Five Things: Memorial Day

ONE: We took the girls fishing for the first time this weekend… I was sure it would be a disaster, but they loved it. We used the live bait (worms) and bobber approach, and actually caught more fish than we had all year so far! They both loved holding the bass and throwing them back in the water. They loved grabbing the worms and watching their Daddy put them on the hook. SD4 actually caught about 4-5 bass by herself! Reeled them in and everything. It was wild. This was a day my husband and I will hold close to our hearts for many years to come.

TWO: There are major structural changes going down in my office. Some changes have been announced publicly, and some changes I know about because of my expert detective work. Regardless, I am hoping these changes will allow me to go for a promotion this summer! I am genuinely praying that the Lord will open up an opportunity for me where my career could develop for many years down the road. Wish me luck!

THREE: SD4 took her Kindergarten early entrance exam for BM’s school district about a week ago, and BM still has not told us how it went (although SD4 has told me twice that she did not pass). Maybe SD4 doesn’t know what she is talking about… or maybe BM is stalling to buy time, because she is dreading committing SD4 to our school district. Either way, I know the first real sit-down between my husband and BM in about two years is on the horizon [and I know I am not invited because I am a “distraction”]. The thought of a sit down (especially one I am not present for) terrifies me, but I know my husband can handle himself.

FOUR: My husband is working his tail off for us these days. We are going to the beach for a week at the end of June, and he has not let an “extra” work opportunity pass by, because he wants us to take as much “play money” as possible. He has actually said, “I want the girls to walk through the stores and buy whatever they want.” I am so thankful for everything he does for us, and really hope he thinks I pull my weight. Sometimes I question that about myself (i.e. a night home alone is much better spent with a Bud Light and Netflix than it is a dust rag and vacuum). But I don’t want to be a bench-warmer… I want to be a legitimate team player. Cheers to constant self-reflection and self-improvement!

FIVE: I’ve been dreaming a lot lately, which is out of character for me. Dreaming about the day when we have a big back yard and a grill. About the day we have a boat. About the day I get a baitcaster. About the day we have a Coke Zero fountain in the kitchen. About the day I am permanently tan without effort. Okay, maybe some of those won’t happen… but I’ve been dreaming! I know most people in their 20’s do not have “everything they have ever wanted,” but it is a little daunting to think about how many years it will take to make some of our dreams come true.

For now, I will keep prioritizing family, grinding at work, and keeping my chin up!



March…? Five Things.

Well I guess I let March slide right on by me, huh? Here’s a quick 5-Things that have happened since I last wrote…

ONE: In #SAPro world, things have really picked up! This is my 8th year in the college setting and every year, the spring semester flies by quicker and quicker. I love my job but with the ups-and-downs of my first year in this position, I have to say THANK GOD I can see the end in sight!

TWO: In Family news, all I can say is WHEW! Having to deal with a narcissist who has no ability to show empathy, no ability to self-reflect and take responsibility for her actions, and is truly a pathological liar, we’re all exhausted. There are a lot of positive things in play with my boyfriend and I, and we are certain that there is a light at the end of this hell hole of a tunnel…

THREE: Super Tuesday has come and gone (my state- VA– voted on Super Tuesday), and several other big primary days have come and gone. At this point, Donald Trump is winning the Republican primary with 458 delegates secured (1,237 needed to win the nomination), and Hillary Clinton is winning the Democratic primary with 1,221 delegates (2,383 needed to win the nomination). I don’t care who you support as long as you’re educated and truly stand behind their decisions… what I do care about is watching these hilarious liars in California… LOL!

FOUR: It’s Spring Break at my institution, which means in addition to having two professional staff days off, I also have three days of silence in my office. Genuinely considering turning my lunch breaks into yoga time…

FIVE: I write about my boyfriend’s daughters a lot, but last week I got to see my two nieces (4 & 6 years old) who I haven’t seen since Christmas… It was SO amazing to spend a little time with them, and my heart melted in to a million pieces when they begged me to spend the night. (Even though I didn’t- LOL). I love all the little ladies in my life and am so thankful to have them all.

So how have you been these past couple of weeks? Anyone else ready for this semester/month/year to be over? I’m ready for SUMMER!

Five Things- Survey!

I found this on my friend’s blog –> The Lunchbox Diaries and
had to share for this weeks Five Things!

Five Places I’m Dying to Visit:
Santorini, Greece
Tahiti, French Polynesian Islands
Hawaii (anywhere- I just want a lei and a coconut with a straw in it)
San Francisco (Alcatraz Island + Painted Ladies on a trolley)
Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium

Tahiti- French Polynesian

Five Foods I Eat Every Day:
Oikos Greek Yogurt
Some sort of bread/carbs (<3)
Some sort of fruit


Five Talents I Wish I Had:
Wake Boarding (I try so hard but I’m terrible)
Accessorizing my Outfits (seriously… SOS!)
Bargain Shopping (sorry, future husband LOL)
Tumbling (gymnastics)

Five Celebrities I Want To Be Friends With:
Sophia Bush
Hayden Panettiere
Kristen Bell + Dax Shepard
Ellen Degeneres
Jenna Dewan Tatum (think about it, ladies…)

Me & My Girls Sophia & Kristen (sorry, Hillarie Burton…)

Five Instagram Accounts I Love:
The Fat Jewish (@thefatjewish): Don’t bother if you’re easily offended
Afrobrutality (@afrobrutality): Combination of brutally honest advice/quotes and weightlifting (i.e. everything I love)
Laura Prepon (@lauraprepon): Because between That 70’s Show and Orange Is The New Black, I’m obsessed with her.
Ellen Degeneres (@theellenshow): She’s hilarious, enough said.
Gray Gaulding (@graygaulding): My favorite NASCAR driver [who just happens to be my 18-year old cousin…] seriously give him a follow!

Gray Gaulding at Daytona International Speedway February 2016

Five Things I Wear (Almost) Every Day:
Two rings
Apple Watch
Hair tie on wrist
“Comfy pants” (after work/obligations… I rarely stay in my “normal clothes” when I’m home)

Five Songs I Could Listen To On Repeat:
Thinking Out Loud– Ed Sheeran
Little Einsteins Remix (because this literally happens…)
[You Drive Me] Crazy– Britney Spears
Semi-Charmed Life– Third Eye Blind
Rap God– Eminem

Queen B

Five Beauty Products I Use Every Day:
Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer + Powder
Eyeshadow- whatever is cheap at the pharmacy… *still dreaming about a Naked 3 Palette*
Covergirl Mascara for Blue Eyes
TRESemme Make Waves Shaping Gel Cream
Aveno Clear Complexion Cream + Aveno Clear Complexion Moisturizer

Five TV Shows I’m Emotionally Invested In:
One Tree Hill
Prison Break
Sons of Anarchy
Grey’s Anatomy
(I could name several more… limiting this to 5 is just ludicrous)

If you haven’t watched all 4 seasons of Prison Break, please do so immediately.

Anyone out there have similar lists?! Let me know in the comments!

Five Things – NEW YEAR Edition!

Hey Everyone!

Just stopped by to drop a quick Five Things… (but this one’s more like “Five Random Facts from the past TWO Weeks). NO I didn’t forget about you… the holiday’s were insane, followed by a week in bed with a terrible sinus infection! *Rookie mistake* But let’s start this year off right.

ONE: I took my boyfriend to Yogaville for the first time… his reaction was hysterical. I still think that place is totally worth checking out if you’re ever in the Central VA area & looking for something different. Very peaceful and gives you an abroad sensation.

Lotus in Yogaville

TWO: I successfully got the 3-year old in love with Despicable Me, and taught her how to talk like a Minion. So there’s that.

THREE: New Year’s Eve reaffirmed for me [yet again] that my favorite type of “party” is hanging out with friends at someone’s house sitting around playing games and having some casual drinks. The bar industry is a scam!! Stay home, people.

FOUR: Sinus infections are THE. WORST. I mean really… what a miserable week (and still not completely over it!).

FIVE: In #SAPro world, my student staff returns this week and January training is Wednesday-Friday. (So this is likely my first and last post for the week).

Is this time of year crazy for anyone else?! Let me know what’s going on in your world…

Five Things- Christmas Edition

A new Monday, a new Five Things I Learned Last Week post…

ONE: There is NO BETTER FEELING than watching a 3 year old see what Santa brought her. She laughed and smiled all weekend, and my heart was so full. I’ve never had such a rewarding Christmas.

TWO: A plus side to having a blended family is that we got to celebrate Christmas all weekend long, and the girls got presents everywhere we went! (I know Christmas isn’t about the presents, but anything that puts a smile on their faces makes me overwhelmed with emotions)

THREE: Kid-movies as an adult are a whole new ball game. We watched Despicable Me and all I could do was compliment the social justice lessons. We watched The Little Mermaid and I literally cried when Ariel’s dad gave her away to be married. I CRIED during The Little Mermaid… WHAT?!

FOUR: We all need to take a minute to thank the people in public service who work during the holidays… law enforcement, firefighters, nurses, doctors, etc. THANK YOU. I am so lucky that my officer was by chance off all of Christmas weekend.

FIVE: Family really is where it’s at. Even when it’s messy, even when they’re a pain, being with family always does put a smile on my face.

What did you learn this holiday week? Let me know in the comments!

– Ashley

All of the grandkids (missing one!) and great-grandkids on my paternal side — Christmas 2015

Five Things I Learned Last Week

Howdy, friends! Something I want to do each week is kick off our Monday with Five Things I Learned Last Week. I can’t promise that these will be insightful, funny, or stupid, but I think we too often take for granted the small learning moments we have in our lives. So here goes nothing…

ONE: Riding the train at the mall while visiting Santa get’s less enjoyable each time I do it; however, the excitement on the kids faces makes it all worth it. They constantly put things in to perspective for me. (Still trying to figure out how it’s always me on the train with them…)

TWO: When a baby wants to put Chapstick on you, you let her… even if it’s 300+ times in one hour. Seeing the look of accomplishment over and over again on an 18-month old’s face is absolutely priceless.

THREE: Caring for someone when they’re sick/injured doesn’t feel like a chore if you actually care about the person. My boyfriend injured his ankle last Saturday, and I spent all of Sunday doing 100% of everything for him. I wasn’t mad or annoyed at all (truthfully!)… I’d do it every day forever if he needed it.

FOUR: December is an incredibly enjoyable month when the temperature is in the 60’s-70’s all the time! Thank you, global warming + southern living.

FIVE: Respect is earned, not given. I watched my boyfriend’s father graduate a fire department recruit class this week, and the things the recruits said about his & his co-captain’s leadership were amazing. Leadership is not a position or a title, it’s action and example.

Those were my big takeaway’s this week. Did you learn anything this week? Let me know in the comments!

– Ashley