Friday, August 30, 2013

A note from Lummi Island

I'm not a selfie kind of person. Except apparently I am. At midnight. Alone in a tiny cabin on the beach. I took about 17 pictures of myself before I realized how exhausted I was and crashed. 

I was mostly excited about my new sleeping bag and headlamp. I've never had my very own sleeping bag. My brother and I had matching ones as kids, so I never knew which was actually "mine". Then I borrowed them from 18-24 because what 18-24 year old WANTS to go spend 100+ on a sleeping bag. Not me. I had coffee to buy. But because we love camping and because my husband is so great, we bought a beautiful green Marmot sleeping bag for me! Is it okay to name your sleeping bag? Because mine needs a name. I love it that much.

And my headlamp? It is perfect for the short but dark walk from our cabin to the bathrooms. And for reading. And for looking like a nerd. But I love it.

So this is how my Labor day weekends are spent now. Lounging around Camp Lummi with family, blogging, playing Puppyopoly and Yahtzee and Catan, hiking, drinking copious amounts of coffee, picking blackberries, cooking and not doing my hair.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


These bad boys take me places.

The first day I got them, they took me to get 247 shots before I went to Haiti.

They stuck by me last summer when I worked at camp for an entire week. I pounded the gravel at our church property for 8 days with them. And then I picked little rocks out of the bottom each evening.

They've hiked me up and down Mt. Peak more times than either of us can count.

They walked me down the streets of Cabo San Lucas on my honeymoon.

They get scrubbed down with magic erasers and soaked with oxi-clean often.

And they run me all around my sweet town.

It may not seem like it, but the point I'm trying to get to is that I love fall. Obviously my train of thought is complicated. Hopefully you'll catch on.

My shoes took me out this morning on my usual route. We went through town and hopped on the trail, then cut down by the river and eventually back up through town. It's a nice little loop. It's scenic and is almost exactly three miles, which I love.

Anyway, today the trail smelled like fall. I am thankful for two reasons. One being that usually the trail smells like cows. And in the summer, you don't want to breathe in 80 degree cow smell. Trust me. The second reason is obviously because I love fall. You could smell the wet leaves and fresh fallen rain. I was so happy, I could have ran for three more miles. I didn't, because that is crazy and I am not on that type of crazy-runner level yet. Also because I almost stepped on a slug multiple times. 

Boots and pumpkins and scarves and football are right around the corner. But now the sun is breaking through the clouds and I'm sure it will feel like August again by 3pm. Thank you Jesus for my little peak of fall this morning!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Twenty-five things about me before I'm twenty-five

I know I just posted a list, but I couldn't resist. I LOVE reading She Breathes Deeply, the author Mandy is such a fun writer to read. Today, she posted a list of 25 things you may not know about her. To start off, most of my blog readers and followers know me fairly well (at least I think so). I do, however, believe that I can come up with quite a few facts you STILL may not know. 
So here we go...

1. I started blogging in December 2005. I was a junior in high school and the majority of my posts are completely embarrassing. They are littered with way too many "likes" and ellipses, and go on and on and on with stories about my most recent late night Wal-Mart trip. It's fun to look back.

2. I am pretty close to being blind without my contact lenses.

3. I do my best work at the last second. Maybe it's the pressure, but it is just how my mind works.

4. I was the pickiest eater you would have ever met up until I was 23. My favorites were salad with no dressing, grilled cheese and raw vegetables. Now I love Thai food and will eat any vegetable, cooked or raw, that you put in front of me. I made a resolution to "try new things", and it really worked out for me.

5. I've watched LOST completely through, twice. I am dying to start it again. I also try to convince my husband that we could easily name all of our children names from LOST characters. He is not convinced. Yet.

6. Speaking of names, they are my favorite. Can you go to college to study names? I wish. I have always wanted lots of children, but I think the underlying reason is so that I can use all of my favorite names.

7. I have a beautiful sewing machine. It has been mine for two years now, and I haven't sewn a thing. It is a serious problem and I have an accountability partner who is helping to kick my butt into gear. (She's a blogger too, check her out at Paint it Green!) There are so many wonderful things on Etsy that I could just make myself. Stay tuned for my progress.

8. Fresh flowers, books and coffee are better than diamonds. Forget fancy jewelry, when Aaron comes home with flowers or a steamy americano, I am the happiest girl in the world. Take me a bookstore and it's over. You've won me.

9. Next summer, I plan on making fresh salads from our currently non-existent garden.

10. I didn't go on a plane until I was 17. In fact, I'd barely left the great PNW. Since then, I've walked the streets and tent cities of Port au Prince, Haiti, swam in the Gulf of Mexico in Lousiana and the Sea of Cortez in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, stood on the front lawn of the historic Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC, and driven across our country THREE times, with 26 states along the way. I don't plan on stopping my travels anytime soon.

11. My family always combined "vacation" with visiting family and golf tournaments, camping along the way. As a kid, I loved it and looked forward to these trips, swimming all day like a fish and falling asleep with my sleeping bag scratching my sunburn. It wasn't until I was 24 that I went on a fancy vacation. I was like a kid walking into Disneyland for the first time when we reached the resort in Cabo San Lucas. And then Aaron asked me to marry him so that was cool. :)

12. Speaking of Disney, I've actually never been.

13. I prefer documentaries and historical fiction to chick flicks and comedies. Specifically the WWII time period. If they are in a foreign language, they're that much better.

14. My husband is a band director and I have exactly 0% musical ability.

15. I am ridiculously excited to get my own office this year. You'll definitely be seeing my office decor soon.

16. My husband and I are serious nerds when it comes to most things, but especially our finances. We get giddy going over our budget and dreaming about paying off student debt. We've got problems.

17. I've never been a shoe person until I got married. I'm convinced it was my wedding shoes that pushed me. Since then (a month and a half ago) I've bought 4 pairs of shoes for the school/work year, and convinced my mom that I need Hunter boots for my birthday next month.

18. I don't have a favorite color. I like way too many to pick just one.

19. I love office supply stores.

20. I don't like paper napkins or paper towels. The feeling of them is worse than nails on a chalkboard to me. Cloth napkins and wash rags all the way. Bring on the laundry, I don't mind.

21. I want to live in a place that has snow in winter. We get a day or two of light snow and it melts before we even get a chance to enjoy it.

22. When I was 18, I moved to Alabama for school. I moved back to Washington after only 6 months, but it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I don't regret it.

23. Hot chai latte, pumpkin candle, fuzzy socks and rain on my windows. That is all.

24. We have 5 ways to brew coffee in our house. French press, pour over, regular drip, espresso machine and a Keurig. So yeah, we're from Washington.

25. The most important thing in my life is my relationship with Jesus. I don't think this is something "unknown" about me, but it is the most important. I am undeserving of the grace and love my Savior has for me. I am undeserving of the precious life I've been given. But I am using my time here in this world to known Him more, to serve Him better and to show others the love and grace He has extended to me.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Top 10 ways to procrastinate and have something to show for it.

If you're like me, you get done procrastinating and sit down to do whatever task it is that you've been putting off. Then wish that you had more reasons to put said activity on the backburner. I do this most often with school work. Being an online student is one of the hardest things I have ever done. It takes a crazy amount of self-discipline, which I simply don't have a lot of the time. Don't get me wrong, I get stuff done. I pass my classes and usually go above and beyond what the assignment requires. BUT I get most of my work done in the day or hours right before it is due. That's just how I work. 

The terrible, horrible thing about procrastinating is that you usually have nothing to show for it. If you sit in front of a TV screen watching 3 seasons of Grey's Anatomy, you'll only end up with feeling lazy and having mascara running down your face (because let's face it, Grey's can get to a girl!). If your afternoon that was set aside for paper writing turns into an afternoon dedicated to a Pinterest board with 300 new pins of houses you'll never have, you will be no closer to having that awesome sliding barn door in your kitchen (yeah, I've pinned it) than you are to turning in your research paper. I'm saying this because I have been that girl. And I love Pinterest and Netflix and doing nothing. But I also know there are much better ways to procrastinate. Ways that still sometimes include pinning, but also give you something to show for it. Ways that will make people forget that you put off homework because they're amazed at what you did instead. Read on.

Top 10 ways to procrastinate and have something to show for it.

1. Blog. Post about your day, your dog or your favorite recipe. Do a 'how-to' post... like how-to make simple burger buns. I'm really trying to figure that one out. If you don't have a blog, see #2.

2. Start a blog. It is a great way to procrastinate school work, home work, house work, etc. See current post.

3. Once you have a blog, redesign it. Some of my biggest school assignments have led me to my favorite blog designs. No joke. If you don't know how to redesign a blog, you're in for a procrastinating treat. LOOK IT UP. It will take you for-freaking-ever to figure it out and get things looking good. But once you're done, you've learned something new and you have a shiny new design to show for it.

4. Bake. Everyone loves baked goods. If you're dieting, give them away. It is a good way to meet or re-meet your neighbors. Take them to your favorite barista. Give them to your babysitter. Or your brother. Or both. But seriously, bake. If you don't know what to bake, see #5.

5. Go on Pinterest. DO NOT STOP READING... decide on a baking, crafting, cooking, decoring or gardening project, search it out, and do it! Then when anyone questions you about whatever you were putting off, you can respond with, "Oh, I didn't get to that yet because I did this (bust out a plate of cookie butter rice krispies, point to new flowerbed, show off newly painted bedroom, etc.)!!"

6. Clean. If you're trying to put off cleaning, skip this number. I have a sickness. I like to clean. Sweeping, mopping, dishes... don't even get me started on organizing. It's a serious problem, but if you want to hire me, I'm good at it. Anyway, I write my BEST papers after I completely empty out my closet and start from scratch. It is relaxing and such a great feeling to see all my clothes (after I've weeded through things I don't wear or that are too worn out), shoes and scarves neatly put away and color coordinated. Or organized by style, type, etc. Okay, I'll stop before people think I'm crazy. Sometimes cleaning is a good way to procrastinate. 

7. Organize your iTunes (or other music player) account. Make sure you don't have duplicate songs and that all your albums have artwork. Everyone knows that no amount of studying can happen until your music is seriously in order. (Again, I have a problem).

8. Research something that you don't actually HAVE to research. Do it for fun. And so that you can show off your new knowledge of the different ways to brew coffee at your next get together. "Why is french press coffee so much better than regular drip coffee?" your friends might ask. You will know.

9. Read. If you're procrastinating reading, stop it. No one questions why you are reading instead of doing whatever work you should be doing. And reading is good for you. (It should go without saying that magazines don't count.)

10. Make a list. I'm not talking about a grocery list or a honey-do list. Make a list of things you want to do or accomplish, and be serious about it. Set a time frame (this year, the next 5 years, before I turn whatever age, before we have kids, etc.) and think of real things you want to accomplish. Write them down however is best for you. (I painted mine on a canvas a couple years ago.) Then do ONE of those things. That way you have a good little start to get you motivated. Yes, I mentioned motivation in a post about procrastination. I'm sorry. Some examples I have on my upcoming list: go to Disneyland, plant a vegetable garden and read X number of books. I haven't set a number yet because I haven't set a time frame. But I will. Tomorrow. ;)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It has been a Ruff summer.

I'm not saying this is the reason that I am in the process of becoming a teacher. It's not even in my top 3 reasons that teaching is a great profession. But in mid July, when its as hot as it gets in Washington, it sure is nice to be able to pack up the car and venture around the PNW with no worries about time off and missed work. 
With our wedding and honeymoon, the summer of 2013 has already been good to the new Ruffs. :) We spent a week planning and preparing for our wedding with our closest friends and family. Then we got MARRIED. We enjoyed a peaceful and relaxing trip to Vancouver Island, and then ate our favorite foods and ordered drinks at the pool in Mexico. We were so blessed to have such a great multi-destination honeymoon, and we made lots of memories (most important part of vacationing to me!).
After we'd been home for a week from Mexico, Aaron and I packed up The Silver Bullet (my name for his car) and headed east to Spokane!

This trip was especially nice because I didn't have to sleep alone in the guest room! :) Okay no but seriously, we had so much fun!

Aaron's sisters (and mine!) really hit it off at the wedding. We thought it would be fun to take them out on a sister date while we were in town. We went down to Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane, rode some rides and of course visited the giant red wagon slide. I don't know if the girls were as excited as I was about the slide. ;) Ella and I went on a stomach turning miniature roller coaster. Thankfully neither of us had eaten right before the ride.

Anyway, we followed up all the park fun by going to Red Robin. The girls drew pictures of Aaron and giggled their way through a dinner of grilled cheese and spaghetti.
A few days later, we had dinner with almost all of the Ruff family. We had a panini party, which is the most brilliant of all dinner parties. In usual Meagan fashion, I didn't take any pictures of how nicely Laura had everything set up, or my delicious grilled cheese and turkey and pesto sandwich--pressed to perfection. That's also due in part to the fact that I let the kids play on my phone all evening. I'm a total sucker to any kid that crawls into my lap and sweetly asks, "Maggin, can I play on your phone?" I can't help it. Being called 'Maggin' gets to me. 
We had a really great night eating and laughing and looking at wedding pictures. If only Spokane and Orting weren't so far away!!

We also got a chance to go shooting with Aaron's mom and step-dad. Phil and Ruth have been taking different classes, basic gun classes and defensive classes. It is crazy what they are learning, but I'm thankful for it. Phil taught me what to do, how to hold the gun, how to stand, etc. I'm really terrible at remembering which kinds of guns we shot. They all have number names and I just don't do well with that. But this picture is from my first round. Pretty good for my first time, right?
We spent a few days at the Spokane River, and one day went out on the boat all afternoon. Don't let this picture fool you, it took a good 45 minutes of putting down the river for Alexis to smile. But once we were at it for a while, she had a lot of fun. I enjoyed it because fast tubing freaks me out. :)
Aaron and I each finished a book in the couple days that we spent lounging on the beach. It was SO NICE.
At the end of our trip, we had a baby shower for Aaron's cousin Sarah. Ruth threw the shower, and it was amazing. Straight out of pinterest in the best way possible.
The girls of the family, pre-baby shower!
All the cousins before baby Ward makes his way in there. :)
A quick shot of Charlie, Mitch and me! Their cuteness has power over me. Don't tell them.
After almost two weeks in Spokane, we drove southwest to Portland for a Five Iron Frenzy show. We priceline-d a "3-star" hotel downtown, and it was a little sketchy, but that didn't ruin our fun. We ate at Pine State Biscuits (TWICE, because it was that good), Voodoo (because you have to at least once) and Fire on the Mountain Wings with our friend Wayne.
The Reggie... yup.
The night of the concert, we didn't eat dinner. So after the crazy ska show, we ventured to a place called Mississippi Pizza.It advertised that it was open late, and we were SO GLAD. They had a live salsa band and fresh pizza at midnight. Aaron was pretty much in heaven. And besides my giant hair, I was too.