Thursday, July 31, 2008

What a difference a year makes...

Today marks the one year anniversary of the day that I officially became a resident of the great state of Texas again. Sometimes it feels like I just left North Carolina, but other times I feel like my life in Mooresville was 100 years ago.

So for this anniversary I am going to list the blessings I have had this year:
  • Being back in Texas and close to my parents/family is amazing
  • I am 1 semester away from completing my master's degree
  • I have lost over 40 lbs.
  • I haven't had to have a job and was able to concentrate fully on school
  • I have learned a lot about what I want in my life
  • I was able to reflect on the decisions I made and learn from the mistakes

I am happy where I am at and life can only get better next year.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Reasons I love my Mommy

In honor of her birthday today, I will give some of the many reasons why I have the best mommy in the whole world!
  • She is my Pickle and no one else's
  • She will buy you new jammies if you are sick
  • She always remembers what you don't like to eat (unlike Daddy who always forgets)
  • She comes over to clean my apartment even when she knows its only dirty because I'm lazy.
  • She can make any day special
  • She will always buy you something if it is something she knows you will like
  • She completely redecorates her house at Christmas
  • She puts clean sheets on the bed if you are spending the night
  • She never makes me drive places
  • She will back up your decisions even if she knows it is stupid
  • She thinks Dale Jr.'s radio show is funny
  • She will still brush my hair if I have a knot
  • She doesn't ask (very often!) me to straighten her hair even if she really wants me to
  • She drops everything to help her family
  • She sometimes forgets to use her words and it is too cute when she does
  • She offers to bring me and my friends snacks when we student teach
  • She gets really excited for you when you have something coming up
  • She will let you complain about traffic to her everyday
  • She over-prepares for hurricanes
  • She will give her life for me
  • She loves me completely

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Pickle!

I love you so much Pick!

I hope you have a fantastic day and you have a happy happy birthday!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

I Love Me Some Free Stuff

Wow, blogging just keeps getting better and better.

Seriously people, visit Bloggy Giveaways and see all the amazing giveaways!

Come on, all you have to do is leave a comment and you get a chance to win! I love it!!

Here is an example of one of the places I went to enter for prizes:
Enter My Weekly Giveaways May 1 thru July 31

And if you go here, La Vie de Laurie, then you have a chance to win a Coach purse. How awesome is that!! Love it! Plus she is in Texas and that makes her super cool. :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Driving Past the Bar on Sunday Morning

On the way to church every week you have to drive past the local bar, and every week I like to count the number of cars that are still in the parking lot. I do that not to pass judgement on those people, but rather I praise them for making a good choice. I like to think that those people who left their car in the parking lot, made the good choice to not drink and drive. Those people got a sober ride home.

While I know that may not be why those cars are there, it makes me feel better to think that is the reason.

So I am so proud of those 3 people who chose not to drive home drunk last night from Molly's Pub. That is at least 3 lives that were saved.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Adult Children

My older brother has been home for the summer and we have been doing quite a few outings as a whole family. Just for clarification I will define the dynamics of my family.

Current Family Dynamics:
Mom & Dad --> still happily married to each other
Brother --> 28, single, no kids, never been married, still in college, unemployed
Me --> 25, single, no kids, never been married, still in college (grad school), unemployed

So the point of this post is to talk about how you feel like you are still a child when your whole family is riding together in a car. I guess because neither my brother or I are married and when we are in the car it is just the 4 of us, its like we instantly revert back to being kids. My brother and I fight about who gets shot gun. Or we complain about leg room. Then we fight about being hot and the other one of us is cold. I have to fight the urge to poke him or yell that "Stuart is touching me"! My parents still say the same things to make us shut up that they said when we were kids.

It is really odd, but strangely familiar. It is so natural for us to act like we are kids. I wonder if my parents think it is strange or is it just as familiar for them? It also makes me wonder how the dynamics are going to change when one of us brings home a spouse. Will the days of family of 4 be over? Is getting married the end of being a child forever? I kind of feel like it is easy for my brother and I to remain acting like children around my parents because we are single and largely supported financially by our parents. But when I am married, I am really an adult. So I can't fight and poke with my brother, and I can't ask my parents to do silly things for me.

Growing up is hard. Yes I know that I am 25 and pretty much grown. But it is still weird.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pioneer Woman

OK, I know that I am completely slow on this one, but I have just discovered the wonders of the Pioneer Woman.

I *heart* her recipes.


The foot is getting better. I have chosen to ignore it from now on....

I am going to a Harry Wong conference tomorrow in Houston, and I am way excited. I have seen his videos and he cracks me up. I will be very disappointed if he doesn't say, "but Mr. Wong, Mr. Wong, Mr. Wong" in his whiny student voice. =)

I have to drive to the George R. Brown Convention Center and I am nervous. I am such a baby when it comes to driving in Houston.

Summer session II still kind of sucks. I feel bad, its not the class or the professor but I am just burned out, and I am not giving the class the attention it deserves.

This picture was taken on Sunday after lunch with my grandparents. Ugg.. it is upsetting me. I was feeling thin until I saw this picture. My arms are huge and stomach is still all poochy. I shouldn't complain. I am ready to be done losing weight but I keep seeing reminders of how far I still have to go.... boo.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sundays are Fundays

It feels weird that today is Sunday. I didn't go to church and there was no race on, so I keep forgetting that school is tomorrow. I keep procrastinating on finishing my presentation that is tomorrow. Blah blah blah....

I am going to take away a lesson from my summer school burnout... no more classes in both summer sessions.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer School Just Might be the Death of Me

Summer session I was awesome even with the research methods class from hell. But Summer II has not been all that fabulous during its first week. I was so over school on Thursday and I was in an awful mood. People are lucky I didn't ram them with my car when I was driving to Clear Lake.

I get to school then I am walking to my class still in my horrible mood. A lady almost runs me over with her minivan, and a dirty look is given. My mood worsens. I am walking all huffy and angry the rest of the way to class. Well apparently my mood had clouded my walking abilities. My foot slipped off my flip flop and twisted in a horribly painful way. Luckily though I didn't fall down and there was no one behind me, thus I regained my composure and limped my way to class. I sat there for the 3 hours and the whole time my foot was swelling and I was thinking to myself that I broke my foot.

When class was over and I stood up to leave, a severe pain ensued. I hobbled to my car with more pain each step. I swear to God I thought I wasn't going to make it to my car.

Anyways, it is now Friday night and my foot is still swollen and I cannot put any weight on it. Now good people, did I break my foot?

I mean seriously who breaks their foot walking in a parking lot?! I think it was me!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

In light of recent blog traffic, I thought this was too funny.

I kind of hope Embarq comes and laughs at this... No seriously Embarq, I *heart* you!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Things that made me happy today

Ralph Lauren Flip Flops

Classic Chloe


I can't help it...I love tanning

Mesh heart rings from Tiffany & Co.

Crazy but cuddly Casey

Steak night at my parent's house

Monday, July 14, 2008

Another Confession: My name is Ashley and I love Big Brother

Last night another season of Big Brother started. I missed the first 30 minutes because I had no idea that season 10 was starting. Anyways, so far so good. I love this show and I get hopelessly addicted.

Since I missed the first 30 minutes I went to the website tonight to check out the cast bios. I was glad to see a few Texans in there. :) One thing that did surprise me is how many of them credit graduating from college as there biggest accomplishment. Not to be rude, but come on people, graduating from college is not all that hard. Even if you did struggle to get through college, I think people should strive for something better to be their biggest accomplishment. I love school and I love academia, but I, by no means, want my education to be the thing I am most proud of. I hope that my legacy will be remembered for something great that I did or some contribution I made to help society. I would hate it if all people say about me when I'm gone was, well she was a good student.

So Big Brother House Guests, go out and do something good for the world. Don't let a college diploma be your accomplishment.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hello my name is Ashley

And I am a TANorexic.

Hi Ashley.

Yes folks, I will admit it. I am addicted to tanning. Both indoors and outdoors.

I spent all of yesterday floating around the pool and baking my skin. And I went to lay out in the pool today but the stupid clouds were in my way.

Now I am going to have to get up early tomorrow to go to tan at the salon.

I have a problem.

Someone might have to intervene.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Things that are driving me crazy

  1. Ant Infestations- never again will I live in a first floor apartment
  2. Kyle Busch- that cocky kid wins too much
  3. Summer School- I need a break... boo summer session II
  4. Nothing being on TV
  5. Clouds when I am trying to lay out
  6. Cheesy Disney movies

Well that's my list for now.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Random Musings

I want to change the title of my blog... can I do that? Will blogher get mad?

I am wishing that my research proposal would finish itself... that's not going to happen is it?

I wish I could afford to buy a sewing machine.

I really want to (and need to) lay out this weekend... I hope it doesn't rain.

I wish I wasn't taking a class in summer session II.

How to make your cats freak out

I was watching a video over at Steece's Pieces and those adorable quad babies where crying in desperation for their bottles. My 2 cats came running over to the computer and they started pacing and meowing. Casey (my male cat) was totally freaking out. They obviously do not like the sound of crying babies. It was so funny to watch them freak out about the noise and try to figure out where it was coming from.

I guess this means that I will have to play more crying babies to desensitize them for when I have babies. I tell you, my cats get crazier and crazier.

But in all seriousness, go to Steece's Pieces and check out the cutest babies!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Don't post about your phone company

So apparently if you mention the name of your phone/DSL company on your own blog they will find out and leave you a comment about it. While Embarq_Jenny was perfectly nice, it still creeps me out. How the heck did they know that I mentioned them in a post and that I was somewhat dissatisfied with my service? It is very "big brother is watching"....really odd. So in the future don't mention your utilities companies in a blog post unless you are prepared for them to know about it.

Embarq_Jenny- Thank you for your concern my internet and phone service is up and running now. And as far as my appointment is concerned, no one ever called me. I had to figure it out on my own that I was back in business. But do not fear Embarq_Jenny, I will remain an Embarq customer because well I don't really have any other option and really I am not a dissatisfied customer. :-)

Now if the AT&T Home Entertainment people would like to get in contact with me through this blog, I certainly have something to say to them. Comment away AT&T.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

How you make a room full of graduate students act like kids...

It is so funny what a room full of educators will find fun; give us some plastic bags, ice, salt, sugar, and milk and we will have a party. Tonight we made ice cream in 5 minutes in Ziploc bags. It was so much fun! I love it that a room of 28 well-educated people who are leaders in their field can enjoy "kid" activities!

You have to enjoy being a kid to work with kids. All teachers need is a creative activity that they get to have fun with and they can entertain themselves for hours.

Tonight sealed the deal, School of Ed is much more fun than Poly Sci :)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Blogging Hiatus

It seems as though my phone and DSL has decided to crap out. So I will be on a blogging hiatus. The lovely folks at Embarq gave me a service appointment time of today thru Tuesday at 7pm. Awesome, thanks for the help Embarq guys.... yeah right....

I am useless without the Internet!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Fireworks, Oh My !

Happy 4th of July!
Today is the day we need to celebrate our freedom and Thank God for the blessings we receive from being able to worship freely and openly.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Check out my super cool pics... FYI it took me forever to figure out how to put them in here right

Oh man.... school is drama central lately. I am beginning to realize that Summer sessions for graduate students is just not a good idea. There is too much expected from us and not enough time to properly make necessary changes or seek proper guidance.

But on another note, I survived my trip driving to the medical center. The med center was the easy part, driving down Westeimer on the other hand was an adventure. That road is crazy scary! I got to see parts of Houston that I never see and I even got to go on the main campus at U of H for the first time. I was really pretty impressed with the campus
And the best part of the day was getting to eat at Chuy's!! I love me some Chuy's!!!!!

Also on a positive note I wanted to wear my new brown shirt today and when I was in my closet I saw my pink plaidish Ann Taylor skirt. I grabbed it on a whim thinking that there was NO way it was going to fit. But I slipped it on and it zipped right up!! I was so excited! So excited in fact that I took a picture of me wearing it! :) The pictures turned out really crappy because it was my first attempt at taking a pic of myself in the mirror. I turned off my flash so the pics came out dark.

Me 40 lbs. thinner (weight loss started Jan'08. Please ignore the hanging dirty towels)

Me and Amber at Texas Children's Hospital (The valet guy might have been a worse photographer than me)

Another one of my photography attempts with standing on the toilet and posing in a mirror... yep I'm cool. :)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I keep having to remind myself that I am a grown up and that I have been driving for 10 years now. But I will be honest, I have to drive to the medical center tomorrow and I am TERRIFIED!

I hate driving in Houston!!!!!!!!

Plus it is super easy to get lost in the medical center, that is making me more nervous.

So in one afternoon I am facing the following anxieties:
  • Driving some where I have never been
  • Driving on the freeway
  • Driving in Houston
  • Parking in parking garages
  • Meeting someone I don't know

Yikes, Prayers Please!