Monday, August 24, 2009

Deals, Deals, Deals

I needed to post this, because as a decent female human being, it's essential to pass along great sales!! DejaVu is a local high end consignment store in Tulsa. They generally only carry popular styles, brands, and only lightly worn items! Twice a year, they hold a special sale, called the "Fill-a-bag" special. Everything from spring and summer is clearanced...anything you can fit in a "wal-mart sized bag"
[which they provide] is
ONLY $10....You can't beat deals like that! The catch is you can't use dressing rooms, shirts and jackets can be tried on over your clothes but jeans and slacks, you just have to hope they work...of course, I just plan to get a size larger and have them tailored...because this deal can't be beat!! I am so excited. My co-worker, who is a regular at these specials, said you need to be there as soon as they open at 8am. I plan to get a nice light breakfast at Panera (next door) before heading over at 8...anyone want to join me???? If you do, either comment on this blog or on my facebook page so that I can be on the lookout for you...Sales like this make me 'giddy' happy!! :-) Hope to see you there!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another meaning for D-Day....

So much has been going on lately and while this "self-induced" stress is MUCH better than the stress I would have been complaining about a year ago, it's still STRESS! The girls at work have been giving me a hard time about school (I am, in fact, attending the same university that I work at, so I guess I deserve it) and about my impending "D-Day"...which is why I vote that we come up with a new meaning, because the butterflies in my stomach definitely don't need any additional work! That being said, I am nervous and excited about it all. I hope that through this whole graduate school endeavor that I also become better at time management, planning and organizing my day, and not being so..ahem..lazy when I AM at home. I know, rest is important, but sometimes I use the fact that "I need rest" as an excuse not to do the piles of laundry, dishes, and vacuuming that need to be done in my home. I believe in living by a spirit of excellence, but you might not know that if you walked into my home today. So, now that you know, don't be offended if you drop by and we sit in the front yard, HA!!!

In addition to the above mentioned stress, I am forcing myself to start running again. While I have continued to work-out this summer, I really haven't lost any pounds, and before anyone tries to explain how "inches mean more than pounds and muscle weighs more than fat" don't bother...I still have 20 POUNDS I want to lose, regardless of the previously mentioned statements!! SO I am adding RUNNING back into the mix...I really don't LIKE running, I just know it produces results. I am nervous about this too...I haven't run more than a mile here and there since the 5K I did in, it's NOT going to be fun for the first couple of work-outs. I am easing back into it but I still haven't forgotten how hard it is at first! The good news is that I got some AWESOME new running/aerobic shoes. It's like they were made for ME! They are the New Balance 1224 and they feel great on my feet, they are made for people with...ahem..."fallen arches" and have added heel and arch support not to mention the stabilizers on the upper part to help with my "overpronation" problems (also caused by my "fallen arches"). I hope they feel as awesome when running as they sound on paper and in reviews. I used them in my group classes yesterday and did have a little numbness, but I am not giving up. It may have been user error. They are 1/2 size larger than I normally wear (apparently that's recommended with this particular shoe) and because they are wider than I am used to around my toes, I may have tied them too tight to overcompensate. I am not used to my toes having so much room in a shoe...I guess, subconsciously, it bothered me?!?! If it happens again today, I will let you guys know. I know there are some of you who have far more experience than I do with this and can either, tell me what I am doing wrong...or tell me to take my "otherwise awesome" shoes back :-(

I am looking forward to this year. There are so many awesome experiences awaiting me (grad school, Missions trip to the Philippines, learning more about international adoptions, etc...) that I am almost giddy with excitement AND nervousness. I am trying to transfer my need to be perfect over to a "spirit of excellence" in everything I do. That way, I can still "kind-of" suffer from perfectionism and instead, give God the glory! How exciting is that!! It's a win-win situation as far as I am concerned!!!

Ultimately, I needed a "D-day" to get me moving back in the right direction...I just wish it had a happier connotation! Any ideas????

Finally, a great reminder to us all. These are TRULY words to live by.

"Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble."

2 Peter 1:5-10

We may not be able to NEVER stumble...but less is good :-)

With Love, Ash.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

There's a [slight] chance....

Today I got up like any other day...up by 6:30, breakfast by 7:00..but then after that, everything's a blur...and somehow I ended up not getting to work until 9:30..Before you think I am going to get fired, my boss doesn't actually CARE what time I get in the office as long as I am meeting my goals. Now, there's the real issue, getting to work at 9:30 (or later) is not going to help me meet or exceed my goals. Its one of the MANY things on my mind tonight..which is why I couldn't rubber band everything on my mind into one stream of thought...I am not going to lie to you guys, I got the header from a book someone gave me called "There's a [slight] chance I am going to Hell" but the smorgasbord issues are ALL MINE ... So, while there is no chance of my going to Hell, there is a long list of OTHER slight chances in my life... enjoy!

There's a [slight] chance: I will never be a good housewife. Don't get me wrong, I really REALLY try but I just HATE housework. People who know my organizational skills would be surprised by how messy my house can get. I am afraid, in this aspect, I am [slightly] a lost cause...

There's a [slight] chance: I am losing my mind. For Real. Need an example? Ok, today (as you have already noted) did not start off on very good footing. Then, after a not-so-successful day in the office (not for lack of trying) I made my way to the local ERAC to pick up the rental car needed for tomorrow (and even went early) then headed to the gym for class at 5. Sitting in the parking lot of the gym, I noticed something missing....Oh yes, my gym bag...Can I make it back to 48th and Memorial and back to BA in half an hour at 5pm?? no, probably not..So I headed home, only to discover that not only were my house keys missing (still are) but I left the garage door opener in my car, still sitting at 48th and Memorial..eeek! How am I going to get into my house without the garage door opener or a house key?!?! Thank the Lord Jesus my husband had left a key under the mat (not normal) friday night for friends and hadn't picked it up.. Needless to say, I am concerned about my mental stability after today's events :-/

There's a [slight] chance: that I could be a better wife. It's possible I give myself too much credit. I generally DON'T endorse or listen to Dr. Laura (she's a little mean for my taste, but to each his own) but happened to catch part of her show the other day after Dave Ramsey...Interestingly enough, I was convicted about my current state of being. She talked about making your husband want to come home (not that mine has ever NOT come home) by acting like his, yeah, I could probably do that more. I get so aggravated because he is NEVER serious and NEVER talks about serious issues with me, usually just letting me handle it..but maybe if I didn't approach him with it and instead just made him feel loved and enjoyed and good enough EXACTLY the way he is, he would be more inclined to share responsibility with me... I mean, it's not like I didn't know his personality when I agreed to stay with him 'til death do us part'... I just didn't NEED to share issues with him, mine were mine, his were his, and, well, now it's a little different (ha ha)...Darn you, Dr. Laura...I don't even like her?!?!

There's a [slight] chance: I give myself too much "wiggle room" in the forgiveness department. Chris totally called me out (without actually calling ME out) at OneWorship Friday night when he talked about 'saying you forgive someone but then not engaging in relationships with those people because you don't to put yourself in those situations again'..I totally do that. Now, don't give him too much credit, God didn't tell him that; I DID, in a conversation a few weeks earlier...but nonetheless, it's probably something I could work on. No excuse, but I just feel like I should protect myself from people repeatedly hurting me (probably from years of hurts)...I guess, now that I think about it..that's not exactly what Jesus had in mind with that whole "turn the other cheek" verse...hmmm.... There's a [slight] chance I still have some work to do on forgiveness.

Now for the fun stuff:

There's a [slight] chance: that I have flat feet...I usually tell people that I have "fallen arches" but that's just to make me feel better...They're pretty flat!

There's a [slight] chance: that I will never be in a good of shape as some of you (ahem, Jen..Rene) 1. I really don't like working out as much as you obviously do 2. I really REALLY like sweets 3. I'm 'big-boned'...right?!?! :-)

There's a [slight] chance: I'm an addict. I gave up tanning after that crazy report about tanning being like arsenic (?!) but it's been really hard. I have stocked up on all the self-tanning mosturizers, allowed myself to get lobster burned on the river Sat (just for the CHANCE that I would get a little darker) and I have even (gasp) started to backslide from my original ban..saying that in the winter I might tan once a week "just for the vitamin D"...I'm a sad case...

There's a [slight] chance: that I lied to my husband about having ice cream last week. Story: We were heading to the church on some day (can't remember exactly) and had talked about getting ice cream on the way in...We drove separately and since he left before me I *thought* we were just getting ice cream on our I did, a double dip cone (and no, I didn't even get frozen yogurt)...then, I get to church only for him to jump in the car to go get our ice cream..what was I to do?? So yes, I ate TWO double dip cones that day (this is also why I will never be in as good of shape as you) and lied to my husband about it :-)

There's a [slight] chance: that I am wrong more often that I would ever admit to anyone :-)

There's a [slight] chance: that I care too much what other people think...

And finally~

There's a [slight] chance: that I am going to eat ice cream again tonight too :-) Don't worry, I only have Skinny Cow in my house (darn you, Rene!!) :-)

Only one thing left on my mind tonight, I pray this blessing over my life and your life today and everyday:

"The LORD bless you, and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace." Amen.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I don't really remember...

I recently gave up facebook. It is important to disclose that, as we move on, for a few reasons. 1.) It would surprise many people that I have actually blogged two days in a row and would certainly raise curiosity! 2.) The truth is I am only blogging two days in a row because I have simply transferred one addiction for another and, as I mentioned before, I gave up facebook!! But, that's really what I wanted to write about anyways...

See, I remember a lot...If you ask my husband, he would say I forget NOTHING. But, there are things that I know I just CAN'T remember. I remember why I am scared of wasps, I remember WANTING to know what a broken bone felt like, what wearing glasses were like, and even what it felt like to have braces...But I can't remember at what point "perfectionism" (not a good thing) was ingrained in me, I don't remember how you go about re-cultivating relationships, and, oddly, I don't remember life before online networking..Even now, I have checked my "blog list" several times today and I am even looking for NEW blogs to subscribe too...but, there WAS life before the internet, right???

I think this blog has given me an outlet to channel all my thoughts. I always talk about how busy I am, but I don't remember what it felt like to NOT be stretched and I don't know whether or not I could live without all these factors anyways! I have old friends that I haven't spoken to in years, and even though I DO remember all the great times we had together, I just don't know how to start back at square one. I mean, I am sure I have done it before...I just don't really remember how... It just surprises me all the things I CAN'T remember...

I always talk about all the things I will stop doing when I have kids. People assume that because I DON'T have kids that it means I don't LIKE them.. That's not true, I just know that everything I do everyday shares me with everything else...God, church, work, school, house, pets, HUSBAND... I am only being cautious to ensure that my children don't feel like they were "sharing" me with all these temporal things...So, I say that I will quit many of them (or finish) before kids...but the truth is, I don't remember NOT being busy with so many things..So, isn't it just more likely that I will just pick up new things to take my time?? Aren't there just going to be 100 more things pulling at me? It's a scary thought.

I want to be good at it all (you only need to read a few of my past blogs to know that I am NOT) but I never cut back enough that I can be truly great at a few things...I guess I just don't want to be mediocre and I worry that, that's all I really can be at 100 different things...Mediocre.
Isn't that just the deadliest plague....

Til next time (or tomorrow, probably) ;-)


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Time never asks permission...

It never ceases to amaze me how so much of life is controlled by TIME. It seems like yesterday it was moving SO slowly that I thought it would never pass at all...Now, I realize how much age changes perspective. TIME, this thing I fought so harshly in my school days, I now find myself wooing it to slow down once again.... I realized tonight that, I don't make enough TIME for old friends, kids grow up to fast, and months and years pass without asking permission first.

Over the course of the last few weeks, I have been faced with many relationships. Ones that were lost , and now are trying to be found again; ones that time has been an enemy of, with so many things changing in our lives that we don't even know each other anymore, and ones that it seems time actually stops for. We can pick up right where we left off as if no time has passed at all. Of course, children are born and they grow up. But the relationships seem to freeze in time until the next time we can see each other. Its an awesome thing. Time.

I don't know how to express the events of the past month. Of course, if time weren't my enemy, I would only be telling you about the past week. In July, we took our youth to camp in Branson this summer and they had an awesome experience. It seems that camp is one of those special times where God actually let's me go BACK in time and I really feel like a teenager again. So many things happened at camp that make me who I am today and I become one of the kids for a week, it's nice... Don't judge me, if you don't get that opportunity, I guarantee you wish you did. But the thing about camp that always strikes me as ironic, is that the first two days are spent with the kids wishing the week were over and the last 2 days are spent wishing it would never end. Don't you wish we could tell this generation of all our wisdom about time??? Don't you think if someone would have told us, we would have listened?? Of course not...So we let them battle time the way we once did, knowing that age will change their perspective too....

Last week, I had dinner with old friends...I mean, fifth grade; tether ball courts; awkward hair and heights friends...Of course, once again...time is my enemy. Now, I see, in front of me, a pastor with a beautiful wife and young daughter. I wonder if high school will still seem so close behind me in 50 years? I wonder, if instead, 26 will be "just yesterday"?

Then, tonight, we had dinner with some really great friends. Ones whom we admire and trully love (and no, I am not just writing this because you read my blog Tracie!) but once again, time gets in the way of everything. Everytime we get together, it's like no time at all has passed and we sit, laugh, and say how we won't let as much time pass again..Their three year old little girl is now 9 (going on 10) and the babies in diapers are comedians, drummers, and DEFINITELY all boy...and time didn't care what we wanted, where we wanted it to slow down, and the hard times we wanted to get through quickly...It just doesn't even ask. And next thing we know, its been 6 months again and the cycle continues.. this time we are all just a little older, a little more time has passed.

I have graduate school coming up in the fall, an adoption process I want to start in the next year, and so many projects I hope to start, yet it all seems like its a universe away from me, but I am now well aware, that, in the future looking back, I will curse time for going to quickly, for not allowing me to savor the really special moments, for not giving me the time I wanted to experience all I could and for once again...not asking permission. I just hope that, now that I know all this, I am wiser and more thoughtful with the time I do have..NOW.

I guess my revelation, today, is that we should MAKE time for the people who are important, for the relationships you want cultivated, and for those things that matter most. Don't rush the times that seem menial and small, you will regret not savoring them when they are gone. And, don't expect time to ever ask permission. Just love the time you have. Love God, love your family, love your friends, forgive those who have hurt you, ask for forgiveness from the ones you have hurt and beat time at its own game, by living life to the fullest.

Goodnight, Ashley

P.S. Thanks Tracie for reminding me that I wanted to be good at this, and making me and my blog feel so special. Love you.