Sunday, November 28, 2010

What's in the way?

What's in the way of your happiness?

I have been thinking a lot about this lately. I hear people say, "If I could only have __________, I would be happy." "If I could only be _____________, I would be happy." "If I could only weigh _____________, I would be happy." I am as guilty as the next person in doing this. I am human, so I get jealous and want what others have. I see people living their lives and appearing so happy and healthy, and it makes me want that, too.

But then I have to stop and shake myself....what IS it that I would change...or what IS it that I would want...if I could have 3 wishes...would I ask for a new life? The answer is no!

I was thinking in church today that the things that seem so complicated and scary in my life are really very trivial in the grand scheme of things. I will be the first to admit that I am pretty interested in material possessions. I am being 100% honest when I say that I enjoy shopping...for myself and for others...and I am not one of those people who "doesn't get wrapped up in the commercialization of Christmas." I mean, my previous post about scraping my knees on Black Friday, shopping at midnight! But I find that my fascination with "things" really stands in the way of me being completely happy with where I am in my life. I use "things" as indicators of success for others, so when I see someone buying a new house or a new car or getting Colts tickets or fill in the blank whatever, I translate that into their success. They must be SO happy...they must have the BEST job...they must be rolling in the dough. But really what it could mean is that those people have a fat, nasty credit card bill. Who knows? All I know is that I have to stop viewing "things" as an indicator of the success and happiness of others.

I asked myself if I could get the "I want that thing that someone else has" roadblock out of the way, what else is standing in the way of being happy? A really big one here lately is the uncertainty of the future. Luke's residency interviews are starting Tuesday, and we will be making a fairly hefty decision in a couple months that will determine not only where we will be for the next 3 years,  but potentially where we will settle down forever. Though the decision of Indy or Muncie seems quite small, it is really huge when you consider I have a job in Muncie and a house in Indy. I have family in Muncie and I have lots of fun in Indy. I lived 23 years in Muncie and 3 in Indy. It's all quite nauseating. But as I was processing this in my mind...I thought...if this is all that is standing in the way of true happiness for me...I am pretty lucky.

So, what are your roadblocks to happiness? What will you do to break them down?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I fell down on Black Friday.

Hello. I'm Ashley. I was crazy and shopped from 12 midnight on Friday morning until about 1 p.m. on Friday afternoon. I also fell down and scraped my knees on Black Friday. Which of those two make me more of a dumbass?

I have to say...I had a lot of fun shopping with Elizabeth on Black Friday. We had fun laughing at all the people lined up outside while we waited nice and toasty in the car until the lines dissolved inside. A lot of people were quite negative on Facebook about how they were NOT going to be CRAZY and wait IN LINE outSIDE the DAY after thanksGIVING...they will SAVE their MONEY and not spend it like an IDIOT! (I am using the all caps for dramatic effect, to imitate the dramatic nature of these Facebook postings) I got some good deals, mainly for myself (HA!), and I was able to get some people I love some nice gifts.

I am extremely confident in the gifts I chose this year. I think that everyone will love everything, honestly. This is the first year that I know what I am going to get my parents before about December 21 (because you are the two most difficult humans to buy for- Hi Mom & Dad!). I feel totally in the spirit and am ready to wrap presents and get them under the tree! Luke is going to have a GREAT Christmas, and Noelle's first Christmas will be fabulous, without being overdone. I promise there are still toys at Toys R Us.

So...about the title of this post. At midnight, Old Navy opened, and E and I were approaching the store. We were getting ready to get in line when I stubbed my toe with my big fake Ugg boot on this EXTREMELY HIDDEN AND HARD TO SEE step! I lost all my balance, leaned way forward, I believe I grabbed E's butt for pure survival, and then I bit the dust. It was hilarious. It's a good thing that I absolutely do not care about making an ass of myself because I totally fell down in front of like 300 people waiting in line at Old Navy. A 15 year old brace face girl asked me if I was OK. Seriously.

Black Friday 2010 was amazing. I have the skinned knees to prove it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for Babies!

Well, I am waiting for Elizabeth (the tall sister-in-law) to get here so we can go out at midnight for some Black Friday shopping. It's quite ridiculous. We really have nothing in mind that we need, but we are going anyway, just to be crazy. But...I thought I would give a little update because I have been blessed to hold not one but TWO new babies in the past 24 hours!

My friend, Jenn, had her son Lawson yesterday morning! She didn't know the sex of the baby until he was born, so it was a great surprise and a lot of fun to wait for that special text message! Allison and I went to the hospital to hold the little guy (and see Jenn & Justin of course) last night. I can't believe how quickly I have forgotten that Noelle was that size once. Nearly nine short months ago, Noelle was just as small and squirmy and breakable. Now she is a bouncing, giggling, smiling, wiggling, sitting, table-food eating CHILD!

Then, last night, we got another great text message (what would we do without them?) from Luke's brother Seth saying that Liz (the short sister-in-law) was in labor and would most likely deliver our THIRD niece or nephew on Thanksgiving day! We waited for a follow-up and we got a call at about 7 a.m. that Artemas Ernstberger was born and completely healthy! Since we were going down to New Albany anyway to be there for Thanksgiving, we expedited the process and got down there in time to hold the newest precious baby in our family. He is so tiny compared to his two older brothers, Gus (almost 4) and Sol (almost 2). Gus, Sol, and Art...a great trio already! :-)

Congratulations to both families who have yet another reason to be very thankful on Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The house is almost all decorated! We are anxiously awaiting Santa's first trip to our house.

Noelle even has a tree in her room, complete with lights and a pink tree skirt. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010


In your first year of life, there's much less to go than the amount of days that have passed. At 2/3 of a year old, you are a babbling, bouncing, beautiful baby girl who lights up our lives, which is the lamest way to say that your birth is the most amazing "thing" that has ever happened to us.

Holding you close and kissing your sweet cheeks makes me realize that, though I want to expand our family someday, you are all I will ever need to feel complete.

This time of year is full of magic, excitement, surprises, love, family, friends, music, great food, sparkling ornaments, twinkling lights, the fantasy of Santa, and the reality of Jesus's love...and your sweet name represents all of those beautiful things. We chose your name for you because we want you to have the spirit of Christmas in you always, all year, all of your life.

With each new milestone you reach, I praise you openly but think to myself, "Slow down, Baby Girl." The older you get, the farther apart the milestones will be, but they will become greater and more momentous...such as learning to drive, taking the SAT, graduating college, getting married, having a child of your own. My biggest wish is that I am with you all the way, still praising you and still wishing that you would slow down.

You are not yet able to speak what you feel, but I truly believe you have the sweetest heart. Just by the way you look at us, look at others, and others look at you...I feel how sincere, genuine, and beautiful you are on the inside.

At 8 months of age, I already know that you will have no problem fulfilling the beauty of your name.

I'm so proud of you. (but slow down, Baby Girl)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This week...

This week...

I spent two nights at my parents' house in Muncie to save a late-night trip back to Indy. Luke and Noelle stayed, too. It's nice to be around family.

I had dinner with a friend who I hadn't seen in a long while, and we had great conversation.

I ordered tickets for Luke and I to see Cats at Clowes Hall on November 27th!

I ran two miles without stopping as part of week 5 of Couch to 5K.

I registered for that 5K I will be running on December 11 (Jingle Bell Run). Luke is running, too.

I took pictures of a sweet 6 month old.

I watched in amazement as our daughter turned 8 months old. Teddy Bear picture to follow soon!

All in all, a good week. :-)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Plan B

So...I had this fabulous post about Noelle and how great she has been the last few days and how I have memories that would bring tears to your eyes. I also have documentation of her first bites of chicken. However, for some reason, Blogger failed me at the end of my post and lost all of my writing. I am mad, so you will have to read my Christmas list instead. Two reasons. 1) It is almost Christmas. Yes, it is. Snap out of the denial. 2) A list is easier to write than an essay about my precious girl after a long day of teaching and spell bowl coaching.

I feel like I "want" a lot, but know that I "need" I am kind of looking at different things this year.Of course, I have that little pipe dream that "Santa" will drop an iPad into my lap or get me that Le'Vian Chocolate Diamond ring I have been eyeing...but I know that is not realistic, possible, or even reasonable.

So...Santa, if you have Internet at the North Pole and are frequenting this bliggity blog...take notes.

1.  Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook

2. Philosophy Purity Made Simple face wash...extra large size w/ pump

3. TVP Necklace (with You Are Worth It All around the edge and N in the middle)

4. A gift card for The Loft to go toward a pretty dress for Luke's graduation.

That's it for now. Maybe more later.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Here's your sign...

So today, I decided, I would not be a fatty. 

I made good choices with food.

I went to Zumba, even though it was as dark as 3 a.m. outside and I was in general in a feel-sorry-for-myself mood. 

And, I kid you not, I woke up and the first thing I thought was, "I need a McDonald's sausage biscuit."

Can you see how I have problems losing weight? sausage biscuit for me today. It was all Fiber One and a lean pocket and sandwich thins and Wendy's chili and a baked potato (not all for breakfast! that would make me fatty, and remember the sign...? no fatties). 

Baby girl will be 9 months old in about a month. What I wouldn't give to see those last baby fat lbs melt away just in time for the holidays...and just in time for me to celebrate having my baby girl outside of me for as long as she was on the inside. 

No hear? 

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Oh, hiiiiiiii.

Do you know that I have started a mental list (soon to be a physical, paper list) of all the blog entries I need to write? Such items on the list include why politicians suck, and therefore the education system sucks, my anxiety about the big RESIDENCY decision and how that is going to end up screwing me no matter how it shakes out, and my obsession with Diet Coke. But for now...I choose to write about my big, fat ass.

I am in a lazy slump. I have started putting on my hibernating weight for the winter. My body thinks it is a bear. I am having a lot of difficulty getting these last 10 lbs off from the baby weight. I am getting discouraged and annoyed. I go to Zumba as much as I can, but sometimes I find it upsetting to go and check out all the bodies that look so good, rather than allowing it to motivate me.

I know I am just in a funk, and that if I really "wanted" to, I could do it. I know that it is my own decisions and choices that have brought me here today, but I just can't seem to shake it.

My friend Allison and I used to say that we were self-sabotagers. We intentionally screwed ourselves over in the weight-loss department so that we couldn't be happy. Am I still doing this today at 26.5 years old? Is there something holding me back and keeping me from wanting to be happy deep down inside?

Am I just a lazy loser, destined to be on Hoarders or Maury where they have to cut people out of their homes?

I suppose if I had to choose...I would choose Hoarders.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We are lucky.

We don't have lots of money.

We don't have a large house.

Luke doesn't have a functioning CD player in his car or a working gas gauge.

The damn cleaning lady didn't show up for the thousandth day in a row...

But we are lucky.

I don't know if I will have a job next year.

We don't know where we will be living next year.

We don't know where Luke will be placed for residency next year.

But we are lucky.

And I will force myself to believe this if it kills me.

We are lucky because Noelle is healthy and happy.

We are lucky because we have a heated home this winter.

We are lucky because we have each other.

We are lucky because this will ((hopefully)) be the roughest and most stressful time of our lives, and if that turns out to be true, we truly are lucky.