Solo circumnavigation inspiration!

I just came across a new blog that I'm really excited about following!  It's about this 16-year old girl named Abby that is attempting to be the youngest ever to solo circumnavigate (in other words, sail around the world by herself).  I was just browsing through her past blog posts and I have to admit that I've become inspired to try and do the same thing!  No, I'm totally kidding, but she really is inspirational.  From the looks of it, she is a Christian, too so that makes her even cooler!  ;-] 
Today is day 35 for her and she blogs pretty regularly about her experiences, struggles, and everything in between.  I guess the average time it takes to complete something like this is between 120-170 days.  I am definitely going to be following her blog and wishing her the best.  Maybe you should check her out too!

Blog: soloround.blogspot.com
Website:  www.abbysunderland.com

Posted byAshley C. at 9:58 AM 0 Love Notes  

. . . I refuse to drink tap water.

You know "big brother?"  Yeah, me either, but I think "he" knows us.  I don't mean to sound like one of those "wackadoodles" but I have began to become kind of paranoid about the government.  The last 2 movies Josh and I have seen have had something to do with a governmental conspiracy and American citizens.  Yeah, I know, they are only movies, but they are real ideas. 

Both of the movies have been about the government and them having/making/transporting chemicals that are used for domestic terror attacks.  The movie I watched tonight was about a chemical spill in a small town's river (water supply) that caused the whole town to go crazy.  Aside from the movie fears, Josh has been sharing some information that he has been learning from his "terror and society" class.  He mentioned something about the government transporting tons and tons and tons of chemicals (such as Anthrax, cancer-causing chemicals, etc.) between states that are used for different reasons.  He also said that each year (year I think) there are approximately 3 chemical spills in the U.S.; those chemical spills are obviously dangerous to the surrounding communities.  Never heard anything about that?  Exactly!  They are hidden and covered by the government for that reason.  Also, Josh and I were just talking about Google Earth; it's a pretty nifty tool for people to use, but have you ever stopped to think that the government has to have something bigger and better?  I mean, they have to in order for Google to have rights.  And this is the reason I refuse to drink tap water.  Only Aquafina for me!  :-]  I'm not ready to be poisoned by some accident! 

And, I don't want to make Josh sound like a paranoid schizophrenic but he won't let us have or use certain things because he knows they are being monitored.  Don't laugh, but for example, he won't let me (or himself) have the GPS feature turned on on our cell phones, he will not even consider getting the new Internet carrier "Clear," and strongly discourages the use of the cell phone carrier "Cricket" amongst other things.  I guess he's just smart and extra cautious about things.  Good thing because he has to even me, the careless one, out. 

Movies are movies but they've got to have some real factor to them, right?  :-]

Posted byAshley C. at 10:21 PM Post a comment (1) Love Notes  

Can't we just agree to disagree . . .

Tonight Josh and I were watching TMZ (celeb gossip . . . it's our guilty pleasure).  Well, the paparazzi were talking to Ms. "Beverly Hills."  They asked her what she thought about gay marriages.  The thing about TMZ is that they make celebs look dumb and they twist their words and instigate further drama.  Well, the girl replied by saying something like, "Well, I don't agree with them" and they immediately starting mocking her and said that "the last time it was cool to disagree with gay marriages was 1969" and that "she is a poor resemblance of Beverly Hills" simply because she said that she disagrees with gay marriage.  She also said that she has gay friends  (Yeah, I know, doesn't say much, just like seceretly racist people always "have black friends").  To top it off, Beverly Hills wrote her off by saying that she does not represent them and they do not sponsor her.

What I am wondering is since when was it a problem for people to express their ideas and opinions?  Oh wait, I know, since it doesn't match the majority of other's ideas and opinions, that's right.  It's like people jump down your throat if you don't agree with their opinions or if you try to justify your opinion, they attack you.  You have your opinion just like I have mine.  Can't we just agree to disagree and take our own stands?  I think that sometimes people get so wrapped up in wanting to be liked that they are willing to sacrifice their morals and values.  For example, practically every celebrity supports gay marriage and pro-choice and "Obama '08" that it's really hard to believe that they all really feel that way.  I don't believe it for a minute.  It's what is in and they can't stray from the majority.  I wish there were more celebrities that weren't afraid to take a stand and speak out for what they really believe in. 

Posted byAshley C. at 10:50 PM 0 Love Notes  

Take me home

There I was, cruising along with my shades on heading to Milwaukee for my class.  I noticed that nearly every car heading South was covered in snow.  The only thing I thought about was, Wow, these Wisconsin drivers haven't dug out their cars since the last snow storm a few days ago?  I was about three-fourths of the way there when I hit a little cloud of snow.  I drove about 5 more minutes down the road and ran into a blizzard!  I was amazed how much of a difference a 35 minute drive makes!  I was sitting there on the interstate, in a traffic jam, driving 25 miles an hour; it was horrible!  I was complaining to Josh about how I couldn't even see the car in front of me and the roads were so slick, my tires wouldn't grip, it was a mess.  He told me to just turn around if I couldn't handle it.  I wasn't even close to being to school yet so I pressed the "Take me home" button on my GPS.  When I pulled over onto a side-street I called my teacher's home, left a message and then sent him an e-mail.  I guess the storm was heading South because I was driving back home, on the highway, only 25 miles an hour.    In addition to that, Josh was heading to class and even admitted himself "Yeah boo, this is really bad."  It took me about 2 hours to get home!  At least I didn't crash my car because the road were horrible and had not a lick of salt on them either. 

I really, really can't wait for Spring to get here!

Posted byAshley C. at 5:45 PM 0 Love Notes  

I will wear an X-large?!

I've got a complaint that I've been holding in for quite some time (no, not my neighbor's porch light lighting my bedroom up at night).  I found a really nice pair of workout pants about a month ago.  Now, you know how hard it is to find a really good, comfy, fit-ya-just-right pair of workout pants.  I found them and I love them but every time I pull my pants down to use the bathroom I have a mean tag staring back at me.  "USA: M, ASIA: XL . . ."  Now, I feel really good about wearing a medium . . . in the US.  So, this tag is telling me that if I go shopping in Asia, I will wear an X-large?!  Eek!  Talk about a confidence booster! 

Now, yesterday I weighed myself and it was a number that I've never seen on the scale before . . . in the other direction.  So, change of plans.  I am not doing P90X anymore.  It's boring and time-consuming and by no means flexible.  I decided that I need to really take action and change my eating habits.  My goal is simple: only consume 1,500 calories a day and burn 1,000 calories a week (only cardio, not including strength training).  That's it.  And not to mention, it's been almost 2 months of no fast food!!!  How's that for a big accomplishment?!  :-]  I'm going back to the basics.  Before all of the fads, diets, tricky workout regimes existed. 

Oh, and a friend of mine just started her own blog.  She's a soon-to-be mommy and has a juicy, interesting life.  Meet Courtney!

Posted byAshley C. at 11:41 AM Post a comment (1) Love Notes  

I need to get out of here.

Since Wednesday, I've felt drained and tired with some congestion.  As the week progressed, I began to have a majorly stuffed nose, very sore throat, and pounding headaches, so yesterday I went to the doctor.  He said that I "have enough systems to treat this as strep throat."  I have antiobiotics and have just been hibernating since.

This morning, Josh called me at noon to wake me up (yes, noon).  He told me that there was no family dinner today but his dad is grilling out.  I don't know what got into me, but I sprung out of bed and immediately went into the kitchen to find the ingredients to make tuna salad.  Got 'em all.  And baked beans, too!  While I was at it, I found some lemon cake mix (my favorite!) so I decided to make that, too.  I told myself that I was just going to eat grilled food, baked beans, a can of pop and some cupcakes . . . the ultimate Summer dinner minus the watermelon . . . and not look out the window in order to convince myself that it's Spring.  In fact, I am going to paint my nails pink today, too.  I am sooo over this cold weather!  It is making me sick and I am freezing.  I cannot wait much longer for Spring to get here.  I am ready to just sleep with my window open, wear nothing but a shirt and jeans, and go rollerblading.  If our credit card had enough money available, I would buy Josh and I tickets to Florida for a week.  I need to get out of here.  Oh, wait, I wouldn't be able to because we are supposed to get a foot of snow tonight!  Aye-yi-yi. 

My new goal:  When we are engaged and begin looking for a house, I will try my absolute hardest to get him to move to Florida.  No more midwest for this girl. 

Posted byAshley C. at 12:48 PM Post a comment (1) Love Notes  

All in this tin

Because it's winter and the ground is frozen, we were not able to bury Tyson.  We had to take him to get cremated and mom paid extra to get his ashes back.  I felt a little weird about someone else handling my dead dog because I'm sure they treated him inhumanely.  Dead or not, he should be treated gently.  I am just afraid that because these people cremate animals for a living, they are desensitized to it.  I guess all I can do is hope that they were humane.  Anyway, we got his ashes back today.  It was really weird because when mom texted me and said "Tyson is home," my heart skipped a beat and my mind, going a million miles an hour, told me he's home?!  Yes, it was all a mistake, he didn't really die!  He's home and I can hold him again!  but then I realized what that meant. 
I guess this is what my little buddy has been reduced to.  It's really sad to think that 5 days ago, he was walking around the house, playing with the other dogs, and bugging me.  Just sad that it was completely unexpected and I couldn't kiss him bye or snuggle with him one last time.  Instead, Josh had to tell me that he's gone.  Forever.  His little body is in this little tin jar.  His big personality, mouth full of barks, and all of that love all in this tin.  As much as I wish I could, I know that there is nothing I can do about him being gone. 
I still love you little buddy and I haven't taken my "I love my chihuahua" keychain off my keys either.  :-]

Posted byAshley C. at 6:46 PM 2 Love Notes  

How does she know all of this?!

Yesterday I was about to tell you about how I was going to embark on this biiig adventure.  For a class of mine, I have to do this very detailed family tree/history project.  Honestly, I was going to "BS" the whole thing because I know nothing about my family (as I told you in a different blog).  But, I figured that one day, my kids will want to know where they came from (in a biological sense . . . not physical haha!), so I should just tackle this project and try my hardest.  For both my interest and possibly for my kid's. 

So, I sent a message to each of my family members on Facebook that could give me any kind of information about themselves or our shared family members.  Then, this biiig adventure came to a screeching halt.  My uncle's ex-wife (who knows me and my sister very well.  'nother story, 'nother time) replied to my message lickety-split.  This wasn't just any message reply, this was a book.  A long storybook.  She gave me pretty much all of the information that I needed.  How does she know all of this?!  She gave me the dirt haha!  I never knew any of the information she gave me.  It's interesting that she knows all of this because she mentioned a while back that one thing she didn't like about our family was that nobody showed interest in any other person.  Nobody kept up with anyone else.  She also expressed her desire that her kids (my cousins) will one day establish that "old, traditional" family-style.  I like her.  :-] 

So, the project is due in 2 weeks and I am going to start on it tonight.  I was going to present it via PowerPoint, but because Sully is here now, I can be really different and creative and make a big posterboard.  So, when the project is finished, I think I will share a picture of it with you!  :-] 

Posted byAshley C. at 8:49 AM 0 Love Notes  

Isn't it ironic . . .

This past week has been a week full of good news (and some bad, but  that's beside the point).
First, one of my really good friends (and old roomie) found out she was pregnant!  I was probably just as excited as she was when she told me.  Her and her husband have been married for almost a year and started trying after their wedding ceremony 2 months ago.  Right after their ceremony, they moved to Colorado (where he is stationed) and a few weeks later found out that he is going to get be deployed to Iraq in March . . . so, she has to move back here (yay!) while he is gone.  It is just a bit unfortunate because he will be gone for a year . . . miss that whole stage of her getting "fat," moodiness, but will be able to come home for the birth!  She asked me if she can borrow my middle name and use it if she has a girl.  I think she was kidding, but if not, that'd be pretty cool! ;-] 
Second, my other old roomie just got engaged!  I haven't gotten a chance to talk to her about it yet, but I think he proposed the day before Valentine's Day.  I am so excited for them because I know how much they love each other and they are so perfect together.  :-]  

When I hear all of this good news, I think to myself when will it be my turn?  Hmm, isn't it ironic that today's devotional was about 'Patience?'  :-]

Posted byAshley C. at 3:51 PM 0 Love Notes  

I'll miss ya, little buddy

While Josh and I were on our date tonight, we got a call from my mom.  She called Josh's phone and as Josh was talking to her, I sensed something bad happened.  She called to tell us that my dog, Tyson died.  :-[

About 6 years ago, we found Tyson in a grocery store parking lot and he ran to us; my mom continued going back to the store throughout the week to see if anyone claimed him missing.  Story has it that the old owners no longer wanted him so they left him stranded; they were glad that someone else did.  We took him in because a few weeks prior, we put our dog Sebastian down and we wanted a new little buddy . . . to fill a void, I guess.  That day, we took him to a local vet to get him a check-up and make sure everything was okay.  They said he was between 4-6 months old.  My family let me decide on a name since I wanted him the most.  I thought it would be humorous to name him Tyson Michael (Mike Tyson backwards) since he was a small, timid chihuahua.  I made his new "comfort area" my bedroom.  For the first few nights I wanted to keep him in a cage since I didn't know anything about this dog; he barked and yelped because he didn't want to be caged up, so I let him sleep in my bed.  He was the best behaved dog!  He cuddled with me and acted as if he lived with us for months.  He became my new little buddy.
He was always a very timid, stiff dog; when you picked him up, he wouldn't bend or move.  He just stayed stiff.  He yelped if you didn't pick him up properly.  He yelped if you pet him or scratched him the wrong way.  He was very picky as to who he would let pick him up or put clothes on him (yes, he wore clothes!).  About a year ago when I brought him to the vet, they told me that we needed to start brushing his teeth regularly or else he would start to get plaque build-up in his throat and it could eventually cause a heart attack.  I guess that is exactly what happened today.  I am glad that I wasn't home and see it happen because I wouldn't have been able to handle it. 
I am going to miss my "puppy."  Stiffness, yelps, and all.  I love ya, Tyson.


Posted byAshley C. at 11:25 PM 0 Love Notes  

10 days?

Josh just called me and had this to say:  "Hey babe, guess what?  I did the math and every year you take a total of 10 days getting ready."

Well, ain't that just too bad?  ;-]

Posted byAshley C. at 1:02 PM 0 Love Notes  

Meet Sully!

My Lover and I exchanged Valentine's Day gifts and he got me my second most talked about "want (following my DSLR)!"  The Cricut Expression!  I love, love, love this thing!  I have been talking about it for some time now and after watching the infomercial months ago, I couldn't stop thinking about how cool it would have been to own it!  Well, shows that he listens. :-]  I decided to name him 'Sully.'  One of Josh's friends girlfriends has one so we are in the need of Gertrude meeting Sully!  :-]  On top of Sully, he bought me a giftcard for Archivers so that I could buy some things for it.  So, we decided to move our "date night" to tomorrow and instead go to Archivers so that I could buy some things and spend the night playing around with my new toy and getting familiar with it.  BUT, we didn't buy much at Archivers because the cartridges are $50 each!  I am going to look around on eBay and buy the other tools at a different store (since Archivers just got the Cricut Expression, they have nothing to choose from; that is just expensive!). 
Sully can make anything and everything.  Let me just say that Hallmark no longer has my business . . . I will be making all of my cards from now on.  The tutorial video walked me through making a card and it took me literally 3 minutes.  Crazy!  So . . . if I really, really like you, you'll get a pretty homemade card.  If not, you'll still get a Hallmark.  Haha, no, I'm kidding.  Or am I? ;-]  I will definitely get back into scrapbooking (after brutally burning myself out for Josh's anniversary gift 6 months ago!) now that I have to world's best tool! 

Oh, and here is a picture of Josh's Valentine's Day gift.  I thought this bookshelf thing was cool because for different occasions (i.e., anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, etc.), I will make more books for Josh to add to his little bookshelf (it holds 12) that are theme-appropriate.  Yeah, I know, it's kinda (really) girly, but he really appreciated it.  I also made that giftcard holder!  :-]  Now, if I would have had Sully about 12 hours ago, Hallmark wouldn't have made that $3.99 off of me.  ;-]

Posted byAshley C. at 9:02 PM 0 Love Notes  

Midget Flowers

Ever since day one, Josh and I have had terrible luck when it comes to ordering flowers from online.  When they are delivered, they look nothing like the picture.  Nothing at all.  The worst part of it all is that they cost so much and you look forward to the other person getting them and when they get there, they aren't what you ordered.  Well, today when I got to work, I had flowers here waiting for me!  I opened up the box and took everything out and set it all up.  I texted Josh right away (since he was at work) and thanked him up and down!  When he called me, he asked "What do they look like?"  And I explained that they came in a box and were wrapped in plastic and I had to set it all up.  He was so upset.  Haha!  He was so upset because he said that he told them to deliver them at 4 (while I was at work) and paid extra for the long-stem roses and thought it was going to be a guy delivering them vase-in-hand. Well, I came into work at 2 and they were already here, in their box, delivered via UPS.  And they weren't long-stem. 
Josh was being such a good troop about it and started making jokes and laughing about how cheap and silly he looked sending flowers in a box to his girlfriend.  "They must have mixed my order up with a cheap highschool kid sending flowers to his girlfriend in class.  I will never show my face at your work again!  At least you're happy with your midget flowers wrapped in plastic with a suffocated Teddy Bear.  Was the little balloon even blown up?" 

I absolutely love my flowers from Josh.  They are beautiful . . . even if they came in a box.  I love his thoughtfulness and his eagerness to make me smile.  He shows his love to me in so many ways and this is just another way that can be added to the list.  I love gifts and surprises from him, but I love the way he loves me the most.  He treats me with love like I've never experienced before.  I love you, Honey and I really appreciate my beautiful midget flowers.   

Tonight is our Valentine's Day date since we are going to the Chicago Auto Show tomorrow and celebrating our nephew's birthday on Sunday.  I can't wait until he gets his Valentine's Day gift!  :-]

Posted byAshley C. at 1:34 PM 0 Love Notes  

Settling down with a new Bible

How do you read your Bible?  I'm just curious because I want to try something new.  I think it's time to settle down with a new Bible.  On Sunday while I was sitting in church, I turned to Josh and asked him if we could go buy me a new Bible . . . today we did just that.  I already have several Bibles (The Message, an NIV study Bible, NLT Life Application), but I wanted something more "slim" and with only Bible text . . . no commentary on the bottom.  Lately I have been really thinking about how I have been slacking in my reading and need to start being more faithful to it.  So, I was thinking about buying some colored pencils and color-coding and linking related "touching" verses with the side margins.  I have no idea where to start though!  I was Googling tips on how to organize your Bible and color-code and all that.  I have an idea about what I want to do, so I will have to sit down and think long and hard about it and make sure it's right. :-]
I have just wanted to choose one Bible that is my favorite and start writing in that one.  I think it would be cool to have a Bible that is mine.  The Bible I found is a "slim," black leatherbound, NIV with silver page trims.  AND only $15 with my coupon!  I really like its simplicity.  I wanted to get my name engraved on it, but their machine was down.  Maybe next time we go to that store.  I really want it!
Also, while checking out, the employee showed me some $5 items they have on sale, one of which was Louie Giglio's Indescribible DVD.  Krissy introduced me to him and ever since then, I have loved his movies; they really get you thinking about God's awesomeness and how tiny, yet important we are to our Creator.  I thought this would be a great movie to have and share with people.  Haha, I get really excited about these kinds of things, so I think I automatically assume that everyone else will, too!  :-]

So, my question at the beginning wasn't rhetorical.  Really, how do you read your Bible?

Posted byAshley C. at 5:48 PM Post a comment (1) Love Notes  

Super Bowl Sunday

Is it just me or is the Super Bowl way too commercialized and overrated?  You would swear today was a holiday!  While my computer was starting up, I told myself I bet you AOL's main story on their homepage is about the Super Bowl and several other links about the commercials.  Yep, I was right.  Go figure.  I am watching the Super Bowl, but only because of all of the hype that is built around it.  Who am I cheering for?  The Colts.  Why?  Well, because I like the color blue over the colors gold and black.  Because I am a fan of Hank Bassett's wife.  Because Josh likes the Colts.  And, because I live in the Midwest, so I figure it's best to cheer on a Midwest team.  So, I just needed a break in between commercials.  Speaking in which, why is every commercial about beer?  I understand that a lot of beer-drinkers happen to be football fans, so that's their audience, but sheesh, it's kind of annoying.  And, where it Tim Tebow's commercial?  I hope that wasn't it that played during the first 5 minutes of the game.  They didn't get a chance to broadcast the heart of their message.  Maybe because it was too controversial.  Eh, who cares, just follow it with a GoDaddy(dot)com commercial and it'll be even.

I am sooo disappointed because I wasn't able to buy one of those squares to predict the quarterly scores!  I told Josh that we should put one together next year with our families, but he "isn't into gambling."  Whatever.  He just wouldn't want to admit that his girlfriend won $200 and not him.  That's my opinion. 

Anyway, back to the commercials!  Go Kendra's husband's blue team that Josh likes and that lives in the Midwest!!!  Boo to not having a square with my name on it!  :-/

Posted byAshley C. at 6:01 PM 0 Love Notes  

Yep, I'm star-struck

Okay, I'll admit it: I'm the type of person that gets "star-struck."  I was so excited to be at the show last night and when Jeff Dunham came out, my heart began racing.  I think this is for a number of reasons: 1) I watch this guy on DVDs, 2) those were the puppets that I watch on TV, 3) we're breathing in the same air, 4) it is surreal.  :-]  Call me weird, but those are my reasons!  Jeff Dunham really knows how to put on a good show.  It was really cool because when you watch his DVDs, you don't really see all of the mishaps, bloopers, or other random things that happen, but because we were sitting there we saw all of it.  His Achmed character (dead terrorist) was hilarious because his ribs got stuck to his spine, his legs fell to the side and Jeff was struggling to get it unstuck (while Achmed is yelling at him).  In order to fix it, he had to unsnap his arm and adjust everything else.  That was probably one of the funniest parts!  I'm sure that none of this makes sense since I'm sure that half of you do not even know who Jeff Dunham is, but this is why I'm sharing it . . . you need to know him!  :-]  As I wrote before, he's a pretty controversial guy so if you're easily offended, just ignore me.  Jeff also had his guitar guy, Brian Haner.  That guy is so talented with the electric guitar and he is so stinkin' funny, too!  I have videos (that I probably wasn't supposed to take) that I really wish I could upload, but Josh will call me a criminal if I did that.  :-]
We had pretty good seats, so we were able to see a lot more than some other people (sitting in the nosebleeds with binoculars!).  I cannot wait until he comes back around this way.  Well, here are some pictures that I took at the event.  :-]  The cast's names were Jeff Dunham, Brian Haner (guitar guy), Walter (old grouch), Achmed (dead terrorist), Peanut (very high-strung), Jose the Jalapeno on a Steek (name says it all), and Bubba J (White "trailer trash").  :-]

Posted byAshley C. at 7:39 PM Post a comment (1) Love Notes  

Jeff Dunham!

Josh and I have a date tonight with my mom and stepdad to go see Jeff Dunham in Milwaukee!  I am sooo excited!  We bought these tickets back in like September, so it's been a long time waiting.  Mom bought the tickets and we made a deal that we would buy them dinner before the show.  Well, I found out today that my mom has never been to Lonestar.  That's like saying you've never been to McDonalds.  So, we are going to take them there and hope they enjoy it.  Who wouldn't?!  For those of you that don't know who Jeff Dunham is, he's a ventriloquist (the funniest!).  I actually learned about him my senior year of high school; during our last week of classes, one particular teacher just had us watch the DVD.  He's has his own show on Comedy Central (which I never watch.  I think his shows are cheesy and dumb), but also has 3 DVDs out right now, too.  I mean, the guy is hilarious, but controversial, too.  To each their own, right?  I hope we can take pictures!  :-]
Now, I have a random complaint.  My right eye has been twitching for the past 4 days and I cannot make it stop!  When I squeeze my eyes closed, it twitches in response.  When I sneeze or cough, my eye twitches in response.  Weird, huh?  I can't make it stop.  I am almost ready to Google it and find a home remedy . . . unless you all have some suggestions?  I would rather have hiccups than twitches.  Okay, maybe not. 


Well, here's to a fun night out and a delicious dinner with my Lover and the parents.  :-]

Posted byAshley C. at 11:53 AM 0 Love Notes  

A blessing not enjoyed

I don't know the names of all of my aunts and uncles.
I don't know my family's health records.
I don't know my cousins.
I don't know my ethnicity.
I do know that I know nothing about my family.

For the past couple of years, I've been wanting to put together a family tree.  Better yet, I've been thinking about coordinating a family reunion.  The one thing that I dislike about my family is that there is no appreciation for family; obviously neither of those plans would work because nobody but me cares (or so it seems).  I'm going to be honest, I am a little envious when I see family's that are close.  Families that are so tightly-knit that they know their cousins, second cousins, great-grandparents, etc.  The only things I know are the basics: mom, dad, sister, (mom's side) aunt and uncle, and grandparents.  I didn't meet my grandpa until I was about 9 years old and he died that weekend.  I didn't know my grandma until I was 15; she died the following year.  It really bothers me that nobody really sees the importance of forming strong relationships with others in the family.  Do they not see the reward in being able to be the one that someone else trusts with everything?  Do they not see the reward in being able to run to any family member and feel instant comfort?
One thing that God has blessed us with is the family network.  Unfortunately, I have never been able to enjoy this blessing.  Not to bash my dad, but I don't get calls for any holidays, birthdays, or recognition for graduating college.  I mean I have recognized the lack of relationships between distant family members, but there shouldn't be a lack of relationship between a father and his daughter(s).  Where does one learn the importance of establishing relationships?  From their parents?  Is it self-taught?  Not a single person on my dad's side could care less about what anyone else is doing.  The only thing that we have in common or share is our last name.  My grandma has never reached out and tried learning about me . . . is this where that side of the family has learned not to care?  From grandma and her habits?  No, I can't say that is the only reason.  Although the concept of family has not been instilled in individuals does not mean that you can't reach out and teach yourself the importance.  My family (mom, step-dad, sister) doesn't even have a strong relationship.  I can't completely blame them because I don't show interest in them either, but why?
I know that the family I create is going to be strong and have a relationship that will last generations.  Because my family is not what defines family, I have learned what really defines it.  My family will learn and know the importance of what it means to love and depend on each other for life.  Whether I am able to instill values in them or not, they will witness what family love really means. 

Did I mention I am supposed to put together a family tree (due in 3 weeks) that lists all of my family specifics on both sides?  Oh, boy.

Posted byAshley C. at 6:03 PM 0 Love Notes