Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My First Trip To Alaska... and my dad's King Salmon



My dad just got back from his fishing trip in Alaska. My grandpa owns a few fishing lodges in Ketchikan, Alaska. I can still remember my first trip to Alaska. My dad always told me that I was allowed to go when I turned the age of 10. I think he was pulling a number out of his ass at the time, but you are fishing in the ocean and you need to be old enough to understand certain things. Anyway, I remember the day we went and I was so excited, because not am I going fishing for the first time in Alaska but I got to hang out with my dad for a whole week just him and me. 

I got all my fishing gear the Christmas prior to the summer that we went. Let's see I was 10, 13 year ago, so it was 1997 when I went to Alaska. If you haven't been to Alaska, it's one of those places you have to go to. It is the most beautiful place. It's quiet, serene and so much beauty to take in. You wouldn't think so but, it actually get's hot there. I remember being super hot one day and stripping all my layers and rain gear off. Anyway, back to my story. We stayed at my grandpa's lodge called Silver King Lodge. It's on grant island and the only establishment on a 500 acre or so island. So, it's you and the deer my friends. :)




Here are actual pictures of my grandpa's fishing lodge. 

So while my dad and I were there, back when I was 10 on my first trip I fished the crap out of him. He couldn't believe how many times my rod was going off. We also went charter fishing and I caught halibut and I believe it was the first time my dad has ever caught halibut. 

Anyways my dad was just up there and here are some of the fish he caught...

21.5 lb King Salmon


I wish I could share some of the photos of me and my dad when I was 10 fishing in Alaska. Since there was no such thing as a digital camera back then, i'm going to have to find the photos in the photo box and scan them one day to my flash drive. Some in the future, we will have to revisit my first fishing trip to Alaska.


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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Home Tour Tuesday


So I see a lot of people posts photos of their houses and what us mom's live and work with on a daily basis. I moved into our new house about a month ago. It's pretty much put together, but there are some things that aren't unpacked yet. I've been intimidated to upload photos of my house, because everyone's houses seem to be so well organized and well decorated. Anyway, I'm going to share anyway so all my followers can see my house and give me some pointers and ideas for my house. 

Living Room/Dinning

Front Yard

Kitchen 

Living Room


Mackenn'a Bathroom


Guest Room/Office/Sewing Scrapbooking Room
(Sorry For the mess) This room I still need to figure out what I'm doing in here.



Another angle of the Guest Room/Office/ Scrap Booking area


Hallway


My Bedroom :)


Opps I need to Finish laundry


Entry way and Front Door



Kitchen (Full View)

Mackenna's Room

This is what a 2 year old's Room looks like. It's impossible
to keep clean. Mackenna is actually is taking a nap in crib while I was taking photos :)



Thanks for taking the Tour. Sorry for some of the messes. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

10 Secrets to Writing a Good Blog


I've been doing some research to learn and see what really draw's people in when they decide to follow a blog and read the entire post. I found some really good tips and wanted to share them with you. I've been blogging for a couple of months now, and I feel as if I've hit a writer's block. So, here are 10 secrets to blogging. 

1. DO write about what matters to you.

This is the first commandment of blogging. The most successful blogs are written by people who are passionate about their subject matter. When you write about topics that excite you, your writing will communicate a sense of energy that will attract like-minded readers. You'll also be more likely to keep on blogging, and won't abandon your blog after a few days or weeks.

2. DON'T take a too-formal tone.

Blogging is a more informal medium than print, and your writing style should reflect that. Blogging allows you to write in a casual, face-to-face tone, as if you were sitting down for a cup of coffee with your readers. One way to begin to develop your blog "voice" is to read blogs that resonate with you and study the ways in which those bloggers choose words that maintain a professional tone while still being warm and accessible.

3. DO edit yourself.

Hey, it's your blog, right? You can write a 2,000-word essay on what you had for breakfast, or wax eloquent about everything that is wrong with retail customer service. Don't do it. Once you draft your post, read through it for redundancies, irrelevant anecdotes or anything that isn't vital. You might find that you have enough material for 2 or 3 unique posts. Your blog isn't a book; make it lean.

4. DON'T use tired clichés.

A cliché is a phrase that has been coined for so long that it has become boring. An easy way to turn off readers and make them move on to another site is to pepper your posts with clichés like "right as rain" and "easy as pie." Take a minute to prune those phrases out and replace them with something fresh and original.

5. DO spell check your posts before you click "Publish Now."

TypePad offers a spellchecking function that makes it easy for you to have typo-free posts. Whenever you see a red line beneath a word, double check the spelling. Watch out for common misspellings that won't show up on the spellchecker, such as "your" versus "you're," "their" versus "there," and "principle" and "principal." For extra spelling help, use www.dictionary.com.

6. DON'T forget basic principles of good text layout.

Readability is one of the most important aspects of good blog copy. Use line breaks between paragraphs. Use sub-heads, preferably in bold type. Use italics for emphasis. Your goal is to draw the eye and create a smooth sense of flow throughout your post. Make it easy to read!

7. DO use lists. Most blog readers skim copy rather than read it all the way through.

One way to maximize your copy impact is to use lists. Bullet lists or numbered lists call attention to important points, and ensure that readers who are skimming will catch the most vital part of your post.

8. DON'T use the same format in every post.

Mix it up a little! Some might incorporate lists, while others might be more narrative. Some posts might include a lot of images, while others will be more copy-heavy. Don't do the same thing every time.

9. DO create descriptive headlines that let readers know what to expect from your posts.

One of the best things about blogging is that it allows you to be creative. Problem is, what is clever to you might be confusing to someone else. The best way to encourage more people to read your post is to write a compelling post title, and use subheads throughout your post.

10. DON'T sweat it.

Don't let these guidelines keep you from blogging the most important thing is to keep writing. If you write with passion and conviction, you'll be able to connect with other people, and your writing will improve every time you post.

Have a Fantastic Monday!
(If anyone is interested in me hosting a blog posting of yours let me know, I would love to have a guest blogger on my blog)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Parents from different countries

I had a different childhood than most children. It wasn’t the easiest of situations at times. My dad is American and my mom is from New Zealand. My Parents met in New Zealand in 1986, one year prior to my arrival in this world. They fell in love, however my father went back to America and my mother stayed in New Zealand. My mother learned three months later, after my father returned to America, that she was pregnant with me. My mother packed her things and moved to the Seattle, Washington in the United States. I was born January 29, 1987 in Seattle, Washington. Five years after I was born, at the age of five, my parents divorced.  My mother lived in the United States until I was eleven years old, and then returned home to New Zealand to help her own mother go through some life changes. My mom was in and out of my life unitl I reached the age of eighteen. Life was tough for me as a teenager not to have my mother in my life.

When my mother returned to New Zealand, my father took care of me fulltime. It was hard for my dad, for he was young and still figuring out his life as well as dealing with raising me alone. My dad and I grew close, and developed a strong daughter and dad relationship. After my mother and my father divorced, my dad starting pursuing his career in real estate. He attended real estate school and earned his real estate license. He went to work for his dad, my grandpa, and learned the ropes of the family real estate business that my grandpa had started. My dad struggled,like any other parent, coping with kids and working full time. My dad was still the parent that never missed a sporting event, or school function, or school dances. He taught me to be who I am today, and continued to push me to be better. I t was hard cope some of the times without my mother present. There were certain things that a young teenage girl needed her mother for that I missed out on. I learned to talk to my dad about the things a normal teenager would converse with their mother. Although, there were times where I really missed my mother, I’m fortunate to have had a closer relationship with my dad, then what most girls had with their dad’s.

My mother was a great mom in my first five years of life on this world. I learned to read at a young age, due to my mom reading to me as early as six months old. She taught me walk, crawl, eat and talk. When I was little, Seasme Street was my favorite along with the Little Mermaid. My mom and I would watch the same shows over and over again together. We kept in contact by email, phone and mail. Whenever my my mom called, eveything that I was doing would stop to talk to her. My mom came to visit me two times, since she moved back home to New Zealand. I will never forgot that day. When I was in junior high I rode my bike to school everyday. I was about thirteen when my mom came to visit the first time. I never rode my bike home that fast before in my life. Once I saw my mom, waiting for me at the door step, I jumped off my bike and ran to her without hitting the brakes on my bike. Finally I was in her arms again. It had been a long four years since I got to see her face and receive a hug from her. I was so glad to see her, and remember just crying and smiling non-stop for the rest of the evening.

Not every visit, phone call, email or piece of mail was as exciting, or as fun as I have described earlier. Unfortunatley my parents didn’t get along, nor did they want to be in the same room as eachother after the divorce. This made it even more difficult for me growing up. Whenever my mom would call, my dad would get upset or he would make me feel guilty for wanting to speak to her. My dad told me my whole life, that my mom was a horrible mother and that she did nothing for me, but lie and disappoint me. He would also show me court papers that my mom had filed of abandoment. It was difficult to love my mother and show my dad respect at the same time when I wanted to speak to her. Several years passed of communicating with my mom through email and by phone. When I was fourteen, she moved back to the United States again. This time I though for sure it was going to be for good, but I was wrong. My realtionship with my mother was blocked by another brick wall. In the fall of October 2003 my mother was diganoised with a brian tumor, and was told she had three months to live. It was the most heart breaking thing I had heard in my life. I was just getting to know my mom once more and now she was going to be taken from me. I remember feeling, this could not be happening to me. I had to face reality, for it was happening. At the end of October 2003, my mom went in her first treatment of Gamma Knife Radiation. At this point my mom was fighting for her life, and the doctors had no idea that this procedure was going to even work. It was a tough and long day for my mom, but she was strong and went through the procedure . Being that my mom’s is as strong as she is, she pulled through and now has been living with the tumor for the last five years. She has stunned many dcotors, for none of them never thought she would still be here to this day. Soon after the treatment, my mom decided to move back home once again to be closer to her family, while she was recovering. Once again my mom was gone again from my life. Although, she has beaten the tumor and ultimatley in my eyes she has beaten death, the tumor still has taken a tole on my mom’s life. She still seizures from time to time and has other problems that she faces on a day to day basis. She has learned to cope with her condition, and has many things to look forward too.

In Novemer 2007, my mom learned that I was pregnant with her first grandchild. Now with her grandchild on the way, my mom and I developed an even closer relationship than we have before. My mom had another sense to keep on living through her condition, not just for me, but a new life on the way. On July 25, 2008, my daughter Mackenna Jane was born, and my mom flew back from New Zealand to meet her new grandchild. After a month my mom returned home to New Zealand, and had a tough time being away from me and her new grandchild. She called one day, and told me that she was packing up and moving back to the United States. She has been here for the last siz months, and it has been great having her close again. Especially, to have her help me with my daughter. In all that I have learned in my life, and would never of thought I would have the relationship I have now with my mother. I get to see her everyday and she is here for me now. No matter the pain I felt when I was younger, when she wasn’t aroundn, it is much worth it now to have her be close to me once again.



Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thankful Thursday



Today I'm Thankful for the a few things. First of all, I'm so thankful for getting the chance to work 
with Jumping Jax Designs. She has created my new blog design, and I love it. She is so helpful and
she had my blog done in 24 hours. Super fast and very responsive to questions you have.

Ok, let's get back on my original topic.....

This might seem really silly, but I'm really thankful I got to see this. So, everyone knows that the World Cup Soccer tournament has been going on for the last week and a half or so. 

If you are asking yourself what is the World Cup, are you kidding me!?! :)
What is Soccer? - The best sport on this planet except for Rugby!

So, anyway back to the story.

Yesterday the USA played Algeria in a elimination round. However, like most of the people I had to
work. I've been recording all the games at home on my DVR. Thank you DriecTv. Yesterday I was trying to ignore all Facebook status updates and Tweets regarding the game, because I was recording it and I wanted to wait until I got home to watch it. The person sitting next to me at work (marea) said the USA just had another goal take away! I plugged my ears  la.la.la.la. I told her that I was going to watch the game when I got home. To say the least it was hard to not get involved in everyone's conversations about the game. I was starting to get a little hungry so I went over to the Deli and got a breakfast sando. I'm walking over there enjoying my fresh air and the sunshine that was peaking out. I walked into the deli and......


The Game was on!?!

As I walked in the USA was attacking the goal and the ball was finished. The goal keeper for Algeria made a great stop, but unfortunately deflected the ball right back in front of him about 5-7 yards. Landon Donovan came running in and BAM! 
Gooooooaaaaaaaaalllll!

The ball hit the back of the net. I instantly was jumping up and down in the Deli, well everyone else was too! :) I was super excited that I got to see the winning goal live. I didn't go home last night and watch the whole game, how can you relive that moment when you know the exciting ending. I'm thankful that my belly was growling and I decided to go to the Deli when I did. 

Also, another exciting thing as well. My mom's whole side of the family is from New Zealand. So, I'm half Kiwi. The All Whites, from New Zealand have made the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. They are doing amazing. They tied Slovenia and tied Italy. Which is huge. They haven't made a point in a World Cup since 1982. Very exciting to watch and awesome for New Zealand!


Great Job USA you deserved that Win!


25. Music in the Park w/ family
26. Satellite Tv :)
27. All Whites Playing Well in World Cup
28. 35 hours of overtime on my last check (spent it :)

What are you Thankful for this week?
Link up...



Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Blog Facelift!



my new blog design is finished. 
What do you think?

Thanks and Kudos go out to Jumping Jax Design! 

Thank You!

Please be sure to grab my new button and add it to your blog...



Wordless Wednesday

















Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blog Under construction.....


Please bare with me. My blog is under construction and being redesigned with a new design.

It's currently being designed by Jumping Jax Designs.

Check out her site @ http://jumpingjaxdesigns.com/


Thanks for stopping by and reading... 


Sick, Father's Day, New Pool


First of all let me say sorry that I have posed since last Friday. 
I was super sick this weekend. I think allergies have taken over my body.

Anyways, friday night I got to hang out with Autumn while the boys were celebrating 
her finance's bachelor party. We hung out drank and got a little to silly and crazy that night.

Let's just say that it took me most of Saturday to recover from the event's of Friday night.
 Mackenna and I went to Target and Trader Joe's and got a few things. 
A new pool, golf ball set, and a new swim suit.













She loved the new pool and thought it was the best ever. Also, I never
would have thought that she would have liked the golf balls and clubs so much. She played with
them for over an hour.

We had a awesome Father's Day! We BBQ'd with Ian's parents and also got a lot done around the 
yard. I swear the pine needles hadn't been raked in like 5 years at this house. Ian mowed the lawn,
weed wacked. I shoveled and raked pine needles and pine cones, for what seemed like forever! :)

Ian had a great 2nd Father's Day with Mackenna. She is so lucky to have a 
great daddy!







Friday, June 18, 2010

Fat Friday #3


I'm on the 3rd day in the challenge with my dad. Which is who can loose more 
weight by the time he comes to visit me next month.

So far so good, down 8 pounds. Weeee!
My Dad should be sacred!!

Ian is off to go out for the bachelor party tonight for Tyson and Autumn's wedding.
They have a presidential sweet at the Grand Sierra Resort. Drinking, strippers, and the list goes on :)

Tonight I'm going to hang with autumn at my house and have a girls night of watching Sex in the city 
and making tequila and squirt drinks, and pizza. Ahhh, sounds delightful on a friday evening. 



This weekend is father's day. 
This will be Ian's 2nd Father's Day.
He is a great Dad to Mackenna and we are both lucky to have him.

What are your plans for Father's Day?
Any Father's Day gift Idea's?







Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thankful - for a lot


I couldn't pinpoint one thing this week for what i was thankful for....
It's hard when you have several things..

Ok, FINE! I will just go with one thing...



I'm super thankful because we moved into a new place a couple of weeks ago.
We lived in a townhome that was attached, which I'm sure you all know what it's like to be 
attached to someone else's wall. It just plain sucks.

I was entertaining the idea of moving. I hoped on craigslist and was looking for houses.
Now we paid a lot for our attached townhome. $1400 a month. 
So, I looked and looked at several places and finally I was about to just give up on the 
whole thing. Then one evening I was at Safeway.

Side note: Safeway in Truckee, CA is one of the only grocery stores in town
so you can't go in there without seeing anyone you don't know. It's immpossible.

I ran into a friend that I used to work with and she told me that she was moving our of her
3 bedroom house. I was like sweet. I took Ian by and it was exactly what we were looking for.
3bedroom, 2 bathrooms, 2 car garage, wood burning stove.

Another side note: Woodburning stove in the Lake Tahoe, CA area is a huge must. 
Saves you a ton of money on Gas/heat. Our gas bill could be over $200 in the winter easily.

After looking at this place I wanted it so bad. So, I went ahead and put our notice in and we moved
in 30 days later. We lived at our townhome for 3 years. We had tons of stuff that needed to be sorted and
gone through to make sure we needed all of it. In a way I like to move, because you get a chance to 
purge through all of your stuff and clean stuff out.

So happy we moved and now we have a house! It's a little more than our place now
$1550, but the extra $150 bucks is worth it to sleep better at night and have a little more
privacy and a house that you can jump around and bang around. :)

Other things I'm thankful this week.

16. 30 hours of overtime on my paycheck
17. Our new place and how it's working better for us.
18. I'm still thankful for our new bed. :)
19. Mackenna is back on her normal bedtime
20. Quality food and things to eat
21. Starbucks...
22. Caring and loving Spouse
23. My 20 new followers




Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Weight Loss Challenge: Father Vs. Daughter


I was talking to my dad last night... catching up since I think he only calls me like once or
twice a week... ;) 
So, I was talk to my Dad and he said that he was "Fat" 
Oh Jeez, I know the feeling... I'm trying myself to get myself back into shape
and hopefully my ultimate goal is to get back down to my high school weight. :)
We shall see how that goes.



Here's how the challenge started...
I basically told my dad that he needs to be down here for Mackenna's 2nd birthday 
because he is slacking in the grandpa department. So, he told me that he was going 
back on the Adkins diet. My dad has always been successful on this diet, because all
he usually eats is meat and salad. My dad isn't huge on sweets, but he will jump after anything
coconut.

The Challenge.....

So, my dad said that he can loose more weight than me by the time he comes down for
Mackenna's Birthday at the end of July. Seems like a reasonable amount of time. 

I'm pulling the no fair card already after I've been thinking about it. 
MEN! always loose more weight and faster than woman. 
I'm really going to have to get on top of my game, so I can kick my dad's butt.
Side note: My family is very competitive and no one likes to loose at anything.

So, the Challenge starts today in my opinion. The sooner the better.
Wish me luck and I will reveal the winner in about a month. 



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Work, School, Mom = Hectic Life


I'm a full time working Mom/Student.
Mackenna now... she will be 2 next month (Yikes)

I work on average of 50-60 hours a week at work, pulling in about 20 hours a paycheck in
overtime. Sometimes I get stressed because some weeks I hardly get to see my daughter Mackenna.
Not only do I work full time I go to School full time 30+ miles away from where we live.

We live in beautiful Lake Tahoe. Where it can snow 3 feet of snow in 
a matter of hours. I love living here, but when you have a busy schedule such as 
mine, the snow can get in the way.

My commute from home can turn from a 30 minute drive to 2 hours if we are having a 
really good intense storm.

Oh, back to the point...

sorry, I can get off topic pretty easy. So, I have a insane schedule, from juggling: school,
work, Mackenna, home life, my relationship with Ian.
It's gets very tiring and stressful.

However, most people think that I'm crazy and wonder how I do all of this:

Ok, here is my secret RED BULL!
I do have a problem and addiction to red bull, but this is hardly how I 
get through all of my daily tasks. I get through it because I have a lot of support. I try and 
balance out my work/overtime onto the weekends working from home when Mackenna is napping. I study
after Mackenna is in bed and I've cooked dinner. 

I may....
* Fall asleep with my books on my face
* Nap and Sleep fully clothed. 
* Hit my snooze button more than 3 times
* I may not wear makeup every morning
* lack in my social life
* sleep in my car at work for my hour lunch

I was in the middle of my undergrad degree in monocular biology and 20 years old when I 
found out I was pregnant with Mackenna Jane. I took 6 months off of school after she was born
and went back to school when she was 6 months old. It was the toughest semester of my life... 
but, that story of the toughest semester is for another day..













Monday, June 14, 2010

McFatty Monday - Summer Slim Down


Everyone seems to be writing about the struggle of being a woman and loosing weight
after the baby. I too am trying to do the same. It's hard. 

I work full time and go to school full time. Then when I get home I have to be the full time
mom/wife. It never ends for us mother's. 

Cleaning, Cooking, Laundry, Bills, Budgets 

I've been on the cleanse again Isagenix for the last week. I hope to stick on it for the rest of the summer 
and back to my old self. Heck I would settle for my high school weight. That would be 
awesome. 

So after 1 week 4lbs down.
Weee.....


I need to take a self shot of myself and post it. 

Maybe next week... for my next McFatty Monday Post.


Thoughts.....
What kind of diets are you guys doing?
What's working for you?
How many lbs do you need to loose.. maybe we can do it together?



Friday, June 11, 2010

Fat Friday... 2nd Cleanse Day

So, I'm on track so far as to a week back on Isagenix. It's such an amazing product.
I feel so energetic again. I got some new products in the mail yesterday.

Isa Pro 
Protein Supplement to add to my shakes. I never seem to eat enough protein..
Do you?

Slim Cakes


Isa Lean Shakes



I'm so excited about my newest products. Is anyone interested in doing a weight
challenge with me. Or maybe we can have several of us doing to together.

I've lost 14lbs and 16 inches in 15 days. This products is amazing.

If you are interested in anyother information, please email me Kristina.J.Ruth@gmail.com








Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!".... Thankful


I love Mackenna with all my heart since the day she was born, but I seem to fall even more
in love with her now that she can communicate with me and talk to me.

For the longest time Mackenna was always interested in "Daddy".
Daddy, Daddy, Daddy! 
So, not fair, right!?! 
All of a sudden it was "Mommy" Finally...

So now when she wakes up from her nap, granted if she knows i'm there or not, she scream "Mommy" 
until I go in there and get her. Everytime she says mommy, it melts me like a creamsicle.  She is starting
to pick up words left and right. Now when I put her to bed she tells me "nuh night mommy, I luv you."
She isn't even 2 yet.... but I love the fact that when I say I love you, she can tell me back. 





I'm am so blessed to have such a smart and loving child. She will be 2 next month and 
I feel like these precious moments with her and flashing before my eyes. When people
say "they grow up fast", I now am a firm believer of this statement, because it's so true. 

This Week I'm thankful for....

8. Mackenna Saying "I love you" and "Mommy"
9. 26 Hours of Overtime on my next check
10. Sunshine everyday (Finally Summer)
11. For Ian for loving me and dealing with my mood swings :)
12. For our New House
13. New Cali King Size Bed
14. Orange Popsicle Ray Ban's 

What are you Thankful For???









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