Tag Archives: road trip

The Stanley Hotel and Rocky Mountain National Park

My dad and I had us some adventures yesterday!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But alrighty! That’s all for now!

Happy Friday!

~Ashley πŸ—»πŸŒ²β„οΈπŸ˜Š

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Hello Again, Colorado!

It’s race week!!

Destination race week really! I’ve never done a destination race or “racecation” before so I’m pretty excited!

Anyway, my brother had some stuff to do in Illinois which worked out pretty well for me! Yesterday he drove from Illinois to my house in Kansas and then stayed the night. Then this morning I did all of my usual chores, especially the ones pertaining to the animals πŸ˜‰, then we packed up his work van and hit the road to Colorado!

This isn’t even everything I packed. Hahaha I kinda brought an excessive amount of stuff with me. But at least I’m prepared for pretty much any situation! πŸ˜‰

Our drive was mostly uneventful. We didn’t stop anywhere outside of a few rest areas and gas stations so we made pretty decent time at first. Hahaha every time my dad and I make the trip either to Colorado from Kansas or to Kansas to Colorado we end up stopping several places so we end up taking a lot longer. Our record is 16 hours for what should be around a 10 hour drive. πŸ˜‚ My brother an I would have made it in 10 hours if it wasn’t for the blizzard.

The super scenic views of western Kansas. πŸ˜‚

Really though it’s a good thing that we didn’t do much dicking around. Several people warned us that we were in for some bad weather and they were right! The farther west we got the colder it got, and not too long after crossing the Kansas/Colorado state line it started raining and snowing off and on.

Hahaha of course we had to stop at Colorado’s welcome sign. πŸ˜‰

My sister who lives in Colorado Springs warned us that the Denver area was expecting a pretty bad blizzard. She told us that all of the flights out of the Denver airport were canceled. My dad basically runs several FedEx terminals and he told us that they probably weren’t going to have drivers out running tonight either. So yeah, they were expecting it to get pretty bad. And of course I kept getting alerts for it on my phone. πŸ˜‚

For a while there was actually a decent amount of snow on the ground! And it was blowing around so sometimes everything was just super white. It was kinda crazy, but honestly not too terrible. But the farther we went the more snow that was on the ground.

It did really start snowing about an hour out from our destination. Things got a little bit iffy at that point. It was just s snowy, icy, slushy mess. It was pretty gross for a while, but eventually it did get a little bit better.

We made it though! And my dad had a bunch of food waiting for us. πŸ˜„

Hahaha so the most fun part of this trip is watching the altimeter on my Garmin steadily go up. It’s super amusing. πŸ˜‚

Hahaha but anyway, we made it. My dads dog Niko was super duper excited to see me, and now I’m just hanging out with my dad.

Happy Wednesday!

~Ashley

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. 😊

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. πŸ˜‚

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! 😊

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. πŸ˜‰ 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! πŸŒ±πŸ…πŸ₯¬πŸ“πŸ₯¦πŸ‘πŸŽƒ

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. πŸ˜‚

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. πŸ˜‰

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! 😁 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. πŸ˜‚ 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

Thursday Things

Ashley’s continuing saga of slowly but surely getting her terrible teeth taken care of had yet another chapter today! (Yeah, I don’t know why I’m talkings I’m 3rd person. I’m gonna stop now. πŸ˜‚)

My 3rd root canal is officially finished as of this morning! I went to the dentist again and I got the temperature crown taken off, the permanent crown put on, and a regular cleaning for good measure. πŸ˜„ I’ve still got more work that needs done on my teeth. Like a lot. But at least I’m one step closer to having a healthier mouth. Plus this time I didn’t need 8 million shots of novocaine so I left this dental appointment with feeling in my face. That was definitely nice. πŸ˜‚

I’m glad that’s done. Maybe later this year I’ll get some more work on my teeth done. It really just depends on how much insurance Luke and I have left and if we’re able to save up some more money for it. Oh man don’t even get me started on how terrible the health care/dental care system in the US is just completely fucked. Because it is…

Anyway, let’s talk about some more sun stuff shall we? 😊

So, my chickens are laying much much much more consistently now! Obviously that’s to be expected as they’re much more mature now and now that the weather is getting warmer and the days a little longer. But it’s still pretty exciting!!

Right now I have about 2 and a half dozen eggs. We are officially at the point that we aren’t able to eat a of the eggs that they’re laying. I’ve given some to my brother-in-law and to my neighbors, but at this point I think I could start selling some. Luke isn’t sure that we actually have enough chickens for that, but I don’t see why we couldn’t sell a carton of eggs every week or so. Obviously that’s not a lot, but hey, it’s something!

My chickens lay very pretty eggs. πŸ₯šπŸ“πŸ˜Š

I plan on bringing some to Colorado to my dad and brother when I go there. That’s coming up soon! I’ll be headed there in around 10 or 11 days. Something like that. πŸ˜‰

My dad has planned out some hikes he wants to take me on and then that weekend we’ll be doing our trail race! We’re both pretty excited about that! Even though I think it’s gonna be a total suffer fest. πŸ˜‚ The course description includes phrases like “steep hills”, “rocky gully”, and “rugged Jeep trail”. Yeah, I’m not sure how this road runner is gonna handle all of that. Plus the whole being at altitude thing. That’s definitely not going to help. Still though, it’ll be a good time and the mountain views should be totally worth it! 😁

The view of Long’s Peak (I think? I’m probably wrong) from near where my dad lives. This isn’t where the race is though, it’s actually 5 hours away from here. πŸ˜‚ But it’s supposed to be super pretty there too.

So yeah, I’m pretty excited to hang out with my dad, brother, and their Russian bear dog, Niko. Maybe even my sisters too if we have time! They live about 2 hours away from my dad and brother in Colorado. I don’t get to see them very often since they all live 11 hours away from Luke and I.

Hahaha last time I stayed with my dad Niko was super excited to see me, but at night he wouldn’t let me sleep on the couch in the living room! That asshole would just stare at me and growl. One night he even cornered me in the kitchen. Having a 140 pound dog corner you like that is kinda scary. Pretty much every night I was there my brother had to come save me and then let me sleep in his room. πŸ˜‚ Niko’s just weird. πŸ™„ He can be sweet though.

Niko and I on Rabbit Mountain in 2016

Anyway, I’ll keep you all updated on my next set of Colorado adventures as they come! 😊

So yeah, that’s pretty much what’s going on in my world at the moment. Nothing too terribly exciting yet, but that’s life sometimes. More exciting stuff is on the way though. Obviously I’ve got the trail race coming up soon. In May I’ve got a 5k to look forward to, along with starting our garden. Hopefully it’ll do better this year than it did last year! But last summer was pretty brutal as far as weather goes. It was crazy hot and we barely had any rain and my poor garden suffered because of it. But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what this year brings.

As far as running goes I’ve just been kinda grinding away. If you keep up with my weekly recaps you probably already knew that. πŸ˜‰ I haven’t been doing anything glamorous or sexy, but oh man I feel like I’m making some real progress! I feel like I’m running stronger and more constantly than I ever have before! It’s a really awesome feeling. I think 2019 is already shaping up to be a great year for me! Well, running-wise at least. We’ll see about the rest of it.

I can’t really go into too much detail about certain things, but life has just been kinda crazy. Weird things are going on with my family. And just…I don’t know. Things I can’t talk about here. It’s just kinda messy. But life can be that way sometimes. Inevitable it’ll get worked through, one way or another.

Alrighty then! Not exactly a super duper awesome place to end things, but that’s all I’ve got for today! πŸ˜‚

I hope everyone has happy Thursday and a fantastic weekend!

Until next time,

~Ashley

Thursday Things

Hello friends!!

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

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

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

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

So let’s get right into it!

Team ROAD iD!

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

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

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

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

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

road.id/ashley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But I think that’s enough for today!

Happy Friday Eve!

~Ashley

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

Hello 2019! I’ve sure got some big goals for you!! πŸ₯³πŸŽ‰

I haven’t really gotten right down to work this week though. πŸ˜‚ 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. 😁

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 πŸ˜‚), 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. πŸ˜‚

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 πŸ˜‚), 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!! 😊

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. πŸ˜‚

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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‚ 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! 😊

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. β„οΈπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜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. πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ˜‚ It was a good time though! 😁

Bubbles snuggled with me throughout most of it, but here she is on our pile of couch blankets. 😹

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. πŸ˜‚ 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. πŸ˜‚ I felt like I needed it though. πŸ˜‰

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. 😁

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. πŸ˜‚ 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. πŸ˜πŸ’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! πŸ˜‰).

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! Now let’s get back at it! πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

~Ashley

2018 Highlights Of The Year

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

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

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

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

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

January

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

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

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

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

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

February

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

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

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

March

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

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

April

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

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

May

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

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

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

June

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

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

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

July

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

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

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

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

August

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

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

September

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

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

October

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

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

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

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

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

November

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

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

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

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

December

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was a busy Christmas, but a good one.

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

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

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

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

Your happy, nostalgic, slightly sappy, blogger friend,

~Ashley