Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I know it's still early and not quite New Year's, but I decided to list my resolutions for the year so I can start practicing now. =)

1) No more yelling.

I starting watching "17 Kids and Counting" and Michelle Duggar doesn't yell.  Her niece Amy even goes so far as to say she's never heard her yell.  Granted, I wouldn't yell with a TV crew around, or even with other family members (maybe).  But I've come to the conclusion I do far too much yelling, and it's rubbing off on my kiddos.  "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." So, in 2011 I am going to consciously work to cut out the yelling and to speak quietly and calmly to my husband and children.

2) Exercise and Eat Healthy

This is important.  Yes, it takes time and dedication.  Yes, I don't feel like I have a lot of energy or time.  But this is something I need to make time for.  I want to be healthy.  I want to instill these habits in my children-that we eat healthy foods and exercise our bodies.  It's not wrong or bad to eat junk once in a while, or to take a vacation.  But overall, our body is a temple, and I want to take care of mine.

3) Spend more time/do more with my children.

It's easier, by far, to just do things myself.  But then my kiddos don't have childhood memories of working side by side with me.  And I want them to have those memories.  So I aim to include them more.  I think they are capable of more than I think, especially if I let my demands and expectations go and just enjoy the time bonding with them.

4) Expand my menu/meal planning.

I tend to serve the same things over and over, which is great if it's something my family loves, but then we also get stuck in a rut.  I want my children to learn to try new foods and I want to learn to make new foods.  I'm actually really excited about this one. BONUS! I can kill two birds with one stone if I'm making something new WITH my kiddos. =)

5) Learn to shop within a budget.

Currently I go to the grocery store, throw in my cart what we need and some things we don't, whip out my debit card and call it good.  Totally mindless spending.  Which is okay; we have the money.  But we aren't really actively working on getting out of debt.  We have paid of most all of our debt, but there is still some left.  And I'm over that.  I want to be debt free entirely (besides our house).  So, starting in January... actually I already started this one.  We are going to set up a budget and I will shop with, *gasp* CASH.  This is a big one for me.  I'll be investing in a calculator, as I have the math skills of a bug.  Meaning, none.  But I'm also really excited to make this work!

So, that's what I'll be working on, really focusing on in the New Year.

What are your resolutions?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pioneer Woman Give Away

Ok, just to be clear, I'm not giving the actual Pioneer Woman away. SHE's actually doing the giveaway, and I'm sharing the news. Because it ups my chances of winning. Ho ho ho, and a Merry Christmas to all! (but especially to me... if I win) =)

I'm sure you know Ree, the Pioneer Woman. If not, you are seriously missing out. Go check her site out, and make sure you have 894 hours of free time, because that's how long you'll need to read through all her funny posts and drool over all her recipes.

Anyway, I hopped on over there today and it's a Giveaway Day! And this girl doesn't go cheap. She's got a KitchenAide mixer, a nice set of knives, and the pi`ece de r`esistance is this:

It connects straight to the internet and you can print out pictures (or recipes!) straight from the printer.

I want it. So I blogged about it. Doubled my entries, this little post.

But seriously, go read. She is HILARIOUS. Real. And she really does have some amazing recipes. Just beware; her cinnamon roll recipe makes SEVEN pans. I kid you not. Seven. Consider yourself warned.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Ok, sorry for the totally and utterly useless posts lately, but sometimes I've just gotta be silly and nonsensical.

I am obsessed with names. I love them. When I can't sleep at night, I lay awake thinking of names and wondering what they mean, and pairing two names together. I just can't get enough.

So tonight, since my hubby is gone, I was on the computer. Catching up on blogs, surfing the net, etc... Eventually I headed over to a baby name page to type in names and find out their meanings. Meanings of names are very important to me. I don't choose a name based solely on it's meaning, but if it has a weird one, I won't choose the name. Case in point: I love the name Cole. But, it means "cabbage farmer". Um, no thank you. :-P

Anyway, in my searching and reading and perusing I happened upon a "Celebrity Real Names" site. Interesting stuff. For example:

Kim Cattrall of Sex and the City fame's real name is Clare Woodworth.

Akon's (don't know who he is, but apparently he's a singer) real name is, get this:
Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara
. I don't know how he got "Akon" out of that, but more power to him. His parents were just downright cruel!

Jason Alexander from Seinfeld is Jay Scott Greenspan.

Brigitte Bardot was originally Camille Javal.

Bo Bice from American Idol was named Harold Elwin Bice, Jr at birth.

Lisa Bonet changed her last name because it was... Boney.

Garth Brooks wouldn't have been so manly if people had called him by his given name of Troyal.

Jackie Chan is also known as Kong-Sang Chan.

Elvis Costello certainly thought highly of himself, naming himself after The King. His parents chose the name Declan Patrick McManus for him.

Dido, the singer (love her music) changed her name because she would've had to spend hours and hours autographing memorabilia for her fans with her original moniker: Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong

Portia De Rossi, of Ally McBeal and Ellen DeGeneres fame? Yeah, her name is really Amanda Lee Rogers! So not as glamorous.

Snoop Dogg is Cordazer Calvin Broadus. Um, yeah. Go Snoopy!

Farrah Fawcett's parents must've liked rhymes... Mary Farrah Lori Fawcett

Jenna Fischer, from The Office? Her name is Regina Marie. Oooh, Michael Scott could've had a field day with that one.

Lady Gaga's real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.

Whoopi Goldberg wasn't named that on her birth day. Her parents chose Caryn Elaine!

Carey Grant was Archibald Leach.

Macy Gray changed her name from Natalie Renee McIntyre.

The iconic Audrey Hepburn didn't have such a classical name. Edda Kathleen van Heemstra Hepburn-Ruston.

Elton John was called Reginald Kenneth Dwight.

The Judd's have a thing for changing their names. Naomi was Diana Ellen while Wynonna was Christina Claire.

LL Cool J is AKA James Todd Smith.

You know down to earth Ann Landers? Her name is really Esther "Eppie" Pauline Friedman Lederer.

Queen Latifah is Dana Owens.

Spike Lee is really Shelton Jackson Lee.

Bob Marley is Nesta Robert Marley. Can see why he'd want to change it. Don't want to get confused with Nestea.

Peter Marshall definitely had reason to change his name from Pierre La Cock.

Chuck Norris is really Carlos Ray!

Pink is really Alicia Moore.

Ty Pennington is really Tygert Bruton!!

Meg Ryan shortened her name considerably from Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra.

Sting isn't so fierce when called by his given name of Gordon.

Tina Turner was born Anna Mae.

Shania Twain was Eileen Regina.

John Wayne was Marion Michael.

Bruce Willis is really a WALTER!!!!

Tiger Woods wasn't really named Tiger. He was named Eldrick.

That about wraps it up. It is way, way, way past my bedtime, but that was fun, dontcha think?

I promise, more substantial posts will be coming. I just don't know when.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

10 Things About My Hygiene ;-)

Today's post is a little... ok, a lot lighter than yesterday. =)

As I was showering today I thought it'd be fun to let you in on all the products I use.  Isn't that just the greatest idea!? :-P

Anyway, here is all the stuff that makes me look and smell the way I do.

1) Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner

2) Dove Body Wash

3) Mary Kay face wash

4) Arm & Hammer toothpaste

5) Tresemme Curl Control

6) Suave Mousse

7) La Parisienne perfume

8) Warm Vanilla Sugar lotion

9) Gillette Razors

10) Melaleuca Deodorant

Wasn't that just titillating!?  Ha ha, just kidding.  But seriously, now I want to know what products YOU use!!  Isn't this fun?  I can hardly contain my excitement. ;-)

ALTHOUGH.... miss Helene of I'm Living Proof God Has A Sense of Humor did make my day. You know why?  I WON A PURSE from her site!!!!!!!  A really cool purse, too.  I can't even really believe it.  I don't usually win things!  I think this is the 2nd thing I've ever won.  The first was a Progresso Soup pack. :-P

So it's called a Reverse-A-Purse, which basically gives me TWO purses in ONE!  I am so pleasantly surprised.  My only regret is that Helene had to read my sad/upset/confused post yesterday when she told me the news.  I'd rather she read a funny one; this lady is HILARIOUS.  She has two, yes TWO sets of twins.  Check her out.

I'll post a picture of it once I get it. :-D

Now, quickly, leave me a comment with a rundown of your hygiene products!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes...

So yesterday Kate had her activity club with the girls her age from church. They made a special gift for their friends... Jen, Brooklyn will be getting what Kate made. =)

They also made a little picture for Kate that all the girls signed. One of the girls signed it, "If you leave I will put a bomb in your house." Now, that might sound alarming, but if you knew this girl, you'd understand. ;-)

But I've been thinking about it since last night, and really, she sort of hit the nail on the head. It's like a bomb went off. I mean, we were going along, living life, adjusting to life away from family, getting to know a whole new set of friends. And then BOOM! My MIL has brain cancer and we're moving home, but it's not entirely joyful because A) my MIL has brain cancer and B) we were just really getting to know our friends here and C) my husband will be gone 3 days a week for up to a year working in the office here.

Say what!?!?

Bomb. Totally. In my house.

Life is so topsy turvy right now. I feel overwhelming sadness at the friends I'm leaving. But I feel happy that I'll be close to my family. But then I feel hopeless at my MIL's prognosis. I don't know if I'm supposed to pray for a miracle or that she won't suffer. I don't know what God's will is, what His plan is, and what if I pray for the wrong thing? I want my prayers to mean something, to be a help, to be a petition. I just don't know what that looks like right now.

And then I feel what might be called terror at the thought that I'll be a single mom a good portion of the week. Not to mention I'm scared silly at the thought of all the hours my husband will be spending on the road, and how many potential accidents he could get in. How little sleep he gets already, and how he is going to get even less. How his job right now involves a crushing amount of work/time/hours/effort/energy. How he is dealing with the reality that his mom could quite possibly die, and how on earth can I help him, comfort him, strengthen him?

It's all just a tangled web of emotions and feelings.

I don't know if I'm supposed to be happy about moving home, because the reason we're moving is that my precious MIL might not be with us very long, and we want to be near her and allow our children to establish good memories of her. I mean, that's not a glorious reason to be moving home!

It's just a bunch of really intense emotions all at once. I don't know which one is correct. Should I feel happy? Sad? Forlorn? Scared? Relieved? I don't even know what to feel.

I do feel disheveled. :-P

And I do know that I can go to God. Even with this tangled web, even though I don't know how or what I ought to pray for. He loves me. HE LOVES ME. He loves my husband, and He loves my children, and He loves my MIL. So I can cry out to Him and I know that He will answer. I know He has a perfect plan, and I am convinced that He will give everyone grace for the days ahead.

For that, I am utrolig takknemlig. That's "unbelievably thankful" in Norwegian. I am thankful that the burden of this whole situation doesn't rest on my shoulders, and that there is a God who is listening and watching closely over everything.

Sorry for the emotionally charged post. I just had to get it out somewhere, and this is where it landed.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Did you know?

Did you know:

~The Margherita pizza was fashioned after the Italian flag; red tomatoes, green basil and white mozzarella cheese. It was named after Queen Margherita, who requested to eat pizza so she would know what her people ate.

~Female platypuses don't have nipples; milk seeps out of patches of skin on their abdomen and their young lap it up.

~Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space because passing gas in a spacesuit damages it. (Can you imagine the pressure!?!? Pun intended.) :-P

~By raising your legs slowly and laying on your back, you can't sink in quicksand.

~Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes.

~Bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers were all invented by women.

~A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a ballpoint pen.

~If you drop a tarantula, it will shatter.

~There is no word in the English language that rhymes with "month".

~Most lipstick is made with fish scales.

~Elvis had a black belt in karate.

~The king of hearts is the only king without a mustache on a standard playing card.

~There is one slot machine per eight inhabitants in Vegas.

~The names of Popeye's 4 nephews are Pipeye, Peepeye, Pupeye and Poopeye

~It's illegal to drink beer out of a bucket while sitting on the curb in St. Louis.

~Over 2,500 left handed people are killed each year from using products made for right handed people.

~Porcupines float in water.

~Google is an amazing tool for finding cool, useless facts!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Proposal

Ha ha, I'm so glad you enjoyed my little tale of how we ended up together, and the part Mamma Mia played in that. =) I kinda like it myself. ;-)

Ok, so here's the deal: In our church we don't just date all loosey goosey. It's something that is taken very seriously and usually it's more of a courtship. Meaning, we don't go out with someone unless they are marriage material and will most likely end in a proposal. It may sound strict and regimented, but it's each person's individual choice how they want to do it. I personally am glad I did it that way, as it saved me from some heartache.

Anywho, so when I got that email from Josh, I knew it was serious. I didn't know at that point that he'd been attracted to me for 3 years, or that he had busted his booty at work and school in order to be able to provide for me one day. He told me all these amazing tidbits later. Like, that's why he worked graveyard full time and went to school full time. And how every time a "Harris" truck would drive by, he would smile because it reminded him of me. (My maiden name was Harris)

And that's why it was so heart wrenching to have to write him back and say "no" the first time. Because he WAS a good guy, but I was just not in a place to even want to be in a relationship, much less a serious one. And quite honestly, saying no was the best thing that could have happened to either of us. It knocked Josh right off his high horse (and oh boy, was he ever on one!) and it gave me time to observe him and see who this guy REALLY was. And see how he reacted to a crushing situation.

Josh admits now that it was good for him, but also that it was one of the hardest things he has been through. He didn't realize how proud he was, how he thought he was a great catch, and how he never even fathomed that I'd tell him no. No, I didn't even want to GET TO KNOW HIM. It was just so brutal for him. But you know what he did? (Well, after crying through a movie and getting drunk, but that's neither here nor there...) He went to God. He went and prayed for grace and help and I could see that. He is a genuine Man of God.

When he was born, he was going to be named Steven, after his dad. But when my father-in-law held him for the first time, that is what came to him. "Joshua, mighty man of God." And thus, they named him Joshua. =)

So anyway, I really got a deep respect and admiration for him and knew that I could safely trust him with my heart.

When I came back and asked if he was still interested, he was quite shocked. I remember that Jen had even asked me if I thought I'd ever change my mind at one point, and I firmly and decisively said NO. Not unless God changed my heart. It was seriously like I had blinders on, and God hadn't taken them away at that point. So for Josh, he thought it was a done deal and he was prepared to be a bachelor for the rest of his life. (Isn't that kind of sweet!?)

So anyway, finally, with the help of Mamma Mia and Delta airlines, white t-shirt, jeans and a construction vest ;-D the blinders came off. *cue Hallelujah music and angels singing*

I was so incredibly nervous before our first date. I was jittery and scared and hyperventilating. I should back up a bit and give you some more background.

My youth time ROCKED. I traveled all over. I went to Paris with my best friend, and we saw the Mona Lisa and the Eiffel Tower. We had a hilarious hotel with an elevator the size of a small closet. Like, so small we couldn't both fit in with our luggage. One of us had to go up, then the other sent the luggage up, and then finally the last person came up. It was so much more hilarious in the moment. I got my head smacked between subway doors. I got my backpack stuck between subway doors. My friend fell down the subway steps and stubbed her toe and we stopped the bleeding with a stray subway ticket. She slipped and fell in a minuscule puddle of water at the movie theater. It was fabulous.

So, I wasn't really in any hurry to get married. Plus, after losing my dad at a young age I had a really, really, really hard time opening my heart up to guys, because I didn't want to be hurt again. I'd lost my dad, and also a very dear friend who took me in under his wing and then was killed in a car crash. And I just couldn't bear to deal with any more grief when it came to me losing the men in my life that I loved the most.

So it was very terrifying for me to open myself up for that kind of relationship.

But I distinctly remember, as soon as I got in his car, he said, "Hi. How are you?" And all my inhibitions and fears dissipated. He was NORMAL. And from that moment on, I knew. I knew I'd marry him. We were together basically 24/7 for those ten days. We took long drives, went for walks along the river, looked out over the city at the lights. We opened our hearts to each other and made sure we had the same views/thoughts on the important stuff. We were. So we both knew that this would end in a proposal.

I'd told him that I wasn't into a big, showy proposal. Like, I didn't want him to get on one knee in front of a whole restaurant full of people and then everyone would be looking at me. No, thanks. So he took that to mean I wanted a low-key one. Very low key. He'd been telling me to "keep Monday open" so I suspected that he was planning to propose that night, as we were going to a romantic restaurant.

But then, before the weekend, we were out shopping together and stopped at Red Robin for lunch. And he got this goofy look on his face and said, "I have an idea!". And I thought he was talking about our plans for that day. But he wasn't. He said, "What if we got engaged sooner rather than later?" And I thought, Yeah, that'd be fun!

And then he said, "Ruth Anne Harris, will you marry me?" Right there in Red Robin. And my head must've spun around and I was super confused and I couldn't figure out if he was serious or not. Because honestly, this guy is a romantic to the core and I sort of was expecting a really romantic proposal. So I said, "Yes, I'll marry you." and then promptly had a panic attack for 45 minutes. Josh was all giddy and told our waitress, who brought us champagne. Yeah, they serve champagne at Red Robin. Who knew?

And he is talking away and I'm sitting silently like a stone. Thinking, "Holy Shnikeys! I've been with this guy ten days and now we're engaged and did he REALLY just ask me to marry him in RED ROBIN!??!?" So after 45 minutes and wasting a perfectly good burger and fries, the shock wore off and the joy set in.

Our plan was to surprise his family at the beach. They take a family trip every year, and they were on the trip at the time. So we hopped in his sweet Jetta (we both miss that car so much!!) and headed out to the coast. We walked in and got several reactions. This was a complete shock to everyone, as no one really had a clue since A) it had only been 10 days and B) I had told Jen I wasn't interested at all, but neglected to tell her I had indeed changed my mind and C) Josh had a conversation with his parents at one point after I'd said no. They had been teasing him about getting married and he got all teary and told them it wasn't funny, as he'd actually just been turned down by a girl.

SO. People were shocked. There was laughter and crying. His dad simply looked at us, shook his head and walked out the door. "Uh oh" I thought. "This can't be good." TURNS OUT that he thought Josh had just moved on to the next poor girl, after having his first choice turn him down. :-D He laughed really hard and was quite relieved to find out *I* was the one who had turned Josh down and his son wasn't a player. ;-)

Our parents were overjoyed. We grew up together and our families knew each other, so it wasn't like we were suddenly engaged to a stranger.

So that's how I got engaged at Red Robin. I can laugh about it now, but it was actually really hard for a long time. Especially after Josh told me all his ideas of how he was going to do it, until I said I didn't want a big proposal. He was going to rent a digital billboard that was on the freeway home and have them write "Ruth Anne, will you marry me? -Josh" so I'd see it. He had some others that were good, too.

And to be fair, he DID do it over. He lit lots of candles, put rose petals out, had romantic music playing, and got down on his knee and asked again. =) I said yes again. =)

It sure makes anniversaries cheap, to be able to eat at Red Robin instead of a fancy, expensive restaurant! :-D Hee hee.

So, there you have it. Our story.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Blog Love

I don't remember how I found Bailey's blog, but somehow I did. And you've got to check it out. I found it right around the time she got married; a few weeks before. Check it out. It's seriously crazy insane and cool. I love her writing style, and the fact that she wants to be best friends with Britney Spears cracks me up.

She has no idea I read her blog, or even who I am, but prepare to be dazzled. This wedding was off the hook. Seriously.

The Rehearsal Dinner

The Welcome Party


From the Guest's Perspective

The Reception

And then... here is where she just bats it so far out of the park that it truly is unbelievable. take a look.

The Rabbit Hole

Can you even believe it!?

Here's the link to her blog; I apologize in advance if you become as addicted as I have.

Peppermint Bliss