Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Post Christmas Laughs

This years Christmas was wonderful of course! Santa brought me everything I wanted. Man she...I mean he is good! There were some pretty hilarious conversations floating from house to house that I just must share (Or maybe you just had to be there).

Story 1
Starring Ponder Deborah Babbington
(little toe head on the left)
Age: 3
Interests: Playing her Dora piano and watching the Old Man Movie (a.k.a. "Up")

Laura: Ponder you're so silly!
Ponder jumps up and stomps over to Yaya (her grandma)
Ponder: I am NOT silly! You no say I'm silly! I AM NOT SILLY!
Jenny Lynn (her mother) trying to calm her little one down so Ponder turns to her...
Ponder: I am NOT silly! She say I'm silly....I'M Not Silly!
Ponder then turns back to Yaya and continues to shake her finger and yell at her (and probably use some choice words if she knew any)
Ponder: I AM NOT SILLY! Monsters are silly, I'm a big girl! I'M NOT SILLY!

And scene.
Who knew "silly" was equivalent to the "B" word to a 3-year old.

Story 2:
Starring: Afton Adelle Babbington
(cute little brunette on the right)
Interests: Singing bible songs at night, playing with her pink camera, and loving every person she sees!
Setting: Christmas Day after opening gifts right before lunch....or so we thought.

And Action
Afton's Mom & Dad: Okay girls it's time to eat lunch.
Afton: WHAT?!? We can't eat LUNCH before BREAKFAST! (Cue some serious alligator tears)
Mom & Dad: Well it's close to lunch so we're just going to eat lunch.
Afton: (continuing to ball/hyperventilate) We CAN'T have lunch if we don't have breakfast! NOOOOO!!!!! We didn't have breakfast we can't have lunch! (Insert a lot of unintelligible words here due to the hyperventilation).
Mom & Dad: We can just skip breakfast and just eat lunch
Afton: NOOOOOOO!!!! We can't do that!

Story 2 cont:
Setting: sitting at the breakfast table eating a very tiny bowl of cheerios for "breakfast" right before she has a PB&J for "lunch." Little Afton over hears her mom talking to her Yaya.
And Action!

Jenny Lynn: Hey mom can we set up Rose's (Afton's littlest sister) bed in your closet so it's quiet?
Afton: WHAT?!?!? (Insert more Crocodile tears and unintellible balling) You can't put people in CLOSETS! People sleep in rooms! No not closets! Don't make her go there. People go in rooms!

And Scene. Gotta love the drama.

Story #3
Starring: Tyler and Myself
Age: 10 & 24
Interest: Legos, Spongebob, Pens, and Video Games

Me: Tyler Austin you better stop being a toot or Santa isn't going to come see you tonight.
TT: He's not real.
Me: O (awkward pause.....) Who told you?
TT: Nana and Papa. But I already knew.
Me: O really? How is that?
TT: Because Santa never gives gifts to poor people. It just makes sense.
Me: Good call.

And Scene.

Hope everyone had a Holly Jolly Holiday!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

Ever since the brief moment we had of snow, I have had Christmas on the brain! Every year I make myself wait till after Thanksgiving to go full out Christmas Crazy because that is what is accepted. Well this year I simply said screw that (excuse my french)! If I want to start celebrating Christmas, then I can. The wonderful weather we had this weekend (in the 70s...really?) tried to deter my decorating plans, but it did not succeed!.

First I figured out how to u
se my fireplace. Seems simple. Well maybe for you. After many failed attempts I just finally went out and bought a starter log. A fire is a fire...who cares if you cheat a little bit. I hung my lonely little stocking made for me in college by one of my best friends Emily. I also changed out my Scentsy warmers for Christmas scents (Cozy Fireside and Rustic Lodge mmmm.....)

My Mom is the best wreath designer I know so she made me this one a few years back. It's looking a little shabby after being stuffed in quite a few boxes and going through quite a few moves. A few pine cones are missing, but the glue still remains. Mom- we might need to make this a Thanksgiving project :)

Next I busted out the Christmas tree. My favorite part! Luckily it's already pre-lit or it wouldn't be my favorite part. Even better was when I opened the box of ornaments I realized I had left all the hooks from last year on the ornaments....such a smart girl I am! And yes...that is an elf hat as my tree topper - don't be jealous.

The reason why I love putting up the christmas tree is because I get to see all my favorite ornaments. I don't have too many, but here are a few of my favorites. This handsome little ice cube snow man was given to me by my best friend Jaclyn our sophomore year of college (2005 - sheesh that seems like a long time ago). His name is Frank.

I have a tiny obsession with pigs. Well fake ones....or miniature ones. I bought this one last year to start my ornament collecting. He has shoes on....thats awesome.

And this year I bought an ornament to signify my time here in Amarillo. It's a cow because this place always smells like cow poo...


And for those of you who live in Amarillo...


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Winter Wonderland

On Thursday my advisor and I were comparing Oklahoma and Texas crazy weather stories. She informed me that the Panhandle of Texas experiences some crazy phenomenon called "Thunder Snow." What is this you may ask? It is basically a Thunder Storm, but instead of torrential rain you have torrential snow along with thunder and lightening. Little did I know I would get to experience it that next morning. Around 5:00 the thunder was so bad that it was setting off all the car alarms in my apartment complex. I looked out the window to this beautiful site:

I believe the weather people called for a flurry or two. Not sure what weather map they were looking at. I got all excited and my first thought was "O Yay School is canceled!" And then I realized I'm old...and it no longer has any effect on me whether or not school is canceled. It also turns out that hospitals don't close for snow days. Crazy I know.

This was my drive into work:

When I got to work I fishtailed immediately (thanks rear wheel drive), but I somehow made it to the parking lot. Then my car decided to drive for me. Thanks again rear wheel drive. It no longer decided to go forward, it only wanted to slide backwards. So I decided what the heck go for it and see where my car takes me. I just let it slide all the way back till I hit something (luckily it was just a curb....well at least I hope it was). The snow was quite thick and there were no other cars at the time so I had nothing to gage my awesome parking job from. I had no choice but to leave it there. Is it bad that my first thought was "Thank goodness my parents still pay my car insurance!"

Once work was over the snow had melted from the parking lots. I was a little leery about seeing the condition of my car. To my dismay my parking job was even better than when I get to actually control the parking (grey car in the middle)!

There is still snow on the ground and the roof tops of people's houses. This week should be a good one!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Little Ways God Shows He LOVES Me!

It's the little things in life that I love the most....and God has a way of slipping them into my day! A few weeks ago I was quite the grumpy gus. Seriously, I apologize for whoever I complained to over...and over...and over. I decided to start focusing on the little gifts God blesses me with and immediately I had a major 'tude' adjustment. Then I realized He has always been blessing me with gifts on a daily basis, but I didn't take the time to notice it. So now I'm turning a new leaf and appreciating the little things He does for me (and the big ones).
A few of my favorites:

1. My sweet puppy in the morning when she stretches and groans just because she hates getting up as much as I do.
2. The Rain (which I'm enjoying at this very moment)
3. The smell of chimneys being used
4. Babies laughing so hard that their eyes look like they might bug out of their head
5. Hot Baths (just had was awesome)
6. The creator of Lush who created the lovely little balls that you put in your bath (didn't have one of those tonight....thats a special weekend treat)
7. The random stores that play Christmas Music right after Halloween....I don't judge when it comes to Christmas music
8. When the light bulb turns on with patients in therapy
9. The Green House Effect in your car on a hot day. Absolute bliss.
10. Seeing old couples (like real old) holding hands....precious, just precious.
11. When your all time favorite song randomly comes on (Mine would be Shiver by Coldplay)
12. The crazy amount of "best friends" I have. I had to start giving them longer titles, such as "Best Friend from Home," or "Best Girl Friends from College," or "Grad School Best Friend," or "Best BEST Friend (you know who you are)." The list just goes on and on.
13. Random texts from my brother with the greatest questions. Like "Hey Ash, is it okay to wash sheets?" or "Hey Ash, is it okay to put ice in wine? Or is that too trashy?" or "Hey Ash, how important is Health Insurance? Do I really need it while I'm in college?"
14. Hugs....hugs from anyone really (okay maybe not anyone). A good solid hug is the best thing ever.
15. Thunder
16. People smiling. It's so simple yet so many people don't do it. When I find those people that don't smile (like doctors at the hospital....they're notorious non-smilers geez) I like to make it a mission to eventually get them to smile at me. Maybe thats why I smile literally all the time! It makes my day better so I figure it might make other people's days better.

I would love to know how God shows you he loves you :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Welcome to the 21st Century!

I'm always slightly behind the times it seems. I really don't know how this happens, but none the less it does. Well I officially decided to give in and get an iPhone, but for all the wrong reasons. And none of my reasons are to actually make a phone call.

1. I want to play music while at my desk at work...thank you Pandora.
2. Words with Friends....completely addicting. I justify this reason because it is helping my mind stay sharp. Okay it might be a long shot. AshHolden is the name...lets battle.
3. Hipastamatic - might be more addicting than Words with Friends. The photos below were from Ruby's photo shoot last night. Her emo pics are her best yet!

4. Face Time - haven't used it yet, but I'm pretty excited to. The commercials always make it look so fun.

So these might not be great reasons to get an iPhone, but they're pretty stinkin good ones if I do say so myself :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Excited FINGERS!!!!

One of my very best friends in the whole world is having a baby!!! The O-So-Lovely Emily Dupuis Powell and her O-So-Wonderful husband, Jonathan, found out a few weeks back that they were blessed with a wonderful little nugget.

Aren't they the cutest couple ever?!?

I've never had a friend become pregnant before so I'm savoring every moment like a proud aunt would! She has been updating us weekly on how big the little nugget is and what all is forming. It's fascinating!!! I only wish I was in Houston to see all her crazy eating habits change, mood swings....swing, and watch the little nugget grow!

She is 9 weeks along. Below is her 8 week shot. She believes she actually has a "bump" already. Honey I look like that after I've eaten a hearty meal....or possibly before.

So CONGRATS to the happy couple! You'll be the best/coolest parents of all time!
Love you both VERY VERY much!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oklahoma 1,008,570 : Texas 1

Everyone that knows me knows that I think Oklahoma is pretty much the most awesome state to be from. Well it's only because it is true. I know, I Texans just can't possibly imagine a better state than Texas, but I'm here to inform you otherwise. Oklahoma Rocks the Casbah. Totally. How you might ask?!? Well I have a million reasons, but one BIG one just whopped me right in the face today.

First I must bring you up to speed. On Saturday morning my precious little Ruby woke me up and I took her outside to take care of her lady business. While we were out we saw the sweetest little stray dog running loose around the apartment complex. No nothin. Just out in the mean, cruel world fending for himself. Am I tugging at your heart strings yet?!? If not, I'll continue...

I persuaded the pup to come up to my apartment. I tried to feed him and give him water, but he didn't want any. Clearly he was a well taken care of dog at one point. So I put him in the car and we drove all over the place. I thought "Hey, someone probably misses their pup!" I couldn't find anyone searching for him. I then tried the Humane Society. Turns out they're closed. Who closes on the weekend?!? That is primo puppy adopting time! I drove by a vet...nothin (except rudeness, pure rudeness). I went by Pets Mart....nothin. I went to another vet...nothin. I went to the SPCA and they wouldn't take him because their dogs had kennel cough, but (and here is the kicker) a guy had brought this little pup in the day before. That means the guy must have dumped him again! Geez dumped not once, but twice?!? Such a travesty. The SPCA person told me just to take him to the pound. The POUND?!? What kind of person do you think I am? I immediately burst into tears. The sweetest older man standing in line behind me followed me outside and tried to console me (okay props have sweet old men). He took my number and said he would try to find someone. He even called me later and told me he called all his friends, but no one could take him. Very sweet of him.

I've been going back and forth on keeping him. I would love to, and I mean LOVE to, but I have to think responsibly. One dog really is enough. Ruby is like an only child and she is not a fan of sharing the spotlight. And I would totally play favoritism towards her. I know it's not right, but it's a fact of life. Get over it. At work today I asked everyone all over the hospital. I got one No after another. I've texted practically everyone I know...nothin. So I called my mom who always knows how to fix everything (and hates when I cry...literally she would cut off her own arm if it meant it would make things better). She attached his photo to an e-mail and sent it to her whole office. Good 'Ole Okies to the rescue! Within literally a few minutes we had one person saying he will take Mr. Bentley (the pup just wasn't answering to Aticus) and another person offering to foster the pup until a home was found. Ahhhh....Oklahoma how I love thee. So now I can stop crying. And Mr. Bentley has a home as of this weekend. Below is the sweetest little face ever...besides Ruby ;)

I'm not the only one that thinks this either:

"I've spent most of my life living in cities where people are obsessed with looking down on people from everywhere else. You get so used to doing it that you start to believe it's simply what everyone does. It makes for an atmosphere of unwelcome that penetrates much of our modern life. It's a shame really because a couple days in Oklahoma will open your eyes to how much better it would be if the rest of the country was filled with a few more people from Oklahoma."

-Adam Duritz
(Counting Crows)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Wonderful World of Ruby

Okay as many of you are aware I'm completely obsessed with my pup. There are so many reasons I love her, but one of my favorites is because of her hair. I know I know...I just sound plain creepy. Reasons why her hair is wonderful (because I'm sure you care):

A) She hardly sheds...I mean you seriously have to bust out the magnifying glass to even find it.

2. I don't have to buy her special puppy shampoo. I just wash her hair with whatever I use. She is a fan of Pantene ProV Shine Blast....she loves her locks to glow! (and I totally condition her hair too....thats slightly embarassing to admit)

III. My perfume always stays on her hair for longer than it stays on me! She gets many compliments on her choice of fragrance.

Cuatro) Her hair doesn't grow fast AT ALL! She just turned 2 and she has only had 2 haircuts her whole life. One of those was done by yours truly...I won't be doing that again. The hair on top of her head has never EVER been cut. Why you might ask? Well that brings me to point #5...

#5 Ruby has the absolute best hair styles EVER! She does some of the best impressions I have personally ever seen a dog do. The following pictures demonstrate some of her best work (but the camera truly freaks her out so getting her to stay still is quite the challenge):

The Mohawk

Mad Scientist

Conan O'Brien

The Nerd "Part-Your-Hair-Down-The-Middle" Look

Her personal favorite - The Fu Man Chu
(She has this wonderful mustache/beard effect every time she drinks water. I couldn't get a good picture of it. It's hysterical. You'll just need to see it for yourself sometime)

The "Morning After Having A Little Too Much Fun At The Bar" look

She also does a pretty mean Donald Trump and Comb Over look. I tried to get pictures of those, but she informed me I was pushing my luck and better back off before she opens a can (her words, not mine).

And my new favorite picture of my sweet little Ruby Shoes. I know what you're thinking. No you cannot have her.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Children of the 90s

This weekend my mom, step dad, and I went to a used book store. We stumbled upon a "You know you're Baby Boomer If..." type book and literally went through every single page. I would have to say they really know there stuff! Of course I clearly had no idea what any of the answers were, but it was hilarious watching them reminisce. We then started brain storming what a book like that would say from my childhood. And yes I was born in the awesome 80s, but since I only spent 4 years in that decade I consider myself a child of the 90s. So I put together a little list to remind ourselves of the incredible 90s....a they were incredible.

  1. Beanie Babies
  2. Teletubbies
  3. 7th Heaven
  4. Tomagatchi or Nano babies (Do you remember how there was only one clear one in each box delivered to the toy store?!? I totally got a green clear Tomogatchi. And it died...repeatedly).
  5. Game Boys
  6. Trapper Keepers (My sister had like 10. I was so jealous)
  7. Jansport Backpacks
  8. Doc Martins (why would we ever wear shoes that weighed 30 lbs?!?)
  9. WWJD bracelets (admit had one in every color)
  10. Polly Pocket toys
  11. Sega Genesis
  12. Captain Planet (yeah go ahead and sing the theme song)
  13. Tickle Me Elmo (remember the Christmas those came out and women were killing other women in Wal-Marts just to get one?!?)
  14. NSYNC vs. Backstreet Boys (You can't like them must choose. My choice was NSYNC of course. I had the biggest crush on Lance - yeah I know how to pick 'em)
  15. Furby
  16. Slap Bracelets
  17. Clueless
  18. Macarena
  19. Roller blades
  20. Stretch Armstrong
  21. Talkboy (You might have needed to have older siblings to have owned one of these bad boys)
  22. Britney Spears
  23. Trolls
  24. Skip It
  25. Power Rangers
  26. Spice Girls.....(Spice up your life) + the Spice Girls Movie (wow)
  27. Pogs
  28. Brotherly Love (Love those Lawrence brothers)
  29. Littlest Pet Shop (one of my high lights)
  30. Boys frosting their hair
  31. Body Glitter
  32. Baby Face Dolls (look this one up....I'm sure you had one!)
  33. Alex Mac
  34. All That
  35. Saved By The Bell (The Original, College Years, and The New Class)
  36. Water Babies

Monday, September 13, 2010

Yours Truly

In February of 2009 Facebook started a trend of writing "25 Things About Me" and it sure took off like wildfire. I recently found my list so I decided to post it again for chucks and giggles.

1. I don't like to wear big earrings because when I was younger my mom said if I did they would make my ears sag to my shoulders and I believed her. I guess I still do.

2. The best purchase I ever made was my puppy Ruby and she was worth every cent! I think it's funny that people say she is a "designer dog," which is just a fancy way of calling her a mut.

3. My favorite word is conundrum. I like the way it rolls off the tongue.

4. I'm currently reading a book called "Stiff" (get your minds out of the gutter). It's about cadavers and it's quite possibly the best book I've read. You should read it too.

5. My first crush was Taylor James Maxwell. He was my first boyfriend too, except we never spoke a word to each other the whole time we were going out. Good foundation.

6. One of my favorite college memories was the girls and I went out and bought fancy dresses for semi-formal. That night on our way there we decided to take a detour and go to Dallas instead for Pizookies. Mmmm....I do love Pizookies.

7. is quite possibly the best website ever created....EVER.

8. I use ... too much.

9. I've thought my whole life that I didn't like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. As of recent I realized I just didn't like the jelly on the sandwich. It made the bread too soggy. I've missed out on peanut butter sandwiches for 22 years :(

10. My brother is my best friend in the world. If I ever had to be stuck anywhere with anyone it would hands down him. I mean who wouldn't?

11. I have a test tomorrow and I haven't started studying. This seemed like more fun.

12. Stalking is under-rated.

13. I think everyone should go to Europe at least once in their life and as many times as possible. It will open yours eyes to so many things.

14. I don't like girl singers. Never have. Well except Lenka (thank you Jac).

15. I haven't walked in my sleep since I got Ruby. Well at least I don't think I have...

16. One of my most humiliating moments ever was when I accidentally called a guy from high school who I had known for forever Cole in front of his parents. His name was Cale.

17. My favorite thing I have ever done was go whale watching in Wickaninnish, Brittish Columbia, Canada. Absolutely mind blowing.

18. I absolutely HATE the word hate. I rarely use it. However, I do hate feet, root beer, weird smells, when you take your laundry out of the machine and one sock has mysteriously vanished, when fortune cookies say "You will soon visit Asia," and copy cats to name a few.

19. I have a HUGE crush on Hugh Lorie from "House." The fact that he is Brittish is just icing on the cake.

20. I love the elderly. I just think they're really great.

21. Everytime I read a fortune cookie I secretly believe it's gonna happen.

22. I cried the other day watching the news. It's becoming a daily occurence. I should just stop watching the news.

23. I'm not as tough as people think I am.

24. I think being a Storm Chaser would be the ultimate job. I'm just waiting to be recruited.

25. Last week I joked around and said I broke my butt on the ice. It's 2 weeks later and I actually think my butt is really broken. Are there specialized butt doctors?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Just Plain Silly

So I decided this morning to run my first 1/2 marathon. You might be thinking, "Is this girl crazy?!?" I'll answer that for you. Yes. I had planned on doing an awesome 1/2 marathon about this time last year in California (sweetness), but we had some family matters we needed to tend to and my 1/2 marathon dream (or nightmare) was put on hold. So now it's attempt numero 2. I'm pretty sure at this point people are already up to 4-5 miles at least. Well I'm practically starting out at point zero. I'm not a runner. Never have I been a runner. So this will be an interesting few months working my way up to 13.1 miles.

On a side silly is 13.1 miles?!? Does that .1 really make a difference? No it doesn't. It's just plain silly. Silly I tell you!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Wanted: Reading Suggestions

I love to read. Up until college I thought I hated it, but it turns out I hated being forced to read a book that I had no interest in. Don't get me wrong Uncle Tom's Cabin, Grapes of Wrath, and The Great Gatsby are all books that you should read once in your life and I hear they are incredible. I just didn't feel that way about them. I believe I would have gotten much more out of them if I had read them out of my own free will. I worry now that I have such a sour taste in my mouth for those books from high school that I will never attempt to read them again. And as of now I have no desire to. Hopefully that will change.

Because of the sour taste in my mouth for the classics, I have literally dodged that section of the bookstore. I recently tried to give it another go. I decided to start reading....wait for it....wait for it....Pride and Prejudice! Yes, you are free to gasp. I have never ever read it. Saw the movie though. Loved the movie. Probably should have read the book before the movie. Honestly I'm not hopelessly in love with the book. Call me crazy. So to get to the point of this blog...I am about to finish the book. I usually have another book in mind that I can't wait to pick up. For the first time in a long time I have no book in mind at all. I'm bookless and that is not a happy place. This is where you come in. I would LOVE to know your top favorite books and I just might possibly make your favorite my next selection.

Here is a list of my top 5 literary favs:

1. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
2. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
3. On Hitler's Mountain by Irmgard A. Hunt
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
5. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Monday, August 23, 2010


So mission de-couch the potato has gone surprisingly well! I truly did not think I would be following through with trying to become more active, but indeed I have (granted this is only the second-ish week). It also helped to give myself a goal---If I make it to a size ???, then I get to have a pair of Seven jeans! Never have I ever (still love it) owned a pair of these way-too-expensive-you-could-feed-a-small-nation-and-then-have-some-left-over jeans....but hey it got my booty off the couch so I would say it's way worth it ;)

So how have I started my goal?!? Well first I went to Zumba class last Thursday. O my heavens it was hysterical and awesome all at once! I always thought myself to be talented in the dancing area....well that talent has since left me. I looked so rhythmically challenged! Thats how fun it was. I looked "special" and still had a blast. So 2 thumbs up for Zumba! I think my favorite part was watching 60-something year old women do booty dances. Seriously hy-ster-i-cal.

I cooked last night. And the meat was fully cooked...I think. I made yummy cheesy burritos and they were divine. So divine I had them again tonight. I don't think I've ever made anything divine before. Nor have I wanted to eat it again a second night. Ask's true.

I went to a BodyCombat class tonight. It's like kick boxing, only it also adds karate, taekwondo, tai chi and muay thai into the mix. I actually liked this class even better! And if you know me well you know I don't like to do anything....and I mean myself. Well it didn't bother me one bit tonight! THATS how fun the class was. Yeah for reals.

O and one more thing...Happy First Day-O-School to Em and Meg! Hope you survived the little rugrats (or big rugrats in Meg's case).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

You can call me Queen...Workout Queen

Okay not quite yet. I have made the first step into working out madness. I....deep breath...have joined a Gym! Yes ladies and those few gents that read this blog - you read that right. I, Ashley Holden, walked into a gym and this is the conversation I had with the cute little trainer man (can you tell I like quoting convos?!?).

Mr. Trainer Man: Hi there! How can I help you?
Workout Queen: Yes I need information on your gym.
Mr. Trainer Man: Yes here you go...blah blah blah....and we wave the membership fee if you work at one of the local hospitals.
Workout Queen: Well it just so happens that I do! Sign me up!
Mr. Trainer Man: Would you like the see the facility first?
Workout Queen: No if I do I might never come back.
Mr. Trainer Man: Okay?
Workout Queen: See if I pay for it first then I HAVE to come back...get it?
Mr. Trainer Man: Interesting theory. Let me know how that works.
Workout Queen: You'll know if it works if you ever see my face in here again.
Never have I ever (I love that game) belonged to a gym. In the 4 years I attended Baylor (Sic 'Em) I went about 4 times....and the 2 years I went to OU (Boomer) I think I went maybe twice. So we're averaging a good ole gym visit once a year. Pretty productive, right? You might ask, "Well Ashley, if you have a completely capable gym at your apartment complex and it's free, then why don't you use it?!?" O silly people, do you really think I've stepped foot over there? No of course not. It is way too close to the comforts of my couch. And like you read in my conversation, if I pay for a gym then I have to use it. It's like guilting myself into working out. Pretty genius really.

This place has wonderful group classes I can take, like kick boxing, Zumba (can't wait for that one....seriously I'm giddy), Yoga, Pilates, etc. So now I just have to go. That will be the toughest part.

In no time you might just mistake me for this hot little piece of tushie

Monday, August 16, 2010

Plan B

I have my days where I have to ask myself "Am I really doing the right thing?!?" Or "Am I honestly going to be covered in mucous for the rest of my life?" I feel like 2 months into a job is a little early to be having these thoughts, but I'm going to tell myself that it's completely typical. The good days really do outweigh the bad. And the sweet patients outnumber the rotten ones. Really when I re-evaluate my life I'm quite happy doing what I'm doing. It's just those not so pleasant moments that my mind starts to wonder what my "Plan B" should be. My dream job would be to open a secondhand bookstore! Just like Meg Ryan off You've Got Mail! I have it all planned out in my head.

It would have to be on a corner in a wonderful metropolis like NYC or Chicago. It would need a cozy one-of-a-kind coffee shop where you can get all the hidden gems that you can't get at Starbucks. It would have coffee and tea and pastries. Must have the pastries! You could only have coffee to go if you brought your own mug. And you get a special discount if your mug is funny or you donate the mug. Exotic wines would also be served. Sometimes a good book just needs some good wine. It would have an outside sitting area as well as a rooftop patio. There would be many hidden nooks where people could go read, work, or study. There would be sitting areas EVERYWHERE consisting of cozy couches, oversized chairs, hammocks, bean bag chairs, etc. Nothing would match. There would be multiple wood burning fireplaces. It would have the cute little old people that consider themselves "regulars" and come to read the paper everyday. You know the kind of people that order "the usual" and you totally know what they want. Fridays and Saturdays would be special up-and-coming musician night. There would be a little stage inside and up on the patio. The patio would be lined with christmas lights. It would stay open till 1:00-2:00 in the morning for those insomniacs who do their best work at those hours. There would be paintings everywhere of neighborhood artists that want to display their work. You could buy their work of course! Gotta support the starving artists.

Maybe one day....

What would you do if you weren't doing what you're doing?!?

Maybe we can go into business together.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mission: De-Couch the Potato

So we are officially on day 2 of de-couching the potato (a.k.a. myself). Well I'm not going to say it was a complete and utter just wasn't a complete success. It was somewhere in the middle.

Success 1:
- I got up early on Monday & Tuesday to run!

Failure 1:
- It was only twice around my apt. complex and I actually thought I might die. For real I saw the white light coming towards me.

Score : Success 1 - Failure 0

Success 2:
- I went to the grocery store (which I hate doing....the sweets aisle haunts my dreams) and bought ALL vegetables. Well practically all veggies. There were absolutely no sweets or pop in my cart. HUGE success!

Failure 2.1:
- I had to call my mom just to find White Wine Vinegar. Seriously I'm 24! I should know what and where these things are.

Failure 2.2:
- The little cashier boy had to ask me the name of one of the produce items I had picked up. I had to be honest with the young lad. Our conversation went as follows:
Lad: "Ma'am what is this? I need to ring it up, but I don't know what it is."
Me: "Ugh....yeah I don't know either. It was green so I threw it in the cart."
Lad: nervous giggle
Me: "At least we both don't know what it is!"
Lad: "Yeah, but I'm only 15...and a boy."
Me: "O okay. Let's call it parsley. I think thats green."
Lad: "Thats not parsley."

Score: Success 1 - Failure 1

Success 3.1:
- I cooked! Yes....with my new green veggies! I have this handy cooking book I picked up somewhere. It's basically a cooking for dummies type of book. I mean we're talking basics here. There is seriously a page on how to crack an egg, which might be a good one for me to read because I have never (and I'm not exaggerating here) cracked an egg without getting shell in the bowl. Thats almost a talent! So I picked out chicken salad. I mean, really how hard can that be?!?

Failure 3:
- So it kinda stunk (I was going to use suck, but my mom doesn't like that word and I know she reads this. She also doesn't like the word piss, but sometimes it just feels right). was a pretty big stink bomb. I swear I followed the directions word for word. Ruby can even testify on my behalf! Lets just say that 50% of it was mayo. Now I'm not knocking mayo, but a little bit goes a long way! I even tried to give it to Ruby and she wouldn't touch it. Come on she eats her own excrement (my mom also doesn't like when we talk about bodily I tried to clean it up a bit). Thats when you know it's bad.

Success 3.2:
- There is a silver lining in my whole dinner fiasco. I cooked the chicken completely! If you know me well enough, you know thats a BIG success! Now if I have food poisoning tomorrow I'm going to have to revoke this success point.

Score: Success 2 - Failure 1

So all-in-all my successes outweigh my failures. Hopefully tomorrow night's menu will go a bit more smoothly. Any easy meal suggestions that I can't muck up would be greatly appreciated :) I need some cooking success or I might just have to give up an hire a chef.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Name is Ashley and I'm a Couch Potato

I'm fully aware that I have not blogged in quite some time. I would love to say that it's because I've been so extremely busy, but that is not the case. I have turned into a couch potato and it's an addiction that is hard to quit. I come home after a long day at work, lay my stuff down and collapse onto the couch (or futon in my case). That is where I remain for the remainder of the night. It's sad really. I blame DVR (because you have to blame something other than yourself....clearly it's not your fault) because I have just too many shows that require me to watch them. The TV networks would probably take them off the air if I were to stop watching them. I'm just doing my little part for mankind. You're welcome.

In all reality I know I watch too much t.v. And in all reality I have no desire to stop. I love mind-numbing t.v. that requires absolutely no brain cells to process. A few of those little gems would be Keeping up with the Kardashians, The Real World, Real Housewives (yep all 27 of them), etc. So basically reality t.v. It's great I don't care what you say. It is getting a wee bit out of hand so I've decided to set some goals for myself to keep me from permanently planting my tushie on the couch when I get home.

They include (and are not limited to):
1. Learning how to cook
Yeah I don't know how. Get off my back.

2. Yoga
I hear it's good for the body and soul. I'll be the one to make that call.

3. Biking
Just gotta get a bike - slightly important

4. Running
Lets be honest, this probably isn't going to happen.

5. Reading
Okay I already do this, but I felt like a list of 4 things seemed lame. So I cheated and added a 5th that I already sue me.

Okay so those seem pretty do-able, right? Well we'll just have to see how these work out. Other suggestions are ALWAYS welcome. If you give me one that I use then I'll make you a special t-shirt that reads:

Partner in the "Help Ashley Get Her Booty Off the Couch Foundation"
Proud member for ____ days and counting.
Fight the addiction...move your fanny.

It has a nice ring to it. If you don't help me, I might turn into this and I don't think you can handle having that on your conscience:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Texan Transformation

I suppose I'm on my way to a semi-Texan transformation. My very best friend, Jaclyn, came home (Amarillo) for the holiday weekend and I couldn't have been happier! We spent the whole weekend with her fantastic family and I loved every minute of it. Seriously...Amarillo breeds some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. Jac helped me ease into my Texas transformation. With her assistance I officially own my very first pair of.....

I know, I did I not already own a pair?!? Yes, I know I'm from Oklahoma - that doesn't mean I own cowboy boots. Yes, I know I lived in Texas for 4 years while I went to Baylor - I didn't want to "conform" to the style of wearing boots with Nike athletic shorts. Who even started that?!?

Why did I feel the need to NOW buy new boots?!? Well Jaclyn's O-so-Amazing family took me to a RODEO!!!!! O yes....I LOVE rodeos! Once we got there I was quite relieved that I purchased the boots. Everyone was wearing them! I had never seen so many cowboys in one place. And before you ask I will just answer you....No, there were no cute cowboys around. Shucks.

So I will never claim to be a "Texan". I'm an Okie through and through. I'm asked on a daily basis where I'm from because clearly I don't sound like I'm from here with the cute west Texas accent. Maybe I can just start claiming to be a Texahoman. I kind of like the sound of it...for now.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Food for your Music Soul

One of my good friends is the lead singer for Taddy Porter and they released this album TODAY! I've listened to the whole thing and it is pretty rad. Soooo you should go buy Check them out on itunes and buy the album!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

One week down, many more to go

The last few weeks I've had to make some pretty huge decisions. Up until now I mostly had my choices made for me or I was given just a few options to pick from. Man those were the days! My two biggest decisions were where to go for college and graduate school. I remember at the time I thought those were the biggest decisions ever. Yeah I thought wrong.

Over the last few weeks (well months really) I had to really figure out what I wanted, needed, and what is really most important to me. Sure I "wanted" to move to Chicago, but what you want isn't always what you need (I can hear my dad's voice in the back of my head). My next idea was "wanting" to live in Tulsa, Dallas, or Pensacola where I didn't have to pay rent for a year. Saving up money sounded like the grown up thing to do! I then realized I had to be mature (ugh such an ugly word) and figure out the difference between what I wanted and needed. I came to the conclusion that I "needed" to find a job where I could get the most quality experience and really push myself to learn as much as possible, even if that meant moving away to a small town away from your family and friends (dagger to the heart - okay I'm a little melodramatic).

So this brings me to the present. I have found an incredible hospital where I get to learn a million new things each day. I've officially spent an entire week there so far and yes I am so overwhelmed, but at the same time I am learning more then I could have ever expected. Moving to a small town has given me the opportunity to work with all types of patients in many different settings, such as the precious sickly newbies in the NICU, patients in the ICU, pediatrics, outpatient, etc. Literally every single wing, every single floor, babies through geriatrics - I'll get to work with it all! It's so exciting and unbelievably scary at the same time, but every day I leave feeling good knowing that I learned something I didn't know before.

Moral of the story : Maybe God's plans don't match your plans. If given the choice, I would go with His. He kinda knows what He is doing. He is kind of a BIG deal.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

I am the luckiest girl in the world! Wanna know why? Not only do I have one fantastically incredible father, but I have two! As much as I would love for you to think they are "together" (because lets face it....that would be hilarious) they are not. They deserve a whole lot more recognition than one day out of the year, but this is the only day Hallmark allotted to the world.

The one and only Steven E. Holden the first.
I've known him for 24 wonderful years of my life. No one makes me laugh harder than this man (except for maybe my brother who is a clone of my dad). I love him more than anything and I depend on his wisdom and love every day. Not to mention he has some incredible fashion tips. God truly blessed me when he chose this man to be my father.

Tim Gribben, step-father extraordinaire!
Look up "selfless" in the dictionary and there is none other than this man. He truly has a servant's heart in every sense of the word. He has a wonderful heart and would do anything for anyone. I mean it must say a lot considering he has been able to handle my loony-tune family!

Love you both with all my heart!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Soon-to-Be Mrs. Gavin DeGraw!

Okay maybe I won't become Mrs. DeGraw anytime soon. A girl can dream, right?!? Last weekend I went to one of his concerts. It was AMAZING! I would suggest for everyone to go see him at least once....if not more.

Even more entertaining than Gavin is the super fans that you get to watch everywhere.
  • Super fan #1 - he cannot see you even though you continue to excessively wave at him every time he looks to the left.
  • Super fan #2 - dancing seductively will not get you noticed by him. Everyone behind you is just making fun of you. Maybe you shouldn't drink anymore.
  • Super fan #3 - I'm sure Gavin appreciates that you bought a shirt (or two), but no matter how many times you hold it up he is still not going to notice you.
  • And to all the boyfriends of super fans - might not be a good idea to bring your girlfriend to Gavin's concert. She won't be thinking about you later that night.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Trials and Tribulations of Moving

Well I am officially moved into my new fancy-shmansy pad in Amarillo. This was the first time I moved basically by myself and ya know it wasn't too shabby! Don't get me wrong...moving still blows. But there are a few things I learned and it's your lucky day because I'm sharing them with you! I know...I'm much too kind.

1. You do not need all the stuff you're leaving with. I would suggest going through all your clothes and going to a second hand store, such as Plato's Closet, and selling as much as you can. You might not get much, but every little bit helps. Everything you can't sell take to Goodwill. Seriously you're probably never going to wear that ugly dress again and no it's not going to come back in style....ever. Just let it go.

2. Boxes are way more expensive than they need to be. You can buy and sell your boxes on Craigslist. I got this great tip from my step-sister, the wonderfully comedic Jenny-Lynn. I'm pretty positive "selling cardboard boxes" cannot be mistaken for any innuendo so you should be safe! You can also get free boxes from grocery stores...especially if you're a young girl. Sorry guys.

3. I would try to wrap all of my breakables in clothes. It's free, it doesn't leave a mess, and the clean up is easy. If you don't want to use your clothes, make sure to use un-printed paper. Newspapers can leave their print on whatever you are trying to protect. Don't get me wrong, I love the news...just not all over my vases.

4. If you don't want to spend a couple grand on a moving company consider Uhaul. They now offer to hook you up with a loading and unloading crew. They'll list all the crews in each city along with price, ratings, etc. and you simply pick which ones you would like. The 2 crews I had helping me were absolutely incredible and cheap, cheap, CHEAP! A moving company quoted my move to cost anywhere from $1700 - $2000. We went the Uhaul route and it only cost about $800 - $850.

5. You CAN drive a Uhaul all by yourself even if you're a girl. Notice I didn't say "drive well" but I got from point A to point B so I'm gonna call it a success! Gas in these sweet rides is expensive so don't be shocked when a 1/2 tank costs you $100. And if you plan to go over 70 mph then I would make a different plan. O and one more thing...Uhauls are not equipped with CD players so if you require music to somehow pass the mind-numbing drive then I would suggest looking for an alternate means of playing music. Okay I know I said one more thing, but I remembered one more...many Uhauls (I hope note all) have manual windows. I didn't even know these prehistoric vehicles still existed! Well I love to have the windows down so before I started my trek I rolled down my window and the passenger window. I now know I should have probably checked the weather report. I was hit with a pretty amazing downpour and couldn't do a single thing about the passenger window. I mean I was just helping clean the interior of the Uhaul, right?

6. If you are renting, always give the place a good look through BEFORE the crew starts moving in your stuff. When I arrived in my apt the windows were open to air out the place because the carpet had just been cleaned. I thought no biggie. Well I got moved in, left for a few hours to eat dinner with my dad, and when we arrived back into my new apt we had quite a surprise. The apt reeked of animal pee. The cleaning of the carpets just emphasized any smell that might have existed before. I was positive it was cat pee because it is impossible to get cat pee out of the carpets (just one more reason why cats are inferior to dogs). Dad was sure the lady before me was harboring a Tiger because the smell was so horrific. The apt managers even came over and couldn't pretend it didn't smell funky. Well I now have brand new carpet...thanks apartment people!

So moving is not as painful as I predicted. Good to know.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Well Hello Again Texas....I've missed you.

It's time for the next chapter in my life. I don't know if I'm ready or not, but I'm turning the page anyways. Now that I have graduated I must complete my clinical fellowship year (CFY). All this means is I will have a supervisor looking after me for 9 months. When I was trying to decide where to complete my CFY I had to really think about what was most important to me. I had it narrowed down to 2 things: mental well-being & experience. I also realized that I could not seem to fit both of those things into the same job. Shucks.

My original plan was going to look something like this:

Awww...Chicago. Clearly my original plan was to make sure I had an exciting life outside of work. At first I really didn't care which setting I would work in as long as I could be here. I mean is loving where you work so important? As soon as you left work there would be something new and exciting to do every night, so many people from different backgrounds to meet, plays and concerts every weekend to go to, world renowned restaurants to eat in, public transportation (seriously I love the L), etc.

Well I realized I had to grow up a little bit and make the wise decision. The quality of the experience I will be getting from my CFY should and does outweigh the amazing social life I could have had in Chicago. Goodbye social life...I'll miss you too.

And now my plan looks a little something like this:

Dear Amarillo,
Hmmm....where do I start? I feel like we have gotten off on the wrong foot. Okay okay I might have made fun of you for the past 6 years - my sincerest apologies. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be living within your city limits. God sure does have a sense of humor. I decided working in a hospital would be much more important than my social well-being. In these next 9 months I am going to honestly try to enjoy what you have to offer. Not sure what that is yet, but I will figure that out. Luckily my best friend in the whole world is a native Amarillo-an...Amarillo-ian...Amarill-an? Okay whatever you get my point. So clearly you must have something to offer, right? Well I'm trying to jump in with both cowboy boots (yes that will be my first purchase) and enjoy whatever comes my way. Here is to being a grown up and making grown up decisions. So far being a grown up kinda blows. Cheers!
The Okie Wanderlust

If you could tone down the wind just a wee bit I would greatly appreciate it. I'm pretty sure you're just trying to blow Ruby back to Oklahoma.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

SLP Class of 2010!

Whoever said "time flies" didn't go to graduate school. On June 15th, 2010, I officially graduated with my masters in speech-language pathology. That morning I woke up and seriously contemplated not going to graduation. I didn't think the rents would mind because they have been to a total of 5 of my graduations already. What's one more really gonna do? Well clearly once I spoke with them that was not an option. So I threw on a dress, put on some sassy shoes, and added a few false lashes for sparkle (o yes....false lashes are God's little gift to us). I made my way to Norman (and somehow managed to get lost) and finally arrived at the correct place. I drug my heels all the way to the ceremony. Seriously why did I even go?!?

I made my way to my seat and above all the noise in that place I could clearly hear my family. No they were not yelling for me....they were yelling at me. I couldn't make out what they were saying and I didn't wear my glasses so I could not figure out what they were pointing at. So I tried shaking my head like I knew what they were talking about....that didn't work. I then tried to ignore them....that didn't work. I even gave them the "sit down and shut up" gesture....nope that didn't work either. So finally I strained really hard to hear my mom/see what the heck she was pointing to. I could have swore I heard her say "Emily", but why the heck would she be saying that? She was pointing to a row of girls, but since I didn't have my glasses trying to make out their faces was pointless. Luckily a gangly looking girl (sorry Em) stood up. I looked at her and then looked at my mom and said "My Emily?!?" And then the water works started. Not only was "my Emily" there, but my other two girls Jaclyn and Megan!!! Somehow these incredible besties of mine were able to keep a huge secret from me for 2 whole months and they drove all the way from Houston & Temple to surprise me! I was absolutely shocked and then I was so SO happy I was graduating! Honestly it was the best graduation I have ever had all because of these three. Love, love, LOVE them so much!
I am so blessed to know these three!
When I was driving to graduation with my family we drove past this fantastic statue of a sphinx/angel/cat/sumo wrestler thingy and I told my brother that I had to have a picture with this amazing piece of art. Then after graduation when I was reuniting with my lovelies what is their first request?!? Taking a picture with this amazing sphinx type statue!!! Seriously is our friendship meant to be or what?


And my wonderful parents who made me go to my graduation! Love you both so SO much!

And now.... NO MORE SCHOOL EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hello Real World - please be nice to me :)