Friday, July 31, 2009

Things I am Excited About :)

I should so be packing right now.  Probably even leaving.  But I’m lacking motivation.  I am heading out the door to Louisville this evening.  Every year, Andy and the men he was in Bible study with at Purdue have a gathering and spend the weekend together.  It’s a time for them to meet up, hang out, and encourage one another.  I love it.  I think it’s fantastic.  They have an email list, and email each other daily about everything under the sun, but their yearly gathering is something they all look forward to each summer.  A few years ago, some of the wives decided to have a wives gathering while the menfolk do their thang.  So that’s where I’m headed.  Eventually.  After I pack.  And go to the bank.  And buy cake mixes and frosting.  And figure out how to get home on Sunday, since the bridge that connects my town to Kentucky will be closed down. 

But I wanted to give you a quick list of things I am getting excited about (because I have been awfully morose lately, and need a good kick in the pants)

1) Starting a new school year.  I love fresh starts.  A new year is a new chance.  And I’m so excited about it.

school_clipart_books2)The movie Julie and Julia (Andy and I both totally adore Amy Adams)


3) The movie Post-Grad (I so love Alexis Bledel….I will adore Rory Gilmore until my dying day)

4) Our tickets to Broadway Across America arriving

5) Going to IKEA next weekend

April08 127

6) My new favorite hang-out time with Andy: watching Netflixed episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” (we’re also big Alyson Hannigan fans—I think we like actresses who can do adorable) while drinking wine on the living room floor (I’m also a fan of ordering pizza and watching HIMYM)

Books 25-38

I got a little behind on reviewing books.  Mostly, this summer just got busy.  But here I am, at 1 in the morning, and unable to sleep without my husband home.  So I thought I might do a quick review of the titles I have read (a lot of these were on vacation—turns out when your husband has sun poisoning, you have lots of time to read in a country with 2 channels in English :)).

25-29 The remaining four books in the “Fame” series by Karen Kingsbury.  Seriously.  Just read these.  After the Redemption series.  These books are total tearjerkers, but SO good.  I enjoyed them.

30—The second book in the Yada Yada Prayer Group Series.  I liked this one a little more than the first.  The series is growing on me (I read 3 and 4 earlier this week).

31—Julie and Julia.  Loved it.  So funny, so witty.  Seriously.  This is one of my favorites so far this year.  Julie Powell is often sarcastic, more than a little blunt, and her life is so completely the opposite of mine.  But I loved her growth and experimentation with Julia Child’s recipes.  This was such a fun book.  I am SO excited to see the movie next week.

32—Fast Food Nation.  If you ever want eat again, do not read this book.  Seriously.  Freaked me out.  I cooked using ground beef today for the first time since June.  And then I had to sanitize my kitchen.  This book was a little slow, and all levels of horrifying.  I cannot even begin to tell you what it exposes.  Because Andy said I cannot share it with others.  I read him two paragraphs and he got ill.

33—It Ain’t All About the Cookin’—If any bit of you has any sort of somewhat likeable feelings about Paula Deen, read this book.  For real.  I loved it.  I laughed, I cried, and I made the ham salad recipe.  The laughing and crying took place poolside in the Dominican, the ham salad was after I came home.  This book was incredible.  This woman has had a LIFE.  I had heard parts of it before, but she is so incredibly real and honest.  In the opening pages she admits that she smokes and is predisposed to using four letter words on occasion.  It’s an awesome memoir. 

34-37—Thorn In My Heart, Fair is the Rose, Whence Came a Prince, Grace in Thine Eyes—These books were a retelling of the story of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah set in the Scotland in the 1700s.  These books were so beautiful….I got entirely too involved in them, and more than once thrust my hands up into the air shouting at various characters.  Loved.them.  End.of.story.

38—The Other Boleyn Girl.  Oh mercy.  I so wasn’t prepared for what went on in this book.  I knew that Anne Boleyn was one of Henry VIII’s many wives, and that she was beheaded.  But wow.  I did enjoy the book.  It was just a bit intense at points.  And a bit risque.  But so is history, so I suppose it all makes sense.

I have a few more books…but I think these are good for now.  I am so glad I’ve made myself take the time to read for fun this summer. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Well shootsticks

I just realized something.

My husband works for a hilljack company.  With people who are truly country-fied. 

I work at a job where I constantly have to tell people, “A toad is like a frog.  You’re trying to say told.  Put an l in it.”

Two weeks ago, we went to a cornhole tournament at our church.  Andy played.  I sat and watched a dozen or so teams play cornhole.

Andy got a text from a friend at work that said, “Why don’t you guys come over and drink some beer”

And last night, we shoved a 2 4x4 pieces of pegboard in our trunk and drove home from Lowe’s with them sticking out.  Trunk open and all.

And I spent my Monday night cleaning out the garage with my husband.

Excuse me while I go cry.  How did this become my life?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mucho Exciting on a Monday Morning

Guess who just purchased season tickets to Broadway Across America in Louisville?

If you guessed me, you are so correct!

I had glanced through the Louisville, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati tickets (the only perk to living where I do…all three cities are pretty close) and could not stop drooling over the lineup in Louisville.  I have been talking about it for WEEKS.  And Andy finally gave me the okay to order the tickets.  So I did.  And I am thrilled.  Our first show is in October, and we will be seeing “A Chorus Line.”  The other four regular show are “White Christmas,” “The 39 Steps” (which is a Hitchcock thriller said to have a bit of Monty Python mixed in…and totally sounds right up Andy’s alley), “Legally Blonde,” and “Jersey Boys.”  Also, I can special order tickets to Wicked, because it’s coming to Louisville, just not as a regular season show.  It’s a “special” and has to be ordered separately.  I looked at it today, though, and I can definitely get the tickets for SERIOUSLY LESS than they were going for in Indy last spring.

Now I have to start convincing him that we should get the Purdue football “Gridiron Gold Pack” and go to three games this year.

Now I’m off to paint many, many walls!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I am experiencing wanderlust.  A desire for wanderlust?  I’m not really sure what part of speech wanderlust is, but I have it.

I want to get out on the road.  Go.  Do something. 

Instead, I’m here.  In my pajamas since 3.  With an incredibly sore jaw, a twitch in my arm, and sore toes from where I smashed them earlier. 

I want to go.

Instead, I’m here.  I have lots to do in the next few weeks.  I really want to get the red room painted.  In fact, I primer-ed part of one wall today to motivate me to do the rest next week.  I need to get in my classroom and get to work.  I need to start being an adult again. 

I want to go.

I watched an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” (a new favorite show, a bit of a guilty pleasure) earlier that was based on the premise that “nothing good happens after 2AM.”  Right now, I’m thinking 12AM.  I should have gone to bed earlier.

Because I just want to go.

I guess I’m glad I’ll be in Louisville and Cincinnati the next two weekends.  Maybe it will help to curb this desire. 

Or maybe I don’t really want to go.  I just think I do, because I realize that my summer is quickly winding down.  And that’s really why I want to go.  Who knows?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And it was basically awesome

For the past two days, one of my dear college friends, Hannah, has been here.  And it was basically one of the best times I have had in awhile.  Basically since the last time I was with girls from Purdue…so, the best time since Lauren’s wedding :)

We have the spent the past two days laughing, talking, praying together, going for walks, going to the pool, visiting friends here in town, picking unexpected raspberries, and thinking nearly constantly of Arby’s mozzarella sticks (which I hadn’t had in years…and hadn’t thought of in forever…but NEEDED while Hannah was here).

One of the things I most love about spending time with my dear friends (other than the fact that I have so few in my daily life, and it’s nice to feel like people like you) is the near constant stream of laughter and food.

Case in point.  At about midnight, Hannah was glancing through the Schwan’s brochure in our living room.  Every time she turned the page, I wanted something else to eat.  I kept saying, “Let’s go to the grocery store and buy chips and queso.  Oh, let’s get some cookies too.” 

She just kept laughing at me. 

Frankly, she thought I was kidding. 

I wasn’t. 

But she forgot that I knew how much she liked a good challenge.

Fifteen minutes later, I looked right at her and said, “If you were Lauren, we’d be on our way home with food right now.” 

Because frankly the Donut Story of 2006 shall forever live in infamy.  Thank you, Lauren, for sharing in that proud moment with me.  And I had already told Hannah all about it in hopes that she would be willing to be nearly as awesome as Lauren.

But Hannah, being ever so practical and frugal, convinced me we really didn’t need to go to the store to meet our food cravings.  They could be satisfied with the brownie mix in my cupboard.

So we mixed up the brownies, sans eggs, and dipped the batter straight from the bowl to our mouths as we talked until 5 this morning. 

We hit every topic under the sun.  And finally, after spending two days in my life as it normally looks, someone was able to understand my frustrations and pains in my current life situation.  I was so thankful to have her speak truth and affirm that it was okay that I am struggling.  I was able to look at her life from the outside and show her where she had definitely narrowly avoided some serious mistakes…and we thought long and hard about the consequences she would have been facing if things had gone differently.

We laughed.  We cried.  And we shared brownie batter.

And that is why I will forever love my college friends.  Every last one of them.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Filled with random goodness

It turns out, I am lacking motivation.

Not motivation to get things done, necessarily.  I feel pretty confident about my productivity level for this week.  My house looks lovely.  My laundry is close to done (until, you know, some fool (me) takes off their clothes tonight and ruins the whole thing….sorry, I have some laundry issues).  I have exercised mostly regularly (still need to for today).  I have my classroom rules written out and ready to be printed for all of my classes.  I have the first few weeks of English 9 pretty well plotted out.  I have plans to get things finished in the next few weeks, and I am reworking out budget into a little something I like to call stinking genius.  (I don’t really call it that.  I do prefer the way I have things split up, though). 

My motivation problems come from a variety of things.  Mostly, I realize that there were all sorts of things that I wanted to write about here…and now I don’t want to.  But I want them to be written, so I can remember them later on.  So today becomes a jumbled up post filled with tidbits from all the things I want to remember.


Tidbit 1: A month ago I was in Washington, D.C.  We were supposed to spend the night and drive the many hours back to Indiana the next morning, but that didn’t work out.  So we packed in a full day, left DC late at night, and finally arrived in Indiana about 7 am the next morning.  My ability to work with pictures seems to be seriously inhibited today.  At the end, I’ll post link to a Facebook album that has a sampling of pictures from these stories


Tidbit 2: Andy and I went on vacation to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic.  We stayed at an all-inclusive resort and it was a very sweet time.  We did discover a few new mathematic equations over our week

Andy + Sun = 3 days of illness followed by another week and a half of stomach problems upon returning  to the US

Ashley + Mojito =True Love

Ashley+Keeping Track of everything=No problem-o

Andy+Keeping his cell phone on one flight = A trip to Verizon upon returning to the US

Sunshine+Mango Daquiri+Good books=Good time

Ashley +Circling Florida forever because of storms + Customs in Miami + No food + Almost missing flight to Chicago = A very rude passenger

Ashley + Hot Tea at Starbucks at 5 am = Burn marks that remain 2 weeks later

All in all, we had a great time.  We met a sweet waiter who became “our waiter” the whole trip—he’d find us when we came in and make sure we sat in his section.  Have I ever mentioned that my husband has never met a stranger?  And somehow makes friends everywhere?  Including in every airport along this trip?  Andy fell in love with Dominican coffee ( I kept checking to see if it was putting hair on my chest…thankfully, it didn’t).  We got some seriously cool art pieces that I need to get mounted and hung up….and paid a pitifully small sum for them. 


Tidbit 3:

My grandparents and aunt came to visit yesterday.  Andy showed my grandpa some of the freelance stuff he’s been working on….my grandpa asked if he was going to show him “prono.”  I’m going to let you figure out what Grandpa was trying to say.  Frankly, it’s funny….but there’s no way in heck I’m typing that word.


Tidbit 4:

I found the COOLEST EVER posters for my classroom.  They may only be cool to me.  But I love them.  They have several commonly misused words—lie and lay, affect and effect, etc., and they explain the difference and show them used.  I bought four.  Because I was in love.


Tidbit 5:

Andy broke the bathroom sink this week.  He hit it with his hip and busted the pipe.  I thought it was stinking hilarious.  He did not agree.  Many hours later, it was all fixed….but we have to be careful, because it’s not bolted down.  When people come over, we have to explain how to “sit gingerly on the toilet” and “be sure not to bump the sink.”  I think that’s why we don’t have a lot of people over.


I think that’s all for now

Go here to see summer pictures

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Planning a New Room

Andy and I were talking last night, and I think I have officially decided to put off the bedroom for a little bit longer.  I don’t want to rush my mom (my expert sewer), and I have a lot of little things I can work on and keep stored until we’re really ready to do that room.  We have too many house projects and not enough time and/or money to do them all.  We do have a list, but things seem to get switched around on the list fairly often. 

As of a long late-night conversation last night, we have decided on our next project.  I am getting my own office space.  In the spare bedroom.  Because I’m too cluttery during the school year :)  Basically, Andy really can’t handle having stacks and piles of papers all over the place, and I’m an English teacher…so I bring home stacks and piles of paper  So we are going to work to alleviate some stress in our marriage by giving me a space of my own to be cluttered and have piles of paper behind a closed door.  So in four weekends, (the first available weekend….and the weekend before school starts) we are going to IKEA to buy my new desk and chair and a few other odds and ends.  I am so excited!

Now all I have to do is clear out all the crap that is in that room and get it thrown away and/or donated.

The bedding in that room is already yellow and green, so I’m going to stick with that, and maybe toss in a few colors in artwork/accent pieces.  I am going to change out the ribbon on the curtains to a yellow/white polka dot.  We are going to move Andy’s dresser over (it matches the bed in that room, anyway) and I want the television (it’s currently on top of the dresser)….so I can go back to my college habits of watching Gilmore Girls while I work…or, you know, on those days when I have essays to grade and I need to watch Sweet Home Alabama 3 times, I can do it in there and not use the big tv. 

I am going to have this desk (but I think I’ll get it in white…I can’t decide…anyone want to make a suggestion?  Is it too Purdue to go with the black desk and yellow chair?):

And this chair (Andy broke my current chair….it’s miserable to sit in)

And I have some really sweet artwork that I have been looking at on Etsy (and they are fabulous and sweet and whimsical and so dear)…so I may order that late this week or early next.  I’ll post pictures as soon as it is finished :)  So give me until about August 15.

Monday, July 13, 2009


We are home again. And I think my summer "break" is going to take place this week. Officially, I am doing nothing productive this week. I am going to paint my nails, read books, and do a few things around the house, but for the most part, nada. Well, nada + a new diet and exercise plan to meet some fitness goals and start a new habit before school starts. I realized that school starts in just under a month, and it made me infinititely sad. My sweet friend Hannah is coming to visit next week for the first half of the I'm officially waiting until after Hannah's visit to do anything school related. Then I'll kick it into gear. I have a whole lot to write about--everything I listed before, plus a recap of this past weekend, because I want to write it all down to remember. Grandma Doe's funeral was possibly the most beautiful service I have ever been to...with the most miserable weather. It was a sweet time with my family, and I want to remember it.

I do have a few goals for the rest of the summer (some are serious, others just goofy):
--Work on bedroom redo (this may not get finished....there are a lot of pieces that have to work's sewing, I need to find a dresser I can afford, etc.)
--Repaint office, work on redo
--Visit the JC Penney at the Mall at St. Matthews in Louisville so I can see if the red sofa is the one I want
--Get school stuff started and my room in order
--Have a workout routine pretty well down when the school year starts and stick with it
--Find some new dresses that will work for the hot weather of August/Sept. and that I can accessorize differently for cooler weather
--Convince Andy that we DESPERATELY need season tickets to Broadway Across America in Louisville......DESPERATELY....and then get them ordered
--Watch as many episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" and CSI:NY as I can Netflix
--Finish the guestroom, consider having it double as my office....that would be good during the school year
--Convince Andy that we need to the the Cirque show in Bloomington in December
--Pick up some new wine glasses....I can't seem to find mine, and I need them

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Taking some time

I have a lot of things to blog about. I still haven't finished the last day of the girls trip. Several more books. Our whole trip last week. And I'll get to it. But not this week.

Last week, when we got back in the US, my mom let me know that my great-grandma Doe wasn't feeling well, and was in the clinic. I had decided to go home tomorrow to see her, because my parents and sister were to come here today.

Grandma Doe died in her sleep early this morning. It seems wrong to type that. My grandma was as sharp as a tack and stinking hilarious. When we would visit her at her house, she'd tell us we could write whatever we wanted in her dust, but we'd better not date it. In high school, I interviewed her for a school project, and it was one of the most informative experiences of my life. It was then that I learned that she had gotten married during the Depression, and didn't have a wedding. The last time I visited with her she told me that when people walked by her room, they would say, "Hi, Doe" and she would think they were saying "pie dough" and eventually want some pie. Shortly after Brittney Spears shaved her head, she asked my dad if he was going to get a haircut like hers. Before our wedding, she told everyone she saw that she was going to be there--that she was going to see her great-granddaughter get married....and she showed them the loops that she had crocheted that attached the ribbon to the bridesmaids dresses.

I am thankful for these memories--and for countless others. I am thankful that I got 24 years to know my great-grandma, and that she was a real part of my life. I knew her. My sister knew her. We didn't have a once a year relationship with our Grandma Doe, she was our grandma--and she was great :)

A few years ago, she told me that when the good Lord was ready to take her, she was going to be ready to go. She was ready, and now she is home.