"Can I sleep in your bed, Auntie?"

That's the question that I've been asked the most this past week.  I mentioned in another post that my step-sister is in town with her 2 kids, Charlee and Matthew.  They are such adorable kids . . . and apparently Charlee loves her Auntie.  She has been asking me day in and day out "Can I sleep in your bed with you, tonight?  Please, Auntie?  I'll even sleep on your floor."  I just tell her, Not tonight, Sweetheart or If you're still awake when I  get home, sure (knowing that I won't be home until the wee hours of the morning); I cannot stand sharing a bed with other people.  I just feel comfortable knowing that there are no dirty feet in my bed or that no one is staring at me, hogging my blankets, drooling on my pillows, or going to keep me up talking about nonsense.  Well, last night my mom and me went to the midnight showing of Eclipse and before I left, Charlee asked "the question."  I replied Sure, if you're still awake, you can sleep with me, but if you're not, I'm not going to wake you up.  We didn't get home until 2:30 a.m..  I made sure that I pulled my car far enough up the driveway so that way if she looked out the window, she wouldn't see my car.  Well, me and my mom made it past the barking dogs and I was able to wash my face and climb in bed peacefully . . . no need to break a six year old's heart.

That is, until 4:30 a.m..  I always lock my door at night because I do not like people coming in my room "just because."  Well, you can unlock my door from the outside by just a simple turn and apparently Charlee figured it out.  I woke up, and because my room was dark (I sacrificed my nightlight for her a couple days ago!), I only saw her sillouette; she had her pillow and a blanket and was making her little spot on the floor.  I just said, Charlee, how did you get in here? and in her sweet, innocent voice said, "I just unlocked it with that 'thing.'"  Okay, come and lay right here, don't sleep on the floor.  But next time my door is locked, you cannot come in here without asking, okay?  "Okay" she replied and we just fell back alseep.  Honestly, it wasn't that bad . . . but it will not happen again.  :-] 

Posted byAshley C. at 8:22 PM 0 Love Notes  


Step-sister is town (along with her kids) for a month, Taste of Chicago, hang out with friends, sleep, several failed attempts to get that third barn painted before his family reunion next weekend, family reunions, weddings, rollerblade, work, job-search . . . . ahhh, Summer.  I mentioned to Josh a couple days ago, I haven't blogged in a few days and it makes me sad.  But to be quite honest, the Summertime is a kind of time that steals everything else.  Busyness happens and then you're looking forward to the next busy event and more life gets in the way; I like that.  I like looking forward to the busyness of life.  :-]  Speaking of which, I've got a hair appointment, a pedicure, a mini-roadtrip with Errika, a wedding, and a small "family reunion" next week that I've been looking forward to all Summer.
We haven't even gotten around to doing some things that I've been looking forward to . . . the zoo, picnics, fishing, looong car rides, tennis, nights in Chicago, etc.  Hopefully some time this Summertime! 

Posted byAshley C. at 8:11 AM 0 Love Notes  

I'm good. :-]

I had the guts (and coupon knowledge) to stand up to the lady at the register today at Target.  :-]  I bought 2 Air Wick air fresheners, 1 razor for my boo, and a tube of toothpaste.  I found the toothpaste on clearance (why? I don't know!) for $2.07, because of my coupons, the razor was free and the Air Wicks were $1.99/each.  I had 2 Air Wick coupons: buy one, get one free and a $2.50 off of one.  I gave her both of the coupons and she said that I can only use one coupon for the Air Wick.  I told her Well, I bought 2 fresheners, so I should be able to use 2 coupons.  And she told me "no, you can't."  Yes, I'm pretty sure I can.  2 coupons and 2 fresheners.  "Wait, how much did they cost?"  So, she realized that she just had to adjust the price since the coupon was for $2.50 off and they only costed $1.99.  So, the cool thing was that that extra .50 rolled over to my other items.  I ended up getting all of that for $1.93 and saving $14.99.  :-]  I'm good. 
Yesterday, I mentioned to Josh that we needed to grab some groceries.  He was joking with me and told me, "We don't have money."  I laughed and told him I can get all we need for under $60.  So we stopped at the ATM and he gave me money for groceries (and even threw in an extra $20 just because).  The funny thing here is that he always pokes fun at me for being able to buy stuff and spend all that I have without going over by even a penny.  Yes, it's a talent of mine.  :-]  So . . . I bought all that we needed from Walmart and the total was $61 something and after coupons it ended up being $56 something.  Haha, I had to laugh when that happened.  :-]

Posted byAshley C. at 1:04 PM 0 Love Notes  

Finally . . .

. . . my Internet connection is restored.  Josh bought a PS3 on Friday and he wanted to connect it to the Internet (so he could play his Call of Duty game), so we called to get the connection key and after losing the connection and reestablishing a new code, he finally got his PS3 connected.  Well, he forgot to give me the new code for my laptop and my iPd, so I was bored.  All weekend (while he worked and was with his Dad for Father's Day).  Without my laptop.  It wasn't fun.  But, now I'm reconnected!  :-]  At least I was able to get my coupons clipped and organized, cleaned my room, and be bored to death (well, not literally obviously).

I almost forgot to mention, I went and seen the "girl" doctor today and was sooo relieved.  I haven't gone in 2 years and now that it's done and out of the way for this year, I feel like 1 million pounds have been lifted off of my shoulders.  I needed to find a new GYN, so I researched online and found one with really good reviews and had 4.5 stars out of 5 (after like 15 reviews!), so I figured I'd give her a shot.  Great find and great choice!  I've told you before that I get paranoid about my health and just am nervous about getting some kind of cancer.  My great-grandma, grandma, and aunt have all had breast cancer before the age of 50, so that puts me at a high-risk for having the gene for it.  For precautionary purposes, we did a DNA test to determine whether I had the trait carrying the chromosome.  All I had to do was swoosh (Scope) mouthwash for 30 seconds, spit, and repeat (not to mention, my tongue got burned off!).  The nurse said that if I don't carry the trait, I don't really have to worry too much about getting breast cancer, but if I do carry the trait, I have to be watched very carefully and be very proactive with mammograms, etc. I can't wait to get my results back!  :-]  Even though this was a very small, 30 minute task I got done today, I feel like I just defeated 1,000 tasks!  :-] 

This is my blog so I can be real, right?  Well, I have to admit, I am a Christian that is pretty much convinced that I like Eminem's new CD.  :-/  Hey, what's wrong with that?!  Wait, don't answer that question! 

Posted byAshley C. at 4:46 PM 0 Love Notes  

Scary thoughts to entertain

Lately, it's seeming as though death has been all around me.  Well, I shouldn't say all around, but death has been "the trend", maybe I should say that instead.  I've shared this with you all before, about my struggle with thoughts of death, or losing Josh somehow.  It's something that I even struggle with talking about because I get pretty emotional, however I know that it is part of life, it happens, and it is something that needs to be confronted and dealt with.  I literally cannot think of anything worse than having to live even a day knowing that I will not be seeing Josh again (well, at least in this lifetime, anyway); the weird thing about it though is that even though it is something that I struggle with sooo much, it's not big enough (nor could it ever be) for me to say I hope I'm the first to go, not Josh because I would never want him to have to deal with my biggest fear, but on his end; get what I'm saying?  Josh and I always say that we will never have to live without each other because Jesus will come before then; although this thought is so comforting and eases pain of the bad thoughts, I know that it's not entirely healthy.  I pray that Jesus comes back during my lifetime; I pray that I will witness His return, but that may not be the case.  I know that I need to have a strong enough relationship with my Lord in order to help me endure through the times that I just may have to face.  I need to find rest in knowing that no matter what circumstance in placed in front of me, that my God will carry me through. 
The thought of death is a scary, scary thing to entertain, but there is something that needs to be recognized:  God is the creator, our reason for living.  I love Josh with all of my heart . . . every single ounce of it; that's a bad thing.  God needs to have more than that and I cannot say that He does.  I need to teach myself that God is my reason for living, not Josh.  God is the reason that I am here, not Josh.  Life is amazing, perfect, and I couldn't ask for more as long as Josh is in it, and I need to get my priorities in order.  Plus, the more I am loving God, the more He will teach me to love Josh; they go hand-in-hand!  Cool, huh?  :-]  The hard part is shifting my attention, care, love, and time from earthly matter to Someone that really matters in the end.  :-]

On another note, I noticed that I have a new follower!  Welcome, Amanda!  I hope that you enjoy reading my random thoughts.  :-]  Oh, and my photography blog officially up and running, you all need to go check it out and leave me some feedback!  :-]

Posted byAshley C. at 1:03 PM 0 Love Notes  

Watch me grow!

I am back after a few days of . . . well, I guess kind of forgetting I even had a blog.  No, I'm kidding, I didn't forget about you guys!  :-]  I have been a little busy this weekend.  It's been so rainy and humid that napping is the best thing to do.  Anyway, I have two cool things to share with you: 1) I know what my best friend, Errika is having . . . still a secret!  She found out today (cute story to follow); and 2) my photography blog is officially up and running!  As I told you before, she agreed to sharing the gender with her family and friends through my blog and the photos that we are going to take today.  :-]  Now, my goal is to get those photos taken, edited, and posted by tonight; that's got to be one hard secret to keep!  :-]

Oh, and a random thought of mine:  I never finish anything I start.  It sucks!  I was thinking about how I started my nephew's 1 year scrapbook, P90X, Weight Watchers . . . umm, there's gotta be more, but I can't remember.  Haha, but I never finish!  I need some discipline!  One thing that I promise to grasp on to and actually grow in is photography!  :-]  Watch me grow!  

Posted byAshley C. at 8:51 AM 0 Love Notes  

Slighty busy

Today sure is going to be a slightly busy day, so I wanted to catch up with you before I get sucked in.  Yesterday, Josh, Errika, and I went to the park so that I could take some pictures for my photography blog (which I'm not completely happy about), so I am going to be editting some of those (did I mention, that's the hardest part?!)  I also need to get my blog banner finished . . . then I will be able to start that up!  :-]  After I get off work, I am going to go and get my $1 sub at Jimmy Johns today (woo hoo!).  And the best news for today, I got an e-mail saying that I will be getting my new camera lens via UPS today!  I think that's what helped pull me out of bed this morning haha.  Oh, and it's the day before Friday!  ;-] 

I can't wait to share some pictures from my new lens with you! 

Posted byAshley C. at 8:35 AM 0 Love Notes  

Chime in!

So, I have begun making my photography blog although I will not make it public until I have it all finished; I just have to add a few more things.  Don't get me wrong, there is going to be nothing special about it by any means, just a place for people to go and see only photos.  I'm actually debating whether I want to make it a second blog that is solely for photography or if I should just add photos?  I'm at a fork in the road!  What do you think?  I have also made a watermark for my photos . . . which requires a name.  Wanna know my name?  Can't tell you yet!  It won't be long, promise.  :-]  I do know that I love how it looks!  I am pretty impressed with myself!  ;-]  I am also debating whether or not I want to add the watermark to photos now or wait until they actually look as good as they possibly can.  Oh, boy these are tough decisions!  Come on, chime in!  What do you like?

Posted byAshley C. at 7:27 AM 0 Love Notes  

Today's bright ideas

My wonderful, great, beautiful, amazing, cool, best friend Errika came into my work yesterday and dropped off a card.  I asked her What in the world is this? "Just open it!" she said.  What was in there?  A card telling me that she admires how I care about so many things around me and that she supports my photography hobby.  What else, you might ask?  $150 for the lens that I've been wanting to get since I started taking pictures (hey, so what if that's only been 3 weeks?!)!!!  She's lucky I love her because I wouldn't accept that monetary gift from just anyone.  So, today, I purchased my first (non-kit) lens!  Yay!  :-]

On another note, Josh pitched the idea of me started a photography blog.  That blog would be solely photography: what I've learned, where I am at (skill-wise), photos I've taken, and pretty much just a place for me to track my journey.  I'm down with the idea, I'm just a little nervous about what this blog might look like?

Finally, I had 2 great ideas today: 1) an idea for Errika's baby's gender announcement/baby shower invitation, and 2) a way to increase "traffic" on that new blog.  My great idea summed up?  I will take those pictures, announcing the gender of her little one, and she will announce it via my blog and only through that portal.  :-]  I figure it will give it a wee bit publicity . . . right?  Hopefully! 

Posted byAshley C. at 3:50 PM 0 Love Notes  

My dreams are crazy!

My mom, some friends, and I were on a cruise and my mom thought it would be fun to jump in the ocean and see if she could find any whales.  Before she dove in, she zipped herself up in her polar bear suit.  When she dove in, she swam around gracefully until she finally found a huge whale.  She swam around the whale, touching its skin softly until she came up with an idea:  swim under the whale's fins.  When she did, she made the whale upset and it darted after her as quick as it could.  When it caught up to her, it snapped her between his large-as-life jaws.  So much for an enjoyable cruise. 

Josh told me that on his way to work, a man on a motorcycle (bike) was clipped by a moving truck.  The man rolled across the lane until his legs were run over.  Josh pulled over along with another car and the truck that hit the man.  Josh was alongside another driver, talking and keeping the man awake and making sure he wasn't even more seriously injured.  As Josh and the other driver were distracted, the driver of the moving truck got back in his vehicle and pulled off, not saying a word.  The cops and ambulance came and Josh left the scene.  As he was driving, Josh saw the moving truck pulled over by the police.

My sister thought it would be a bright idea to drive around with Andrew (my nephew, her son) on her lap.  When I got in the car, I began lecturing her, telling her she was the worst mom in the world.  We argued for several blocks before she cussed me out and told me to get out of her car.  I laughed at her and she began shooting at me.  As I ran, I dialed 9-1-1 and told them my sister's license plate number and location.  Then I called Josh to come and get me.  I found an old house where I could hide . . . until my sister found where I was.  The door bell rang and my sister said it was for me.  I went to the door and it was a man standing there with flogging sticks coming in to chase me; Josh got there just in time.  Then, the police finally came.  There were 3 men: 1 man walking, 1 man driving a bike, and a man on the handle bars.  The man on the handle bars was a 400 pound man, eating limes, with a faded black shirt on that said "Police," coming to save me!  I felt so hopeless! 

Which one is a true story?  Haha, that wasn't so hard, was it?  My dreams are crazy!  Well, let's end this on a positve note and I'll share some photos I took of my friend before leaving for Michigan . . .

Posted byAshley C. at 9:41 AM 0 Love Notes  

Michigan Trip!

I'm back from Michigan!  I have to say that I had a great time, but like they say, "home, sweet home."  I had a great time meeting my Aunt and cousins again . . . it was kind of cool to be able to be with the same exact people, but at a whole different point in each of our lives.  No doubt about it, we are all different people than we were before (it's inevitable!).  I did not take any pictures because I forgot to charge my little camera and I did not want to pull out my honkin' camera unless I was completely comfortable and I wasn't haha!  I think it was more me being uncomfortable with the camera and my lack of skill, but whatever.  :-]  I spent lots of time talking with my Aunt, which I really enjoyed.
The worst part of the trip?  The trip home!  I woke up at 5:40 (4:40 Illinois time) since I had to be at the train station at 6:45.  I was supposed to arrive in Chicago at 11:59 which was perfect because the train from Chicago to my town left at 12:35; this was the perfect amount of time to walk the two blocks with my big ol' suitcase.  Well, I didn't arrive in Chicago until 12:30 and I knew immediately that I would not be able to get off the train, out of the station, walk 2 blocks and purchase my next ticket in 5 minutes.  It wouldn't have been so bad if the next train left sooner than 4:15!  Luckily, Josh was working near Chicago and got off at 2:00, so he just drove to Chicago and picked me up.  What does that mean?  I had to sit.  In the train station.  For 2 hours.  Hungry.  Tired.  Cranky as all get out.  When Josh finally got there, he told me that when he isn't driving (at a light, or in traffic), getting airflow through the engine, his car begins to overheat.  Well, of course, we got stuck is a lot of traffic on the way home.  So, I suggested turning the heat on since it will pull heat out of the motor.  What was I thinking?  This ended up making me even more irritated and uncomfortable.  We decided that he would take a shower at my house while I unpacked, we'd go grab dinner at Lone Star, and then come home and crash.  We fell asleep at about 8:00 and I didn't wake up again until 2:30 when it was time for him to go home.  I went back asleep until 8:30 and I feel so great and refreshed!  :-]

I will never take a train again!  I am going back to Michigan in about 4 weeks again for my cousin's wedding.  Thank goodness I've great an amazing best friend that will drive there with me and be my date.  :-]  It will be about a 5.5-6 hour drive and kudos to her for wanting to stick that out while being a little over 5 months pregnant.  I think it will be a blast and it's funny that she will meet my Couch family before Josh!  Hmm . . . maybe I'll be engaged in time to show off my new bling!  ;-]

Posted byAshley C. at 8:43 AM 0 Love Notes