Tag Archives: family

Upcoming Adventures

Things have been kinda quite around here lately! Aside from some chicken drama we haven’t really had much going on since Christmas time. That’s going to change here very shortly though! This spring is going to be a busy one and I’m pretty excited about sone of the things that are going to go down and the adventures that are going to be had!

First on my list is my upcoming trip to Colorado! That’s this week actually!

So currently, the plan is my brother is driving here from Illinois to pick me up and bring me to Colorado with him (Luke and I only have one vehicle and obviously he’ll need that to go to and from work, so this was the option that worked best for everyone). I’m not sure what my dad has planned for the week, but on Saturday we’re going to be driving from Longmont to Fruita (about a 5 hour drive) and then do some hiking there. Then we’re going to stay at a motel there and then on Sunday is the Desert Rats 10k trail race that we’re doing together. After that my dad and I will head back to Kansas where obviously I live and he might stay the night, and then he needs to to take care of some stuff in Illinois so that kinda works out well for him.

We’re planning on squeezing in as much fun as possible in the short amount of time I’m there and I’m sure we will! I’m very much looking forward to spending some more time in Colorado. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Views while hiking up Rabbit Mountain with Luke and my brother on Thanksgiving of 2017

Next on the agenda is the Running With The Cows 5k! I’ve done this race twice now and I absolutely love it! One day I’ll end up doing the half marathon. Once I get over my fear of racing in warm weather. ๐Ÿ˜‚

So this is coming up on May 11th and my dad is doing this one with me as well!

I’m not sure when he plans on coming here from Colorado for that, but no matter when he does I’m sure we’ll end up having lots of fun! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Running With The Cows 5k, 2018

Later in May one of my brother-in-laws graduates from high school so Luke and I will be driving to Minnesota for that! We’ve been going on vacations in the summer with Luke’s mom’s side of the family so we actually haven’t even been up to Minnesota since 2015! Crazy stuff!!

So aside from celebrating the new high school grad I’m not sure what all is going down while we’re there but I’m sure it will involve some fun stuff! Last time we were there we went to Itasca State Park. That was super cool! Especially for a group of people who all used to (and a couple still do) live near the Mississippi in Illinois!

Unfortunately no running events will be taking place while we’re in Minnesota. Hahahaha that would have been fun though! Maybe I’ll look up some races and see if I can swing one while we’re there. ๐Ÿ˜‰ honestly though there probably won’t be time for that.

Itasca State Park, October 2015

Alrighty, so those are the big ones coming up soon! Of course we’ve got all sorts of smaller adventures along the way. Like starting our garden for instance. Now that spring is finally here we’ll be getting that started soon! I’m very excited about that. I wanna grow ALL OF THE THINGS! ๐ŸŒฑ๐Ÿ…๐Ÿฅฌ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿฅฆ๐Ÿ‘๐ŸŽƒ

And I’m sure at some point we’ll be making our way back to Illinois again. Another of my brother-in-laws girlfriend just had their baby on March 19th. That’s kind of a whole thing, but I’m sure Luke’s dad will convince him to come meet her before too long. I mean, she is our first…”official” (for lack of a better term.) niece.

Hahaha Luke’s whole side of the family is a little bit confusing and I’m not about to get into all of that here. But we do already have a couple of nephews and a niece on his mom’s side. They just aren’t directly related to Luke. But this new baby is like for reals related to him. So “official” sure. But not our first niece or nephew or relative of that sort. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Anyway, right now that covers the majority of the races I’m doing this year. For now. There’s always the possibility that more might be added to the schedule though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But for now there are only two other races on tap for 2019; the Longview Half and the Gobbler Grind Half, which I’ll be doing with my dad again. Jeez I’m beginning to think he likes this whole racing thing! ๐Ÿ˜ I’m currently trying to convince him to do Longview with me too, but that one is the day before the Gobbler Grind. Yeah, I’m trying that again. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But anyway, he’ll be coming back to Kansas again for that. We had an absolute blast running it last year!

So, will I be seeing any of you guys there on November 10th?!?

This is such a fun race held in Overland Park Kansas! I can’t say that the whole course is super pretty because it is in a pretty big city and I ain’t a about that life, but a lot of the course is on a super pretty paved trail that follows a nice little creek. I actually used to run on parts of the course all of the time back when Luke and I lived in an apartment in Overland Park so I thought that was super cool!!

And don’t even get me started on the volunteers! They were the best!!

If you’re looking for a fun half marathon in the Kansas City area I can’t recommend this one enough! And of course you can use my code GG19AD to get $20 off of your entry fee!

http://gobblergrindmarathon.com

Right now that comes out to be about 33% off, but once the price increase my discount stays the same at $20, so if you wanna save a little extra money now is the time to register!

I hope to see you there!!!

So yeah, I’m pretty excited about my upcoming adventures! Both in the near future and the ones happening later this year! Yay for exciting adventures!!

What about you? Got any fun adventures coming up soon?? I sure hope so!

But for now, I need to start packing!! Colorado here I come!!

~Ashley

Ya know, just me hanging out with an Elk on my last trip to Colorado, March 2018

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Gobbler Grind 2019 Ambassador

Yay!! I’m super excited to announce that I’ve been accepted as a Gobbler Grind race ambassador!!!

This is the half marathon that my dad and I did last November and had an absolute blast doing!!

This was seriously one of the most fun races I’ve ever done! I still can’t get over how freaking awesome all of the aid station volunteers were! They were legit the best out of any other race I’ve done! The course was also relatively pretty! ๐Ÿ˜Š

If you’re looking for an awesome half marathon to do in the Kansas City area this November I would definitely recommend this one!! Plus if you use my ambassador discount code, GG19AD, you can get $20 off of your entry fee! Right now that’s just about 33% off before the price increases, but once it does my discount will stay the same. So to save yourself a little extra money you should sign up ASAP!!

http://gobblergrindmarathon.com

Hahaha I’m already trying to convince my dad and one of my sisters to do it with me this year! ๐Ÿ˜‚ So will I be seeing any of you there?!? Again, you can use the code GG19AD to get $20 off your entry fee, here!!

Anyways, I’ve got some more exciting news to share with you guys but I can’t say anything until Monday, so be on the lookout for that!!

Ok, that’s all for now though!

Happy Thursday, everyone!!

~Ashley

Spring 2019 Races

I have officially got two races lined up for this year already! Hahaha that doesn’t exactly happen often. I don’t really race much and I’ve never had two races lined up this early in the year! ๐Ÿ˜Š Well, technically I was registered for both of these races in December before the price increase, but whatever. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After Christmas I had several Visa gift cards burning a hole in my pocket and I figured a race would be a good thing to spend one of them on, so I decided to do the Running With The Cows 5k on May 11th. I’ve done this 5k in 2016 and 2018 and absolutely LOVED it, so I figured why not do it again? Plus it’s only 15 minutes away from my house, so super convenient. ๐Ÿ˜

The 5k is really just an add on to the half marathon they have though. One day I’d like to do the Running With The Cows half, but last year it was pretty hot and humid for May and I’m kinda terrified of doing a longer race on a hot day. Like, that’s one of my biggest fears. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Which is kinda dumb, because so far of done all of my half marathon training in the summer because I’ve always done my half marathoning in the fall. But I don’t know man, training in warm weather and actually racing in warm weather just seem like two very different things to me. Eventually though I am gonna suck it up and sign up for this half, but this is not that year. Besides, I just go to this race to pet the cows that they have there.๐Ÿ˜‰

I got to feed this mama cow last year! ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿ˜Š

Alrighty, so not a very exciting story about how I ended up registered for Running With The Cows, but how I ended up registered for another spring race is!

So on December 30th, the day before New Year’s Eve and two days before all of the price increases for race registrations, my dad and I had been texting back and forth for awhile. He had found these cool “Sloth Running Team” t-shirts and he sent me a picture of them. Well I said that we obviously needed them because they also say “we’ll get there when we get there” on them, which is something we said A LOT during the half marathon we did together in November. After that I got nothing but radio silence for about 5 minutes and then the next text I got from him was a screen shot of the order confirmation for two “Sloth Running Team” t-shirts. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Obviously I was pretty stoked about that. So I asked him what race are we running next? He had found this trail running festival thing in Colorado in April and wanted to do either the half or the 10k there. They also have a full marathon, 50k and a hundred miler (I think?). Luckily he didn’t want to do any of those. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Anyway, I wasn’t sure about going to that because it’s hard for me to leave my small petting zoo behind. Especially now that the chickens are laying eggs. Luke and I noticed that they don’t seem to like it when I’m gone. While we were in Illinois for Christmas and then New Year’s Eve we only got one egg each time we were gone and that was over a few days. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Poor chickens.

My hens are laying some really good looking eggs though! And theyโ€™re tasty too! ๐Ÿ˜Š

But I told my dad I’d talk to Luke about it and see what he thought. In the meantime, I told him that I was doing the Running With The Cows 5k again, which he and my mom actually spectated at in 2016, so he knows how neat this race is. After that I got more radio silence, and then a screen shot of his registration confirmation for Running With The Cows. ๐Ÿ˜‚

So the Sloth Running Team will be tackling another spring 5k together! Last March we did a Whiskey Run 5k together and I’m pretty sure that’s what go him hooked on the whole racing thing. Hahaha I’m ok with that though! That’s how we ended up doing a half marathon together in November. That was an absolute blast!!

Anyway, I talked to Luke about the trail running thing in Colorado. He said while it’s hard to deal with everything around here on top of him working, he could handle it if I wanted to go do one of these races. So I told my dad that I was going to be able to go and to send me a link to their website so I could register, and asked him exactly which race am he wanted to do because we hadn’t really figured that out. ๐Ÿ˜‚

We eventually decided to do the 10k because that was the shortest race at this festival thing. I live in Kansas at 862 feet above sea level, according to my Garmin. My dad lives at almost 5,000 feet above sea leaving in Longmont, CO and that elevation change is rough. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I found the elevation map for this race which is in Fruita, CO and it is to too terribly crazy, so that’s good. It’s still gonna be hard as hell though.

Anyway, we didn’t end up registering that day though. My dad wanted to talk to my brother and see if he wanted to do it with us. But at that point in our conversation my dad had to go to work, so I didn’t hear anything else from him until the next day.

In the midst of our New Year’s Eve festivities at Luke’s dad’s house I received yet another screenshot from my dad. This one was a registration confirmation for the Desert Rats Trail Festival 10k on Sunday April 14th (which is the day before the Boston Marathon. I’m not sure why that’s relevant, but that was my first thought ๐Ÿ˜‚), for the both of us.

See that fun fact? Yeah, thatโ€™s what my dad came up with for me. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

My brother didn’t want to do it, so it’s just gonna be the two of us again. Oh well, we have lots of fun doing these things together. My brother doesn’t know what he’s missing! ๐Ÿ˜‚

So yeah, that’s what I’ve got lined up for this year so far! I’m probably going to do another fall half marathon and at this point the only thing I’m really not sure about is weather or not I’m going to be doing it alone or if my dad will be with me. ๐Ÿ˜‚

But for now, this road runner who lives in Kansas is gonna have to figure out how the heck she’s gonna cover 6.2 miles on a trail in Colorado. I see lots of hill repeats in my future. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I’m also going to have to start getting used to running with my hydration pack again. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t actually need to carry any fluid with me on a 6 mile run. But the air is much more dry in Colorado, so I’m thinking it would be better to carry water with me. Especially since the aid stations at this event are pretty far apart.

Anyways, those are my plans for this spring! My year of big goals is already off to a good start and I can’t wait to see how my dad and I do in these two races!

Happy Tuesday!!

~Ashley

Weekly Recap: December 31st – January 6th, 2018-2019

Hello 2019! I’ve sure got some big goals for you!! ๐Ÿฅณ๐ŸŽ‰

I haven’t really gotten right down to work this week though. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Luke and I went back to Illinois for New Year’s Eve, and then he took the rest of the week off from work. So I was still caught in a bit of that weird holiday limbo this week. Although it has been a lot better than last week and I do feel like I’ve accomplished something. ๐Ÿ˜

Monday:

New Years Eve

On Sunday night Luke and I drove back to Illinois so we could hang out at his dad’s house for New Year’s Eve, and that we did! We spent Sunday night eating too much, staying up too late, and playing board games. Same for New Year’s Eve, except we stayed up even later (we finally went to bed at 3 am ๐Ÿ˜‚), lived solely on several different cheese dips, chips, little smokies, and alcohol. Whew, it was a crazy night, but a good one!

The dogs all passed out around 9:30 pm though. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Unfortunately we didn’t get to see anyone on my side of the family but my grandma and Uncle. But my siblings and dad are in Colorado and my mom is still in Illinois, but …well that situation is just really weird right now.

My dad and I are always texting back and forth though. I don’t remember exactly when, but at some point over the weekend he decided to do the Running With The Cows 5k with me this year (I’m not even sure if I mentioned that I’ve signed up for that here or not ๐Ÿ˜‚), so he signed up for that. Then he found some big trail running festival thing in Colorado that he wanted to go to, so he signed us both up for the 10k that’s being held that weekend. That event is in April and is about 5 hours away from where he lives, so we’re gonna drive there and then camp there all weekend. That should be fun!! ๐Ÿ˜Š

So I’m pretty stoked that I’ve already got two races lined up for 2019, but now I really need to get my ass in gear and start training for them. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Tuesday:

We hung out at Luke’s dad’s for a while on Tuesday, but that afternoon we went and visited his grandma for a little bit and then drove home that evening. It’s nice to go visit family, but holy cow is it exhausting!! We’re pretty much done with that for a while now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wednesday:

  • 2.5 miles

After our drive back from Illinois Tuesday evening, we spent Wednesday morning recuperating from New Year’s Eve and all of the driving. ๐Ÿ˜‚ It was ridiculously nice to sleep in our own bed that night.

In the afternoon I went out and ran a couple of miles. I probably could have and should have done more, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I was still feeling kinda bleh from all of the junk food, alcohol, and lack of sleep. But at least I got out and ran! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Anyway, I found $5 on my first run in 2019! I feel like that’s a good sign for this year! At least I sure hope so!

Thursday:

  • 4 miles

Was feeling a lot better on Thursday! My legs were kinda dead though. Probably from spending so much time in the truck earlier this week. Still pretty happy with the 4 miles I got done though. Plus it was nice and cold which is nice. โ„๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š

Friday:

  • Rest Day

Friday was the last day of Luke’s little vacation, so we had ourselves a little party for just the two of us. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Basically all we did on Friday was farm virtually (Luke playing Stardew Valley on his Switch and me playing Story Of Seasons: Trio Of Towns on my 3DS) while eating a ridiculous amount of snacks. I also baked cookies, so yeah, more snacks. ๐Ÿ˜‚ It was a good time though! ๐Ÿ˜

Bubbles snuggled with me throughout most of it, but here she is on our pile of couch blankets. ๐Ÿ˜น

Saturday:

  • 5 miles
  • 30 minutes of Pilates

Whew! Back to reality!

Apparently chips, queso dip, and chocolate chip cookie are fantastic running fuel because this run was pretty great!! Hahaha I thought it was gonna be horrible after all of those snacks on Friday. ๐Ÿ˜‚ My legs were still feeling kinda heavy, but other than that I felt pretty good! Even managed a few speedy intervals in the middle of this run that felt really good. Hahaha but those probably felt good because I also ate some a Honey Stinger chews in the middle of this run. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I felt like I needed it though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, after my run I cleaned out the chicken coop and collected two eggs for the day, cleaned around the house, showered, attempted and failed to nap (although just laying in bed for 30 minutes was nice), finished cleaning the house, did a piss ton of laundry, and then finally did some Pilates. It was a very productive day. ๐Ÿ˜

Sunday:

  • Rest Day

Yeah, yeah. ANOTHER rest day. But I’m trying to get back into the regular rhythm and flow of a usual week in my life, and Sundays are always my day off, so it made sense.

Anyway, spent my Sunday off dyeing my hair. Because my Sundays tend to be dedicated to hair upkeep nowadays, between dyeing it and using hair masks on it. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But it’s getting longer and it does require more work when it’s long. Plus this purple I’ve been using fades out super fast and I hate it. I need to get some more Manic Panic. That seems to work a lot better for me. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’œ

Alrighty! It’s been a crazy week! It was fun, but I’m ready to get back into a regular routine and to start training for some upcoming races this spring (be in the lookout for a post about that later in the week! ๐Ÿ˜‰).

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! Now let’s get back at it! ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

~Ashley

2018 Highlights Of The Year

Holy cow it’s the last day of the year!! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

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. ๐Ÿ˜

So I just wanted to look back month-by-month at all (or at least most ๐Ÿ˜‰) 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! ๐Ÿฅณ

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 Iโ€™m wearing in this photo. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‚). 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. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I though I might be a little bit rusty because I don’t really get to shoot anymore, but I did alright. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜

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 Pokรฉmon 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?!? ๐Ÿ˜‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰) 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! ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ˜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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I started putting some of it up that day! Luke wouldn’t let me start decorating outside until October though. ๐Ÿ˜‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜‚) 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. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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! โ˜น๏ธ 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!! ๐Ÿฆƒ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿฅง

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰) 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

The next day Luke and I ended up exchanging Christmas gifts because we’re both terrible at waiting to give gifts. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ That night me, Luke, and one of his brother’s stayed up playing this game on the Playstation. It got out of hand very quickly but it was a lot of fun haha.

It was a busy Christmas, but a good one.

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

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Oh man this post ended up being really long! Maybe I should have broken it up into two different posts. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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! ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Tuesday:

Merry Christmas!! ๐ŸฆŒ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ๐Ÿช๐Ÿท

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. ๐Ÿ˜Š Oh, and there was SO MUCH FOOD! Hahaha it was great. ๐Ÿ˜‹ 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 Iโ€™ve been wearing it pretty much non stop. ๐Ÿ˜

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. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Saturday:

  • Rest day
  • 30 minutes of yoga

A rest day? Really Ashley?? After only 2 days of running? ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜

Sunday:

  • 3 treadmill miles

I am literally the most awkward treadmill runner ever. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

~Ashley

Christmas Adventures

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

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

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

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

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

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That afternoon we headed over to one of Luke’s Grandma’s. We hung out there for a while, opened some presents, and got all caught up. That was nice. ๐Ÿ™‚ Once we were done there we went to my Grandma’s house. She and my uncle went all out and made a bunch of yummy food. My mom came over with her friend and we had a little party. After that Luke and I went back to his dad’s where we stayed the night.

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Me, my mom, and my grandma.

Everyone was up bright and early on Christmas morning! We had presents from Santa to open!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Apperently everyone was on Santa’s Nice List this year, because we all ended up with small piles of new stuff. Hahaha like I said, that side of the family takes Christmas very seriously. Obviously we all got a bunch of cool stuff, but I’m particularly fond of the wearable, blanket/snuggie type thing my father-in-law got me. It’s pretty freaking awesome! I was also given lots of socks and a pair of slippers, because they know I love socks and that my feet are always cold hahaha.

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After we cleaned up mountains of wrapping paper we all played with our gifts for a little bit while Luke’s dad made everyone breakfast. We didn’t get to hang out there for very long though, we had Luke’s other Grandma’s Christmas party to go to. The pile of gifts they had “under” their tree put my father-in-law’s to shame! Hahaha seriously, this side of the family goes ALL OUT for Christmas! Plus they have all of their kids, grand kids, siblings, uncles, aunts, and an assortment of other people over for Christmas. So there’s always a lot going on, but it’s always nice to get to hang out together. A lot of us don’t get to see each other very often so Christmas is usually when we get to catch up with everyone. We were there for quite a while doing just that, eating a HUGE lunch, and then opening gifts. That always takes up quite a bit of time, but it’s fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜‚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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now then, I’ve got some roasted Brussel sprouts, potatoes, and a veggie burger patty that I’m about to go devour! ๐Ÿ˜‹

Happy Holidays!!

~ Ashley