Friday, December 13, 2013


I'd like to make a promise and say I'll write more before the year is out, but knowing myself, I'm just not going to do that.  It won't happen.

To tell you the truth, I'm writing a novel in my head every night before I go to sleep.  I was never a big fiction writer until after college... interesting how that happened.  I miss writing.  I need to sit down and do it more, but I have so much else going on that I feel I can't justify the time, which is sort of silly to me.

Anyway, December is good here because it's not as cold as Utah, but we've still had some snow.  Enough that my generally seasonally-confused self can finally recognize that it's Christmas time and soon it will be January.

Most days, I spend my time with my girls and making various things while they play together and need me occasionally.  I rearrange things, I talk to my dogs, I talk to my girls, I look out the window, I get the mail.  Most days, I don't go anywhere because we're sharing my car right now.  I'm ok with that--my days are pretty simple, and if I said I hope for more, I'd be lying. 

This is the season of my life.  I have such an urge to create, make, do, be more, be better, come up with new things, and sometimes, it hurts.  Most times, it's the norm.  I don't mind because if it means I get to spend time with my sweet and helpful little Ruby and fire-y yet calm little Emmy, I will certainly take it.  They are just my world spinning.

Ruby is killing me with sweetness lately.  She's so helpful at picking up her toys, and every morning, we watch Sesame Street.  She understands that Emmy HAS to sit on my lap because Emmy is a mama's girl more deeply in the mornings, but to compensate, she'll lean her head against my arm.  She's beginning to repeat words I say, like AMEN! or "Emma" for Emmy--she doesn't ever end things in "y. "Puppy" is "puppa" and "daddy" is "dada," etc.  She loves to give kisses and loves to kiss her snuggie (blanket).  She blows kisses and waves to everyone and is VERY social.  Loves her dada and her puppies.

Emmy, on the other hand, is a tough cookie.  She climbs on top of our table on the regular and generally gets into trouble climbing things, trying to climb things, getting into things.  She has this squeak-laugh that just about does me in; it's funny, though, because you can try so hard to get her to laugh and you'll get NOTHING.  You have to earn it with Emerson.  But when she loves you, she LOVES you. She loves talking to plants on our walks and talking to me in jumbled talk, which both she and Ruby do.  I really think they have their own twin language, because it's all nonsense to anyone else who hears it.  Yet, there's a lot of head-nodding that goes on between the two of them when it happens.  Anyway, Emmy is a tender little girl.  She puckers her lips all the time for kisses and says "hiya" regularly, which I LOVE.  She spots and talks about puppies everywhere we go, and she'll say "a puppy?" Over and over again, even when I haven't seen one anywhere.  I'll look and finally spot the dog (a ways away) she's talking about--she's hilarious.

Ruby above, Emmy below.

This year has been the best of the best and the worst of the worst, all rolled into one.  Confusing, hard, soul-searching and heartbreaking... it's been one of those years that's just been everything.  I'm glad to say I lived it. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The beat goes on

A lot's happened since I wrote last.

We moved to Provo, and for the most part, it was pretty good.  But for whatever reason, we just never felt fully settled.  It was actually a little stressful.  Now we know why--it wasn't meant to be.  His job didn't work out, and we found ourselves looking at moving all over the U.S.  He had an interview with some lovely people in Niagara Falls, for example.  My goodness!

When all was said and done, we moved to Albuquerque.  It's nice here; it's been really rainy, which I actually like a lot.  But apparently they haven't had this much rain since the 70s and they've been in a bad drought, so it's sort of wreaked havoc on everything.

Regardless, we didn't have to pack up or move anything--the company did it all for us, and unpacked us most of the way, too.

I've done well at organizing and getting rid of things.  I don't know if it's because I'm growing up or something, but I've recently began to realize that my possessions don't have feelings, and unless something is useful or beautiful (or really, really memorable), I probably don't need it.  Between moving twice and wanting more order in my life, I've gotten rid of a LOT of things.  It's nice.  Also, I've felt a lot less compelled to buy a ton of things I don't need.  Part of it is having no budget as of late (ha), and part of it is realizing it's just more STUFF. 

Albuquerque is cool.  Kind of different.  There are some really cool things, like a mineral and stone shop which is really my jam.  I bet I never told you I sort of collect rocks, and really love pretty ones and agate.  I always have since I was a wee child.  So one of the first days we were here, we went to this store and I almost died--it's that awesome.

I have an Anthropologie about 7 minutes from my house.  That's huge!  I know everybody loves Anthropologie, but I don't think you understand.  Anthropologie is like the dream I've always had for my home; I've loved it since I was a sophomore in high school, and it means more to me than trendy, over-priced stuff.  My hubby doesn't get it, which is ok.  But I was feeling a little homesick that first week we were here, and when we walked in, I just felt happy.  Silly, I know.  But still, it's something.

I've missed my family a lot and it's weird to just move to a place where I've never been before in my life (I never got a chance to come down before we moved--it just didn't work out with the girls), but so far, it's pretty good and the people here are SO nice.

Before I totally brush over living in Provo, I will say this:  it was nice there.  Provo is beautiful.  The thing about it, though, was that the people weren't friendly.  I so badly wanted to make friends and be one of the cool people I hear about in Provo (lame, I know), but it just didn't happen.  It's probably a combination of having little kids and not living there long, but the people in Provo were just not all that great.  It's funny because I sort of wanted to prove that stereotype wrong, the whole "people in Utah County are self-righteous and unfriendly," but Provo kinda played right into that one for us.  So that was a bummer.  BUT it was really nice to live by my dad, my sister, and my brother... and where we lived was beautiful.  I think I'll always miss Provo in a way.

That said, our house in Albuquerque is awesome.  So much space, a big backyard (no grass, though--here in ABQ they realize they're in a desert, unlike Utah, so there's not a ton of grass--shoot!), and we have a big, empty bedroom, waiting for visitors.  Seriously, our third bedroom has nothing in it but a couple boxes that will very shortly be going into the garage.

So, what I'm trying to say is this:  come visit?

These girls will be waiting.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

On living

So, we found a place to live.  All along in our search, I kept thinking back to what my friend Liz said on a previous post, that maybe we just hadn't found "our" place.  I really think that's it--because though we haven't seen this one in person, it seems like it'll be perfect for us.  I'm so excited. 

And, it's in Provo.  I'm a little nervous, mostly because I don't really love BYU (sorry.) and fanatic BYU fans (sorry.).  But I know good people are everywhere, I know there's a lot of fun things in and around Provo, and my sister lives 15-20 minutes one way and my brother about 25-30 minutes the other. 

We're excited.

I'm excited to get all my stuff out, sort through it, and live more simply.  Also?  I'm excited to sort out my mental space.  I feel like I've had this inner turmoil for a while, and part of it I know for sure is because I have anxiety.  Though most of the time I'm just fine, for the last little while I've begun to realize that I wasn't really fine.  Thankfully, I'm coming out of a difficult period and I feel as though things are beginning to look up; sometimes I hesitate writing about real and difficult things because it doesn't often seem like there's room for it in the world of perfect, happy, golden blogging, but that's real life and I think there's value and meaning in remembering even difficult times.  Regardless, I'm doing a lot better than I was, and I'm grateful for it.

I think part of it, too, is that I'm still trying to figure out my identity as a stay-at-home mom, and a mom in general.  I see certain ways I do things and want to change them.  But the thing I've recently realized in the last year is this:  if I don't like something, change it! 

For example, I used to never pick up my dogs' poop.  Yep.  Never.  Just didn't worry about it on walks.  And now I have no idea why because the idea horrifies me, and I'm pretty sure if I were a homeowner without a dog (or even with a dog), I'd probably be preeeeettttttty put out that a dog pooped on my lawn.  So one day, I got depressed about it.  I thought, oh man, I'm a terrible person who doesn't pick up their dogs' poop and I don't smile and say good morning to people on my jogs and I don't do this etc. etc. etc.  BUT THEN.  Then, one day, I thought, why not?  Why can't I do those things? 

So, every jog, I started bringing bags to pick up my dog's poop.  And I passed some people on the sidewalk, and though it's kind of outside my comfort zone, I smiled and said good morning.  And!  It felt awkward--not picking up the poop... Ok, ok, that's awkward, but it's a must-do thing--but smiling and saying hello felt really super good.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this:

Hi.  I'm Ashley, almost 27 years old, and I'm still working on becoming better, doing better, and figuring myself out.  Also, I'm moving really soon and I'd like to make some friends.  So if you know anyone who would be a good friend, I'm accepting applications as of now. (Ha!)

Lastly, my girls turned one on Saturday, and maybe sometime I'll write about that a bit more.  It's bittersweet because I can't believe they're not tiny newborns anymore, but they're just so fun, sweet and tender little girls.  I love them so, so much.  They look just like their daddy... so I guess it's a good thing I love him, too. 

It's a good life.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

5 years

OHMYGOODNESS.  We've been married 5 years.  Time has flown, everybody!

In the tradition of the day, here's what happened in the last year for us:

  • Added two (2!) children.  Never thought five years ago that in five years, we'd have two kids.  
  • Lost a lot of sleep due to the amount of children we had at one time.  
  • Realized having kids is NUTS.  Awesome, but nuts. 
  • Basically bummed around our families' houses.  (My in-laws' place, my mom's place, a hotel, then back to the in-laws').
  • Lived in a hotel from June through August.  Became buddies with the maids.  
  • Made some really good friends in Elko, and then proceeded to miss them every day since we've been back.
  • Kept our two dogs.  (Though sometimes I wanted to strangle them, and other times I wanted to smooch them.  So I guess the fact that we kept them is a milestone, eh?)

  •  Sold a jeep, bought a truck, went to Vegas to pick it up.  (THAT was an adventure I didn't write about... let's just say:  it was an adventure.  An adventure that maybe shouldn't ever be repeated.)
  • Quit a few jobs (two for me, one for my housband)
  • Began a few jobs (one for me, kinda!, two for my housband)
  • Got a real-life, grown-up job offer! (I guess we're adults now!)
  • Went through some really hard things with my family.
  • Survived anyway. 
  • Jogged lots of miles
  • Biked lots of miles
  •  Lost almost 40 pounds (one of us... ahem).
  • Worked on becoming better human beings
I really think this has been one of the hardest years we've had yet, for a myriad of reasons.  I was reading somewhere recently that someone wrote that after having a baby, she and her husband attended therapy because having children is something like taking a good thing and throwing a bomb in it.  Haha!  I can see what they meant. 

Our girls have completely enriched our lives... they are such a source of joy for us. 

Anyway, this year's been tough.  But, it's also been really, really good.  Here's to the next five years!

Monday, March 4, 2013

The search is on...

Well, we're looking for places to rent.  It's been... interesting.  And frustrating.  I have ideas in my head of where and in what I'd like to live, but it seems as though my wallet doesn't agree.  So, we keep going back to the drawing board. 

We were kind of excited about the prospect of buying a place, but the area in which we could live--anywhere from central Salt Lake to Provo, essentially--is too big, and we'd probably only be able to afford a town house, which don't tend to hold their value as well as a home.  So... here we go again!

And then there's this:  we're not moving until May.  I'm excited, my housband's excited, but excitement leads to frustration when we find a place but can't pay rent on it while it sits empty for a month. 

I guess what's really happening is that we need to stop looking until April.

Nonetheless, I'd really like to live somewhere we won't get shot, have drug dealers for neighbors, and somewhere I won't have to leave my girls alone for lengthy periods of time to let my dogs out to go potty.  (And now you're thinking I'm an idiot for owning dogs... but you're not the only one!)

Anyway, if you have any tips of good, safe places to rent for around $850 a month in these areas, I'd appreciate it.  When it comes down to it, I've really only lived in Logan--which I'm realizing now is really, really small when you think about it--and Elko (but that was a hotel and that doesn't really count).  I guess what I'm saying is this:  I'm feeling a little lost, and kind of scared to move.  Don't get me wrong--I'm so, so excited. 

And just like Jessie Spano, I'm so, so scared.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

We're moving!

We'll be a LOT closer to our hometown than we initially thought.  So, if you know of a good, pet-friendly and affordable place to rent in Utah county (or even up to the South/West Jordan area!) please let me know!  We're open to suggestions... and so excited.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Back in August,

or really anytime before the girls were born and shortly after, people would tell me this:  the first year is a blur.  You're going to be tired, and you're not going to remember much after the year is over.

It was sort of one of those yadda yadda yadda things:  I heard them, but I didn't really think much of it.

Then we spent the first 7 weeks of their lives at my mom's house, trying to survive and thrive on operating with such little sleep.  THEN we lived in a hotel in Elko, and I tried to figure out how in the world to care for two infants largely on my own... and it was a struggle.

That time in Elko is now a huge blur to me--luckily, I remember the best parts and try to forget the rest, like that guy who was smoking in our hallway the night we arrived... oh dear.  We had dinner every night at our friends' house--they were so gracious to have us over pretty much every night of the week, which was a great help!  When you only have a microfridge (that would be a fridge and microwave in one, and yes, they're bolted together in case you were wondering, and no, not very spacious, and yes, the fridge freezes most everything, and no, the microwave is not full voltage so if you wanted to cook that chicken pot pie you might want to add on about twice as much cook time, just saying), friends who have you over for dinner is a lifesaver.

So then I got sort of obsessed with the passage of time, because it really, honestly, truly flies.  It does!  If anything, my housband and I have agreed that now that we have kids, we notice just how quickly time is flying by--which never used to be a thing of real concern or note.

When I got home and moved back in with the in-laws, I decided something:  I was going to write in a journal (or blog) EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Because I realized I already didn't know when certain things had happened over the summer, and I could really only guesstimate.  The idea of forgetting drives me absolutely, absolutely nuts.  I like to think I have a great memory, but it isn't what it used to be, what with everything going on all the time with my girls.

So I began the blog.  It was September 4 of last year.  And it's definitely not perfect, and I definitely don't write every day.  But I write something about every day, even if I have to catch up with a week's worth of days (which I hate doing, but I do nonetheless).

Time is flying by.  I can't remember much, but I will now know when the girls cut their first tooth, when they both began to crawl and stand, what their funny quirks are, the things I've been going through--and I love that.  I freak out when I think about forgetting even the littlest of things.

I made a goal to keep going until their 1st birthday, but after that, all bets are off.  I'd like to say I'll keep going, but I don't know that I will.  It matters to me that I did this, though, and that I'll always have that record, even if it wasn't perfect and it'll probably never get seen by anyone but me.  I'm ok with that.  Do you do this?  Am I completely neurotic?


On a sort of related note, today I sent off my first custom ordered bouquet from my flower shop.  If you've read my blog for a while, you might remember that I made a bunch of flowers before I knew I was expecting my girls and sold them in my shop for a bit.  Recently I decided to give it another go, and it's going really well!  I'm excited and have more products coming hopefully soon, but as of now, I'm selling flowers in arrangements for decoration and bridal bouquets here:  Come see me, won't you?


Also, I have some news.  My housband has gotten a job.  And we are moving.  And it's not to where you probably think we are moving, based on our summer experience.  I will tell you soon! Stay tuned for the HUGE reveal!!!