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, October 10, 2013

Louisiana State University

People... you know it... I LOVE THIS PLACE! And I'm going back tomorrow for the LSU-Florida football game. CAN...NOT...WAIT!

Tiger Stadium is literally one of the greatest places on earth. It's so loud and it vibrates and I get goose bumps when the band starts playing! Even the great Bear Bryant thought it was the most intimidating place to play as the opponent. It's a huge bowl of 100,000+ people. Someone once said it's like being inside of a drum, and that's probably pretty accurate.

This will also be happening again... for the first time in 9 years. This is the last time Amanda and I were at an LSU game together. She was a freshman and I was still sneaking in with my college ID on a student ticket. 

Tiger Stadium quotes:
"It was like the Colosseum in Rome and we were the Christians." -- The late Bobby Dodd of Georgia Tech.

"Baton Rouge happens to be the worst place in the world to be a visiting team." --  Paul "Bear" Bryant

"There is a 25-yard-long sign that reads, "Welcome to Death Valley'' mounted below the pressbox. Those are the little touches at which LSU excels. Most schools wouldn't even put up such a name. Others would just say, "Death Valley" and leave it at that. But not LSU. Here, it's "Welcome to Death Valley." That's beautiful. It's like descending into Hell and finding a sign that reads, "Satan Invites You to Enjoy Eternal Damnation." 
-- Jim Caple 

So off I go tomorrow, to the greatest place in the world. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

17 Things You Should Never Say to a Single Woman

That's right- I am single again. I don't really want to talk about it. But what I DO want to talk about is how I feel that people are really rather insensitive to others' feelings. I have talked about this with two of my best friends in the past week. Questions about when you're getting married, why you aren't married, when you are having children, when you are having more children, etc are personal. And while they may be mainstream questions that people ask without a second thought, they don't take into consideration what a person may be going through privately. A medical struggle can keep you single and childless. Or maybe a woman likes being single or is enjoying her husband in her marriage or likes her two children just fine- and just plain likes the life she has!

I have a few reasons that I am both single and childless- and neither are that I hate men and children or like being alone. My friend Ashley doesn't have children yet because she loves being with her husband and her job is very stressful. And, frankly, it is no one's right to judge those choices. And it's hurtful when remarks are made. Do don't assume and be mindful. And never say these things to a single woman (stolen from the Huffington Post):

17 Things You Should Never Say To A Single Woman

People love to comment on a woman's single status.
In a July 2013 blog for the Huffington Post, Melanie Notkin explained: "Being single is seen as a chronic problem that needs to be solved and those who just had it solved want to share their secret, i.e. the secret to finding love and getting married."
Unsolicited comments about singleness come in many forms, but they're almost universally frustrating. Single women generally don't want to be pitied or set up on dates with people who are clearly so wrong for them by well-meaning friends.
We asked our Twitter followers what comments single women hate hearing. Here are 17 things you should never say to a non-coupled-up lady:
1. "Have you tried online dating?"
2. "How come nobody is interested in you?"
3. "When was the last time you went on a date?"
4. "You're lucky, I wish I was single."
5. "Maybe some day."
6. "I can't believe you're still single!"
7. "Why are you single?"
8. "The right guy will come along when you stop looking."
9. "Why haven't you gotten married?"
10. "When are you going to find a decent man and settle down?"
11. "There must be something seriously wrong with you."
12. "But there are so many nice guys out there!"
13. "When did you last have sex?"
14. "When you get your life together, things will fall into place."
15. "You should focus on settling down instead of going back to school."
16. "When are you going to have kids?"
17. "When you become a real adult and live with someone..."

Friday, September 6, 2013

Buying Books at the Library

I just got back from the library. I went there on my lunch break so that I wouldn't spend any money. And I left with books, like you should. Except I left with mine permanently. I bought them. Because I have a problem. I hate to give them back!

I need to keep my books. I need to look at them and remember reading them and their people and their places...

Basically, this is me:

Except it should say I don't buy or check out books...

Books are my friends. I bond with them and I need them. It's true. So I can't check them out from the library because it would be like returning a friend for someone else to take! I have to purchase them. 

And $5.00 for three new friends isn't so bad for a Friday lunch break. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Five (Quotes)

I learned this one growing up at the farm with Big Sal. I adore the Goodwill and thrift shops!

This is a really hard one, especially in my family. We have a tendency to let our struggles be who we are, not what we are going through.

I mean, REALLY! You only need book ends if you are putting some books out for display like my beautiful collection of Willa Cather books from S. Case in point, yesterday I went to the Goodwill (see above) on my lunch break and left with two glasses (mis-matched, of course) and 6 books. At $1.99 you just can't leave them! And you can never have too many books.

This is another toughie. I let someone go from my life a few months ago and it was incredibly hard. But the truth is, we were not good for each other.

Keep faith. It's all we really have.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Do you nickname people? If you do, do you ever refer to them by their real names again? Because I don't.

This is AC and I (AshHam) last week. She is a true love of my life, my spiritual stronghold, and as crazy and unstable as I am; we HAD to be friends. She and her husband stopped to see me on their way to Corpus. He is "The Hubbs." As in I have never referred to him as Shep or Sheppard since they got married. Literally. And I do this a lot! 

I prefer nick names because I adopt people into my life and heart and I feel like it singles them out as significant and necessary in my world. Also, once someone had a nick name you are forever bound. They cannot go away.

My boyfriend thinks this is very weird. Conversation after lunch with AC and The Hubbs last week:

G: How was your day, baby?
Me: AWESOME!! I got to see AC and The Hubbs!!
G: What?
Me: I had lunch with AC and The Hubbs.
G: Who is that?
Me: Ashley and Shep. I told you they were driving through.
G: Yes, I know that. But The Hubbs? I thought you went to see a band or something,
Me: No, his name is The Hubbs. I never call him Shep.
G: OK... do you ever call people by their real names?
Me: No. Why would I do that?


My sisters: Kae and Mana
- Mana hates this. Kae lets me do whatever I want -



G or Boyfriend
- I do refer to him as German sometimes. But he's still newish. - 

So there you go. When I assign people highly important roles in my life, they get nicknames... never again to be known by their actual names. It's a quirk. I have lots of them. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Five (Quotes)

I adore quotes. I collect them like a crazy woman. And now, with Pinterest, it's just too easy. I don't even have to write them down any more! Ahh, technology...

1. Here's one I actually DID jot down from a book (an AWESOME book! Highly recommend it).
"The key to happiness is to own... who you are, own how you look, own your family, own the talents you have and the ones you don't. Not only our actions, but also our omissions, become our destiny." - Cutting for Stone

2. Just had lunch with my friend Ash from P'cola. We're so far apart now and it STINKS! But our friendship is as strong as ever.

3. Whoever this woman is, I love her! Is she right or is she right??

4. I talk to my books. My boyfriend thinks I am nuts. I also talk back to voice mails as if there were a person there.

5. Two weeks, people! Two little weeks until college football!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I'm reading Captivating again. Scanning/reading is probably a more accurate statement. And re-absorbing the powerful parts of this book that made such an impression on me.

One point it makes is that women tend to be more defined by relationships. We are relational beings, created in God's image to reflect his desire for strong, intimate relationships. I was thinking about that, and I think it's very accurate for many women. Even as the world changes and morphs and women move into bigger leading roles around the globe; these women, we, still hold the roles of mother, daughter, friend, wife, and struggle with balancing these roles with work.

The book says, "Most women define themselves in terms of their relationships, and the quality they deem those relationships to have. I am a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. Or, I am alone. I'm not seeing anyone right now, or my children aren't calling, or my friends seem distant."

How true is that for you? It struck a strong chord with me. In thinking about myself and my role before I moved to Texas, I was Ashley Hamlin, DIB Program Manager. My job was so consuming, even when I no longer loved it, the wherever I went in the city, whatever I did, I felt defined by it. I had to be on guard and alert.

Moving to Texas made me anonymous. I have a non-demanding (although rather non-rewarding) job here. But when I walk out of the office door, I'm just Ashley. I am best friend, auntie, sister, daughter, girlfriend. I am whatever that moment makes me. And these roles, these roles that I cherish, now define my life 100% of the time. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how big a difference that loosing that career woman role made in my life.

Don't get me wrong- I miss that role at times. More often these days, actually. And I still entertain the thought of taking it back, although not so seriously I hope! So I certainly don't mean that we, women, should drop them. Not at all. I just mean that if we are more aware of which roles we let take the most weight in our self-definition, how can we change ourselves?

These thoughts have been rolling around a lot in my head recently.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Pope

It was very ironic for me to give big accolades to Pope Francis this week, because over the weekend I commented to German that I didn't see what the big deal about The Pope was. I fully understand that the role has great historic significance, and I believe whoever is in that role should certainly be honored. But to me, they should be no more important than any leader at the helm of a church. There's a good chance I don't understand this because I'm not Catholic. Fair enough. But (note to newscasters everywhere) I care more about the economy, the wars we are fighting and security than I do about what the Pope is doing. Just saying.

All that being said, whoever is in the role of Pope is absolutely considered a religious leader and what he says and does reflects on all of Christianity, not just Catholics. And in that vein I would like to thakn Pope Francis for setting an amazing example and representing the Christian faith in a kind, loving and generous way. (I'm sure he's been sitting on the edge of his seat waiting for that from me...)

This quote by him last weekend floored me. Completely. I have an incredible amount of respect for anyone in a leadership position willing to make such a statement in the religious environment of the world today. I read an article by someone stating he didn't do that much because the catholic church still condemned homosexuality and  no real change had been made. Noted and accepted. That is a true statement. But for the first time, someone in a position of authority in the church is reminding us to love, not judge. That it isn't our place to condemn anyone. And that above all we are here to do our best to be flawed reflections of Jesus- Jesus who never openly condemned anyone but religious zealots.

So thanks to the Pope for reminding us who we are supposed to be in Christ. I am willing to bet we won't see the leadership of the Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran or even my beloved Methodist churches do anything so brave and truthful anytime soon.   

Friday, July 26, 2013

Migraines, Wicked and Willa Cather

I have had two migraines this week... in a row... not fun! I used to get clusters of them when I was in high school, but haven't for years. Now it seems they are making a come back. Does anyone have any suggestions on prevention? I'm going to the doctor next week, but I'm open to suggestions!

I am FINALLY getting to see Wicked this weekend! Sunday night, double date with Niki and Jade, Houston Hobby Center... it's ON! I can't wait!

Over the past few years, I have developed a Willa Cather addiction thanks to Shannon. I love her writing style and her characters. She draws me in without obsessing me and I always feel a part of her stories. And if I could time travel I would go and meet her. I have read My Antonia, One of Ours, The Professor's House and Death Comes for the Archbishop as well as her biography. I just started Sapphira and the Slave Girl. Have you read any? Are you obsessed with her like I am? Tell me! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hello Again!

I didn't disappear, I swear. Only from the blog. Here is exactly what happened:
I got so busy living my life I just stopped taking the time to write about it. 

It's a good thing to have happen, really. A very good thing. But I've missed blogging. So here I am, trying to get back to it.

A few updates:

Being in your 30s is AWESOME! 

Seriously, it is. I love it. A switch really does flip in your brain and you care less- about looking perfect, acting perfect, living the perfect life. You sit back and just enjoy more. Sure, you want more. You still strive. But it's easier; more care free. I highly suggest skipping 29 and going straight to 30.

This is NOT old!

So not old. Not even a little bit. Everyone giggled at us when I first relocated to Texas and said we'd get used to having each other there all the time. Nope- not true. People are still giggling at us, but because we are still completely, ridiculously happy together and they just don't know what else to do. We still love going to the grocery together, we still love going for walks, we still talk at least 3 times a day regardless of whether or not we see each other, we still drive her husband crazy. It doesn't get old, people! Move to live with your best friend now.

This happened!

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a boyfriend! A real, live boyfriend. You never thought you'd see the day did you? Me either. But he just followed me home one night. Seriously. That's how it happened. His name is German (Her-Mon), he's Colombian (sexy, I know) and he's adorable. :)

This is gone...

No, I really am not OK. I'm better, but not OK. I miss her desperately! But her hip gave out completely and there was no chance of her walking again. So, as much as it killed me, I let her go. It was the right thing- but it was awful. It's been almost five months and I still cry, I still reach for her. She's buried at home in Florida under the same tree where my horse is buried. And yes, I buried her with a tennis ball. 

It's almost football season!
Not technically an update, but very pertinent information none the less! 39 days, people. 39 days until LSU kicks off the 2013 season. I...AM...READY!

Being an Aunt is still completely amazing!

It truly is. My friend Sally said to me the other day (about her nephew), "I never knew I could love someone so much." That explains it perfectly. I had no idea that my heart could contain so much love and joy surrounding four little people. Holy Moly- they are awesome! 

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!