Dec 4, 2007

Kissing and Cousins

Well, I guess you all know my blog is falling behind horribly. Elisa is getting so active, it is hard to find time to sit down at the computer that isn't work related! So here's the quickie update on the last month.

We had a great Thanksgiving. Christina and her family were able to come for the first time since she had a family! Elisa is crawling, cruising, chattering and basically wearing me out! Here are a few photos from the last week and the holiday visit...

Going in for a favorite new skill (thanks Grandma)
Hates sitting still!

Playing with Grandma and the cousins!

I can't believe how big she is getting. Next week she'll be turning 1! Hopefully I will get birthday pictures posted before Christmas. No promises though.

Oct 30, 2007

Photo Update

After over a month of owning our new camera, I am just now posting some of the pictures we've taken with it! Hopefully you have all seen the beautiful ones Andrea took by now. You may not be able to tell the difference, but it sure is easier to get the right shot. Here are a few of Elisa at 9 and 10 months... Brandon's parents came to visit and we went out for lunch. Elisa tried her first lemon!
This is not something we encourage at our house, but when I came into the kitchen and realized she had done this herself, I just had to capture the moment!

Brandon's mom came to visit and we took Elisa to the Linnaeus Gardens. She had a wonderful time playing in the fountain. Aren't we all glad to have a few pretty fall days finally?

Oct 2, 2007

Five Blessings

I was inspired by Michelle's challenge. Thank you for helping me to reflect on God's never-ending goodness to me today.
1. My husband loves me despite the fact that he is constantly out of clean underwear.
2. My beautiful daughter is such a blessing. She constantly reminds me to slow down and enjoy the miracle of life.
3. Even when I don't heed that reminder, God gives me the gift of yet another day and the strength to get through it.
4. He provides extra work for Brandon and I when He knows we will need it and sometimes when we don't!
5. I'm going to echo Michelle on this one, great is His faithfulness!

Sep 18, 2007

Thinking about it...

This post is an extended comment to Josh's post:

Of course, I agree that, as we are all born sinners, we naturally conform to our sinful lusts. However, I do not agree with the hypothesis that homosexuality is either a learned behavior or an inherited one. In every case, homosexuality is a choice.

Homosexuality is a sexual 'preference', if a depraved one. In its most simplistic essence, any sinner with either a stubborn penchant for self indulgence or a shredded conscience may find themselves practicing homosexuality. Specifically because this is an 'adult' sin, I refuse to believe it is anything other than a choice that they will be held accountable for.

As Christians, we must be very careful about using the term 'born with it' even when we are referring to the sin nature. That is a disease everyone is born with. Even unbelievers, however, know that just because your mother was a prostitute it is no less shameful to follow in her footsteps. Any concession that homosexuality is anything other than a choice is an excuse to continue in sin. Any discussion that it is a learned behavior gives opportunity to lay the blame elsewhere.

All this being said, in response to Christina's comment, Homosexuals are sinners just like everyone else. I have a good friend who is gay. His life is very sad. But God loves him. I should to. I have to treat his lifestyle choices with the same grace and, when I am sometimes given the opportunity, firmness of conviction that I would any sin of any sinner I meet.

I am sure there are other perspectives on this, but this is mine.

Sep 17, 2007

Missing Something?

I have found a mystery cell phone at my house. The battery is dead so I cannot retrieve any identifying information out of it. If someone who has been there recently is missing theirs, please let me know!

Sep 16, 2007

Your Opinions Please

OK everyone, Brandon and I are looking at 'investing' in a new camera. While the digital one we have now takes good quality photos, we often loose the perfect shot of our speedy little monkey while waiting for the camera to warm up, picture to snap and flash to warm up. That and, believe it or not, we often find ourselves in need of two, as I use our current one for work a lot.

That being said, we think we've found one that is a good value for the money, the Sony Alpha DSLR-A100. We started out looking at Canon's and Nikon's but aren't convinced we need all the bells and whistles. This one seems fast, responsive and user friendly - and it's cheaper. However, as appealing as it is, I don't want that beautiful concept to be the deciding factor.

I know several of you have good cameras. I would like to know what are the features and benefits you appreciate most, what you appreciate least and, if you have any experience with this Sony (Minolta), I'd like to hear that too...and your opinions on if we DON'T need one this nice too. Is it overkill? Would I be happy with a DSC like the Cybershot? Brandon is ready to do this YESTERDAY but I hate to run into something without doing my best due diligence...


Sep 14, 2007

You are invited, again!

Ok guys. I'm a little late, but I wanted to encourage you all again to consider adding BSF to your busy schedule. I PROMISE IT'S WORTH IT! This year we are studying the Gospel According to Matthew.

I am sad that Christina cannot attend due to Kaitlin's new school schedule and the hour drive it took her to get there and back this year. However, Mom and Rachel and I are happy to welcome Marcie and my Aunt Becky to our new class. I have also invited my grandmother and one of my clients. Pray with me the the Lord would encourage them to attend!

Here are 5 reasons why you should go....
  1. It is a serious bible study that focuses on the truth of God's word
  2. It encourages daily bible study with practical applications
  3. It is a good opportunity to meet and fellowship with other local christian women
  4. You will be challenged, encouraged and blessed by the time you dedicate to this study!
  5. It is free!

If you have any questions, I would be glad to answer! e-mail me or post a comment

Aug 22, 2007

Daddy's Little Girl

It's high time our cutie got some more recognition on this blog.
So, here are some recent snapshots. Hope you enjoy!
Looks like we'll be putting up a gate before long.

Her father is already teaching her about the importance of good eye care. Looks like she's on board as Oakley's youngest model.

There are many unexpected ways to entertain yourself with an Exersaucer. She was particularly proud of this one.

Aug 15, 2007

Welcome Christina

Yea! Christina finally has internet access and has straightaway taken the excellent advice of me and my mom and started a blog. Some of you have already found it, but for those that haven't, go see some cute pictures and welcome her to our world!

Aug 14, 2007


Ok, I feel obliged to followup on my previous post. I think perhaps it wasn't fair the impression I left you with. Truth be told, I am very lazy and I just miss sleeping in. On average, I am loosing 2-3 hours of sleep a night over my pre-baby schedule, but it is just because our bedtime/waketime has changed.

Elisa has been sleeping through the night since 4 months. Well, she doesn't always sleep through, but I stopped getting up with her. I know that a baby crying for 10 minutes at 3 am can seem like 10 hours, but they really will learn to go back to sleep on their own! When we moved into this house, she was waking up 2 or 3 times a night (because of the move I think). After a few weeks I realized that every time I felt bad about it and got up with her I was just reinforcing a routine of nighttime waking. A little resolve was all it took. I have the advantage of having my room very very far from hers, so it isn't too disruptive when it happens. For the most part we have established a good routine.

For those who have problems with this, talk to your husband about it so you don't give in to guilt that he is loosing sleep too as you lie awake and hear your child screaming, because they will be ANGRY when you don't come and get them. Try to start on a Thursday so everyone isn't too tired for work. By Sunday night, your baby will be either very close or all the way to sleeping through the night. I promise. The earlier you break the wakeup habit, the easier it will be. Just do it all at once, don't try and get them to reduce the number of wakeups. I tried that with Elisa and all we did was move the times around she was waking up which was worse for everyone, including her. It made for miserable days. I'm sure we've all read the same books. At 4 months a baby is mature enough to do this.

If you can't handle it, I understand. But I also have limited sympathy if you aren't getting a good nights sleep. That being said, I know you will all hate me and say I don't understand. Perhaps not. Every baby is different. But I didn't make this stuff up either. It works, its worth it and it doesn't make me a mean mommy (although those first few nights feel like it). It's keeping me sane.

I still miss my bed. This morning I got her when she woke up at 6 and took her to bed with me. We 'slept in' (she was nursing/sleeping) until 8:15. It was great! Not quite the same as sleeping in until 11, and probably just another bad habit, but I'll take what I can get these days.

Aug 6, 2007

I miss my bed

I hate being TIRED. More to the point, I LOVE sleeping.

I have turned down good jobs because they required me to be there before 8 am. I structured my entire college career and my current employment(s) around not being obligated before 9, meaning I did not have to get out of bed before 8. Brandon has the same cushy schedule. If there is one thing that binds us together, it is that we both love the bed (possibly more than each other).

Sleeping is the most luxurious thing in the world because it means you have time on your hands. My favorite thing is to get back in bed after I wake up. Just because I can.

Only I can't. Elisa wakes up between 5:30 and 6. I am surely not the only one to know that having children makes you TIRED. I knew this would be the case and though I was emotionally prepared for it, physically I was not. Fatigue is making me grumpy, forgetful and overwhelmed. It is making me slightly resentful of my husband, whose schedule is much less drastically altered.

I miss my bed. I miss cuddling with my husband before the alarm clock goes off. I miss sleeping in 'till eleven on the weekend. I miss taking the occasional (ok, daily) nap before I fix dinner.

As tired as I am, I love my daughter. She brings me incredible joy and I wouldn't give her up for anything. She is the most precious, most important thing to me in the world.

That does not, however, change the fact that I miss my bed.

Jul 18, 2007


Yesterday, Laura, Ruth and Austin came to visit me, mom and Elisa. We had a great time catching up and watching these two be cute. Austin is only 2 weeks older than Elisa, so they are practically the same developementally. He is adorable. I really thought I had the cutest baby in the world, but I guess there are some other sweeties out there too. I wouldn't be surprised if some photos show up on Ruth's blog, but here are a couple I got. Of course, neither of us could get our flashes to warm up for the cutest moment ever when they were holding hands (totally on their own I promise). These are pretty good though. Thanks for visiting guys!

Back on the Horse

I am proud to report that I went back to the store with my coupons. I took a fed and rested baby with me and she did very good. We went to Kmart, which is not someplace I usually shop, but I had a store specific coupon for $5 off Enfamil formula. Anyways, I was pleased to find they had a lot of good sales and I saved almost $5 in sale prices plus $15.oo in coupons. Over 20% of my entire purchase. Yea! It was encouraging to have a shopping success with Elisa and start saving money again. Who knows, maybe I'll start going back to Aldi soon too! This baby stuff sure complicates things.

Jul 17, 2007

Couponing and Me

All right ladies. I hope I am not the only one who has had this experience.

Clip coupons religiously. Make a list for the grocery store. Separate relevant coupons, coupons too good not to use before they expire etc. Take it all to the store and shop, diligently comparing items with coupons, eliminating some when they still don't make a good deal. Stand in a huge line at checkout and watch the lady in front of me couponing while the cashier tells some story about a lady who routinely saves like $70.00 in coupons (wowsers, where is she finding them I wonder?). Get to the checkout counter, distracted by fussy baby in my arms and VOILA, forget to use the stupid coupons. Of course I realized it as soon as she handed me the receipt.

I felt like cursing. This is the second time in a row this has happened. And the reality of it- with a baby in my arms, hot car to look forward to and groceries melting in the cart-is that it suddenly it doesn't seem worth it to return/exchange, get a manager involved etc., all over a lost savings of a few dollars, even if it is 10% of my purchase. So, I just swallowed it and went home a few dollars poorer than I had to. Some days it just doesn't seem worth it.

What a lot of wasted effort just to feel stupid! Seems like there are such easier ways...

Jul 3, 2007


For those curious about seeing pictures of our new house, Brandon is supposed to be working on a photo album to put on his blog since it has room to host a lot of photos. However, since it is taking him forever to get around to it (mostly since we have so much yardwork to do) here is a teaser...

This is what we started with!

So, when you visit, you'll know just how far we have come.

Jun 28, 2007


Wow, so many memorable things have happenned this month. I am going to try and finally post about some of them to update everyone on our *fascinating* life, since I know you are all dying to hear from me!

Here are a few highlights:

  • Elisa took her first airplane ride and did quite well, although I vowed never to fly with a baby in my lap again.
  • We had a fabulous vacation in Florida with Christina and her family, which consisted mostly of managing four under four and the occasional trip to Walmart. .
  • Elisa went swimming for the first time. She also began eating rice cereal and we have moved on to green beans - which she doesn't seem to care for.
  • The first day of summer has come and gone without a ray of sunshine. It won't stop raining here!
  • Elisa weighs 15.10; double her birthweight.
  • Brandon spent a week in Frisco, TX (Dallas) training a new manager and I got to spend a night there as well. We left Elisa with my mom and had great impromptu getaway weekend on Oakley's dime.
  • I finished my Christmas shopping - HA, HA!
  • We went to a car show with Brandon's parents where they won the coveted 'best in show'
  • I got another major sunburn - what can I say, it was raining and I am not used to the exterior elements!
  • Oakley announced a merger with the evil Luxotica. We have mixed feelings about this and are looking for our own million dollar idea to sell to the evil Luxotica in twenty years for a billion or so...
  • I have lost 10 lbs of babyweight and gained 3 back in Dallas, curses!
  • I am sure there is more news of a similar mediocre nature but, let's get on with what you all came to see anyways...

Jun 2, 2007

Baby Dougie

Welcome to our family
Douglas Edward Ruhlig Jr!

See mom's post for all the details of the day.
Here are some cute pictures of my new nephew!
Baby Elisa will be going to Florida on Tuesday to visit for a week.
We are excited (well, I am anyway, Elisa is pretty clueless).

May 21, 2007

Random Facts

OK, Rachel tagged me quite a while ago, and here is my response. I have been reading other responses and find that we are quite an organized bunch, as that seems to be everyone's favorite random fact about themselves. Therefore, I will not include my thoughts on organizing...
  1. I love to color my hair. Right now it is fairly natural with one superblonde chunk on each side. However, I have had portions of it it magenta, green, fire engine red, blue and purple at one time or another. My philosophy on hair color is: if it isn't going to be natural, why bother trying to make it look like it is? Have fun with it!
  2. I would rather sit at home with a book than do anything else. Sadly, I haven't had time to read in quite a while. My favorite fun author is Elizabeth Peters and if you ever need a recommendation I have a long list of must reads!
  3. I love live theater and musical performances. Brandon and I try to go to a few shows a year and I always hit a few with my dad too. In the summer we try to make it to a Gilbert and Sullivan because light opera is my favorite. Best play: The Pirates of Penzance.
  4. I hate and absolutely cannot wear any shade of blue shirt with blue jeans. It just doesn't work in my book - there is just no way to make it match!
  5. I love museums. Brandon and I always look for one or two whenever we visit a new city. Most recommended museum is the Denver Museum of Natural History.
  6. Favorite Movies: Newsies, Sabrina (Harrison Ford), Gladiator
  7. I have never kept a houseplant alive for more than 6 months and yet I am now tackling a huge yard with 14 flowerbeds and over 2 dozen trees. Needless to say, some of them have to come out because it is just to much to look at, let alone maintain. Hopefully by the end of the summer there will still be something alive!

That was hard! I thought I was more interesting than that, but I guess not! This is ending with me, because everyone I know has been tagged already! That's what happens when it takes so long to get around to posting I guess.

May 8, 2007

You're Invited!

I want to invite everyone to consider attending Bible Study Fellowship next fall. Most likely, there is one in your area. Next year we will be studying the gospel of Matthew. It will be my 3rd year with BSF and I have been incredibly blessed by it. (Thanks to Rachel Madden for inviting me!) Very likely, there is one in your area too! They offer seperate mens and womens classes, at seperate times of the day as well as childrens programs. Follow this link to learn more and find a class close to you

Next week there will be an introduction class to register for Matthew. Consider this an open invitation! Just find out the date and time and show up next week! There is no childcare for introduction classes. There will be other opportunities in the fall to join, but this is the best way to make sure you can be there for the very first one and get a spot as there are sometimes waiting lists for certain age groups! There is no obligation and perhaps if you go to the introduction class you will have something to pray this summer about adding to your schedule this fall.

Here are the top 5 reasons I enjoy BSF and why you should consider making time in your busy week for this study!
  1. It is a serious bible study that focuses on the truth of God's word
  2. It encourages daily bible study with practical applications
  3. It is a good opportunity to meet and fellowship with other local christian women
  4. You will be challenged, encouraged and blessed by the time you dedicate to this study!
  5. It is free!

If you have any questions, I would be glad to answer! e-mail me or post a comment

May 4, 2007

Amazing Grace

I can't believe it's been over a month since I've posted. My whole life has changed since then! At first I was too busy with closing, remodeling, moving unpacking. Then it was work, then spending all my free time at the hospital. I have a mental list of several blogs I'd like to write and I am going to start catching up-I promise. I have lots of pictures of the house. We will probably put an album up on Brandon's Blog.

However, first and most importantly I want to say Thanks to all for the prayers, phone calls, visits and general outpouring of love and suport for my family since Joel's accident. It isn't over, but his physical recovery continues to progress at an amazing speed. He may have farther to come with his cognitive recovery, only time will tell. You can continue to read updates on Brandon's Blog.

Joel's life was spared several times over and we are so thankful to the Lord for His bountiful grace. This accident has really impressed upon me my responsibility to pray for his spiritual salvation. Continue to pray with us that it will cause him to think about it too as he wakes up and faces his situation.

Mar 20, 2007

Other Blogs and Such

Welcome to blogging Josh and Michelle!

For those of you who are like me and still working on integrating blogging with your lifestyle, here is a tip Brooke gave me. SUBSCRIBE TO FEEDBLITZ ( it takes a little bit of time to set up, but once you subscribe to someone's blog you will get an e-mail whenever someone updates their blog so you don't have to just randomly troll the internet. It's great! Thanks Brooke! Maybe I am the only one out there who wasn't takeing advantage of this great tool, but if not, I hope this helps you too. If it seems like to much work, send me your e-mail and I will try and forward you updates, assuming you like the same people I do!

Lastly, everyone, please visit Brandon's blog and try to comment when you have time. He is getting discouraged because people don't seem to know how. I know he is using WordPress and it isn't the same format we are all used to and all that, but see if you can't take some time to encourage him! Some people seem to have been having problems commenting on his blog, so he posted instructions. If they don't work, let me know and I will pass it on. Thanks!

Mar 13, 2007

3 months today...

A few photos of baby elisa...

this one of daddy and baby isn't very recent but I just ran across it
and thought it was too cute not to show off!

these were taken today, which was her 3 month birthday!

About Me

Ok, I got tagged twice (mom and Ruth) and almost a week ago. Ruth was right, it does take me a while to respond. I am sure you have all been waiting breathlessly...

1. What is your occupation? Wife, mommy, legal secretary, copy and print associate, Mary Kay Consultant, owner/operator of Virtu Creative (graphic and interior design and small business consulting). Why don't you ask me what I don't do? Cleaning house is awfully hard to get around to!
2. What color are your socks right now? black and white fuzzy stripes
3. What are you listening to right now? my little girl who doesn't want to go to sleep
4. What was the last thing you ate? an apple with cheddar cheese
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Yes, love it and miss it
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? orange
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? a client
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Well, I got tagged twice and I love them both. Probably my mom a little more though!
10. Favorite drink? Water
11. What is your favorite sport to watch? Sport? Does decorating count?
12. Have you ever dyed your hair? Almost constantly since I was in jr. high. I didn't do it while I was pregnant and it was torture!
13. Pets? Too many. 2 darling cats, one insane cat and a huge dog.
14. What is your favorite food? TRIVIA QUESTION. I bet my mom knows! Comment with your guess. I will accept two answers as correct. Bonus points if you get them both :)
15. What was the last movie you watched? Don't recall. I haven't had much time for movies lately.
16. Favorite day of the year? Thanksgiving
17. What do you do to vent anger? I really don't get angry enough to need to vent.
18. What was your favorite toy as a child? My 'my child' doll - who, incidentally was named Elisa (my daughter's nickname) which I got from the Zion Chronicles by Bodie Theone. Quite a juxtaposition of entertainment I was having at that age...
19. What is your favorite, fall or spring? Fall
20. Hugs or kisses? Both
21. Cherries or Blueberries? Rasberries. I really don't like cherries or blueberries at all
22. Do you want your friends to email you back? or comment on my blog!
23. Who is most likely to respond? who knows?
24. Who is least likely to respond? everyone! Because by the time I am getting around to answering this, everyone else has moved on! Ruth knows me so well!
25. Living arrangements? 3 bedroom rental for about 15 more days! Then we are moving on to home ownership.
26. When was the last time you cried? Out of sadness or despair? I don't remember exactly. I have cried many times over the last few months out of sadness for my friends Brooke and Robin. Once from happiness because I love my little girl so much and once from frustration over losing another family at the chapel.
27. What is on the floor of your closet? dry cleaning
28. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending this to? Not sending this to anyone, but I got it from Ruth who has been my friend since I was old enough to have one!
29. What did you do last night? Had incredible ... oh wait, you mean before that? Went to mom's bible study. Very wholesome you know.
31. What inspires you? Too many things because I never can pick which inspiration to settle on!
32. What are you afraid of at this point in your life? I'll ditto Brooke and Dre on this one.
33. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Cheeseburger if I'm making it, Hamburger if I eat out.
34. Favorite dog breed? Laborador Retriever
35. Number of keys on your key ring? I don't really have a key ring, Brandon and I trade off and they are both different. I will state though that my station wagon has 4 different keys one for the trunk, door, glove box and ignition. Rediculous, isn't it?
36. How many years at your current job? which one? If you mean genius, almost 26 years.
37. What would be the title of a book you wrote? can't settle on that (see question 31) I will ponder and post later if something comes to me.
38. How many states have you lived in? 1
39. Favorite holidays? Thanksgiving
40. Ever driven a motorcycle or heavy machinery? Nope

Mar 3, 2007

Getting the Hang of This...

Finally, I am starting to get this blogger format figured out. I apologize to everyone who subscribes to this blog because I've been playing around with it and keep editing things to figure out how things will show up. I actully feel pretty dumb about how long it took me to figure out how to title my posts. And of course, once I did I felt compelled to go back and make them all uniform. I have a feeling it may be a little obnoxious tomorrow. I hope not, but it will just be part of the learning experience I guess!

Today I put away Elisa's 0-3 mo. clothes. Wow is she growing fast! It's so sad to see those adorable little outfits get put away. Who knows if they will be worn again? Here are some more pictures for kicks...

Feb 27, 2007

An Overdue Update

I am ashamed of how infreqently I get around to this. I looked for a recent photo to post but they are all still on the camera and I wanted to get something posted before this little cutie wakes up! This one is from a month ago and I didn't even take it!

Brandon and I found a house for those who may not have heard. It is such a wonderful provision from the Lord and has almost all of the features I was looking for, including space enough for a growing family (not yet, but eventually on the growing part). Of course it needs some work, but what first home doesn't? The real gem is the pink carpet! Luckily there are hardwoods underneath. We are hoping to paint, put up a fence and refinish the floors in the ten days between closing and when we have to be out of our house! Any volunteers???

This month I reluctantly quit my part time job at Office Depot. I guess I just can't do everything I used to do before being a mommy! Even though I only made a couple hundred dollars a month there at the most, I really struggled with this decision especially with the new expenses of baby and home ownership. I specifically prayed that the Lord would increase my faith to do this and that I would trust Him to provide instead of my own efforts. Lo and behold I have two new interior design jobs this month and definately not through my own efforts! One of them is for a prominent local builder doing specs for a developement at grand lake. This job has the potential to open a lot of doors for me. Isn't the Lord a wonderful provider? I am so ashamed at my lack of faith when He never fails to prove Himself faithful.

Jan 9, 2007

4 Weeks Old

Today Elisa is 4 weeks old. She is starting to be awake a lot during the day, although thankfully she sleeps well at night. She eats and poops alot and is starting to scoot in her crib.
Already she has been to a wedding, a funeral and to work with mommy. This girl is a trooper! I am trying to get back in the swing of things and she has been very flexible.
Brandon and I got are being 'displaced'. The house we rent is being torn down for the highway expansion and we have 90-120 days to find another place to live and be moved into it! This is not my idea of good timing, but apparently it is the Lord's. He has provided this opportunity (we get relocation assistance in the form of CASH we can use for a down payment on a house!) for us and I am confident he will provide a house that meets our needs in our price range. We certainly do not deserve the blessings He has given. Pray that we would follow His leading, recognize His provision and be content with it as such.