April 30, 2008

I Want a Dog.

I can't believe I'm typing this.

But I want a dog!

I'm researching, thinking on it, and not being impulsive, but lately all I can think about are dogs who are older and in shelters who need homes. I literally can't stop thinking about it. Maybe this is the right step before a child...you know? Sounds obvious, but maybe it would fill the "hole" that I have because I want something to love, nurture, and care for, and get devotion/love in return. Doris has calmed down quite a bit and is much more manageable. She has her sweet and cuddly moments, but it's not in a cat's nature to be truly devoted and loyal like a dog. But I'm paranoid of getting a puppy that's crazy and not housebroken. I think it would be a good fit to get one who is older, and would appreciate a good home. I know I want something on the small to medium side. I can't handle large dogs...I feel like I don't have control! I've looked at the CARA website (carams.org) and have found several that interest me. Why do I feel like I need to take care of something and nurture it? Kurt and I aren't unhappy by any means. We are enjoying each other and love being together. I think I just want my pet to appreciate my love and love me back. Does that make any sense? Crazy, I know....but

I want a dog!

April 29, 2008

So Much Ashley, So Little Time

I stole this survey from another blog (read more about it in the survey), and this first one is about me and beloved husband. The second is about yours truly. If you're bored enough to read it, enjoy :o)

How long did you date? We met on July 16, 2006 and started dating. We become "official" (how junior high am I) in October that same year. We decided to get married in December, became officially engaged in January 2007, and got married that June! All in all, we got married 11 months to the day that we met.

How old is he? 27. Very old compared to my 22 years :o)

Who eats more? He does. But I've been known to eat a lot, folks.

Who said “I love you” first? Me. We were at his apartment after a weekend of spending lots of time together and I just told him. After shrieking, pushing me away, and running for the door----just kidding, he told me he loved me too :o)

Who is taller? He is! I'm not one of those women who could have married someone shorter. Go ahead, call me lame.

Who sings better? We sing differently...so I'm not even sure. Plus, I've been seriously doubting my vocal ability lately, so I don't feel like singing except to myself!

Who is smarter? We made the same score on the ACT, thank you very much. I just decided that I was too good for medical school.

Whose temper is worse? MINE, OKAY????!??!?!?!? :o)

Who does the laundry? This is one of those odd, rare times that I think we equally share this task.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? If you're looking straight at the bed, I'm on the right. It's the same way my parents sleep. [Cue Twilight Zone music]

Who pays the bills? Thank goodness he does.

Who cooks dinner? I do. Unless we're just not feeling too hungry. Then we just fend for ourselves.

Who drives when you are together? I drive around town, and he drives interstate. Isn't that weird? But I tend to get motion sickness if we're doing a lot of "stopping and starting" at traffic lights and such. Me and my father have identical-twin stomachs.

Who is more stubborn? Honestly, we both are in certain ways. I want to be attached to my family at the hip and he refuses to change some things about his bachelor lifestyle. It's love, people.

Who kissed who first? I kissed him. What a hussy.

Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Me. But he's admitted it before(!!)

Whose parents do you see the most? Mine, no question. We live in the same city. I am definitely not taking this for granted, trust me. But I really enjoy spending time with his family.

Who proposed? I wasn't THAT much of a hussy! He did, at Chapel of the Cross, part of our first date. This place also caused drama in my life, but we won't even go there. I'm SO not dramatic :o)

Who is more sensitive? He's sweet in that he can read my mood pretty well, and he does sweet things. But I am the more emotional creature. Imagine that.

Who has more friends? We probably have the same number of acquaintences, and I think we're in that stage of life where we want just one or two deep friends. We have each other, and that's awesome. But I'm looking for friends that will go the distance.

Who has more siblings? I do. By one!

Who wears the pants in the family? We share the same pair :) It varies! But he has the ultimate say. Look how submissive I am.

And just when you were getting sad that the questions were over...here are more!

Last Movie You Saw In A Theater: Baby Mama. Gotta admit, it had its really funny moments.

What Book Are You Reading: Still on Walt Disney's bio, a housekeeping book (it's really think and extreme, but I'm curious), The Boleyn Inheritance. I dabble in several at a time.

Favorite Board Game: Old school: Candyland, Trouble and Yahtzee. But that's because I have good memories attached. Current: Scene-It, Taboo, Phase 10 (it's a card game)

Favorite Magazine: Domino, Traditional Home, US Weekly, Reminisce (I swear I'm their youngest reader), Country (it's awesome), and Glamour, when they don't tick me off with one-sided reporting.

Favorite Smells: See my last post, and I will add that my husband always smells good!

Favorite Sound: My family laughing together.

Worst Feeling In The World: Guilt and secrecy

What Is The First Thing You Think Of When You Wake? If I'm going to work: 'Ugh, I hate getting up.' If I'm not: 'Thank you, Lord, that I'm not working today!'

Favorite Fast Food Place: Chick Fil A and McDonald's. Don't judge, I don't eat it often!

Future Child's Name: We like Eli and Reeve for boys, and Heidi so far for a girl. If anyone steals these names, I will hunt you down.

Do You Drive Fast? I'm average.

Do You Sleep With A Stuffed Animal? I do not.

Storms-Cool Or Scary? If I'm inside, I'm fine.

What Was Your First Car? A '94 Toyota Camry. Ironically, I loved that car, and I was never made fun of in high school amongst BMW's and Lexuses.

Favorite Drink: Cherry Limeade, Sparkling grape juice, apple cider

Finish This Statement, "If I Had The Time I Would .....” Read so much more.

Do You Eat The Stems On Broccoli? Yes. My mom makes good broccoli.

If You Could Dye Your Hair Any Color, What Would Be Your Choice? I wouldn't change my color. Keep it original, people.

Favorite Sports To Watch: Football at Thanksgiving. Again, it's not the activity itself, but the memory it stirs up in me.

One Nice Thing About The Person Who Sent This To You: I actually don't know her. She's from the blog "We're THAT Family" (look in my left-hand column). I've recently started reading her blog, and I've laughed so many times! Also, she doesn't know I stole this questionnaire from her blog. I confess!

What's Under Your Bed? As of recently, some winter clothes.

Morning Person Or Night Owl? NIGHT OWL.

Favorite Place To Relax: My living room. It makes me happy.

Favorite Pie: Anything chocolate. But people ruin pies with nuts. Bleccchh.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough from Blue-Bell and Pink Bubblegum from Baskin-Robbins.

OH, I'm going to tag:
1. Andrea
2. Tiffany
3. Demetria
4. Christy
5. Jenny

You can pick one survey or do them both :o) I just like learning about my friends!

April 28, 2008

What Takes YOU Back?

Hello everyone,
I'm at work having a busy day. I am thankful, though. I really don't dread going to/being at work. That's huge for me! I'm such a homebody, and I usually just hate working, simply because I'm not at home. However, I truly feel blessed to have a job where I have male bosses (no female drama), and I'm able to stay off my feet (retail KILLED my legs and feet from standing so much). Oh, sidenote: Just had someone hang up on me. HANG UP ON ME. Because she was mad! I'm sorry, folks. There's no need to hang up anyone. Ever. Well, maybe there is...but not on ME! Anyway, all that to say, I'm just trying to be thankful for a job that I don't hate (hang-uppers and all). :o)

Today I had lunch with my sweet husband and my sweet daddy. Two of my very favorite people! Kurt helped me afterward by going to the grocery store with me. Every now and then I have to go and buy things for the office, which can be difficult to maneuver by myself. So it was nice to have his help! I ordered tickets for me, Kurt, and Dad to go see "Movin' Out," the Billy Joel musical. I saw it in London and really enjoyed it. It's different; there's a band that plays his songs but there's no speaking dialogue...it's all singing and dance. I asked Mom to go but she was hesitant about her schedule and I just flat-out said, "Mom, this isn't Oklahoma or Cinderella....not sure it will be your type of thing!" So she said DAd could go with us :o) So I'm excited about next Monday!

I was sitting at home the other day and decided to put on the musical "The Happiest Millionaire." It's one of those movies that when I put it on and the overture starts, a warm, nostalgic memory just floods over me. It sounds so weird, but I am this way about so many things! That sentimental feeling that you get....know what I mean? A song, smell, or movie can just trigger so many things in me. Here are some of mine:

-Ginger cookies remind me of my Nana's house when I was little.
-"Anais Anais" perfume also reminds me of Nana.
-"Maki" perfume: Mom
-"Polo" cologne: Daddy
-"Charlie White" body spray: my junior-high years. Yes, I found this at Walgreens recently and FREAKED out! I asked the girl to let me smell it. I think I just might buy some.

-Anything by Steven Curtis Chapman, Phillips, Craig & Dean, or 4Him: driving around Cape Girardeau and going to Six Flags St. Louis
-"If The Lord...", a Promise Keepers song: water skiing on Lake Wappapello
-Anything Johnny Mathis/Nat King Cole/Sammy Davis, Jr./Andy Williams: driving around Fayetteville, Arkansas with my Poppy
-"A White Sport Coat" by Marty Robbins: when Punky was little. She used to sing this as an adorable little 3 year old!
-"Welcome to the Jungle": high school, because I marched out to this song while on the Accent dance team.
-"King of the Jungle," by Steven Curtis Chapman: AWANAS in Cape. We'd listen to it before opening rally every week!
-"Give Thanks": We sang this before the offeratory EVERY SUNDAY at Lynwood.
-"Seekers of Your Heart": I associate this with Jackson when we first came. Don't really know why...maybe I heard it sung in church early on?
-"Once Upon a Dream": My childhood in one song.
-"A Summer Place": I used to sing this to myself on the playground in elementary. Yes, it's from the 1950s. Yes, I was an odd child by some standards. :o)
-"Everything," by Michael Buble: Being newlyweds!

-"Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris": Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
-"OKLAHOMA!": BA, Oklahoma again. I used to watch it every Sunday night after church with nachos.
-"The Gnome Mobile": When I was sick in Broken Arrow, mom would rent this for me and we would drink Cherry 7-UP.
-"The Light": First Baptist Orlando's drama of the life of Jesus. This was our former church, and I would watch it over and over. This was what made me realize that Jesus died innocently, and I remember sobbing to my mom that "he did NOTHING wrong!!"
-"White Christmas" and "Holiday Inn": watched every Christmas, without fail.
-"Star Wars": The one that came out around 1997; scene of my first "group" date.
-"Phantom of the Opera": Baylor. I saw it 4-5 times when it came out. Also, that was because I hated Baylor and had no life. :o)
-"Anne of the Thousand Days": Mrs. Downey's AP English class; this movie got me researching King Henry VIII.

There are so many more! I did this post mainly for myself, so I would always remember. I'm sure it's boring to readers, but that's why I wanted to ask you: What songs/smells/movies "take you back"? I'm tagging everyone that reads to do a post like this. It's interesting to me! And I never ask you to do ANYTHING. so hop to it :o)

April 26, 2008

A New Decorating Philosophy

Hi :o)

Well, the speaking engagement went well! I tried my best to engage the girls and keep their attention and be "cool" to listen to. However, I'm not sure my calling is to speak to children! Haha! This was good for me though, because it showed me several things:
-When I speak, I want to feel like I've really connected with those who are listening.
-I want to feel like I've really touched someone.

Obviously, with kids, they aren't going to act like they are interested or "touched," but as my mom said, maybe I planted a seed. You never know! :o) I am proud that I did it, though, and came up with something that I felt spanned their ages (and it was a wide spectrum of ages!!).

Today Kurt and I were lazy, which was such a good feeling! I went walking with Mom and Lis, and then got caught up on my Bible study. Kurt usually tries to work himself to the bone even on days off, but he sat and relaxed, and I was proud of him for that. We are going to see a movie tonight, and I am SO excited! It's like going on a date :o)

Okay, this is what I'm excited about: I made the plunge and ordered some art for our house! Granted, they're prints, not originals or even canvases, but I'm going to have them framed. This is a big step for me, because I have a HARD time making decorating decisions sometimes. Oddly, I'm kind of commitment-phobic at this point. Maybe it's because I learn towards so many different styles....but I digress.

This is what I ordered:
Parisian Afternoon II by Marysia Burr
Parisian Afternoon II

Parisian Afternoon I by Marysia Burr
Parisian Afternoon I

Parisian Afternoon IV by Marysia Burr
Parisian Afternoon IV

Parisian Afternoon III by Marysia Burr
Parisian Afternoon III

This is the "Parisian Afternoon" series by Marysia Burr. Aren't they beautiful? I'm going to hang them in a grouping. I'm so excited :o)

I also have my eye on these:
Gold Rush by Dawn Emerson
Gold Rush

"Gold Rush" by Dawn Emerson

Baroque Horse Series III: III by Heather Theurer
Baroque Horse Series III: III

"Baroque Horse Series III: III by Heather Theurer

White Knight by Albena Hristova
White Knight

"White Knight" by Albena Hristova

If I got any of these, I would have them mounted on canvas. I doubt I would want them in a frame. They have so much impact on their own! Aren't they gorgeous? I plan on picking one of them and giving it to my dad at some point. But don't tell :o) I'm proud of myself for just biting the bullet and buying what appeals to me. That's my new decorating philosophy: I'm going to buy what I like. I really think I have a good enough instinct to just buy what appeals to me, no matter what period, etc. it's from. Somehow, I think it will just work. Plus, I want our home to have that eclectic feel that combines the looks of...
-An apartment in Paris
-An estate in the European countryside
-A three-story, elegant flat in London
-A home in rural France
-A modern, 1950s suburban home
-A Tudor manor
-A Mediterranean villa
-A rustic lodge

See what I mean? Why pick one style when you can have so many? :o)

April 25, 2008

Watch out, Beth Moore.....

.....There's a NEW teacher in town. Well, not quite. But we'll get to that in a minute :o)

1. Today I got my hair cut...well, trimmed. I'm growing it out, but I love Morgan. He made it really cute and funky and didn't chop! What a guy...

2. We had an awesome evening at Ladies' Night Out at church. I've really made these nights a priority, because I get so much out of them. It's kind of like Sunday night church. After a lazy afternoon, it can be hard to make yourself go. And there are so many excuses not to. But you know what? Last Sunday night we heard a precious testimony from a member of our church, Bob, that moved me to tears. He had a stroke, among MANY other trials, and he still praises the Lord in the most pure and precious way. I thought to myself, "If I hadn't come tonight, I wouldn't have heard that incredible story." Just something to think about...

3. I am taking care of my baby sister tomorrow because she's not feeling too well. I spoil her...Mom is letting her stay home from school, but Punky asked to stay at MY house, on MY couch...I think she expects to be doted on :o)

4. Also tomorrow night, my mom and I were asked to speak at our church for the Mother-Daughter evening. Mom is talking to the women about "redeeming the moments" with their daughters, and I'm talking to the girls (grades 1-6) about respecting and loving their moms. I totally think Mom got the easier gig....I'm covering a LOT of ages! But I've come up with something that I think will work. Here are some of my points:

I'm using the acrostic "GLAM":
Attention and attitude to

~Every girl wants to be a "Glamour Girl." (Hannah Montana, movie stars, etc.)

~Every girl has a Spirit inside.
-What does your spirit look like?
-A true GLAM girl has a loving spirit.

~Every girl has a Mom.
-YOU can be an example to Mom! When you give kindness and respect, you get that in return, and you earn more trust.

~Every girl has an attitude.
-Are you a DIVA or a DARLING?
-Do you stomp off? Give ugly facial expressions? Text while Mom is talking to you or spending time with you?

~Attitude and Attention: When these are in order, it shows maturity, which is glamourous at ANY age!

~A DIVA thinks she knows it all. A DARLING listens to wise advice.
-Before you text or pout or gossip with friends, have a quiet time with Jesus and talk to someone you trust, like Mom.

~When you are a true GLAM girl, you are like Timothy in the Bible:

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."
1 Timothy 4:12

I'll open it up to the girls to talk freely, but I hope this covers the age gap to some degree. I'm excited and am praying that God uses me and my mom to minister tomorrow evening! :o)

April 23, 2008

Where to Serve?

Hi friends!
I haven't posted in awhile because, well...it's been pretty uneventful! I worked Monday and Tuesday, and today had lunch with Roseann, cleaned out the office in our house, and went to choir. It sounds like I've accomplished so little...haha!

A lot has been on my mind lately on where my ministry is. I feel drawn to music, speaking, women's ministry, and children. Obviously, I'm not doing all at one time! But I feel like I'm in a gray area right now. And Satan always has a way of making you doubt your talents/gifts. Know what I mean? For instance, I have always loved music and felt like it's my "thing," but for some reason it's just not feeling right for me at this moment. I caught myself thinking recently, 'Am I not really that talented? Do I think I'm better than I really am?' It hurts your pride, people!

As for speaking, lately I've just been feeling like maybe that's a strength I didn't know I had....whether it be in a teaching forum, or just sharing life experience. However, Satan tries to tell me that I don't have much to say. I'm only 22 (almost 23), and I don't even have "funny kid stories" to tell. But for some reason, this has been in the back of my head for awhile. Also, Kurt reminded me that Paul encouraged Timothy that even though he was young, he still had something to say.

I have recently come to love women's ministry. I guess because I've gotten married, more applies. Meaning, the talks/seminars/nights out talk a lot about marriage, and that is where I am in life now. My heart has really grown for this ministry, especially the ladies' nights that we occasionally have. They're just fun and I always get so much out of them! So that's another thing I'm thinking about...

Children :o) I just love, love children. I taught two-year-old Lifegroup for awhile with my mom and just loved it. Their innocence is so precious. But more importantly, we had many guests bring their kids to Lifegroup, and when they would pick them up and see their child happy, it made them come back. People WILL come back to a church where their child was happy (usually). So it was such a cool thing to help facilitate growth.

See what I mean? There are just several areas where my heart is starting to grow. I need to sit down and just search the Lord, but it's so hard in busy, everyday life! That's no excuse, but haven't we all been there? It's hard to just MAKE THE TIME to sit and focus on what God has to say to us. So please pray for me that I'll find where God most wants me to serve :o)

Thanks for being sweet friends!

April 20, 2008

And here they are....

There is no way to show everything we saw! We had a wonderful time, and it was such a nice trip. I HIGHLY recommend this as a trip to anyone. We made the drive in 8 hours, and it didn't cost that much, considering we were on vacation about 6 days. This is totally beside the point, but Charlotte is a great side-trip. We were there for the Billy Graham library, and afterwards wanted to kill some time. We ended up in an AWESOME mall that had a FOREVER 21!!! (My favorite store!) That is so irrelevant, but it was exciting. So, without further ado, here are the pictures!

These are of the Biltmore House and some random shopping/eating. We couldn't photograph inside the house---good thing, or there would be a MILLION pictures!

These are the amazing Gardens. They were so expansive! We walked probably 2 miles on the trails. And the weather was just perfect. We also had English afternoon tea, which is near and dear to my heart!

This is the awesome Billy Graham Library. We saw Billy's childhood home, which included a 1920's-decorated kitchen, and Ruth's grave. Billy will be buried next to her, so it was moving to see it. Also, inside there was a part of the exhibit that recreated the Communist section of the Berlin Wall (it's the dark picture, and it may not show up). This really moved me, because you felt like you were actually THERE, and Billy was actually asked to preach!! It was an amazing victory for Christ, and I could just imagined the hope it brought those desolate people. And that was just ONE exhibit in the whole library!

On our last evening, we had our anniversary dinner at the Grove Park Inn. It was WONDERFUL! We ate on the Sunset Terrace, which was a beautiful view. We had actually celebrated my grandparents' 50th anniversary there two years ago, so it was neat to recreate it for us :o) They brought us Godiva chocolate mousse...yum!

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