Thursday, May 26, 2011

blog name change!

I'm changing the name of my blog. Don't freak out. I want to become more focused...and my "mind" is not focused. It is all over the place. This is turning into being more about my journey as a newlywed, but I'm not always going to be a newlywed. So I guess it's about me being a wife, because that is my first and foremost duty after being a Christ follower! And it always will be. Even when I have kids someday, Lord willing.

Hence, the name change. I don't like doing this because I know people search for my blog using "the mind of ashley"...but it's early in my blogging life so I think now is a good time to do it. I'm trying to revamp the blog as well, so if it looks kind of different every time you view it for a while, that's why. I've already added a handy dandy blog list of some of my favorite peeps. I need to explore some more blogs of people I don't actually know...haha. So I may do that. Things are 'bout to get CRAZY ALL UP IN HURR. you just wait...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

interesting searches.

Blogger is kinda creepy. It tells you lots of things about people. I get to know what countries have viewed my blog, what kind of browsers people use, what websites they use to get to my blog, etc. But my favorite thing to see is what people search for to come to my blog. When I say this, I mean what they type into Google that leads them to my blog on the internet. Some of them are definitely interesting and occasionally pretty funny. So I thought I'd share a few with you to give you a laugh. If it was you who used one of these searches, don't be embarrassed, I love it. 

"ashleyhamshelley bloodspot" - This sounds terrible.

"josh hamilton pictures of family" - It's weird to me that people search this.

"shannon hills bible chapel crazy" - Umm..what? Crazy?

"i want to respect my husband how do i respect my husband submit to my husband how to submit" - Slow down, woman.

"i'm a newlywed and loving life!" - I'm glad that you are so happy about this that you decided to type your exclamation in the search bar and then go to my blog.

"i want a girl who likes sports" - Maybe you should go to a sporting event and ask one out. Good luck.

So now you know what I mean. If you want to make me laugh, type in a super weird search that could lead to my blog. They crack me up.

Monday, May 23, 2011

first post as an aunt.

It's been a busy week or so.

I'm officially an aunt to Harvey Joshua Shelley, born to Josh and Danielle Shelley on May 20, 2011! Yes, it was May 20 here and in China. :) He's healthy and precious. Can't really tell who he looks like...but with babies I can never tell anyway. We'll see. They're so pumped and we got to finally talk to them last night on Skype. Thank God for technology that allows us to see our loved ones across the world!

This is my favorite picture of Harvey so far. It cracks me up.
I wish I could just grab him through the computer. I'd give him back, but just you know for a few minutes. If you're wondering how he got his name, "Harvey" is our Grandaddy Shelley's first name (his great-grandaddy) and "Joshua" is his daddy's name! I've inadvertently been referring to him as "The Harve", but I don't know how his parents would feel about that, so maybe I should call him by his real name.

In other news, I graduated last weekend. Pretty sweet. I also got my first big-girl interview for a fill-in office manager/receptionist/whatever you want to call it job until I start babysitting for the summer. I was pretty nervous about this, because my only interviews up until that point had involved making up dances, acting crazy in front of people, being on camera, running the RBC Center stairs, taking hockey quizzes, and playing with kids. Probably not anything I'm going to run into for an interview again.

But I did get it, praise the Lord, and I trained and worked on Friday. It was actually fun working for a big software company. I did a pretty good job if I do say so. I like talking to people and helping people so that made it enjoyable. I did do a couple things wrong though, like transferring people to the wrong lines. Or struggling to understand people with British accents. I can't even understand people with British accents on TV, much less a phone. And one time when that happened it was in front of the CEO...oh well. He was nice and helped me. I already liked him before I met him because he has life-size Star Wars statues throughout the entire office. Young Anakin stood right in front of me in his pod racing gear all day. Love.

It was good because I'm trying to get some office experience. I honestly have no idea what I'm going to end up doing for a job. But the awesome thing is that God does know, and it's the best. I'm excited to see what He has in store. But for right now, I'm going to be exploring my options and asking around. 

Chris and Erica got married on Saturday! It was beautiful, they were so happy, and we had such a great time. Jordan and Katherine did an amazing job singing. :) I have such a talented husband. During one of songs he looked into my eyes for a solid 10 seconds, and I felt like a 13 year old groupie who was melting into the ground. Forget Bieber fever, I am hooked on Jordan. 
Us with the new Underwood family!
My handsome man singing "God Gave Me You"
 Well, I'm done for now. I'm about to go outside and try to convince my body that it is not, in fact, July - despite the 93 degree temps. Have a great Monday, my dear friends.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

dear nephew.

Dear Nephew,

You aren't in the outside world yet, but many people wish that you would hurry up. I was going to write you a letter on your birthday, but I'm getting impatient. I can't imagine how impatient your mommy, daddy, and Aunt Anna are getting. They are with you every day but can't actually see you yet, so I know they'd like to see you.

I'm going to warn you that whenever you get over here to your extended family, it's probably going to be a little overwhelming for you. People will most likely be holding you, cuddling you, and in your face talking to you 24/7. Including me. But we will try not to bother you and your parents too much. I mean I guess you'll need to spend time with them too.

We're going to the beach together! Yesterday I bought a new bathing suit and pictured myself holding you in it, because that's exactly what's going to happen. It's crazy to think about. That you are actually a human who is going to exist in our family. I don't even know your name yet, but I do know that whatever it is will suit you perfectly. But anyway, back to the beach - I have to warn you about sand. It gets everywhere. And don't eat it, it's not good.

Random thought, but when you get older, and have peers with whom you enjoy spending time, you are always going to be able to sound cool by playing the China card. If any of your friends say anything about traveling, then you will obviously be able to trump them by saying, "Well, I was born in China." And they'll be like wow, he's so cool. I mean you'll already be cool, of course, but this will just add to it.

I'm going to tell you a little bit about your Shelley side of the family. Guess what - I'm new to them too! We both will have entered the Shelley family in the same year. :) Don't worry, they are very loving and welcoming. You'll think they're fantastic. I highly recommend them.

First of all, you are a very blessed boy to have such awesome parents. They put Jesus first and that is the most important thing. They are also really fun. And nice. And I've only been around them in person for one week, which wasn't even really a week because everything was so crazy with wedding stuff, but it doesn't take long to realize how awesome they are. They're genuine, caring people who are gonna love you with all they've got.

Your Aunt Anna is by far the most fly 15 almost 16 year old girl I know. She is going to get to spend some quality time with you in the beginning of your life, and you are luckyyy! She is smart, has some skilled piano hands, and is quite mature for her age. You are going to love spending time with her, especially when you're in a big group of people and you can just sit to the side and laugh about little things. And in the Shelley family it is often that you'll be in a big group of people. 

Your Uncle Joseph....hmm maybe I'll go with Uncle Joe because that just sounds good. Your Uncle Joe is such a great guy. Besides being sweet, funny, and lovable, he has a voice that will blow you away. And believe me, you will hear it, because he is always singing. People are drawn to him because he's such an amiable fellow, and I know you will love him. He's just one of those people who's easy to be around. 

What can I even say about your Uncle Jordan...well, I'll start off by saying that he can teach you any sport you want, because he is quite the athlete. He's also hilarious, but in a reserved, witty comment type of way. He's very romantic. Actually, while I'm on this subject, I'll just go ahead and tell you that you are entering a family of men who know how to treat their women. So LEARN from them. They have pursued their wives the way God intended them to, which is the best way. Your dad will teach you this way.

Your Granny and Papa (I believe that's what they will be going by) are going to adore you. You are special because you are their first grandchild! They are SO fun to be around. They are so kind, helpful, and supportive. You will NEVER be without support and encouragement in this Shelley family. Ever. They are true followers of Christ, and have raised a family to do the same. If you turn out half as great as their kids did, then you'll still be above average. They are just that good.

Your second cousins...well...there are a lot of them so I'm not going to go through them by name. But they are an incredible group. You'll even have multiple second cousins your age! Y'all can be BFF. It can get pretty crazy when everyone is together, but crazy in an awesome, fun way. So get ready, you're going to have a blast. By the way - you're bound to be really ridiculously good looking because all of the Shelleys are. And your mom is too. So there's no way you can't be.

And me, well....I don't know. I don't know how I'd describe myself to you, but I like to laugh a lot. So don't think I'm laughing at you, I'm just very easily amused. I hope that you'll like me. I saw that you got a Yankees outfit, which I'm not fond of, and I'll probably let you know that. But don't take it personally. You'll probably intimidate me actually. Babies usually do. But you'll be my favorite baby because you make me an aunt for the first time. I'm pumped for your existence.

I'll write to you more. Hopefully you will really like me by the time you can read this for yourself. Until then, I'll give Aunt Anna the privilege of reading this to you.


I love you.
Aunt Ashley

Friday, May 13, 2011

my dad - my MVP.

I entered my dad, Robby Hamilton, in a Father's Day contest. I'm probably going to be kind of annoying about this if you're friends with me on facebook, but I would really love for him to win, and I think we have a good chance. But I need your help. First I'll tell you how, then I'll explain why I did this.

Go to this website:

Find my entry. You can do this by selecting "Red Sox" under "Team", and looking for the name "BoSoxGirl". There is a picture of my dad sitting with my brother wearing Red Sox gear. Click "Read" to see it, and then you can click "Vote".

This does not take long and it is very simple. So far, it's let me vote endlessly. Haha. I have no idea what the limit is, so feel free to vote as many times as you can, and go back to vote every day if you would like. :)

I definitely need your help because 40% of how you win is through the public vote! So vote away! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

What is the prize? Tickets to Fenway Park! Where he can go on the field and be honored for winning, and wear a jersey made just for him! ahhh!

Why did I do this? Well, my dad is an AMAZING person. I'm not just saying this because he's my dad, I'm also saying this because I get told that he is all the time. He has been coaching for over 20 years, and has touched SO many lives in the process. He has been an excellent role model for his players, and they always tell me how thankful they are that they were coached by him. My dad is an honorable, hard working, godly man who hardly ever gets a break. He sacrifices so that he can provide for my family and be a leader. During basketball season, he works from 8 to at least 5, goes to basketball practice or a game, and doesn't even get dinner until after 8pm. He even goes to work on Saturdays only to have optional basketball practice (which he doesn't have to do) right after from 12-2. He LOVES his players and it shows.

My dad has always, always put our family first. I wish that I could thank him by just buying him tickets to Fenway and sending him on a trip but I can't. I know how much I longed to go there my whole life and was finally able to last August (when I got engaged!). So I can't even imagine how much my dad wants to go since he's been wanting to for 50 years! That's right - he has NEVER been. Even though he deserves it more than anyone. I hope you can help me give my dad this gift by voting for my entry in this contest.

From walking me down the aisle and giving me away, to turning 50 in August, this is a big year for my dad. Let's make it an even bigger year by sending him to Fenway. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

girls who like sports. SHOCKING.

This is something that has always bothered me, but especially lately. Don't take me too seriously, I'm not being some crazy feminist or putting this in a category with racism or anything like that. I'm just gonna go on a mini-rant here. Bear with me.

I am a female, obviously. I also have blonde hair, which I try to make look presentable. I use make-up most days. I wear dresses and heels quite frequently. I even participated in a team of people who could almost be identified as cheerleaders. These are all true statements.

What are some other true statements about me? I adore anything related to sports. I've played them. I've watched them. I've coached them. Therefore, I know a lot about them. Yes, there are some sports I don't know a lot about - soccer, lacrosse, and water polo to name a few. If I don't know something about any sport, I'll ask or research it. But the ones with which I normally involve myself, I know. Especially basketball and baseball. They are very dear to my heart.

In most people's eyes (and when I say people it mostly means men, but I don't mean ALL men), the two previous paragraphs do not go together whatsoever. Or at least they assume they don't. Yes, I KNOW that there are a lot of girls who don't know much about sports. There are also guys who don't, but I would guess that the girls outnumber the guys. Regardless, there are many, many girls who DO know. They DO watch, and play, and coach, and they DO love it. Guys have told me that I am an "exception". Well, apparently I just know a lot of girls who are also "exceptions". Girls who know all the rules, yell at the TV, and watch with their men because they like it.

I think this has really gotten to me lately because recently I've experienced this attitude often. I'll give a few examples. I'm sitting at Jordan's softball game, keeping score in their score book. There is a gentleman who walks up and asks with surprise, "Are YOU keeping score?" I nod, and he kinda laughs. Whatever. In the first inning, the other team has a man on third with 2 outs. The batter grounds out to end the inning. The man who questioned me earlier, turns around and says loudly, "That run doesn't count, you know, because that was the third out." Everything in me wants to give some smart-alecky response, but I hold back, smile, and reply, "I know, thanks." That's all I can do really. Unless I get out there and play with them, or show a couple of the players how they should properly correct their swing so they can stop popping up, this guy won't think differently no matter what I say.

I can't say anything without some sort of negative reaction at Jordan's basketball games. I've had a ref there tell me it's "cute that I'm cheering for my team" and refs laugh at me for my remarks. The refs there are awful, by the way. One game, I opposed a charge call, and exclaimed that the player was not set at all. The ref laughed at me, but then a man sitting not too far from me yelled, "She's actually right, you know." Thank you, sir, for supporting my claim, even though you just haddd to throw that "actually" in there, didn't you.

Another score-keeping incident: my friend Kathleen and I were keeping score for one of Jordan's basketball games. It wasn't even a real game, it was a scrimmage. A couple of the guys playing found it to be crucial that they tell us the correct score after every made basket. Seriously. We were getting extremely annoyed. I wanted to tell one of them that if he used more arc and rotation on his shot instead of shooting line drives from his shoulder that he'd probably have a few more points. But, again, I held back.

There have been many times when I've attempted to enter a Red Sox discussion with a group of guys I don't really know, and it usually ends up going something like this: 

Me: "Well it'd be hard for me to pick, but I guess my favorite would have to be Jacoby Ellsbury. I love him."

Guy: "So you think he's cute?"

Me: "I really like him because he always makes stuff happen, he's aggressive and quick, he makes excellent plays in center field, and he's been brought up through the system - not someone we've acquired with money. Do you think he's cute?"

Guy: Blank look.

That was an example from a conversation I had with some classmates at NCSU. I could go on and on, but you get the picture. It happens a lot. Almost every time I'm involved with some sporting event. Even when I coach - I'm often called a "stat girl" by accident. I've been asked by people if I'm going to keep watching basketball with Jordan now that we're married. All this was definitely common when I was on the Storm Squad. (If you're anything related to a cheerleader it is often assumed you are a ditz in all areas of life.) And I know other sports-loving girls experience this as well. So what do we do about this? Ehh, I don't know. Just keep being ourselves. Because stereotypes are always going to happen. If we lash out at these people, all they're going to remember is how we were rude. 

It's not really that I care as much what these people think, I just get tired of hearing it. I admire those women on ESPN who wear classy outfits, look pretty, and discuss sports right along with all the men on that channel. I've even thought that could be me someday. They probably get this attitude alllll the time. But for now I'll just stick with keeping a good score book and talking about my favorite teams with people who know me. They know not to question my sports intelligence. :) Thanks for bearing with me, I'm done now.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

life changing.

Lately I have been telling my friends about a certain beauty product that has "changed my life." Yes, I know, I have a tendency to be animated and exaggerate when I am describing something, but this is no joke. It literally has. What is this miracle product?

Dry shampoo. 

I LOVE IT. You just spray it into your roots, kinda rub it in, and POOF, the oiliness is gone! I have a lot of hair. Not thick hair - but a lot of hair. So it gets oily pretty easily. I used to wash it every single day to get the style and clean look that I wanted. Every. Day. Now looking back on the past 22.5 years of my life, I don't know how I did that. Okay I guess my parents used to do that the first few years but almost that long. (My dad combed and blow dried my hair every night when I was cute is that?) Now I feel exasperated when I have to wash my hair because it takes sooo longgg for me to wash it, condition it, comb out the million tangles, blow dry it, and style it. Another down side to having a lot of hair - it takes a very, VERY long time to dry it. 

But all of that has changed! Because of dry shampoo, I only go through that entire process 2 or 3 times a week now. IT IS AWESOME. I have cut my getting-ready time in half. Maybe more actually. Also, my hair is so much healthier now! It is softer and easier to manage. I used to curl it and it wouldn't hold its shape very well. But now I curl it on the second or third day, and it stays wonderfully. The dry shampoo also adds volume! Its benefits are endless!

I started using it because I read about it in magazines. I could only find one kind at Target last year when I went to get some, and it was called Umberto Dry Clean Shampoo. It was on sale there, and then I found it on sale even more at Ulta. 

Today I bought a different kind (because it was on sale...I can't stand paying full price for ANYTHING) called Got2B Fat-Tastic Dry Shampoo. I am very pleased with both of these brands! I recommend them! I may even like this one better because I like the way it smells. 

So that is how my life has been changed by a hair-styling product. Buy it. Use it. Love it. Live your life without washing your hair. (As much. You should still wash your hair.)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

May 21st.

May 21st is an important day this year for more than one reason. Firstly, it is the due date of my nephew, which I am SO EXCITED about. Although I won't get to actually meet him until July, we will be able to see him on Skype. If you're wondering why this is, my brother-in-law Josh and his wife Danielle live in China, so we can't exactly be there when the baby is born. Anna, my sister-in-law, is there though. Yes, I am jealous of this. It's so great that she gets to be there and help them and experience this special time. But I am looking forward to July when we will get to hold him and love him and cuddle him and introduce him to the Shelley family!

I am hoping that he will arrive before May 21st, though. They are waiting for him in Bejing, and I know that they are longing for that birthday to just hurry up and get here! I'm also eager to find out what his name will be. They haven't completely decided yet, but I like that because I love anticipation. Especially when it's the anticipation of a brand new human.

Another reason that May 21st is important, is because two of my great friends are getting married! To each other! Chris Underwood and Erica Buffaloe are finally getting hitched. I say finally because it seems like they've been dating forever. I still remember the day that Erica came up to me in the parking lot at Wake Christian and told me that she and Chris were going to start "going out" haha. I've known Erica since 7th grade and played all sports with her. I adore her family and can't imagine life without knowing them. I actually met Chris at Dick's Sporting Goods one random day when I was in 8th grade. We exchanged screen names. Mine was DrPepperLuvr14 if you are wondering. And then he ended up coming to Wake Christian. And dating Erica. And going to NCSU. And playing on the same flag football team with a certain strapping young man named Jordan Shelley. Whom he befriended and asked to help coach Wake Christian basketball. And also asked to sing in his wedding. Because he's marrying Erica. And meanwhile, Jordan and I met, dated way later, and got married. I know, this is all CRAZY and when I say crazy I mean crazy awesome.

Erica, Me, and Ashlee - middle school volleyball!

So anyway, they are getting married that day, and I know that Erica is going to be absolutely beautiful. She and her sister Emily are like little sisters to me. I love them. She and Chris are perfect for each other. Jordan will be singing a couple songs which I am going to looove. I'm already loving hearing him practice. And not only that, but he's singing one of them with one of my best friends, Katherine Helder! It's just a great big group of intertwining friends and love and wonderfulness. I'm so pumped.

The last thing about May 21st is quite insignificant, but very, VERY weird. Apparently some wacko dude is claiming that this is the day that Jesus will return and he has evidence in the Bible. I heard a preacher mention how weird it is, then started seeing billboards about it everywhere (you've probably seen them you just haven't noticed what they are about) and got curious. So I looked it up on the internet and it is some craaazy stuff. I don't know how they are twisting God's Word to promote this, but people are believing it! He would probably advise Josh and Danielle to take back all those baby clothes, and tell Chris and Erica to cancel their honeymoon. I just want to see how he and the rest of his crew react when the Rapture doesn't actually happen that day. I guess they'll just change their website to one big "oops". I mean it could happen any day, but the Bible says that we don't know when it will be! I'm glad. 

May 21st. A big day. I'll let you know how it all goes. If I'm still here to blog about it, then the rapture did in fact NOT happen.


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