Friday, July 29, 2011

Life Lately

Just for my own sake, here's a little rambling of what's been going on lately. I apologize in advance if I bore you to tears. We haven't been doing anything too terribly exciting. It's summer in Texas. And it is H.O.T.

A few days back we took a half day off together and traveled to Grapevine Mills. (My old stomping grounds. Tear). We wanted to see the new aquarium, but bypassed that idea when we saw the three hour line. Yikes. Note: if you plan to go, buy tickets in advance so you can skip the line.

We made the most of it and enjoyed walking the mall and popping in and out of stores. After our afternoon in Grapevine we drove to the other side of Tarrant County and ate at Los Vaqueros. Mmm.

mini cupcakes! yum. Even justin had one.

justin makes fun of me because i love getting gumballs from a machine.

great local joint if you're ever in town!

delish skinny margarita. sweetened with agave nectar. mmm.

This week has been hard. For a lot of reasons, so I'm glad that it's almost over. Ready to relax this weekend and start fresh next week. Plus, we are leaving for a little mini vaca on Thursday with my fam! Fun things ahead. Anyway, mom brought the girls over for lunch on Tuesday. Here are a couple of short videos of Keira singing to Micah. Pretty cute. Also, as noted on facebook, the first thing Keira said when she saw me was, "Ashy! Read the sic 'em bears book?! Pleeeassee?!" (The child has mastered the manners thing). And rooting for the best schools ;)

sic 'em keira!

And finally, bringing my smattering of random thoughts post to a close, we ended our summer softball season last night. We had fun playing together, but we did not have fun losing. We won three games and got annihilated every other game. So NOT fun. Especially when your team name is "Just For Fun." Seriously. We're both a little too competitive to be on a team with that name! Ha. We were never in good moods after  games to pose for photos, but I did get this quick shot of me and Micah when she came to cheer us on! We miraculously won that game. Anyway, it's been fun having Thursday nights sat aside for each other since it's getting harder and harder not to see each other during the week. We usually cook dinner and then hang out before the game. Last night we got sno cones! Won of my summer essentials.

wedding cake sno cone. my fave.
me and my littlest niece. isn't she gorgeous?

Sorry for the rambling. Sometimes a girl's just gotta get it out of her system. Amen.

Monday, July 25, 2011

To everything there is a season...

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun. A time to be born and a time do die; time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal...a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance... Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

I posted this on facebook Saturday. It's a verse that spoke to me that day and really all week. I struggled with the reality of two of my closest friends losing both of their parents within a span of six months. We were all together just last weekend, laughing, swimming and relaxing. How were we to know that exactly one week later we would be gathering again, only this time to mourn? It seems so unfair that my dear friends have to deal with such tragedy while still in their twenties. I can't imagine. It makes me nauseous just imagining it.

I do know that God is good. All day. Every day. Although it's difficult to understand why things happen, I believe He works for the good in all of us. Natalie sent us an email on Saturday night that spoke to the true love of their parents. I know it doesn't make the grieving process any easier for their family, but I imagine it does bring comfort to know that her parents are together again. Here's an excerpt from that email:

"I found an old shoe box full that was taped shut that said "Love Letters" on it.  Of course I brought it home with me and found a box full of tons of notes and letters mostly from my dad and a few from other suitors from back in early high school years. Anyways, the most beautiful thing, that I know was mentioned today at the service, was that my dad literally wrote love letters to my mom almost every night when he went to college at Tech and she was still a junior in high school until they were married.  I mean there are literally hundreds of letters all expressing his undying love for her and how he can't wait to marry her.  I read a lot of them the other night and it made me understand just how deep really was and it seemed almost cruel for God to keep them apart for the 6 months that He did.  That kind of love story doesn't come around very often and I feel so incredibly blessed to be a product of that love.  It's hard for the 3 of us to stomach that we weren't enough for her want to live for here on earth, but when I understood their love, I realized that she truly needed to be with him and couldn't live without him with her any longer."  

Please join me in praying for Natalie, Kristin, their brother Justin and their extended family.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What happens in Scroggins...

Stays in Scroggins? At least that's what some locals said within ear shot of us as we left a restaurant on Saturday night after dinner. Gotta love small town Texas. We were in Scroggins on Lake Cypress Springs all weekend. As I mentioned in my previous post, I love these girls with all my heart and we had the perfect weekend together.

We spent most of it outside in the scorching HOT heat, but no one seemed to mind. Like always, time went waaaay too fast and before we knew it we were packing up. Plans are already in the works for our next getaway though. Can't. Wait.

Here are a few snapshots of the weekend. You can guess there was a lot of swimming, laying out, chatting, laughing and a few screams. (Wildlife tends to get most of us every time).

incredible "back yard"

me and ksti

jae and furr on the kayak

me and my "twin"

back of the beautiful lake house

spiercey relaxing

furr bringing the group beverages

ksti, nat and furr

jae and her church punch

view from the porch

furr and nat

nat enjoying her church punch

boat house

last sunset

I swear Kate was there too! These are just pics from my phone. I'll post the "real" pictures from my camera later.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Inner Circle Vaca

I'll be spending the next three days with my circle. My inner circle to be exact. That's what we call ourselves anyway. These women are my best friends from college whose friendships I treasure. Seven years out of school and they are my closest circle who know me better than most. They've seen the good, the bad, the random and the really funny. (Martin Short anyone)?

For the record, I have several really close friends that I am so undeserving of. Friends that I've had since birth, friends that I used to work with, friends from church and friends that introduced me to my soul mate. I am beyond fortunate to have these friends too. I get emotional thinking about it. I have no idea how I got so lucky. Seriously.

Anyway, me and my inner circle are headed east for a little fun the sun! Lake sun that is. It's rare that all seven of us can get together and this weekend it's happening. Hooray!In honor of this weekend, here's a little photo montage of my favorites. Actually a very large photo montage. I couldn't help it. (And these do not even include college). I love my inner circle!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Just because

My nieces are super cute.

Micah Rose at 4 months

Keira Lynn at 25 months
 Told you they were cute.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Nights

us enjoying a little sorbet after dinner. mmm.
Although I spend a good amount of time each summer eagerly anticipating fall, I do love my summer nights. Especially when they're spent with close friends and family. We were lucky enough to have a weekend filled with those nights. Ahhh. Makes the endless string of 100+ degree days more bearable.

On Saturday afternoon we met up with the Paclebs and headed out to Dallas. The boys spent the afternoon and early evening at Top Golf, and from what I hear, it's a little peace of heaven right here in north Texas. Kelly and I enjoyed our afternoon in the air conditioned bliss that is North Park. (J and I picked a bad weekend to begin budget discussions)! Nevertheless, Kelly and I both restrained ourselves and only left with a few purchases which happened to be great bargains that begged to go home with us.

We picked up the guys, who insisted we come up and watch them finish out their game. We couldn't just sit around and watch, so Kel and I tried our hand at it. I think we'll keep our day jobs. After finishing out the game we made our way to the Bishop Arts District outside of Dallas for dinner. We had high hopes for a hole-in-the-wall mexican restaurant, only to discover it was only open for breakfast and lunch. Urgh. After a few additional failed attempts to choose a restaurant locale, we ended up at Lockhart's BBQ. Allegedly the best in Texas. I wasn't impressed, but I do love local joints and trying new places. The neighborhood is adorable and we (Kelly and I) enjoyed popping in and out of local shops that were surprisingly open late. We finished off the night at the cutest little chocolate shop, Dude, Sweet. Justin and I shared their blueberry vanilla sorbet and bought a box of assorted artisan chocolates to take home.

Something about strolling down a cute little neighborhood just minutes from urban downtown Dallas, sharing bites of sorbet with my guy and laughs with close friends just makes my heart happy. Life is sweet. Even when it's 113 degrees.

j showing us his skills

robert giving his wife a few pointers

i.heart.craspedia. saw this in a cute little flower shop after dinner.

isn't it such a cute neighborhood? can't wait to go back and explore.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Three weeks down and a new car

Well, I'm officially three weeks into my 29X29 challenge and I'm happy to report that I'm right on track. I've lost 8.5 pounds so far, which leaves me 20.5 more pounds to lose. When I look at it that way it feels like a crazy big number, but as they say, I didn't gain it overnight so I'm not going to lose it overnight. Patience has never been a virtue of mine, but it's something I'm working on for multiple reasons...

Six more pounds until I'm halfway there. I know it's really doable. Just daunting. Anyway, I'm feeling great and working hard. Except for maybe this weekend. Dad's grilling out for my sister's birthday. I can't make any promises. A girl's gotta live a little though, right? Stay tuned.

On another, completely unrelated note, I got a new car! Well, new to me. It's a loooong story that thankfully ends well. It's not something I was planning on getting, but I LOVE it. My friend Bethany has (or used to)? one and we took it on a girl's trip last year. I casually mentioned to Justin about how I liked it and how smooth it was on our road trip. Fast forward about 18 months, I was car shopping (one of my least favorite things in life) and not finding anything that I really loved. Justin suggested we look at the Cadillac SRX, their SUV and the one I had mentioned liking more than a year earlier. We did, found a great deal and that was it! It's a 2008, so it's not brand new, but it feels like it to me! We're (read: Justin) having fun learning and playing with all of the bells and whistles. It's the first used car that I've ever bought and so far it's the best car that I've ever bought. Here are a couple of iPhone shots. It's technically silver, but it looks light blue in the sunlight.