Sunday, May 30, 2010


If you see this puppy in your neighborhood, do not be fooled by his cuteness.  He can still be pretty rotten.  He has been known to wake up too early, steal lots of kisses, bite on occasion, sit sweetly in your lap and look cute, and sometime pee on the carpet.  He answers to the name Oliver, and likes to jog with his dad, chase his mom around the yard, and lie in the sun outside.  He has also been known to steal socks and hairties from his aunt Lauren.  If you see him, feel free to pick him up and give him kisses.

Ashley and Andy Photo Shoot 054

Friday, May 28, 2010

4 Days

There are four days of school left.  This is a random sampling of thoughts as they come from the mind of a tired, but overly caffeinated ninth grade teacher.
--If I read the word "you" in an essay one more time, I may lose my mind.  This is the last essay of the year, and they are no better at it now than they were at the beginning of the year. 
--I want a tattoo on my forehead that reads, "If you write the word you in an essay, I will rip out your armhairs."
--I want to redo my room for next year.  It's boring and ugly.
--I like the way I set up my desk today.  It looks good, and maybe the floor around it will get swept now.
--The dust bunnies under my desk should be called dust jackrabbits--they're freaking huge.
--We watched "The Odyssey" today.  There sure is a lot of "political discussion"...or "holding hands and cuddling" or any other number of euphemisms that have been used over the years
--I hope my kids forget "political discussion" later.  I'd hate to have to explain that.
--One of my kids said they wished I taught s-x ed.  I could never do that.  Ever.  Ever.  Ever.
--I haven't had my room to myself in nearly a week.  People have been using my lab for testing.  And it's making me so very tired.  I need my space.
--I love it when the French class has food.  This week I got to enjoy fruit, yummy sandwiches, crusty bread with Nutella, and quiche.  Man was it good.
--I love it when the yearbook staff goes out for lunch--because they can pick up my lunch too. 
--I need to find positive things to say about the essays I grade.  Is it bad that the only thing I can think of is "Way to set up your heading correctly" or "Good job spelling the names of characters"?
--I'm really happy about the three day weekend.
--I want a Dirt Devil KURV.  I need a new hand vac for little jobs, and it seems like a good one.
--My house is almost clean.  Which is unheard of for a Friday.  I've been drinking extra coffee after school and cleaning before Andy gets home to keep myself awake.  Which means my laundry is almost caught up, the kitchen is clean, the living room just needs a quick dusting (when Oliver can't reach the Swiffer duster and try to bite it), the bathroom is clean, and the bedroom is almost clean.  And the desk in my office is cleared off for the first time in awhile. 
--I want to throw away a lot of stuff.  At home and at school.  Both need it.
--I'm excited to redecorate my room and the house.  Both need it.
--I have a puppy treat in my pocket.  I keep pulling it out because I forget it's there.  People look at me strangely.
--I spilled water all down the front of my chest right before my class arrived this morning.  A disturbing number of students asked me about my wet chest.  It was awkward.
--I'm really glad there are only four days left. 
PS--If students write "the end" on their essays--I count off points.  Because that is not a conclusion.  Nor is that a sentence.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

5 Days

When there are only five days of school left, strange things start to happen.  Attention spans get shorter.  Tempers flare more easily.  Small irritations turn into major annoyances.  And the stupidest things start to happen. 


And the things that come from my mouth are outrageous.  Some of them merited and appropriate; others, horribly not so much.


Some are to be expected.


"Yes, we still have to work today."  "No, I haven't graded your essays yet."  "P, if you attempt to hit T again you will be sent to the office with a write-up."


Others border on strange considering I teach high school.


"Boy, please put down your desk covers.  They are not megaphones and I don't want to hear you mooing from them."


"G, she doesn't want you to touch her.  Stop touching her."


"K, did you really think hitting yourself in the eye with the pencil was a good idea when you started?"


"How DID you get your hand stuck in that?"


And the others, well, the others come when I haven't had enough sleep and/or caffeine.


"Here.  I'll fix your mouse.  Let me just blow on it.  I think my mouth has magic."


"No, I'm not going to figure out how many licks it takes to get to the center of the Tootsie Roll Pop.  I can't lick those things, I have to suck them."


"The Cyclops is a giant one-eyed monster."


"You know, J, if I had a daughter your age, I'd let her date you.  But never mind….I would have had to be ten when I had a child to have a child your age."


And that, my friends, is why it's a good thing this school year is coming to a close.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Blaydes Wedding

Last Saturday was Andy's first best man debut.  He's been in many a wedding--either singing, groomsmen, or both.  Seriously...I can count 9 off the top of my head right now, and I think I'm forgetting some.  We'll just say he's gotten his fair share of Gerber knives and engraved lighters.  But this was his first best man gig. 
Since he had to be in the middle of nowhere early on Friday, I took off the day, and went to his parents' house.  While he gallavanted about Covington, IN, I spent the day with his mom and tried to convince Oliver and Keegan to get along.  I even sang to them, "Why can't we be friends, why can't we be friends"  Nothing like a little War to get the dogs to love each other (also--anyone else find it ironic that the band War sings "Why can't we be friends"?).
On the day of the wedding I rode over with Tim and Amy.  Tim was Andy's last roommate in college, and one of my favorites (that's not saying much--I loved all four of them.  Still do).  Amy is five months pregnant, so we got to talk all about their little girl and the adventures they've had shopping for baby clothes and maternity clothes.  Apparently Tim stripped a mannequin at the GAP last week because it was wearing the only shirt in the correct size.  I can so see the whole thing playing out in my mind--Tim and Andy and I engaged in some serious hijinks their senior year of college.
When we finally arrived at the world's smallest church (really, I didn't realize it was a church), we were over an hour early.  It was okay, though.  Our other BFF's arrived just minutes after us, and we preceded to have all sorts of fun in the parking lot before we went inside.  I went to college with all of the men (they are from Andy's Bible study at Purdue), but most of the wives went to other schools.  They have become my friends since college, but I feel like I've known them forever.  I never went to school with Amy, Betsy, or Desiree, but they are some of my favorite people...I have no idea how we bonded so quickly, but I love it.  Andy came out to chat with us a minute, and his tux made me feel like I was going to have a seizure.  It looked really nice inside, but outside in the sunlight it was not right.  The green was too bright, and there was too much going on--it was weird.  I couldn't believe the difference between being inside and being out in the light.  I never noticed it again all night.  
During the wedding, I got to sit with my wedding date, Steve.  He is also one of my favorites of Andy's roommates.  For nearly every wedding Andy has been in (at least the ones he wasn't also in), Steve has been the one I sit with.  It's awesome.  We are both total nuts and have a good time together.  At this particular wedding, we were in rare form.  The pastor started the ceremony by saying, "We are not here for a marriage today.  A marriage already exists."  Which I totally misinterpreted and thought he meant that they were already together together.  And I knew that wasn't the case.  Steve said he couldn't officiate his wedding.  Then later, the pastor talked about rebar and other stuff, and Tim said he got all of his building analogies wrong.  Then he told them to invite other people into their marriage.  And what Steve said there shall never be repeated.  Just know that I had to bite my hand to keep from laughing.
After the wedding, I had left my sweater inside and sneaked back in to get it.  On my way out, a man thought I was his wife and put his hand on my back and started rubbing.  I looked up at him and RAN AWAY AS FAST AS I COULD.  Oh, the awkward.
We had nearly two hours to kill before the reception, so we chose to find ourselves some ice cream.  Because every piddling town in America has at least one ice cream shop.  I remembered seeing a frozen custard place right as we turned off the highway.  So we caravaned there.  But it was closed.  Tim found us "Lindy's Frozen Mug" on the GPS, and we started off there.  Then we got a call that someone's car wouldn't start.  So Tim and Blake went to the church to fix the car, and Amy and I headed on for ice cream with John (another favorite former roommate--Andy's, not mine, although I did spend A LOT of time there that year) and his wife Desiree and Steve.  (I'm aware that my cast of characters keeps growing--I just can't whittle it down).  The road to the Frozen Mug was closed, but right as we approached the closed road, there was a place called the Sundae Shoppe next to the barrier.  SCORE!  We got some of the best and cheapest ice cream I've ever had in my life.  And we got to eat out on the patio in this cute little alley that totally looked like Stars Hollow.  
Once we finally made it to the reception, things were darned near perfect.  We enjoyed our dinner, a little dancing (a lot for Andy--not so much me--I mostly exercised my mouth), and some great conversations that were all over the place.  The reception was a lot of fun.  It all felt so casual and relaxed.  Andy gave a best man speech in which he referenced the bathroom no less than three times.  It was stinking funny, if not just a little base.  But that's how we roll.  Or he does.  I don't really talk about the bathroom that much.  And really, it was awesome.  His speech and the night.
I got a little sad at the end of the night when I realized we were running out of boys to marry off.  I don't know what we'll do to get everyone together after that.  I love those relationships, and I want them to remain strong.     

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Funk

I have been in a funk for the last few weeks.  I can't honestly tell you what I've done with my time.  I know I saw Wicked.  I know I spent a weekend with my sister.  I know I had sushi on my anniversary (it's tradition—I have the cute chopsticks to prove it)  I know I had a lot of fun at a TARK wedding this weekend.  And I know that I have spent a lot of time staring at the clock, waiting for the school year to be over.


It doesn't even really make sense.  I love my classes this year, and I'm going to miss them.  But mercy am I ever worn the heck out. 


So I'm in a funk.


I think it's worse today.


And I think I know why. 


We have some really awesome friends.  They're clever and funny, super witty and always ready for a good time.  They swipe clothes off of mannequins at the GAP, say horribly inappropriate things that are wildly hilarious, they laugh over awkward wedding moments, and you can caravan into a town you've never been in before to find ice cream using the Garmin.  And then you can sit and chat for over an hour at that awesome ice cream place, forgetting that you have a wedding reception to attend.  And then realizing that you haven't sat around with this group of people in at least three years, but it feels like yesterday because conversation flows so easily.


Why would that put me in a funk?  Because I miss them something fierce.  Any time we get to spend time with friends (Andy's or mine—these were Andy's), I come home really sad.  Because I don't have that at home.  And I miss it.


The worst part—three of those couples—three of my favorites, even, all live within five minutes of each other in Avon.  Breaks my heart.  They hang out all the time.  And I am lucky to see them once a year.  It makes me want to move to Avon tomorrow.  I asked.  Andy said we can't.  Something about not having jobs there.


I am thankful for the jobs we have here.  And the friends we have here.  We do know some wonderful people, people who would do anything for us.  There's just something about those relationships that I don't have here.  I always come home acutely aware that I really am desperate, as much as I try to hide it.  Those relationships are missing in my life—and they are leaving a big hole. 


So that's where I am.  In a funk.


I have some cheerier things later—things like anniversary pictures (as soon as Andy edits them for me) and Oliver updates and fun stories from the wedding this weekend.  But for today….the funk.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I miss Magee

I would like my husband to come home now.  Any time.  That would be great.

He’s been at a bachelor party since late Friday.  And now I want him home.

Oliver stole the straw from my water and ran away.

I haven’t put away my laundry.

And I miss my husband.  He’s cute and I like having him around :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Score one for small towns

I had to run to the grocery store today.  I haven’t eaten lunch in two days….I have been subsisting off the cookies and candies in the teacher’s lounge for Teacher Appreciation Week.  I don’t have the foggiest idea what Andy’s been eating…but  I suspect I’ll figure it out when I balance the checkbook.

Basically, things were looking pretty desperate around here.  I really don’t love grocery shopping, especially after school.

But today, something pretty sweet happened.  As I approached the checkout lane, a former student of mine came over, and said to the bagger, “I’m going to help you.  She just left SW….and I KNOW she wants to get home quickly.”

I laughed…but then I realized he meant it.  I have never seen groceries get bagged so quickly—those two were awesome.  That’s one of my first really positive experiences running into students outside of school.

And it made me darned happy.  Because I did want to get home quickly :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

True Story

“Andy, I really need a third taco.  I didn’t eat lunch today.  Seriously, I need it.”

“Ashley, that’s a bad idea.”

Twenty minutes later……

“Ugh….I feel like I’m going to throw up.”

Monday, May 3, 2010

Weekly Update: 4/26-5/3

Last week felt heavy, just hard and kind of full of sadness.  I was in a total funk for most of the week...and it didn't help that it rained and rained and rained.

Monday started out normally enough, but ended kind of rough.  One of my co-workers found out that her mother-in-law had passed away suddenly.  I spent the rest of the night just devastated for their family.  Andy and I ran some errands together that night, but for the most part,  I think we were just at home.

Tuesday and Wednesday were kind of the same.  I went to school, my students gave their commercial presentations (they designed videos using should totally check out that website, it's awesome).  They did a great job and I was really proud of them.  We had youth group Wednesday night, and I really don't remember much else. 

Thursday was grant presentation day.  We had to meet at another school and present our culminating projects.  It was really a fairly enjoyable day, getting to see the things that colleagues have done in their classrooms and getting some great ideas for the future.  I have been so inspired for future projects in the past few brain is working overtime on school ideas

Friday was kind of busy.  After school, I met Rebekah at the church to set up our table for the women's luncheon, ran to Kroger to get food for small group, made the food, and then we went to small group.  We played Apples to Apples and mostly just hung out--it was game night.  I nearly fell asleep I was so tired.  When we got home, I noticed I had a really bad pain in my leg, and there was a welt there.  Andy went to the movies with a friend and I went to bed.

On Saturday, I went to the women's luncheon at church, and it was so much fun.  Our table was sweet, and the message was great, and the food was sooo good.  It was just a really refreshing morning.  My leg was starting to hurt a lot at that point, and when I got home and looked at it, I realized I definitely had a staph infection.  It looked just like the ones that Andy had three years ago.  I went to the convenient care, the doctor looked at it, and wrote me a prescription.  I was in and out in under twenty minutes.  I went to Walgreens, picked up my prescription and some supplies, and headed home.  Since then, I've been groggy and having off and on stomach aches.  That's how good my prescriptions are :)  That night, Andy and I decided to go to Columbus.  Usually we go to Clarksville, but it was Kentucky Derby weekend, and there was no way we were going within a ten mile radius of Louisville.  We also needed a Kohls, so Andy could get shoes and I could get jeans.  So we went to Columbus, went to Kohls and Petco (spent way more time in Petco than in Kohls....way more time picking out things for Oliver than for ourselves) and tried a new sushi restaurant called New Japan.  The sushi was fantastic.  The restaurant had a really authentic feeling to it--it wasn't trying to be trendy like most sushi restaurants.  It really looked like a hole in the wall.  But man was it good.  Andy wanted to go back yesterday.  There were some cute little prom couples there and we had a lot of fun watching them.  Because we're totally creepers and people watch.  The two couples across from us (not together) were darling.  They were so awkward and uncomfortable.  Both girls ordered sushi, both boys had like fried rice and meat.  One of the boys was struggling to use his chopsticks, his poor hands were shaking.  Then, I have no idea what they were talking about, but we heard the boy say, "Horses are a really nice animal."  Poor Andy nearly lost it.  We both just kept saying, "Horses are a really nice animal" over and over again all night.  I changed it to "Horses are a really neat animal" just to be funnier.  We got some sushi to go, to take to Andy's friend Adam who has two little bitty girls and no chance to get out of town to enjoy sushi.  We swung by their house and got to meet their little geese. 

Yesterday we went to Sunday School, then I was in the 2-3s room during church.  I only had two kids, and they were the sweetest two.  I had so much fun with them.  Then we ate lunch at Taco Bell (sometimes a greasy disgusting taco really hits the spot) and came home.  I spent most of the day playing with Ollie, sleeping, and doing laundry.  My medicine really knocked me out yesterday.  I also kept hearing things last night.  I don't know if it was the rain or what, but it was bizarre.