Thursday, January 21, 2010

Getting Ready for Vacation!!

We can't believe our Hawaii trip is finally here!! We first found out we were going months ago, and the time has surprisingly flown by since then. We're very blessed and so excited that Zach's dad wanted to take us this year!

This week has been extremely busy so far, with both of us having to tie up loose ends at work and at home. We are almost finished with the work week though, so now all we have to do is pack! With all the security measures currently in force, we're having to research on the TSA website to make sure we follow all the guidelines. It's a little frustrating, but definitely worth it. It's just sad that nothing is safe anymore.

I spent a lot of the night last night buying new music for my iPod. Thanks to my sweet hubby for one of my birthday gifts being an iTunes gift card! Yay!! Now it's stocked up with new music, and I have one book that I got for Christmas that I'm halfway done with (Marley & Me), and another to begin on the flight at some point (My Sister's Keeper). I told my mom I didn't think I wanted to finish Marley & Me on the flight though-- I don't think people would want to watch me cry and hear my sniffles. :)

We're excited not just because of going to beautiful Maui, but we're so ready for some time away. Zach has been working himself ragged the past couple of weeks, trying to get as much done as possible so that he won't have everything to do when he gets back. He really deserves some time away from the "office."

We're going to start picking out clothes and packing everything up tonight. We're both working tomorrow, and we're having my birthday lunch with Zach's mom. After work, I will meet Zach at the vet. We'll say goodbye to our sweet babies Daisy & Cosmo, go home and gather our things, then head to Atlanta to spend Friday night. Our flight leaves SUPER early Saturday morning (not a good thing for Ashley), so we're planning on catching up on our sleep during the flight. We fly from Atlanta to Chicago, then Chicago to Maui! Zach will have his new camera around his neck the entire time, I'm sure, so we hope to post many great pics when we get back!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Canadian Geese

While Zach was out taking some of the snow photos, he drove up by the reservoir and saw these geese. Our favorite is the first photo where he initially made his way closer to them. A second favorite is the fourth photo I posted where there is a white bird flying with the geese. He wasn't sure if it was a duck or not, but I was calling it the "Ugly Duckling." His name for it is "Odd Duck Out." Enjoy!


Since I didn't get a "White Christmas" this year, I was happy to settle for a "White Birthday." I was also excited that finally one of the many predictions of snow in our area finally came to fruition! Zach was like a child at Christmas time, always wanting to leave the house and ride around looking for great photo ops. He did extremely well, and all those times out in the freezing temperatures with his camera & tripod really paid off! :) Here are some really great shots he took over the weekend.

The Falls at the Canyon

Icicles at Little River Canyon

I absolutely love this one!!

...and this one!

He was far away from this bird, but the detail is amazing!

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Ordinary Friends, Extraordinary God"- FBC Christian Women's Retreat 2010

This past weekend, we had our CW Retreat at The Summit in Fort Payne. I look forward to it every year. It's such an awesome way to start out the new year. The worship was great, the food was wonderful, The Summit was beautiful, and the friends were the best--about 40 women were there!! This past year and this year, it has happened to fall on my birthday, but it truly makes my birthday even better. A birthday is just another day, and it's best spent with God and friends anyway! I really missed getting to see Zach on that day this year, but it was just a small sacrifice that was worth it. They say "absence makes the heart grow fonder," and I really believe that's true. He gave me my gift when I got home that Sunday, and he's taking me out to eat in Birmingham this week, so we'll make up for it.

Our theme this year was "Ordinary Friends, Extraordinary God," and we focused on our relationships with God and others. We asked ourselves if we really were good friends to others and if our relationships were Christ-centered. We took the time to forgive others for ever wounding us, and we asked for forgiveness for wounding others. Our last night there after our session, we gathered around the fireplace and had Communion- such a sweet experience!

 Before Communion though, we had the best experience we'd had all weekend. We were given the chance to go to others there and say things we wanted to say. It was amazing how God moved and let us know there were women we needed to go to and say things to. A sweet friend came up to me and said something that I pray will live in my heart forever. She took my face in her hands like a mother would do to her child, and said, "Ashley, you're 25 years old today. Exactly 25 years ago today, I lost my father. I just want you to know that where I used to dread this day, you've put a little spark of joy into my life." Isn't God wonderful with his timing?! He knew that I would need to hear something like that. It's amazing how many lives we all touch, even without knowing it. We later shared with the entire group things we had said and prayer requests, and spent the late hours of the night talking, sharing and singing. It was wonderful!!

I pray that I do allow this experience change me, and never forget how close we all became on this trip. I thank Jena Forehand for being our speaker this weekend, and really giving us what God wanted us to hear. I hope that during this new year, I will strive to have Christ-centered relationships!

Also, thanks everyone for all the texts, cards, gifts and birthday wishes!! It's been a great one and I still can't believe I'm 25! I was really happy to celebrate it by having a little time off from work. Because of the snow, we left work early on Thursday and then were off all day Friday, so that was a nice early birthday present! Zach was excited to take some pictures of the snow, so I'll post those soon!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Talented Husband

Recently, I posted some of Zach's photos onto my Facebook page. I was overwhelmed by all the compliments on them! One friend even asked if he would be interested in taking portraits of her grandkids! Who knows-- it's neat to think of the different possibilities! For those of you interested, he has posted a portfolio on Flickr. The address is:

Christmas Ourselves!

Zach & I decided early on what we wanted to spend some of our Christmas money on. As we did last year, we each had our own money divided out- we spent some, we saved some. Zach had been wanting a new camera for a while, so he bought himself the Nikon D5000 which is AWESOME!! He's been so cute lately, always looking for places to take great shots. He spent three days over New Year's weekend, at different times going to local places to take some pictures. He's so excited about using his new camera, and I'm so happy for him! It's fun to watch him so excited about his new toy and so proud of his great pictures. They really are amazing...even though I'm a little biased. I posted a few of our favorites as proof! :)

The Falls at Little River Canyon

A color view of The Falls at Little River Canyon

Local railroad tracks- this is my favorite! It's going up on the wall! :)

Old water tower in downtown FP

The "lunar halo" Zach spotted one night

I had bought a new Fossil watch for myself earlier last week. I had wanted it for a while- especially after I saw Sandra Bullock wear one like it in "The Blind Side." Hers was a Chanel I believe, but since I didn't want to take out a loan at the bank for a casual watch, I just went the cheaper route with the Fossil. :)

I had also been wanting some type of furniture to place in front of our bed for our extra throw pillows. At first, I had in mind to get a rolled-arm bench, but when we made a trip to Akins Furniture this weekend, I changed my mind. Zach had mentioned earlier about getting an ottoman, possibly leather, with bonus storage space. It sounded great to me, as long as the price was right. At the store, we found EXACTLY what he had described for a good price, and I fell in love! We bought it that day & he couldn't move it in the house fast enough. He had just put it in place in front of our bed, and I had already started putting my little decorative pillows on it. Zach had the bright idea to use one side as a seat and take advantage of the tray table on the other side. (He really has a good eye for design--this helps well with the photos he's taken too, as seen in the ones I posted!)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy 2010!

Happy New Year!!

I am really excited about the coming year, while at the same time cherishing this past year. Zach and I have grown a lot together in our first year of marriage. We've learned a lot about each other, enjoyed many fun adventures and traveled on many great trips (Disney World, of course, being Zach's favorite). We've spent two more birthdays with each other, celebrated our first wedding anniversary with a trip to Atlanta, and steadily held onto both of our jobs, staying busy the entire year (which is such a blessing in our local economy! Praise the Lord!) We have made a lot of improvements to our house and been blessed with so many gifts to make it even better. I have really enjoyed investing more time into our church sanctuary choir and our women's quartet, and Zach has supported me and been my #1 fan through it all. :) I have also brightened the past year by taking on a new role as assistant choir director. Those 4th-6th grade kids have really added a little more fun to my life.

As for New Year's Eve, I think last year Zach and I were in bed by 10:00. We went out to eat at Red Lobster in Chattanooga (waited for a table for over an hour!), then spent the night at his mom's. This year, I wanted to go out again. Who wouldn't on New Year's Eve? I was so happy that my best friend Jennifer was in town for Christmas. I had met up with her & her hubby Andrew at Wing Stop for lunch on Christmas Eve, and we discussed doing something for New Year's. Zach called earlier in the week & made reservations at The Boathouse in Chattanooga, one of our favorites. I, thankfully, was off from work at 2:30 that day, so we were able to go on time, and even fit in a little shopping before dinner. The food was great (as was the ice cream at Cold Stone afterwards), as always, and we had so much fun getting to catch up with the "newlyweds."

After we got home, we watched football for a little while until everyone was getting tired. We had planned on turning in for the night, but Zach had gotten a text from a friend inviting us to their house. We made the "long journey" up the road to our friends and new neighbors, David & Amy's house, and really enjoyed ringing in the New Year with them! We're glad to have friends close by and hope to get together with them more often! I'm glad we got to end the year with some great friends!

I really enjoyed having Friday off also! We took down our tree and all our Christmas decorations, then took it all down to the basement in storage containers. It's a little sad doing so, but it also means a new year is on its way, and my birthday is not too far behind! Next thing on our calendar we're looking forward to...TRIP TO HAWAII!!!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...