Thursday, July 25, 2013

My life in list form...


I feel like it would be a very positive thing for me to just sit down and make some lists of the following:

1. Things I am looking forward to
2. Things I am thankful for
3. Reason why I enjoy being a mother
4. 5 Things I am thankful for today
5. 5 reasons why I enjoy being me

Okay, so I've decided to limit my lists to only five. Within each list I am limiting it to only 10 things except for List #4 and #5. I know, I had to find a way to make this complicated.

THINGS I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO

  1. Brittany moves here in..uhh...53 days?
  2. Starting school!/ Getting my Associates Degree in Octover!
  3. Electric Run with Emily, Kristie, and Shawn!
  4. Going to see Justin Timberlake in concert!
  5. Making crafts/decorating our apartment/ baking/holiday madness with Britt! 
  6. Sesame Christmas with Alex and Sebastian! Sesame! Yeeeeiiii!
  7. Turning 25!
  8. Going ice skating at Rockefeller Center! 
  9. Allen and Mason's birthdays! 
  10. Shopping for fall clothes!
THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR
  1. The amazing friends and family I have.
  2. AC units
  3. heirlooms 
  4. facebook/instagram/email/internet/cell phone...all these things keep me connected to the people I love.
  5. food/water/shelter--being able to live in the apartment I live in.
  6. My car. I really couldn't imagine life without it.
  7. The opportunity to go back to school.
  8. Teachers--Allen has made so much progress in his speech, and I am really thankful to both of Allen and Mason's teachers this past year for all they did for my sweet boys. 
  9. My glasses/contacts. I wouldn't be able to see without them! I guess I am also thankful for my healthcare plan. That falls under healthcare...
  10. Books. They give me another world to escape to.
REASONS WHY I ENJOY BEING A MOTHER
  1. I enjoy taking pictures of all the special moments I share with my boys.
  2. I love listening to them laugh.
  3. I love getting hugs and kisses from them.
  4. I love teaching Allen and Mason new things.
  5. I like celebrating holidays with them. They are so magical.
  6. I enjoy taking them to places like Sesame Place, New York Hall of Science, Kaleidoscope, Aquariums the movies, to get ice cream,  etc.--It is fun to see them experience things and to experience things with them.
  7. I enjoy the funny faces Mason makes.
  8.  I love the funny things Allen says.
  9. I love trying to decide who looks more like who. Does Allen look more like me? Or does Mason look more like me? It is fun seeing the little personality traits of myself and Daniel in Allen and Mason...well, eh...sometimes. :)
  10. These are my babies. All mine. No one has another two like them. That makes me lucky.
5 THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR TODAY
  1. Well, I am alive.
  2. I was able to laugh this morning. 
  3. I woke up rested this morning!
  4. Pinterest.
  5. The weather...it is only supposed to be 71! I might just go to the Zoo today!
5 REASONS WHY I ENJOY BEING ME
  1. I am Allen and Mason's mom.
  2. I get to live in New York.
  3. Only my life experiences are unique to me. No one else has lived my life.
  4. I enjoy having the friends I have.
  5. No one looks like me. I always thought it would be cool to have an identical twin, but I like being the only person that looks like me. Think about that--there is no one else that is you


Okay, I just needed to take a moment and really focus on the positive things in my life. I would encourage everyone to either go make the same lists, or at least go through and make mental lists of these. Some of these I had to stop and think about. It made me realize how negative I was being in certain areas. Sometimes it is important to stop and put things in perspective. 

Also...
On American Eagle's facebook page, they are looking for their next Project Live Your Life winner. Eh, I decided it would be fun to enter. I am working on this whole confidence thing, and I am a little shy about it...so I figured I would be safe posting it on my blog. After all, I am not sure how many people actually read it. After I get over the initial anxiety of it being on my blog, then I MIGHT post it on my facebook page. No promises though.
 
Here is the link . I encourage you to check it out. I also have no problem encouraging YOU to go and sign up! :)

Here was last year's winner!





Friday, July 19, 2013

New York Lovin'

I really think I’ve found the place where I belong. It has been almost a year since we set out on the road to come to New York. I remember how nervous I was of the unknown. Many people reassured me that I would be okay, that I would find my place here, and I would make new friends. Yeah, yeah, yeah…I knew all of that. New York just seemed so BIG.  

New York is not for everyone. It is a lot to take in. There is always something new to see, and always so many people. I’ve never felt so small in my entire life. When I say small, I mean in terms of significance. It is like am just another person crowding the sidewalk and breathing air.
Since we are half way through July, I thought it would only be appropriate to check in on my yearly goals. Can you believe that 2013 is almost over? Okay, so, here is my list of resolutions I made for 2013. Ha, I made 13 goals…
13 GOALS

1.            Continue to update this regularly. I think I need to work on this one…
2.            Grow out my hair. Yeah, I know. Silly. You don't understand how obsessed I am with cutting my hair though. It is ridiculous. I miss my long hair. And…FAIL.
3.            Start school this year. I keep going back and forth on if I want to start online classes in spring, or if I want to wait and enroll in classes this fall. Along with this goal, I want to make my final decision on what I want to major in. So far, I have managed to not change my mind for about six months, but I have two majors that I'm equally interested in. I got accepted into Saint Johns! My life plan in this area has been consistent! I really want to thank Alex for being such an inspiration and someone who has motivated to never give up on what I need to accomplish for myself. She reminded me the sky is the limit, and where there is a will there is a way. I also want to thank Brittany for the endless times I came to her with the “can you edit this?”, and she would happily do so without hesitation. Thanks, ladies.
4.            Keep up my healthy eating and exercising. I've lost twenty pounds. Only ten more to go until I am at my target weight! This has been important to me, because of the pre-diabetes concern. I could be better on the healthy eating aspect of this goal. I could also probably be more active. Okay, fine...I need to work on this. But, I have met my goals. My weight was really impacting my self-image. The past six months my self-confidence has grown in ways I cannot even describe. This doesn’t just have to do with my weight. I don’t want people to think that in order for people to have self-confidence they need to be skinny. I feel like I took on a lot this this year in terms of personal goals (which isn’t surprising I normally do that). I’ve not only been working on a lot of things that emotionally impact my self-confidence, but physically it is important to be able to look in the mirror and be able to love the person that looks back you. Someone reminded me that self-confidence is a tricky thing. If you don’t have it; you should still fake it. People will believe in you more the more self-confidence you have. True. It also goes the same in relationships. You can’t fully love others before you love yourself.
5.            Continue to set boundaries and communicate what I want with others. I work on this every day. Each day it gets easier being more straight-forward and making decisions. Sometimes I feel like I am being very blunt. Honesty is the best way to go though, right? Take it or leave it; if you don’t like what I have to say then walk away. If you walk out of my life that is fine. My life will continue. I don’t want people to think I am being blinkered y the concerns of others. I will always listen to others and talk through a concern.
6.            Read 50 books this year. Feel free to send me suggestions. Uh…working on it…
7.            Write a letter to three different family members and three different friends every month. Yeah, FAIL. I do well if I can remember to call people back. Did I mention I have struggled with short-term memory issues? Yeah. Don’t it personally.
8.            Find an organization to volunteer for within the community. I forgot about this one. I do try to do random acts of kindness whenever I can though.
9.            Go on a date with my husband once a month. Even if that means we sit at home and watch a movie. We’ve been out a couple times. We do try to spend more time together.
10.          Take the boys to do something new in the city (go to museum, central park, Lego Land, etc.) once a month. Yes! I can say I’ve taken them to do something new every month.
11.          Start writing a novel. Ha, maybe this is a waste of time, but I feel like I have so many wonderful experiences I could share. Oh, yes. I’ve been working on this. I got half way through, and then decided it needed to take a different direction. The new one I am working on is so much better. Scandalous. Mysterious. Lustful. Flirtatious. Filled with pain, self-discovery, and the thrill of the unknown. I love it. Do I have your attention? Bet you want to read it.
12.          Laugh more and have fewer expectations of how I think everything should be. I guess, work on accepting situations, forgiving, and learning from experiences. I am getting better at this.
13.          Patience. I could use a lot of that! Yeah, still working on this, but I think patience isn’t such a challenge for me. I actually think should be replaced with impulsivity. Wow, can I be impulsive. Is it something a twenty-something year old just naturally executes in every situation? The need to be impulsive. Yeah, I have to constantly keep myself in check on this one. Well, I guess patience comes in to play in this mix.

So where has New York played into helping me reach these goals? Well, it amazes me that I feel like we are placed in places where we need to be whether we want to be there or not. When I first moved to NC, I couldn’t imagine staying there. However, it was a good taste of being away from home, establishing independence of myself, and learning that I am capable of taking care of things by myself. It was exactly what I needed in my life. It was a place that wasn’t overwhelming. I felt safe. I was able to really start to question what type of friends I wanted in life and what type of person I wanted to be.

When we moved back to Missouri, I felt lost. I felt like my identity had been taken away from me. I was no longer a Marine wife, I no longer had my group of friends, I no longer had my house, and the way of life in Kansas City was just different in Missouri. Life was faster. I had gotten used to things being much slower pace. Obviously when it was confirmed we were moving to New York I was excited for a change, but so shocked. I was going from a little tiny town(Havelock), to Kansas City which was a good size,  to a city with tons of people. Everything I mentioned on my list of things I want to change,  New York has been to influence me in some way. While I might not have been able to grow out my hair, I was able to have the confidence to try something new and not only cut it, but color it blonde! I personally think it is very New York chic!  I wouldn’t have met some amazing people to have inspired me to reach my goals. I also wouldn’t have unlocked this amazing opportunity to attend Saint John’s University. I can’t believe in January I will have two years until completing my degree in Biology. Is this real? Someone pinch me! New York inspires me to want to read more, learn more, and be more informed of the world around me. Especially because of the different cultures of people that I come in to contact on a daily basis. New York has opened my eyes to how important it is to be humble about the life you have. I have seen so many different types of people. I have also met so many different people that have many different life stories. It makes me respect their life challenges, and it makes me appreciate people more. You don’t know what someone else is going through. Therefore it is important to smile more, speak kindly to others, and sometimes just do a random act of kindness. It can be something very small. You never know how much a person might need that smile, those kind words, or that little extra something to lift them up. New York has taught me that the sky is my limit. Wow. So many positive, talented, and confident people. If I want to write a book, why not? New York has taught me to laugh. You never know what to expect here. Oh, and patience…traffic. Enough said.

Oh, New York, I love you.

Your Newest New Yorker with Kansas City blood pumping through her veins (well, is it official? Or do I have to wait for the year mark? Whatever, I am claiming you. Oh, and that Kansas City blood makes for a little extra sassiness and spice. After all, you never forget where you come from),


-A

p.s--Decided to add some pictures to the post.  My transformation in pictures (below)...It is really weird to look at pictures of myself. Wow. I don't even look like the same person. Not long ago (and literally, I mean like six weeks ago) I was telling one of my close friends that I felt like I didn't look different at all. I guess when you are going through a change you don't notice it, because it is gradual? Okay, yeah...so maybe I do look a little different. 

When we first moved here..


April-ish..

Present.








When we first moved here...
April-ish

Wedges? What?!

Words for Thought...





Monday, June 10, 2013

Are YOU Making An Effort?

As I type this I am doing laundry. Blah. What a fun thing to do on a Sunday. (not really) I don't enjoy doing laundry anytime during the week here. I would much rather have my own washer and dryer in my own space. Oh well, I should at least be thankful that I can wash my laundry, so I need to stop complaining. The complaining shall stop now. 

Anyways, last night I watched He's Just Not That In To You. How many of you have seen it? I don't care if you are happily married, in a relationship, single, whatever...every female needs to watch this movie. After watching this movie it  opened my eyes to a lot of things.


 1)I need to stop leading others on in terms of how I might feel about them. I'm not just talking about my feelings with guys here. I am talking about my feelings with my friendships in general. I am way too nice. I am always too concerned about hurting people's feelings. Why should I go out of my way to make sure the other person doesn't get their feelings hurt? Because in the end, the person that suffers the most is myself. 

 2) When someone no longer wants to be my friend or they put a distance between us....so? Why should it matter so much to me? Am I being a good friend by seeking them out by making sure they are doing okay? Or am I being a pain in the ass by bugging them? Probably the second one. Plus, they are the one being the bad friend. I should deserve a friend that wouldn't think to leave my side in the first place, right?

 3) I realized that a lot of my past friendships and relationships have evolved because I was the one that sought out the other person. When this happened I've been miserable, unhappy, and each time the relationship/friendship has failed. Do I have bad judgment? Eh, it is just what I am seeking is not necessarily healthy. However, the people that seek me out, those relationships have flourished. They are beautiful, and they are exactly what I've needed in my life. Now, readers, I know some of you are probably sitting here trying to determine which one of these friendship/relationships you are. Please, don't.  If you really are that concerned about where our friendship stands,  you can message me. ;) 

I found this quote from the movie:


This is my favorite quote because of the last line "...you never gave up hope". Each of us refuses to give up the hope to find happiness. I am learning that that happiness can not come from anyone else but myself. No one can provide me that happiness. Happiness is able to found. We are just looking in the wrong place. We have to love ourselves before anyone can love us. Moving here my life has changed tremendously. I feel like the last six months has been such a pivotal turning point in my life, because as mentioned in my last post I have really questioned who I want to be and what direction I want my life to take. I feel as if a lot of people don't realize that they have so much power in making these changes in their life. I also feel like disconnecting myself from everyone as much as I can has really helped me make healthy determinations for myself in terms of what I really want. I haven't known how to not take everyone's opinions and comments so seriously. I've really needed to decide what Ashley wants in life. Sometimes I felt so overwhelmed by what others would think, that I couldn't even purchase my own clothes I wanted to wear without consulting with others first. hat is just one little example. Let me tell you how much of a relief I feel now that I have my own sense of self to feel like I can freely make my own choices. I know. Crazy, huh? Some of you might not have had any idea I battled with this. But guess what? I did. Confidence is a beautiful thing. Don't ever let your confidence lose its "sparkle".

Basically, my self revelation is...going forward I am not going out of my way to make an extra effort to go about and beyond to be super spectacular. It sounds harsh. I need a break.  Whenever any of my girlfriends come to me for words of wisdom when it comes to guys, I will direct them to the movie I just watched. Really...go watch it! Same when they complain to me about their friends...why put in the effort? If someone really wants to be your  friend they will be your friend. The end. Right? If someone really cares for you they will contact you, right? 


Basically, what I am trying to say in all relationships/friendships some good advice to think about:





Thursday, June 6, 2013

She's Back, and She's Bloggin'!

I'm back! 

I know, I know, I kept saying I would update this for months now. My apologies to everyone especially specific people that really stick out in my mind like Nita, Amy, Jennis (I need to post her meatball recipe), Emily and Kara (they have some products I will be featuring soon), and ...yeah...those are the first people that pop in my head as I begin to write this. So, my apologies, and thank you for being so patient with me. I hope you enjoy this long awaited updated!

As many of you are probably wondering: Where the heck have you been?
Well, I am going to share that with you! I haven't wanted to blog the past six months because you know the Gold Rule: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. 


It is not that I necessarily didn't have anything nice to say. I just didn't want my blog to be nothing but negative vomit. As you all remember, I moved to New York about six-almost seven months ago. Adjusting to a new place is never easy. Making new friends, learning a new area, and discovering how you fit in to your new world can be a very overwhelming process.

Through all of this I feel like for the first time in my life I had a moment where I woke up one day, and I just said to myself: "Oh my gosh, I am 24". Ha, yes, go ahead, get your giggles out now. It sounds funny reading it, because it sounds ridiculous to me as I type it, because literally, I felt like I was having a meltdown at the fact that I was...

  1. 24 without a completed college degree 
  2. 24 and did not have the nice twenty-four-year old wardrobe (ya know, the one that doesn't have stains on it from cooking, dealing with kids, being a house wife...ya know...) 
  3. 24, and I didn't have the nice twenty-four-year-old body. 
  4. 24, and I couldn't go do twenty-four-year-old things (what do twenty-four-year olds do, anyways? I don't even know! THE ANXIETY!) 
It was like I needed to be listening to a Taylor Switch song about being 24 and depressed, instead of being 22 and carefree and happy. If you have no idea what I am talking about, please enlighten yourself by watching the following video. Go ahead, laugh with me a little. 


As all of this went through my head, I realized that I had the power to change everything on my list. I also realized that I had made some life choices that set me apart from my twenty-four-year-old peers. I made the choice to get married, have children, and raise a family. My list was obviously impacted because of those choices, but that doesn't mean I couldn't have the best of both worlds. So here is how I've changed the things on my list...

  1. 24 without a completed college degree? That is okay. You want to know why? Because it wasn't my time to go to college right of high school. I am happy that I made the choice to get married, and start a family, because I have two beautiful boys.I took classes on and off online. I've never given up on this dream. I want to encourage anyone reading this to never give up. It might take years to complete, but always keep at it. Remember: A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not in the branch but her own wings. Always believe in yourself. With that being said, meet your St. John's University undergraduate student!
  2. 24 without a nice wardrobe? Ha, well, I've had to buy new clothes, because I've been working on number 3 as well. So, the new clothes I buy I make sure to take really good care of. At home around the house, I do not wear my nice new clothes. Also, I never buy full-price. You know how much I like my deals. Nice clothes can be affordable! It is also easy to create "look-a -like" outfits. I am all obsessed with dressing nice now that I live here in New York. Please, help me. If there is some sort of blinders I can buy for my eyes when walking down the street so I don't look at the window displays, please let me know where I can find them! 
  3. 24 and without the nice twenty-four-year-old body...uh, hello, I had two kids! Okay, now, number 3 is very vain of me. Yes, I know. It is a beautiful thing to have a baby. It is. I am not denying that. It is not a beautiful thing to feel like a blob with tiger stripes afterwards. Again, the only person in control of 1) feeling that way and 2) the way I look is myself. Since I am responsible of my health I decided to  step up and do something about it. I needed to. If some of you remember from earlier posts I was at risk for being pre-diabetic, That is all at bay now. I feel great. I've lost a lot of weight. Not that numbers matter at all. They don't. It is all about feeling healthy. 
  4. Haha, I am still trying to figure this one out. But I am going to say this: if anyone has extra tickets to the Justin Timberlake concert and would like to take me/ and or send me that sounds pretty twenty-four-year oldish to me, and I would absolutely love to go! 
Whew...

That was one little portion of what has been going on in my life the past six months. I've also been slowly eliminating my life of things that I believe to be "toxic" to me. In a way I guess you could say the past six months has been a detox of sorts. That is why I have been very turned-off from Facebook, Instagram, even texting, calling people back, blogging, or wanting to spend time with people in general has been difficult for me. For those of you that know me, know this is not typical. I thank you for patiently waiting, understanding, and knowing that I am okay. I've just needed time to work on the most important person in my world: myself. Often times we spend so much time focusing on others, that we fail to recognize that we need to take a moment to just breathe. 


So, the next time you invest your time in helping someone, invest wisely. As I was typing this one person came to mind. Someone very dear to me. My Debate and Forensics coach in high school. I actually spoke with him on the phone the other day. He devotes so much time in helping his students succeed. I would have to say he is one of the most selfless people I know. So, thanks, MH. I know you are probably reading this. Thanks for investing your time in me. For being one of the people that always believed in me. The gift of your time throughout the years has meant a lot to me. Which, by the way, I hope your meeting for Nationals went well, and good luck! 

You know who else came to mind while typing this? Mothers. All mothers. They devote so much time.Nothing, but time. They are on call 24/7. 

Throughout all of this, I've learned that people in my life will come and go, and I should stop investing so much concern in others; I've learned the importance to take each day at a time; I've learned to laugh more; I've learned to appreciate a moment, because it will soon be just a memory; I've learned that crying will get me absolutely nothing; I've learned that my smile is way more beautiful than my frown; I've learned that my kids grow-up way too fast, and I need to enjoy them more; I've learned that I am beautiful; I've learned that I can go and do anything I set out to do (as Nike says: Just Do It!); I've learned that my confidence is my greatest weapon. 

Well, my darling bloggers, that concludes my "breaking my hiatus" post. I have a LOT of recipes to catch-up on. I think all of you will be very pleased! I also have some wonderful friends I need to introduce to everyone! Yes, I did just say that, go ahead, reread that sentence once again Alex, because I will be writing a post highlighting you, and your Hawaiian pizza that I have yet to post. Alex has a sweet boy Sebastian. Her and Sebastian are our Sesame Place adventure goers! I have so many wonderful things to say about mi amgia, but I will save it for my post!   Don't worry, I won't post a picture of your face...or will I?! (evil grin). I also have an amazing friend named Emily to introduce to everyone. She is very quirky, and in fact much like myself. I actually have an entire post planned to write on a bracelet that she gave me. I also can't wait to feature all the cool runs we will be going on! I also can't wait to introduce her sister-in-law to you: Kristie. Seriously. I think I need to just be adopted into their family. They are the sweetest. I love them. I will also be introducing our friends Charna and Emma. Emma helps babysit the boys. We love them too! I will also have to introduce Lushka. She is the lady that does my hair. She does a fabulous job, if you ask me! I need to see Jessica and Marco and have some Spanish food soon! (If you are reading this, we better set this up!) You've met my neighbor Jenny and Chloe in my Target post, but Chloe is too cute not to do an update post on, especially showing off her cool bubble maker. These are pretty much the people I interact with regularly. It is so nice to feel like New York is finally becoming "home". I didn't even know it could feel like "home". Speaking of home, I decorated. Okay, so now that you have an overview of what to expect in the following posts, I've missed all of you! I'm happy to be back!

EDIT @ 10:12pm: I also will have to introduce everyone to Manny. What the heck was I thinking? Manny is my furry friend that lives in my building. He is Matt and Michael's furbaby. Yes, I know random. I was just laying here thinking about the first time I ever came to New York. It made me think of Emily. Which made me think of her furbaby, Stanly. Which made me think of dogs. Which made me think of Manny. See, don't you love being inside of my head this late? Yeah...it is time for bed. Good night!

Love,
A

Monday, January 21, 2013

Shakeology/ I work out!/ Updates

Hello, Bloggers!
Yes, yes, I know. It has been awhile. I've just really been slacking lately, huh? Well, here is an update! Enjoy! :)


          Have you ever heard of Shakeology? 

About three months ago, this really awesome gal named Amanda messaged me on Facebook. She had a question about a book that one of our favorite authors (Emily Giffin) wrote. Let me just say, I'm so glad she did! We've become pretty good friends talking back and forth on Facebook. We also discovered that we both enjoy working out, we are both moms, and we both enjoy just chatting with each other. :) Now, that you've read the back-story on how I met Amanda, let me introduce to you Shakeology. 

Amanda is a Beach Body Coach. Shakeology is one of the products that she sells. She mail me a sample of the Chocolate and Green Machine. They were both amazing! I've been searching for a meal replacement for a while. I haven't committed to anything yet because of moving and everything else my life has been a little hectic. BUT, after being able to try it (I'm really picky) I would have to say it is something I will be considering in the future to invest in. It was really delicious. I normally don't like meal supplements because despite blending them well, they always have a grainy/ chalky taste. Shakeology, however, does not! I tried the chocolate one night before bed. I got busy, and I forgot to eat dinner. I was starving. I put Shakeology to the test to see if it would actually fill me up. That is another thing I hate...when I'm still starving after having a meal replacement shake. Guess what? It passed the test! :) I loved it! Thanks to Amanda for sharing samples with me! 

I suggest everyone head over to her FACEBOOK and "friend" her or at least say "hello". She is a very motivated, fit, inspiring MOM. I love that about her! :) While you are at it, check out the SHAKEOLOGY website. 



W O R K O U T

As some of you know, I've been going to the gym and working out on a daily basis. I have always wanted to do a body competition after being a part of Gold's Gym and making some friends that compete. I never thought my body would ever be capable of looking normal again after having kids. I essentially just gave up on trying. I joined the gym in Forest Hills in November. I was a little down on myself, because I had a body fat percentage of 31%. It was "high" considering my height. I just got my percentage recalculated, and it is at 24%!--healthy! Woo-hoo! Despite everything else that is going on in my life, I feel the best when I workout. It makes me happy to be able to see results. I'm proud to be able to say "I did it!" With all that said, I'm going to attempt training for a competition. Yes, I'm saying attempt because my body fat will have to be between 8-10%. Ha, wish me luck! :) I will keep you updated, as always!

Miscellaneous Updates...
  •  I've learned a few lessons in life since last updating. Yup, life is all about learning, right? I've learned never to feel the need to explain myself. If I feel a certain way, or if want to do something--then I should (and will) do it. If you don't like it? Too bad. 
  • I've learned to let things go. I can try my best to explain things and make them right, but if you don't understand (and I'm not asking you to), then that is okay. I respect you and your decisions to do what you want. You have the right to make a choice, as do I. 
  • I've learned it is so much easier to do laundry every two-three days. Yes, we have that much laundry. 
  • I've been reading a book about the laws of attraction. It is really interesting, and I will probably be making a separate post about it when I'm done. Basically, what you want to attract, you will. Are you attracting positive or negative things in your life? Again, you have the ability to make that choice. 
  • I've learned a little bit of my self-worth this past week. I'm trying each day to love myself more. I'm thankful for the people in my life who have instilled this important concept in me. You don't know how much you have helped me regain the confidence I once had. 
  • NEVER, and I repeat...NEVER go to Toys R Us by myself EVER again. Yeah. Long story.
  • I have decided to go back to school in March. Guess what? I'm SEVEN credits short of completing my Associate Degree. Ha, I didn't even know. I know, I know, how could I not know? Well, because I've transferred so many times I wasn't accounting for combined credits from all of the universities I've attended. This was some amazing news to me! I feel like the first time in my life I know what I want to do. Yes, ME, MYSELF, AND I..(ASHLEY)...I know what I want to do in life. Are you ready for this? I'm going to major in psychology. I'm then going to do the Master's program at Queens College in social work. :) I'm beyond excited. I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! 
  • I've learned the importance of laughing and being my silly self. I met another mom that is truly amazing, and she is so fun to talk to. I love laughing with her and being silly. It is me. I've actually met a few people that I feel like I can just be myself around. It is great. I've also reconnected with a few friends from high school that I'm so happy after all these years we can talk about anything and everything. :) 
  • I hate the rain. I hate walking in the rain. Enough said.
  • I'm writing a book. I think some of you might have known this already? It has been so much fun writing it. I don't know where it will end up, but the select few that have read parts of it really enjoyed it. On a side-note...I do not like typing it. I've been writing it in a notebook, and transferring it over the computer is a pain.
  •  I have bruises all over my legs. I have no idea where they came from. They hurt. Has anyone ever used a foam roller pre-workout? I'm thinking maybe that is what is causing it? Is that healthy?
  • I CAN PARALLEL PARK! I CAN DO A PRETTY GOOD JOB AT IT TOO! I will post a picture later. (It is on my other computer). 
  • I'm excited for spring and summer to get here. I'm simply obsessed with all the super-cute pastel stuff that I'm seeing displayed in windows. Come on, March! I'm waiting for you! 
  • No, I have not watched Vampire Diaries yet. Yes, I plan on hopefully watching it by this Thursday. If anyone would like to take the responsibility of bugging me to watch it...or eh, reminding me, I would appreciate it. I always remember to watch it at 11pm every night, and by then I'm just too tired. 
  • I switched laundry detergent. It smells amazing. 
  • Mason I'm pretty sure is a sensory kid just like Allen. We spend thirty minutes every morning trying to find a shirt that "feels" right. Help me.
  • Allen saw his first cemetery this week. Yeah...so many wonderful questions about dead people. Why do they go under the ground? Why did their heart stop beating? What is the headstone for? When will I die? When will you die? ..etc. After explaining everything several...and I mean several times... I think my favorite snippet of the conversation is as follows:
Allen: So, when dead people die it is like they are sleeping but don't wake-up?
Me: Yes. They look like they are sleeping, but they don't wake-up.
Allen: Why can't they sleep in their bed?
Me: Because, it is dark under the ground, so they can rest in peace. 
Allen: They can turn the lights off in their room.
Me: Yes, but since their heart is not beating, and they can no longer do anything, they can't take a shower. So, we put them under the ground so they don't smell.
Allen: Oh. Okay. 

Haha, yeah, how do you explain all of this? He literally wants to know EVERYTHING. 

I hope you enjoyed my updates. I hope all is well with you bloggers/ blogger readers out there! 

Love, 
-A 


Friday, January 11, 2013

Frustrating Friday.

Because everyone has a moment where they just need to rant...enjoy.

video

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Good-bye, 2012.

I know. I've been slacking when it comes to posting on my blog. My apologies.  A lot has been going on in my life since my last post.

What could best sum-up how I am feeling right now? The following quote:



I think that quote not only speaks how I am feeling, but I think it is something all of us should take a moment to reflect upon since the end of 2012 is officially here.

Reflection time...

I couldn't be more thankful for all the experiences I've had this year. We have moved from our home in North Carolina to live in Kansas City. While in Kansas City, we lived with my Mother-in-law. It was good to be home and surrounded by family. The experience was short-lived though, because in October, we moved to New York for Daniel's job. I have discovered I have more strength within me to confront change than I thought I did. I've learned to laugh more, try new things, and to accept whatever situation I am placed in. This year, I also learned a lot about the importance of patience, compromise, and forgiveness. Most importantly, I am slowly defining my roles as a wife, mother, daughter, and friend. I'm finding my "voice", building my confidence, and discovering the things that are important to me in life. I'm not perfect. I still have a whole journey ahead of me to help mold me into the person I know I can be. So, today as I say "good-bye" to 2012, I will embrace the journey I will embark on in 2013. May 2013 bring everyone much happiness and joy!

Okay. Done with my reflection. Now, here are some highlights (with pictures!) to help everyone see what I've been up to since my last post!

Allen excited to see Santa. We had to ride the elevator to the 8th floor to go visit Santaland!

All aboard! We took the train to the North Pole!

Everything was so neat and enchanted in Santaland!

Singing snowmen!


Bears playing drums!

He was so excited....
until we reached the end where an overly excited Elf approached us and exclaimed: "It is your turn to see Santa!" Both boys looked at each other, and then clung to my leg. Awesome. So we manage to walk over to the room where Santa is in. There are six sectioned off rooms all with a Santa, so the lines go faster. Allen took one look inside. Screamed. And started running off. Haha, I was able to catch him, but could you imagine if he ran into another room just to find another Santa? The thought of that happening makes me laugh. I know, I'm horrible. Ha, but seriously, could you imagine? It would be like being in the worst Santa nightmare, ever! Anyways, after calming him down enough to walk back to our room, he didn't understand that we had to walk through the room (it was the only way out). He did not like the idea of this. He started crawling across the room, clung to the wall, sobbing, spitting, and crying as loud as he could. Mason was freaked out, because Allen was freaked out. Mason was literally climbing up my head and grabbing my hair in attempts to, what? Be taller than Santa, so Santa couldn't reach him? Sorry, son, I don't know if you know this, but I'm only 5"1. Once we finally got out of there, I was so excited to get back on the subway and go home. When we walked passed the train again, Allen asked: "Can we go back to see the snowmen? I just don't want to see Santa". 

We did NOT go back. Instead, we  got back  on the subway to come home.

On Monday, December 17th, Allen and Mason started school! Allen is attending a Pre-School program, and the school just so happened to have an opening to offer Mason for the Nursery School program. I immediately jumped on the opportunity to sign him up. Mason attends school from 8:30-11:30am. During this time, Allen and I hang out in the parent room. It is nice to be able to have one-on-one time with the boys. At noon, Allen starts school. During this time, Mason and I have lunch (Allen gets lunch at school), read books, play, and my favorite: he allows me to hold him while he naps. Allen's school ends at 2:30pm. It might seem inconvenient  to  some people that I literally sit at the school all day from 8:30am-2:30pm. However, I like it. Like I said, I get quality time with the boys. Plus, if I really wanted to, I could leave at noon and come back at 2:30pm. The drive isn't that bad. I plan on starting school again soon, so it will be nice to have some time to sit and read also. Above, is a picture of the Holiday party. Mason was interested in seeing Santa. This is the best picture I could get. The school had a Christmas puppet show, a visit from Santa, and Christmas treats. It was adorable. 

Allen got to attend Mason's Christmas party! 

Enjoying lunch with Mason!

Mason napping in my arms. I love it.

All done with school! 

Allen and I playing blocks. :)

Mason napping while I get my nails done while Allen is in school. It was so nice!

Allen and Mason made their fist slingshot. Oh, boys. 

My sweet bear.

Santa left taxi chocolates in the stockings!

Santa came to visit us! So here is my Christmas story...
The night before Christmas, Allen, Mason, and I made cookies. Before bedtime, Allen  reminded me that we need to set out cookies. Okay. So, we set out a couple of cookies on a plate. After finally getting him in bed about ten minutes later here he comes."We forgot milk, Ma". I get milk. He goes back to bed. Ten minutes later..."I think I heard him! I think I heard Santa Claus!" Me: "No, he still isn't in New York yet. He is waiting for Allen to go to bed".  Back to bed he goes. Ten minutes later..."Mom, I want to stay up and meet him". Me: "Well, you already met him. Twice. Once at Santaland and once at school". Allen: "But, I want to meet him here". Me: "Well, he has to leave presents really fast because there are so many people on the Nice List". He contemplated this, and he decided it would be best to go to bed. 

Excited about all the stuff Santa left! He asked me if I got to meet Santa. :) I told him that Santa came when mommy was asleep too. 

Mason yawning. I woke-up at 5:30am on Christmas thinking that I would have to be prepared to keep Mason from opening all the gifts. Instead, Allen woke up at 7am, and Mason decided to sleep-in until almost 9am. Really, Mason? The one day I don't mind if you wake-up early....


Overall, we had a wonderful Christmas. :)

TO ALL OF YOU THAT SENT ME CHRISTMAS CARDS:
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM! THEY ARE CURRENTLY ALL HANGING IN MY ENTRYWAY WHERE MY DOORWAY ARCHES. EVERY TIME I WALK BY THEM I SMILE. IT WAS FUN ANTICIPATING THE MAILMAN TO SEE WHICH NEW CARD I WOULD BE ADDING TO MY COLLECTION. YEAH, I KNOW. I'M SUCH A KID. :)

My new friend, Larisa, found out that I was having a birthday on the 28th. She surprised me with this beautiful purple scarf. I absolutely love it. It is so soft and warm. :)

She also bought me this beautiful bracelet. 

Dakota came to New York on mid-night of the  29th for a visit. He flew in to Philly because it was so much cheaper. Ha, it was the most stressful experience trying to drive there. My car GPS got me lost, the written directions were hard to follow, because I didn't know which lanes I needed to be in on the NJ Turnpike when it was time to exit; and I'm pretty sure I got lost in some sort of Philly ghetto. My phone died. My car charger didn't want to work, and I spent an hour driving around in the same ten mile radius trying to figure out how to get back on the highway. Ahh. I have a confession, I actually really like being able to drive here in Forest Hills, and I don't mind NY driving. However, it was so comforting to know that once I got home I did not need my car again for day-to-day things.

Above, is a picture of Times Square the day before NYE. Ha, I will never got to Times Square the day before NYE ever again. I have never seen so many people in one area in my entire life. If you look closely, and I mean closely; you can see the "2013" on the ball drop sight. Yeah, as I've said before, so small and disappointing. 


Here we are waiting for the F train! 

Our tourist picture! 

Mmm. Everything bagel, toasted, with  sun-dried tomato cream cheese. Perfection. Or as Melissa Byler says, "food porn". Haha. I give her full credit for deeming this food porn. I've posted some other food pictures on Facebook. I need to stop with this mouth-watering food picture obsession.

Dakota and I had Sushi Time for lunch! (I will skip all the "food porn" pictures from this event).

Looking at SNOW!

Below, are pictures of when Allen first saw Dakota for the first time! I know, I should re-arrange the pictures to go  above, but it is a pain. So you get to see them now! :)

Allen screaming: DAKOTA!!!!!!

Jump.


Hug.

Happy Allen!









My sweet mason had a birthday on the 31st! He is now officially in the "Terrible Two" stage! However, I feel like he has gradually been building up to this stage for a while. Not that he is "terrible". I hate using that word. He is strong willed. I think that sounds much better. 

I will never forget the day our little Mason made his appearance. If you are interested in reading it, the story is archived under my 2011 posts. :)

Mason has brought us so much joy. Happy Birthday, MasaBear!

Here Bear is cuddling with his Da. 

Happy Birthday cupcakes! 

Check out his awesome Sponge Bob candle! Thanks to Maw-Maw for buying the party wear and candle! 


Here is the Birthday Boy! He is uncertain of this birthday thing.

He then saw his cupcake, and was so excited!

Haha, his cuteness is too much for me to handle sometimes!

He got shy when we started singing to him.





Here is my NYE outfit! 

My hair and make-up. Okay, so I have a confession. I've never really dressed my age in terms  of wearing a NYE outfit, doing my make-up, and going out to celebrate. In fact, I wrote another blog post about this. About how I haven't really dressed-up ever. I'm comfortable wearing sweats, a t-shirt, and sweatshirt every day. Being a mom, I don't feel the need to dress-up in something nice just to have it ruined  by some sort of stain five minutes later. Since moving here, I've done a lot of self-reflecting. I feel it is important to look nice. I feel it is important to do my hair. I feel it is important to not always live in my t-shirt and sweats. It has really made a considerable difference in my confidence and my view on my self image. I know that looks aren't the only thing that makes a person, however, it is nice to be able to look in the mirror and love and accept the person that stares back at me. 

I participated in a NYE Blogger "Cheers!" event. It was so much fun! Basically,  Bloggers from all over submitted their names and contact information. You were then paired with a "Cheers Buddy". You had to buy a "cheers" glass for your buddy and mail it them. I was paired with a lady named Joni from Texas. She sent me this adorable glass. (It is plastic so it won't break!) and she also sent some cute glasses for the boys. I completed my December Checklist with having some sparkling grape juice with the boys! :) Cheers!

Click here to check out the lady that hosted the event! She is amazing, by the way! Fun fact: she used to be my neighbor  in North Carolina! I love her! :) She has done so many things with her blog, and she has a Facebook Fan Page too. I know she is making a huge difference in the lives of many Marine spouses/girlfriend/etc. It is nice to know that you aren't alone while you are a spouse in the military. Semper Fi! 

With our Birthday Boy!

Daniel and I before heading out to our NYE concert! We went to go see NAS in concert. It was actually a lot of fun. It was at Radio City Music Hall (which is beautiful inside). I will admit, I personally think the energy Tech N9ne brings to the stage is much better. Then again, I might just be biased since he is from Kansas City. :)

On the subway! 

The concert venue!

As I've said before, I'm excited to welcome a new year! Here are 13 personal goals of mine this year. Expect blog updates as they are completed/as I figure them out. They are in no particular order....

13 GOALS

  1. Continue to update this regularly. 
  2. Grow out my hair. Yeah, I know. Silly. You don't understand how obsessed I am with cutting my hair though. It is ridiculous. I miss my long hair.
  3. Start school this year. I keep going back and forth on if I want to start online classes in spring, or if I want to wait and enroll in classes this fall. Along with this goal, I want to make my final decision on what I want to major in. So far, I have managed to not change my mind for about six months, but I have two majors that I'm equally interested in. 
  4. Keep up my healthy eating and exercising. I've lost twenty pounds. Only ten more to go until I am at my target weight! This has been important to me, because of the pre-diabetes concern. 
  5. Continue to set boundaries and  communicate what I want with others. 
  6. Read 50 books this year. Feel free to send me suggestions. 
  7. Write a letter to three different family members and three different friends every month. 
  8. Find an organization to volunteer for within the community.
  9. Go on a date with my husband once a month. Even if that means we sit at home and watch a movie. 
  10. Take the boys to do something new in the city (go to museum, central park, Lego Land, etc.) once a month.
  11. Start writing a novel. Ha, maybe this is a waste of time, but I feel like I have so many wonderful experiences I could share.
  12. Laugh more and have fewer expectations of how I think everything should be. I guess, work on accepting situations, forgiving, and learning from experiences.
  13. Patience. I could use a lot of that!