December 31, 2008

You're gonna miss this...











Goodbye 2008, hello 2009!  Tonight is the night that we get a fresh start for a new year. 2008 was such a special year for me; it is hard to see it go in some ways.  It was the first whole year as husband and wife for Drew and I and for that alone, I am most thankful.  We celebrated our very first wedding anniversary, moved into a beautiful apartment and have so much to be thankful for.  

I have heard several people over the last few weeks say "I hope 2009 is way better than 2008."   Their 401k was cut in half (or worse), the economy is bad, gas is up and down.  While I fully admit that all of things can be worrisome, why focus on things that for the most part are out of our control?  We live in such a blessed country and are afforded opportunities that most are not.  I have high hopes for 2009 but 2008 will be hard to beat!  I will now step off of my soap box...

On another note, why does blogger hate me lately?  I upload my pictures in a precise manner and all it does is turn around and put them any place it desires!  Whatev I guess.  :)  I have ATTEMPTED to include some pictures of my fave things from 2008 but I assume I am at the mercy of blogger - we will see once this is posted.  Some of the pictures may seem strange but trust me, there is always a perfectly hilarious story to go along with them.  Others are just "things" that I fell in love with.

UPDATE:  Blogger got me again...looks like the pictures are at the top despite all of my hard work.

As I mentioned before, I will be posting my goals for 2009 - stay tuned and keep me in check!  I hope everyone has a fabulous New Year's Eve and stay safe!  Talk to you on the flip side!  Enjoy the Champagne.

Cheers to '09

XOXO



December 29, 2008

Oh, and one more thing...


I have ashamedly ordered my very own personalized stationary. I know, I know but they had so many cute designs to choose from and I couldn’t pass them up! Now I just need to actually sit down and write some letters! You should check it out… RockPaperScissors.
Monday is here so I guess it is back to reality and back to work! I had a fabulous four days away from work so I can’t complain but it always so difficult to peel myself out of the bed and get to work after a holiday. (It is especially hard when my hair refuses to look right, my clothes instantly wrinkle and I don’t have anything to bring for lunch.) Drew and I spent the weekend in Grapevine with his family for another Christmas celebration and had a ton of fun as usual. Everyone in his family is so fun to be around and we shared a lot of laughs which is always a good thing. If there is one thing everyone should know about me by now it is that I LOVE to laugh!

My sister-in-law turned me on to a website that I really want everyone to check out if they get the chance. It is an awesome website where people share how they have overcome struggles in their lives – you will hear from athletes, musicians, actors, you name it. It really is worth looking at if you can! Iamsecond.com

Can you believe it is almost 2009?? What the heck is going on? Sometimes it feels like life gets going way too fast and I wish I could slow it down – but then again it reminds me just how precious every day is. I love spending time with my family and Drew’s family and I treasure every minute with Drew. I hate that feeling that creeps up that makes me think that I am going to run out of time with Drew – but that just makes me appreciate each day that I get with him. I am excited for all that 2009 will bring…every year I tell myself that I am going to set at least five goals for the upcoming year and every year I forget to actually do it. Not this year! Not only am I going to write down five goals, I am going to put them on the blog so that more people will hold me accountable…I am doing it!

Speaking of 2009, Drew and I are lucky enough to be spending New Year’s Eve in Austin this year with some of our best friends! I am so excited and cannot wait until Wednesday night – I promise to take pictures this time since I have am proud to report that I have located both my camera and the charger. This reminds me…I should most definitely incorporate organization into my goals for 2009.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day and week – I will be seeing some of you VERY SOON! Yay!

XOXO

December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas and a Pink Martini!


I can't believe that Christmas has already come and gone...time flies waaaay too fast!  Christmas was wonderful this year and again, I feel overly blessed.  We went to an AWESOME Christmas Eve church service at RiverPointe on Wednesday - and I really do mean awesome!  They have the best music and we had a really fun time.  My family does things a little differently when it comes to opening presents.  On Christmas Eve we open our stockings - which reminds me that every year we get scratch off lottery tickets and every year I convince myself that I am going to win big.  Soooo...2008 was not my year, maybe 2009!  Anyway, I did end up winning $1 and Drew won $4 but the most hilarious thing ever is that my mom's best friend's son (who is 5 years old) won $2000!  We couldn't get over it...they decided to take a family trip with his winnings.  After our stockings were open, Drew and I headed back to our apartment to gear up for Christmas Day.  I can't believe that we have already spent two Christmases (not sure if that is really a word) as husband and wife - Drew is by far my greatest gift ever and I have never felt more lucky than to have him in my life.  

On Christmas morning, Drew and I opened our gifts to each other.  Out of all he beautiful things he gave me, my favorite has to be my fabulous martini set!  I love martini's of all flavors and of all the kitchen things I have already accumulated, I was missing martini glasses.  Kitchen completed!  I have two favorites that you really should try if you like fruity drinks...both are pretty tangy but I can't get enough of them.  Oh and you have to like vodka!  ;)




Then we headed over to my mom's house for breakfast, mimosas and more gift exchanging...I LOVE more than anything to watch people open gifts - they always look so happy.


So now it is off to Dallas for Christmas with Drew's family.  We are really looking forward to seeing everyone and I know that it will be tons of fun.  I am sure there will be more delicious food which really is the LAST thing I need but hey, my goal is to gain as much weight as possible before New Year's so that when I start getting back in shape it will be far more noticable!  Not really...but it sure is a good excuse!  ;)  

I hope all of you had the most fabulous Christmas and I wish you a wonderful start to 2009!

XOXO

December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!




A short note since I don't have much time to write at the moment...but I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas! We are all so blessed and tomorrow is the perfect time to relax with friends and family. I will update after Christmas and hopefully, I will have some pictures to share. It all depends on if I can dig out my camera. I can't wait to hear about everyone's Christmas eve/morning!




Always remember the TRUE reason for the season.




XOXO

December 02, 2008

December is here!

I hope everyone had a super wonderful Thanksgiving...I certainly did! My stomach is just now recovering from the massive amounts of food that were consumed…it will take my waist line a while longer I am afraid. Anyway, I really enjoyed some extra time away from work which meant extra time to spend with Drew and the fam (and extra time away from my fax machine that always has “paper jams”). As mentioned in my last post (I think) my brother brought his girlfriend down from Wisconsin for her first trip to beautiful TEXAS! She was so sweet and was up for all the crazy things my family likes to do. It was crazy to see my little brother interact with a girl but we could all tell that he really likes her so that makes me feel happy and old at the same time! Speaking of old, my birthday was yesterday and I am now officially a quarter of a century…that is right, the big 2-5. If Thanksgiving wasn’t enough to make me feel like the luckiest girl in the world, my birthday sure sent it over the top. My sweet Drew got me a “beautimous” purse that I have really been wanting and my mom went way overboard as usual. I totally don’t deserve all of this and in fact I felt guilty after receiving such nice things. I will try to make it up to them at Christmas time!

I have CHRISTMAS on the brain! Drew and I helped my mom and step-dad decorate their house for the holidays…they live in an area of town that is known for tons and tons of decorations and it is by far the best place to take a look at Christmas lights. This brings to mind a hilarious story from this past weekend…

My step-dad was in the attic bringing down the Christmas lights when all of a sudden, he fell through the ceiling! He was OK at first but after a few minutes his body just shut down and it caused him to have a small seizure. SOOOO, we had to call the old 911. They came and checked him out and deemed him alright. After all of that, I think his ego was bruised more than anything else! Good times.

But back to Christmas decorations…I can’t wait to decorate our apartment. The only problem is that it will have to wait at least another week because we are moving this weekend (sigh). I am overly excited about moving but can’t stand the thought of physically moving all of our stuff. Luckily, Drew’s parents, as well as mine, have kindly volunteered to help! I will try to stay relaxed but I am ready to have it over with. For those of you that know me rather well, my relaxed equals most peoples’ nervous. Like I said, I will TRY to stay relaxed. The good news is that a week from now we will hopefully have at least a Christmas tree and our stockings put up. For now, I will have to settle for decorating the blog. There are so many cute blog templates (or whatever they are called, I am not cool) that I can’t decide which one to keep…this will give me the opportunity to change them often! Just like always. I can’t make up my mind.

XOXO

November 25, 2008

Santa - Please RSVP

Thanksgiving is only 2 days away and I cannot wait! I am so excited to spend time with Drew and our families over the holiday season - I am so blessed to have such a loving husband and family. As I type this, I am watching "Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving" which is pretty lame for me to admit but I love crazy holiday themed TV shows. It is important to note that I have always thought that the Snoopy/Woodstock combination was pretty hilarious - deep down you do too. :)

OK, so I have to vent for just a moment...I am almost completely responsible for planning the corporate Christmas party and it has been a challenge. Let me take a step back - I am responsible for planning the corporate "holiday party". It makes me sick that I cannot refer to it by its proper name but I guess the world is becoming more PC by the minute. I have had to go so far as to request that the hotel that is hosting the party not display any Christmas themed decoration in the ball room we are using for the event. This has been particularly difficult considering the hotel I have chosen is a prominent hotel in the Galleria area which is known for their beautiful decorations. I have even been instructed not to use any combination of red and green together. (???) Do you know what I want to do? I want to invite Santa himself to this party - I will ask him to bring every Christmas decoration, toy and item that has ever been made and if the guests don't like it, they can leave. Just kidding, but that is what I would like to do! If you ask me, America needs to get back to the basics and remember the REAL reason for the season. I will let you know how the party goes in a few weeks.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with their families and loved ones. We are all blessed in so many ways and I hope that all of you have a day full of memories that will last a lifetime!

XOXO

November 22, 2008

The past three months...

Soooo...as promised I am back on the blog scene! So much has happened since the last time I posted (September 10). I am not sure where to start so this particular post will have to be a condensed version to get it all in.

#1. So there was a hurricane. Having lived in this area for most of my life, it was easy to take the very real threats of a direct hit and dismiss them as another opportunity for the local news channels to hype it all up for ratings. Not the case!! For some reason or another, Drew and I thought it would be a good idea to brave the storm from our 3rd floor apartment...I still laugh thinking about this. Everything was fine until the power went out and the winds rolled in and I, having previously vowed that I would not get scared if we stayed, went into panic mode. Not only were the winds so strong that they were snapping fences and bending trees to the ground, it was jet black outside. I won't go into any more ridiculous details but I will NEVER AGAIN repeat this decision for fear that I will wind up in the Emerald City. (If I did, I would want to be the lion).

#2. All of a sudden it was October. My department at work was deemed responsible for the Halloween activities and we were given permission to have a "work appropriate costume contest" - I still don't know exactly what this means but anyway, we did it and it was fun. I came up with the idea to be Rainbow Brite and as soon as I showed up to work on October 31, I realized I may have had an error in judgement. NO ONE knew who I was...I got everything from Roller Girl to Olivia Newton John and someone even went as far as the "Creepy Saturday Morning Clown." Now, since when has Rainbow Brite been creepy? I will admit that I loved her as a child and even had a room decorated with her and the sprites. I know someone out there loves her too...keep the dream alive!

#3. November rolled in. I can't believe that a year ago I was wearing my wedding dress and preparing for the happiest moment in my life. Drew took me on a wonderful anniversary date that I still don't believe that I deserved - he took me shopping for a dress to wear on our date, gave me the most beautiful birthstone ring, took me to my favorite restaurant (Maggiano's) and then we stayed in a beautiful hotel for the night. I felt then and still feel that I am the most blessed woman on the earth. So to Drew - thank you for the most fulfilling and happy year of my life. You are my best friend and the love of my life! I love you!

That brings us up to speed a bit. We will be moving in TWO weeks and I have so much work to do to get ready. This weekend will be spent packing and cleaning which is not exactly what I had in mind but it will feel good to get it done! I am anxiously awaiting Thanksgiving (yum!) especially because my brother is bringing a girl home with him!!!!!!! It can't be possible that I am old enough for that to occur but I guess I will be 25 soon. He has never even mentioned a girl before so this is a momentous occasion that I am very much looking forward to!

Ah! I am back. I can't remember what made me stop blogging but it won't happen again. I hope all of you have an amazing weekend and if you are anywhere around me, enjoy the beautiful weather!

XOXO

November 21, 2008

I am Ridiculous...

I am officially the WORST blogger ever seeing as how I haven't posted in many months. In fact, I am so ashamed I can't even bring myself to write a post just yet. Tomorrow is D-day...I will be back on the blog scene!

September 10, 2008




Not that I needed one AT ALL, but yesterday Drew and I came across a cupcake place in Sugar Land so we stopped in. It was right before closing so I don’t think they had their normal selection but we picked two cupcakes from what they had available. Drew got one called the Birthday Cake and I got a Red Velvet…they were HUGE and looked very yummy. They were packed in a little box so we hit the road with our cupcakes. I didn’t realize just how huge they were until I looked up their website and figured out that the selection that we must have seen were Jumbo Cupcakes only…apparently they sell kiddie size and regular size as well. From my observation, the “kiddie size” appeared more like the size of a cupcake that you would make at home so as you can imagine, the jumbo cupcake was truly, entirely JUMBO. Anyway, when we got home we dug into the cupcakes AND…they were just ok. I didn’t love either one of them and I have since decided that I can’t get caught up into the designer cupcake trend…not at this place at least. I think I will just stick to making my own from now on!!

XOXO

September 09, 2008

Disney Lied to Me


Wow! Time flies more than you can believe. I have been such a bad blogger…it has almost been a month since my last post. All of a sudden it is September and I don’t know what to do with myself. For some reason, more than usual, I am very excited for cooler weather. I found myself in Pottery Barn the other day checking out their Halloween stuff which is so unlike me. I have a hard time accepting any Halloween decorations at all anymore but I was so glad to see that Pottery Barn offered something different than the usual skeleton, fake blood and howling monster. In fact, I was at Garden Ridge Pottery as well and they were way ahead of the curve and already offering Christmas d├ęcor. Unbelievable!

Well, life for Drew and I has been so wonderful over the past month. I feel like we are getting past some of the early marriage struggles and really getting back to what it is all about. I think for a while there we were both so busy and stressed that we didn’t have a lot of time to really reflect on how blessed we were and how very much we loved each other. I have realized more and more that love, REAL LOVE, is not at all like a Disney movie or The Notebook and I for one, am so thankful for that. If love was that easy and that effortless how would anyone ever know how much they truly loved someone? For me at least, I know I love Drew with all of my heart, every day…but it is the times when that love is tested that I can really feel the power of what God wants love to be. It is bottomless, endless, precious…sometimes it is not easy but it always so very worth it. Drew and I are in a place where we feel really connected and I know we can get through anything that comes our way.

Now to jump to a more fun subject…my best friend, Jennifer, came to Houston this past weekend and we all had such a blast! We spent most of the weekend relaxing and shopping around but it was so good to see her. We laughed about old times and although it made me feel old when I realized those memories were so long ago, I remember all of it like it was yesterday. We ended up trying a new place in Sugar Land called Olive’s Martini Bar…it was awesome! They have upwards of 50 different martinis to choose from and it was a really cool place. You should definitely try it if you are in the area and want to do something a little different.

AND…I am so excited to FINALLY report that my sister-in-law, Ellie, had a beautiful baby boy. Porter Jacob Born arrived yesterday and weighed 9 lbs. 3 oz.!!! I have only seen him via picture through text but I can already tell how wonderfully handsome he is. I am so happy for their family and know that it will be a fabulous and busy time ahead.

Ok, so I’m back on the blog scene. I will do much better going forward, I promise! I haven’t even had a chance to read anyone else’s blogs recently so over the next few days, I have some catching up to do. Hope all of you have a fantastic week!!

August 18, 2008

U-S-A!


I am shamelessly addicted to the Olympics, so much so that I have consistently been staying up waaaaay past my normal bed time in order to catch each event. I have even gone so far as to set the DVR to record every bit of the action. In fact, it is all I can do in the morning to wake up, sleepwalk to the shower and then to the coffee but I just can’t stop. I have to admit that I have always been a little crazy about the Olympics, but this time it is serious. Surprisingly, Drew and I have enjoyed swimming the most so far probably because of the machine that is Michael Phelps. He really is incredible and I think now that swimming has concluded I might lose a little interest in the games. This is not to say that I will stop watching because it is beyond me to do so…I really am addicted.

I can’t believe it is Monday…where did the weekend go? It seems like it was just Friday and now here it is, Monday again. Another week of work is starting and I have no interest in responding to the 100 emails that I received over the weekend…is that so wrong? I will have to ease into that and I can tell you that if there is even one paper jam in either the printer or the fax machine, I just might walk off the job. J No, I would never do that….but I do refuse to believe that there is in actuality a “paper jam” 1) because it has never actually been seen by anyone I know and 2) the printer/fax will inevitably begin to work again the minute I have called IT over to fix the problem. IT probably hates when people do this as their job entails so much more than fixing lame-A printers and faxes. What can you do? I can say that I remain so very thankful that I have a job…it is so hard these days for so many people and I know that I am extremely blessed.

Drew has decided to get his teaching certificate and we are both very excited about it! I know that he would make an excellent and dedicated teacher…we are both looking forward to this new endeavor. I am very proud of him already as he is putting a lot of work into this. The other night he made me the BEST spaghetti I have ever had and surprised me with the most beautiful flowers…stargazer lilies. They are the same flowers that my wedding bouquet was made of. The smell is so amazing…it takes me back to our wedding day. I love him very much!

For those of you who read of my cat adventure, I am happy to report that Mismatch and Grenade have become best friends. Grenade has even been so kind as to teach Mismatch how to destroy multiple rolls of toilet paper with much ease…I have gone to great lengths to make sure that not even one more roll is shredded but to my demise one still sneaks through every now and then. In fact, last night I heard some noise in the bedroom and went to check it out. This is the scene I observed…Mismatch had a roll down in the floor and Grenade was poised on the edge of the bed ready to launch into his part of the attack…it was a double-team escapade that proved even further my inability to outwit a cat. What can I say? I have been defeated once again.

All in all, I had a wonderful weekend and spent some much needed time with Drew. We miss our friends horribly but the good news is that JBLAKE is coming to town!!!! WAHOO!!! I have already started planning what we will do…
I hope all of you have a wonderful and fabulous week and to those of you who posted your “trip-artist” stories, it is much appreciated. I somehow feel much better about myself!

August 11, 2008

Free Falling

You know that old saying, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound”? Some will say yes, others might say no but I kind of need to know the answer and quickly. This is a legitimate question we have here. The reason I am wondering is because I am trying to decide if I am a little insane…not scary insane, but weird, goofy, lame insane. To explain myself further, I must expose a most embarrassing event that happened to me this morning at work. I was walking into the ladies restroom when suddenly everything started moving in a quick, downward motion…I was falling. What 24 year old person still trips and falls? Ashley does. It all happened so fast…my corporate life flashed before my eyes. In about one millisecond, 1000 thoughts went through my mind, none of them logical. What if my boss was in one of the stalls and came out laughing at me? What if I got hurt and couldn’t walk back to my office and someone had to carry me there in front of all my co-workers? What if…I broke my favorite pair of heels? The truth is that no one else was in there (thank goodness). Damn you rug. Damn you high heels.

This all brings me back to the original question. Shouldn’t I have been less embarrassed once I realized no one was in there to see (or hear) me fall? Well, it didn’t happen that way and I can tell you that I was entirely embarrassed. Then I started laughing which brought on another situation…there I was with my ankle half broken, my skirt out of control, my face red standing in the middle of the bathroom laughing when a lady from the Training Department walked in. I must have looked like such a loon…I didn’t explain myself I just quickly washed my hands and took off toward my office. Maybe this was the wrong move, but who can blame me.

I realize I am falling more the older I get and it isn’t right. Once in high school on the stairs, twice in college (no alcohol involved) and now at work. I can’t escape it…I am a 24 year old trip-artist.

I hope everyone has a fantastic week and that no one falls…and if you do, I expect you to tell about it so that I might feel better about myself.

Love you all!

August 03, 2008

I Did a Bad, Bad Thing

I may have stolen....no, I may have accidentally, haphazardly, by mistake taken home a cat from work. I know, I know, I already have a cat but this one was just too cute to pass up and I figured that Grenade could use a friend of his own. The whole thing started a few months back...my office has a large parking lot that backs up to a fence and on the other side of the fence there are a few houses. I had seen this particular cat many times, along with a few others, and couldn't decide if it belonged to anyone. It was always out in the parking lot dodging cars and eating out of the dumpster so naturally, I started to assume it didn't really have a home. A couple of months passed without seeing the cat; I didn't really think too much of it. Well, the other day here it came, strolling through the parking lot. It is so mismatched...I will try to describe this cat to you. It is NOT a kitten but it is the same size as one. Isn't that everyone's ultimate dream about animals, to have a kitten/puppy and have it stay that size forever?? It is so strange and I still can't figure out why it is so small but man, is it cute. It has a tiny little black head with the greenest eyes you have seen all put together on a somewhat fluffier brownish body. It must sound so "un-cute" but I promise you it is adorable.

Anyway, so Wednesday of this past week was D-day. I decided I was taking this cat home with me and so the operation began...a few ladies that I work with went in search of the cat and surprisingly, it was easy to find. We packed it up in an Office Depot box and I prepared to take my new pet home (all without informing my car pool buddy or my husband!! ) The ride home was intense...so many ridiculous thoughts were racing through my head. What if I stole someone's cat? What if they reported it to my company and I in turn got fired? What if it scratched my co-worker''s leather seats through the cardboard box and I had to pay to have them repaired? What if Drew got mad at me for bringing another cat home? What if Grenade hated it and decided to kill it in its sleep? None of these issues were enough to make me change my mind however; this cat was coming home with me. Now don't get me wrong, if it turns out that this was actually someone's pet, I will graciously return it. I am convinced though that even if it has an owner, it wasn't really being taken care of. Back to Operation Gato...my co-worker dropped me off at my car and I loaded my cat-in-a-box into the passenger seat of my car. I proceeded to call Drew on my way home the way I always do and while we were on the phone, the cat started meowing and loudly. I was busted. As soon as I got home, I toted the cat up the three flights of stairs it takes to get to the apartment and let it loose for Drew and Grenade to see. It was a hit!! Drew must really, really love me to allow me to have two cats....it has since been named Mismatch.

I have another topic on my mind as well...I will keep this person anonymous but I must share their story. A lady that I know has struggled to get pregnant for many years. Throughout all of her doctor's visits and whatnot, she recently was diagnosed with early ovarian cancer and her doctor urged her to have a hysterectomy as soon as possible. Anyone who has kids or wants them in the near future can imagine how devastating this would be. She began to pray for God to help her and her husband with this decision as it would change their lives forever. Finally, she decided to have her surgery in August and hoped that one day after things settled down, they could at least adopt. Last week at one of her pre-surgery appointments, she learned she was pregnant!!! This is what she had been praying for for many years and finally it had happened. She talked this over with her doctor and found that she could wait until after the baby was born to have the surgery...there is no doubt that this will be a difficult pregnancy but I know that God has given her this baby just in time. I will keep her in my prayers for sure and ask that all of you do to. What a miracle!

I hope all of you are doing wonderfully and I will continue to keep everyone updated on our search for a job, our new addition, and anythng else that comes to mind. I will also use this post to call out the other Porter Family...Don't Let the Blog Die!!!!! ;)

July 28, 2008

Forget you WebMD

Monday is not so bad this time around. Waking up was easier today than it should have been but maybe that was because I went to sleep last night at the ridiculous hour of 9:00 (I go to bed pretty early most of the time, but this was pretty extreme even for me.) I had been feeling like my body was revolting against me…I am always tired, my stomach hurts pretty much all the time, food doesn’t even sound good to me...so I felt like I should go to bed early last night. Being the anxious person that I am, I have incessantly logged on to WebMD to come up with a diagnosis but then I realized…I am just STRESSED OUT! There were a few times I thought I had actually come down with a rare disorder…WebMD is dangerous for people like me. With everything that has been going on lately I have just worn myself out so it must have done some good to get to sleep earlier than usual because today I feel pretty rested (which is not the same as saying that I am not worried, haha). Without giving specifics, I would ask that everyone send a few prayers toward Drew and I this week…nothing too serious, we just need God to carry us through a few things that are happening within the next few days.

I think it is crazy sometimes how OBVIOUS things can be yet we still choose to ignore them for whatever reason. Since Drew and I got married in November of 2007, we have been looking for a church home. My mom had suggested a church that is near where we live but for some reason we just never went. Then I got a comment on an earlier post that I wrote from a wonderful blog friend; she suggested the same church that my mom had mentioned. Drew and I decided to try it…our first week there was the first week of July. We absolutely loved it and couldn’t wait to go back…I hadn’t really ever felt “connected” to a church before. I liked the church I attended growing up, but it grew too fast and lost its personal touch. The next two weeks, we were out of town so we couldn’t attend but we returned yesterday and once again, we loved it. I can honestly say that I felt as if the message was directed toward the exact things that Drew and I have been going through…like it was specifically prepared for us to hear. God wants us at this church and I can tell a difference in myself after each time we go. I feel a sense of renewed hope and almost a sort of calm comes over me. I wish we could have seen this much sooner, but things happen in their own time and I feel blessed that I can see good things happening in our lives.

On a crazier note…I have become a huge fan of guava juice. I had gotten into the habit of drinking it quite often but had taken a break from it until yesterday. I don’t know why I like it so much but I have been thinking about it all day at work…I am so weird.

Also, my beautiful sister-in-law is expecting a sweet baby boy VERY soon. I can’t wait until he arrives and we will be praying for a safe delivery and a healthy baby. He is so lucky to become a part of such a wonderful family and he will have the cutest nursery on top of it, I can already tell. I can’t wait to report his arrival!

Anyway, I think that is all I have for now…I am still in the process of fixing up the look of the blog, I just haven’t had the time to complete it just yet. I hope all of you have a great day/week!!

July 23, 2008

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

The time has come for me to make the rash decision to change up the blog! Hey, I made it almost a month without a change!

July 22, 2008

Overload


I have some catching up to do with my blog/blog readers! I usually check everyone’s posts quite often but have gotten overly busy lately and have been a bit of a blog slacker. My mind and heart have been on emotional overload lately…it is hard sometimes being a young, newly married couple. I can honestly say that I fall in love with Drew more and more every day, but sometimes life’s everyday stresses take away my focus and it becomes difficult to be the person/wife I want to be. I find our relationship so refreshing; it is what keeps me going when I lose focus on the wonderful things in life and start looking more closely at the not so wonderful. Money shouldn’t be such a stressor but it is and I wish we could just all win the lottery and spend our lives doing what we want…spending time with our husbands/wives, our kids, our families and friends. I think I will just do it anyway…I want and need to spend more time with Drew and I think work will just have to compromise with me sometimes, even if the only difference it makes it getting to leave earlier a few nights a week. Even still, throughout my entire life, I have been so blessed and continue to be on a daily basis…God is watching over me and I am learning to trust in Him rather than spend hours worrying about things I cannot control. Drew has taught me so much about optimism and faith. I admire his spirit and the way he encourages me…I hope he knows how much he means to me.

On a lighter note, we went to Grapevine this past weekend and had such a fun time. It was so great to see all of Drew’s family and I know that they are one of his greatest blessings. Saturday we went out on the lake and I am proud to say that I was brave and entered the water…anyone who knows me understands that I am a cautious person to say the least, so now I can say that I have swam in a lake, however lame that might make me look in the light of all you adventure seekers out there. My favorite part of the weekend was just getting to relax and have crazy conversations…some of the things we talked about still make me laugh when I think of them. Hopefully, we can go more often.

Anyway, that is about all I have for now but I am sure once my mood lightens and this particular Tuesday is over, I will think of funnier things to talk about. I hope everyone has a great week and if you are in Texas, watch out for the hurricane!

July 15, 2008

Oh Grenade

I have a cat that is what you would call…BAD. He is not bad all the time but he picks and chooses when to be especially cruel. I guess I am making him seem worse than he really is. The truth is he is very cute, pretty well-behaved and over-all a pretty good cat. Despite all of this, sometimes he acts crazy and gets himself into quite a bit of trouble. His latest obsession is the toilet paper. It started a few weeks ago…I heard some noise in the night so I went to see what it was and low and behold, there was Grenade (this is what I get for naming him after an explosive) in the bathroom with a pile of white fluff surrounding him. I figured it was a one time deal and that it would stop but no, it has only gotten worse. For a while I left the TP on the roll but this only provoked him to unroll the entire “double roll” and blast it to smithereens. My next solution was to take it off the roll and set it on the counter but this only made him more interested so I started covering it with a towel and/or my Texans hat. This seemed to make it more fun for him…it was like he would scout out the bathroom until he came upon the toilet paper, devise a plan to get it into the floor and then rip it to shreds as usual. My third and final plan was to store it under the sink which is quite an inconvenience to Drew and I. HAHA! I finally stumped him….or so I thought. This morning when I went to get ready for work I discovered Grenade in the bathroom floor covered in TP shreds with the cabinet door wide open. Do you mean to tell me that a cat figured a way to open a door in order to ruin my bathroom and my pride? I have been outdone by a cat and it isn’t right. I took a picture of him in the act and he looked quite shocked to see me standing over him. I will have to post it later but for now I must go back to thinking of another solution. All I can do is laugh.

July 14, 2008

Birthday Bash!


Happy Birthday Drew! As of yesterday my hubby is 25 years old, a quarter of a century. Austin sure offered a nice break from the stresses of work and home and we had an absolute blast! We had been planning this birthday trip for over a month and it seems like it took forever to come around but it was surely worth the wait. We drove in on Saturday morning and checked into our hotel around 3:00. It was a beautiful place…the Sheraton on 11th. I was happy to see Drew so excited…I have always believed that birthdays should be 100% about the birthday boy/girl. It is one of my only-child downfalls probably, but everyone deserves a day for them at least once a year.

Anyway, we spent the earlier part of the night at Trudy’s with the group. The food and drinks were delicious…the special was a Sangria Margarita! Yum! I think we all had a few of those. They had Mexican Martinis as well but I wasn’t brave enough to try one, maybe next time. After dinner, we all headed to our hotels to get ready for the evening. I stressed all week about what I should wear and then realized I didn’t really care. ;) I opted for casual comfort and bypassed the idea of wearing a dress or skirt. I did, however, wear heels as usual but this proved to be a deadly mistake. My feet still hurt as I write this post but that is what I get. Are jellies back in style yet?

The best part of the night was the dancing. We had all been walking into various bars, having a drink or two and then leaving in shame because we couldn’t let loose on the dance floor. We finally found a place with enough room for us all to dance and so we did…for a full hour at least. Keep in mind it was 101 degrees in Austin that day and most of the bars on 6th didn’t offer much in the way of air conditioning. Needless to say, we were all about dead at the end of that hour and by then it was time to head back anyway. Drew was the star of the show as he usually is when it comes to dancing…I knew I loved him the first time I saw him moonwalk, haha! We were in a rush to get back to the cool AC of the hotel, but that didn’t stop my bestie and I from grabbing a piece of pizza from one of the street vendors. It wasn’t the best idea, but at the time it seemed delicious.

The next morning we drove home and had a little birthday celebration at my mom’s. I had been planning to have dinner and birthday cake over there so that it could be a surprise. Have I ever mentioned that I am terrible with surprises? It is just because I get so excited that I HAVE to tell the people involved…so if you ever want my help with surprising someone, think again. Anyhow, I think Drew was half-way surprised…

All in all I’d say it was a pretty fabulous weekend. I hope Drew had a great birthday and I think I will do more special days for him from now on. He is always so appreciative of everything and everyone and that makes me fall more in love with him everyday.

I’m definitely the lucky one!

Reverse...

Everything happens for a reason, right? That’s what everyone keeps telling me. This will be a short post because I want to talk about happy things but a lot has happened in the past week. As I wrote earlier, Drew had been offered a new job. He started last Monday and it just didn’t work out. It was no fault of his; it just was not a good work environment…not a good job and definitely not good people. I hate even thinking about it because we were both so excited but I know that things will work out, something better will come along, and God will provide. I am still proud of Drew…he handled the whole thing with exceptional class and I love him so much. We will work through this together…in fact, someday we will probably look back on all of this and laugh! So the job hunt begins again and I will keep you all posted.

July 07, 2008

Jam Packed Weekend


Ok, so I have a confession to make. I am a rollerblader. I have done this ever since I can remember and don’t really have a good excuse for it. I could come up with some excuses if I had to like:

I broke my shin once and running/walking/jogging hurts too much

It is actually really good for your butt and thighs

It used to be cool (in the early ‘90’s)

All these excuses still don’t make up for the fact that rollerblading is lame, but I just can’t help myself. I can even convince Drew to go with me sometimes and yes, we both have a pair of rollerblades (I think he does this just to make me happy). It makes me laugh just thinking about what we must look like. Our most recent outing was on the morning of July 4th. I had it in my head that I was going to forego the diet and eat some good stuff that day so in turn, I needed to exercise. This particular morning was rainy and overcast but a break in the clouds came so I figured it was safe to venture out. Drew and I took off through the neighborhood and not until we were many miles away from home did it decide to start raining. It sprinkled for about 7.89 seconds and then it began to pour! Not only was I getting drenched, I had convinced myself that rollerblades are not all-weather vehicles and that I would surely wipe-out and possibly take Drew down with me. The ride (or roll) home was much less fun since I had to concentrate on what I was doing…all we could do was laugh as we must have looked like the biggest losers on earth…but as soon as we got home, I realized what a blast we had just had. I live for moments like that!

The rest of the day we went to my mom’s to hang out with the family for July 4th. The rain continued for most of the day so we didn’t get to swim or barbecue like we had planned but we had fun anyway. After dinner, we got ready to go watch fireworks and we were all so excited that we ended up arriving at the Country Club about an hour and a half before it was even dark. The fireworks were great and when they were over, we hurried home to shoot off our own since earlier in the day we had all gone to the firework stand to pick out our artillery. We decided on a jumbo assortment pack which had mostly silly stuff in it but there were some good ones too.

On Saturday, we headed out on the town to do a little furniture shopping. We probably went to 50 stores and found nothing but I have decided it’s because we didn’t go to Pottery Barn which is my favorite. We did end up finding a new end table and lamp so I was happy about that. (I never thought I would be the type to act crazy over a piece of furniture, but I proved myself wrong).

Sunday we tried a new church that was suggested by a wonderful blog friend. We loved it and can’t wait to go again. It was pretty contemporary but had great music and a great message. It seems like there are a lot of people our age so that is definitely something to be excited about.

Drew started his new job and I can’t wait to hear how it went…I am still VERY proud of him! His birthday trip is coming up this weekend and I can’t wait to see our friends and get to have a little extra fun. I am already contemplating whether or not we are too old to have birthday parties but I don’t care…we are still young enough in my eyes!

That was long…I have just been so thankful for everything in my life lately. God is so good! I hope all of you have a fantastic day and I will see some of you soon!

July 03, 2008

Yay!!!!

Yay!!!!!!!!! Drew got a new job! We have been praying for this for a long time and we feel so thankful that he has been given this opportunity. It almost doesn’t seem real yet, maybe because it all happened so quickly. Drew saw a posting on the internet for a Graphic Artist and applied right then hoping he could at least get an interview. A lady from the company called within hours and asked him to come for an interview the very next day so needless to say, we were hopeful and excited. Drew is so sweet…he spent the whole night before preparing and getting his portfolio together…I wanted this for him so badly! The interview went well and he was offered the job the same day!

I can’t tell you how proud I am of him. We still get that nervous feeling like it isn’t really happening…but we have faith that it will. He is supposed to start on Monday so I am anxious to hear how his first day goes. A HUGE THANK YOU to all of you out there that have been sending your prayers our way…it makes all the difference and we appreciate it so very much.

I hope all of you have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July!! Eat some good food and enjoy the fireworks!

July 01, 2008

LaFreak??

3 Joys
1) My sweet Drew…the absolute love of my life!
2) Family-time. Even as crazy as it can be, you have to love it.
3) Animals…so weird but I love them! I am a loser.

3 Fears (I have way more than 3...)
1) Losing my husband.
2) Money…I think everyone worries about this sometimes.
3) For some reason, I am afraid of driving lately. How lame am I? Hopefully this is one of my “phases” that I go through. At least it better be or I can’t go to work and make money for reason #2…this is the paranoid cycle my mind works in. :)

3 Goals
1) Find a Bible Study group that fits with Drew and I. It would be so nice to find a “young married’s” group that is a little more modern yet still includes good values and teachings. Let me know if anyone knows of some good churches in the Houston area. We are still looking for a church home!
2) Keep up my improved eating habits that I have had recently. It is amazing what water and decent food can do! Who would have thought? ;)
3) Do a little more decorating for the house. I am not much of an interior designer but I think I can come up with something!

3 Obsessions
1) Blogging: I love to read everyone’s blogs! It is such a cool way to keep in touch with friends and family. I also get a little addicted to changing my blog layout all the time…I can’t decide on just one so I change them constantly! I have vowed to keep the current look for at least a few weeks.
2) I like cooking new things. I am proud to say that most of the things I have attempted to cook lately have turned out rather well! I am lucky to have had such generous friends and family that gave Drew and I our endless kitchen supplies!
3) Good smelling laundry…I have searched far and wide to come up with the best detergent and fabric softener combo. Go ahead and laugh…but you too should appreciate a good smelling piece of laundry. I must have 4 or 5 bottles of laundry soap at home, 2 of which I will no longer use because I despise the smell. Oh well, at least I gave them a fair shot!

3 Random Facts
1) It is much easier to write Porter than Loprete. It is also much easier to get people to understand how to pronounce my last name now that it has changed. I knew “Loprete” had to go when someone called my work phone and asked for Ashley LaFreak.
2) I would eat marshmallows all day and night. I have always loved them and really can’t tell you why.
3) I once was addicted to the musical stylings of Hanson. My childhood best friend always allowed me to blast their CD every chance I got, and only recently did she tell me that she secretly hated them! HAHAHA…it still kills me.

June 29, 2008

Visions of Things to Come...

I am excited because we have some really fun stuff coming up that I can't wait for. We have about three weekends in a row of pure fun so I am hoping that the working part of life in between flies by.
#1. Fourth of July!
I love this strange holiday. Not to take anything away from the significance of the actual day, but it seems like an excuse to hang out by the pool for yet another day which is fine by me. Not to mention the great food and fireworks...I know I'm almost 25 but I still love fireworks.
#2. Drew P's Birthday!
Drew's 25th birthday is just around the corner. I am almost as excited as if it were my own...I love when he has days that are all about him. He deserves it once in a while! We decided to make a weekend trip to Austin with some of our friends so it should be a ton of fun. I am still thinking of what I will get him for his birthday gift...I have a few ideas!
#3. Trip to Grapevine!
Drew and I will be headed to Grapevine the next weekend to visit his family. We haven't seen them in quite a while so we are really excited about it. I think we are going out on the lake and having a barbecue so this will only add to the summer fun factor.
I feel so blessed to be able to do all of these fun things. It is so important to appreciate the small things in life even though it is so easy to overlook them. I am guilty of this myself and I am constantly trying to take time out to really look around and experience every aspect of life. I am even more blessed that I get to experience life with Drew by my side...he makes life so much better than I could have imagined.
Have a great Sunday evening!




June 28, 2008

Sweet Escape


Well, Drew and I are finally home in the Sweet Land of Sugar after an amazing week away. We had such a blast. It seems like we did everything you could ever want to do on a beach trip from lounging on the beach to building sand castles. The ocean was so beautiful....even after as many times as I have been, I am still so amazed by the beauty of it all. The ocean seemed endless and as we sat on the perfect white sand, all we could see was fun in every direction. We stayed in an absolutely beautiful area....very unique. It was definitely a resort area but it was mostly made of of houses and not a lot of big condos or hotels and the best part is that it was right on the beach. I have a love for palm trees as I believe they sum up what "tropical" should be so I was excited to see that the beach was full of them.

In one of my earlier posts I wrote about how much I was looking forward to seeing my step-brother, Erik, and how much I was hoping we would get along. We did...we had a total blast together and everyone came out alive and with stories to tell. It is so cool to see him all grown up (even though it made me feel old) and I loved hearing all of his stories about the Army and so on. He definitely keeps us entertained to say the least.

This was also Drew's first vacation with my family and all I can hope is that he still loves me after the week of chaos that ensued. Don't get me wrong, the vacation was fun to the extreme...but everyone's family is a little crazy/weird/insane sometimes and mine is no exception. I am a total beach bum so getting me to participate in any beach-type sporting event is a stretch. I did pick up the Frisbee a few times, but outside of that my days were spent floating or swimming all while partaking in tropical drinks. That is my downfall. Then there was Erik, who is pale in the truest sense of the word so he either has to sit under an umbrella (where he somehow still gets burned) or wear layers upon layers of sunscreen accompanied by a T-shirt and hat. My step-dad, Kevin, had a motorcycle accident a while back so he was still out of commission for any beach sports. And then we have my mom....she is hilarious. She spent most of the vacation cleaning and shopping for everyone else and occasionally sitting down by the ocean with her wine. I love her but I wish she could learn to relax a little and ENJOY vacation!!! She deserves it. All that being said, I must repeat...I hope Drew still loves me and my crazy-A family. ;)

Anyway, I am exhausted and need immediate sleep. There is so much more to write about but I had to at least write a little. I am ashamed to say that I missed my blog...I need an intervention!

June 19, 2008

Bring on the rain...


I know a lot of you out there will probably strongly disagree with me, but I love thunderstorms. The kind that you can see moving in from a distance…they seem so powerful and sudden. They remind me of when I was a kid and we would all sit in the garage to watch it rain. We would wait it out as long as we could (or as long as our parents would allow) and then inevitably, one overly powerful clap of thunder would boom and send us all running in different directions and to the safety of our homes. I remember feeling so brave sitting in the midst of rain and lightning…I also remember thinking you had to have on rubber shoes or you would surely get struck. How cool I thought I was… :)

It must really be thunderstorm season because today and yesterday have both brought downpours to Texas. As I sit at work, I am whole-heartedly wishing I could be home snuggling on the couch with a big blanket. I could watch some Food Network since I am shamelessly addicted and spend some much needed time with Drew. But no…I am stuck in the office with lights flickering and thunder roaring and I secretly wish that my computer would blow a fuse (if it is possible) so I could head home. But even if I left it would probably take me two hours to float home in Houston traffic so I will wait it out. I have quite a bit left to get done before tomorrow anyway since I am leaving for VACATION for a whole week (!!!) It would do me good to stay a little longer.

In other news, Drew is still thinking about what he wants to do career-wise. We certainly appreciate the prayers everyone has sent our way…it helps more than you know! We are learning to be patient and to have faith always. Good things come when you least expect them and besides we have so many things to be thankful for already.

T-minus two days until Destin so I probably won’t be posting too much more for a while (unless I think of something off the wall and ridiculous I want to share). Hopefully, we will return with great pictures and fun stories…maybe even a tan!

P.S. I love reading everyone’s blogs so keep posting!!

June 15, 2008

Update


One more thing...I forgot to update everyone on Drew's new wedding band! I know it is nothing to devote a whole blog entry too, but I couldn't resist putting a few words at least. Since it was lost on the river trip Drew has been ring-less...but not anymore! We got a new one over the weekend and it looks so good on him! My sweet husband looks more offically mine again... :) I think I will get it engraved sometime soon, but for now I just wanted him to have one.


I am crazy...I know.

Have No Fear....


“Even if your hands are shakin’, And your faith is broken,
Even as the eyes are closing, Do it with a heart wide open”

I am so proud of Drew. He is my inspiration….he lives with such a happy heart and an optimistic perspective, something I need more of in my life. He can make me laugh in the midst of my worst moments and reminds me constantly what it is to be loved unconditionally. I have no fear when it comes to him and no doubt that he will always be my safe place and point of encouragement. He has been wanting for something lately though…and I want more than anything for him to have it. He has a job much like many of us…it exists to pay the bills but there is no real passion behind it. Drew is very devoted to making it the best it can be but I can tell so easily it is not what he wants. He is one of lucky the ones….he has a talent so amazing that I believe it must be used and this is what I have been praying for everyday.

Drew is an artist at heart and his work is beautiful and the type that makes a person wish they could draw, paint, design, anything! I, for example, can only draw a stick figure and would never attempt anything past that. His degree is in the Arts field so he has spent many years perfecting his craft and I can see how happy it makes him when he is “creating.” We have been talking about this a lot lately and have both decided it is time for him to make the transition, take the jump if you will, toward a new career. It is scary at times to consider a change in any amount, but this time it will be worth it. I don’t know if he has decided on a particular path yet, but even the passion that he displays in talking about the next step inspires me. I worry about stability and having “enough” but when you think about it…God will provide. Now is the right time to start doing things with a heart wide open.

I look forward to the coming months when I can happily report about a new job for Drew. I know it will happen. Until then we will enjoy every minute of this journey and I will continue to be proud of him throughout.

Have no fear….do what you are passionate about and love those around you with all of your heart. It will make all the difference.

June 12, 2008

I Didn't Make Mac & Cheese...


I am dreaming of white sands and beautiful blue water today. I am at work and should definitely be working, and I have been, but all I can think of is getting to this beachy paradise. Next Friday I will be embarking on the infamous “family vacation” to Destin, Florida. I know for sure that it will be a complete blast but there are always those tiny thoughts that something could go terribly wrong. Nothing too terrible of course (as I pray for a safe drive and safe trip) just the usual events that arise due to having my brother Erik around. Erik is a rare breed…he can be completely hilarious one minute and then completely exhausting the next. Don’t get me wrong, I love him to pieces, but he is surely a rare breed. Since the time I was about 13 or so he has been terrorizing me with events such as chasing me with ice picks when I wouldn’t make him macaroni and cheese or leaving ransom notes on the bathroom counter for me to read when I would get out of the shower. One time in particular the ransom note was held against my cat, which Erik had evilly locked in a duffle bag and shut in the closet for me to buy back. I have to admit that I did…I bought my cat back for $10 out of fear that Erik would kill him if I didn’t. How hilarious he thought he was. Looking back I am almost sure that he would never have hurt me (notice I say almost) but at the time I half-way hated him.

Things have changes since then though…he hasn’t tried to kill me or anything else in at least 6 years so I would say all is well. Haha. My little brother isn’t so little anymore as he recently decided to join the United States Army. I believe it is his mighty destiny; he is already so proud and that makes me happy. He caught all of us a little off guard with his decision but we are all very proud of our soldier-to-be and will always keep him in our prayers.

So back to the trip…this will be the first time I have seen Erik since Christmas. I am anxious to see how he has changed after the intense training he has been through lately. For those of you who know Erik, he has always been a slight beanpole…a cute little beanpole, but a beanpole nonetheless. The last pictures that I saw of him showed a different brother, a man almost. I was a little emotional thinking of how grown-up he is now; I am very much looking forward to seeing him for vacation. I think this will be the best family trip yet since Erik and I get along these days and because my sweet husband will be coming along. Another plus is that one our friends is stationed at the Air Force base in Destin so we will get to see him as well. It should be good. I can’t wait in fact…I have already started getting my stuff together to pack, I dream daily of Pina Coladas and for the first time I am overly excited about a family vacation. Destin or bust!

June 08, 2008

Go LOVE today...

I am left speechless at the overwhelming number of absolutely amazing things that God has allowed me to have. When I look back and think of the worst times in my life, I am calmed by Him knowing what others have had to endure. Needless to say, I am blessed beyond belief. I was reminded of this so often over the past week and have searched for ways to bring some of what I witnessed into my everyday life. My aunt, who I call Chi-Chi (no idea why), was visiting from Washington. This is the aunt who used to let me run wild when she was in town which was in huge contrast to my mom’s endless rules…I am an only child, who can blame her? This is the aunt who lovingly dressed up like Minnie Mouse for one of my birthday parties. I am talking a full on mascot outfit in Texas weather. Ok, I know my birthday is in December but that means nothing…there have plenty of Christmas morning’s that I went outside to try out my new toys in shorts and tank tops. This is also the aunt that lost her one and only, beautiful, God-given angel less than a year ago. That is the part I cannot get passed, my heart is still broken for her.

I remember the exact moment that we found out that my cousin, Kari, had gone home to the Lord. My mom and I had just picked out my wedding cake and were on our way home. We had separate cars since we had met up after work and she was behind me. The next thing I realized, my mom had stopped her car on the side of the road and when I looked back I just saw her slumped over in the driver’s seat. Of course I thought something was wrong with my mom so I turned around and pulled over. She was crying and screaming…I had NEVER seen her like this before. She told me that Kari had been found dead and that was all she could get out. We eventually got home and my mom took the next flight to Washington to be with my aunt…she stayed for almost a month.

I felt guilty so often, and still do, because as much as I wish it could have been different, I didn’t know my cousin all that well so in turn, I felt like I wasn’t feeling what I should. It didn’t sink in really until this past week when Chi-Chi was in town; this was the first time I had seen her in five years. When I went to my mom’s to visit early in the week I could sense an uneasy feeling. It was like it upset my aunt for me to be around, maybe because she saw my mom and I together and it made her want her daughter, her Kari. She saw how my mom and I could laugh at old stories and cook dinner together and she missed that. It made my mom feel guilty for having me there because she could see how it hurt my aunt. At first it hurt me to have these feelings coming my way but I had to take a step back to see that it wasn’t about me. I can’t imagine what on earth it must feel like to lose a child. I don’t even have one of my own yet but I think this feeling extends to everyone whether it is a child, a parent, a spouse, a friend etc. Somehow I know in my heart that the worst of these would be to lose a child and I pray everyday that I will never know that kind of pain. God holds her hand everyday to walk her through this valley… I know without a doubt that both my aunt and my mom love me more than anything. I also know that you have to love the people in your life every part of every day. I am guilty of being the wife that says “I love you” to Drew 1000 times a day but I want to leave no doubt. I don’t want a day to go by that he doesn’t know that he is my life and someday when we have kids I will do the same to them.

I have a few friends from the high school days that have little ones of their own now…we don’t really keep in touch that often but because I am a “facebook/blogger creeper” (haha) I know a little of what goes on in their lives. They are great mothers and I pray for them every night that their families will be safe and love will overflow in their homes. My aunt will miss Kari for the rest of her life but I know that someday they will see each other again and that calms my heart.

Go out there and LOVE today…

June 04, 2008

Delicious!


Today I feel like eating a Pink Panther Bar. Anyone who has had one of these delicious treats knows how ridiculously refreshing they are…I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it…the pink ice cream, gumball eyes. Who am I kidding; I am probably the only person around this joint that has ever had one. The reason I want one is because they remind me of summer fun. The REAL kind of summer fun that you have when you are a kid and you wake up at the crack of dawn, play outside until someone physically makes you come in to eat dinner, and then go outside again until you fall asleep in the middle of swinging or playing four-square. Those were the days…

These days I am lucky if I have enough time on the weekend to spend even a few hours outside. It seems like I spend all week working and the weekends are reserved for cleaning the house, doing laundry and other even less exciting tasks. But not this weekend…I’m going to find a Pink Panther Bar. It’s almost scary, but the Ice Cream Man still makes his rounds in old Pecan Grove. It’s even scarier that it is the SAME Ice Cream Man that I remember as a child (or at least a relative of his because they look like they are on the same level of freakiness. Let’s just say I wouldn’t let any child of mine visit his treat truck without my immediate supervision.) I have heard reports that he sells the infamous bar that I am in search of so I might just take advantage of it and buy myself one. Drew will be supportive as he already knows of my love for strange and unusual ice cream bars. Once I went to Washington, D.C. with my mom and let me tell you, it was ICE COLD outside. In the midst of all the T-shirt and knock-of handbag stands, we came across a snack bar of some kind and guess what they sold?? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Bars. I am ashamed to admit that I ate not one, but two. They weren’t as good as the PPB but much better than the Super Mario. If you are ever in the area, grab one and take it on your tour of the White House…you will be glad you did.

June 03, 2008

River Roundup

Oh, what a life! So I have to start by saying that I survived the Great River Float of ’08. Drew and I had such a genuinely amazing time with all of our friends (the best set of friend’s in the universe I might add). I am secretly wishing I could just become a full-time river floating expert but then again, that might take away some of the fun. I learned a few things from this mighty adventure…

1). Those Coach sunglasses that I adored…should NOT have been taken on the river.
2). Even if you have had a few (or more) drinks, it still hurts when you wipe out on jagged rocks
3). Franzia should be taken off the market
4). It’s not the end of the world if your husband loses his wedding ring in the rapids of the lovely Guadalupe.

That last one took a while to sink in. I realize that it was ridiculous to assume that the very ring I exchanged with Drew on our wedding day would live on forever, but some small part of me hoped it would. In reality, it can easily be replaced. I thought it was so cute how all of Drew’s friends (a great group of GUYS) were very linked in to our situation. Several of them commented how the ring doesn’t make the marriage and that the most important part is the way you love someone. See ladies…there ARE great guys out there. I can say that meant a lot to me. So, in the coming days I will need to make a trip to the jewelry store and buy a replacement. Men are rough on rings so maybe this time (at least for now) I will opt for a less expensive version of the original.

The best part of the entire week was being surrounded by great people. It is easy to feel a little lost in Houston without many of our friends, but every time we get the chance to meet up with them I am reminded just how blessed we truly are. These are the kind of friends that you can be away from for weeks or months but when you finally get together it just clicks back into place. I love re-living hilarious stories from the past…even if I have heard them far too many times. My friends and I are completely guilty of telling the same stories over and over and expecting people to laugh. The coolest part is that they do…every single time.

Needless to say, the river trip was a much needed getaway and I am so thankful that everyone got the chance to meet up again. Here’s to the next time….

“And DON”T bring the Franzia”

May 27, 2008

The Good Stuff!


What a fun THREE-DAY weekend I had! You have no idea how luxurious it felt to lounge by the pool for three days, spend time with my sweet husband, and just relax. I probably spent too much time in the lovely sun considering how I burned my butt off…it seriously feels like my butt is going to fall off which just might be a good thing considering my most recent post. But anyway, today I am back at work and nothing has changed. The office is still way too cold, I have 1000 emails to read, and the fax machine still has a paper jam. I have decided to ignore all of this however and focus on the good stuff…like how thankful I am to have a job (even if this particular job is the bain of my existence), Drew P, my family, my friends and my upcoming river floating trip!!! This weekend I will have to test my confidence…I, Ashley Porter, will be putting on my bathing suit in the presence of strangers and will be ok with it. I figure if I keep telling myself this, it will happen. It will…it has too!! But who cares, I am going to have a blast. I am anxious to reunite the “original beeshes” as we call ourselves and have fun like we used to. This brings to mind a year of college that cannot go unmentioned…

As I was lying by the pool this weekend I had flashbacks to my junior year at Texas A&M. I like to refer to this year as the time I went on a year-long tropical vacation which happened to be free of any expense other than the demise of my grades. I can’t even call this place a dorm…it was literally a resort where there were multiple pools, your meals were cooked for you, your room was cleaned…all you had to do was go to class and I didn’t even do that (I cannot tell a lie). My roommate and eventual best friend Jen and I lived the life of luxury, thanks to our parents, and barely made it through the year alive for reasons I am too embarrassed to mention…nothing horrible of course, just the usual college antics. The day we moved out and peeled out of the parking lot for the last time, I thought I would miss it more than words can describe. But you know what…I don’t. Not even for a second. The things I miss from those days I still have…my best friends, Drew Porter, memories. I was a different person back then that I can honestly say I do not wish to be. It feels good to have responsibilities and a family to take care of, even if it only consists of me, Drew and Grenade (el gato) for now. While I love to look back on those days, I love even more to look forward at this point.

So back to reality and back to work. Only three days until the ultimate river floating trip of a lifetime and only three days to try on my ten bathing suits to see which one is acceptable. I’m still thinking about wearing the circa 1985 leopard print thong though…

More reminiscing to come…

May 14, 2008

Let it all hang out!

I have a problem...my butt got fat. It got fat a long time ago but I have only recently decided to do something about it. I have doing pretty well with it all, I have done the whole nine yards...squats, lunges and even these things I call butt crunches...but to my horror, nothing works. I knew this day would come. I knew it when I was a kid and my legs were so skinny they could barely hold me up, but even still I had a butt. It never really got out of control until two years ago (college once again is to blame). I must confess that I have not worn shorts in public for TWO YEARS and a bathing suit only on my honeymoon! Imagine the pain that comes along with braving the Houston heat and humidity with a pair of jeans on...a hideous thought. I have missed out on tons of pool parties, beach trips and the like all because of my dislike toward my own rump. So this is what I have decided to do about it....NOTHING! I will no longer care what my butt looks like in shorts or otherwise. In fact, I have a river floating trip coming up in two weeks and I might just wear my "circa 1985 leopard print thong bathing suit" as my friend Jen has so hilariously coined it. Maybe I'll just let it all hang out, I don't care...I will never again miss out on summer festivities due to my butt. It can no longer hang over my head (if that is possible).

;) On another note...Drew and I might try a new church this weekend. My prayer is that we can find some young married couples that we can hang out with. Keep us in your thoughts!

Church and butts in the same entry...I have no shame.

May 13, 2008

The Adventure

So...I went to Babies R Us. Not for me but for my sister-in-law (Ellie, if you read this you have a package coming in the mail). It was an interesting experience to say the least. I felt ambushed by baby items...clothes, bedding, toys, books, animals, bath stuff, booties, socks, bottles, car seats....and a few things that I still haven't identified...but I pushed on. I was in search for the perfect little outfit for the little one that is one the way but then I realized there are 4783 perfect little outfits. I don't think there was one outfit that wouldn't look cute on a baby, except for maybe the one I call the "glowworm". I am sure it had some use but I just thought it looked plain scary. Anyway, I ended up buying a few outfits and a stuffed puppy...it made me happy. I love seeing families grow and new babies come along...someday it will be Drew and I and that makes me extra happy. I honestly believe that Drew will be the BEST dad ever; maybe he even knows what those unidentifiable items were.

May 12, 2008

Timeline of "us"



As I write this, I am still not exactly sure what has inspired me to create a blog. I am certainly not exciting nor cool enough to document my daily life…but once in a while, every now and then, something happens that I think is worthy of writing down. Maybe I’m at a point in my life where I am ready to strip down to the basics. I’m not sure how but somewhere along the way I lost track of what is important to me…I think I blame college, but I haven’t decided on that yet. I recently figured out how important the difference is between wants and needs. I want a nice house, nice car, nice clothes…but I NEED God, my husband, my family and my friends. I experience a love everyday that I don’t give enough credit to….it keeps me alive, it makes me happy, it inspires me. It is a need…something that I prayed for my whole life…my husband. Now that I think of it, I think Drew P inspired me to keep track of our daily life (even if we aren’t cool enoughJ). I want a place that I can visit someday in the future that is kind of like a timeline of “us” – the good, the bad and the ugly – and also have a place that our friends and family can keep up with what we do and who we are becoming. In addition, I think I am nearing the age where you get “kicked out” by Facebook.