Tag Archives: San Diego

Big News From Ashley

Ever since I started this blog, one month after we moved to Peoria, I have tried in earnest to love it. Of course, there are aspects of the culture here that make me feel a little out of place, but in every other respect, it’s a great city. The three things I continued to repeat to myself: there’s no traffic, cost of living is very low, the people are really nice. Oh how I underestimated that last one. Continue reading

Mindful Monday: Time for a Change

My loved ones and regular readers know that moving to Peoria came completely out of the blue for me. This time last year I was cycling in Collegiate Nationals, packing for a trip to Italy, and finishing up my thesis. Then, suddenly I realized that I would do many crazy things to stay with that man I love, Mike. So we graduated, went to Italy, and then moved to Peoria. Continue reading

Friday Design: Christmas Cards and Snow!

I haven’t mentioned Christmas much in this here blog. That’s because everyone celebrates different holidays in different ways and I want to continue to deliver information for health no matter what the season. However, today I am just TOO excited! In fact, it’s 6 am. I’ve been awake for an hour. After 5 hours of sleep, I woke up and can’t force myself back to bed. Thank goodness for blogs! A few reasons I can’t sleep:

  1. The world didn’t end, so that’s cool.
  2. Mike and I leave for San Diego today.
  3. I get to see my family for the first time in 6 months!
  4. This will be Mike’s first time meeting my very rambunctious siblings and my wonderful Gran and Grandpa. Should be interesting.
  5. I haven’t packed yet and still have a full work day ahead of me.
  6. We had a blizzard in Peoria yesterday and the city is so beautifully coated with snow (see below). I am SO thankful, though, for the dedicated people that wake 5 hours before me to plow and shovel it all out of our way.

FirstSnow^ check out our back porch.

Ok so! This year I decided that I wanted to do some Christmas cards. Somehow I have managed to live my life in a such a way that a lot of my very closest friends and family are scattered all over the world. China, Britain, and every corner of the US. How do I tell them I love them without spending a fortune? Handmade Christmas cards!

ChristmasCard

These babies took me about an hour each. I made 13 of them. [I’m not sure these have reached everyone yet so if I love you and you haven’t gotten one yet, hold tight] Aside from the card, I also wanted to give them a gift. Something that everyone could use, something healthy, and something easy. Mulling spices! I made my own mulling spices, packaged them up, and put a satchel in every card.

I love these cards. I put a lot of heart and effort into making them. But JEEZ they took a long time. Also, they ended up being rather expensive to mail because they count as a “package” rather than a “letter.” Obviously my loved ones are worth it but they may be getting something a little less bulky next year.

Anyway, that’s my story for today. I’m completely exhausted but totally giddy. I get to see my family today!! I hope you all have wonderful weekends planned. Keep on smiling, they’re even more contagious this time of year 🙂

Thankful Tuesday: My Family

It’s time for the three thanks I give for the day! However, today my three things may be more like 4 or 5 because my family is giant and all of them are awesome.

Today and everyday I am thankful for, in no particular order:

1) My stellar parents. They raised me to be a self-sufficient, confident, ambitious woman. They never let me doubt my abilities and were always there when I started to. We  joke that I only call them when I’m crying so when we don’t talk, they know everything is fine. How wonderful is that? Parents that never need to hear from you unless it’s to pick you up and put you back on your feet. I love my parents for how amazing they are when I was growing up and for what great people they are now that I’m an adult and can recognize it. My parents are my friends above everything else and we have a great time together. I am SO thankful they’re mine 🙂

 ^This was one of the many times they came to visit me in Boston.

2. My Gran and Chuck. I’m first generation American which means that not much of my family lives in the US and even fewer of them were around growing up in San Diego. They used to have us over for weekends just so they could spoil us! We would walk the dogs and then Chuck would take me to Major Market for the best hot chocolate on the planet. Then we would come home to a beautiful warm house and more delicious food from Gran. Gran and Chuck are always around when I just need some comfort. When no one else is saying the right stuff, Gran is on the other end of the phone, waiting to listen. I am SO thankful to have them in my life.

 ^ Gran and I on graduation day!

 ^Chuck and I at one of my first triathlons.

3. My siblings. Oh what to say about this rowdy lot. It’s kind of weird to think that, not too long ago, we fought like crazy. We really did dislike each other. But, alas, we have all grown up a ton in the last several years and are starting to find that we’re all friends. There will always be a part of me that’s very sad I missed out on so much of their lives while I was away in Boston; but I guess the happy result is that we now all see each other as adults. They’re such amazing people, each with their own weird personalities, and we have a fantastic time together. I call each of them for different advice and they all perk up my mood in different ways. All three of them are wonderfully fun and crazy and I am so happy to be able to grow old with them. My ultimate goal is to live as near as possible to every one of them.

 ^ I know what you’re thinking, “Dang! That is a good-looking bunch.” 🙂

4. My extended family. Like I said, I’m first generation American so most of my extended family lives in Britain or Australia. Despite how little I get to see them, I love them all. Unfortunately, it’s been several years since I last laid eyes on some of my cousins but I know they are all doing great things with their lives (thank you facebook) and can’t wait until we can party together sometime soon (hopefully).

 ^ Some Scottish family mixed with some New York family. It’s so rare but so wonderful.

5. My ex-pat family. In the absence of my extended family, my immediate family formed a sort of bubble of ex-patriots in San Diego. For the last 10 years we all gather at every holiday to eat, drink, and laugh. All the parents have become like second sets of parents for me and all the kids, my friends. We are a close-knit bunch and, although we don’t talk that often, it’s a huge comfort knowing I’ll see them for the next holiday. They became my family when my British family couldn’t be around.

 ^Just a few of the friends I call family.

Of course, I’m in tears after writing all that. I am so thankful for all these people but so sad that I can’t just surround myself with them everyday. I miss them all, each and every one. A lot. But I’m putting the smile back on my face because you couldn’t find a luckier girl.

 ^ One last picture to send you on your day. This is our family at the Rugby Sevens in Vegas last February.

What are you thankful for? I promise it doesn’t have to be as long as mine 🙂