General musings on the ups and downs and ins and outs in the life of a 30 something, unmarried, life loving, some times interesting and sometimes not, mostly happy girl just trying to figure it all out!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Friends are my Estate

Do I comment on friendship too much? Are you tired of my preaching about it's vitality to my life? Well, then, you simply don't have the amazing friends that I do.

Check this out:

Shannon posted this today and it's just so telling. I call Shannon my best friend (and she is!) but her hubby, Chip, is as close. He is so playful and the three of us end up having the most hilarious moments. Like this one- we were just hanging out at my house, Chip had his head in Shannon's lap, and I felt the need to pile on. We're all laughing and so genuinely happy!

These two have pulled me through some pretty bad moments and I admit, I have stepped in for them when needed as well. And we have had so, so much laughter! I have probably shed more tears with them in hysterical laughter than sadness. Chip happens to be hilarious. 

Cherish your friends. Pray for them. Gain strength from them and give them yours. Work on the relationships when you have to be apart. They are a blessing. They are your estate.

*Quote stolen from Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

All His Boys are Girls

I was listening to a sermon (Church of the Highlands, my fave) on my iPod this morning on the way to work. The speaker was talking about his kids and the types of gifts they asked for and he made the comment, "All my boys are girls," because he has all daughters and just loves it. I thought that comment was pretty cute, and it hit home for me because I have two sisters and no brothers. My Daddy loves having girls and he's never regretted not having a son.

He was absolutely the GREATEST Daddy for girls. He drove us absolutely crazy teaching us to be confidant, stand on our own two feet, and to have the complete ability to care for ourselves. And I think we are able to have those traits because we always know we have him if we need anything.

He taught us to throw a football (Amanda's the only one that's good at this), play softball (I'm not sure any of us were good at this), and shoot hoops (all of us, including him, stunk at this). He drove Katie, Sally, me and the horses to horse shows, dressed up as "Joe Cool" to escort Amanda and a friend to a dance, dropped us all of at college, attended every single game I played in or cheered at (and I was always the absolute worst- see my cheer leading post), went on field trips, brought puppies and kittens to our classes for show and tell (he's a Veterinarian), took us fishing; all of it. He even played Barbies and watched Cinderella every day with Amanda when Katie and I were too old to hang out with her. 

This is just a little tribute post because I love my Daddy! And I am grateful to him, because I think that great fathers create strong, healthy daughters. 

How cute is he???
PS- totally made the collage frame pink on purpose. When we were little everything was pink, as you can imagine. He decided one day that his favorite color was pink after hollering, "Pink, pink, PINK! All I see is pink!" To this day- he will tell you pink is his favorite color. Which is a good thing because me lives in my Mama's house and the walls are pink (no joke). 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Book Review

About three years ago my sister told me to read Seabiscuit. I didn't listen. Stupid me.
I picked it up one day when it was the only thing on my bookshelf and hardly put it down until I finished it. This book is much, much more than the story of a race horse!

Seabiscuit: An American Legend

If you like the story of an underdog, a story about hard work and persistence, a good biography, a drama, or just a nice story about an animal- you're in luck here. Seabiscuit's author, Laura Hillenbrand, combines the biography of a millionaire and his wife (not the Gilligan's Island kind), the biography of a scrawny, improbably jockey, the biography of an ignored and undervalued trainer, the story of a horse that couldn't win, and a historic novel to create one of my all time favorite books.

When you look at an event in history, it's easy to forget that many lives have to interact to create that one explosive moment. This book is the story of those lives and how they combined to culminate in the explosive moment when a tiny, crooked-legged horse beats a world class racer. And if you don't like horses, you will still easily get enthralled with the life stories of the owners, trainer and jockey that make the horse into what he was.

This story reaches far beyond the world of horse racing and into the culture, lifestyles and stories of people in the 1920s. Hillenbrand tells the story of a jockey's lifestyle and struggles, how a man made his fortune and fell in love with a small, unlikely horse, and how a roughneck Mustang breaker became a champion trainer. She follows the characters lives as well as the horses' racing career.

This is a beautiful book that will have you crying and cheering as you read it. I was kicking my legs and bouncing as I read many of the racing scenes! A very fun, very educational read.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Goodbye, 1801 North Baylen!

AC and I reached a milestone in our relationship last night; we have officially made it through a house!
Really, it was she and The Hubbs that made it through a house. But since I knew her when she moved into 1801 North Baylen and now have witnessed the move out of the same address... I feel like we've made it! I don't know where it is we "made it" to, but whatever.


I picked my sweet BFF up after work and we headed to the 1801 chalet to meet up with The Hubbs. After he recovered from my LSU t-shirt rubbing his Aggie face in their Cotton Bowl loss, we loaded the autos with furniture for storage and went on a cleaning binge. Five and a half hours, three pizzas, two bottles of wine, multiple beers, Mama J, Daddy Jams, the Sister-in-Law, two trips to the storage unit, and the near sacrifice of a vacuum cleaner to screws hidden in the carpet... Ash and Shep locked up their house for the (almost) last time. 

Fave Moments:
Daddy Jams filling a hole in the wall with a beer cap and puttying over it.
Daddy Jams using a birth control prescription lid as a putty knife
Mama J uttering the words, "Let's get drunk!"

Goodbye 1801 North Baylen! It's been fun and we loved you.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Guilty Pleasure Songs

I was just reading through some of the 1000 Awesome Things and came across this one:

#467: Guilty Pleasure songs.

I am the queen of this because I like the really bad 80s and 90s songs. Not the normal bad one that everyone likes. The really bad ones.

Some of my guilty pleasure songs:

Glory of Love by Peter Cetera
Jessie by Joshua Kadison
Tutti Frutti by Buckwheat Zydeco
Fearless by Cyndi Lauper
Angel Eyes by the Jeff Healey Band
Bitch by Meredith Brooks

Pretty bad, right?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Things I am Looking Forward To

I've been thinking a lot about change in my life. As much as I want it, it's a bit scary! Even good change is hard. Why is that?
I keep coming back to a quote by Mark Kelley:


Do not waste your life, because life is there-all you have to do is reach out and embrace it. Anything is possible. Whatever your dream is, make it happen. Have courage. Start today. You will be amazed what life will give you in return for a little bit of courage.
Courage is a choice.
Be certain of one thing: The measure of your life will be the measure of your courage."

So here's to a good shot of courage! 
To help, I made a list of things I am looking forward to to push myself.

I am looking forward to...

... more play time
... less stress
... a closet big enough for my stuff
... my own place 
... enjoying things again
... playing with Nate and Lorelei
... the feeling of accomplishment
... walks with Van
... getting my stuff out of storage
... friends visiting again
... wine in my own glass
... cooking
... waking up and really looking forward to a day
... a new laptop
... my books
... my bookshelf
... a big bathtub
... feeling more in control
... less responsibility for others
... more focus on me
... NIKI!!!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Case for a Creator

I have been reading a book by Lee Strobel called The Case for Faith. This is the third book of his I have read and I really enjoyed The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith. Lee Strobel is a journalist and former atheist who interviews various experts in a myriad of fields to prove that Christ existed, why you can have faith, and in the one I am reading now: why the universe must have had a master designer, or creator. The difference with this one is that it is dealing with the beginning of the universe and it references physics and chemistry and things I don't understand.


Now, I totally find these kinds of books fascinating. I love having the history of the Bible, why it's reliable, the theology of it, etc explained to me. I just think it's cool. But after reading a chapter about why there must be a creator because the setting for gravity has a one in a billion trillion trillion trillion trillion (I'm serious- he said it was a one with 56 zeros after it) chance of being set exactly at the spot it is and if it were moved even a (insert some other incomprehensibly small number here) percent humans would be instantly squished, I was just confused. And my brain started to wander. And I come to the following conclusions as to why Ashley Lane must have been created (and mine are much simpler):

My grandparents never should have met.
My Paw Paw was sent back to the US from Germany in WWII before the rest of his army unit to get a space ready for them at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. On a train ride from DC to NC he happened to sit next to a man meeting his wife and daughter in NC. But guess what? He was supposed to get off the train and party it up with a buddy, but he got too drunk and fell asleep. So he left with the nice man instead. At the same time, my Gran was riding a train from Asheville, NC and sat next to a lady and her charming daughter on their way to meet their husband/father. They became friendly and exchanged numbers. That evening the lady and daughter met my Paw Paw at dinner with the man from the other train. The nice lady (no one remembers her name) decided Gran would be just perfect for Paw Paw. The problem: Gran refused the invitation to meet him.

Two days later- Granny is walking down a street where the nice lady just happens to be getting her hair cut and her four-year-old daughter just happens to spot Granny out the window and runs out onto the street, cornering her.
You see where this is going, right?
What are the odds???

Add on that Paw Paw almost immediately was sent to the West Coast instead to be shipped to Japan, then the war ended and then he found Gran again, and you can see that no Harlequin romance Novel can beat this!

My parents never should have met either
My Mama was married just out of college and he left her less than a year after the wedding. She didn't date for years. She just went places with friends- including one of her best friends from high school, Stevie Hendry. In the mean time Daddy made BFF with his freshman year roommate, David Hendry. Their sister was getting married and my Daddy, "Mr. LSU," was somehow without a date. The Hendry boys plotted and tricked Mama into being his date and voila!
Not quite as unique as Granny and Paw Paw, but add on that Mama thought Daddy was breaking up with her while he was proposing and it gets more unlikely.

I could go on, but this post is getting kind of long. Let's just suffice it to say that my life is rather odd and crazy and so many unlikely things happen that someone must be in control up there! Someone funny, actually, because what started off as everyone confusing two girls with the same name (Ashley), one that worked in City Hall and one that worked at the DIB, and an incident with an Elvis stalker (Yep, that's right...) turned into a BFF relationship with AC that I could never, ever survive without.

What's your case for Creation?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Smoked Salmon and Egg Sandwich = YUMMY!!

I love Cooking Light. I have tried so many new things because of them. And I respect that they still use butter, sour cream, etc in their dishes. They just use them wisely.

Sally has some salmon her brother sent her from Alaska, and we eat a lot of eggs because they are so fresh and delish here. So this recipe jumped out at me. It sounded a little odd... but it ended up being completely outstanding! Very unique, but very good. And it was so quick and easy to make. It was like having a gourmet cafe meal on a budget, and fast. And we got to eat it while watching the Packers, so it was good all around.

I highly recommended this- give it a shot!


  • 4  cups  water
  • 1  tablespoon  white vinegar
  • 4  large eggs
  • 1/4  cup  (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 2  tablespoons  minced red onion
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped dill
  • 3/8  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 4  (1-ounce) slices whole-grain bread, toasted
  • 1  cup  fresh arugula
  • 4  ounces  smoked wild salmon
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper

Preparation

1. Bring water and vinegar to a simmer in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add eggs, 1 at a time; simmer 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.
2. Combine cheese, onion, dill, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; spread 1 tablespoon cheese mixture over each bread slice. Top each serving with 1/4 cup arugula and 1 ounce salmon. Remove eggs from pan with a slotted spoon; top each sandwich with 1 egg. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Nutritional Information

Calories:
219
Fat:
10.7g (sat 3.9g,mono 0.0g,poly 0.0g)
Protein:
0.0g
Carbohydrate:
0.0g
Fiber:
0.0g
Cholesterol:
0.0mg
Iron:
0.0mg
Sodium:
640mg
Calcium:
0.0mg

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Big (Late) Reveal

Remember a few months ago (about two) when I told you that I was obsessed with Christmas Cards and I was having Tommie Alexander at OhMyGluestick design a custom card for me? Well, I didn't reveal it then because I wanted everyone to be awed when it arrived in the mail.But I was so excited because it features a drawing my sister did of Van- and it looks exactly like her!


I'm absolutely obsessed with this! You can tell that Katie knows Van because she even got the expression and eyes perfect. It made me cry when I saw it for the first time. 

It actually looks even more like Van than the original photo- which is amazing.

And Tommie used my fave color in my card- so I was pretty much just ecstatic about the entire ordeal. If you want anything designed or party help- call her! She's a genius. 

You can look at the drawing daily now because I incorporated it into my blog header. 

Have a Happy Long Weekend!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Beautiful Sarah Tucker

I was introduced to the amazing Mrs. Tucker (Then just Little Miss Sarah) about two years ago for AC's wedding and I have been thankful ever since!

Sarah's a remarkable human being, a survivor and a prayer warrior when asked.

Since her marriage to a handsome Baseball player, she has had the opportunity to take an extended honeymoon and travel with him for his teams. I can't think of a more deserving person and her blog, fairy tales are true, has turned into an incredible travel memoir and that has now turned in to a travel photography business.

I will definitely be purchasing some of her pics for my walls when I get my place (these are two of my faves) and now... you can too! Or you can hope you get one for free from her giveaway. Check it out!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

You're Welcome

I usually don't listen to celebrity gossip or even pay attention to it because, to be honest, I don't care. But this morning on the radio I heard chatter about this little piece of body art and felt the incredible urge to comment:
Eva Longoria-no-longer-Parker is divorcing her husband and now has to have the wedding date she had TATTOOED ON HER BODY removed. That just sucks. I mean, can we say insult added to injury here??

Second thought I had:
Umm, he really isn't that good looking! He actually looks kinda evil here, which apparently he is.

Third thought:
If a man can cheat on THIS, the rest of us don't stand a chance.

Lessons to be learned:
1. Ladies, don't ever, ever, EVER tattoo a man's name or anything representing him on your body. It's just not classy (Sorry, Eva) and it's not a good idea.

2. Don't marry a man who is not as cute as you. (OK, you can ignore this one if you want to- just a thought...)

3. I mean this one: Do not marry a man that can't handle it when you succeed and do well. Because we all know that the real issue here was that she was more successful and more popular than he was. When did he ever make the news outside of ESPN before he started dating her? He didn't. He cheated because he needed to prove to himself (and a certain member of his body) that he was big and bad and all that jazz.

Choose wisely, girls. You deserve better than this. Eva deserves better than this.
And don't marry a celebrity- it's just not good odds.
And don't tattoo things about men on your body. I don't care how perfect he is, he does not warrant permanent ink marring your beautiful body.

You're Welcome

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Words to "Enjoy Yourself" by...

I stole this quote from Enjoy Yourself, a blog I am now following religiously. Because who doesn't need to be reminded to enjoy yourself and live the life you want to??


D's (actually, Mark Kelley's) words to live by for 1/11/11 (which HAS to be lucky somehow, right??):


"Do not waste your life, because life is there-all you have to do is reach out and embrace it. Anything is possible. Whatever your dream is, make it happen. Have courage. Start today. You will be amazed what life will give you in return for a little bit of courage.
Courage is a choice.
Be certain of one thing: The measure of your life will be the measure of your courage."

And guess what? I'm working on it!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Book Review

Since I am an avid reader that feels insecure if I don't have a book with me at nearly every moment- I decided to start doing a book review post. Because, really, I like talking about books. So it's selfish.

In addition, I took a recent book rec from Kendall and read one of the best books I have ever come across. So maybe this will help you find a great read. And if you have comments, dislike my take on the book, or want to recommended something for me to read- bring it on!

A Little Bit Wicked

I have actually been wanting to read A Little Bit Wicked for a while now, just because the cover pic of the author was so cute (what? This is how I buy wine too, OK?) and because my friend Shannon is a stage actress, so I was kinda fascinated by the lifestyle. About two weeks ago I found it on the bargain table at Books-a-Million for $6 (no clue why) and grabbed it.I was nearly half way through it the first time I put it down, and would have finished it immediately if I hadn't had to be at work early on Friday. I am almost finished, but not quite. So I probably shouldn't write a review. But this is my blog- so whatever.

The book is an autobiography of, and by, Kristin Chenoweth, a Broadway actress from Oklahoma that has also made it to the TV screen. She writes in a fully honest, and even self defecating at times, style. She's open about her adoption, life, emotions, assets, strengths, AND faults.

But what I think struck me the most was her openness about her Christianity and how it guides and effects her career and life. It's beautiful to read about a strong Christian working up the entertainment ladder and remaining truly human while relateable in her faith.

Kristin is also remarkable hilarious with her Southernisms, which I find completely endearing.

One of my favorite excerpts thus far:
(In conversation with a particularly irritable and evil flight attendant -aka- Turtle Lips):
Kristin: Your name, please
Turtle Lips: Why?
Kristin: I'd like to pray for you
Turtle Lips: I don't need your prayers
Kristin: Oh, honey, we all need prayers. And I am fixin' to talk to God about you specifically.

Though many of the stage-references go straight over my head- I am captivated by honestly told stories of rescuing a ballet as a bunny, grappling with loss, cohabiting with co-actors, failure, pageants, coming to terms with a gay bff, and family. The book is beautifully written, honest, and funny.

I highly recommended- read up!!!

On the other hand- I recently tried reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog- which was on the NYT best seller list for over a year. I just could not get into it. I hated it. I put it down. Something about a nine year old kid that thinks she's such a genius she needs to commit suicide and a miserable concierge just didn't resonate with me.

Should I keep reading? Did I miss the point? Guide me here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

What I Want to Wear This Weekend

In case you're lost in space and didn't know: Tonight is the Cotton Bowl and LSU plays Texas A&M. Obviously, I'm a huge football fan- LSU, specifically. So here's what I want to wear this weekend:

I think I was at this game!!

Love the hood.

I'm not even sure what this is!

Holy crap- SERIOUSLY??? OK, I don't think I could pull this one off! Only at LSU...

I'm actually going to wear this with a purple wrap. But it seems kinda boring now...




Thursday, January 6, 2011

What life is about

A few pics of my New Years trip.
I almost didn't come home. When Niki dropped me off at the airport Nathan burst into tears and cried, "Auntie, please don't leave me!"
It was heartbreaking.

Teaching a 3 year old about fireworks!!

I love sparklers

Niki and I had much more fun with the sparklers than Nathan

No explanation needed

My Roommate & my Roommate-in-Law
(When they got engaged, he told me not to worry because he knew Niki and I were a package deal)

Niki double fisting- a one in a lifetime photo!!

This is Niki's friend Kim's baby boy and I think his face is so priceless

Lorelei's New Year bling. Don't you love it???

Wrapping up our evening. Jade and I were quite happy at this point!

At the park a few days later

Once again, I am having more fun than the kid

The sweetest face. How could I leave him??

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In this house...

I love this idea!


Saw this on Loving Fast (fave new blog!) and I just had to repost. What an amazing idea!
I will definitely have this in my next place, even if I have to figure out a way to do it framed somehow. 

I'm thinking something like this:
In this house...
Van Geaux is Queen.
Wine is a Must.
We read great books.
We love dog kisses.
We go to bed early.
We sleep in.
We believe in angels and fairies.
We play a lot. 
We love Margaritas.
We believe in love above all else.

Your turn!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Rip-Van-Ashley

I seem to have decided to start my New Year off well rested. Borrowing my MO from Rip-Van-Winkle, after sleeping until almost 10 on New Years Day I proceeded to take three naps. It was glorious.

Starting of 2011 with the best this world has to offer- and praying for a continuance!

The new year also marks a full yearI have managed to make it through without this sweet face. Last year at this time we were heading home from Louisiana and Gran's funeral. It was an incredibly rough way to start the year and we have all felt the loss daily.
Here's a little prayer hoping we all move a little farther past our grief in 2011 and learn to treasure our memories with joy.

All About Ashley

My photo
Spring, TX, Southern, United States
Playing with and keeping up with my nephew and niece take up a lot of my time. Van Geaux takes up the rest of it. Work is an afterthought most days! I like to be outside- but not when it's too hot. I get bored at my desk all day. Niki keeps my world spinning and without her and AC I'd lose it. My work ethic crashes at 4 p.m. daily and I live my sweet puppy and my hedgehog whenever I am not at Niki's. I truly believe naps are quality pass-time events, and sometimes I say bad words at work. I'm pretty sure I'm insane on multiple levels and I believe rules don't apply to me.
It seems that my life is quite entertaining. I didn't realize this myself, but was informed of it by my friends- who are rather entertained by tales of my life occurrences.

I'm far from a professional writer. These are just stories, comments, and other items for simple amusement. Hopefully it's a fun read, as Shannon plans to edit it into a book one day! Maybe we'll become famous, and maybe we'll just have some good laughs at my expense (and some other characters in my life). Either way, happy reading!















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