Christmas Song of the Year

The other night I went to the "weekday relief society meeting" (formerly known as enrichment).  It was a Christmas theme, mostly about Mary.  There were a lot of songs, but there was one that I thought was just amazing.  It's called "And His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful."  You can get a free download of the song from that link, if you would like.  There are two versions available and you can bet I downloaded both of them.  The sheet music is also free to download and print.  I really like this song.  I think it's beautiful.  I was really impressed by the lady who sang it in the meeting too.  She's this little lady from the Philippines, with a really heavy accent.  Let's just say i was a little surprised to hear such an amazing voice come from someone who I sometimes have a hard time understanding when she speaks. Anyway, it was amazing, and if you're looking for a great CHRISTmas song, I highly recommend this one.


This & That

I'm sure you're all dying to know what has been happening around here lately. So I will tell you.

After tonight, Sam will have worked 4 of his 7 days off.  This means a bigger paycheck to help out with the holidays, but a grumpier me.

I learned last night that Sam has never seen The Grinch. GASP! It's only one of the best Christmas movies EVER!

Speaking of Christmas, I was pretty sad because i didn't think we would be able to have a tree this year because 1. the tree Jessica gave me is still in Joseph City and 2. we would have probably had to move our table outside in order for the tree to fit in our little apartment and 3. I'm sure Zoey would love to eat an entire Christmas tree.  Luckily for me, Jessica gave me the idea of a Charlie Brown Tree! Genius! I'm pretty sure Sam thinks that us having a Christmas tree is unnecessary, but I'm also pretty sure he knows I would have been a little bit sad devastated if he wouldn't have let me get one.  So here is our 3' tall (short?) tree.  I got it at Target for $5 off the listed price and was very proud of myself.  I also got those tiny ornament balls. But no star, because I am an airhead and didn't buy one.

Moving right along here...

A while ago, Zoey went through a phase where she liked to hang out on my shoulders.  I was worried for a while that she might be part parrot, but no worries, she hasn't sprouted wings or a beak yet.

Also, Zoey lost some teeth. I thought it was HI-larious!  They have mostly all been replaced by permanent teeth by now, but I took this picture a couple weeks ago and I still laugh at it whenever I see it.

But, since she is teething, she likes to chew on things even more now, which i did not think was possible.  Today, she destroyed one of Sam's flip flops. I guess you can say it no longer flips, it just flops.  Also, she's been working on the cord for my computer.  I just had a mini heart attack when I plugged it in to charge it a few minutes ago and the charge light didn't come on immediately.  No worries, my heart and my computer cord are still in working condition.

Mom and Kourtney came to visit.  It was a grand time! We didn't go to the zoo like I had hoped because it was as close to freezing as it probably ever has been this time of the year in Tucson.  We're talking some really cold wind, people. So instead, we went to the Foothills mall... twice, and  Kourtney and I had a little too much fun in Claire's.  

Oh, and no worries, we still went to see Harry Potter.  My brother-in-law, T came to babysit the little girls and we were able to go.  I. Loved. That. Movie.  Also, Brigette was pretty funny when T showed up.  First, she asked where his little boy was.  Um... T does not have children.  Nor does he have any friends that could be considered "little boys."  I have no idea where she got that idea.  Next, she said, "I thought he had hair!"  Hahahaha! Kourtney had to explain that T is like Papa and he doesn't have any hair.  Oh boy, Brigette is a nut!

Here is a blog post that has provided many tears of laughter for me and Sam.  I suggest reading it because it is funny.

Yesterday, Sam and I were looking for something to do with our free time, and I found this:
Last summer, my Grandma taught me and Kourtney how to crochet.  We were super stoked.  I even took this bad boy to college with me so I could work on it... which I never did.  But yesterday my desire to crochet came back.  It took me a couple of tries, but I remembered how to do it.  And after I realized that this scarf that I am making is as long as my bed, I decided that I should maybe make this a blanket or something.  We'll see if my ambition lasts long enough for me to crochet a blanket.... It might end up just being a crocheted thing that is too wide and long to be a scarf but not wide enough to be a blanket.  Maybe by the time I have my first (or last) kid, it will be a blanket? Well, here's to wishful thinking!

Also, I have a question for all of you.  Where has the year gone!? I can't believe Christmas is less than 3 weeks away!

P.S. Kourtney - What does your family want for Christmas? We have no idea what to get you and a hint would be nice... Just sayin...


I'm a Little Bit Country

On Friday it came to my attention that I'm kind of a hick.

I first started to realize this when my chemistry teacher was talking about her trip to school that morning.  She had seen a coyote.  (she pronounced it ky-oh-tee.  I mentally corrected her: ky-ote)  She thought it was so cool to see a coyote just running across the street in the middle of the city.  Pretty soon half of the class was telling stories about how they occasionally see coyotes and javelinas running around and how they find it fascinating.  I was thinking, "big deal.  I grew up on a farm.  I saw coyotes practically every other day out there."

The realization hit me again during our lunch break.  I went to lunch with the two girls I have been working with.  After it came up that I was from a very small town, we saw a dog almost jump out of the backseat of an suv.  I don't remember the conversation exactly, but I mentioned how sometimes when I was little, we'd take our dogs places in the back of the truck.  Here's what was said next:
Sarah:  What if they jumped out and you were going really fast or something?
Ashley:  Well we didn't take them everywhere.  It's not like we loaded them up to go into town or anything.
Sarah:  Haha you're so country!  "Go into town!"  That's so funny!
Apparently I was the only one in the vehicle who had to "go into town" to do "city things" growing up.  But come to think of it, I think "going out of town" would have been a more appropriate term since we had to leave town to get to some place that even had a grocery store.

We got back to school about 15 minutes before class started, so we were locked out.  We were sitting there talking about this and that, and more evidence of my country-ness was there on my feet.  I was wearing cowboy boots.

I come by it rightfully though.  My parents came to visit this weekend.  When we went to lunch, a little boy in front of us kept looking at my dad very excitedly.  I turned to my mom and whispered, "I bet that little boy's thinking 'Wow! A real cowboy!'"

So I'm a little (maybe a lot?) country. Big deal.
You know what my response is gonna be next time someone tells me that?
"Thank you."


Exciting things to come*

The next few months are filled with fun stuff coming up! They are (in order)

  • November 11:  

No School!  I get out of my boring computer class! And we get to honor all the veterans that have served our country.  Great holiday, in my opinion.
  • November 19th:

Harry Potter 7 comes to the theaters!!! Woot!
  • November 25th:

Thanksgiving! I guess we're going to Las Cruces to spend Thanksgiving with Sam's family... and I'm trying not to be a big baby about that.  Is it bad that I miss my family this much?  Well I love Thanksgiving, because, well... I love good food, so I'm going to (try to) be happy about Thanksgiving being something a little different this year.  No Bushman Thanksgiving Football Bowl? I'll try to get over it.
  • November 28th:

These two are coming to visit me! (I've told the world... now you can't get out of it!)  Harry Potter will be watched and maybe a trip to the zoo will take place for Brigette and Tera.  Ok, I admit, I'm exctied about the zoo, too.  It will be a marvelous couple of days.
  • Week of December 13th:


I'll be done with school for the semester by the end of this week (I think by Thursday)!  This semester has been... not my favorite.   I'm actually liking my Organic Chemistry class a little bit - it's not as hard as i thought it would be!  Even though 6 hours of chemistry in one day is not my idea of fun, it's not completely horrible.  But this computer class I'm taking is the definition of boring.  Ugh.  Anyway, enough complaining about school, because it'll be out soon! YAY!

  • Christmas!

Yay For Christmas!  This is the only Christmas Sam gets off for the next 5 YEARS (no joke).  But sadness aside - IT'S CHRISTMAS! And I will get to see my family!  I'm pretty sure Christmas is the next time i'll be going back to Joseph City =( but once again, I'm trying not to be a baby! 

Well there's my list of excitement! Looks like the rest of the year is gonna be good!

Did I freak anyone out because I made Christmas seem so close? Hehehe =]

*I was going to name this post "What I'm Excited For" but the grammar freak in me wouldn't allow that preposition at the end of my sentence. (thanks a lot, Ms Bowler...)


I always want what I can't have

I really should stop looking at photography blogs and home decorating blogs.  Here are my reasons:

  • Photography blogs make me want babies.  I can't have a baby right now!  For one thing, we don't have anywhere to put a baby.  Welcome to my one-bed/one-bath apartment-dwelling life.  For another thing, I have to finish school first, otherwise it'll never get done.  Also, my hands are already full with a certain Zoey pup.  

  • Photography blogs make me want to get married.  Wait just a minute - I'm already married! Silly me!  Let me rephrase.  Photography blogs make me want to have lots and lots of pictures taken of Sam in a certain suit and me in a certain dress.  Or maybe just in regular old clothes. marvelous NEW clothes!

  • Then there's the home decorating blogs. Oh mercy.  And this "site problem" extends to other sites, like etsy, craigslist, heck, even the bed bath and beyond site is trouble for me.  Wanna know why?  Well if you don't, you may as well stop reading because I'm going to tell you why.  Ok, it makes me want a house.  I am so sick of apartment living it's not even funny anymore.  Actually, I'm not sure it was ever funny. But that's beside the point.   The point is, February can't come soon enough.  Then we will be out of this lease and (hopefully) out of this apartment.  Alas, even when February does get here, it may just bring a move to another apartment, or a renewal of this lease.  Let's keep our fingers crossed that February brings something a little happier than those things...

  • Home decorating blogs also make me want to buy things.  Things I know would look fabulous in the house that is not mine yet.  Things that would not have a place to be fabulous in my current living space (or lack thereof - the space part, that is).  I never thought I'd have the urge to be crafty, but by golly, it's taking over my mind!  I walk through the home decor aisle in any store and want to clear the shelves!  I guess my sisters and mother have finally rubbed off on me.

Do you see what I am doing to myself by looking at these sites?  It's torture of the worst kind, I tell you!  Someone please keep reminding me that someday I'll be able to have these things!  Until then, I'll try not to tease myself with these things.  Too often.


Not confessing

I was going to tell you all a confession.  But now I think I'm going to just keep it to myself.  I was writing along about this confession and I realized something.

I was whining.  

I don't like whiners.

So I deleted it. 

Maybe I will try to tell you about it when I can write about it without whining about it.  Until then, go to EA's website and check out the first picture that comes up on the homepage.  It says something about front row seats or something. I daresay you'll see a couple familiar faces from good ole JC, AZ.

Sorry for the lame post.  But better lame than whiny right?



I really rock at procrastinating.  It always amazes me how motivated I can be to do things other than what needs to get done.  I'll do things that I only kind of didn't want to do before to put off things that I really don't want to do at the time.  Does that even make sense?  Maybe try reading it again and it will. Better?  Well that's the only way I can think of putting it, so hopefully y'all understand. Homework is my favorite thing to procrastinate.  In fact, I am putting off doing my organic chemistry homework right now.  In my defense, I've done some of it.  Probably like a quarter of it.  I was on a roll until I got cold.  Then I just started finding stuff to do.  Like put clothes in the dryer and dishes in the dishwasher, throw away some old papers that we don't need... you know, stuff that just couldn't wait.  Then I decided to finally import my bridal pictures from the disc onto my computer.  That couldn't wait, either.  And then I realized I haven't shared these with you yet!  How selfish of me, right?  So of course I couldn't keep that selfishness going any longer and I had to get going on this post!  Anyway, Kristal is awesome and took these of me back in the day when I was still a ms. and not a mrs. 

 Oh these shoes.  I just loved them.  They were so uncomfortable but so worth it.  
 Love the lighting in this one.

 It was seriously all about the shoes.

There you have it.  I guess I better get back to my homework.  But maybe I'll play with Zoey first.



We got a puppy!!! I have been bugging Sam about getting one for a while... probably since the day after we got married.  I would have been happy with any old puppy, but Sam was picky.  He wanted a Jack Russell Terrier.  And not just any jack russell.  It had to be a girl.  It had to be pure bred.  It had to have short legs.  It had to have a patch.  So you can imagine that it took some time to find a good one.  I had all but given up on finding a puppy anytime soon.  But on monday, we were looking on the internet for JRTs anywhere even kind of close (heck, we were even willing to go to el paso!) and we saw an ad that had been placed 2 hours earlier. and these people were in goodyear! destiny? i think so.  So we sent an email and got a reply the next day, and on wednesday we were on our way to goodyear to pick up zoey!  I was so happy!  Sam was a little bummed because the puppy he wanted had been spoken for, but i liked this one better anyway.  She was the runt and still only weighs around three pounds.  i just love her. i felt so bad because on thursday and friday i had class and had to leave her alone. poor little girl! we just love her.  She's only about 7 weeks old so she still has lots to learn, but she is so fun! she has this little fox that she plays with and pounces on all the time, and she is so cuddly! if i'm sitting on the couch she curls up right next to me and just falls asleep.  she is incredibly cute.  here are some pictures.  the lady who sold us zoey sent me the first three, and the rest are just some cell phone pictures i have taken since we've had her.

  isn't she just the cutest puppy you've ever seen?!

Happy Campers

The weekend after labor day we got to go camping! woot! ( I know, I'm a little behind in the blogging department)  It seemed like forever since the last time my family had been camping!  So on Thursday we headed to good ole JC, AZ to help get everything ready to head to Wallace the next day.  I was so excited once we got to the woods.  Even though we didn't go all the way to our usual camping place at Ohaco cabin, I was just tickled pink to be in the forest.  I was also pretty excited to use the tent and camping chairs we got as wedding gifts.  I should probably tell you that i've pretty much always camped in a camping trailer.  it's just how my family rolls.  But i'm always (ok, usually) up for new stuff, so i was pretty stoked to try out our tent.  and my parents let us use their air mattress so it's not like we would be sleeping on the ground or anything.  Sam and I set up our tent and then blew up the air mattress and we discovered something very quickly...
our "4 man tent" is very tiny.

So we got a little crafty and deflated the mattress and put it in the tent, and carried the whole thing to the trailer to air it up again. 
and carried it back to our spot.  good thing we're really strong.
The whole weekend was great.  My cousins Sam & Jessica came and spent the whole weekend with us, and Beau & Jessica (notice all the repeating names in our family? yeesh!) and Brad came on Saturday.  
We had fresh corn on the cob every night.

 Sam was very pleased.

Sam's camera has this really cool feature where it detects your smile and takes the picture when your smile is big enough.  So of course we had to try it out.  and when I say "we" i actually mean I held the camera and made them do really big smiles.  

Also, there was a little competition going on all weekend.  The title for dirtiest baby ever was up for grabs.
 This picture really doesn't do Tera's messiness justice.  I think she was only clean the first five minutes we were there.  Somehow I didn't get many pictures of her being messy though. She was probably out playing in the dirt whenever I had the camera out.
 Emmaree was only there for one day and she was some big competition.
maybe it was a tie?

anyway, we had a blast.  here are some more random pictures of the fun.
 Brigette being cute
 Kourtney being pretty and me being weird...
 and vice versa.
And me and the husband =].  don't get me started on that mustache....


This just in

I have officially given up on making my own background.  I can make it, i just can't make it fit right.  What looks good on my computer doesn't fit on other computers.  bummer.  But I found this cute background, so I'm almost over it.  And I've decided that header-making is good enough for me.  Maybe one day I'll venture back to backgrounds (haha), but for now, I am fed up with the whole thing.  Kudos to those of you who can do it successfully.

I am no longer job hunting.  I am in school again.  That was a last minute decision if there ever was one.  I'm talking the day before the semester started last minute.  I'm only taking 8 credits, but 5 of those credits are an organic chemistry class that goes from 8 am to 3 on Fridays.  Sometimes I wonder why I do the things I do.

I have a meeting with the bishop tonight.  I feel a calling coming on.

On Sunday and Monday there was a moth the size of a bird hangin out by our apartment.  I would show you the picture, but Sam is hogging the evidence on his phone.

My water is about to boil over.

last one! (for now at least) =]

The background is done! Complete with a new header.  I am quite pleased with myself.  What do you think?


another post about....

my background.  i know, it just makes you want to scream and rip your hair out, right?
or is that only me? probably.
well, my blog is no longer naked, but it's not dressed properly, either.  I figured out that i just need to make it a little shorter. which i have. But obviously I haven't shortened it enough, because the top and bottom are still cut off.  It's going to stay like this for a while though, and my reasoning is twofold.
1.  I have remade this background at least four times. Three of those attempts have happened in the last hour. (at least i'm getting faster, right?)
2.  I'm sick of my blog being plain old white.
so bear with it for a while. i promise it will look better once you can get the full effect.  And rest assured that my background (in its entirety, of course) is cute.  I know this because Kourtney helped me and she is crafty.


I know, I know...

my blog is bare. naked.  don't judge its nakedness, it's not the blog's fault.

want to know why my blog is naked?

because I tried to make my own background.  and i was sooo close to being successful! It's all photobucket's fault! ok, that's not entirely true.  But it seems like such a good idea to blame it on photobucket.  I mean, you don't expect me to take the blame do you? I followed the instructions to the T, and still... disappointment.  it was just too small.  and of course i had to delete my old background first because I was so excited that i had finally put together a background that I actually liked.  Always jumpin' the gun. sigh.  so my blog will be bare for a while, because it's late and there is no way in heck that I am re-doing that entire background tonight, and we're on the road again this weekend for a missionary farewell and a trip to jc to visit my family cuz it is possible that I miss them. a little... ok a lot. so i won't get around to it for a couple of days... possibly until sam goes back to work when we get back from our little road trip.  please pray for my sanity in my attempt to become more crafty and have a one of a kind blog.


A Learning Experience

I have been married for two months. What? Already? Wowza. I'm proud to say I've learned a few things.
  • Wax + carpet = bad idea. and a HUGE mess.
  • Sam has A LOT of clothes.
  • I really can cook!
  • If anything says it is wrinkle-free, it is lying to you and can't be trusted.
  • Just because I've seen pretty much every episode of Friends doesn't make them any less funny the second time around (or maybe third... or fourth...or...)
  • Nutella is delicious. Why wasn't I introduced to it much sooner?
  • Laundry and dishes are never-ending chores.
  • I am sick of apartment living.
  • Grocery shopping is ridiculously expensive.
  • Tucson is a long way away from Joseph City.
  • I am the messiest cook alive.
  • Job hunting is lame.
  • The brother-in-law is a nice visitor to have, but not so fun as a roommate.
  • People think newlyweds need 5 million towels.
  • I really want a puppy.
  • School causes me lots of stress.
  • Sam is much more of a morning person than I am.
  • Kevinandamanda.com is fabulous
  • Sam LOVES movies from the 80s. Particularly if they star Arnold Swarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone. Bad acting is a plus.
  • We always want ice cream.
  • Hulu saves me from many hours of boredom.
  • Sam likes Japanese cartoons. I do not.
  • I am capable of changing the oil in a 1991 bmw.
  • graveyard shifts are not fun.
  • I'm not as good at playing video games as i thought i was.
  • The bank we go to is lame.
  • Once Sam opens a cupboard, it usually stays open. until I close it.
  • I don't exactly like being the center of attention.
  • Two microwaves is one too many for us.
  • Sam likes to bark at the neighbors' dogs.
  • I married an amazing man and I love him very very much.
pretty impressive list, right?

oh, and sorry for the cheeseball at the end...


what a weekend

this weekend we went to safford to spend some time with sam's family. saturday we went to the temple. it was great. this was the first time sam and i have been able to go since we've been married, and the first session sam's done in this temple. it was awesome. i married such a great guy. seriously, he just keeps getting better =].
i LOVE going to the temple. it's a pretty amazing place.

after the temple we went to cluff ponds with sam's brothers. ok, i've heard of this place before, but i never went in all the time i lived in thatcher. it is so cool! it's just this lake surrounded by all these trees out in the middle of nowhere. if i would have known where it was when i lived in thatcher, i probably would have been there just about every day. sam's brother wyatt (aka diggy) bought an air mattress from wal-mart and we just floated in the middle of the lake for a while and watched people do belly flops off of the rope swing. the red neck encouraging these belly flops was kind of entertaining, too. after we got back to sam's dad's house, sam taught me how to change the oil in his car. i was awesome. uncle virgil would have been so proud of me =]. we were going to go to tanner's house that night to watch the cardinals preseason game, but we found it on tv, so we decided to just order a pizza and stay where we were. which was a good thing, since i was feeling lazy and didn't feel like making myself presentable for other people. saturday equals good day.

sunday morning we left safford and decided to take a detour through sonoita. sam has been telling me ever since before we were married that he wanted to live in sonoita, and i wanted to see why. well, i definitely saw why. it is GORGEOUS. i'm a small town girl. i like the conveniences of the city, but i'm not gonna lie, i miss the small town feeling. sonoita is just this little town surrounded by all these mountains and grassy fields. we picked the perfect time of year to go. all the monsoons have made that little town so incredibly green. beautiful. as we were leaving town, we came to a border patrol station.... and we broke down. so the bp guys pushed us forward. one of the guys said "i get paid to do this?" hahaha we thought it was pretty funny=] So we called diggy, told him to bring some jumper cables, and just kinda waited. I decided that one of the border patrolmen could have been my friend cuz he told Sam that he needed to get a chevy and ditch the foriegn car. hahaha, he was so cool=]. I tell Sam that all the time. i'm always makin fun of his german car. Anyway, Sam figured it had something to do with the battery, so he checked it out, and after a couple more minutes, he tried to start it again, and... it worked! so we took off, called diggy again and told him to just kinda be on standby, and rolled down the windows and turned off the ac to save battery power. we got almost to the i-10 junction and it happened again. ugh. so sam pushed while i steered, and the car coasted pretty far... and sam had to walk a while to catch up. gosh, you wouldn't believe all the people who just drive right on by a stranded woman! sam came walkin up about 15 minutes after i rolled to a stop, called some more people, and we sat down and waited. in 100 degree heat. i was wearing a black shirt. bad idea, ashley. After about 10 or 15 more minutes, this old guy and his buddy pull up in a truck and offer to take us back to tucson. turns out we weren't too far out of their way. it was kinda crowded in the back seat, but we were just glad we didn't have to sit on the side of the road anymore. they dropped us off at the apartment, and we got into my trusty american-made car and headed back to the german car.
silly germans, they put the battery in the trunk! oh, and by the time we got back to the car, it was POURING. we had to just sit in my car and wait for a good ten minutes so we wouldn't get soaked. after the rain, i busted out my handy dandy emergency kit from my trunk, hooked up the jumper cables... and the german car still wouldn't start. sigh. so we took the battery to checker, charged it up, took it back to the car, and headed back to tucson. sam kinda took off once we got off the freeway, and when i pulled into our apartment complex, the car had stopped right before he got into our parking space. dang german car.

oh, and btw, i didn't mess up the car when i changed the oil, cuz i know you're all just dying to tease me about that.



i was looking at blue lily's photography blog the other day. they had recently taken pictures of mindy gledhill for her album. i figured i should check it out, cuz i looked at her pictures and she looked fun. there i go, judging a book by its cover... but let me tell you, i am in love with her music. it makes me feel... blissful, i guess. it's just good music. sadly, i have not been able to download it for myself yet. sigh. so i will just have to make due with keeping her blog open to listen. go there. you will not regret it. she's not kidding when she says her music will leave you floating like a scoop of ice cream in strawberry soda... which sounds delicious, btw....



Here they are! and in the most random order i could muster up, no less. Ok, so i'm just not feeling up to dragging all the pictures into an order that makes sense. next time i am going to do a post with lots of pictures, someone remind me to upload them in reverse order, k?

Sam is kind of weird sometimes. Like when he chews on my face...

i asked him to hold my bouquet and this is what i got. isn't he so pretty :)

They loved those shoes. Don't let them tell you any differently.

Tera-dactyl. she's just so cute, even if she does steal phones:)

there they are! i think i got a little carried away... i wasn't planning on putting so many on here. i just love them all though! i couldn't stop!