Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Racing... OH BOY!

If you're a part of the Ashley family, then you probably are a lover of racing. If you are part of the Brown family, you've never really understood the fascination behind it (beyond the fact that twice a year, our town becomes impossible to navigate through due to the impossible traffic from the local race track - it's horrible).

A couple of weeks ago, though, while on a trip to Rome, Sandye had saved a very informative newspaper article for me. She was thinking of me in a Ashley family kind of way! She had saved this:
It is a two page summary of every Nascar driver one may find racing on Sunday... At first I thought it may be some kind of a joke. Then, I was waiting for Sandye's inner-teacher side to come out and say something like, "OK. You've got one hour to learn the names and report back!". That wasn't the case either. It was a friendly little introduction into a world that I have been so far removed from for just about my entire life - until I met Dave, that is. Since that point (four years ago), Sunday's, for the better 3/4's of the year, have been spent in front of some television, watch cars go ROUND and ROUND and ROUND, then WRECK! Oh... But wait! Have I happened to mention Dave's favorite driver yet? I bet you could pick him! (Sorry about the picture, I tried downloading it several times, and it always flipped this way.)
Yep. You guessed it. Dale, Jr!

Now, I will admit, the last 25 laps or so are slightly exciting, and I don't mind watching... But the other ten million hours they go ROUND and ROUND, I would rather be doing something else - and I'm completely fine with finding my own Sunday afternoon rituals - most of the time... :)
Special to Dave: Here's to attempting to like YOUR Sunday afternoon ritual... maybe... every once in a while... if it's raining outside...!

Happy Wednesday

Now I know that Loren does most of the posting on this thing but I decided to chime in for once. The weather has been great the last few days and we have been enjoying it. We have been taking walks around campus and one day last week we sat outside at our favorite place to eat. Basically it is my favorite because its cheap and you can sit outside and people watch.
Yesterday we started working out. I know that I am getting a bit of a belly and I dont like it. Loren has a picture of some super model that she wants to look like by this time next year and while she looks just fine as she is and probably only weighs 100 pounds soaking wet if she wants to workout with me thats ok to. Now Im just waiting on my sister to send me a workout program that I can stick to. Our new apartment complex has a workout room and I plan on using it. After our workout I decided to reward us with icecream from chick-fil-a.

Last weekend Loren had been wanting grilled chicken. I tried to teach her how to grill in case I wasnt there and she wanted it. She had waited and waited for the chicken to defrost because it had been in the frezzer. After two days of letting it sit in the fridge it was finally time. She wanted me to make "special sauce" to put on it so I did. Loren is not a very patient griller. I think the picture says it all. Hope everyone is having a good week. I am going to rome tomorrow so dad and I can fly to KY friday night. Hope the easter bunny still comes to see me this weekend. I know I have been extra good.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Test Week Means...


So, at the beginning of the semester, Dave took me to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast before my FIRST BIG set of tests :) Since then, it has been our tradition to make our way to our favorite breakfast place on the morning of a test day. He's even been so sweet as to get up at seven in the A.M. some times! This morning was no different!
Sweet, huh?
Yeah, I think I'll keep him ;)
One more test to go this week and another one next week... Then I'm free until finals! Yippee!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Out with the "OLD"...

... In with, well, I haven't figured that out yet :)

Last week I officially decided to take a hiatus from the good ole Facebook! Yep, that's right. The "suck you in for hours, leaving you panicked and tired when you finally realize how long you've been on it" site is no longer a pass-time - for the moment, at least. I decided that, amongst other things, I needed to figure out if I could spend time more wisely (especially since we are getting to the end of the semester and everything else school related right now).

So, I have officially been FB free for five days, and I must admit, I LIKE IT!

I have found myself submerged in new blogs and dabbling in Twitter. NO... I'm not "on" Twitter (I am completely AGAINST it - I think it's silly), but I find it funny to read. The blogs I have stumbled upon have made for enjoyable reading and wildly lavish dreams of projects I hope to one day be able to complete :) This here, my little blog ("our" little blog I should say, but Dave always insists I post something), has become something I LOVE to do! I'm sure the only people that read are those near and dear to my heart - and I am so thankful and love to keep you updated - but, I like it!

So, here's to my new adventure in life without FB! Dave is completely against this "trial period", but I think he'll live ;)

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Georgia Easter Bunny Came!

When I got back to school yesterday, Dave said I had a surprise from the Georgia Easter Bunny! Being sad about having to come back to school (because I NEVER like leaving home), I was super excited for a surprise!

I tried to take the best picture I could... But, this is a super neat square plate with all sorts of landmarks from around the campus here at The U of A! It's got the President's Mansion, Denny Chimes, the seal, Bryant-Denny stadium, etc etc!

It's great :) I don't know exactly in what capacity I'm going to use it yet, but I'll keep you updated on the decision!

Special to the Georgia Easter Bunny: THANK YOU for my special prize! It's absolutely wonderful!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Break Recap

Well, folks... I'm sad to say, Spring Break has officially come and gone :(
My week has been FILLED with magical and memorable moments... ALL of which I cherish deeply. And seeing as though this is my last Spring Break (hopefully), I must admit, this has been the BEST one yet!
  • A new baby added to my sister's sweet family
  • SUPER special moments spent with my mom - and laughs galore!
  • Late nights on the couch with my daddy
  • Cleaning with my brother (gasp - I know!)
  • Story time with loving family that lives TOO far away

I know I speak often of how blessed I feel, but after the week I've had, I can't say it enough. BIG things transpired this week... in a LOT of different realms... BUT, the one thing that remained constant and at the center of it all was my family!

Special to my mom: THANK YOU... from the bottom of my heart! My special memories from this week alone are worth more than anyone could give me :) "It" is absolutely perfect, all because of you!

Special to my daddy: YOU are the most precious man I know! Thank you for just being you :) I had a wonderful time this week. Count down to Easter and A-Day has begun... and I can't wait!

Special to my brother: I will ALWAYS "hawk" for you... it would be my pleasure!

Special to my sister: Your new addition is absolutely precious! I'm thrilled to have been there for special day number four! Know I'm thinking of you and praying for you ALWAYS and I'm always here to chat - because some times you need to talk about something besides poop and yelling "no"!

Saturday: Puppies and Movie Date!

After Daniel's game we decided a movie was in order. I had looked up some times for several different films, and.....

Shutter Island won!
We were a little early for the movie, so we stopped at Chick-Fil-A for lunch. The cow was walking around taking pictures with some of the customers, and you might know, I had left my camera in the car :( After we left, though, we found something that caught Mom's eye in the parking lot of the theater!
Mini Poodles!
Mom brought the sweet little thing over to the car so Daddy could have a better look...
...But, Daddy wasn't as excited as Momma :(
Mom has wanted a little puppy off and on for a while now and these definitely started tugging at those heart strings. Daddy on the other hand... well, the picture explains it all.
Back to Shutter Island. I don't know how many of you were like me, but I had made up my mind that this was NOT a movie I wanted to see. I had to make sure before we went in that I had someone to volunteer to sleep with me IF I came out slightly "off". Good news though, it was better and MUCH different than I had thought! I didn't watch the trailer before going to see this movie (which is something Dave always makes a point to do) and I'm kinda happy I didn't. It was much better seeing the movie play out in a different way than how I had made my mind up thinking it was going to be. I don't know if it rates high enough on my list for the movie theater prices... but it's definitely worthy of a rental!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday: What a beautiful day for a baseball game!

With spring comes baseball and boy oh boy do we love some baseball (in the Brown family, that is)!

Bert (Daniel) had a double-header Saturday morning and with the weather being as beautiful as it was, we set out for a day at the park! Growing up, Daddy ALWAYS coached Sam's baseball teams and then all throughout junior high and high school, we still played ball :) Many a days, nights and weekends were spent at the ball park, so now with FOUR little monkeys running around, not much has changed! Daddy may not be coaching, but the boys are still playing. JJ (Jaiden) is the comical soul. It takes him a minute to warm up to most everyone, but once he does, you never know what you're going to get. Him and Sam are a hoot to watch cut-up!Bert made the junior high baseball team this year and is positioned at catcher. He's grown up player catcher even though he's TALL and lanky! And he's pretty darn good :)

And... He made some pretty awesome plays!

Momma packed her usual goody-bag with snacks....
... and JJ decided he would share his Skittles with Sam! JJ likes to share - even if he puts it in his mouth before he hands it to you!
We are currently working on getting him to actually SMILE at the camera when someone calls his name wanting a picture.... This is as good as it gets!
For the first day of spring, I would say a day at the ball park + snacks + playing in the rocks + winning ball games = ONE FABULOUS DAY!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monkey Update: Four Days Old

"At home at last!" "Now... Can you please calm these other little boys down. A brother needs his sleep!"
"Skeeter loves me! He's such a sweet big brother."

Poppy and all his little monkeys!
  • Daniel - 13
  • Parker - 7
  • Jaiden - 2
  • Brady - 4 days old

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My New Monkey: Two Days Old

"Look at how sweet I am! I don't cry, I promise. I just sleep and eat... and sometimes I purr like a kitty-cat. Yep, that's about all. Oh yeah, and manage to give Mommy and Daddy a few dirty diapers!"
"Did I mention that I like to sleep? Yeah, my Lovie thinks I don't like to open my eyes. Guess what? Her camera's bright... that might be why!"
Sneak Peek! :)
"Hmm... I think I know this lady. She sounds awfully familiar! Yep... But, I think I liked it better wherever I came from... It was dark and quiet - no camera flashes!"

Friday, March 12, 2010

Welcome, Brady!

At 8:33 AM this morning, we welcomed Mister Brady into our big, big world! Here are his stats:
World... Meet Brady! He has the sweetest little smile that just melts your heart.And after this morning, I officially have FOUR little monkeys... my monkeys :) Now, if we can just keep them from all "jumping on the bed"!
Sister did wonderfully this morning, but now I think they both need a little snooze :)
Nana and Poppy are just as proud as ever! "Look how round and precious his head is!"

This was just a sneak peak... there are SOO many more pictures to come. Thank you for lifting this precious family up in prayer. Things went as well as anyone could ask for this morning.

God is Good!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Please Say A Little Prayer

I got a very special phone call this afternoon:

Tomorrow morning, around 7:30 AM, my sister is going to welcome into this big, big world, our fourth little monkey (Brady)!
She's had some complications through this pregnancy, but I know it's in God's hands. If you find a minute while reading this, or during your quiet time, please lift my sister up... say a little prayer that all goes well tomorrow morning.

I'm ready to see my little monkey... but I want for both of them to be ok, too.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thank You, Mr. U.S. Postal Man!

Back at the beginning of this semester, we (the fourth semester nursing students) were offered an opportunity to apply for a summer internship working in an acute care setting at one of a number of hospitals around the area, to further skills we've learned in previous semesters and have a better one-on-one experience. Reluctant to apply, I talked myself into taking an application one afternoon with the intent of thinking about giving it a shot. It was a simple application - name, some HESI scores, and clinical instructors I have been under since nursing school started. Pretty easy, right? Well, I decided that if I didn't apply, then I certainly wouldn't have the opportunity, and my parent's always taught me that if I didn't try, I would never know. (**I love how little things like that come back to you after all these years!**)

With saying all of that, I turned that piece of paper in almost a month ago and until I received an email on Monday about these "certified letters" going out sometime this week, I had kind of forgotten about it.

But, on this dreary March day, one postal man would change my summer plans, in a very good way! Momma called me this afternoon, certified letter in hand, asking if she could open it. "OF COURSE!" The contents of that certified letter informed me of my acceptance into this summer internship! I officially have a summer job!

Thank you Lord, for opening doors and providing opportunities!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Lord's Prayer is How We Should Pray

Here's the thing, though... it's hard TO do...

Sunday's message at church was on The Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6: 5-11), and it's really been tugging at my heart this week. In a "get to the point" kind of way, the guest speaker simplified it like this:

"When you look at The Lord's Prayer, it can be broken down in two ways: by seeking after God's greatfulness first ("your name, your kingdom, your will") and then bringing to Him our needs ("our bread, our debt, our deliverences"). Instead, most of us approach our Father asking, telling and letting him know what we need to happen before ever acknowledging Him."

WOW! That melted my heart. No one has ever put those verses to me in quite that way, and over the last couple of days, I have felt so convicted. So many times, I go my Father asking and begging for something, rarely realizing that He already knows my heart's desires. Instead, I should be thankful... for more than I could ever fathom.

Just something to think about.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday's Homemade Dinner

Ever been away from home on a Sunday and yearned for that home cooked meal?

Welcome to my weekly desire :) There's something about knowing your mom is at home cooking a wonderful meal and you're stuck eating another Lean Cuisine. Today, however, I became domestic in many ways. After laundry and cleaning (most everything), and of course catching everyone up with blogs, I decided that a good meal was in order. Chicken is among one of the easiest things to freeze and since Dave doesn't eat the majority of what I like, freezing stuff allows me to cook just enough without wasting stuff! Frozen veggies are also great! Fresh ones are good and all, but please remember: I'm the only one that eats them! So, on tonight's menu:

Baked Chicken Breast - seasoned with most everything I could find in my cabinet... heavily!
Steamed Broccoli
Black-Eyed Peas - seasoned with salt and garlic
Homemade Cornbread (No worries, these were pre-made by Mom!)

YUMMY is all I can say! I was rather proud of myself and elated that it was so good :) I have been working on cooking things at the appropriate "times" so that nothing's cold when you get ready to eat. This has been quite the task at times. Growing up I always wondered how my mom knew exactly when to start everything in order to get it to the table still steamy hot. I mastered that this afternoon (with this meal at least)!

Can you tell I'm excited? Granted, this is not the first time I've ever cooked (I have lived by myself before), but baked chicken has been a new adventure for me since Christmas. Dave usually just grills stuff for me, but I think I like my baked chicken even better :)

Welcome Home, Beau!

Today marks The Ashley Family's long awaited arrival of thier soldier, Beau!

Everyone was heading to the Birmingham Airport to welcome him home this morning, so check out his wife Ashleigh's blog! I'm sure she will be putting up some great pictures of his homecoming!

Special to Beau: Dave and I are so happy you are home safe! Hope you have a great two weeks at home. I know everyone is excited you're back!

A Day FULL of New Sporting Adventures

(This one is for my Daddy... He's always telling me to submerse myself in the sporting culture here at school!)

Saturday offered a plethora of sporting events for us attend and we had a plan to hit ALL of them!

Our day started off with our weekly visit to Chick-Fil-A :) The weather was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G., so I took it upon myself to grab us a table outside! We sat and enjoyed to sunshine, planning the day's adventures!
Up first was the Men's Basketball game! Alabama was playing Auburn and Saban was scheduled to be there at half time to "accept" the Iron Bowl winner's trophy (Please Note: We won last year as well, so technically we already had possession of this FINE trophy)! The weather was so beautiful outside we decided to walk from our apartments to the coliseum. On our walk, we saw Saban's car... and his straw hat in the back window :)
The men's game turned out to be exciting and eventful, and ended in the best way possible - A WIN! This was the first game both of us had attended this season and we couldn't have asked for a better one to see! After the basketball game and our walk back home, we had just enough time to grab a quick snack before Event #2: Softball! The softball team was in the middle of a weekend-long tournament and we were going to watch them play Michigan. Neither of us had EVER been to a softball game, so this was going to be a new experience :) We had a pretty good time, but knowing what we know now, bag chairs and a few snacks are a must the next time... along with a hat! We didn't stay all that long, but we had fun, and that's all that matters. The girls didn't pull out a win, but after last year's run, I think they'll be just fine! To recap: Basketball + Softball = Our afternoon so far. We had planned to make a women's soccer game once the softball game had ended, but because we left the softball game early, we decided to save the "first" soccer game experience for another afternoon.

All in all, we had a GREAT day! We couldn't have asked for better weather or company to spend the time with :)