October 31, 2007

The Adventure Begins

Wow. So I started work today. And it was eye-opening, to say the least. Among several happenings, a lady walked in and saw a Christmas table display (set up like a dinner table, complete with dinnerware, napkins, etc.) and said that she'd like to take it out on approval. And when I say "it," I mean the WHOLE table, plates, napkins, and all. Her total came to around $5,520. To pass time, my fellow workers and I looked at people's purchase histories to see their totals. We're talking $90,000, $115,000----just in one visit.

But my favorite scenario happened about 5:30, just before the store was closing. I got a phone call and promptly answered it. "Hello," said Mrs. B from Lousiana, "I was in your store recently, but I can't make it back anytime soon. I saw some things that I just have to have for my Christmas dining table. My colors are copper, gold, and green. I want those colors mixed, not separate, does that make sense? I just saw the most gorgeous Christmas trees that last time I was there..." As I was doing the Devil-Wears-Prada, writing notes 90 mph, I pieced together what she was saying. "So, given your color scheme, you're wanting me to design your Christmas dining room table and ship everything to you?" I asked tentatively.

"YES! That's exactly what I'm saying!" she exclaimed happily. "However, I will be leaving for New York soon and won't be back til after Thanksgiving, and my Christmas Decorator [yes, she was serious] is decorating my house on November 11. So I need these things shipped fairly soon."

I knew the answer was obvious, but I asked anyway: "So do you have a specific budget in mind or are you flexible?" (I thought that was a tactful way to put it.)

"Oh, I'm very flexible," she chirpped. "I'll email you pictures of my dining table and we'll talk on Friday."

"That sounds great, Mrs. D. I'll have your table ready."

Welcome to the world of Annelle Primos and Associates. Day one.

October 30, 2007

Thank goodness for Daddies and Husbands

I had a really bad day. My financial aid got totally messed up, I got a less-than-great grade on an English test, walked out of my English class (as in, didn't stay for lecture), found out one of my best friends is living in Austria this whole spring and summer, and vacation plans are up in the air due to a family member who is causing issues in our family. I cried twice at school before 10 am. Not a good sign. Kurt was at work, and I called my Daddy. I know I'm supposed to "leave and cleave" but I can still call my Daddy, thank you very much. Being the amazing father that he is, he made the trip to MC, realized he forgot a certain form we needed, went to go get the form, and drove BACK to MC. Then treated me to Chick-Fil-A, and handed me a $20 bill. "I'm treating you and Kurt to dinner. Don't cook tonight," he said :) Which almost made me cry AGAIN. When Kurt got home, I had just gotten the news about the vacation possibly not coming through, and he was sweet and comforting, as he always is. Then we went to Little Tokyo to cheer me up. It really did help just to eat at a restaurant. We went over to my parents' house and took Andrea (my baby sister) flowers and a "junior-high" age celebrity gossip magazine, "J-14." It cheered me up to see HER cheered up. We watched some TV and laughed at my impressions of people (who I WILL not name). It was good for my spirit. God is in control. We sometimes have off days. Thank goodness for the three men in my life: Jesus, Daddy, and Kurt. How I love them :)

Bad Day

I'll post more about it later....but this has been a really bad day. Just say a prayer for me and my family if you think about it.

October 29, 2007

I LOVE Surveys

Beaucoup Questions
Take this survey


Aside from Driver's Ed, who really taught you how to drive?
My dad

What's the one thing you love/miss about your Grandma's cooking?
It's just so yummy

If you had money to burn, what 3 charities would you donate to?
Susan G. Komen, Make a Wish Foundation and anything pro-life

What "Late Night Radio" song would you request to your man/woman?
I hardly think I would ever phone a radio station.

What was the last high school/college project you did?
I designed a public restroom space that was ADA compliant.

As a kid, who was the first -famous death- you remember hearing about?
Princess Diana was the first one that I got really upset about

What kind of music did your parent's listen to while u were growing up?
Contemporary Christian and 70s was my dad, Disney and Christmas was my mom. You see where I get it from.

Name 2 historic events that have happened in your lifetime:
Katrina and 9/11

Who taught you to tie your shoes?
I actually think I figured it out myself

Where did you go on your first official date?
movies

When you cruised the strip... who were you usually with?
I never cruised a strip...the closest was probably Old Canton

Who was like your second Mom or second Dad?
my grandparents

Who is your Strangest Relative and why?
pleading the 5th

What's your typical ice cream order at Dairy Queen?
I dont go to Dairy Queen

Animal House or Caddyshack?
Caddyshack, but that's not my kind of humor

Dorito's or Frito Lays?
Dorito's

Straight-Man or Comic Relief?
what?

Survivor Man or Man vs. Wild?
Neither

Casablanca or An Affair To Remember?
An Affair to Remember, definitely

Princess Grace or Princess Diana?
That is such an unfair question. Princess Grace is my idol, but Princess Diana was just a legend....and I have a HUGE crush on her son

Books, Movies or TV?
All of them. I love to read, I appreciate movies, and TV is good entertainment

Marilyn Monroe or Anna Nicole Smith?
Marilyn Monroe. Both of them needed the Lord, though.

Playboy or Hustler?
Haha...well I was featured in....JUST KIDDING

Disneyland, Disneyworld, or Universal Studios?
This is so obvious--DISNEYWORLD

Halloween or Christmas?
Christmas!!!!!

Leading or Following?
I am good at leading but also a compliant follower

Planes or Trains?
planes...but I'd like to try a train

Yesterday or Tomorrow?
Tomorrow. Yesterday only for memories of my childhood.

FavoritesPainting?
All the beautiful originals I saw in London

Thing to do when you're sitting home alone and the power goes out?
Light candles, playing the piano (it increases your skill in the dark), and sleeping

Snack/Junk Food?
goldfish

Pet name for your significant other?
Bear

Nickname for your best friend?
B

Revenge tactic?
Dont really have one

Song to sing in the shower?
Whatever comes to my mind.

Bill that you have to pay?
My magazine subscriptions :)

Cuss word?
I have my moments

Era to read about or watch a movie in?
40s-50s. 60s only for the Disney musicals that were made then.

Villain in a movie?
White Witch in Narnia

Topic to gab with your family about?
We literally talk about everything

And Finally...If you could be invisible for one day, what would you do?
Oh I would absolutely love that. And I'm not telling.

If you could know everything that one person was thinking, who would it be?
I can instantly name someone, but I'm not telling.

If you could have coffee with 3 people, living or dead, who would they be?
Grace Kelly, Prince William, and..this is odd, I know....Sarah Jessica Parker or Kristin Davis. I've fallen in love with them after Sex and the City.

I GOT A JOB!!!!

That's right! The Lord literally dropped a job in my lap this morning. I was telling my friend that I was looking for one, and we both went about our business. Literally 20 minutes later she got a text from another friend of hers who told her that Annelle Primos and Associates had an opening. It was so random! My friend said "Ashley, these things don't just happen. Go get that job!" So after class I went in and introduced myself to the manager of the retail store (AP & A is a retail store on the first floor and an interior design firm on the second floor). She told me to fax my resume and she'd get back to me. I went to my dad's office, and while I was brushing up my resume, my friend Emily (who works at Annelle) wrote me a message that said "I hear you're working with us. You come highly recommended!" I was thrilled. Emily graduated from interior design at MC and apparently put in a good recommendation for me. So minutes later I got a call from Blair, the manager, and I'm hired! I will be working in the retail section of the firm, and then hopefully do my design internship with Annelle. I start Wednesday. God is so good!

October 28, 2007

Just so you know...

We LOVED Lifegroup!!! :) It was so refreshingly funny and non-awkward. Praise the Lord.

Chateau Lancaster, Before and After

Our entry table! It was my great-grandmother's sewing table, and I'm in the process of refinishing it. I made the arrangement!
A close-up of the arrangement that I made.

The corner chair in the foyer was my great-grandmother's as well. I refinished it in black and added the cushion :)



Our living room!




The mantle. I made the arrangements, and I took the photograph of Chapel of the Cross, which is where Kurt and I spent some time walking around on our first date, and then where he proposed!





This shows the drapes that my mother in law made me. I love them! We will get a new sofa at some point, but I think it works for now.


The picture is kind of blurry, but this is the whole room.


Our kitchen! We redid the countertops, knobs, paint, etc.


I love my kitchen :)



Our dining area.


I found this art at an antique store in Canton and had it reframed! I LOVE it...it has the 50s/60s painting style, but it's of an old castle. I love this piece.



The dining area again.



The guest room. I am going to refinish the chest, when I have the time. The cream Euros and lumbar pillow were custom made.



The bed! Me and my dad made the headboard.



My favorite! Our bedroom!


My favorite room in the house...




Floor to ceiling drapes....I love our bedroom!




AND THE BEFORES....
Get ready for sky blue. EVERYWHERE.





























This is our home! I wish the pictures had turned out a little clearer, but hopefully you get the idea. We are so thankful for the home God provided for us. I am doing this on a resident's budget, so it will evolve slowly! ;)


October 27, 2007

Saturday activities and the Lifegroup Challenge

Today was a good day! Kurt and I slept til 12:00 noon! It was so lazy of us, but he hasn't gotten to sleep in in WEEKS, and I am not exactly one to get up at 6 am to start breakfast, so we let ourselves be lazy this morning. I actually had a really bad dream (well...my version of a nightmare) about Kurt and one of his ex girlfriends (it was totally bizarre and ridiculous, yet really upsetting) and I woke up at 8 really rattled. Kurt was barely coherent and couldnt even comfort me, so I fell back asleep. It's amazing how real dreams can be. We laughed about it later, because Kurt told me "I knew you were having a bad dream because you were hitting me repeatedly." (I did not know I was doing this!) Anyway....we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and went to the Tour of Homes with my mom and sister. We really had a good time, and the weather was beautiful. We came home and had more lazy time. Well, I did. Kurt went running and I could NOT, yet again, get motivated for this test on Monday. I promise, normally I'm better than this, and it's kind of scary how apathetic I'm acting towards this textiles test. I guess we all have our slacker moments. I did study for about 30-45 minutes tonight....I dont know that I retained much, but I tried. I have been getting good use out of our Netflix subscription. I finished up tonight a popular TV series (yes, I have watched all 6 seasons, and no, I will not say which TV show because I will be judged). It's amazing how you can get attached to a TV show and its characters. That's why I like renting whole seasons at a time...you get immersed in the characters' lives and the story. I sound gooby, but I'm sure some of you know what I mean.

So now it's 10:19 and I will be headed to bed. We are going to the Lucas' Lifegroup tomorrow...it's our first married Sunday School experience....I feel kind of nervous, and I dont know why. Maybe it's because of our age difference--I'm 22 and Kurt is 27, and we don't fit in anywhere. Most 22 year olds aren't married yet and are still in singles, and Kurt's age group are well into the baby stage. We are married, with an age difference, with no kids. So it's a challenge. Also---and I'm being very transparent---as the pastor's daughter, I am judged by a totally different set of standards than everyone else. I am NOT putting myself on a pedestal or being self-righteous. That's just the way things are. I guess my whole life, it's just been me and my family. We've just always been "loners" in the Lifegroup sense, because Daddy couldn't go to a class, so it would be kind of weird for Mom to go alone...so she has always taught preschool (and that's where her heart is, anyway). As for us kids, we were always in the children's or youth ministries by default. This is the first time that I am kind of taking an adult step at church. I'm married, and so I'm separate from my family in this sense. So I guess it's kind of intimidating.

An example of being held to a different standard: My mom AND the church secretary got a call from a woman about a wedding gift that she gave me. She said she was "just calling to make sure that I got the gift okay," when she knew good and well I had. It's not like she sent it in the mail. She said she never got a thank-you note, and she was bothered because she talked to her friend who had gotten one "right away." SERIOUSLY?! I have written about 400 thank-you notes. But I know FOR A FACT that I sent this woman a thank-you note. But I will be writing her a new one because otherwise she will have more to talk about with her friends. That's just one of many examples. All that to say, sometimes I just feel like I, and Kurt now, are looked at a little differently. Bless his heart...Kurt got pulled into the glass house :) But you know what? It's MY glass house, and I adore the people (my family) that I live in it with. We have been talked about falsely, told things straight to our faces, and criticized, but we have also watched ministries change people's lives, people come to know Christ, and laughed together more than most families I know. So I will take on the challenge of entering a new Lifegroup class. And on my nametag, I just might write: "Ashley Lancaster, Daugher of the Pastor. Unsolicited comments welcome." Why not just go ahead and give people permission? :)

October 26, 2007

Christmas Fix

Today has been a good day! However, I haven't gotten any studying done for textiles....oh well. It's only 3:00. I have some time. Until Oprah comes on at 4:00...hmmm. I had lunch with my daddy today and ate sushi. YUMMY! Then I did something I have not done in months. I went to the mall. I just walked around and took in the shopping scene. I have literally not been in forever. It felt to good to be back. There's something about a mall that is soothing. Am I the only one that feels that way? I only stepped in to browse at a few shops and really enjoyed myself. I didnt even buy anything! My last stop was the Christmas store. I was so happy to be in that store, let me tell you. Christmas trees, ornaments, and shimmery things. They were playing Christmas music, of course, and then Amy Grant's old-school Christmas song "Grownup Christmas List" came on. I was instantly transported back to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where I listened to that cassette tape religiously around the holidays. I love how songs take you back. Met up with dad again to discuss some things...then I went to Michael's to look at things for my mantle decoration. Let me pause here and say that I LOVE this store. Even someone who is not artsy-craftsy would like this store. I did find one or two inspiration things for the mantle. And they were on sale! I believe the theme will be Silver and Gold. Sounds cliche, but I think it will be gorgeous. They were playing "Jingle Bells" and I was in a great mood. So now I'm back, and I should be studying. Boo. I'd much rather discuss Christmas and other happy things. Kurt and I are going to watch "Sweet Home Alabama" tonight. He says he's never seen it....which is a miracle because I believe my husband has seen every movie known to man. He either watched them by himself when he was bored in med school, or he took girls on dates to see them (which, trust me, would mean he went to a LOT of movies). Anyway...tonight is the last JA home game, and we might stop by to see my sister dance at halftime. Not too shabby of a Friday :) Happy weekend!

October 25, 2007

Nichols-Boyd Pumpkin Patch

So Ro told me about the Nichols-Boyd pumpkin patch...does it have a good atmosphere? I think Kurt and I are wanting something that will make cute pictures and good memories. If anyone has been there, let me know.

Pumpkin Patch

Does anyone know of a good pumpkin patch to go to? Kurt wanted to take me to one this weekend :) I'd appreciate your input!
As requested, here is the info for Autumn Tour of Homes:

The show is open Oct 13 through Oct 28 and is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Hours are 2-7 Wed- Fri, 10 to 6 on Sat, 1-6 on Sundays.

Admission is $6.00

The subdivision is on Galleria Parkway, which is the same road that Walmart and the Malco Theatre are on, but on the other side of 463. At the traffic light where you would turn to go to Walmart, the street sign points in the direction of Galleria Parkway. Follow that road all the way around, and you'll see Fontanelle subdivision on your right. Just park, and it's self-explanatory! If these directions are weird, call me and I'll talk you through it. Ro--I'm going on Saturday, so if you and/or Rivs wants to come with or just meet up, let me know!

Off to school to take an English test---wish me luck!

October 24, 2007

A+ for the Autumn Tour of Homes!

Well, the Autumn Tour of Homes was FABULOUS! My family and close friends are always hearing how every home in this area looks the same. It's that French influence, and I see the same style of house everywhere in the central Jackson area. Medium/pinkish brick, iron overhangs over windows, wood beams...you have to know what I'm talking about. Although all of these homes on the tour tended to look alike, I really enjoyed seeing different floorplans, etc. And the furniture/fabrics were WONDERFUL. It was just a great time. I'm taking Kurt and my mom back Saturday. Kurt has heard this a million times, but when we finally build our "dream" home, it will not look typical. I want a very unique home that incorporates every element that I love. I've always said that being a design major makes it HARDER to do you own house, because you learn about so many different styles, periods, etc. But after seeing these homes, I am looking forward to the challenge! I am about to serve BBQ Chicken, rice consumme, green beans, and crescent rolls for dinner. Yum! Crock-pots are a Godsend! Oh, by the way...if anyone wants the tour of homes info or directions, comment and let me know! It's a great way to see trends in decorating, and you see six homes for $6! Also, it's not guided tours...you just wander at your leisure!

Tour of Homes

I am about to go view the "Tour of Homes" going on until the 28th. I am going with some interior design friends, and then Kurt said that he wanted to go! (He actually has developed an interest in what I do.) So he is taking me again on Saturday. I will report back my thoughts on the homes and the info. They are all in the $500,000-$600,000 range, so we can all dream :)

October 23, 2007

Dinner at Chang's

I am mucho excited! My father-in-law is in town and taking us to P.F. Chang's China Bistro! I am so glad I get to eat there again. I addressed all the invitations for my precious friend Brittney's kitchen shower this afternoon, and mom came over and watched my wedding with me. It was so good to reminisce about it. It's strange that my friends are going through what I went through a few short months ago. In a way, it seems like years ago. Especially that vacation on the beach part. But Kurt and I know our time is coming...eventually. Now, by the time we're able to take vacations, we won't be worry (read: KID)-free, but I'm looking forward to having a family. I skipped my morning class (oops) and Chapel (oops again), but went to my 12:00 color rendering class. I love that class. However, we have a TON due on Thursday (and I have an English test Thursday) so it will be a busy day. I'll try to figure out how to scan or put some of my work on here. And once my brother decides to give my camera back, I'll put pictures up of the house. Oh, and thanks to Katrice, people can now call me "Mantle Decorator (ahem, DESIGNER) Extraordinaire! Yes, that's right...I'll be giving a session at the women's ministry holiday evening on decorating mantles for the holidays. Here I come, Mantle World.

Newsflash!

I would just like to take the time to announce: I am wearing a JACKET to school today for the first time this season! That is worth a post, my friends.

October 22, 2007

Still Waiting...

So it's 5:50 and I'm still waiting for my DVD. It's a long story, and to protect privacy I won't say much else, but I really just want something simple: to watch my wedding. Honestly. I was told I will get it today....but I'm starting to lose hope. How melodramatic does that sound? I'm trying to keep in mind, in the grand scheme of things, it's just a DVD, and I will get it at some point. But on the other side of things, it's a DVD of the most important day of my life. So I'll keep waiting...

Praise the LORD!

Today I presented my infamous bathroom, and it went well. I think I'm a pretty good public speaker, so I didnt prepare all that much. But I think it went pretty smoothly. I then took my Textiles window treatment estimations quiz, which I think went fine (with math you NEVER know). Then, my teacher made THE announcement: "I dont know what I was thinking schedule-wise. We still have a lot to cover. I'm moving the test to Monday."

AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Right on cue, the Hallelujah chorus started playing. Actually it didnt, but I heard it in my head, I promise. So I immediately went to my To-Do list, which is a notebook page long, and marked through my textiles test on Wednesday and re-adjusted my study schedule. It's amazing how much of a difference one test being cancelled can make. Now, I'll have to put in time over the weekend, but that's 3 whole extra days! So, feeling like celebrating, I went to Kroger to do some grocery shopping (do you sense my sarcasm?). Actually, I love Kroger. I really will start going there more often. They play the most soothing music, it's less crowded, and honestly, I think the people are just nicer there. AND...you freak out when you see your total on the screen, and then they swipe that lovely little card and you get to WATCH the total go down to a much more reasonable amount. As an artsy person (read: a visual person), I LOVE watching my bill go down right before my eyes. It's the little things.
It's now 1:30 and I get to pick up my DVD at 2:30! This week is starting out so much better than I hoped. Knock on wood. Oh, and I think I might be decorating a mantle for the women's ministry Holiday Spectacular (it's not actually called that, but I think it should be just for kicks). So more info on that to come. I'm sure I will ramble more later! Happy day to all.

October 20, 2007

Evening Time

Well, it's 10:40 pm and I am officially calling it quits, as far as schoolwork goes, for the evening. Since quitting the afore-mentioned homework, I have ordered my mom's Christmas cards for her (I got her into Shutterfly, the website I'm using), and burned my wedding pictures CD for my Nana to see. Now I am typing for what is probably an imaginary audience. But oh well....it's kind of soothing to just type away and ramble. I am currently listening to Chicago's "Baby Please Don't Go" and loving it.
I just talked to Kurt and he literally hasn't stopped at the hospital since 7 am. He is in the middle of a surgery...when I talked to him I could hear the heart monitor beeping in the background. I thanked him for working so hard. It felt like such an inadequate thing to say. Here I am, listening to Chicago and typing just for the heck of it, and he's keeping someone alive while a surgeon operates on the other side of the curtain. However, he has told me before that what I do is just as stressful...in a different way. It helped to hear that. Sometimes I feel guilty complaining about my stress level or how tired I am...and here he is with the worst hours imaginable. But he is so good about giving value to my feelings. That's a trait that a lot of guys have trouble with. Bless him.
It's been fun looking at my wedding pictures. I'm still waiting on my DVD...hopefully I will get it soon so I can actually watch my wedding. That would be nice. It was such a blur. However, I do remember specifically trying to memorize certain moments. I think I did my best under the circumstances.
A song that I recommend listening to: "Grow Old Along With Me," originally sung by John Lennon, but redone by Mary Chapin Carpenter (I prefer this version). It's romantic and melancholy and just soothing. I love songs like that. One of these days I'm going to write out some of my favorite songs and movies. I would like to know other people's recommendations also.
I am currently reading "Trophy Wives Club" by Kristin Billerbeck. If you have not read any of her books, go immediately to Lifeway and buy "What a Girl Wants." It's a 3-part series, and I think the funniest of all of her books. If you've ever spent time in a SINGLES ministry at any point in your life, you will cry you'll laugh so hard. The book that I'm currently reading is about a girl who lives in L.A. and her husband just left her. It's kind of about healing..I just love her books. So, with that said, I'm off to read a chapter or two. And take the shower that I haven't taken all day :)

Change of scenery...

You know it's pathetic when you're wearing the same clothes you woke up in, no makeup on, and no shower. And your idea of a scenery change is going into the next room (the office) to check email, facebook, myspace, etc. I have literally been working all day, with hardly any breaks. I will write more when I call it quits for the evening. Knowing my motivational record on days like this, that won't be much longer. School has GOT to stop.

New Pictures!

I got my CD of professional wedding pictures today! (And I paid a TON for the copyright privileges...) Either go to my facebook page for the album, or if you dont have an account, I put an album on my myspace page. It's www.myspace.com/ashleyalancaster . Click on "PICS" underneath my profile picture. I ordered our Christmas cards today...I am SOOOO excited! Now that my computer fun is over, I have to go get working on things for school, or I will regret it BIG TIME. I'm sure I'll have more thoughts today...but go check out my pictures! Michael Barrett was my photographer. :) Happy day to all!

October 19, 2007

Drowning.

Wow. So I woke up today and immediately started working on schoolwork. And I was in the exact same position when Kurt got home from work at 5-something. Then, we went to dinner with my family for pizza and got back home around 7:30ish. And guess what I got to do? Go back to work. Next week is perhaps will be the most stressful that I have had so far. Just for kicks, here's the schedule:

Monday: Presentation of the bathroom project. My teacher cancelled on us last wednesday when it was due, so I will present the stupid bathroom and be done with it. Also an "estimations" quiz (weighted like a test). These are math problems. Please cue the "JAWS" theme. Bright spot: Bachelor comes on.

Tuesday: Nothing due today, but I recently found out (like, tonight) that I'll have overnight company in the house tonight and tomorrow (Wednesday) night. So I will be cleaning the house and planning meals. Also, HUGE Textiles test tomorrow.

Wednesday: Textiles test that will be incredibly difficult (Sample question: 'Which fiber is stronger? Cotton or flax?' AGGGHHHH!). Overnight company still here. Study for enormous English test tomorrow.

Thursday: BIG World Masterpieces test. 10 multiple choice/short answer, and one big, honking ESSAY. What's worse is that I made a perfect score on the last test (thank you, thank you), so I don't want to bomb this one and make the last one look like an accident. Did that make sense? Anyway, it's a big test over lots of material. Dante's "Inferno," anyone? Bright spot: I will get to celebrate by watching "The Office" tonight. Ahhh. Big sigh of relief. So glad Jim and Pam are finally dating.

Friday: Unless I'm terribly mistaken, this is my day of freedom. Since I dont have class on Fridays, I dont think I could have any responsibilies on this day. So Friday will be the best day of my life in a long time.

There, now that I've tediously typed out my schedule, you all can pray for me :) Please do so. I've been having a rough few days. Sometimes I feel like school really does affect how I act in my marriage, with my attitude, etc. I need to ask for extra help from the Lord about that. I'm trying my best...I just think I'm a perfectionist, and I create unrealistic expectations of myself. Even Kurt has said that. So I will try to take a day at a time, and keep my chin up. Other people have life a lot worse. So here I go, off to conquer the world. Well, homework at least.

October 17, 2007

Thoughts

I'm a big fan of list-making. And I love to write with bullet points. You get the idea. I dont have anything to vent about or chat about, so I'll list-make.
  • On a serious note: I covet your prayers for an extended family member of mine. No details are necessary, just please pray for healing. I hope that at least a few people who read this are prayer warriors and will do this for me.
  • I am currently finishing off a bag of candy corn pumpkins. Granted, I know they're not corn-shaped, so I can't technically call them candy CORN pumpkins, but they taste just like that, only better. Bottom line: they're my favorite fall candy, and I'm eating WAY too many of them.
  • I had a not-so-great babysitting experience tonight. I just felt underpaid. I'm not usually THAT babysitter who expects a certain thing, but....anyway. I'll get over it. I'll consider it "ministry," like my mom has always said. Do you sometimes feel like everything you do is MINISTRY? Not that that's a bad thing...ok, I just need to stop.
  • I decorated my house for fall the other day. I made my own arrangements, and I'm rather proud of them. I'll post pictures as soon as I get my camera back from my brother. He's using it to sell things on eBay. Oooo boy.
  • I'm starting to figure out what Kurt and I will do for Christmas cards this year! This is kind of embarrassing, but this is one of the things that has made me feel the most married. Picking out a Christmas card and realizing it will say, "Love, Ashley and Kurt Lancaster." As weird as that is, it's so awesome :)
  • I was in Chapel the other day (which is mandatory, I might add), and for once it was actually good. I love odd days like that, when Required Chapel is actually meaningful and makes you think.
  • Confession: When I'm sitting in interior design classes, and we're learning about technical codes and the fibers of a certain fabric, I'm usually thinking to myself: "All I want to do is go into people's homes, pick out furniture, fabrics, and accessories for them, and leave it at that." I know I vented in one post about it being a hard major, and it is, but not all of us want to restructure buildings and call people out on violating codes. And, I'll put it out there: I'm called to be a wife and mom, not to work. I dont desire that, and so I'm basically being held in School Hostage by my father until I get a degree.
  • The best thing about being married, to me, is falling asleep in the same place. I've just gotten really used to it, and in 50 years, I will still need that in my life :)
  • My Bachelor thoughts: I dont want Jenny to get it. She's got a really over the top smile and laugh, and I think she's playing it. I love Bettina, the divorcee, but I think Brad may be a little skeptical of someone who's divorced. I think he should give her a chance. She's beautiful and has kept her mouth shut. Well, most of the time. I strongly dislike DeAnna, and I was GLAD to see McCarten go. I think Sheena, the timid little blonde, is the dark horse. She could take it. More to come on my observations.

Well, that concludes my list for the evening. That was probably the most boring thing people have ever read. But oh well :) It's me.

October 16, 2007

A Side Note on TV....

I saw Adelle's list of TV shows that she watches each week and decided to make my own list. So check out the side column!

Cleaning in Scrubs

I was not having the best day today. I got to class on time, and that was fine, but once I got home, things went wrong. Kurt was home because he was leaving to go on call at 3:00. Somehow, we got into the discussion about holidays and which family we will spend what holiday with. Well I ended up bursting into tears over the issue, simply because I'm extremely close to my family and the thought of CHANGE occuring in the holiday plans made me have an anxiety attack. Make no mistake: I love my new family and really enjoy spending time with them. But: 1. I'm a girl.
2. I'm extremely close to my family.
3. I'm currently hormonal.
SO...that conversation was soon over and I hugged Kurt, still wiping away my tears, and I went on with things. Then I got started on my to-do list, which included paying for a bridesmaid's dress and calling the Grand Floridian hotel in Orlando to try and book my grandparents' room. (Note: they book up very early and our plans have changed so often it's hard to get anything done early for this trip.) I was talking to a lady that I believe was of Indian descent. Nice as she was, I couldnt understand some of what she was saying. So while writing down a bunch of information about hotels that I was not interested in, Doris, the Annoying-as-CRAP cat, threw her claws into my hand. I mean...we're talking BLOOD. I kept from screaming my head off and threw her off of me. I got off the phone, and Dr. Kurt applied alcohol and a bandaid. Well, as I was bending down to throw the wrapper to the bandaid away, I came up and banged my head on the open cabinet door. So I proceeded to burst into tears for like a third time today, ran into the office, and shut the door.
The next thing I know, I hear dishwasher starting, and the vacuum cleaner going. And there, in his scrubs, was my wonderful husband, cleaning for me. And this was 30 minutes before he had to be at work. Now, I usually wont brag and brag on Kurt because that gets annoying to anyone who's reading, but I was just overwhelmed by that little act of kindness. It's like he immediately knew how to help me. Sometimes I just forget to say thank you to the Lord for the gift of a wonderful friend and husband. So, after that long, rambling post, my bottom line: Thank you, God, for my wonderful Kurt. :)

October 15, 2007

Vacation Change...

One of my favorite things about families is how they can change plans at the drop of a hat. [SARCASM] I am now in the process of re-planning the Disney vacation for the first week of January. I am going to only be able to see one day of Disney Christmas decorations, BUT...the Value Season starts on January 1st, which means it's WAY less crowded, and the hotel rates go down. So I guess it's for the best. But, mark my words, I will spend Christmas Eve and Day at DisneyWorld at some point in my life. I have been promised by Kurt that this can happen...one of these days when we're not a resident's salary(keep in mind that Mississippi pays its residents the lowest salary. Cool.). So...I'm off to call the hotels, change the restaurant reservations, and visit Mousesavers.com to find more deals. The joys of family vacation.

October 14, 2007

Another Week Begins...

So...Kurt's on call again and I miss him especially tonight. I have done laundry, straightened up, done some schoolwork, and ate Wendy's with my Daddy. But I sure do miss my husband. He's had a really busy night...I'm still waiting for him to do his usual phone call to me. We were looking at real estate in some other cities, and it's hard to imagine that in a couple of years we'll be somewhere else. I have mixed emotions about that. Well, the only negative side to leaving Jackson to me is my family. I'm exceptionally close to them. But Kurt and I are starting to feel like a real family now, so I feel safe and secure with whatever happens. :)
I'm gearing up to start another week. My bathroom project is almost complete...it's due Wednesday. I've decided that I have to only take a few days at a time or I will literally collapse from being anxious and overwhelmed. I can handle a few days at a time. Well, God can, and I'll just depend on Him. It's hard to believe that it will soon be Thanksgiving, which kicks off the holiday season. I'm so excited :) And when the cooler weather gets here to stay, my mood really does stay happy. Well, most of the time.
I wish that more of my friends had blogs. I really do enjoy reading about people, and sometimes facebook or myspace just doesnt give you details :) I found some friends from a long time ago on facebook recently and it brought back so many memories. So maybe the blogging thing will catch on with more people. I like it. Well, I also prefer to type rather than hand-write in a journal, so I guess that has something to do with it.
I guess I need to head to bed...it's 11:00 and I have a 9:00 class. Oh, the joys of college. And commuting. And being married all at the same time. Life really is good :)

October 11, 2007

On a "Political" Note...

Kurt and I sometimes read things online about politics, current events, etc. We often discuss our opinions on issues, and it's always encouraging to know that we are on the same page. Recently, we have been looking at political candidates, etc. and what they stand for. It's good to determine what your beliefs are. In looking around a popular website for networking, we came across a blog that had been written about Christians and politics. One of the points that the writer made was about how Christians tend to be pro-life and support the "sanctity of life," yet when it comes to the death penalty, they are supportive. The writer was saying that it is not of God for us to choose who lives or dies, and we must be consistent in sustaining life. Kurt and I discussed our opinions on this, and I am giving my response. No one will probably even read or care, but I am really frustrated with people's opinions about Conservative stances on things.
I am in complete disagreement with abortion and complete support of the death penalty. And yes, as Christians, I believe this should be our stance. Here's why. When an unborn child is in a mother's womb, they have not yet entered the world. Yet, some people feel like it is their place to take the life of this child for numerous reasons, the most popular being "inconvenience." What choice did this child have? They are murdered as innocent human beings.
On the other hand, when an adult, who has lived in the world for usually some time, chooses to murder someone, or something else that merits a death sentence, it was THEIR choice to kill. It was their choice to commit a crime and follow through with it. How on earth can we compare an innocent unborn child and a willing murderer? It simply does not make sense. We, as Christians, are defending the sanctity of other people's lives by supporting the death penalty of those who have committed such crimes.
Another point that the writer made was about how we tend to forget about the "sanctity of life" in a time of war. There is a difference between murder and killing to maintain justice and make sure that justice is being carried out elsewhere. It is a ridiculously passive stance, and rather bold, to say that we should never enter a war because it interferes with the sanctity of human life. In these cases, it is necessary. Is it sad and terrible that lives have to be lost? Yes. But how would Europe have been freed from Hitler's tyranny had we not stepped in? That's just one example, but think about it.
Finally, here's why I believe this is Biblically supported, as shown in Romans 13:1-7:

"Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 3 For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. 4 The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. 5 So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.

6 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority."

"...all who take the sword will perish by the sword." (Matt. 26:52)


I normally do not write about political issues or get into debates about things. But sometimes I want to defend another side of things, and find out what I believe the Bible says about it. We are all entitled to our opinions, but sometimes the other side needs to be put out there. I am really getting tired of people who are lukewarm in their convictions. Sometimes Conservatives are portrayed as being inconsistent and having "double standards." Well, in this particular case, I do have two different opinions , because the Bible addresses it separately. Unborn , innocent children and convicted murderers are completely and totally separate.

October 9, 2007

Why I Love Fall...

Today I slept in, because we're off school. However, I have every reason to not be in a good mood because I have to go to MC to work on some school stuff. But for some reason, I'm not cranky. And I really do think it's because I know Fall is just around the corner. I love the memory of going to the Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard with my family when I was younger. I loved getting a bale of hay to put on our front porch. I love being able to buy apple cider in the grocery store, and when you walk out of the grocery store, you smell the first hint of burning leaves, and maybe even fireplaces. I love needing a jacket for the first time. Not a heavy one, just one to keep the tiny chill away. I love listening to the old song "Falling Leaves" and contemplating the beauty of the season...and how God chose to give us the gift of change. We fuss about it so much in other areas of our lives but for some reason...everyone loves the changes of Fall. As they say in "You've Got Mail" (one of my FAVORITE movies)...fall makes you want to go out and get yourself a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils. I'm happy about Fall. And instead of complaining about working on schoolwork, I'm going to work hard. Then on my way home, I'm buying myself a mum and some apple cider. Just because I can.

October 7, 2007

The Places You'll Go

Here are the places that I am planning to see in my future:
-Italy
-Greece (specifically Santorini)
-California
-Amish country in Pennsylvania
-The Biltmore
-"Falling Water", Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural masterpiece
-Ireland

Here are the places that I've been to and WILL return:
-London
-Paris
-New York City
-New Mexico (it was really cool in a different sort of way)
-Washington, D.C.
-Wales
-Scotland

I've got a lot of traveling to do :)

October 6, 2007

P.F. Chang's and Interior Design...

We celebrated my musical run tonight by going to P.F. Chang's, a new favorite of mine. Aside from the food, which is absolutely FANTASTIC, the restaurant is an interior design major's dream. It's just gorgeous...a must-see. So go check it out if you haven't already! We ate along with my family, which is always entertaining. I love them dearly. It's hard to imagine that in 2 or so years we will be moving on somewhere else. Kurt is looking into options right now for where we will go. We are really interested in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where we both lived for some time. It's the perfect place to start a family, and I'm very emotionally attached. So we'll see what happens there. Now that my tummy is full and I've had my family time, it's HOMEWORK :( I'm still working on that window treatments notebook. Oh, add to that a handicap-accessible public bathroom space that will take lots of drafting time on the floorplan. on my soapbox: Interior Design is so much more than picking out colors and space planning. It involves technical drafting on the computer and by hand, detailed renderings and drawings that are very meticulous, measuring and memorizing TONS of information about textiles and codes, to name a few. It just really bugs me when people consider design an "easy" major, or just an accessory to the "Mrs." degree. I've gotten that before from people, and I would love to see them try a week of my classes. Granted, it's awesome that watching HGTV and reading Architectural Digest are aids to my education, but there's a lot more. So never call an interior design major a "decorator." We design. :)

October 5, 2007

Friday Night In...

Kurt left for the hospital this afternoon...he's on call all night tonight. It's no fun when he's at the hospital that long. However, Liv is coming over and we're going to eat fried rice and watch TV like lazy people. How exciting! Doris is asleep in my lap. She was running around the house like a crazy thing this morning, and Kurt was trying to wear her out before he left so she would be somewhat calm. It looks like he actually succeeded. I am still working on the Disney trip and getting things in order. Speaking of the anniversary trip, today is actually my grandparents' 50th anniversary (we are just celebrating later). It's strange to think that I'm only a few months into my marriage, and one day I'll (God-willing) be at that point. I cant imagine having that many years under my belt with Kurt. It will be a good feeling, I'm sure. It's already such a secure feeling to know that we will always have each other. :) Well, I'm off to work on more homework. I'm currently putting together notebooks of window treatments and samples of wood, tile, etc. to render (meaning draw and color). Ahh..interior design. Always something exciting.

October 4, 2007

Overwhelmed...

So today I was in class, and my teacher proceeded to basically write out all of the assignments for the rest of the year. Keep in mind that this is a studio art class, and I was completely overwhelmed! It also didnt help my attitude that I want to keep my house up, cook meals, and stay active with my family. Welcome to the real world, right?! It's nice to remember that Jesus said "My grace is sufficient for you..." I need to yield to Him and focus on His sufficiency.
Some of you might know that Kurt and I are the new owners of a 7 week old kitten, Doris Day. She is a HANDFUL! She is constantly running, jumping, and playing, and we are trying to train her to be held. She just won't be still. Of all the kind of kittens in the world, I picked the A.D.D. one. As I speak, she is sitting on the back of my computer chair, batting at my hair. She is good company for me when Kurt has his long hours, and I figured it was better to have a kitten than a child, so here she is. She is black with little tiny bits of white, complete with a pink rhinestone collar. :) I love my Doris!
Last night Kurt and I finished The Office Season 3. I had already gotten caught up on the first episode of Season 4, so I'm ready to watch tonight! Also, I'm excited about Grey's. Now that the musical is over, I can watch a bit more TV. Not that it's very much! I hope that more people that I know start writing...it's interesting to read about what other people are up to. On a different note, I'm trying to figure out a job situation, and if I even have time for one. I was a nanny for awhile last spring, but the girl cancelled on me when I asked her about this fall. Oh well. We'll see!

October 3, 2007

Recently...

My most recent activities have been planning things for people. I was put in charge of finding Hannah Montana tickets for Andrea's birthday coming up (I found them and won them, after much blood, sweat and tears on ebay), buying Transiberian Orchestra tickets for me and Daddy (which we are SO EXCITED about!), and now planning a Disney vacation at Christmastime with 3 months notice. How do I get put in charge of all these things? The last time my family went to Disney, which was in 2005, I was in charge. And, to my credit, it went off without a hitch. However, my brother still calls me "annoying" and "a control freak" when we talk about that trip. So I guess I'm being summoned to be an annoying control freak again in December. However, this is combining my two favorite things: Christmas and Disney World, so life will be wonderful in a few months :)
Kurt is on his way home from work...we've been getting used to his schedule. He's been getting to work around 6:30 in the morning and coming home around 5:30. It makes for really long days. Now that the show is over, I'm able to be home when he is, so that's helped a lot. Our next outing will be to Oxford for the Ole Miss game on October 13. It's funny...I always swore that I would never marry someone that had gone to Ole Miss because I had really bad connotations. And guess who finished his undergrad at The University of Mississippi? My husband. God has a sense of humor! I doubt anyone will read this, but it's kind of therapeutic just to type. I'm off to cook grilled salmon :)

Testing, Testing...

I am having a hard time figuring out the blogging world! But I thought I would give it a try...I'm seeing that some people from my church have blogs...so we'll see what happens!
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