Jumper Saturday night, then after church Sunday morning we went out to brunch at Redstone. Our time together was short but we packed in lots of laughs and great conversation. We are so blessed to have these friends and are thankful for whatever time we get to spend with them.
"It's better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps. But if there is no one to help, tough!" - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (the Message)