Monday, March 25, 2013

Wonderful Weekend


 A picture of the Seattle temple I took during our lovely weekend...

Oh man.  Brandon and I had a great weekend.  My parents came to visit, because Brandon went through the temple on Saturday.  At the same time, I was asked to be a temple escort for my cute church friend Lindsey, who was also going through the temple that day.  It was such a special experience in many ways.  I have never been an escort before, and quite frankly was a little thrown off-guard (in a very honored way) when she asked me to be her escort.  I was a bit nervous that I wouldn't know where to go let alone show her around since I have never done any sessions in the Seattle temple, but everything was just fine.  As for Brandon's experience... Seriously, the support of our ward friends as well as my parents was overwhelming in a good way.  We were both very grateful indeed to have my parents fly all the way from Utah just to share this special moment with him.  I am thankful that there were many people that were thorough with Brandon about what to expect when he first went through the temple.  It ended up being a very positive venture for him.  I remember when I went through the temple for the first time five years ago, I was a bit surprised and I felt that it was an unusual sort of experience.  I didn't know enough details about it to realize that everything would be very unique.  I was not sure how to react.  I have always had a pretty open mind, though, and it did not take me long to get used to it.  Well, Brandon has had so much support from friends and family that he did not find anything to be mind-blowing for him.  In fact, it was quite the opposite.  He said he loved it.  I am so glad.  When we got outside I asked my dad to take some photos of me and Brandon, but upon looking at them, I am blinking in all of them HAHA so I am not putting them on my blog.  Thanks for trying anyway, Dad.  I LOVE YOU! Other than the photos, everything went so well.  I still have warm fuzzies from the whole thing.  The temple is great and holds so many blessings.  We make promises with the Lord that entail so many wonderful promises to us in return.  We are able to do temple work for our ancestors.  Most of all, our family is bound/sealed together forever in the walls of the temple. Also....hehe this might sound silly to get all excited about this, but....Lindsey and her husband Seth said we should all do a "temple date" together one of these days.  So much to look forward to! Hehe.  It just feels so unifying to have my husband there with me in the temple.

After the whole temple thing, we went out to dinner.  I won't mention the fact that we first went to the Cheesecake Factory and we decided not to go there since it was so crowded but my mom and I just *HAD* to order a slice of cheesecake each "to go" and I finished the entire slice of cheesecake all to myself before Brandon even pulled out of the Cheesecake Factory parking lot.  Hey!  Don't judge me. I hadn't eaten all day.  I was ravenous.  Anyway, then we went to my mom's favorite restaurant in Washington, this Thai noodle place,  I ordered Mango fried rice.  It was pretty good.  But I was SO full from the cheesecake.  Anyway, I felt so tired the rest of the night.  I don't really remember what happened after that.  It was such a blur.  No doubt from overdosing on fat and sugar.  So the next day was Sunday.  We went to church, then Brandon and I made a nice dinner and invited some friends over and of course had my parents there.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it.  Brandon is the best cook.  Seriously.  I only helped with the vegetables.  Everything else was all him.  We had his famous crock pot honey beef (recipe here), DELIGHTFUL potato wedges (please, Honey, put up a recipe for those!!!!), roasted organic mixed vegetables, a cold simple salad, brown rice, roasted asparagus, and brownies and ice cream for dessert.  YUM!  Why didn't I take pictures?  Oh yeah... haha I always forget don't I? Anyway, in just a couple more days Brandon and I will fly down to Utah and be sealed.  SEALED!!!! Gosh.  I am so excited.  That will just make everything we have wanted official.  Seriously, can't wait. I will keep you posted.  And hopefully by then my thought processes will be a little more flowing and less rambly.  Hehe. xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring Is Here!

I have so much to catch up on, just in the past couple of days.  First of all, my parents are in town.  YAY!!!! In just two days Brandon is going through the temple.  I am pretty sure I have announced that a number of times, but I just can't help but count down, you know?  It is a pretty big deal.

Also, yesterday, I went to court to pay for my speeding ticket (and also to make it not be on my record).  I was thrilled that they reduced the fine and I got what I wanted, and they are not going to report it to my insurance company.  Bullet dodged.  Quite honestly, that courtroom was WAAAAY to full for comfort.  Filled with people who got pulled over for speeding.  Most of them on the very hill that I got pulled over on.  Big surprise.  Anyway, I sat next to a girl who was around my age, and we totally hit it off.  I wish I could be good friends with her, because she was totally my type.  It was really fun to talk with her.  We were both just ranting about how lame it was to be pulled over and how nervous we were to talk in front of all those people in the courtroom.  You know there are those rare times when you come across a kindred spirit, and yesterday was just one of those times. :-) Unfortunately I don't have the guts to just ask someone to be friends with me.  Lol.  So it never would have worked out.

Anyway... I had walked to the courthouse from my work, and on the way back, I discovered a river trail that I had never known existed.  Fancy that!  Only a ten minute walk away from my work, and I have a beautiful trail all to myself.  So that means I can walk 1/8 of the way into the trail and then walk back to work before my break is over.  BUT STILL!!!  Just think....when the weather gets warmer I could bring a bike or something.  Today I decided it was a perfect day to explore my new river trail.  And that is when it hit me kinda hard.... Spring is here.  It is in full bloom, right under my nose!  Of course, it is a little bit disguised by debilitating cold wind and stuff like that, but there are new plants everywhere.  Today's walk to the river trail was so good for my soul!  I got a whole bunch of beautiful snaps of springtime to show you.  Seeing as it has been WAY too long since I posted pictures.   Ok guys... get ready for yet another phone dump.

Don't be fooled by the blue skies.  It is totally freezing.  But if you look closely on these dead branches, new pink blossoms have emerged!

Flowers springing up in my favorite library's garden.

New life!  So beautiful!

I made my way onto Spring Street.  No, this is not a joke.  Really.  Just to experience the whole spring experience.

Annnnd here is the beginning of my little river trail.  It even has a fish mural along the side.

A closeup shot of the fish.  Haha.  I wonder if it is art or graffiti. 

A pretty view of the river.

On the path there were a bunch of these bewitching trees.

It was so serene!  I felt lovely and energetic when I got back to work after seeing all of these trees.

I just love the combination of white and pink blossoms next to each other.  

And these yellow blossoms were lovely.  I don't think I have ever seen anything like them before.

And my favorite picture of all, these white blossoms were breathtaking.

So that is my story about my lovely and amazing work break/exploration nature walk.  I would highly recommend walking around somewhere beautiful on your break at work.  It relieves all the stress in the world.  Even coming back to work to be around my *not-so-favorite* co-worker was nothing.  I felt so good with rosy cheeks bitten from the cool wind and the fresh air and the lovely scenery. 

RANDOM... but... at work, we only listen to this Christian music station, and I was getting pretty sick of it.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I love Christian music as much as the next person, especially if it is Switchfoot or some other lovely band like that.  But it was getting to the point where I had memorized all the songs they played on that station (I believe there are about 12 songs total.  BLEH.)  Soooo I decided to switch it up a bit.  I bought these ipod speakers online for about $3.00, and although there is definitely better quality out there, I can't complain.  I get to listen to kpop and other genres of music other than Christian music.  

These speakers may not be the most advanced out there, but they do fold up into a convenient little cube when not in use, and at only 3 dollars, I am not too worried if I forget them at work or if someone steals them.  My ipod is a different story....

Ohhhhhh.... another RANDOM story.  Silly me... I decided it would be a good idea to juice kale.  Well, let's put it this way... first of all, the kale I used was a little bit old, so it didn't taste the best.  Second of all, it is better to throw it in a smoothie or something, because I got about 1/3 cup of juice from 2 heads of kale.  What a waste.  So I added baby carrots.  Those also don't juice too well.  Just so you know.  Then I added an apple.  Finally!  A full glass of juice.  Sadly, the juice was one of the most disgusting drinks I have ever had, and it was such a hassle to make it and clean it up.  It was so awful that Brandon took pictures of the mess I made.  It was funny but awful.  For the record, kale juice tastes like old fridge residue or something nasty like that.  I highly discourage it.

The juice was all foamy and then I spilled pulp and juice everywhere.  It was so nasty and disgusting.  Brandon was laughing at me as I was kinda frustrated from the mess.

Ew... it was such a dang mess.  And it took me like 45 minutes to make the juice and clean up after.  Never again.

Well, I am officially super tired.  As always.  Tomorrow is going to be great.  I finally get to spend time with my family then.  Talk to you next time! xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day and 2 Birthdays

Today was pretty epic for a few reasons. 

First of all, it was St. Patrick's Day.  I wore the only dress I own with green on it (a brown dress with yellow flowers with green leaves) and Brandon wore a VERY cute and snazzy green cardigan I bought him a while ago with a black tie and white shirt.  While he was passing the sacrament I couldn't help but notice one of the ward missionaries was wearing a green tie and a black blazer with a white shirt.   And he is almost as tall as Brandon and has a similar figure.  Oh my.  And he was standing right next to Brandon.  It took everything in me not to burst out laughing since they looked so epic together.... I wished with all my heart that I had my camera on me because I would have unabashedly taken a picture, but I didn't so.... I had to draw it.  Please excuse the fact that Brandon looks cross-eyed and I am no artist when it comes to computer drawings, LOL!!!!


HAHAHAHA!!!! It was too vogue to be true.  I just wish you guys could have seen it in real life, it was THAT good. 

Also, Brandon and I were asked by our bishop to talk to the youth tonight about dating.  It was really easy and fun.  I just love being surrounded by all these young people who are just so good and fun and wonderful.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Also, we made some new friends (the other couple that was chosen to answer dating questions for the youth).

Annnnd here is some other news.  I have finally lost my "happily married weight," officially.  I am still debating whether or not to post before and after pictures.  For those who have not been around me lately, believe me it is a really big deal.  I had gained about 10-12 extra pounds after I got married, which might not seem like a big deal to some, but for me it really showed up in my face, hips, and butt.  It was really depressing, especially when I had to jump up and down to make my pants zip up.  Hahaha.... Sad but still kinda funny.  Anyway, the thing that has helped me get back to where I want to be is a combination of intermittent fasting (only eating in an 8-10 hour window), exercising 2-3 times a week, drinking about a gallon of water a day, eating a full serving of vegetables at the beginning of every meal, getting enough sleep, and only eating small portions of sweets when I am craving them.   I could get into more details but I don't want to bore you.  Or maybe I will write a whole post about this another time. 

Last, but not least, we have a DOUBLE BIRTHDAY today.  And it is two of my favorite people ever to exist... my lovely younger sisters Kaelyn and Rachel.


Here is Kaelyn, my younger sister who is the mother to the cutest baby ever, Elsie.  Kaelyn and I have been very close our whole lives.  She is only 18 months younger than me.  She is a hundred times more sensible than I am and also has the most gorgeous figure, even after having a child.  I love her so much and have so many memories with her.  We switched schools just for fun when we were growing up and attending different schools.  We have dated together, but never competed with each other over boys.  Everyone thought we were twins for as long as I can remember.  I LOVE YOU SO MUCH Kaelyn!


Then there is Rachel aka LITTLE ME!  I love little Rachel so much, and now she is 12 years old!  I can hardly believe it!  She is so similar to me in many ways and I could spend hours just hanging out with her.  I miss having her around.  

Happy birthday to my beloved sisters!  I have the best family ever.  I am so excited to be going to Utah in 2 weeks for me and Brandon to be sealed, and also to spend quality time with my siblings and parents.  

Seems like today was just another random post, but I just felt that I really need to step it up with the whole blogging thing, so hopefully you don't mind randomness much of the time. ;-) Talk to you soon.  xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Slowness

I am sure my regular readers are wondering why I am taking so many days off of blogging.  Well, the truth is, a lot is happening, but it is all so boring and tiresome.  It is nothing to write about.  Anyhow, here is a mini update for all of you:

1) Lately I am loving Stevia soda.  It is pretty expensive, though, and Brandon and I polished it off already, but we are BOTH in love.

2) I am currently attempting to make my own journal, using this book binding technique.  It is seriously harder than I thought.  Today I was so drained from it I just had to take a break.  I have already printed off my own lined paper that I randomly found online, and sewed the pages together.  Now all that is left is the fun of making, decorating, and attaching the cover of the journal.  SUCH FUN!  We will see how that turns out.

3) We are really really really hoping to buy the house we are living in.  In fact, we have gotten serious and made an offer on it.  Can't wait for this whole home purchase thing to be done and over with.

4) I have a strange addiction of window-shopping online.  Mainly on random Chinese clothing store websites.  And I bought stuff.  But it is taking forever to get to me and I totally hate that.

5) Brandon and I had a killer day today.  First, we bought his temple clothes, then we went to World Market and stocked up on some Chocolate and red tea.  He goes through the temple next weekend! :-)

6) I make my own tinted moisturizer as a new part of my makeup routine.  All I do is sprinkle some bare minerals bronzer onto my hand with a small squirt of Aveeno positively radiant moisturizer with SPF.  This is a lovely combination with BB cream.  I have a very unfortunate scar on my forehead that is ever-so-slowly healing and this tinted moisturizer is very forgiving and makes my skin look a lot better during this annoying time.

7) I still can't seem to get past the outfits on "Love Rain."

8) I love Brandon more than ANYTHING!!!! He is the best ever to exist.

Aaaaaaannnnd that is all for now.  Sorry for the randomness and disorganization of this post, but hey, I figure if I keep silent too long this blog will become a very boring place.  LOVE YOU GUYS. xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Saturdays

Earlier today Ashleigh brought to my attention that I have privileges to post on our blog. I thought I would give her a break and do a guest post for her. There is no way I can match the epic proportions of her posts but will definitely give it my best :D.

Monday - Friday

The work week was a bit of a drag as always since we are not morning people and have morning jobs. We both struggle sleeping early and waking up with any energy the next morning. We have made some effort to sleep earlier. Thanks to my sweet love Ashleigh for making the 3-2-1 rule. The rule consists of:

3. Any physical activity/exercise should be done 3 hours before bedtime. Ashleigh likes to exercise later in the evening but afterwards she gets a slight energy spurt. I usually workout first thing after work so it isn't too bad.

2. We must finish eating 2 hours before our bedtime in order to let the food in our bellies digest. This is mainly my problem since I have an appetite at night. Ashleigh likes to eat earlier in the day so it isn't much of an issue for her.

1. We both have the problem of using electronics before bed which isn't the best idea. Whether it be video games, television, computers, etc... It isn't very relaxing. 

Although we haven't been following it perfectly, an effort has been made and we are adjusting to it. 

Earlier in the week Ashleigh and I had a meeting with our Bishop about the Temple. We can't wait! We're so grateful to our Bishop and the members of the Ward who have supported us in many different ways. As Ashleigh mentioned in a previous blog post, we have been experiencing random negative vibes that keep being tossed our way but have taken it as an even greater reason to lean on the gospel. I'm sure more will be thrown our way that is beyond our control but I know that the choices we make in dealing with these matters are what's important. Engulfing ourselves in prayer, obedience to the principles of our faith and continuing to serve others will soften our hearts throughout these trials. I must say, it has without a doubt been revealed to me through my personal experiences that practicing faith as a resolution has eased our burdens. Okay, I think I got carried away there... Anyway, I can see why people blog now. It's very refreshing! Hahaha... @_@

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Saturdays

Random name but for some reason I like it :). Saturdays are always such a pleasure for us since it's the only time we have to dedicate to us having fun or relaxing in each others' company. In the morning Ashleigh totally surprised me by making the room all spiffy and clean. It is greatly appreciated! She's such a sweetie :). 

Then we had some housing business to attend to that went really well. Afterwards we were starving and went to a restaurant my parents recommended called Duke's Chowder House. It is a bit pricey but luckily we had a gift card. Thanks Mom and David! We had a lovely meal of crab caesar salad and awesome burgers. They use natural beef from cows fed on an all grass diet. The buns were local as well (I probably mentioned to Ashleigh a dozen times how delicious they were). We are kind of silly because we go on and on about how delicious the food is that we are eating. It's quite funny since 90% of our conversations at restaurants revolve around the food we are scarfing down. That's when you know you are a food fanatic.

Being completely trapped in food comas, we have been resting at home and are lounging around. We spent a good amount of time talking about random things and youtubing various 90's music out of the blue. I miss the 90's! All the music was so awesome! Anyway, I don't have much else to say other than ASHLEIGH IS THE BEST IN THE UNIVERSE. That is all. Goodnight! Z___________________Z

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sealing, Mom, and Vintage Dresses


Hmmm…..ten days (or is it more?) of not blogging.  Wow.  That is a lot.  I must say, a lot has been going on and a lot of stuff has kicked me in the butt lately.  First and foremost, Brandon and I have been SERIOUSLY searching for a home to buy.  We keep on being led back to the house we are living in now.  No area is nicer to live in.  The location can’t be beat.  We did fall in love with another house and someone snatched it right up.  Of course, that location was not as good as our current neighborhood, but they DID have a fireplace in the master bedroom.  And columns!!!  I am such a sucker for columns.  Also, we liked another house plan in another nice area only to find out they are all sold out of that floor plan.  STUPID!  Anyway, the whole house buying scene is such a drag I decided.  It is so hard to find that one perfect place.  And we are still not 100% sure if we are going to get the one we are living in or not.  It is just the suspense that is killing me. 

BEST NEWS EVER!!! In case you have not heard, Brandon and I are officially going to be sealed in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple at the end of this month.  I am so happy.   Brandon and I have been waiting for this since the day we got married.  March 30th we will officially be together forever.  None of this “Till death do us part” business.  We will never have to worry about that again.  Forever is forever.  I just want it to be March 30th already so that I don’t have to deal with the little events here and there that seem to pop up to discourage such a blessing.  Most people who have had the opportunity to go through the temple with their spouse may know what I am talking about.  It seems that such a good thing comes with many sources of frustration standing in the way.  It is to be expected, but knowing that does not make it any easier.  As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, a lot of stuff has kicked me in the butt.  And I am really not going to get into the particulars since they are a little bit too personal.  Let’s just say any sort of negativity seems very magnified at the moment and I am extremely sensitive to these things.  Thankfully, everything that has gone wrong has been resolved almost as quickly as it happened in the first place. 

The temple we have chosen to get sealed in... Mt. Timpanogos! :-)

On the subject of issues trying to stand in the way of me and Brandon finally being sealed together forever, I have a little message for a certain someone (which will probably not make sense to the majority of my readers, but it will to those who are close to me, Brandon, and my family)…. You know who you are…..  You have been despicable, selfish, and unbelievable.  I hope you are ashamed of your feeble attempts to ruin our lives.  You tried so hard to interfere with our happiness and make us miserable and you still didn’t get your way, did you? *smirk* I am so glad.  I am thankful that I will never have to deal with your nonsense again for as long as I live.  I hope for your own sake that you get your head and heart out of the gutter and learn to genuinely be a better person with no more lies.  I am grateful that good triumphed over pure evil in this case, as I knew it would.  I WIN.  ;-) Whew, that feels good to finally be able to say that.  

Alright, for those out there who are probably confused about the above paragraph, I apologize for not expounding on that one.  And I realize how harsh it may sound, but just know it had to be said.  The hardest trial of my life is officially over for good.

On a completely different subject, I have been thinking about my mom a lot lately.  I just wanted to say that I love her and admire many traits about her that I hope to fully develop:

1) Kindness…. She serves others many times a week, even though she is very busy and has a job. (Oh and yes I do happen to notice that on the very post that I mention that I wish I had more kindness, I have publicly censured someone... Believe me... after this moment, it will never need to be done again.)

2) Beauty…. My mom always looks her best, even on days where she is just relaxing at home.  Also, when I look at pictures of her from when she was younger, she is a total BOMBSHELL.  I have such a beautiful mother, inside and out.  She is really ladylike as well.

3) Brains…. Not only is my mom naturally smart, but she works really hard to get where she wants to be.  She is a nurse, a wonderful mother, knows about reflexology, and is very talented in many areas.  She has studied hard to help those around her and develop her strengths.   She pretty much got a 4.0 GPA in college.  Psshhhh… ok sorry maybe a 3.99999…. haha.

4) Humor…. My mom knows how to laugh, and how to carry a good conversation with almost anyone.  She is very personable and people are drawn to her like a magnet.

5) Love…. Last but not least, my mom is very loving and no one in the family can ever doubt this.  She showers us with gifts, keeps the house tidy, talks to us about our lives, and lets us know she is thinking about us.  She does so much for everyone and is not recognized nearly enough.

I am sorry this post is forever long, but I have just one more thing that has been on my mind.  I have a new love for vintage inspired dresses.  But the problem is… they are more expensive than just getting a random dress at Forever 21 or H&M.  I have very specific taste.  Think of the outfits on “The Notebook,” or “The Painted Veil,” or “Love Rain.” On average, a dress with the ideal cut and fabric would cost $95.00 for casual wear, but I just can’t bring myself to do it!  Also, try telling your husband that you just “had to get it.” No.  Not gonna happen.   

THIS DRESSSSS!!! Gah! Too expensive at $96.00, but I am totally in love.

Also, I keep finding LOVELY dresses made out of LOVELY fabric, but then I notice the cuts are not flattering or they have some nasty geometric cut out the back or something sad like that.   What is up with this?  I think I was born in the wrong century.  What is a girl to do?  Anyway, I have a dress I have been scoping out for a few days and it is from Forever 21 and is vintage inspired and for once is not “clubbing length.”  Yes, I stole that term from a previous reviewer of this dress on the F21 website.  

I love the color and it has polka dots...

It is $25.00 for this particular dress, and I might give in and buy it.  I could pair it with a white cardigan, a ladylike leather messenger bag, lacy ankle socks, and low-heeled mary jane shoes or white oxfords….. *sigh* So many possibilities.  

Alright, enough for now.  I am surprised if you even read this whole post, because it took about an hour to write everything.  I guess I just missed writing so I had to overdo it. xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son