Category Archives: everyday life

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

Advertisements

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.

img_8762

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!

img_7925

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.

img_7889

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.

Processed with Rookie Cam

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.

img_7912-1

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.

img_7915

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

More November Fun

Ah November. It’s one on my most favorite months of the year. Mostly because we’ve always got a lot going on this month and I think it’s a lot of fun!! 😁

One of the reasons November is so much fun is because it’s my birthday month!!! Hahaha I was born exactly half way into November, on the 15th back in 1991. So I turned 27 this year. Yay!πŸ₯³

Haha so my father-in-law always pick out weird/funny cards to send me for my birthday. Last year’s was a cat shooting lasers out of its eyes to light the candles on a birthday cake. Haha it’s still hanging up on my fridge actually. πŸ˜‚ I thought that one was gonna be hard to beat, but this year’s was a flying kitten with rainbows and stuff. It was great.

Anyway, Luke is the best and got me a believe Training journal. I’ve wanted one of these for a while and I’m really stoked about it! It’s so neat and full of all sorts of awesome stuff! I can’t wait to start using it!! Hahaha I’m gonna wait to start filling it out until December though.

Ugh it’s so pretty!!! 😍😍😍 Plus I finally found a good use for a bunch of the stickers that have come in my monthly StrideBoxes. I’ve had a huge stack of them just collecting in my drawer, but I thought this was a good place to put them. Along with a good ol Honey Stinger sticker and a fortune cookie fortune. 😁

Luke also got me Chinese food for my birthday dinner, because that’s kind of a tradition for me. Even from when I was a little kid I always wanted Chinese food for my birthday. It was a great birthday dinner. 😊 No cake though. I’ve never been a big cake person. Hahaha when I was a kid my grandma used to make me giant batches of rice crispy treats instead of birthday cakes. I’ve also had cookie cakes, pies, cheesecake, and ice cream cakes (which is kinda weird for a November birthday πŸ˜‚), instead of normal cake. I wasn’t really feeling dessert this year though, which is weird for me. But I was really into the Chinese food.

Anyway, the day after my birthday I found out about a 5k/10k turkey trot on Thanksgiving Day that gives out while pumpkin pies to all of the finishers. So of course I signed up for the 5k. πŸ¦ƒπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ I’ve never done a turkey trot until this year, and of course I’m an overachiever about it and have ended up doing two. πŸ˜‚ Well, signing up for two at this point. But there’s no way I’m not gonna finish a 3.1 mile turkey trot.

Anyway, while signing up I also bought a sweet turkey hat, to go along with my spiffy turkey trot Zensah compression socks, and Gobbler Grind hoodie. So I’m gonna be all turkey’d out for this race! Well, my hoodie doesn’t have a turkey on it, it just says “Gobbler Grind Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k, and 5k”. But I think it still counts. πŸ¦ƒπŸ˜Š

Not the best photo, but you get the point. πŸ˜‰

So yeah, I’m super duper excited about that! I’ve never done a turkey trot on Thanksgiving Day before because Luke and I usually travel to either Colorado or Illinois to be apart of one of our families Thanksgiving’s. But both of our dads work on Thanksgiving this year, so we decided to save some money and just stay home and do our own Thanksgiving.

We might end up doing something with my brother-in-law, his girlfriend, and her kids. But they always want us to come to their apartment and Luke and I aren’t to keen on that idea. We’re both crazy excited to be out of our apartment (for going on 4 years now 😁) and we enjoy having more space that’s all our own. Plus they vape inside their apartment and I just can’t handle that. Those things destroy my lungs… And we have a backyard their dogs could run around in, but whatever. If they don’t want to come to our house we’ll probably just stay home and do our own thing.

Okey dokey, enough about Thanksgiving for now. I ran today!!! Hahaha I was very resigned to take at least a week off from running after my races last weekend and I mean, I kinda made it. πŸ˜‚ But oh man, my life is an absolute wreck when I don’t have running and the routine that it keeps me in. So I HAD to run today.

I only did 1 super easy mile, but apparently that was enough to get me back on track. Ever since I started my little break I’ve been eating like shit and sitting around being an absolute lazy and unproductive lump of a human being. Now, I’m a firm believer that sometimes doing things like that is necessary. But at this point I feel like I’ve gotten a bit out of hand with it. πŸ˜‚ But like I said, my super short run this morning helped. πŸ˜„

It’s pretty crazy how tired, lazy, and out of it NOT running can make a person feel! I know a break is necessary, but yesterday I felt like shit. That’s when I decided that I absolutely NEEDED to run. Even if it was only a super short 1 mile run. 😊

Whew! Anyway, more photos from the Gobbler Grind Half were posted online last night. Of course I appreciate free race photos, but I’m really disappointed about how terrible the quality of all of the photos are. legit could have taken better pictures with my phone. In fact, my dad and I DID take better photos with our phones.They had legit photographs with DSLR cameras, so I’m not sure what happened here…

I mean, they aren’t awful. But I still feel like I could have handed someone my phone and ended up with a much better quality photo. oh well. At least they’re free!

But let’s just compare them to this photo taken at Longview. I cropped this one A LOT and it’s still a much better quality. Plus photos from Longview were free as well.

Anyways, that’s all for now. I hope everyone has a super Saturday!

~Ashley

Back Home!!

Haha alright, that title is slightly misleading. We’ve been back since Sunday night, but I haven’t had a chance to write a blog post because on Sunday we were EXHAUSTED and very happy to be back home, then yesterday I was busy catching up on chores and absolutely enjoying the wonderful weather we’ve been having. πŸ˜„

On our drive back home to Kansas from Illinois the temperature started hardcore dropping. In Illinois we were somewhere in the low 50’s, about half way through Missouri it got down to the low 40’s and started raining pretty bad, and then of course it kept raining all through the rest of Missouri and into Kansas. By the time we got home it was in the high 30’s and still drizzling. Not gonna lie, I loved it! Haha although we really do need things to dry off here. We’ve gotten waaay yo much rain lately.

So yesterday was chilly, sunny, and absolutely gorgeous!!! It felt like 26 degrees when I went out for my run, so I was actually able to break out my winter running gear! Haha I was a little bit too stoked about that. πŸ˜‚ Yesterday’s Run was supposed to be an easy one, since I am still getting over a cold, but my legs felt speedy and I just kinda went with it. Oh man, it was probably one of the most fun runs I’ve done in a long while. If this is the kind of weather I get for my half marathons (although a little cloud cover would be nice for those) I’ll be the worlds happiest camper!!

It was actually colder this morning than it was yesterday! Woke up to the high 20’s and there was frost on the ground! I honestly cannot tell you the last time we got frost in October! The last several years have brought some really warm falls, so I’m crazy excited that so far this one has been pretty chilly!

While it was colder this morning it did warm up a little bit faster than yesterday and I got out for my run a little bit later. That’s not a big deal though and one of the reasons I love this weather! I can run comfortably at any time of day and not feel like I’m having a heat stroke. πŸ˜‚ Seriously, summer running is crazy hard for me and something I really struggle with. I’m so glad that it’s over! 😊😊😊

Anyway, today’s run wasn’t as glorious as yesterday’s. I was feeling a little bit sluggish and had to take a snack break about halfway through. πŸ˜‚ The weather was still really nice though!

So yeah, I’m currently a very happy camper! It’s looking like the weather is going to stay this way for a while which is great! I’ve got another big long run on Saturday and the nice weather will make it just a little bit more enjoyable. πŸ˜‚

Anyways, that’s all for now! Luke and I are about to go get us some groceries!

Happy Tuesday!

~Ashley

Yet Another Trip To Illinois

We finally got a chance to make another trip to Illinois!! We were originally going to go two weekends ago, but this weekend ended up working out a lot better for several reasons. One reason being that Luke got today off from work. He gets every other Friday off which is pretty spiffy! And it always works out really well to travel to places after Luke gets off from work on Thursday, so that’s what we did yesterday! But before we did that, of course I had to run! πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‰

It was absolutely gorgeous on Thursday morning! The sun was finally out after almost 3 days of basically non stop rain (that was pretty awful… and you know it’s bad when I’m saying that, because I love raining weather. πŸ˜‚), it was a cool and crips 41 degrees, the trees are starting to change colors, it was great!

It was so perfect and I loved it!!

So earlier this week I had actually planned on doing my long run on Thursday morning, since I knew we’d be heading to Illinois this weekend, but Luke brought home a bug from work. And of course he didn’t get sick, but I definitely started to come down with it… So since I wasn’t feeling so great I just went out to see what I could do on Thursday. I made it 3 miles before I knew it was time to be done. So it kinda sucks that I didn’t get in my long run like I wanted to, but at least I got something done. πŸ™‚

It’s actually a good thing I didn’t go any longer than that though. Luke ended up leaving work earlier than he’d originally planned, so by the time he got home I had actually gotten everything I needed to done before we left. So that did end up working pretty well! I was showered, dressed, had all of the animals taken care of, and everything packed and ready to go by the time he got home. Go me! 😁

So once Luke got home he changed, and then we were able to pack up the truck and hit the road! This time around we only brought Whiskey with us. My brother-in-law is taking care of the rest of our critters for us.

Whiskey did really well on her first road trip! Haha she actually slept for almost all 5 hours of it, so that was good. We stopped at a rest area about 3 hours in so that she could pee. She did really well with that! She didn’t have any accidents in the truck, but went right away when we stopped. So far this dog has been the easiest dog I’ve EVER potty trained. It’s crazy!

Anyway, since we ended up leaving home earlier that planned we ended up getting caught in good ‘ol St. Louis rush hour traffic . It was stop and go for quite a while and it was pretty obnoxious haha. It got better once we got across the Mississippi River though.

We finally got to my grandma’s house right around 7 pm. Just in time for my mom’s birthday dinner! Yesterday was her birthday, so it was pretty nice that I got to be there for that! Obviously she was super stoked about that! πŸ˜„ Haha and her little dog Bella was very happy to see me too. πŸ˜‰

Luke hung around for a little bit so that my grandma and mom could meet Whiskey. My uncle’s dog Luther was making her kinda nervous, but she did enjoy meeting some new people! Luke wanted her to meet his dad and brothers too, so he took her to his dad’s house last night and that’s where they stayed the night.

(Sorry that these photos aren’t in a nice little collage. I did this all on my phone. πŸ˜‰)

Haha not gonna lie though, it was kinda nice getting a break from the new puppy. I was able to eat my dinner without having a little puppy trying to steal all of my food! πŸ˜‚And it’s not like I could be too lonely, Luther really likes me and cuddled with slept with me last night.

So this morning Luke and his dad went fishing. They took his dad’s boat out to a lake and Whiskey got to go with them. Last night Luke bought her a little sweater so she wouldn’t get too cold out on the water. It was another chilly day in the Midwest. It was 40 this morning. But apparently she did really well on the boat, so that’s good. Haha she’s just been experiencing all sorts of new stuff in the week we’ve had her.

So while they were out fishing, I was hanging out with my mom and grandma. Not super exciting stuff, but still nice. I made THE BEST oatmeal for breakfast haha. It wasn’t super healthy, but I couldn’t resist adding some chocolate chips and sprinkles to my breakfast. πŸ˜‚

Later this afternoon my mom had to go babysit her friend’s daughter, so Luke and I went to his grandma’s house to visit. She got to meet the puppy for the first time and she was thrilled! So we actually ended up staying there for a while and she made us chilli for dinner. It was perfect for the cold/drizzly day we’re experiencing here in Illinois. 😊

Haha so I’ve had two really big “grandma meals” since we’ve been here. Luke was joking that I’m going to gain weight if I keep going to grandma’s houses. And I mean, he’s probably right! πŸ˜‚ But how do you turn down grandma’s cooking?!? You just can’t!

Anyway after that Luke brought me back to my grandma’s, and of course the first thing she did when I got home was offer me food. πŸ˜‚ I politely decline. I’m stuffed!

So Whiskey is staying with us tonight and she’s really been enjoying playing with my uncle’s dog. Unfortunately he’s super loud, likes to bark, and was driving us all crazy. But at least they’re all having fun.

Alrighty, that’s all for today!

Tomorrow Luke and I are going to be going to his other grandma’s birthday party so that should be fun!

Happy Friday!!

~Ashley