Monday, October 31, 2011

favorite Halloween costume ever.



I could never top that. That wig was so legit.

What was your favorite costume you ever wore?



PS - Giveaway starting tomorrow! Get pumped!

Ashley

Sunday, October 30, 2011

question vlog.


It's vloggin' time y'all.

Megs at Shine On...Tales of a Twenty Something did a vlog link up with some interesting questions so I thought I'd participate. Why not.





So if you wanna get to to know me a little better and actually see what I would look like if you talked to me in real life (sort of) then play the video. If not, don't bore yourself. 

Forgive the lighting and video quality please. It's definitely not flattering. Haha. 

Here are the questions:

What's your favorite color?
What's your favorite flower?
What's your favorite song?
What's your favorite book and why?
What is your FAVORITE thing about living in [your city], and your LEAST favorite?
What kind of car do you drive?
What is the favorite place that you have visited? What is your favorite memory from the place?
What is your dream vacation?
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
If you could be a superhero, what would your name be and what would be your powers?
What's the best gift you've been given?
Who's your best friend and why are they your best friend?
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three DVDs would you want? Books?
If you had to choose a fruit to describe you, what would it be?
What cartoon character is most like you and how?
Tell us about the happiest time in your life! What made it so great?
What's your favorite childhood memory?
What's something you want to do before you turn 30?
What's your biggest dream?

Here are my answers:



You should do this too and link up with Megs! Do it!

Hope you're having a happy weekend. I have so many posts coming up that are exciting - that giveaway I talked about a while ago, another episode of The Real Housewives of the Blog World, a cleaning/organization post, and so much more! YAY.

Also, something that I'm going to do tomorrow is look up the Twitters of every single blog that I follow so I can follow them. Since I have this new phone I'm gonna be tweetin' all up in here.

Ashley

Friday, October 28, 2011

InstaFriday.


So one of the reasons I've been excited about getting an iPhone is so I can participate in InstaFriday and link up with Life Rearranged. I'm such a blogger nerd, I know. But it's true.
 
Today, my iPhone came in. I'm loving it already.
Thank you so much for all of the app suggestions - they are awesome! Y'all are so helpful. I've only got a few so far but tomorrow I'll definitely be adding more.

I only have two pictures for InstaFriday because it's only been in my possession for a few hours, but I'm gonna share them anyway BECAUSE I CAN.
 
 
 Forgive me for looking so bummy but I mean come on it's been a cold and raaainy day. Everyone should have been bummy today.
 
Also I seriously skipped getting ready because I was playing with my phone. I'm sure Jordan is hoping that was just a one day thing.

That was my first iPhone picture! We had an excellent dinner at Ragazzi's with my parents. 


 Then it was game time. In honor of my cousin Josh Hamilton, I wore my brother's jersey that he signed oh so long ago. Back in 1999, Josh was the #1 pick at the age of 18. They had a little celebration for him at West Raleigh, which is where my entire family grew up playing baseball (including Josh). 
 
We got a bunch of stuff signed but he didn't really know how to sign stuff - he had never done it before. Which is why the autograph looks like a kid who put his name in the upper right hand corner of his paper.

So now I'm sitting here watching the game with my fam. We're losing right now...but you never know what could happen. (Did anyone see the CRAZY game last night?!)

Go Josh! Go Rangers! Go iPhone! Go InstaFriday!

life rearranged

Ashley

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

wedding advice - videographer.

I really don't have to explain why you should get a wedding videographer - I'll let these two amazing highlight videos do the explaining for me.

Jordan & Ashley Highlights from Josh Sliffe on Vimeo.



Seriously...I could watch those every day. 

This is one thing that I am SO SO GLAD we did. We're going to be able to watch footage from our wedding - getting ready, the ceremony, reception - for years to come. 

If we have kids we'll get to show them someday. And they'll be like wow, mom and dad. Y'all were awesome. Haha.

I know that video is not necessary. A lot of people opt out of getting a videographer, but I knew that is was crucial for us and was worth every penny. Yes, I love pictures, but there's just something about video that I just adore. 

The video captured moments that I didn't remember because so much happened that day or things that I would have never known about - like Jordan and his guys joking around in the groom's room, Jordan literally taking my breath away when he put the ring on my finger, the looks of love we gave each other. 

When we focused on remembering what Christ did for us through communion during the ceremony, Jordan was praying (so just I could hear) and messed up what he was saying three times in a row, which I would have never remembered if it wasn't caught on video. Jordan had a microphone on him just for the video so we could hear what we were saying to each other later. We cracked up about it. I love it.

Our videographer was Josh Sliffe. You can use the link from the videos above to go see his other videos. He does videography for The Summit Church and it is amazing. Usually his website is joshsliffe.com, but it seems to be under construction. So I'd just go to the vimeo site if you're interested. 

I also know another talented videographer who is one of our friends - Derrick Green. Like Josh, he is in the Raleigh area but I'm sure they are willing to travel. Both guys happen to love the Lord, so that's a plus too in my book. :)

If you're getting a videographer, you should read the contract very carefully. One thing I loved about Josh's contract was that I knew we were going to get a highlight video, I knew we could get multiple copies of the ceremony video, and I knew we would be getting ALL of the footage on an external hard drive. Also, he brought two assistants so he could have help and have multiple angles. Just know what you're signing up for when you do it.

Make sure you check out my wedding advice about other topics such as getting a wedding planner and choosing a location. :)


Ashley

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

the Real Housewives of the Blog World: Taylor!

It's time for the premier of The Real Housewives of the Blog World!



I'm honored to have Taylor with us today to share about her life as a wife. She blogs over at The Presuttis so check her out after you learn from her!




Hey Y'all

I'm Taylor and I blog over at The Presutti's

I was extremely excited when Ashley asked me to be a part of.... 
 
  The Real Housewives of the Blog World 
 
I can't tell you how much this means to me and how glad I am I get to share with you during this series. 
 
Isn't Ashley a genius.

Question Time 
 1. Introduce us to yourself and your lovely blog!

This is kind of a repeat. I'm Taylor and I blog over at The Presutti's


2. How old are you? You can just give us a range if you'd like. :) 

  I'm 22 and my husband is almost 24 :) 
 
3. How long have you been married? 

  We have been married almost 5 months, but we have been together 5 and 1/2 years.


4. Do you have a favorite Bible verse or passage pertaining to to marriage or being a wife, or one that has been a consistent encouragement through your marriage?

  “Love is not self seeking, it’s not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong.”
1 Corinthians 13:5 

 "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
Ephesians 4:32 

 "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
1 Thessalonians 5:11 

 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."
James 5:16 

 "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves."
Romans 12:10

 "Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise."
Proverbs 19:20 

 5. Do you have a favorite book about marriage, being a wife, or being a godly woman that you could suggest for us? 
  
Now, I have to admit I haven't read or finished either one of these, but I can't wait. 

 The Love Dare

Love and Respect

Now, please tell us three things you've learned about marriage or married life! 

  Marriage is so fun, happy, and exciting. 

 Your husband loves you more than you ever know.

 It's the little things that count. 

Lastly, give us one piece of wife advice so we can learn from you! 

  Your husband appreciates everything you do for him. Even though sometimes he doesn't show it, he really does. Continue to give to him and he will continue to give to you. 

 I hope I was able to teach you something! 

 Thanks so much Ashley for letting me be a part of this wonderful series. 

 This was such an amazing idea. 

Please come visit me at The Presutti's 

 Have a wonderful day 
 taylor


Thank you so much, Taylor!

That's SO TRUE about your husband appreciating the little things. It had been a while since I had put a note in Jordan's lunch and he said something to me about it, and I was surprised that he had really liked the notes and missed them - I think I underestimate the power of little daily encouragements! 

And I love the verses Taylor shared with us. They definitely apply to marriage and how we are supposed to refine each other. Marriage isn't just for our enjoyment - it's to make each other more like Christ. Such a great reminder. 

I'm so glad that Taylor could share with us today. I thank God for my blog friends who encourage me and inspire me to be a more godly woman and wife. 

I'll be looking forward to the next edition of The Real Housewives of the Blog World, and I hope you will too. :) Have an excellent Tuesday!





Ashley

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Real Housewives of the Blog World.


Have you heard of or seen those Real Housewives shows? Where they film some rich, crazy wives in a certain city and people watch their drama? I'm sure you have. I've watched it a few times. 

Some of the shows are pretty entertaining because they fight a lot, but other than that it just reminds me how materialistic and fallen we are. When it comes down to it we're all human, we're all sinners, we're all crazy sometimes, and we all need a Savior. Whether you're super rich and on a reality show or living in frugal simplicity - we're all the same deep down. 

So what about the REAL housewives who aren't on tv? Without a ridiculous amount of money? With struggles and triumphs and lessons learned?

What about the Real Housewives of the Blog World?

That's where you come in. :)

I'm starting a series about us blog wives. You have a story that should be shared. You have words that could encourage all of us. You have a blog that needs to be featured!

So, if you are a wife and I follow your blog, don't be surprised if I ask to feature you in the series. You don't have to participate of course, but I'd love for you to. I want to learn from you and see what God has taught you in marriage and as a wife.

These are the interview questions that I will ask:

1. Introduce us to yourself and your lovely blog!
2. How old are you? You can just give us a range if you'd like. :)
3. How long have you been married?
4. Do you have a favorite Bible verse or passage pertaining to to marriage or being a wife, or one that has been a consistent encouragement through your marriage?
5. Do you have a favorite book about marriage, being a wife, or being a godly woman that you could suggest for us?

Now, please tell us three things you've learned about marriage or married life!

Lastly, give us one piece of wife advice so we can learn from you!

I may tweak them as I go, but that's what I've asked the first few people.

I'm going to compile all of them as they are posted and list them in the "Relationships" part of the top main menu. That way they can be accessed easily.

Here is the pretty little button that will go along with the series. :)


I'm excited to feature our first very special housewife tomorrow, so get pumped! 

Ashley

Saturday, October 22, 2011

iPhone - I need your help!


I am so so so so so excited to say that I am getting the new iPhone 4S!


pic from pcworld.com


I've never wanted a smart phone because I've never needed one. All I needed was to talk and text. 

But now that I have this job, I have to be able to email people constantly. I'm also in charge of their social media which is another thing I have to continually be doing. Jordan and I both agreed that I could do my job MUCH better with a smart phone.

So...you should probably expect more blog comments from me. Haha. 

Also, I was overdue for an upgrade. So I upgraded! My phone will be here next week! Ahhh!

I know, I know, I cannot get obsessed with this thing. Material things are NOT what I'm about. Or at least they shouldn't be what I'm about. But I've got to get the hang of this phone once I get it.

That's why I need your help. The main thing with the iPhone is APPS! I am clueless when it comes to apps. 

So give me suggestions, people! What are your favorite apps? What apps make things easier? Which ones are fun? What are some that are not well-known but should be?

Here are some that I already know about and want to get immediately:

Instagram - I'm so excited about this. Being able to take pictures with my phone and share them beautifully & quickly is gonna be awesome.

Pandora - I need music, obviously.

Shop Savvy - Scan the bar code of an item and compare prices at other stores and online - a must!

Mint - Helps you keep track of your personal finances.

Dinner Spinner - From allrecipes.com - yayy recipes!


Sooo what else? What are the best apps for the iPhone?

Help me please! :)





*PS - One of my best friends is getting married today. I'm about to rock my bridesmaid dress. Can't wait to share all about it!

Ashley

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Liebster blog award!

Liebster Blog Award!


Holly Perfectly Imperfect gave me this blog award yesterday! I'd never gotten a blog award. So that's pretty awesome. 


I think the word that comes to mind when I think of Holly and her blog is fun. She's a fun, positive girl who lifts my spirits and I wish she lived next door. Haha. She writes about all kinds of things, but I think my favorite posts of hers so far are her dating advice posts. They are funny, simple, and SO true - so you should check them out. :) 

Thanks for the award, Holly! "Liebster" is definitely an excellent word to represent you!

Which leads me to an explanation because you're probably wondering what in the world that means...


What does the Liebster Blog Award mean?
The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word meaning dear, sweet, kind, nice, good, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

To keep this award going, pass the award along to 5 other new deserving bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

The rules for the Liebster Blog Award are:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love, too!

I picked blogs of ladies whom I don't know in person but would LOVE to meet. I've just recently started following these blogs and loved them immediately. I'm getting to know them more and more through each of their posts - I encourage you to do the same! :)

My 5 Liebster Blogs:


1. Kristen Joy in the Journey
Kristen is an adorable mama to a cute little curly haired boy. I just love their family - her love for her boys is so evident in her posts! She definitely lives up to her blog name.



2. Megan and today was a fairy tale
Megan is a newlywed who is an inspiration to me - especially when it comes to digging deeper into God's Word. Just go look at her blog and you'll understand what I mean!



3. Lauren WIFESTYLES
This gorgeous girl is one of my new favorites. She's another newlywed like me, and I love reading about her journey! How beautiful is that picture of them in the sunflowers??





4. Jessie I'm a Wife and Mama Now?
Jessie's family is another one that I love - her baby is just precious! She's taking a big stand against bullying which is so cool. You can link up & share your story there if you want to help!


5. "P"Life's Little Lessons
Paula, aka "P", is a beautiful girl with a lot to share - I already feel as thought I've learned "lessons" from her even though I haven't been following long! Go read her love story right now. Do it.
(She's already gotten a Liebster award but I don't care. Haha.)



So there you have it! My 5 picks! Go check them out - it's worth your time. :)

Ashley

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

memory verses and a few things.


1. I feel like my blogging is not up to par lately because of my new job situation. I'm working for the company I was certified through: Interactive Fitness Trainers of America (IFTA). And I've been on constant learning mode since I'm just beginning. Thus the lack of blogging time. But I am very thankful for the awesome opportunity and am loving it so far! Praise the Lord!

2. Speaking of getting certified, I passed my group certification with a much higher grade than I expected - a 95! This calls for another PRAISE THE LORD! (But what shouldn't call for that?) There are IFTA events all over the country if you are interested in getting certified in group fitness, personal training, cycling, kickboxing, yoga, pilates, aqua, senior fitness, youth fitness, and more! So either visit IFTA's website or just talk to me about it if you want more info. :) For my NC peeps - there's one in Raleigh next month!

3. The Rangers made it to the World Series again! Why does this matter to me you may ask - it's not the Red Sox. BUT it is my cousin Josh Hamilton! I encourage you to read about his story and how the grace of God has changed his life in amazing ways. GO RANGERS!

4. I have to confess - I haven't completely mastered the Scripture passage memorization that I wanted to have completely memorized by now. But I plan on working on it tomorrow and saying it to my friend Lindsay tomorrow night at Bible study - she always asks me about it and keeps me accountable! Love her!

5. The new passage of Scripture that I want to memorize is Isaiah 43:1-13. Yes, I know it's a lot, but it's SOOO GOOD. I have got to have this in my mind. I just have to. Anyone want to join me in the undertaking? :)

What's crazy about this is that I was meditating on this passage literally a few minutes before our crazy - scary - Jordan losing his wedding ring - ocean incident. Little did I know how verse two would speak to me personally veryyy soon!

1 But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
      O Israel, the one who formed you says,
   “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
      I have called you by name; you are mine.
 2 When you go through deep waters,
      I will be with you.
   When you go through rivers of difficulty,
      you will not drown.
   When you walk through the fire of oppression,
      you will not be burned up;
      the flames will not consume you.
 3 For I am the Lord, your God,
      the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
   I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
      I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
 4 Others were given in exchange for you.
      I traded their lives for yours
   because you are precious to me.
      You are honored, and I love you. 5 “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
      I will gather you and your children from east and west.
 6 I will say to the north and south,
      ‘Bring my sons and daughters back to Israel
      from the distant corners of the earth.
 7 Bring all who claim me as their God,
      for I have made them for my glory.
      It was I who created them.’”
 8 Bring out the people who have eyes but are blind,
      who have ears but are deaf.
 9 Gather the nations together!
      Assemble the peoples of the world!
   Which of their idols has ever foretold such things?
      Which can predict what will happen tomorrow?
   Where are the witnesses of such predictions?
      Who can verify that they spoke the truth?
 10 “But you are my witnesses, O Israel!” says the Lord.
      “You are my servant.
   You have been chosen to know me, believe in me,
      and understand that I alone am God.
   There is no other God—
      there never has been, and there never will be.
 11 I, yes I, am the Lord,
      and there is no other Savior.
 12 First I predicted your rescue,
      then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world.
   No foreign god has ever done this.
      You are witnesses that I am the only God,”
      says the Lord.
 13 “From eternity to eternity I am God.
      No one can snatch anyone out of my hand.
      No one can undo what I have done.”

That's the NLT if you're wondering. How amazing is that passage? I love how it expresses our salvation and what God has done for us. We are so unworthy and He is so merciful. I will never get over it.

6. Sweet Holly from Perfectly Imperfect gave me a blog award today! I'm so honored! But I'll talk about that tomorrow and award some other people. Get pumped for that. :) 

Ashley

Monday, October 17, 2011

the sad tale of the loss of Jordan's wedding ring.

I might as well go ahead and tell y'all the story that everyone wants to hear. How I got my bruises and how Jordan had his wedding ring taken from him by force. I say that because he didn't just "lose" it. You'll see.

On our third day of the trip we rented scooters. No, not Razor scooters, but moped type scooters. That needs to be its own story so I'll talk about that later. But we rode them to a place called "China Walls" to have a picnic. It was beautiful.







Although it's quite far from the shore, waves are created here against the wall of rocks and break against them. It's lovely and unknown to most tourists. There were a few locals here and a couple surfers when we came.







We even had a little Jordan photo shoot. What a model he is.







There were a couple people jumping in off of the rocks at that point. It looked fun so we thought we might come back later.

We did come back later in the afternoon. There were some more people there and more surfers. You'd think that since there were more surfers closer to the walls we'd realize that the waves were much bigger and crashing much sooner than earlier. But no. We didn't even think about it.

This is where we jumped off into the water.






Here's a better picture of the China Walls from unrealhawaii.com:






Now, let me explain, as I referenced in my lessons from Hawaii, that I do NOT normally jump off of things into bodies of water. So why did I this time? Well, I felt like a wimp all day because I wasn't so great at driving a scooter. I think my crying tally that day was at three. 

So when Jordan said he wanted to jump into the water, and I saw that it wasn't a huge cliff, I wanted to be cool. I wanted to impress him. I wanted to be more adventurous.

Bad. Decision.

You know how people always say not to underestimate yourself? That you can do more than you think you can and it's just a mental battle?

Well sometimes you just need to actually estimate yourself. And realize that you probably should refrain from something that could be treacherous. Like this situation.

So I jumped in. The water was cold. I'm not a great swimmer. I just learned how to not hold my nose underwater if that tells you how great a swimmer I am. 

Then Jordan jumped in. He gave me a kiss. Yay, we were swimming in the deep water of the Pacific, we were living it up, we were loving it, we were on an adventure! 

And then the first wave hit us and all fun came to a screeching halt.

Let me just pause here and say that the ocean is friggin scary. It doesn't hold back. It just does its own thing with all kinds of power and strength. Now I see why when I was little my parents made me use a hot pink float and watched me like a hawk when I was in the ocean. It's brutal.

So the wave came and was much bigger than the ones we had seen at our picnic time. We realized that we probably shouldn't stay in much longer. But it's not like there's a metal ladder over to the side that you can climb up or anything. Just rocks. So what we had seen people do was to go over to the rocks, wait for a wave to come to lift you up to a ledge, and climb up. It looked a lot easier than it was, that's for sure. Oh yeah, and these "people" I'm referring to were local surfers who were all over 180 pounds. 

So Jordan got over to the rock wall and I was trying to get there but it was taking me a while. I was so close to being there when another wave came. Jordan knew it would sweep me away so he reached out to me to bring me over to the rock. This was when I first got scared.

He successfully grabbed my hand just as the wave came and pulled me to him, but he had to grab on to the rocks to hold us in that spot. When we came up from the wave, the look on Jordan's face took my breath. It was a look of shock and panic, and all he was saying was "Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness."

I thought he was about to lift his arm up with it gushing blood or something. Or that a couple of his fingers were gone. I just knew he was hurt. But finally he said,

"The wave took my wedding ring. It's gone."

When Jordan grabbed onto the rock and his hand slipped, the wave swept it away. At that point, I just wanted to be out. I wanted to get out as fast as possible. It was hard to breathe. I guess I was panicking. I kept saying, "Let's just get out. We need to get out."

Jordan tried to lift me up to the ledge, but the rocks were so slippery. I fell off and knew that we couldn't do it right there. A surfer who was kinda near us shouted over that another spot was easier to get up. So we went around the rock to the other side of it where there were pieces sticking out to hold onto. Jordan lifted me up again and I grabbed on.

Then, all I heard was the surfer shouting, "You just gotta hold on!"

A huge wave was coming.

So I closed my eyes and did what he said. I held on.

Jordan says that I disappeared in the wave and he thought that when the wave had passed I was going to be gone. But somehow, through God's help, I stayed on that rock.

After the wave was gone, I climbed the rest of the way up as fast as I could and threw myself onto the top of the rock, completely out of breath and shaking all over. Jordan came up soon after that. He's a strong guy - I knew he'd be able to do it much easier than me.

We stood up and just hugged each other for a while. The locals around us probably were looking at us thinking that we were the biggest idiots but we didn't care. I was so glad I had kept on my Keen shoes because they helped me grip as I climbed the rock. I had almost taken them off, but I decided not to at the last second. I hadn't felt the pain during the whole ordeal, but my legs started to throb, and there was blood running down my left leg. We held a towel to it for a minute and then we got outta there.

I cried most of the way back to the hotel with so many emotions running through me. Relief that we were fine, sadness that the ring I put on his finger on March 19th was gone, thankfulness to God for protecting us and for giving Jordan the strength to help me, and still feelings of fear from all we had experienced. Number four on the crying tally for the day, soon to be followed by number five at the hotel. 

Jordan was upset about the ring but so thankful that we were okay. We sat at the hotel for a while just calming down from the crazy day we had. We prayed together and praised our Lord for His protection. 

It was truly a great bonding experience for us. I wouldn't recommend it as a marriage strengthening activity, but that's what happened. It's kind of hard to explain I guess. 

So now I have bruises and cuts all over me and a resolve to never jump into the ocean again, and the Pacific Ocean has Jordan's wedding ring.

But I'm so thankful for a husband who spiritually AND literally lifts me up, and who is always my hero. Whether he has a ring on his finger or not.




*By the way, if you don't believe how crazy hard it was or think I'm exaggerating (Ashlee! haha), read these reviews about China Walls or this little article. Probably should have read them before I jumped in.


Ashley

Friday, October 14, 2011

first blog anniversary.

I was going to start writing about Hawaii today, but then I randomly decided to check how long I've been blogging because I knew it was last October that I started. Weird, because TODAY is my first blog anniversary! Or blogiversary I suppose. I'm glad I looked it up! Haha. 



The blog has come a long way. It started out as just a casual side thing for when I had time. 

But now...I feel like...dare I say it?
A blogger.

I love it. I seriously do. I love the times of reflection, the challenge, the way to look back on lessons learned, the community, the growth - everything. It truly is a constant journey and I'm so glad I started it a year ago!

I must admit - sometimes I've had moments of "Why do I blog??" - but that thought disappears when I get a message from someone about the blog or I make a new friend through it. Anything I've ever written that has encouraged someone is worth it, and it's totally not me - I am NOTHING without Christ.

One of the main reasons I've continued blogging is because of inspiration from others. I want to name a few of them today so they can celebrate with me. :)

Lillian Renee - Who started it all. She was definitely my first inspiration to blog. She just got married so I'm eager for her to get back to blogging and see her new changes she's going to make with the blog.

Rachel - I think this was the first blog I ever started reading. She's a gorgeous person inside and out and inspires me with her marriage. Rachel also is a mother-to-be! I'm sooo excited for her!

Kellie @ Just Me - Who knew that my second grade teacher and I would become blogging friends 16 years later? Crazy, haha. She has left encouraging comments since day one, literally. She was my first comment. :) 

Josh & Danielle and Anna - They're my siblings who inspire me constantly in life - so of course they inspire me through their blogs! Since we don't live in the same city or the same side of the world, I love keeping up with them through their blogs. So thankful for them.

Love Being a Nonny - This godly woman loves her family so much and was one of my most early encouragers on the blog. I think she was the first person whom I've never met in person to start communicating with me regularly on here. She's a blessing!

A Wedding Story - This beautiful girl has a lovely blog and has inspired me greatly when it comes to blogging. When she started commenting on my posts, I felt like I was in star shock. Haha. She has what I like to call a "big time" blog - you know, like 1000 followers. So she really has no idea how her uplifting words have affected me. Can't wait to meet her little one who should be arriving any day!

Tales of the Trees - Okay this may be a little creepy because I've never even communicated back and forth with Megan. But I LOVE her blog. What inspires me about it is how real she is, which is something I always want to be. I don't want to hide behind some perfect-acting blog face and I love how she's a good example of that. Also, her baby is ridiculously cute.

I could definitely go on...and just because I didn't mention you doesn't mean you don't inspire me...because literally every blog that I read inspires me. I'll just have to talk more about it later, haha. A lot of my blog friends are new to me, too, and I just listed the ones that have motivated me from the beginning. 

Thank you for celebrating my blogiversary with me. As long as God continues to use the blog, I'll keep doing it. If there's ever a time when that ceases...then I'm gonna stop. But for now, on to year two! :)

Ashley

Thursday, October 13, 2011

comment replies and etiquette.

Lately I've been trying to figure out the best way to respond to comments. Because if I respond with another comment - you'll probably never see it. If I respond in a comment on your blog (if you blog) then it might be weird and out of place. But if I can email you with a response to your question on my comment, well that'd just be lovely.

So, in order for that to happen, your email needs to be available in your profile!

Many of the blogs I follow have talked about this recently, so I thought I'd point it out as well. Holly from Perfectly Imperfect gave a great description of how to add your email so I can reply to you:

"How to add your e-mail: On your blogger Dashboard, click "Edit Profile". Once there, make sure the box next to "Show my email address" is checked. Then, scroll down to the Identity section. Your "Username" should be the e-mail you use to sign into Blogger with. If it's the same one you want to get comment replies from, make sure you have it typed in "Email address", too. If it's different than the e-mail address you want to use, type that e-mail address in now. And you should be good to go!!"

I just recently did this and have gotten some great comment replies in my inbox. I love being able to have conversations with blog friends. :) My blog email is ashley@christianwifelife.com

Another thing that I read the other day that I thought was hilarious and so true was about comment manners and such - "Comment Vomit" by Momcomm. I think there are a couple of bad words in there so just tune those out, but the stuff she says is SO TRUE. I'm not singling anyone out here, and don't feel bad if you've done the things she talks about, because I have too. It's just for comment etiquette awareness

It talks about how a lot of times people tend to leave self promoting comments with no interest in what the post actually has to say. I guess the point is, I want to be FRIENDS with the people I follow and those who follow me - so I love it when people let me know that they are following my blog, but I want to have meaningful conversations with them, not just for following purposes. Just read the article and you'll know what I'm talking about! 

Comment Vomit

Thank you to my wonderful fellow bloggers! Much love to all of you and thank you so much for your comments. :)

Ashley

we're back from Hawaii!



We have returned from our amazing time in Hawaii. Ahh...it was wonderful.

I tried to read a few comments and blog posts from others while we were there, but didn't spend much time on it (obviously, that would've been dumb)...so now I have some major catching up to do! It's funny because I feel like I've really missed out on your lives for those of you who also blog...and a lot of you I've never even met in person. But I do feel connected to y'all and love keeping up with everything that's going on...so you better believe I'm gonna be going through all those blog posts and reading them! Haha. I love my blog friends.

Anyway...I'm not going to do a huge recap today or anything, I'll save that for another day because I am SICK and my ears won't pop so I can't hear and I just feel bleehhh. But I'm not complaining - I'm thankful that I wasn't feeling like this while we were there!

Here's a picture of the view from our balcony taken with Jordan's phone. Beautiful. We stayed at the Queen Kapiolani if you're wondering.





Here's a few things I learned while we were in Hawaii that I'm sure I'll talk more about later.

Lessons from Hawaii

1. My husband loves me. Yes, I already knew this, but after this trip I know it a million times more. He was so sweet and loving, patient, protecting me and taking care of me when I was a wimp or just scared. Why would this be evident? Because were constantly doing adventurous things that were out of my comfort zone. And he lovingly helped me the whole time. I'll never forget it.

2. I love my husband. We had such an amazing time of bonding and I feel even closer to him now. It was so nice to have so much quality time and learning experiences together. He's my favorite person. There's no one I'd rather travel with.

3. God's creation is ridiculously awesome. I was constantly in awe of His works.

4. Time away from normal life is eye opening. Because I wasn't interacting with people or doing anything from my normal routine, I had a lot of time of reflection and thinking. I also noticed so many things around me that I should notice at home but don't take the time to simply look around. 

5. I am not adventurous by nature. This is a conversation I've had many a time with people: "No, I don't want to jump off that thing/climb that/or whatever." "But you're so athletic! You'd love it" "No." "Oh, come on! You'll be glad you did it!" "No, I won't." For some reason, a lot of people assume because I'm athletic and love the outdoors and all that, that of course I'd be interested in doing adventurous and dare devil-ish things. That is not the case. Those qualities are not related whatsoever. 

I am the type of person who asks a ton of questions before I do something. My best friend Ashlee points this out all the time. I like to know exactly what I'm doing and how to do it. I'm not a "just go for it" type of person. You know those game shows when people have to go through some sort of obstacle course or complete a series of tasks? I wouldn't be able to stand there and listen to someone tell me how to do it and then just do it. I'd want to go inspect everything, ask the director 487 questions, ask other people how they're going to do it, and try to estimate if I will be good at it or not.

For instance, I'll give you a little sneak peek of something we did in Hawaii - we rented scooters. Like moped type scooters. It took me TWO HOURS of driving around a little side road and a parking lot before I would attempt the real road. And some crying. Bless Jordan's heart. See how patient he is with me?

6. This kinda goes along with the non-adventurous thing, but let me just say that I am definitely the weaker vessel. (1 Peter 3:7) Emotionally, physically...and it's not a bad thing, it's just how I am. And Jordan was very understanding which was encouraging. But I cannot do everything that he does. I just can't. Want some pictures to prove it?





Yeah. I'm bruised. I told you we were adventurous. (You can read how I got those bruises here!)

7. Journaling about trips is a very good idea. I don't know why I haven't done this before. I really wish I had for our honeymoon. Every night I wrote down everything we did that day and details about it. One night we did a video journal. I already love looking back at it so I'm sure I'll love it in the future. I guess this blog is sort of like that too, huh? :)

More to come about Hawaii, but that's all for now. Now I'm off to do some blog reading! Yay!


Ashley

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

10 day you challenge: 2 songs.


10 Day You Challenge: 2 Songs.

1. "Safe" by Phil Wickham

This song has meant so much to me. I remember I first held dearly to it when my cousin was killed last year. It gives me a clear picture of God's amazing comfort and how He is in control. "When everything is falling apart, you will be safe in His arms." What a promise. Praise the Lord!

Here is the original song:


Here is my brother-in-law Joseph singing it with Psalm 100:


2. "Green Eyes" by Coldplay

This is my song. I am almost positive that Coldplay wrote it about me. It was even in our wedding slideshow. :)


Saturday, October 8, 2011

10 day you challenge: 3 films.

These are actually in my Top 5 Movies. I could watch them over and over...


10 Day You Challenge: 3 Films.

1. Aladdin

I cannot explain my love for this movie. The story...the characters...the music...I love it all. Princess Jasmine was always my favorite Disney Princess for sure.



2. Clue

Most people haven't seen this movie. While I don't condone everything in it, (its PG rating would not be the same under today's standards!) it is a classic in my family. Ever since I was little, it has been a tradition to watch it with my cousins at the beach. We could probably quote the whole movie together, seriously. If you love this movie too, we are probably kindred spirits. Because some people just don't...get it. Haha.



3. Remember the Titans

Probably my favorite sports movie (along with Fever Pitch of course...oh no I guess I just made this list into four by mentioning that. Oh well.). It's so inspiring and it makes me want to go out and make friends and win games and change the world. Left side...STRONG SIDE!


Friday, October 7, 2011

10 day you challenge: 4 books.

Everyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE to read. All. The. Time. I tried not to think too hard about what books to choose - I just chose the ones that popped into my head. :) There are just way too many amazing ones to pick my top four or something!


10 Day You Challenge: 4 Books.

1. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.

Technically this is a trilogy of books, but I can't separate them because their powers combined create an amazing masterpiece. I guess it's for "young adults" but I'm hooked. I know plenty of other people my age who have gotten hooked too - guys and girls. They are riveting. Go read them - it should take you a day each.



2. The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer.

I recently got this book from Lifeway, and although I just started it, it has been so challenging and spiritually uplifting. So far I highly recommend it for women of any ages.



3. Radical by David Platt.

I know, I know, I've said this so many times - but please, please read this book. READ IT.



4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

I had to read this book my senior year of high school and I loved it. I've only read it one other time since then, but it's truly an excellent classic. I've been meaning to read it again, so it'll have to be next on my reading list!


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