Tag Archives: Dogs

January 12th, 2019

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

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

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

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

Hahaha yeah, that didn’t happen. πŸ˜‚

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

img_8527

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

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

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

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

img_8555

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

img_8554

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

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

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

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

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

~Ashley

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

Weekly Recap: December 24th-30th, 2018

Holy cow this week has been a crazy one!! But Christmas will definitely do that!!

Luke and I were in Illinois until Wednesday night, visiting family for the holiday, so things have been a bit hectic around here. I didn’t run until Thursday this week! πŸ˜‚ It’s all good though, my one and only goal for this week was to enjoy Christmas. Mission accomplished on that front!!

You can read more about our Christmas adventures here, because I don’t want to repeat myself too much. Since I’ve already kinda gone over all of that I won’t be getting too much into it all again. πŸ˜‰

Monday:

Christmas Eve! Yay!!

Luke and I woke up at 3 am to drive from Kansas to Illinois so that we would get there early enough to see his dad for a little bit before after he got off work but before had to go to bed (he’s been working midnights lately). And we did! Hahaha oh man, after being awake at 3 am and driving for 5 hours, Monday was a LONG day. We still had fun though. 😊

Tuesday:

Merry Christmas!! πŸ¦ŒπŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ„πŸŽπŸͺ🍷

Another very hectic day, running all around our old stomping grounds, trying to see and participate in as much family festivities as possible! I like to think we did a pretty good job of that. 😊 Oh, and there was SO MUCH FOOD! Hahaha it was great. πŸ˜‹ We definitely had a very good Christmas.

Wednesday:

We finally made our way back home Wednesday afternoon after eating yet another large lunch with one of Luke’s grandmas. We got home around 5:30 pm, but instead of getting to relax after our hectic few days we had to unload the truck, put away all of our Christmas gifts, take care of all of the animals, go grocery shopping, and then clean up the house. Once all of that was taken care of we had a couple of hours to kick back and chill before we went to bed.

This photo is actually from Christmas, but my father-in-law got me this wearable blanket/Snuggie kinda thing for Christmas and I love it! Hahaha I’ve been wearing it pretty much non stop. 😁

Thursday:

  • 2 miles
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Woohoo! Finally got a run in!!

It wasn’t a great run though. After sleeping on a pull out couch, eating a bunch of yummy but not so healthy food and not drinking nearly enough water, this run was kinda tough! It felt really good to get out there and get moving though! Especially after spending 5 hours in the car the day before. Sleeping in my own bed was also pretty great. 😊

Friday:

  • 4.5 miles

Another tough run. Still got about 2 miles of some decent interval work done during this run though. I’m feeling kinda out of shape, but after all of the events that have unfolded this week thats really not surprising. πŸ˜‚ I’m not worried about it though. While it is pretty easy to lose fitness in running, it’s not too terribly difficult to regain some of it in a relatively short time frame. Especially if you’ve been running for a while. πŸ˜‰

Saturday:

  • Rest day
  • 30 minutes of yoga

A rest day? Really Ashley?? After only 2 days of running? πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚

Really I just needed a break. After all of the Christmas craziness I just needed a day to sit back, relax, and spend some time by myself. Especially since we’ll be back in Illinois in a couple of days. Honestly though I just did the resting and relaxing thing in the morning. I also spent some time working on blog posts that you’ll be seeing here in the next couple of days. I spent the rest of the day putting away all of my Christmas decorations and cleaning the house. Honestly it felt really good doing that. 😁

Sunday:

  • 3 treadmill miles

I am literally the most awkward treadmill runner ever. πŸ˜‚ Hahaha oh well, still squeezed in 3 miles for today. The rest of my day has been dedicated to getting ready to drive back to Illinois for New Year’s Eve.

That brings my total weekly mileage to a whopping 9.5 miles. πŸ˜‚ Honestly I’m happy I got any running done this week! It’s been a hectic one!

Wishing everyone a happy New Year’s Eve Eve! πŸ˜‰

~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

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

Friday’s Luke Adventure

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meet Whiskey, Finn’s future girlfriend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Ashley

img_5524