the ashley adventures

it is never too late to choose happiness


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summer.

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still trying to catch up with the plethora of funtivities that occurred before (and after) grant left for tour. chicago has an unbelievable amount of awesome street fairs over the summer, so we decided to check one out. grant wanted to grill, so we hung out at my apartment first while he lit up spite again.

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casey photobombed through the window.

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we met up with nick and rachel and tony and allison at the old town art fair, followed by the wells street art fair.

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had so much fun enjoying the (rare) perfect chicago weather, the perfect company, and cold beer with the city as our backdrop.

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we were also photobombed by this random guy.

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after the fairs, we went to belmont pourhouse to watch the hawks.

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grant has no paraspinals so he has a hard time holding his head up. therefore, he has to do this to watch a game from below. no complaints here.

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i love thought catalog. have you read thought catalog? you should.

i just read an article entitled “22 things you need to do while you have the chance.” it was written by charlotte green who i do not know but who seems to be brilliant. here’s the link: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/22-things-you-need-to-do-while-you-have-the-chance/

i have comments on some of them.

1. Go to a country whose language you do not speak, and where English is rarely spoken. Learn what it means to have to find out everything by yourself, and to live glued to your translating dictionary.

yes. i have traveled through europe fairly extensively, and i remember i went to some museum in madrid where no one knew english, and no one even knew i was speaking english. they thought it was a completely different language. it was jolting, and also liberating. i’d love to experience it for more than an hour.

3. Take a road trip simply for the joy of being on the road and not having anywhere in particular to end up. Stop in restaurants and shops along the way that look like they belong in a Norman Rockwell painting, and eat candy that your grandparents used to love.

i think i am going to make this happen in the next year. i drive a prius, why not?

4. Dance with a stranger in the bar for three whole songs and then go home by yourself, without feeling like you owed them anything.

done this one. immeasurable amounts of fun.

7. Kiss a friend on the lips when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.

sigh.

8. Enjoy long Sunday mornings without children jumping on your bed to wake you up at the crack of dawn to make them breakfast.

i love this. but for some reason, i feel like guys are always in such a rush to wake up and do some activities. what is so wrong with lying around and watching the food network until you are so starving that you force yourself up and to brunch?

13. Spend an entire weekend alone, walking around, eating in restaurants by yourself, and not even distracting yourself with music. Listen to things like you never allow yourself to — the children playing, the breeze blowing, the mellow chatter of diners dining.

potentially the most intriguing to me. i have been thinking a lot lately about being alone, and whether i am really okay with being by myself. i think i am, but i think i have trouble not freaking out and texting 37 people just to have some sort of communication going. i’d really like to see how i would do with a scheduled staycation with only myself.

14. Throw a theme party where everyone has to come in basically no clothing.

so i never really got to do this in college. and i want to throw one before everyone feels too old to come. i need more friends first.

19. Go to an all-night concert that puts you out onto the street when it’s sunny and people are going to work and everyone is serving breakfast.

this one gave me goosebumps.

22. Start a new project simply to test your abilities and see what you might not have yet learned about yourself. Work seriously on paintings, submit articles, take up an instrument, join a dance class. Be a better version of yourself. Regardless of the kind of success you might see, you will at least have become the kind of person who isn’t afraid to try things.

this sums it up. i want to be a better version of myself. i am working on it every day. i am trying to choose happiness every day.

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took a trip to florida after memorial day, and finally got my haircut after 18 months!

i flew in thursday night so i could spend friday with my family, but the real purpose of the trip was to see grant’s bff4e, loren, who was in town from hawaii.

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saw my brother, mom, and dad but brooke was in tally. i ordered a beer bigger than my dad’s. we took pictures during the golden hour. it was so great to see them.

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saturday, we went out on grant’s boat. he had some sort of wakeboarding crisis where he didn’t have the bindings so he had to wake skate instead. i was still impressed.

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on sunday loren’s family had a party for him and his wife, ashley. (yes, grant’s best friend’s wife has the same name as me. great minds think alike). we had such a wonderful time enjoying the sunshine, and i about died watching grant hold a baby.

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you just can’t beat florida.
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memorial day weekend was supposed to be spent in chattanooga, but those plans were squished (see previous). grant was now scheduled to return saturday night, so britt and i went out on friday.we were hoping to all go camping in wisconsin on sunday night.

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there were fire candles at the bar. you can’t really beat that?

then i get a call on saturday that grant now has to stay until sunday night. so britt and i adjust our plans and spend all day saturday scrapbooking and stayed up until 3am watching girls and drinking coors light.

i get another call around 10pm. grant has to go to connecticut and stay till wednesday, but he felt so bad for destroying our plans three times that he convinced his boss to fly me out. to connecticut. for 24 hours. i would leave late sunday night and return very early tuesday morning to make it to work on time.

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SO britt and i went shopping on sunday and then she took me to the airport…

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… and that is how i ended up in connecticut. at the mohegan sun resort/casino. on a sunday night. this place was crazy. and huge. i’ve never been to vegas so i was pretty amazed. the whole gambling thing kind of weirds me out? and i find it sort of depressing. but it is hard not to have fun at what is essentially disneyworld for adults. restaurants, shops, spas, pools, bars, freaking everywhere.

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i ate the most amazing fried chicken and waffles at hash house a go go.

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view of the hotel from the pool.

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thanks, new kids on the block, for my quick connecticut trip! my life is so random sometimes i don’t know how to deal.
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it has been a crazy three weeks over here. lots of airplanes and adventures. three weekends ago, grant texted me at work on thursday and was like “wanna go to michigan tomorrow?” and i was like yes! because my knee jerk reaction to any spontaneous travel is ALWAYS to go for it. and then i was like wait why. and then i was like there has to be a catch.

there was, sorta, but not a bad catch. we were supposed to go to chattanooga over memorial day weekend but, alas, new kids on the block needed grant’s laser skills so the trip wasn’t going to happen. so instead, we went to michigan the weekend before memorial.

we stayed in grand rapids. spent a day hiking, a day biking, and saw a couple breweries and downtown. it was so nice just having free time. not in the city. with nature. and trees. and lots of lara bars and beef jerky.
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i would have been so lost without him and his sense of direction.
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grant and i had people over to my apartment for cinco de mayo. i made a super pinteresty banner and some super pinteresty jello shots. much better than last cinco de mayo which was so uneventful i don’t even remember it. it was probably on par with the cinco de mayo before that when all of my grad school friends and i almost got thrown out of a nice-ish mexican restaurant in andersonville. whoops!20130515-202813.jpggrilling. funny story about this. the night before, we were finishing up all the jello shots and grant was getting the steaks in the marinade and all of a sudden i got a text that ..someone.. was going to come pick up the grill. um. he had never expressed any interest in taking it until, of course, he learned that i was having people over. i can only assume he wanted to ruin my little shindig.

i let him know i was planning on using it and he was like ‘oh’ and said he’d get it tuesday instead. but it was too late and i was mad. like, really mad. punching walls mad. grant was pissed too, so, because he is a man and men do things like this he decided to go to home depot at 8pm on a saturday night and buy himself a grill so we wouldn’t have to use ..someone..’s. he said i shouldn’t depend on ..someone.. for anything. he’s right. so we bought a grill and eloquently named it spite.

so that is a picture of grant and shane lighting up spite for the first time.

20130515-202826.jpgthis is grant showing us how to play the most relaxing drinking game ever. i believe it was called snappa? snapa? something like that.

20130515-202843.jpgoh, and shane almost killed us all trying to hit the pinata.

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