Category Archives: Dogs

Thursday Things

Sad news to report today. Unfortunately the girl puppy ended up dying yesterday.

Honestly I wasn’t too surprised. Yesterday I mentioned that she had a cleft palate which she did. But I think there was more than that wrong with her. Her little legs were always splayed and she couldn’t seem to bend or move them correctly. She couldn’t move around as well as her brother and she just wasn’t thriving at all. Poor thing. But it happens. And it was probably for the best. She isn’t suffering anymore.

Little girl sleeping in my hand after getting fed.

Boy puppy is doing incredibly well though! He’s getting visibly bigger everyday! He’s a strong and healthy little boy! He’s absolutely thriving and the other dogs are very interested in him. I can’t wait until he gets big enough to play with the big dogs. 😁 He’s just adorable. Giving him away when the time comes is going to be tough. πŸ˜‚

His little feet are huge fit his body and just so darn cute!!!

Anyway, today was a rest day thank goodness!! I was TIRED!!! Hahaha and sore. Half marathon training is definitely in full swing at this point!!! πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜„

So, Thursday’s are usually a rest day or a cross train day when it comes to my training plan. It’s really up to me and how I feel. And today I felt like I needed rest so rest I did!

This morning I got caught up with the latest episode of The Handmaid’s Tale and oh my gosh. I just…wow! All of the feels! I don’t even have the words to describe how I feel about it. πŸ˜‚ But I feel like if you watch it then you know what I mean.

And while we’re on the subject of entertainment let’s talk about my new favorite podcast; And That’s Why We Drink!

I have legit been listening to this podcast non stop for two weeks now! I absolutely love it!!

I’ve been into running, health, and fitness podcasts for a while now but I’ve finally branched out of that general genre when this popped up in my recommended section on Spotify. I’ve always been into supernatural/true crime/fictional stuff of that kind since I was a little kid. I can’t tell you how many B rated horror movies I’ve seen with my mom! Along with the bigger/more we’ll known stuff as well. And I mean, I’ve been reading Stephen King novels since I was like, 12. So this podcast is right up my alley!

It’s definitely spooky but the hosts, Em and Christine, are hilarious and they definitely do a good job of completely creeping me out, while simultaneously making me laugh. It’s fantastic! So if you’re into that kinda thing definitely check out their podcast!!

On that note, does anyone believe in the paranormal?? Honestly I’m not sure if I do or not. I’ve never really experienced anything of that kind, although I have been in a house that was supposedly haunted. Nothing weird happened but it sure gave everyone there the creeps! No one would go into this house alone (we were helping to clean it out after the owner died) and there were some pretty weird cold spots, but that was it.

So I’m not sure if I actually believe in the supernatural or not. But I also wouldn’t say that I don’t believe. I’ve heard some insane stories from people I’ve known about Ouija board. One person swears his brother spelled out “Jesus” on one once and it flew out the window and then later spontaneously caught on fire. So yeah, that’s enough to make me swear off of them! I’ve never played with a Ouija board before and I refuse to let anyone bring one into my house. It also freaks me out how popular that and other religious or paranormal or demonic or whatever symbols have become so popular to wear on clothes and stuff. Not gonna lie, I do think that stuff looks cool but I’m also paranoid and think that would be almost like inviting paranormal stuff to happen to you. I don’t know. I just wouldn’t want to risk it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

And I know that sounds weird coming from someone who loves Halloween, but I’m even careful about the Halloween decoration I get and put up. I don’t need any ghosts ur demons haunting or possessing me!! Hahaha so I don’t know, maybe I do believe in that kinda thing a little more that I think I do.

I do, however, believe without a doubt that aliens exist in some way shape or form! Our universe is just too big to think that we’re the only planet that supports life or are the only intelligent beings out there. πŸ‘½

Hahahaha wow. This post got real weird real fast!! πŸ˜‚ It’s also kinda all over the place, with puppies, running, paranormal stuff, and aliens. But hey, that’s why I like having a blog. I can just go on and on about weird things like that. Especially in my always random “Thursday Things” posts. These are really the ones I feel like I can get weird or be super random with. πŸ˜‚

So Yeah, when I’m not running more likely than not you’ll find me caring for a now single puppy while listening to that podcast.

He sleeps with his little tongue out and it’s adorable!! 😍

Anyway, I think I’ve rambled on enough for today.

Happy Friday eve!

~Ashley πŸ‘½

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That Backyard Farm Life

Border collies, and chickens, and tomatoes, oh my!!

If you weren’t already aware, I have quite the little backyard farm going on!

I grew up on an 80 acre farm in rural Illinois and I miss it all of the time, but my tiny little backyard set up does help. Also maybe it’s practice for a future real farm someday? I sure hope so!!

But before we get into everything I’ve going going on in that regard I just wanted to quickly mention that I got pooped on by a bird during my run this morning. That was definitely a first for me and I thought it was pretty funny. πŸ¦πŸ’©πŸ˜‚

Ok, so backyard farm.

Obviously I’ve got my 4 border collies. They have been my dream since I was 10 years old and I cannot even being to describe how happy they make me! One day I’d like to actually have some real livestock for them to work (Lily actually has worked cattle before and does know a few real herding commands), but for now they just help me keep my chickens and rabbits in line. πŸ˜‚

One of my rabbits has a habit of escaping her hutch at night and getting under our shed. But when she eventually comes out Finn knows to keep her from getting back under there and will hold her in one place so I can quickly grab her. Border collies are incredibly smart and the fact that he’s caught on to what I need him to do is just so awesome!

Don’t worry! This doesn’t stress the bunny out! If you’ve ever seen border collies work then you know they’re very quite and deliberate with what they do. Plus she’s just super used to it and isn’t afraid of my dogs at all. Hahaha if she was a sheep she would be considered β€œdog broke”. Which just means she’s used to being worked by my dogs.

So yeah. I’m just over here living one of my childhood dreams and it’s pretty fucking sweet!

Now, I’ve really debated talking about this next part, but I’m briefly going to get into it. Super duper long story that really doesn’t matter anymore and even if it did I wouldn’t get into it anyway, I’ve recently come into the possession of 2 as of today 6 day old border collie puppies. Like I said, it’s a long story that really doesn’t matter. But what does matter is that they’ve been keeping me very busy! One is a little boy and the other is a little girl.

Unfortunately the little girl has a cleft palate so we’re not sure what’s going to happen with her yet. We’re planning on taking her to the vet soon and seeing what they think we should do. Obviously I’m not a vet, but from what I’ve read it might just be better to euthanize her. Unfortunately stuff like that happens. But we’ll see what the vet says. So I was bottle feeding her, but that wasn’t working well since puppies with cleft palates can’t create the proper suction to nurse. So I’ve switched to feeding her with a syringe for now. And I may have to keep doing that for 3 or 4 more weeks until I can start weening them. That or I’ll only have 1 puppy to care for soon. We shall see.

Little girl fell asleep in my hand after I got done feeding her. Poor baby, is doing a lot better after I started feeding her with a syringe though.

Note; we are not keeping either of these puppies. I’m just taking care of them until they’re old enough to find new homes. But they are adorable! And while they are a lot of work, I do like having them around. 😁

Okey doke! Moving on!!

My chickens are doing well! Nothing really too exciting to report on that front. They eat, poop, and lay eggs pretty much every day. Jethro, my rooster, gets a little bit high and mighty anytime a man gets anywhere near the coop but other than that he’s the nicest rooster I’ve ever met. πŸ˜‚

Since my hens are pretty well established and laying almost every day (they’ve slowed down a little bit because of the heat) I’ve been selling eggs to a few people. Nothing too crazy, but they have paid for a few bags of their feed, so hey, I’ll take it!!

Fresh and pretty eggs washed and ready to be delivered to my neighbor!

So this year my garden is much smaller than it has been in previous years, but it’s doing much better than it did last year!! Last year we legit went 2 months without a drop of rain and my poor tomato plants suffered because of it. This year the weather has been much better and we’ve had a ridiculous amount of tomatoes!! And a decent amount of cucumbers too! 😊

Luke and I have already made 2 jars of tomato sauce and we plan on making more! Plus a bunch of pickles. Canning is a lot of fun, plus we like to have homemade tomato products for chili. We make a lot of chili in the cold months hahaha. And homemade sauce made from a homegrown tomatoes just makes it that much better.

So all of this backyard farm stuff is a lot of work! Monday I spent 2 hours in the morning tending to everything outside and today I spent 3 hours out there! And that’s not counting caring for the puppies and feeding/cleaning up after the rest of the animals. πŸ˜‚ Mostly those 2 days were filled with general yard work, weeding the garden, picking tomatoes and cucumbers, watering the garden, and weed whacking.

Whew! All of that stuff counts as cross training, right?? Hahaha I sure think it does! All that stuff is hard freaking work! I enjoy it though. I guess you could say it’s in my blood. Now if only I could actually make some real money off of all of this! It’s a lot of work and little reward if you don’t count the eggs and produce. Mostly it’s just thankless work. A lot of people assume that since I don’t have a “real” job that I sit around all day doing a whole lot of nothing but that definitely isn’t the case!

So yeah. That’s basically my life at this point! Running, raising dogs, chickens, and growing food! Along with blogging and general household stuff of course. It’s not a glamorous life, but it’s mine and I love it. 😊

I hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday!!

You’re backyard farming friend aka Farmer Dan (it’s an inside joke πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰),

~Ashley

Hello Again, Illinois!

Hello my friends!

So, I didn’t write a weekly recap for this week because on Wednesday I tripped and fell (again πŸ™„) while running and twisted my ankle. It’s been pretty sore since then so I haven’t run on it since. Bummer. And definitely not the way I wanted to kick off week one of half marathon training. But at least I didn’t skin my knees as badly this time. 🀣

Oh man, honestly I’m beginning to think my newer pair of running shoes is the problem. I’ve NEVER fallen like this whole running before and now I’ve done it twice within the last several weeks. The only difference is the shoes. I already prefer minimalist shoes so I usually run in Nike Free’s, but I also like to rotate in a different model of Nike’s just to switch things up. But apparently these shoes are just too much for me. I can’t feel the ground beneath my feet like I’d like to and I’m beginning to think that’s the problem here. πŸ€”

So yeah. Hurt my ankle. Haven’t been able to run since Wednesday. Freaking great. πŸ™„πŸ˜‘

In better news, yesterday Luke and I drove to Illinois to visit with family! This is our last big thing we’re doing for the summer and after this everything should be calming down around here. And hopefully my ankle will start to feel better so that I can really start digging into half marathon training!

Anyway, we made it to Illinois just fine and at around 4:30 that afternoon! We have all 4 dogs with us so our first stop was to Luke’s dads so we could say hi and then drop off Dean and Whiskey there. Then we went to my grandma’s to drop off Lily and Finn. We separated them because 4 border collies all in the same house that does not belong to them is a bad idea. So it’s better to split them up like this.

After the dogs were settled in we drove back to Luke’s dad’s house because him, his wife, and youngest son were going to this BBQ festival thing and they wanted Luke and I to go with them.

It was definitely an interesting event. One whole street was closed down and lined with bbq vendors. The food was pretty good. But really all I ate was part of a giant turkey leg. I love me a good turkey leg. πŸ¦ƒπŸ˜‚

Mostly though I was excited about the live music! They had a pretty decent 80’s cover band called “Jonny Rock-ITT” playing and I thought that was fun! Live music is basically my favorite thing!! They played for something like an hour and a half to 2 hours. Basically the whole time we were there. We got to listen to/watch them while we walked around and ate. They actually started their set a few minutes after we got there and finished a few minutes before we left, so I was pretty stoked that we were there for the entirety of the live music! 😊

Once we were done there Luke brought me back to my grandma’s so I could hang out with her, my uncle, and Lily and Finn for the night, and he went back to his dad’s so he could spend time with him, his step mom, his youngest brother, and Dean and Whiskey.

Finn thinks he needs to protect me from my Uncle’s dog. Poor Luther is really a good boy. Finn’s just an asshole. πŸ˜‚

Today Luke, his dad, his step mom, and I went to a local distillery for a tasting and tour. I’m not much into hard liquor, but it was still really fun! Plus they had some flavored vodka and whiskey that was pretty good! The photo below of of a Lemon fizz and it was DELICIOUS! πŸ˜‹

So first we got to try 6 of their vodka’s and whiskeys and then we learned how it’s made. So they grow their own corn and use locally peaches and apples to flavor their peach and apple vodkas which I think is cool! Hahaha and we got to keep our tasing cups afterwards which was cool.

So Luke and his dad each bought a bottle of the lemon drop whiskey which was what was in the Lemon Fizz, so apparently we’re going to be drinking that tonight. πŸ˜‚ But before that fun ensues we’re going out to eat at a Mexican restaurant for dinner.

So that’s what’s up next on our agenda while we’re here. I’m not sure what else will be going down, but we’re going to be here until Wednesday, so I’m sure we’ll be doing something else before then.

But that’s all for now!

Happy Sunday,

~ Ashley

January 12th, 2019

Holy cow! We have had one hell of a snow storm here in Kansas! β„οΈπŸŒ¨β˜ƒοΈ

It rained pretty much all morning and most of the afternoon on Friday, but at around 2:45 pm the rain turned into snow which basically didn’t stop until after 2 pm today!

So we woke up to a bunch of snow on the ground (I’m still not sure of the exact amounts) and we just got more piled on us as the day went on! I love winter and the cold and the snow, but even I’ve got to admit that this is pretty crazy!! Hahaha the dogs are loving it though! They went absolutely nuts when I let them outside this morning!

After we had played around in it for a little bit and I had checked on and cared for the chickens, I went back inside and started getting ready to go for a run. Because you know me! I can’t resist a good ‘ol snowy run!! I have a treadmill so I could totally avoid hazardous weather like this, but where’s the fun in that?!?

Hahaha yeah, that didn’t happen. πŸ˜‚

It was CRAZY out there you guys! A snow plow had obviously came through at some point, but since it was still snowing the roads were still pretty much completely covered. The only time I acually saw asphalt was when I was running in tire tracks and even then it was still mostly snow. Luckily it wasn’t too icy out though. I was kinda worried about that since it rained a lot yesterday. I did find a few slippery spots, but for the most part it wasn’t slick at all! Although it was still snowing while I was out there, so the snow just continued to pile up. Running in the snow is fun but oh man is it hard! And it just got harder and the snow got deeper.

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But aside from vehicles, the most dangerous part of being out in this storm were the trees. All of that snow just sitting on the tree limbs is heavy. So I kept hearing a bunch of loud cracks from tree branches finally breaking and falling because of all of that weight. That actually started happening more and more as my run went on and just kept getting worse throughout the day. Seriously, it’s just been absolutely crazy out there!

Anyway, despite the obvious dangers of running in a winter storm, I had an absolute blast!! While I was out there I would stop and hop into the big snow drifts whenever vehicles needed to pass me. I figured this was already stressful enough so I didn’t want to freak anyone out anymore by just being on the road haha. One guy in a truck rolled down his window and yelled “now that’s dedication right there!” That literally made my day! πŸ™‚ Another guy standing on his porch told me it was a gorgeous day for a run. Haha I laughed and said you know it! Oh man, snowy runs are my favorite! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

The original plan for today was 6 mile, but that had officially become negotiable once all of this crazy snow happened! I ended up doing 4. I felt like I probably could have managed the 6 I wanted to do, but during the last two miles of this run I saw too many tree limbs fall down for me to want to keep going. That and my feet were starting to get cold and wet because I don’t have proper footwear for running in the snow. πŸ˜‚

After I finished up my 4 mile, very snowy run, I changed out of my wet running gear and warmed up with a cup of tea and a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich (made with one of my chicken’s eggs, of course! πŸ™‚ ). Once I was warm again I took the dogs outside again and let them run around for a while. I wanted to get some of the snow off the top of the chicken coop just to be on the safe side, so I shoveled most of it off. Yesterday Luke and I took the tarp off of the dog kennel (which is what we call the outer part of the chicken coop) so that all of this snow wouldn’t pile onto it and rip it. That was definitely a good choice! I don’t think the chickens are too happy about being confined to their inner coop though. I also tried to knock some of the snow off of the tree limb that’s right above the coop because I really don’t like the way it’s looking. That didn’t work very well though, so I had to just leave it and hopefully it wont fall.

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A huge branch from the tree in the middle of our yard did fall while me and all 4 dogs were outside though. That was really scary but luckily it missed all of us! After that I decided that we should all just go in and hang out inside for a while. We all love the snow, but with all of the tree limbs coming down it’s just too risky…

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This is our peach tree. You can see how much snow is piled on it and how much it’s making all of the branches sag. 

After a while of hanging out inside I got bored. πŸ˜‚ So I decided to take Lily for a walk and see what’s going on. We didn’t stay out long though we saw/heard enough tree limbs falling, and a couple of downed power lines and plenty of power lines that were sagging from the weight of all of the snow. So while we would have liked to stay out longer, I decided that wasn’t a great idea. A couple of minutes after we got back inside another big branch broke off the tree in our front yard. That pretty much confirmed to me that we should not be outside anymore. πŸ˜‚

But we also saw plenty of people out plowing snow, clearing out driveways, pulling tree limbs out of the road, and cleaning up everything in general. It was also getting a bit windy so I’m hoping that will blow some of the snow off of the trees and power lines and that we’ll be able to spend some more time outside tomorrow! But we’ll just have to wait and see.

Anyway, I just wanted to share some of my fun, snow day adventures! Even though most of my day was spent inside wishing I was out playing in the snow. πŸ˜‚

Happy Saturday, everyone! Be careful out there if you’ve been hit with this snow storm!

~Ashley

2018 Highlights Of The Year

Holy cow it’s the last day of the year!! 😱

Congrats on yet another collective trip around the sun! The ride might feel long, it might also seem like it’s flying by at times, but at least we get to share the experience with some awesome (and maybe some not so awesome) people. At the very least it’s an interesting ride!

Seriously though, does anyone else feel like this year gone by really fast while simultaneously dragging on an on and on?!? Hahaha I don’t know, I guess it’s just been a weird year. Weird, but also good. 😁

So I just wanted to look back month-by-month at all (or at least most πŸ˜‰) of my personal highlights from 2018. Last year I actual broke this idea up into two different posts, one for running and one for life in general. But for this year I’m just gonna stick with one post. I did have a lot of fun running-wise in 2018, but at the same time nothing really spectacular happened for me. I only accomplished one PR and that was for the longest run I’ve ever done. No shiny new time PR’s for me… So that’s kind of a bummer, but hey, now I’ve got a whole new year ahead of me to start working towards some other shiny new PR’s!!

Anyway, let’s get to it! Here are my month-by-month, personal highlights from 2018! πŸ₯³

January

Alrighty! 2018 kicked off with me putting one of my Christmas gifts from 2017 to good use!! My sisters bought me Run Fast Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky. What an amazing gift and an awesome cookbook! I must admit, while I do believe in eating clean, whole, nutritious foods, I can find some of it a little boring… But cooking with this cookbook taught me that healthy, nutritious food doesn’t have to be boring.

Around the end of December or early January, Kay Von D and Billie Joe Armstrong collaborated on a new eyeliner. Not gonna lie, I know nothing about makeup and have been doing my eyeliner in basically the same way since I was 16. But when an amazing artist and the guy who pretty much made guyliner (who also happens to be one of your own personal heroes) makes an eyeliner you buy it! And buy it I did! Hahaha and I’ve still got quite a bit of it left since I don’t often wear makeup.

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I think this photo came from Kat Von D’s instagram? Honestly I don’t remember, it’s been saved on my phone for a while haha.

Oh and I started dyeing my blonde streak purple in January. I’m not sure why I had never done that before, but I had always wanted to. So that was pretty cool.

PS, guess what eyeliner I’m wearing in this photo. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

February

I’m not sure if this really counts as a highlight, but looking back on it it makes me laugh really hard (I also kinda forgot that this happened this year πŸ˜‚). But I’m February I slipped in my living room (on nothing I might add), fell, and slammed my toe into the leg of our couch. I never did get it looked at by a doctor but I’m pretty sure I broke it. It’s fully healed now though, so that’s good.

In a weird twist of fate, my toe breaking escapade happened right before I got two root canals done. So I had some pretty sweet pain meds for both of those situations. πŸ˜‚ Seriously though, my teeth are REALLY bad and I began my journey to a healthier mouth in February. But I also ran out of insurance money, so it began and ended with those two root canals. But now that the new year is upon us I have insurance money again and can FINALLY get some more much needed work done on my teeth.

And last but certainly not least for February, I ended up going to Colorado with my dad and spending about a week there with him and my brother. I’m not gonna get into all of the details of our adventures while I was there, because I already have. πŸ˜‰ But we had a lot of fun together. Hahaha even on the 16 hour drive from Kansas to Colorado! Hahaha that drive is only supposed to take 11 hours, but my dad and I like to stop and do stuff!! Oh and I think my brother and I accidentally ended up in Nebraska in our way to Kansas. Oh man, those were some good times. πŸ˜‚

March

While I was in Colorado at the end of February Luke ended up buying a chicken coop and when I got back home we bought our first set of chicks of the year! Oh man I forgot how cute they were!! Unfortunately this was the set of chickens that my neighbor’s dog ended up killing because he kept getting into our yard. Luckily that finally got resolved, but I still wasn’t happy about losing all of our chickens…

Another adventure that was planned while I was in Colorado was running the Martin City Whiskey 5k with my dad! This was the first race we did together and it was so much fun!! Hahaha even though my dad ended up getting a little hurt at the end. But he eventually healed and I remember mentioning to him that now he needs to do a half marathon! I’m not sure how serious either of us were at that point though. But I was pretty stoked about my shot of Whiskey and super awesome post race breakfast and that was making me really look forward to some half marathoning!

April

Easter fell on April fools day this year, so on the first day of April Luke and were in Illinois celebrating Easter with our families. My grandma made a whole big lunch and lots of homemade desserts which is always fantastic! While we were there Luke, my brother who was also in Illinois for Easter, and I did some target shooting at our old house. We had to trespass a little bit on what used to be my grandma’s farm, but whatever. πŸ˜‰ I though I might be a little bit rusty because I don’t really get to shoot anymore, but I did alright. πŸ™‚ While we were there we ended up taking my brother and two of Luke’s brothers to the Saint Louis City Museum. We all had lots of fun there!

Later in the month Luke traded in our old Chevy Equinox and got a 2016 Dodge Ram. I feel like that was probably one of the best decisions that was made all year! Hahaha we’ve sure put the truck to good use since we’ve had it!!

May

On the second Saturday of May I did the Running With The Cows 5k for the second time! Eventually I need to do the half at this event, but I’m so glad I didn’t this year! It was super hot and muggy that day. Still a lot of fun though! I got to pet a baby cow, run a very pretty 5k on a super rural road that runs through a bunch of cow pastures, and then pick out food at the HUGE buffet they have for all of the runners. Seriously, they have some pretty awesome stuff there! I’ve been very happy both times I’ve left this race. If you’re ever looking to do a half or 5k in early May and happen to be in Kansas I definitely recommend checking this one out!

May was when we got our garden planted, built the chickens a bigger run, and just did a bunch of work outdoors. It’s not exactly glamours, but I sure do enjoy it. 😁

For Memorial Day Luke and I threw a bit of a party for some family and neighbors. The guys had a bit of a rib cook off, and I baked a couple of pies and made a bunch of sides. The neighbor kid that I babysit came over to play with my brother-in-law’s girlfriend’s kids, and we had 5 dogs running around because my brother-in-law brought his with him. Oh and us and the neighbors were just constantly climbing over the fence into each other’s yards for various reasons. Haha it was a little bit chaotic, but lots of fun!

June

On June first we got our second batch of chicks. Not exactly a highlight because we only had to get them because our neighbor’s dog killed the first set. But still kind of a highlight because LOOK HOW CUTE!!!!

Later in June we ended up in Illinois again. We did a bit more target practice at my parents old house while we were there, but the real high point of this particular trip was taking Luke’s youngest brother to Troy Park and playing on the playground and PokΓ©mon Go-ing. Oh and we also picked up my sister’s old treadmill from her boyfriend’s mom’s house that night. Hahaha she literally gave me her treadmill because we have a truck and could actually haul it back home. Told you we’ve been putting that thing to good use!

Ok, just a little side note. Through  the spring I’d been talking to my dad about doing a half marathon with me. I had been looking into the Gobbler Grind and told my dad that I was only going to do it if he’d do it with me because this race was the day after the Longview half which I was already registered for. So at some point he signed us both up and thus Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days was born!

July

July is Luke’s birthday month! Yay!! So on his birthday his brother, his girlfriend, her kids, and our next door neighbor kid all came over for Luke’s birthday and we threw him a little party. There was a cake and confetti and glow sticks and lots of dogs! What more do you need for a birthday party?!? πŸ˜‚

For the past several years Luke’s mom has planned/organized a big family vacation for a bunch of people on that whole side of the family. This year that included 25 people!! Hahaha it was easy for so many people to come this year because we went to Branson. MO and since most of us live in the Midwest that’s not too crazy out of the way. I think EVERYONE drove there. πŸ™‚ Anyway, we stayed in these cabins right next to a river so we spent a lot of our time there having a little too much fun out in the water. We did a lot of fishing, swimming, and those of us who were of age did a little a lot of drinking haha. πŸ˜‰ It was an absolute blast though. I think hanging out on the river was the most fun part, but we did do a few other things. We went to a slightly depressing animal “safari” thing. We also had a big birthday party for several people at the equivalent of a Chucky Cheese, and we went to the outlet stores several times.

On one of the days we were there (I think it was the second to last) we had a big cookout thing. Everyone cooked a bunch of food, but in the middle of it all a HUGE thunderstorm rolled in. So everyone rushed around to get their food done and into the different cabins, get all of the small children inside, and everything picked up and what not. Then, like the good Midwesterners that we are, we sat out on the cabin porches and watched it come! At one point somebody dared someone to stand out in the rain for the entire storm and eventually all of the “kids” (Me, Luke, his brother’s and sister. His step sisters, our nephew, and a couple of their friends) ended up standing in the pouring rain. It was hilarious! Although the next day we found out that was when the Ride The Duck thing got caught in the storm and a bunch of people die. It wasn’t so funny after we found that out.

Aaaaaaaand training for Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days started near the end of July! If you’ve been following me for any amount of time you probably know that I do not do well in the heat and that I’m not a fan of summer running. But starting a new training plan for a big goal is always exciting!

August

This sunrise on August 4th reminded me that even though summer running is rough and that I absolutely hate waking up at 5 am, views like this make it totally worth it.

I guess August was a relatively uneventful month, as I have very few photos from then. πŸ˜‚ But we did go to a casino for like the second time. Not exactly my thing, but it was still a good time.

September

So, every year since we’ve been married, Luke takes me to a pumpkin farm to pick pumpkins, apples, and to get other fun fall things. We ended up going super early this year (on September 14th to be exact πŸ˜‰) because this summer was hot, dry, and brutal and I was very much over it. So the day the pumpkin farm opened its pumpkin patch we went and started all of our fun fall festivities early! πŸŽƒπŸ˜Š

Later into September Luke’s mom added to my fall fun by sending me a big care package full of sweet Halloween stuff! She’s very much into Halloween as well, so she gets it. πŸ˜‰ I started putting some of it up that day! Luke wouldn’t let me start decorating outside until October though. πŸ˜‚

October

Yay October!! The brutal summer finally ended and it actually cooled down this year! It’s been FOREVER since we’ve actually had a chilly fall. That made me super duper happy!! So did all of the amazing fall foliage we had in the area this year! It’s been a long while since the trees have looked this pretty!

On October 5th we added a new member to our family!! On his way home from work that day Luke told me to be ready to leave when he got home because we were going on an adventure! That adventure turned out to be picking out a new puppy to be Finn’s future girlfriend! I made the right choice picking her out of the litter. Finn immediately fell in love with her.

The very next day I PR’d my longest distance run by doing a 14 mile long run! Haha I had to stop at home several times so I could let the new puppy out of her crate to pee and that did get a little bit annoying. But all in all this was a great run! I watched my watch while I hit and then went over the half marathon mark, because that was the first time I’ve ever done that in training and it was just so super cool!

On October 11th we went to Illinois yet again. This time for my mom’s birthday, one of Luke’s brother’s birthday, and his grandma’s and great aunt’s birthdays (they’re twins!!). Hahaha so we were kinda busy that time around! We only brought Whiskey with us for this trip just so she could get used to riding in the car, being by herself, and whatnot. But we ended up taking Luke’s youngest brother to Troy park again, this time with Whiskey, and apparently we went on the perfect day because there was some kinda of pet event going on! So there were all sorts of venders, rescues, and just people out there with a bunch of dogs! So Whiskey (and Luke’s brother, actually πŸ˜‚) got lots of positive socialization. We even met another red border collie while we were there! That was so cool!! Hahaha the other girl and I saw each others dogs, make eye contact and then booked it to each other so we could talked. πŸ˜‚ Oh man that was a great day!!

Oh and watching my grandma meet Whiskey for the first time was really cute too!! She used to breed German Shepherds, ran a dog boarding kennel, and was always super involved in the dog works (that’s where I get it all from!) so she LOVES meeting puppies. But I mean, who doesn’t?!

November

November got off to a really great start, with Whiskey and I watching the NYC marathon! Haha Luke signed up for another free trial of Hulu TV just so I could watch it (he did that for me in April so I could watch Boston as well ;). If you watched you know how amazing it was! If you didn’t, well, you really missed out!

November also brought the conclusion of Operation Two Half Marathons In Two Days, and oh boy it didn’t end in any kind of way that I thought it would. I DNF’d the first half! ☹️ So that was really more of a low point of 2018. But the very next day I ran the Gobbler Grid half with my dad! It was the slowest half I’ve ever done, but it was also the most fun! Hahaha I’m so glad we ran that 5k together in the spring! If we hadn’t then this half might not have happened! Honestly I think this half marathon and the couple of days that I got to spend with my dad because of it was my favorite thing to happen this year.

The November fun didn’t end with that half marathon though! I ended up running a 5k on Thanksgiving morning! That was technically my first ever turkey trot and it was a blast!!! Plus they handed out pumpkin pies to all of the finishers instead of medals. That was awesome!! πŸ¦ƒπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ₯§

And even after that there was still some more November running fun to be had! Haha we had a legit blizzard on November and guess who decided to run in it? That’s right, this girl!! Oh my gosh that was so ridiculous dangerous because we were experiencing high winds and white out conditions, but it was oh so much fun!!

December

Oh boy! November sure was busy, but believe it or not, December was even more hectic! We did lots and lots of fun Christmas stuff though!

On the 15th Luke took me (and Dean πŸ˜‰) to two different Christmas light displays! First we went to one that was more of a light show that synced up to music. Those are always cool.

We didn’t stay there long though. Our next destination was a park that covers almost every tree around this lake in lights! It’s so beautiful! So we walked around there for a while and took a bunch of pictures! Haha Luke’s not big on the cold, Christmas, or picture taking, so I really appriciated doing all of that all at once. That being said, we had a really good night. πŸ™‚

The next day Luke and I ended up exchanging Christmas gifts because we’re both terrible at waiting to give gifts. πŸ˜‚ Apparently we both had similar ideas this year, because he got me a “fuck” coffee mug and I got him a monogrammed glass for adult beverages. πŸ˜‰ Hahaha we know each other well.

On the 22nd we got our first eggs!!!!! You guys have no idea how excited I was! I’ve been waiting for this for such a long time!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Ever since then we’ve been getting at least 2, sometimes 3 eggs a day from our hens. By this spring/summer we should be getting around 5-7 eggs a day! How freaking sweet is that?!?

We spent pretty much the rest of our December running around and getting stuff ready for Christmas. At 3 am on Christmas Eve we left Kansas and drove to Illinois so we could spend Christmas with some family. On Christmas Eve we started out at Luke’s dad’s, then we went to his grandma’s for a little bit. Then my grandma had a little party at her house of Christmas Eve, so we hung out there with her, my mom, and my uncle for a while.

Christmas Day was just as busy! Luke and I stayed at his dad’s house Christmas Eve night so we could open presents from them and Santa. After we did that Luke’s dad made us a late breakfast and we hung out there until noon when we went to Luke’s other grandma’s Christmas party. That’s always a big even! That side of the family takes Christmas VERY seriously and this year was no different. We had lots of food, presents, and fun. πŸ™‚ That night me, Luke, and one of his brother’s stayed up playing this game on the Playstation. It got out of hand very quickly but it was a lot of fun haha.

It was a busy Christmas, but a good one.

At some point during our stay in Illinois Luke’s dad convinced him to come back for New Year’s Eve, because he was actually going to be off from work for that. So we drove back to Illinois last night at we’re at Luke’s dad’s right now. So we’ll be ringing in the New Year with Luke’s dad, step mom, and 2 of his brothers!

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Oh man this post ended up being really long! Maybe I should have broken it up into two different posts. πŸ˜‰ Oh well.

Thanks to everyone who hung in there with me and actually read everything hahaha. Honestly though I think I want to start writing a recap like this at the end of every year! Looking back at all of the adventures I’ve had this year was fun and it reminded me that I have done a lot of cool stuff in my life. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that on days that feel never ending or mind numbingly boring. But life is full of ups and downs and the not-so-great times make the good times that much better! I hope you’ve had a wonderful year full of fun, laughter, adventures, and many happy, healthy miles!

Wishing you a wonderful New Years Eve and a very happy New Year! Stay safe and have fun out there! Here’s to making 2019 a FANTASTIC year!

Your happy, nostalgic, slightly sappy, blogger friend,

~Ashley

Friday’s Luke Adventure

What is a Luke Adventure, you ask? Well, it could be anything from a random trip to St. Louis to visit our family, a trip to the pumpkin farm, a trip to the mall to get something completely impractical, getting a new puppy, taking a road trip to the Grand Canyon, really the list goes on and on and on….

So on Friday when Luke was on his way home from work he called me and asked if I had company over (referral to my 4 year old neighbor or her friend who like to come over) and if I didn’t I needed to get ready to leave because we were going on another Luke Adventure. Of course I inquired as to what this adventure was going to be and of course he didn’t tell me. At least not right away haha. He likes to do that with big surprises. Eventually he did though and we began discussing the logistics of our lates Luke Adventure.

Anyone want to make a guess as to what we did?

Hahaha I won’t leave you guys hanging like Luke did with me. πŸ˜‰ It was another puppy!

I was trying to get a picture of the female pups running around together, but this was the best I got. πŸ˜‚

Luke has wanted a red border collie for the longest time and he found someone who had a litter with all of our qualifications (which I won’t get into here haha. I’ve talked a little bit about them on other posts though) on Craigslist so he wanted to get another female. So that’s what we did.

Meet Whiskey, Finn’s future girlfriend.

She’s 8 weeks old, which is kinda young to be leaving her mom and litter-mates, but poor mom had 10 puppies and was skin and bones from trying up nurse them all. So they were getting rid of them for her sake.

They only got out the red females because that’s what we wanted, but we had 5 to choose from since we were the first people to show up. Yet again! Haha the same thing happened when we got Dean. Anyway, while they were getting the puppies out of the cattle trailer they had them in they started handing them to Luke and I. Some people think picking out puppies is hard but I don’t! I can usually tell which one will work well for us. So the first puppy they handed me peed all over me. Poor thing was petrified. Well that wouldn’t work for us considering we have 3 other dogs. The first one they handed Luke was cute (what puppy isn’t?!) but neither of us felt either way about her. But when they handed me a second puppy this one was very alert and very excited to meet new people. She was wagging her tail super hard and licking me everywhere. Perfect. She was the one. I knew it.

We still took them all over to their driveway and let them run around for a little bit. I still liked the same one though. She was the most spunky. Zooming around and out running all of the other puppies. At that point we knew she’d fit right in with the other 3 dogs, so she was the one we ended up taking home!

We definitely made the right choice! She fit right in almost immediately! Finn absolutely adores her! He won’t leave her alone haha. But that’s good. 😁

So she’s spent the last few days learning all about life and how our house functions. So far she’s doing really well! She’s also the easiest dog I’ve ever potty trained! She hasn’t had a single accident in the house. It’s crazy! It’s pretty great though. πŸ™‚

Today I took her to the vet for her very first round of puppy shots. She did very well! She didn’t wiggle or squirm or cause any trouble. I was very proud of her haha. But now she’s all tired and doesn’t feel to great, but human babies, they don’t tend to feel well after getting shots.

Anyway, at this point she’s doing crazy well with potty training. She knows her name, is getting pretty good at coming when she’s called, and we’ve just started working on “sit”. That’s why I like getting little puppies. They are super easy to train and are usually more accepting of new and scary things.

But yeah, we have 4 dogs now haha. And hopefully at some point Finn and Whiskey will end up making some very pretty babies. Finn wasn’t a cute baby but now that he’s grown up he’s very handsome! And if Whiskey ends up looking anything like her mom (which I’m thinking she might. She’s a similar color and has markings closer to her mom. Her dad was black and had a lot more white on him). Plus Finn has some really great instincts and I have a feeling Whiskey will too. But obviously that’s still a ways off and not even a definite thing at this point though. It’s a pretty good possibility though!

Alrighty, that’s all for today then! I hope everyone has had a good Monday and has a great week!

~Ashley

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Branson Adventures: Day 1

Welp, we made it safely to Branson!

First thing in the morning we dropped the dogs off at the kennel. They had a bunch of goats and chickens and cats running around in the driveway when we pulled up haha. It was fantastic!! I loved it. 😁 I also really liked the people who run the kennel. We told them we didn’t want to get the dogs out of the car with all of the goats nearby, because obviously all 3 of them are herding dogs. So they moved them and we showed off some of Lily’s heard of skills. We kept her on her leash and the ladies got a huge kick out of that! But now they know that our dogs can and will herd the goats if they aren’t careful haha.

As we were leaving them the lady who runs the place said she knows border collies are all kinda crazy, and that’s what for real sold me on the place! She obviously understands that they aren’t normal dogs and that’s what I was worried about haha. But anyway, they took them and put them in the kennel, and as we were leaving I could hear Lily crying and barking as we walked back to the truck. Poor baby. Obviously they’ll be fine, but I know they’re gonna be freaked out the whole time and that makes me sad.

Anyway, after we dropped them off we went back home, packed up the truck, stopped and got breakfast and then were on our way at around 8:45 this morning!

The drive there was pretty decent! It took us around 3 and a half ish hours to get there, and a lot of it was driving through farmland and by some lakes and stuff, which obviously I enjoyed. 😊

Once we made it to our cabins we looked around a little bit. They’re pretty nice and the views are pretty! We talked to Luke’s brothers and sisters, unloaded the truck, and then headed off to the store to stock up on some groceries for our time here.

After we had our provisions and put them away in the cabin, we went to Luke’s grandma’s cabin and hung out with her, a few of his aunts, and a few other people. It’s his grandma’s birthday so that was nice! She definitely enjoyed hanging out with everyone.

After that a bunch of us went to the river that’s near the cabins and had a little too much fun! πŸ˜‰

But anyway, it’s been a long day and we’ve got another one ahead of us, so I need to get to bed! Happy Monday!!

~Ashley