Category Archives: everyday life

Hanging Lake, April 13th 2019

Happy Marathon Monday!

Who else spent most of the day keeping up with the Boston Marathon? πŸ€šπŸ»πŸ˜‚

Anyway, I am back home from Colorado! Yesterday my dad and I did our trail race in Fruita, Co (I’ll have a full race recap on that soon!) and then spent 16 or 17 hours on the road, making our way back to Kansas. And then eventually Illinois for my dad. Hahaha I’m very happy to say I get to stay home in Kansas. 😁

So, I’ve been busy, having lots of fun, and out of phone service for a while, so I haven’t really had a chance to write about our adventures in Colorado over the weekend. So I’m going to play a little bit of catch up the next few days.

Friday was actually a pretty chill day. That Thursday was a lot of fun and while we didn’t do anything on Friday I’m actually pretty glad about that now. Saturday and Sunday were fun, busy, painful, and absolutely gorgeous.

So our Saturday began with a 5 am wake up call. Fun! πŸ˜‰ My dad and I packed up his van and started making our way to Fruita from his apartment in Longmont for our trail race the next day. But of course we had to make several stops along the way. πŸ˜‚

First we stopped in Genesee Park to check out a little herd of bison. Well, really we stopped along the side of the highway and walked over to the fence where the were for a few minutes.

I’ve actually seen a bigger herd of bison in the Grand Canyon National Park back in 2014, but it was still fun to go see some more here. There was even a brand new baby which was cool! Only the one though, but we definitely saw some very pregnant bison.

 

 

 

 

We stopped a few other places. Nothing too exciting though. Mostly just gas stations and little viewing areas along the highways. Going through Vail was pretty interesting though. We ended up going through a blizzard. My second blizzard of this trip. In a shitty little van that my dad and brother use mostly for work. πŸ˜‚ We made it through alright though.

At about 1 pm we made it to our main stop for the day; Glenwood Canyon. A few weeks ago my dad hiked up the mile-ish (I think?) trail to Hanging Lake and he said I absolutely had to see it while I was there, so that was the plan for Saturday afternoon.

It was actually snowing a little bit when we got there! And it continued to snow a little bit off and on for most of our hike up and eventually a little bit of the hike back down.

So you start out on a little paved path, maybe about half a mile to the trailhead. At this point I was already feeling the elevation. Oh boy I had no idea what I was actually in for. πŸ˜‚

So like I said, the hike up to Hanging Lake was around a mile, but it was hard, steep, icy and treacherous in places, and oh yeah, it was super hard! πŸ˜‚ It was fun and super pretty though.

 

 

 

The trail started off super rocky, but eventually it turned into more dirt as you started to follow a creek (I’m not sure which creek that would be and I’m too lazy to look it up. πŸ˜‰ ). Then the farther we went up the more ice/snow was on the trail. Luckily my dad has some tracktion that we put on our boots and that helped us out a lot. But we saw a lot of people who weren’t as prepared and they were slipping and sliding all around. On our way down we actually saw a dude who fell on the ice and broke his leg. He was ok, he had several people in his group taking care of him and the rescue team was on his way to get to him.

 

 

 

Anyway, did I mention how freaking hard this climb up was?!? Haha oh man, it seemed to take us FOREVER. But the the trail was super pretty and we had a hydration pack and lots of snacks, so at least there was that. πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

I think it took us close to two hours to hike up the trail to Hanging Lake. It was a tough hike. Especially for someone from Kansas who isn’t used to being at 8,000 feet above sea level, let alone doing hard hiking at that kind of elevation. Once we finally made it to the lake though, man, words can’t even describe how amazing it was! Photos barely even do it justice. But wow. Once I saw that lake, it was totally worth it!

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We hung out there for a while. We ate some snacks and made a few friends. Yeah, I know, I know, you’re not supposed to feed the wildlife. But theses little guys were so unafraid of people, so they obviously get fed all of the time. Hahaha we actually got pretty much everyone who was up there with us feeding the chipmunks. It was so funny. Everyone was sharing snacks, pointing out where our little friends were, taking pictures for each other, and just smiling and laughing with a large group of mostly strangers. So in a weird way, breaking the rules brought a bunch of people together that day!

 

After sharing our snacks with our new friends, we hiked out just a little bit farther to Spouting Rock. That was super duper neat! We took some pictures for this group of women so they took some pictures of us. You guys, if you ever need to be reminded that people are generally good, hike somewhere. Or run a race. But we’ll get to that later. πŸ˜‰

Okey dokey, after seeing Spouting Rock we began our hike back down. Oh boy going down was a lot easier, especially once we got past the slippery ice/snow. We even did a little bit of running! πŸ™‚ Hahaha so we got down A LOT faster than it took us to get up. The downhill was much more enjoyable.

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So we hung out at near the trail head for a little bit. Mostly just looking at wildflowers. But my dad actually found a pair of Lululemon leggings crumpled up in the weeds. Why the heck you’d get rid of a pair of expensive leggings like that I’ll never know, but we took them and I’m pretty sure they’ll fit me. So yeah, hiked up to Hanging Lake and obtained a pair of fancy Lululemon leggings. πŸ˜‚

After we were done I was STARVING! So we went to s little restaurant in Glenwood Springs and got cheeseburgers. Holy cow! That was the best burger and fries I’ve ever had. Probably because I was so hungry. πŸ˜‚

After we ate we drove about another hour to one of my dad’s driver’s houses. He invited us to stay there the night before our race so we didn’t have to stay at a motel. He was really nice as well as his whole family. We went out to ANOTHER restaurant to eat again πŸ˜‚, and then my dad and I showered and went to bed once we got back to their house. We had a another 5 am wake up for Sunday before our race.

I’ll recap the race tomorrow probably. But for now, that’s it! We had lots and lots of fun on Saturday! 😊

I hope everyone had a great weekend as well!

~Ashley

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The Stanley Hotel and Rocky Mountain National Park

My dad and I had us some adventures yesterday!!

But first and foremost, after making it through a blizzard the day before, we were blessed with an absolute gorgeous morning here in Longmont Colorado!

My Thursday actually started with me getting woken up by one whiny and pathetic Russian bear dog. He wanted to go outside to go potty. But he also wanted to play in the snow because it’s like, his most favorite thing ever! But the problem with that is after a while he’ll just lay down in the snow and refuse to move. And trust me it hard to get a stubborn, 146 pound dog to move. πŸ™„ Hahaha that being said, we still had a nice little walk on Thursday morning.

Mr. whiny pants, Niko begging to be taken outside right after we had gotten back in. πŸ˜‚

So after Niko had gotten walked 3 times, first by me, then by my dad, and finally by my brother, we began to make plans for the day. My dad basically runs several FedEx terminals and drives semi trucks (even though he’s not really supposed to because he’s supposed to be running the whole operation, but they currently don’t have enough drivers) and he had several things for my brother to do on Thursday. After giving him all of his assignments and sending him on his way, we decided we were going to drive to Estes Park and go check out the Stanley Hotel!

So no one I know personally has ever actually stayed at the Stanley Hotel before (although I’d totally like to one day!) I’ve actually been there a few times!

You see, the Stanley Hotel was Stephen King’s inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. And Stephen King has been my all time favorite author since I was in 7th grade. So I just think it’s super duper cool to go there and look around outside a little bit. πŸ˜‚

This time around my dad has me bring my copy of The Shining and we got some pretty neat pictures!

I got my butt very wet sitting on those steps. πŸ˜‚

So yeah, that was fun! After that we decided we might as well go mess around in the Rocky Mountain State Park while we were there. By first my dad took me to a discount outdoors wear store because I was not prepared for winter. πŸ˜‚ I came to Colorado ready for spring, but boy was I wrong! Up until then I had been borrowing one of my brother’s coats (hence the camo. Hahaha that’s not really my thing) and wearing on thoroughly soaked pair of retired running shoes. So I got me a pair of discounted, waterproof hiking boot and a super nice North Face coat for over 50% off. Both of these are men’s items because in weird and prefer men’s coats/hoodies and the selection of women’s hiking boots was kinda sad. But either way, after that I was actually prepared to spend some time in Rocky Mountain National Park.

I have been into Rocky Mountain National Park before, but not very far. So this was a super fun experience! We didn’t really hike that much because it was cold, we were ill prepared, and my dad had to work that night, but we drove around for a while and would get out and walk around some cool places.

First we stopped at Sheep Lakes, which ironically enough, my dad (who’s been there often) has never seen any sheep there. And today was no exception. πŸ˜‚

Then we drove around for a while, admiring how pretty everything looked covered in snow. We saw lots of mule deer and elk, and of course we had to stop to observe them and take pictures! πŸ˜‰

This guy got super close to the van when we stopped on the side of the road. That was neat!

Then my dad decided he wanted to go to Bear Lake because he had only been there once and obviously I had never been there before, so we continued on with our journey through the park.

We stopped a few more times on our way there because everything looked super pretty covered in snow, so it was kinda hard not to. πŸ˜‚ But by the time we finally made it it was actually kinda snowing and the wind was blowing super hard! We hiked a short ways from the parking lot to the lake itself which was kinda interesting because the snow drifts were pretty high! It was a lot of fun though!

Bear Lake was frozen, covered in snow, and absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. Unfortunately pictures will never be able to do it justice. The wind was cold and blowing snow directly into our faces which was painful. But the way it was swirling in the air was beautiful.

We didn’t stay there long. Like I said, the snow pelting our faces was painful. πŸ˜‚ But we both think we need to come back in the summer and actually hike around Bear Lake when we’re actually prepared for it.

After our short adventure at Bear Lake we started making our way out of the park. But of course we ended up stopping a few more times. Hahaha I sure put my new hiking boots to good use today! πŸ˜‰

After we finally made our way out of Estes Park and back home my dad heated up the Keto version of broccoli and cheddar soup that he had made the day before. At that point it was the best thing I had ever eaten. Probably because I didn’t really eat much before that. πŸ˜‚

And that was the end of our adventuring on Thursday. We were both really tired after we ate so I showered and then we both ended up taking naps. πŸ˜‚ But obviously my dad needed to since he had to work that night.

So since my dad is doing the whole Keto thing there are NO carbs aside from some veggies in his apartment, and that’s super boring. πŸ˜‚ I knew he had been doing the Keto thing though, so I had brought a whole big thing of Cheerios with me. Still not super fun, but I NEED my carbs man, and I’ll take them were I can get them. πŸ˜‚

But once my brother got back from everything he had to do today he order us a bunch of carb-y deliciousness. He’s not into Keto either, but neither of us felt like going to the store. So we had the carbs brought to us. πŸ˜‚ I swear after like, a day of eating very few carbs, this personal pizza was the best thing I’ve ever eaten! πŸ˜‹πŸ• Hahaha I paced myself though and only ate half of it and saved the other half for today. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, that just about covers Thursday! I don’t think we’re going to be doing anything as exciting today, but tomorrow my dad and I are driving to Fruita, CO for our race on Sunday! We’re going to be staying at one of his driver’s houses that night (which was super cool of him to let us stay with them!), and we might do some hiking while we’re there. The day before our race. πŸ˜‚ Probably not the best idea, but we aren’t going for any world records at this trail race anyway. πŸ˜‰

But alrighty! That’s all for now!

Happy Friday!

~Ashley πŸ—»πŸŒ²β„οΈπŸ˜Š

Thursday Things

Hello friends!!

I’ve been kinda slacking on the whole blogging thing, I know. Honestly I’ve been super focused on growing my Instagram account lately. Instagram sure isn’t making that easy thanks to it’s weird algorithms. But I have been making some progress on that front! 😁

Instagram is lots of fun. And if you do it right it can also become a community of some really awesome and supportive people! I love the community I’ve become apart of on Instagram! But story telling, sharing thoughts, ideas, even just random ramblings is a lot easier to do on a blog! I mean, people come to blogs expecting to read! That’s not exactly the case on Instagram. A lot of people are there just to look at pretty pictures. Which is totally fine! It can just be a little bit limiting sometimes.

So I definitely want to get more back into blogging!! I know I’m not the best writer out there or anything, but lately I’ve been writing down these little…well I’m bot sure what to call them exactly. Poems? I don’t think that’s right… Anyway, I’ve shared a few of them on Instagram and I’ve gotten some very positive feedback from them and that’s just made me want to start writing and sharing more again on my blog! 😊

So I figured I’d start easy and go for a “Thursday Things” post. I like to ramble and my “Thursday Things” posts are usually a pretty good place for me to do that! 😊

So let’s get right into it!

Team ROAD iD!

Obviously I’ve already talked about being an ambassador for ROAD iD his year (which you can read about here. πŸ˜‰). I’m super duper excited to be working with a brand that I love and believe in the way I do ROAD iD. I’ve been wearing mine since 2015 and at this point I rarely ever take it off.

Last weekend I received my welcome package for team ROAD iD. They sent all of their Team ROAD iD members a bunch of fun goodies! And check this out! How awesome is the box it all came in! πŸ˜„

I was very excited about that hahaha. I’m also very excited about the neat-o things said box contained; more bands for my ROAD iD and a new badge for it, a t-shirt, stickers, a super sweet Thule backpack (I’ve needed a new backpack for a while now!), and a bunch of gift cards! I used one of the gift cards to get my dad a new faceplate fit his ROAD iD since the info on his wasn’t up to date, but the rest of then will be used in giveaways!! Probably on Instagram, but I might do one on here as well. I’m still trying to figure out how I wanna do all of that. But it’s coming soon so be on the lookout for that!

I’m very excited about the prospects of hosting a giveaway! I’ve never done one before but I’ve always wanted to, and now I’ve got the perfect opportunity to host one! 😊 Like I said though, I’m still working out the details, but I expect to be doing one next month!

But for now, if you need a ROAD iD now and don’t want to wait and attempt to win a giveaway, remember that you can save 20% on ROAD iD’s website by following my handy dandy link;

road.id/ashley

Okey dokey, enough about that! Let’s talk about running!

Last week I had an AMAZING week of running! It was soooo good! Like, most of my runs felt great and I had so much fun! It’s been a while since I’ve had a whole week like that. where most of it just felt fun and carefree even though I was putting in some hard work.

Unfortunately all of that fun came to an end this week…

I almost did it. I almost made it through cold and flu season without getting sick. Almost. On Monday I felt a little bit tired and my body was kinda heavy feeling, but I thought that maybe I was just tired from the work I’d put in last week. I did a super slow 3 mile slog on the treadmill (because it felt like -15 and I didn’t feel like dealing with that. πŸ˜‚), in hopes that I would feel better afterwards, but nope.

I woke up on Tuesday and my whole body felt sore. At that point I was at a loss as to why. So I skipped my run and spent an hour on my stationary bike instead and then followed that up with about 30 minutes of yoga. I was hoping that would help with the soreness, but honestly I felt worse afterwards than I did before, which I thought was weird.

But then I woke up actually feeling sick yesterday and it all kinda made sense after that. πŸ˜‚ So yeah, that sucks, but at least I know why I’ve felt off all week. I took a rest day yesterday and woke up feeling a little bit better today, but not 100%, so I took today off as well. I was doing so well and being super consistent with my running since the beginning of this year, so it’s kind of a bummer to have to stop that for now, but I also know that it’s definitely for the best and the thing I need most right now is rest.

But if I was gonna get sick now wasn’t the worst time to do it. πŸ˜‚ My first race of the year, a trail 10k in Colorado, is next month and I obviously want to be healthy for that!!

I’m doing that one with my dad who hasn’t really been able to train due to work, and since it’s in Colorado near the mountains the elevation change is gonna kick my ass. It always does. So it’s going to be a tough day for us and we aren’t exactly going to be “racing”. Especially since I’ve done exactly 0 trail runs in preparation for this.πŸ˜‚ Honestly I’m hoping to rely on the skills I’ve built in the first 20 years of my life tracking around the woods and family farm. So at the very least I’m not a complete stranger to a little bit of off road terrain! Hahaha but we’ll see how that actually goes!

Honestly while it’s probably going to be slow and painful, it should still be a lot of fun! My dad and I have had lots of fun during the two other races we’ve done together so far, so I don’t think this one will be any different. 😊

My dad and I am mile 13 of the Gobbler Grind Half marathon. Friendly reminder that you can use the code GG19AD to get $20 off of your entry fee for this race!! I hope to see you there this November! http://gobblergrindmarathon.com

Then in May my dad is coming to Kansas to do Running With The Cows 5k (one of my all time favorite races!) with me, and he’ll be doing the Gobbler Grind Half with me again in November! 😊 So far that’s all of the racing I’ll be doing this year. Although I would like to register for another 5k or two later this year, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make that happen yet. Mostly I want to because I’ve got done time goals I’m aiming for and I won’t be able to go after then running with my dad. Which is totally fine! I’d much rather get to spend more time with him that hit a PR. But I’d still like to end up with a shiny new PR this year. πŸ˜‚

Honestly I can do a fast 5k anytime I want on my usual running routes. That should be easy enough and I’m not the kind of person who only counts PR’s if they happen within a race. But the half marathon time I’m shooting for might be a little more difficult. Depending on how things go during the Gobbler Grind this fall, that might have to wait until next spring. Assuming I can get in another half then that is. We shall see.

But to back track a little bit, I’m currently nursing a cold and haven’t run in 3 days. πŸ˜‚ But really 3 days off isn’t too bad. I’ll be able to jump back into the swing of things pretty easily if that’s all I end up missing. Which I’m thinking it will be. I’m gonna test out my legs and lungs tomorrow with 2 or 3 easy miles just to see how I feel and then go from there!

But I think that’s enough for today!

Happy Friday Eve!

~Ashley

February 18th, 2019

Wow today ended up being a really weird day!

My dentist appointment for my root canal was today. Luke took the day off from work to take me because he’s awesome like that. 😊 Originally he was planning on using sick time. He has something like 130 hours of it that he rarely ever uses.

Anyway, while we we’re on our way to the dentist’s office one of our friends (who works in the San building as Luke but on a different floor) called Luke and asked him where he was. He told Luke that there was a small electrical fire and that they were evacuating the building and telling people to go home. Obviously Luke told him he wasn’t there and that he was taking me to the dentist, and figured that was basically the end of that. He was mostly just excited that he wasn’t going to have to use his sick time anymore. πŸ™„

So we get to the dentist and he does his thing to one of my particularly bad teeth. You might remember last years whole tooth saga of me finally having to go to the dentist and have other teeth taken care of. I have some pretty messed up teeth because…well I’m not sure actually? Genetics? I actually take pretty good care of my teeth. I was just unable to see a dentist for a very long time because I couldn’t afford it. Anyway, my new dentist is a super cool dude and has a whole treatment plan written out. It’s going to take a while to actually get everything done (like, years) because insurance only goes so far and dental work is incredibly expensive…

But luckily today’s root canal went very well! The whole process went smoothly and I’m on my way to having one more tooth taken care of. Next week I go back for a temporary crown and then about two weeks after that I go again for the permanent crown. And then after that I have to wait because that used up most of our insurance for the year along with $500 out of pocket. Luckily Luke had $600 is his HSA account so we didn’t have t scramble to come up with that.

Once the dentist was done and with my face still incredibly numb, Luke and I went to a near by Vintage Stock. Mostly just to kill time, but also to see if the had anything cool. We didn’t find anything particularly interesting, so we left and went to Walmart to get some Halo Top for me since eating after a root canal is hard. πŸ˜‚ Then after that we went back home.

Awkward mirror selfie in Vintage Stock’s bathroom. I couldn’t feel half of my face. πŸ˜‚

When we got home we just kinda hung out for a while. I’m still binge watching Law and Order: SVU so that’s what I spent the afternoon doing. I was told to take it easy for the rest of the day so I didn’t run. I figured that was fair considering I did have drilling done on my mouth. πŸ˜‚That and I was just tired. But I also think that was root canal related. They really aren’t too bad, but it’s still kinda stressful on the body! Also, eating when your mouth is still kinda numb is hard. πŸ˜‚ That didn’t stop me from eating my Halo Top though. πŸ˜‰

Around 4 pm Luke got an email from his work. They currently can’t have people in the building because of the fire this morning so the whole building and several other offices here in Kansas who run on the same network are just off of work until further notice. They have to repair the damages, clear out the ventilation system, find what started the fire, and whatnot, so the building has to be closed.

Luckily no one got hurt in the fire and everyone is still getting paid, thank goodness!! They’re all kinda just on unplanned vacations (without having to use vacation time πŸ˜‰) until further notice. Sure that’s probably going to cut into the company’s profits, but this is a multi billion dollar company, so they really aren’t going to be hurting too badly. Plus none of that really affects Luke and all, so he’s just kinda stoked that he’s getting a little vacation!

So yeah. That was our day! πŸ˜‚ It was definitely an interesting one!

Happy Monday everyone! I sure hope you didn’t have to get a root canal or have your office building catch on fire today! πŸ˜‰

~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

Christmas Adventures

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

I sure did! It was super, crazy busy as well!

Luke and I woke up at 3 am Christmas Eve morning so that we could pack up the truck, load the dogs, and then drive to Illinois. We wanted to leave super early so that we’d be there in time to see Luke’s dad after he got off work (he’s been working midnight’s), before he had to go to bed, and to be able to partake in other Christmas festivities. Waking up at 3 am isn’t fun hahaha, but it was worth it to get to Illinois around 8:30 that morning and to do stuff with everyone.

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This is my “I love being awake at 3 am” face.

When we got to Illinois our first stop was Luke’s dad’s house. We got there just a little after he had gotten home from work. So we hung out there all morning with Luke’s dad, step mom, and two of his brothers. Mostly I watched the youngest brother play Pokemon on our Nintendo Switch that Luke brought for him to borrow. Everyone else played Call Of Duty in the other room, but I’m not into that, so we sat together and talked about all things Pokemon while he played. We had all 4 dogs with us and they have a dog too, so we had quite a full house going! Luckily Dean, Finn, Whiskey, and their dog Lexi wanted to spend most of their time outside playing together, so at least we didn’t have all of them underfoot at all times. But Lily isn’t into all of that, so she spent most of this time chillin’ within the mountain of presents that had accumulated under the tree. Luke’s dad’s side of the family takes Christmas very seriously hahaha.

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That afternoon we headed over to one of Luke’s Grandma’s. We hung out there for a while, opened some presents, and got all caught up. That was nice. πŸ™‚ Once we were done there we went to my Grandma’s house. She and my uncle went all out and made a bunch of yummy food. My mom came over with her friend and we had a little party. After that Luke and I went back to his dad’s where we stayed the night.

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Me, my mom, and my grandma.

Everyone was up bright and early on Christmas morning! We had presents from Santa to open!! πŸ˜‰ Apperently everyone was on Santa’s Nice List this year, because we all ended up with small piles of new stuff. Hahaha like I said, that side of the family takes Christmas very seriously. Obviously we all got a bunch of cool stuff, but I’m particularly fond of the wearable, blanket/snuggie type thing my father-in-law got me. It’s pretty freaking awesome! I was also given lots of socks and a pair of slippers, because they know I love socks and that my feet are always cold hahaha.

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After we cleaned up mountains of wrapping paper we all played with our gifts for a little bit while Luke’s dad made everyone breakfast. We didn’t get to hang out there for very long though, we had Luke’s other Grandma’s Christmas party to go to. The pile of gifts they had “under” their tree put my father-in-law’s to shame! Hahaha seriously, this side of the family goes ALL OUT for Christmas! Plus they have all of their kids, grand kids, siblings, uncles, aunts, and an assortment of other people over for Christmas. So there’s always a lot going on, but it’s always nice to get to hang out together. A lot of us don’t get to see each other very often so Christmas is usually when we get to catch up with everyone. We were there for quite a while doing just that, eating a HUGE lunch, and then opening gifts. That always takes up quite a bit of time, but it’s fun! πŸ™‚

Once we were done there we stopped by my Grandma’s again just to say hi. She wasn’t feeling well that day and ended up cancelling the plans she’d had. That was a bit of a bummer, but on the bright side, she was feeling much better the next day. So after we stopped by her house we went back to Luke’s dad’s where we cleaned up a little bit and got ready for Luke’s step mom’s family to come over. When they got there we had a small dinner (thank goodness! I’m not sure anyone could have handled another big meal hahaha), opened more presents, watched a Christmas movie, and for some reason one of the little girls who was there decided I was her new best friend, so we played together. She showed me all of her gifts, showed me how to use them, and made me put some of them together. Haha it was cute. We all had a good time.

After they all left me, Luke, Luke’s dad, step mom, and two of his brothers all played the new Meme board game we had gotten. That was hilarious! Especially since one of Luke’s brother’s is only 11 an didn’t really understand a lot of what was going on. Haha oh man we had a lot of fun though. We didn’t get to play that long though. Luke’s dad had to go to work and his step mom and 11 year old brother had to go to bed. But me, Luke, and Luke’s 18 year old brother ended up staying up for a while playing some game called That’s You on the Playstation, but the game was also connected to an app on our phones. Basically the game asked questions along the lines of “who would do this” or whatever and you had to vote on your phone.. If you and someone else voted for the same person you got points. There were also rounds where you had to draw on selfies of each other. That got out of hand very quickly. There were a lot of dicks and boobs. It was amazing!

We didn’t stay up too late though. The next day we had to get up early and start packing up the truck and helped clean up the house a little bit more. Then we said our goodbyes, and headed over to Luke’s Grandma’s again. We ate lunch with her and then we finally headed back home.

After all of the Christmas festivities and a 5 hour drive all Luke and I wanted to do when we got home was sit back and relax! Unfortunately we couldn’t really do that. First we had to run to the grocery store and pick up some food, because we had NONE in the house. Then I had to tend to the animals and clean up our house a little bit. bring in and put away all of our Christmas gifts, start some laundry, among other things. It was slightly hectic, but Luke ordered pizza and we were finally able to sit down and chill for a few hours before we went to bed.

Whew! Fun times! And we’re going to do it all over again because Luke’s dad has convinced him to come back to Illinois on Monday for New Year’s Eve. Hahaha I’m sure that will be a lot of fun too. But for now, I’m enjoying being back in my own house, having the time and space to actually have some alone time, and sleeping in my own bed. Oh and being able to eat my usual food at my usual times and having veggies that aren’t covered in cheese. I never thought I’d say this, but I was ridiculously happy to start making roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner. πŸ˜‚After all of that holiday fun I’m in desperate need of some nutritious, non-cheese covered food. Unfortunately that probably wont last long, since we’ll be going right back. Hahaha oh well. At least it’ll be fun. πŸ™‚

Throughout all of that I took a short break from running. I got right back at it today though! I just did a slow and easy 2 miles since I still feel really full and sluggish after all of that food, and slightly dehydrated, but other than that it did feel pretty good to get out and moving a little bit! And I’m thinking tomorrow will feel even better now that I’ve re-hydrated a bit and have eaten actual fruits and veggies. πŸ˜‰

Now then, I’ve got some roasted Brussel sprouts, potatoes, and a veggie burger patty that I’m about to go devour! πŸ˜‹

Happy Holidays!!

~ Ashley

Christmas Came Early This Year!!

Actually, Christmas kinda comes early every year for my husband and I. You see, we are both terrible at waiting to give each other gifts. πŸ˜‚ I guess we just get too excited about it and we always end up exchanging Christmas gifts early. But honestly it works out well, because we are never home for Christmas anyway. Usually we’re in Illinois with our family.

So yesterday everything we had gotten each other was here and ready yesterday, so we opened Christmas gifts last night. Hahaha you know, just some random Sunday night in the middle of December with no significant meaning or anything. We’re both just incredibly impatient.

After receiving a bag of Picky Oats, a Kurt Cobain Funko POP, a “fuck mug”, and fuzzy cow socks from my husband, I gotta say the man knows me very well! πŸ˜‚

Seriously though, this is the BEST coffee mug ever!! It’s legit my new favorite thing. Hahaha it just makes me so happy. πŸ˜„

Unfortunately I am poor, so all he got from me was a cup. Granted it’s a fancy, monogrammed, whiskey drinking cup. Which he is very into. Hahaha but apparently we were on the same page this year because we both got neat cups for some of our favorite beverages. I guess great minds really do think alike! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, we also had a very holly jolly time on Saturday! Luke took me (and Dean πŸ˜‰) out to a couple of different Christmas light displays! First we went to one that’s really more of a light show. You park in this parking lot of some kind of activity center and tune your radio to a specific station so that the music syncs up with the lights. It is pretty cool! But we didn’t stay long because the second place we went is more fun! Haha well, I think so anyway.

Our next destination was Sar Ko Par Trails Park. We actually went there last year to look at Christmas lights as well! We’ve never been there in the daytime though. But the park is BEAUTIFUL this time of year. They string up almost every tree around this little lake with Christmas lights. It is amazing!

So we walked around the lake a couple of times, just enjoying the lights and taking a bunch of pictures haha. We brought Dean with us because he’s a good boy (actually out of all of our dogs he just does the best around large groups of people and there were A LOT of people there), so I took a bunch of Christmas-y pictures of him. Hahaha and after seeing other dogs there I was just ridiculously proud of how well he behaved. Several times I dropped his leash and told him to sit/stay while I took pictures and he did’t move a muscle until I told him to. But anyway, he seemed to have a lot of fun being somewhere new, getting to smell different things, and not having 3 other dogs with him.

Luke was also a very good sport! He’s not big into Christmas, or taking selfies, or wandering aimlessly around a park at night, but he put up with all of that for me without a single word of complaint. He is the best! πŸ™‚

Oh a man, that was such a fun night!! β€οΈπŸ’š

Then today we received packages from my grandparents in Illinois and Luke’s mom in Minnesota! So we’re going to be calling her, opening those, and continuing on with the Christmas fun later tonight! 😁

I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season!!

~Ashley