Brogan Can Go Boo

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I am so happy.

My baby neice, Brigid, said my name today.

“Poo-gal”

And she didn’t want to stop snuggling me all evening. ❤

I can’t even.

On another note, my nephews (4 yrs old & 7 yrs old) decided they really wanted to go to a haunted house for Halloween. So to convince them that haunted houses are a little scarier than they can handle at this time of life, Katie (my sister) and I made our own version of a haunted house – We turned off all the lights, hid in the upstairs of the house, and had the kids come look for us in the dark.

And look for us.

And look for us.

And then we jumped out at them and yelled,

“AHHHHHHHH!!!!!”

And they went,

“AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!”

Then they said silly things like,

“Please don’t hide again, Aunt Poogle! Oh, please!”

And then when they weren’t looking, I hid again, because I am heartless.

Being an aunt might just be one of my favorite things ever.

 

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A New Fun Game

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Today some of my girlfriends and I made up a game.

If you have any friends who are very indecisive and who’s minds easily wander, this might be a fun game for you too!

Here’s how it works:

You take your friend who is indecisive and has a mind who easily wanders (in our case today, that was Katelyn)

You take them to the store

You allow them to lead the way through the store, choose what they’d like to look at, get what they’d like to get

Do your best not to point them in any direction or give them hints about what you’re interested in

Who knows? You could end up coming home with pumpkin spice cookie dough, a five-dollar kid’s movie, and some hot chip things called “Takis”

It’s quite the adventure

Plus you’ll look like a funny little group walking around the store in a single file line all silent-like

I highly recommend

Note to Self: Don’t Make Abbie Wear Pink If You Get Married One Day

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Things are changing and happening very quick:

Autumn is moving to a new city and starting a new school

Chaela just had a life changing summer full of mission work

Katelyn just became Master Katelyn and who knows what her next step will be

I start my new job in a week

Abbie made a new friend and is engaged

So I am very grateful that in this time of craziness somehow we are all together, sitting around the kitchen table, and just enjoying each other.

Abbie burned the popcorn, but that’s okay. We still love her.

Okay. So actually, secret, burned popcorn is my favorite.

Chaela and I are Still Punks, & You Should Visit Charleston, SC Even if You’re Not a Punk as Well.

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I think many people my age had a “punk stage” – many people you wouldn’t expect it from. I am probably one of “wouldn’t expect it” people myself. I’m very blonde and curly headed and bubbly and not at all cool.

Now I definitely wouldn’t classify the band MayDay Parade as “hard core”, more like pop-punk (let’s not get into an argument about punk genres in the comments section, I’ll admit here and now that I don’t really know what I’m talking about..), but MayDay Parade’s A Lesson In Romantics album was pretty much my life from 8-10th grade, the same years I was loading up on the black eye-liner and listening to The Devil Wears Prada and A Day to Remember (okay.. I still do those things…).

All this being said,  recently when Chaela and I heard that MayDay was doing a 10 year anniversary Lesson In Romantics concert tour, we just HAD to go. We went to Charleston’s Music Farm and ROCKED OUT. We weren’t even the oldest people there this time (last time was a We The Kings Concert, and we were definitely the oldest people there…) .We met a cool dad who used to be a police officer but retired and now protects his sweet teenage daughter at concerts for a living, and we met these two 30-something year old chicks who have been to 10 MayDay Parade concerts in the last 8 years. THAT is dedication!

At the concert, MayDay played all of their old songs, and it was fantastic! They were really there for their fans! As always, Chaela and I made it to the very front. How it happens, I don’t know – we never push, just ride the current of the crowd and hold our ground like a boulders! It works every time! I also love how loving the punk community is.. It’s like we were all best friends because we like the same band.. I love that!

But I have to briefly speak about more than just the concert.. I want to remember the rest of the trip too – and writing these blogs is part of how I do that!

You wouldn’t think such a rainy couple of days would be so much fun, but it was! When we drove into downtown Charleston, it was flooded. I mean it.. My poor little Ford Fiesta wasn’t too happy about it – but thankfully I learned the “tail the person in front of you while they part the Red Sea” trick. We dropped our stuff off at our “hostel” (totally not an actual hostel, it was through Air BnB, we had our own room, it was a block away from Music Farm. So. Perfect!) and went to the concert (rocked out!!!). The next day we knew it’d be rainy, so we figured we would play it by ear, and be grateful for a day off together in a fun place no matter the weather!

Here’s the crazy part about this trip: the forecast said rain all day, but it NEVER rained on us! Woke up and walked to Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts (BEST DONUT SHOP EVER!!!), walked back with doughnuts for our hostel mates – didn’t rain. Met some lovely ladies from Chicago over doughnuts at the hostel – might have rained, I wouldn’t know, because we were inside. Went to Folly Beach, laid out and played in the ocean – didn’t rain. Went to this delicious sandwich and soup place we love for lunch (you should try it. It’s called “Ladles”) – might have rained, I wouldn’t know, because we were inside. Went to take photos at this beautiful marshy park place in Mt. Pleasant (see photo) – didn’t rain. Noticed that part of my undercarriage was broken and hanging down onto the ground – didn’t rain. Met my friend Justin for coffee. Met Chaela’s friends Matthew, RJ, and Sam for pizza in North Charleston (that pizza place won’t get my vouch, sorry). Walked around downtown North Charleston – didn’t rain. Watched as Chaela’s sweet friend RJ fixed my broken car – didn’t rain (Thanks RJ! I’m sure you won’t remember me, but you will forever be in my memory due to your kindness helping a stranger!!!).

We had such a great time. Chaela and I talked about it, and we think part of why it was such a wonderful time was that we didn’t have many expectations. We just enjoyed our time, communicated with each other (i.e. “I’m hungry”, “I have to pee”, “I’d like to see my friends today if we have time”, “can we get coffee?”, “I’d love to take some pictures at this place”). So that’s what I recommend – go live life, have fun, be grateful, communicate, meet strangers, be calm, ask for help, stay a punk, use Air BnB, and accept what is given to you. I’m so grateful I was given this beautiful trip to Charleston with my friend!

Last thing! Just remembered: so Chaela and I were driving home that night – it was raining a bit on the drive. We get to Aiken around midnight – it starts pouring down. We had to pull over at a gas station it was so bad.

We’re at the gas station, it’s still raining hard and we give up on waiting for it to clear up. We get to Chaela’s house – it stops raining. We carry all her stuff inside without it raining on us.

Isn’t that crazy!!?!?!

 

 

 

1st Week Thoughts: Confused Counselor Eating Way Too Much Cheesecake

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I am sitting in Katelyn’s temporary Clemson living room watching Trolls and eating blueberry cheesecake from Walmart. Autumn’s and my stinky camp laundry are twirling in the washing machine. The first week of camp just ended – we left around 5 pm today; our new campers come in at 2 pm tomorrow.

The idea that another cabin of beautiful ladies exists is beyond me… How can there be anyone else out there but my girls? I’m going to miss them so much. They have taught me so much about bravery, joy, contentedness… and patience.

But there are more campers, and I must love them just as much, and I must not let myself get burnt out and exhausted, and I must give it my all. I will pretend to be brave even when I’m not. I will sing camp songs at the top of my lungs, start camp fires in the rain, and fake it until I make it.

Honestly, it really doesn’t require much faking. I love my campers – and I love to have a smile on my face and participate as much as I can, because it helps them have one of their best weeks of the year.

But can I be honest? I’m so tired. And this is one of the hardest things I have ever done (and most rewarding… but still ). I’m not used to others being so dependent on me in every way, 24/7. And I’m not used to having such little time to myself or for adult conversation.

I’m so grateful for this 21 hours to recoup. And I’m so grateful that Katelyn is in town and offered her laundry machine, living room and kitchen for the evening. I wasn’t too excited for the prospect of spending my evening in a laundromat alone… But I certainly am excited to be with good friends, eating food I cooked, and taking a moment to talk and reflect. A night like this will certainly help me be ready to love my campers hard-core this week.

I’m thankful for this opportunity.

LIVE BRIGHT, LOVE BETTER,

Ruthie

(Wow… Trolls is a weird movie…)

Camp, Contentedness, and Change

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Monday I will embark on an adventure that many embark on during their college years. I did not have this experience during college summers, but thankfully God has graciously given me the opportunity to do it now! I am going to be a camp counselor.

Honestly, I needed the extra years to become ready for such a task. A few years back, I helped Abbie take some videography shots for Ridge Haven camp in North Carolina; I distinctly remember observing those campers and counselors and being completely humbled.

 “These people are so impactful and wonderful. They constantly put others above their own needs, keep their energy high and have such fun – all with no time to themselves and on a diet of fish sticks! I could never be as selfless as that. I’m just not cut out for it,” I thought to myself.

But evidently I am supposed to be cut out for it! That’s not to say that I am a much more caring or selfless person than I was 3 years ago, but my goodness I’m so excited for the prospect of becoming that person! I just spent 4 years focusing on my education, 1 year of a Dietetic Internship focusing on my career and success – and while I’m so grateful and excited for these experiences, and very excited to be a Registered Dietitian who helps people live quality lives and empowers individuals to make good healthy choices, my goodness do I need to spend a summer getting over myself!

There is no better way to get over yourself and learn contentedness than spending time with developmentally disabled, low income, or otherwise “impaired” individuals – and that’s what I get to do for the next 8 weeks!  I truly believe that when you have less, you are more satisfied. The pursuit of success, popularity, etc, truly does not bring happiness.

Something I never want to forget in life is the beautiful contentedness, joy, and satisfaction many of my friends with special needs have in life – so ecstatic to be working at the grocery store, local gym, or sub shop and living in an apartment with friends – always having something positive to say about their job! Where does this contentedness come from? I think it largely comes from living out of an attitude of gratitude. (Dude. I should totes make “Attitude of Gratitude” T-shirts!).

I know this is a kind of awkward tangent to go on when I’m talking about being a camp counselor, but it makes total sense really. You see – I felt called to go to work at camp this summer, because my inner selfish, career ladder climbing, wants to wear business suits and carry a big leather bag and have a nice watch and Gucci shades self needs to be put to death – NOT THAT ANY OF THOSE THINGS ARE BAD IN OF THEMSELVES, but my inner desire to be at the top and to serve my own self instead of the Lord with my life is very  bad. Very bad indeed, friends.

God is so gracious to naturally rebellious people like me, eh? 🙂

So camp…

  1. I think God will use on this journey of life, which is also a journey of getting over myself.
  2. Will bring about further contentedness in my life, and give me more beautiful examples of people living with an attitude of gratitude.
  3.  WILL BE SO STINKING FUN!!!

 

I’ll post at the end of the summer and see if my hypotheses are correct.

I will post bi-weekly throughout the summer, as I promised my Grandma. But in all honesty I’ve already written all the posts and have them scheduled to publish – I know camp is going to be a busy time and will  require my full focus! It’s very possible though that I may have some time to post a real-time update or two 🙂

Until then, happy summer!

“Everyone needs to work at a camp!” Chaela

Palentine’s Day

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You know how to freak out  your single girl-friend really good? Say this:

Hey Chaela! There are these two guys that want to take us out for Valentine’s day. I told them we’d go with them. They’re really excited. They want to dress up, wear ties, pay for us, all that stuff.”

I’m a very friendly person. She very much beleived I accepted a double Valentine’s date for us from two random strangers.

Ruth! No… Oh Ruth. Wha.. How old are they? What were you thinking?!?”

“They’re 4 and 7! They want to take us to Chick-Fil-A!”

Chaela and I had a wonderful Valentine’s with my nephews Brogan and Declan. Those boys got us chocolates, flowers, and hand-drawn pictures. We had stimulating  conversation about what our favorite letters of the alphabet are (‘S’ because the word ‘slinky’ starts with it. ‘Y’ because it’s a vowel AND a consonent). 

We even went to ice cream after dinner! Both boys decided to get the blue and green ice creams mixed together (A.K.A. cotton candy & mint) with tasty mix-ins such as Reesies peices and M&Ms. Note: this combo is not as disgusting as it sounds. I taste-tested.

I’ve had some really really wonderful Valentine’s days in my time, but I have to say this one with friends and nephews might be the best yet.

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“I’m wearing a tie, because we’re going on a date!”