Saturday, January 30, 2010


Today, I sit inside my cozy home, looking at the ice covering the trees, and I just feel so grateful for my simple little life. I love days like today when I have absolutely nowhere to be and nothing to do but love on my sweet family. We have been so very lazy today, and it has been wonderful! We have cuddled on the couch and watched Planet Earth- the one about the arctic tundra-where there is a LOT of ice. We have had hot chocolate and played and read books....sounds dreamy, huh?
I have always been a home-body. I am just wired that way. As a teenager, most weekends were spent hanging out at my house. (It helped having really fun parents.) And even now, I love to entertain and have people over and even go out occasionally, but I am most content in the comfort of my own home. I so enjoy a simple picnic in the backyard with the girls or a walk around the block. I love opening every window in the spring and grilling out. I love late nights of playing outside in the summer. I LOVE everything about the fall. And even the winter has it's upside-days like today... filled with hot tea and movies! I want my children to grow up appreciating the simple things in life. I want our home to be a happy place where they can slow down and just be kids. I want us, as a family, to continue to be, as Lily puts it, "the most favorite of friends." I look back with the fondest of memories growing up. And you know what? It's not the running around and going a million places that I remember (because we didn't). It's the life-giving, loving home and the millions of memories we made there that shine in my mind.
And that's why I love days like today. I'm not saying I won't have a little cabin fever by Monday, but it is such a good reminder to slow down and ENJOY what matters most.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Birthday Blessings for Jessica

My lovely sister-in-law, Jessica, is entering into her last year of her twenties today. She is the second oldest in the Rucker clan, a wife, and a new mother (to sweet little Finley).

I will start out by saying, I adore Jessica. Since Nathan and I first starting dating, I have always thought of Jessica as a very welcoming, loving person. She is so easy to get close to (and literally too- she loves to snuggle...haha). She most definitely wears her heart on her sleeve. She will cry just as much when she is happy as when she is sad. It is an endearing thing about her, and it shows how genuine of a person she is.
One of my favorite things about her is that she is very easy to talk to. I love our talks. I trust and value her opinion greatly. She is not scared to tell it like it is or speak up when needed (which I respect). We trained for a half-marathon together, and my favorite times during our training were our long Saturday runs. We talked the whole time- and it made the running go by fast! Jessica is a passionate person. Listening to her tell a story is fun because she gets so excited and into the story. She shows that passion in her work as well. She is a hard worker and very good at what she does.
I look up to her and respect her so much. She is an awesome example of a godly woman, wife, and mother; she is very grounded in her faith, and her life is evidence of her heart's focus. I also love her modesty. That is easily lost in today's culture, but I admire that about her; she always looks amazing though-- (even after hours of labor).
She is one of my most favorite people to be around (and I truly mean that). Nathan and I love hanging out at their house- She and Jacob are so much fun! (We really hated we could not be home for her birthday this weekend.)

Jessica-on your day, know that we send you much love from Jackson, and we can't wait to see you in two weeks! We will come armed with birthday goodies! :) I hope you have a crazy-fun evening filled with lots of cake balls and birthday happies.
I love you girl!

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue." Proverbs 31: 25-26

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm With COCO

I have fond memories of The Tonight Show. Growing up, I remember so well lying in bed at night (trying to fall asleep) and hearing my parents laugh out loud (and very loud at that) at The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. In the dark of my room, when I may have been scared of what lurked under my bed or what prowled in my closet, it was always so comforting to hear my parents just down the hall laughing so heartily. It made me feel like all was well and good with the world, and it was safe for me to fall asleep. When I was old enough to stay up past 10 o’clock, I would join them in watching the opening standup of the show. By this time, Johnny Carson had retired, and we had switched to The Late Night Show with David Letterman. I loved how goofy David Letterman would act. I loved how he would always do crazy things, like throw a turkey off a building, play the game “Sink or Swim”, or do “Stupid Human Tricks”. His humor to me (and my family) was so funny! Jay Leno’s humor, on the other hand, not so much. He just didn’t have the comedic abilities Letterman so clearly had. (I say had when referring to Letterman because he is too cynical and political on his show for me to watch it now).

Then, I discovered Conan O’Brien. I was probably a junior or senior in high school when I started staying up to watch the opening acts of Conan. It was probably only in the summertime that I was able to watch him because he came on so late. I have distinct memories of me laughing out loud (hoping I would not wake up the rest of the house) while watching it by myself. I have been a big Conan fan ever since. Conan’s humor is a lot like David Letterman’s. He is an extremely goofy, off the cuff kind of comedian, and sometimes the funniest moments with Conan are the times when his jokes bomb.

You can only imagine how excited I was when, finally, Conan took over The Tonight Show. Nathan and I get all comfy, ready for bed, and turn on Conan. Now we are the ones up watching and laughing. We love our Conan time!

If you have watched the news, late night shows, or SNL at all in the past few weeks, you know the NBC executives are giving The Tonight Show back to Leno and Conan will no longer be with NBC…………………. What the heck?!?! Leno has been the Tonight Show host for 17 years, and it is high time he moves on. Years ago, he (somehow) beat-out Letterman for The Tonight Show… and now he is taking it back from Conan. Seriously people, he is not that funny. Nathan put it perfectly when he said, “Leno is only as funny as his writers allow him to be”. Watch the two shows and compare the two. Conan has real talent! I am not saying that Leno’s show is a complete bore or that he does not have good segments (i.e. Headlines), but the beginning stand up and interviews with the guests create many LOL moments with Conan and not so many with Leno. I feel like the real bad guys in this whole situation are the NBC executives and a little bit Jay Leno. Therefore, I choose to boycott The Tonight Show when Leno takes it back over. I invite others to join!!! I sincerely hope The Tonight Show bombs in ratings, Conan moves to Fox, his ratings are amazing, and he starts a new late night legacy there.

Ahh… that would make me happy.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is our dad's 51st birthday... or as he would say, his 38th-plus a couple hundred months. His birthday month started out great when his favorite team won their 13th National Championship game. Probably the entire state of Mississippi heard that man cheering them to victory. He is the biggest Bama fan there is, and it is entertainment in itself to watch him watch a game.

We are really proud of our dad. He is amazing at what he does. He has received salesmen of the year twice in a row with his company (which is extremely hard to do). He has always worked very hard to provide for us. Through the years, he went without many times so that we wouldn't have to. And even now as adults, we can give him puppy dog eyes and still get almost anything we ask. He was not only generous with us, but he couldn't even turn down the little old ladies at Schnucks trying to sell encyclopedias. This big man that can bench press 300lbs (we think) really wears his heart on his sleeve. Never once did we doubt his love for us, or that fact that he thought we were beautiful, or that he was proud of us-- because he told us constantly (and still does).

As adults, we (and our husbands) thoroughly enjoy his company. He, hands down, has the greatest laugh of anyone we know. You cannot help but laugh right along with him when he starts up. He is also a wealth of useless trivia and corny jokes. As much as we hate to admit it, he would KILL us at Jeopardy. In addition to wits, he is a master griller...He should be- he literally grills every night. He can cook a mean steak.

We love that what you see is what you get with him; he is an all-around likable person (unless you wake him up from a nap-that is how he earned his nickname "bear"). And if all this wasn't enough, watching him become "Papaw" has been a highlight in our life. He is, without a doubt, the best there is. Lily and Evie adore him, and why wouldn't they?! He is wrapped around their little pinkies. He plays with them, he watches movies with them, he brings them treats, he showers them with affection, and loves them to pieces. Lily says Papaw is one of her best friends.

For his birthday, the perfect day would include his whole family around, a game on with Alabama beating Tennessee, a juicy steak, and a chocolate milkshake made with HOMEMADE vanilla ice cream.
Happy Birthday, Dad-- We love you very much, and we hope we have many, many more years of birthday blogs for you!!- Corrie and Anna

Monday, January 4, 2010

Seven Years and No Itching Here!

Seven years ago today, I walked down an aisle in front a church full of people and made a commitment for life to my best friend. Did I fully realize what I was getting myself into? Probably not. I was young and in love! And even though I had no doubt that Patrick was the person God intended me to marry, I am sure I didn't have a complete grasp of the enormity of my decision. But God has been faithfully guiding us through the years and teaching us both in the process. It has been a full and abundant seven years! We've had two graduations (me-Bachelor's, Patrick-Master's), two houses, work promotions, family situations, a dog, six cars, the loss of a grandparent, a trying (emotionally and physically) pregnancy, two beautiful little girls, and thousands of moments that make each day special. We have been so blessed.
I am grateful for so many things in our time together, but Patrick himself tops the list. He is the best! I cannot begin to tell you how many things I love about him, and he is constantly giving me new reasons to adore him. First off, he is the picture of what a godly husband looks like. He leads our home spiritually first and foremost. He starts everyday in the Word, reads and prays with us, and every action in his life is a reflection of his love for the Lord. Colossians 3:23 comes to my mind when I think of him. "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men." Patrick works harder than anyone I know, not only at his job but in every aspect of his life. He is a man of such integrity, and I have the utmost respect for him. Speaking of working hard, he is good at literally everything. He is a handy-man who can fix anything: cars, house stuff... you name it. In seven years, I don't think I have ever called a repair man to come out. Patrick does it all! And he can play the bass, he's athletic, he can cook, he's smart, he makes me laugh, he is the most reliable person I know, and he has the heart of a servant. The man makes me coffee every morning, and, every night, he starts my bathtub!:) He's a gem!
And then, if that's not enough, he is the most amazing dad. Growing up in a home without alot of affection made me wonder how he would be when we had children. Every doubt I ever had vanished the first time I saw him hold our daughter. He smothers them with kisses. He compliments and encourages them daily. He plays for HOURS on end with the girls. He reads to them, teaches them, tucks them in, bathes them....He is wonderful. Patrick wakes up at 5:30 every morning to work-out and run just so that not a minute of his time when he gets home from work is wasted. Lily, Evie, and I anxiously wait on him to walk through the door each evening, and when he is home, everything seems right and complete. He is the highlight of our day.
I can honestly say I love him more than the day I married him. God willing, I want to be standing by him on January 4, 2053, saying the exact same thing. The past seven years have gone by so fast. I have realized that life is, like they say, short but sweet. And you, Patrick, are one of life's sweetest blessings to me. I love you. Happy Anniversary!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Out with the old, in with the NEW YEAR!!

We hope you had a Merry Christmas! Can you believe the year is almost over? Not to be to cliche', but time flies!! We have had a great 2009. God has been immeasurably good to us, and for that, we are so grateful. But now it's time to kiss the year good-bye and look forward to 2010!

We are not typically ones to make resolutions. Resolutions die in February. That being said, we aren't without goals. Do we want to be in the same place this time next year? No. Life is about moving forward and making progress. It is a scary thing to become too complacent. Next December, we would like to look back on the year and see ways in which we have grown in all aspects of our life: spiritually, physically (not so much grow in this area...maybe more like shrink), emotionally, intellectually, financially (oh...please let this area grow).

But in the spirit of blogging, we thought we would list individually some "resolutions". Most are not all that important, just fun. We will update you on our progress throughout the year. Or maybe just throughout January....

So here goes:

Corrie's List-
  • Make my bed daily

  • Drink more water (I will probably fail at this first)

  • Brush my teeth more gently (according to the dentist, I will have no gums if I continue this way)

  • Not spend fifty dollars a week at Target (this might help my finances grow)

  • Read some of the classics that I have never read (I LOVE to read, but somehow some major books have escaped me)

  • Clip coupons

  • Train for a 5k (might not sound like much, but if you saw me at the gym this morning, you would know I have a LONG way to go)

  • Keep my car slightly more clean than I do now (it is REALLY bad)

  • Work in my yard more (I do not have a green thumb, and I do not enjoy yard work).
I told you my list was full of things that aren't too important. That way, if I fail, I won't feel too bad. Like we said, I'll let you know how it goes.

Anna's List-
  • Walk Bella (my dog) everyday (or at a minimum 5 times a week)

  • Find cheap ways to do everything: dress, eat, decorate (but, of course, still look like a million bucks!)

  • Eat a healthy breakfast every morning (this one is hard for me because I am running late literally every morning, so I have no time to cook)

  • Be on time in the mornings

  • Find healthy ways to cook dinner (I need healthy recipes, please)

  • Train for another half marathon (this one will come later in the year probably)

  • Organize my pictures (scrapbook, online storybook, put them all on DVDs)

  • Read the classics (like Corrie, I LOVE to read, but there are so many books I have yet to discover. I am starting early on this one-currently reading: Bram Stoker's Dracula.)
  • Understand the plot of LOST

If you have any suggestions regarding any items on my list, please share them with me :)

What are your new years resolutions...err... goals? We would love to hear your thoughts. We hope you have a blessed 2010! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!