Friday, July 31, 2009

Pregnancy & Vanity Don't Mix

I feel ugly and gross. Where is that "glow" I am supposed to have? I am really bloated. My face is broken out. My hair is flat and won't do anything (I don't know if that is because of the pregnancy or least I have a haircut today).

I haven't been able to exercise like normal because 1) I get too tired and 2) sometimes it is just uncomfortable. Last night, we tried to do Jillian's 30 Day Shred. I backed it down to Level 1 -- I WAS on Level 3! I used light weights and took frequent water breaks. It felt good to be active again...but it was not fun and I felt really, REALLY out of shape!

I get on the scale every morning out of habit. The scale has been showing me some numbers that I don't want to see. I realize I can't just be thinking about myself, and that I should just try to be healthy and if some weight creeps on quicker than I want it to, then I just need to deal with it. However, I worked really hard to lose some weight over the past year, and now I see it creeping back on. Oh least I will be better off than if I would have never lost that weight in the first place.

A part of me feels really selfish even saying that I care about my looks at a time like this, but I think women are lying to themselves if they say it doesn't matter. You want to feel beautiful at any and all stages of your life.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Solomon :-)

Finding his voice! 

$150 Nursery

We have been collecting nursery furniture for quite some time. We always knew that children would be expensive, so we want to save money where we can.

Before we moved out of our apartment, we found this glider rocker near the dumpster. It was perfectly fine and in good shape. All it needed was a new cushion/cover. We reupholstered it ourselves. I reupholstered it again to be more "baby-ish."

Cost: Around $20 in fabric and supplies.

During the first pregnancy, we found a crib on Craig's list. It was $100 with a mattress. It has been in the attic for the past year, and it will do this baby just fine.

Cost: $100.

On Valentine's Day this past year, Luke and I went to antique stores in Noblesville. It was something we always wanted to do together. We found this little dresser that we thought would be perfect for a changing table someday. This summer, I refinished it with leftover paint from our kitchen cabinets. All it needs is a changing pad.

Cost: $20.

One day this summer, we went back to the antique stores in Noblesville and found this dresser. Believe it or not, it was $10. We painted it the same color as the changing table, still with leftover kitchen cabinet paint, and it looks amazing!

Cost: $10 freaking dollars!

So, for $150, we have all the nursery furniture necessary for our little one. Now we can spend the left over money on fun decorative items, toys, clothes, diapers, and of course, college. :-)


Hello, it's Ernie again. Mom's asleep, and I stole the computer for a while. She should have known better than to make the password ashleyernstberger. She is definitely a target for identity theft! 

You may be wondering about my very private condition. I have a few updates. The last I wrote, Mom had to begin collecting my pee. It's times like that where I really wish my arms were long enough to give her a hug. She really deserved it. She was bent over the bathtub with a baby eye-dropper trying to siphon my urine droplets out of the tub and into a plastic baggie. She even used a dust pan a couple of times. I wish I could have helped, Mom! Maybe next time you should just tape the plastic bag to me and let me hang out with it for a while. 

After getting a sample, she took it to the doctor. He did a test on it and found that I probably have a bladder stone. OUCH! No wonder it has been hurting so bad for so long! Anyway, Mom and Dad have been talking for a while about what to do. The doctor wants me to have an x-ray so they can see the stone, but Mom and Dad don't want to do that. They said it costs $80, and from what I hear, that's about what Mom makes in one week as a teacher. I know they can't afford it. 

Dad told the doctor that he just wanted to the special medicine and cat food that was going to make me better. I don't think the doctor was too happy about not having the x-ray, but he must have agreed to give Mom and Dad the goods. I know this because this morning Mom was chasing me around the house with an eye dropper full of this pink goo and she was trying to shove it in my mouth. SICK! She tried twice, but I ran away (and gave her a swift kick to the stomach a couple of times). Seriously, Mom, you try drinking that stuff!

Mom did give me some special cat food that is supposed to help my stone. It is mine and mine alone! How nice! Since the day of my birth, Edna and I have shared everything. Same food. Same water. Same toilet. Now I have something of my own! Edna didn't like it. She kept trying to eat it, but Mom told her to go away. I get to have my special food twice a day.

When Dad got home, he and Mom tricked me into taking that pink goo. Mom held me while Dad forced the pink goo down my throat. They said I was a good boy, but I was fighting back tears. 

I don't know if I can tell a difference yet in the way I feel. I just hope that I get better soon. Although I will miss peeing in the tub. It's much more civilized than a litter-filled box with day-old turds that I share with my sister. Ew. 

Til next time...


Monday, July 27, 2009


Another fun weekend has come and gone...and now only two more weekends separate me from summer vacation bliss and the daily grind of a teacher. Oh boy! I can't believe how quickly my summer has gone...but I am not going to think about that right now.

Friday night was the George Strait concert with my dad. Between the college-aged kids smelling their freshly rolled joints and the drunk, elderly, anorexic, Amazonian man pelvic thrusting and nearly rolling (as my dad puts it) "ass over elbows" down the hill...I don't know how much of the concert we were truly able to enjoy. It is really a shame that nothing on this earth aside from Sunday School and the McDonald's PlayPlace is spared from the influence of drinking and drugs (and who really knows about the McDonald's PlayPlace). Don't get me wrong...I like a beer or two even three (or more), but there is a time and place and an AGE! When you have grandchildren (or at least appear to be old enough to have them), it's time to grow up. There were kids at this concert...lots of them. It just made me feel a little weird inside. And...last I checked, smoking pot is still illegal in this fine country, which means I should be able to go to a concert with my father and not leave with a contact high and smelling like a wet skunk. This whole concert incident reminds me of the Jack Johnson concert I went to last June. I fell asleep on the lawn waiting for Jack to come on stage. I didn't pass out. I simply took a nap on a warm, breezy night. I don't know how long I was asleep, but three security guards in yellow shirts woke me up and demanded that I stay awake or I will be asked to leave. It's amazing how I stuck out to those "guards," but the puking, swearing, obnoxious, belligerent drunks and druggies were somehow under the radar or not causing a scene? Oh well...that's enough of that. 

We spent the rest of the weekend in New Albany visiting family. I got some great quality time in with my nephews. It blows my mind how beautiful and smart and, well, grown-up they are. 

Well, it's time to get ready to Zumba. Nothing like a little latin dance on a nice summer day!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's getting there!

I have been working on my Summer To-Do List. Slowly but surely...

1. Steam clean carpets and hard floors
2. Wipe down all baseboards and doors (I have done this in the kitchen and living room)
3. Clean windows from inside and outside
4. Dust every surface, including ceiling fans
5. Apply furniture polish/wood conditioner 
6. Clean kitchen cabinets
7. Deep clean both showers/tubs (I did ours; haven't done guest tub yet)
8. Knock down any cobwebs in all corners of all rooms
9. Remove any marks/spots on walls
10. Deep clean fridge/freezer - done

1. Touch up chipped paint on walls in each room
2. Touch up white on baseboards, ceilings, and doors
3. Paint exposed wood on back patio door
4. Re-spray house numbers in metal spray paint
5. Touch up black paint on our dresser and bed

1. Hang green frames in office - done
2. Begin merging office/spare bedroom into office - done
3. Clean out office closet and organize - done
4. Reorganize spare bedroom closet - done
5. Get current with photos with printing/putting in albums
6. Reorganize kitchen cabinets/closets
7. Hang chandelier in spare bedroom
8. Go through books; sell unwanted - done
9. Sell other items not wanted
10. Refinish/paint mini-dresser for spare bedroom - done

My First Doctor's Appointment

Hi, this is Ernie. Mom is letting me use the computer to recount my very first trip to the doctor yesterday. Mom and Dad have been a little annoyed with me lately because I have been peeing in their closets (my favorite one is the guest bedroom's!), and I even pooped on the rug in the laundry room the other day. I also like to pee in the bathtub. It's like my own personal toilet! I don't know why they get so mad at me! I can't really help it! I think I have an irritable bladder. I try to go to the litter box about 10 times an hour, and I scratch around a lot (mainly because I lost a toy in there at Christmas and I want it BACK!), but I just can't pee in there anymore. 

Anyway, Dad yells at me all the time, and Mom is getting sick of it. She always defends me and tells Dad that he can't just throw me outside. I mean, is he serious? I would never survive! I have my claws and all, but my tough sister Edna is the one who could protect herself. I have gotten outside twice in my life. One time was when Mom and Dad were in their apartment. I hid under Mom's car all day until they figured out to come look for me. I wasn't going to be wandering around outside all day! Are you kidding me? With all those Chinese restaurants around...? The second time was this past spring. I was really scared. I just hid under Dad's grill and cried until they found me. Needless to say, Dad, you can't just throw me out! I'll change...I promise!

Mom called the doctor yesterday to make an appointment for me. What a sweet Mom, she is. It was even Mom and Dad's two year anniversary yesterday, but they spent their night at the doctor with me. Which reminds me, I need to get them an anniversary card...

They had to put me in the cat carrier to get me to the doctor. This part, I hated. Imagine if you were locked in a room that was just barely bigger than you with teeny tiny peepholes and a cruddy old towel underneath you? I couldn't turn around. I couldn't get comfortable. I even felt a little carsick on the drive because Dad, for the first time in his life, drove like a maniac. I cried the whole way there, and they just laughed at me. They especially laughed when the carrier tipped over in the car. Ever heard of a seat belt? It's the law. Grrrr.

When we got to the doctor, I had to be weighed (10.75 lbs! Still skinny!), but after that...the RUDEST thing ever was done to me! The nurse stuck a thermometer in my butt! Mom tried to comfort me, but seriously,  it was humiliating! 

While we were waiting for the doctor to see me, I found a hiding place underneath the bench that Dad was sitting on. After the thermometer tragedy, I wasn't so sure about this whole doctor thing.

The doctor came in and Dad had to put me on the table. The doctor pet me and felt around in my belly, and then he even looked under my tail! Again...rude! He talked to Mom and Dad about me for a long time, using words I didn't really understand. I remember something about how Mom and Dad need to lock me in a room by myself with an empty litter box with no litter and make me pee in the box to collect my urine. They have to bring back the urine to the doctor to see if I have an infection or possibly a stone. A stone?! I don't want to be all by myself! I will miss my sister!

When it was time to go, I had to get back in that dreadful cat carrier. Mom kept saying I was a good boy, so that at least made me feel better. 

I am going to try not to pee in the closets or bathtub anymore, but if I have an infection, I can't really help it. If Mom lets me have the computer again, I will update after they collect my pee and take it to the doctor. Alright...let's get this pee collecting over with...


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Eight and a half years...

Today is our two year anniversary! Yay! At the risk of sounding really corny, I just can't believe how quickly the time has gone! :-)

In honor of this special day, I will treat you to the story of how Luke and I came to be a couple. Ahem...let me begin.

I barely knew who Luke was until Homecoming our freshman year of high school. Luke was a "new kid" at Wes-Del that year. Wes-Del is so small, so it is very noticeable when someone new comes. However, Luke was very shy and soft-spoken. He didn't really make his presence known. I knew about him because of his older brothers and also because I had watched some of my guy friends play in a basketball league at the Muncie Boys and Girls Club once, and Luke was on their team. I remember my dad saying that he would be in my class as a freshman, but I think I was in 7th grade at the time and that really meant nothing to me.

Anyway, he was nominated for Homecoming Court freshman year, and I thought, "Who is that?" He obviously was popular enough to win the nomination, so why hadn't I seen/heard of him before now? At the time, a crew of freshman girls in my class were jockeying for position with Luke. He ran cross country, and we kept trying to get our extremely athletic friend, Heather, to date him. 

It wasn't until winter that year when I really noticed Luke. He joined our GT class (gifted and the comments please) at that time, and we were a pretty tight-knit group. We obviously had to get to know each other. He was really quiet, and really, well...high on himself, I thought. He liked to talk about his grades and other things. That wasn't very cool with me. I didn't have much interest in him at that point.

Then basketball season started and he was one of two freshmen to play varsity, and me being a cheerleader, I started to pay attention. He was talented and I was drawn to that. However, I still probably out-weighed him and his ego was a little big. We began to chit-chat online (AOL Instant Messenger) and started a friendship. By that spring, Luke delivered a hand-written letter to me asking me "out." Basically, he wanted to be my boyfriend, and I allowed that, even though I barely knew him.

We spoke only at school. I was too embarrassed to tell my parents that I had a boyfriend. We didn't know each other very well, and he was too shy to hold my hand. This relationship was heading nowhere, so I broke up with email...on our one month anniversary...which happened to be his birthday, too. I didn't know that, however, because that is how much we didn't know about each other. 

I felt bad, but I had to see what else was out there. And it wasn't much, people. That fall, as sophomores, we started the year as friends. Luke settled in more at WD and was friendlier, easier to talk to, and he had more to comment on than just his 99% in English. We talked a lot online, and I genuinely started to like him. By that winter, we were really close to making it "official" official as sophomores can make it!

New Year's Eve 2000...we were at a party for a friend's birthday. We were inseparable. He presented me with a gold heart bracelet that he had shopped for with my then-best friend, Holly. That night, we decided to be boyfriend and girlfriend again! 

EIGHT AND A HALF YEARS LATER... and we have been married two years! We experienced all of high school's ups and downs together. We endured four years at two separate colleges. We have gutted through two years of medical school. We dreamed our dreams together and made them come true together. He knows me better than anyone, and I thank God for him each day. I never want to live a day on this earth without him! 

Monday, July 20, 2009

Debbie Downer

Today was kind of a Debbie Downer Day. I polluted my old blog account (during the college years) with negativity, whining, and complaints, so I am not going to do that. I just had kind of a downer day. 

No real reason...I think I was lonely more than anything. I miss my friends, even though I saw a lot of them last week. I just long for the way things used to be, where we weren't on a time table and schedule and always rushing off to go do something else or be somewhere else. I don't know...this is life. I know it's normal. It doesn't mean I have to like it all the time!

There's so much on my mind right much I can't really disclose...I just am praying and thinking and wishing. And if you wouldn't mind, you could pray, think, and wish for me, too.

Strange Dreams

Lately, I have had the weirdest, strangest dreams. This wouldn't be so noteworthy if it weren't for the fact that I literally never dream. Ok, I know they say that you dream all the time but sometimes you just can't remember them. I maintain that I usually never dream. My best friend, Allison, always has the weirdest dreams. Especially leading up to her wedding, she would dream about engagement rings that looked like khaki colored plastic watches and things of that nature. Strange! I usually never have anything to add to the "weird dream" conversation, but I would say consistently for the past ten days I have had a strange dream every night. 

Of course, I can't remember all of them now. I wish I could. I know I had one the other night that had to do with some family members who I haven't seen in a year and a half. Last night's was bizarre. A group of our friends were out with Luke and me in a corn field. They were shooting off huge guns and canon type things into the air. This made me very nervous (I am not a fan of guns, to put it gently). Then, Luke took a big canon-like weapon, launched it in the air, and shot a part off of what I think was an airplane. Obviously it was a big deal and mass destruction occurred. So, Luke had to go to court. However, the court was in a high school gym. I was very distraught at the idea that Luke could go to jail for what he did. I don't really know what happened beyond that, but that was my dream!

I need to get one of those dream books to help analyze what they all mean!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

2 Year Anniversary

Yesterday, Luke and I enjoyed a day of Indianapolis fun and festivities to celebrate our two year wedding anniversary. I can't believe we will have been married two years on Tuesday, July 21st! It excites me to think about the rest of eternity that we have to spend together. Sigh...

Anyway, we headed out to the Indianapolis Zoo first. It was a gloomy day with a fall-like chill in the air, but when the sun came out, it was beautiful and pleasant. It was a very crowded day at the zoo, so it seemed were constantly dodging a stroller, elderly person, or small child running aimlessly. We went from animal to animal, marveling at nature's goodness...especially when we saw the walrus POOPING massive amounts of liquid poo while about thirty small children collectively exclaimed, "EW!" It was quite humorous. It made me feel like the walrus was saying, "Take that for putting me in captivity for the rest of my life!" 

Poo was the theme of the day as we also witnessed a large elephant do some colon cleansing in the Plains. So gross...yet so fascinating! A highlight for me was watching the baboons interact with each other. There were baby baboons and large baboons...they were so cute and eerily human-like. We watched them for probably 15-20 minutes and laughed the entire time.

We took in the dolphin show, which was PACKED. We found the last few seats in the place, which happened to be pretty good, about halfway up in the center. The lady behind us was not pleased with us as we took the seats right in front of them. I heard her make several comments to her children, who were not "small," "Honey, can you see around him?" That "him" being my 6' tall, 165lb skinny husband, who politely ducked his head AND turned to the side to allow for his knees not to knock the person in front of him. It got really crowded, so the announcer asked for everyone to scoot in so that more room could be made for the scads of people still trying to find seats. Well, "Selfish Susan," as I will call her, said several times that she was not going to move because she got there early so that they could sit RIGHT there! Man...were we mistaken? Was Flipper himself going to be appearing at the Indy Zoo Dolphin Show? Should we be more excited and uptight like this lady?

The dolphin show started and ended with no guest appearance by Flipper, and Selfish Susan was very disappointed. She exclaimed, "The one we saw last time was SO much better!" Man, she was a treat.

We saw lions, but no tigers or bears, oh my. I think they were in the forest part of the zoo that we didn't end up seeing. We called it quits on the zoo and headed to White River Gardens. We strolled around and marveled at the beauty. Did you know that Luke's dad, Eric Ernstberger, designed the Butterfly House and most of White River Gardens? He also designed the Ball State Bell Tower...just FYI. Anyway, after about 20 minutes of gazing at flowers, we were ready to head to the next destination of our anniversary "staycation." 

We arrived at the Indiana State Museum to take in the 3D Under the Sea IMAX. We had some time to kill, so we walked around the canal for a bit. I really love the canal. It is always so beautiful and has great energy. People like to run, walk, and ride bikes. You can even rent little water transportation thingys to use IN the canal. That's my new a water transportation thingy and play in the canal.

Anyway, the IMAX was good. I like anything that has to do with under the sea, especially WHALES. There was one whale in this IMAX. It was narrated by Jim Carrey. I found it enjoyable, but there was a disgusting scene with sea snakes (3D sea snakes, mind you), and I had to remove my glasses and look away for a moment. It was just tooooooo realistic. 

Next stop...downtown! We arrived downtown and were greeted by the Indiana Black Expo, which meant lots of people and lots of traffic and lots of hustle and bustle. We went to Circle Center to kill some time before dinner. I wasn't in the mood for shopping, and I was really hungry and tired, so we got some $7 chocolate at Godiva and called it quits on the mall. We went to the monument and witnessed a bridal party getting wedding photos taken. Every single person that spilled out of the party bus was wasted, despite their tuxes and beautiful gowns. I kind of felt sorry for the bride. She looked annoyed.

We needed to change clothes for dinner and had no place to do it, so we changed in our car! It was kind of funny...but it worked out! Then, it was finally time for dinner. We dined at Fogo de Chao for the first time, which was AAAAAAAAAAMAZING! I don't know how else to describe it. The atmosphere -- dark wood, nice lighting, wine bottles, lots of people. It is a Brazilian steakhouse where they bring you unlimited cuts of 15 different meats. You turn a little card on your table from red to green when you want more meat. When you want to take a break, you turn it to red. They have unlimited salad, polenta, mashed potatoes, plantains, and cheesy bread (to die for). The waiters actually pulled my chair out for me. They refilled my water when it was only 3/4 full. They presented us with clean plates without having to ask. Luke actually timed how long it took for us to turn our cards to green and get a fresh cut of meat. Three seconds. THREE seconds and hoards of waiters were at our service presenting us with filet mignon, top sirlon, lamb, pork, chicken, etc, etc. It was sooooo good! We even ordered turtle cheesecake, and it was divine. 

By the time we pried ourselves away from the table, we were stuffed. Painfully stuffed. It was just a glorious way to end a great day. It was an expensive dinner, but well worth it. I think it will become our  new, once a year, celebration place! 

Happy Two Years to my babe!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

25th Birthday!

Well, I have officially crossed over to the other side of 25, and now you can round my age up to 30. Woohoo! Actually, if you ask me, age doesn't really bother me that much. However, try asking me that when I actually turn 30...then I might have a different opinion. I always looked forward to my "mid-twenties," when I was younger. I always thought it was the perfect age...young enough to go out and do things and professional enough to have money to do them. HA...! At least I am still young enough to go out and do things....

I had a great birthday. I spent the better part of the day working in my classroom and getting it organized and put together for this coming school year. I know that doesn't sound all too exciting, but to me, it felt good to be productive. I got my license renewed, complete with a license that has a picture where I was told not to smile (Indiana has an identity theft software thingy where they do face recognition and a smile would just ruin that). Needless to say, I look like a convict, but at least I have good hair in the picture. :-)

I got some gifts from my parents. They always do too much and make me feel guilty for not being a better daughter to deserve such things. Oh well. My mom always says she doesn't do anything she doesn't want to do. But still. Well, I will just add "be a better daughter" to my 25 year old resolution list. 

I went back home to Indy and got ready for a great dinner at Buca's with my amazing husband who just rocks my world each and every day! Then we came back and he presented me with not only the chocolate chip cookie dough Coldstone ice cream cake that I have been petitioning for since April, but also a Border's gift card! Yessssss! 

Then, the door bell rang, and rang, and rang, as a nice gathering of our family, including my parents who I just saw hours prior but never mentioned coming down to Indy, filled our living room to help wish me a happy birthday. What a sweet surprise! my world. 

The cake was to-die-for...Lord it was wonderful! Elizabeth got me an amazing shirt from Target that I almost bought myself. What thoughtful people! It was a great night.

So...I'm 25. Abe wrote to me in my card that it would be the best year of my life...and Abe, I know I don't like to say this...but I think you're right! :-) 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blessed Beyond Measure

As I sit here on the eve of my 25th birthday, I find myself contemplative and nostalgic. Yesterday, I discovered the bag of wedding cards that we received nearly two years ago. I read through them all, smiling to myself as I read what our loved ones wrote to us on the happiest day of our lives. Some comments were more heartfelt than others, but they all spoke to me. It made me feel a little guilty. Guilty for what? I am not sure. I guess I feel like I am not always the friend or family member that I should be, especially to these people who spent money and time on us on July 21, 2007. Maybe I felt guilty because when I initially read these cards two years ago, I was probably just trying to empty them for the checks, money, or gift cards inside and get through them as quickly as possible for we had 1,000 things to do before we left for the honeymoon the next day. Yeah, I feel guilty. I feel guilty for the thank you notes I sent...I was just trying to crank them out and get them done. I should have been more personal. Hell, for the generosity these people showed, I should have bought them all an individual billboard on I-69 thanking them for their kindness. Guilt-ridden, that's me.

But reading through those cards really made me feel so lucky and blessed. Many of those people, a large percentage of them, are still a big part of our lives today. Great people are such a blessing. 

This week I have been surrounded by great people. My parents on Monday as well as my best girls, Jenn, Jess, Amanda, and Allison (not forgetting you, Nikki or Laura) as we celebrated Amanda's graduation from college, her birthday a little late, and my birthday a few days early. Later Monday I met up with Sarah, Keck (all the way from Vegas), and E for some drinks. Tuesday, I was reunited with some sorority sisters who continue to remind me that fabulosity can be achieved in Indiana. Today I spoke with a grandparent who made me feel so loved and prayed for. Tomorrow I will see my parents again and celebrate my 25th birthday. 

25 years -- I'm not trying to be dramatic...but I feel some changes coming this year. I think the biggest one is I am loving my life so much right now that I am inspired to live 75 years more...and if I want to live to see 100, I need to take care of myself in a way like never before. That's right folks...I might have already consumed my last Diet Coke (ok, that might be extreme...but you never know). 

I feel some changes coming at school, in my teaching style, in my patience. I feel some changes coming in my marriage, in my demeanor, in my respect for my incredible husband. I feel some changes in myself, in my maturity, in my priorities. 

Luke delivered some incredible news today that had me praising God for this beautiful life we live. He achieved an incredible board score...a score that didn't come easily and took hours upon hours and weeks upon weeks and months upon months of preparation. He deserves all the glory for this accomplishment, and I am just thrilled to be next to him during this incredible milestone. 

24 was great, but 25 is already looking pretty damn good. 

Congrats, Luke!

Luke had a great day today. He got a great board score...and...he got a baby! Well, he didn't get a baby today...but he will get one in about 7.5 months (on or around March 22).

I have been keeping the secret since Saturday. I didn't know the right time to tell him. Thankfully, I had this adorable onesie made a couple weeks ago for "when the time comes." It was too cute to pass up, and since today was the day of the board score relief, I thought the doctor theme should continue.

His face was priceless!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Do you think it's positive?

I have been peeing a lot lately...

I don't blame you if you can't see anything...but trust me, when up to the light, there's a 2nd line.'s kind of like a Magic Eye poster...

Maybe you can see that one?

Now tell me you can see that!

Oh yeah, it's positive!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

No Doubt Concert

On Friday, I got the opportunity to enjoy the awesome No Doubt concert with my friend, Alicia. She had gotten tickets from someone where she works, and the tickets just so happened to be in the pit area. What is the pit area, you ask? Well, it is basically the mosh pit in front of the stage. I have only sat inside the pavilion at Verizon Wireless Music Center one time, and it was for an NSYNC concert when I was in early high school! All the other times, I have been on the lawn. I wasn't on Friday, though!

We got there early to find that our "pit seats" were actually not seats at was basically a fenced in area in front of the stage where you stand all night. The heat was stifling, and we quickly questioned whether or not we could stand the entire time and live to tell about it later. We were surrounded by some pretty die-hard No Doubt fans...lots of interesting outfits, including thigh-high rainbow tights, pink tutus, leopard print velvet pants, sports bras and ties, and bright pink punker hair. We looked a little out of place to say the least.

The opening act was Paramore...which I didn't think I had heard of until they started singing. I recognized about 5 of their songs. Pretty awesome! Then No Doubt came out. They were awesome from the get-go! Gwen Stefani is so excited about what she is doing. We had a great time watching her and the rest of the group. No Doubt was really popular in middle school and high school for us, so a lot of the songs were very recognizable and fun to sing along to. 

We ended up moving out of the pit and into the first row of seats behind it. No one was sitting there, and we were just so tired of being shoulder-to-shoulder with people, especially since it was like 90 degrees out. 

By the end, we were exhausted, but I got a special treat as we were leaving because I met up with one of my friends from college, Shaun, and his boyfriend, Rusty. They were headed back to Chicago from the concert, so the visit was brief, but it just lit up my heart to see them! 

It was a great time and a fun way to spend a hot summer doubt. :-) 

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer To-Do List Update

Well, I only have about a month left of vacation, and I haven't done very much on this list! I need to get my butt in gear!

1. Steam clean carpets and hard floors
2. Wipe down all baseboards and doors
3. Clean windows from inside and outside
4. Dust every surface, including ceiling fans
5. Apply furniture polish/wood conditioner 
6. Clean kitchen cabinets
7. Deep clean both showers/tubs
8. Knock down any cobwebs in all corners of all rooms
9. Remove any marks/spots on walls
10. Deep clean fridge/freezer - done

1. Touch up chipped paint on walls in each room
2. Touch up white on baseboards, ceilings, and doors
3. Paint exposed wood on back patio door
4. Re-spray house numbers in metal spray paint
5. Touch up black paint on our dresser and bed

1. Hang green frames in office
2. Begin merging office/spare bedroom into office
3. Clean out office closet and organize - done
4. Reorganize spare bedroom closet
5. Get current with photos with printing/putting in albums
6. Reorganize kitchen cabinets/closets
7. Hang chandelier in spare bedroom
8. Go through books; sell unwanted
9. Sell other items not wanted
10. Refinish/paint mini-dresser for spare bedroom - done

Only 3 things done out of this whole list?! YIKES!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Very "Unfourth" Fourth of July

For some, the Fourth of July is the midpoint of summer. For others, it is really when they feel summer is just beginning. For a few (like myself and my fellow teacher peers), it feels like summer is almost over (with teacher report day on August 10!)! Regardless, July 4th is a well-loved and highly anticipated holiday for all (Americans, that is), and it seems people are always scrambling to make plans and have a grand time.

But then...sometimes...Mother Nature interferes. This past July 4th, it rained, was gloomy, and was downright chilly at times. Thankfully, we didn't have any real firm plans...and we especially weren't planning to be on a boat, in water, or outdoors really. Our plan was to head to Muncie to spend time with Luke's family, as Seth and Liz and our awesome nephews, Gus and Sol, were in town. 

We arrived in the afternoon, and despite the dismal weather, spirits were high. We enjoyed some lunch and then decided it would be a perfect day to go to a movie. This is a July 4th First for me...I have never had the desire to see a movie on that day before. But...we had nothing else to do, so the girls (CeCe, Liz, and Elizabeth) and I went to see "The Proposal." I had already seen this with Luke on our date the previous Thursday (he treated me to try and cheer me up after my near-fatal mountain bike injuries), but it was just as cute the 2nd time around!

When it ended, we made a stop at the grocery to pick up some necessities (like ice cream). It was very common to see people in sweatshirts and rain gear. Sweatshirts!? Shouldn't it be like...95 degrees on July 4th? 

Anyway...we ate a nice dinner together and then fought our sleepy, slothful mentalities and made our way to watch Muncie fireworks. Normally, we go to Minnetrista and camp out on the lawn with blankets. However, it was drizzling and just not pleasant, so we had a great idea to go to the...('s a secret location that we hope to visit every single year because it was really a great view and not lips are sealed!). We made a stop at Starbucks for hot chocolate and coffee chocolate? In July? But it was a nice touch and made for a really cozy July 4th. 

I enjoyed every bit of the holiday, remembering my freedom and how lucky I am to have been born a U.S. Citizen. Even though I wasn't in a swimsuit...or downing beer....or watching my friends attack each other with bottle rockets...I had a great time with family enjoying the true meaning of Independence Day. I hope you did the same!

At our secret fireworks spot waiting for the show!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Am I falling off the wagon?

With all of the chaos within the last couple of weeks, I have found myself slowly falling off the "health" wagon. This is not good. I must get back on before it's too late. 

I have maintained going to Zumba twice a week, and I am typically good for Jillian's 30 Day Shred about twice a week, but I really should be doing more. I should be doing more cardio training as well as changing up the routine a little bit. 

Additionally...with the cupcakes, ice cream, hot dogs, ribs, McDonald's breakfast meals, Oreos, and other unhealthy things we have been consuming nonstop...I feel a bit sluggish and not as good about myself. 

I keep telling myself that this is a lifestyle change...this is forever...this is so that I can be a healthy adult and live until I am 100. I need to suck it up and get a grip! 

Considering that I have some crockpot ribs on right now...I am going to turn my new leaf over...tomorrow. :-) 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bike Trail - 3, Ashley - 0

For months I have heard Abel and Elizabeth rave about going to this mountain bike trail off 96th street. They go with friends, Sarah and Ryan. They talk about how hard, yet fun, it is, and somehow, the girls convinced me to get on my brand new bike today and try it. I say brand new bike because Luke was a dear a couple of weeks ago and got me a nice, pretty, blue Schwinn bike so that I could officially retire "White Heat," the Huffy that I have been riding since late elementary school (it's neon pink, gray, and white, by the way). Well, I have only ridden the Schwinn once before and have no experience with the whole "shift gear" concept, but I thought to myself, WHY NOT? 

So, 10 a.m. rolls around and Sarah and Elizabeth pick me up today. They are definitely jacked up, ready to go, talking about how big of bad asses we are going to feel when we are done. Mind you, these girls are experienced. They knew what they were doing. I...did not.

Literally, the first turn, I knew I was in trouble. It was too soft and scary and slippery and windy already, and then to my left, I see a steep drop-off to the freaked. Within about 50 feet, I wrecked my bike. I found myself laying in some brush with Elizabeth laughing hysterically and Sarah nowhere in sight because she took off so quickly. I knew this was not a good sign. All I could envision was me tumbling to my death to this river, so somehow Elizabeth managed to stifle her laughter and help me up. Bike Trail - 1, Ashley - 0.

I get back on...a little shaken, but determined to be a big girl and get my Bad Ass on. Thankfully I was wearing a helmet for this next one, Folks, because I went straight over the handlebars about 10 seconds after my last wreck. You see, apparently you aren't supposed to use your left (front) brake. I kept squeezing both of them when I was scared I was going to die, which launched me over the bars and onto the dirt. By this time, I successfully gashed my knee and felt more than a little discouraged. Bless Elizabeth...I am sure it was a hilarious visual but she managed to help me back up on my bike and Sarah helped to coach me, too. Bike Trail - 2, Ashley - 0. 

Once again, determined to do this course and not be a wuss, I got back on. Sarah even asked if we wanted to turn around...and I said no. I am tough...I can do this. Give me about another 30 seconds, and I, yet again, flipped over my handlebars and somehow landed with the bike on top of me. I truly hope I am not sterile and unable to bear children now, because the handlebar gouged me in the side. I fear for internal bleeding. I ripped a hole in my pants and roughed up my other leg. By this time, I really, really, really, really wanted to quit. Bike Trail - 3, Ashley - 0. 

But, how bad could it really get from here? I have fallen three times and lived to tell about it, and I was still able to laugh with the girls at my own inexperience and ridiculousness, so I hopped back on and tried to enjoy the ride. Sarah got behind me and helped me to understand how NOT to use my left brake and when and how to pedal. 

It got flatter and easier, and I was able to take the bumps a little easier as it went on. All in all, I can see why they like the trail and enjoy themselves. It was really pretty and scenic, but the hills and logs and roots and rocks and not to mention the idea of falling into the river really played mind games with me. Nonetheless, I was proud that, after the 3.5-4 mile trail, I lived to tell about it. 

Maybe I will find myself with amnesia and forget about the painful falls and injuries and try the course again. Until then...the bike will be seeing the roads of Geist Landing Neighborhood and that is about IT! 

My right lines have become raised bruises

My bloody, gross knee