Reunited with my BFF

Today was a wonderful day... my best friend Molly was in town from Portland, Maine and I was beyond excited to see her. We decided to meet up at my house and then head to a local park for a picnic/tea party. Her sister Amanda and niece Violet joined us, and I'm so glad they did. We spent a while visiting at my house while the girls played up in Amelia's room, then we headed up the hill to the park. Tea, cupcakes, cookies, fruit, guacamole & chips, hummus and orzo salad... it was a great little afternoon picnic.

Molly and I have known each other since we were three years old. We met in Sunday School and have been friends for all these years. In high school we were tennis partners and did a lot of youth group stuff together, which really solidified our friendship. When it was time to go away to school, Molly and I just had to be roommates! I can't think of any other friend that I could have lived with and had that much fun with. I love that we can only see one another once a year, but we pick up each time right where we left off... as if we hang out all the time! So many of my most favorite memories include Molly. I just can't wait until the day comes when she moves back!

 This is Amanda's daughter, the beautiful Violet. She is such a doll!

 the little ladies


Cute girls!

After our afternoon with the ladies, Amelia and I headed home and she went down for a rest. I watched a couple of episodes of Parenthood... I love that show! Tonight I cleaned the house up so that it is once again squeaky clean and then I let Amelia color on the windows with window markers. 

 I bought these window markers a while back and had completely forgot about them... until I cleaned out the disaster craft room.

 She was excited to get started.

 Very intense window coloring... and yes, that is Mark asleep on the couch AGAIN. I know it appears that he is always asleep, and often times he is, but he had to work this weekend and gets up at 3:30am. I don't blame his constant need to crash on the couch.

 My sunflowers are still so beautiful! One bunch reached a little over 12 feet. I can't believe how large they got. I will definitely grow these again next year. 

I love these!!!

Tomorrow I think I am going to try getting a Halloween skirt sewn for Amelia. I really want to learn how to sew. I'm not great at all but want to so badly that I have bought tons of fabric and patterns. Maybe taking a class is what I need once I'm done at work. Oh, and I got a couple more things up on my etsy site, but it is nowhere near where it was last year. I need to get my craft on a lot more. If interested, you can find my shop here. I hope you are all having a great weekend!
Ashley Elizabeth

High Five For Friday!!!

It's High Five for Friday Time!!! I've been a little absent lately but that is all about to change. Below is my Friday post, linking up with Laren at From My Grey Desk

1. Even though I was not thrilled about working 8-7 three days this week, I was glad that I got to see some incredible sunsets on my drive home!

2. Fall is here!!! I love the cool brisk air, the changing leaves, apple cider, comfy sweaters, Ugg boots, pretty colors... and pretty much everything else about fall! This is the fall wreath I made a couple of years ago. I love being able to dig it out.

3. Thursday Amelia and I were headed out the door, about 10 minutes earlier than normal, when I slammed the door I realized that I didn't have my keys. Our house was locked, my car was locked... so Amelia and I made the most of our time out in the chilly morning weather while we waited for Mark. We took silly pictures and made up silly jokes. It was a fun memory.

4. I was so very excited this week!!! My most favorite show started up again!

5. This is probably my most favorite moment of the week! And possibly the year. Since Amelia was born I have prayed that some day I would be able to be a stay at home Mama. I grew up with an amazing stay at home mom and I think my sisters and I benefited from it immensely. I wanted to be that Mama for my daughter. After talking and talking... and talking... Mark and I came to the conclusion that this is a dream that we could make a reality. Tuesday afternoon I went in and gave my notice with the Oregon Department of Forestry. 7 fire seasons and 6 years as a permanent employee... ODF has been a great place to work. I have built wonderful relationships that I will keep for the rest of my life, but at this point in my life, leaving to be home with my family is what is most important. October 25th will be my first day as a stay at home Mama! and I couldn't be happier!!!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I have a date lined up for tomorrow with my bestest best  friend in the entire world, Molly. Molly lives in the other Portland... Portland Maine! We've been friends since we were 3 and I would die without her! 

Ashley Elizabeth

Canning and such

I must say, this weekend turned in to a pretty wonderful one. Mark and I neither one had made plans, which was a nice change of pace, so we just did whatever we wanted!!! Friday night we went over to my Grandma's house. My cousins and Aunt were in town and it had been a while since I had seen them. It was a great visit, even if it was too short! Yesterday I slept in and was lounging around when my friend Heather sent me a text asking if I wanted to go apple picking. I of course jumped at the opportunity to 1. hang out with my dear friend and 2. get apples to can some homemade applesauce. It was a beautiful day out, not too hot and not too cool. We headed to a farm on the outskirts of Canby and it was a blast. We didn't get a ton, but it will be enough for me to have a load of applesauce to can! Yummy. The girls had a great time and Amelia just loves her friend Carly! I can't wait to plan a girls day with those ladies.

I spent last night in my craft room... I am addicted to crafting. I'm trying to get stuff back up on my etsy site. It has been closed for some time since I just didn't have the time to keep it up, but now I'm back and looking forward to getting items up there. An amazing craft room really helps get the creative juices flowin.

Today I decided that I wanted to go u-pick some tomatoes. Growing up I hated canned tomatoes but now I love everything I can do with them. I'm hoping to get a jump on canning next year and fill up our pantry with home canned goods. For the tomatoes we ended up at a farm on the outskirts of Oregon City. They had TONS of tomatoes and it was a blast going with Mark and Amelia. When I was younger we did a lot of u-picking and my mom always canned. I never really appreciated all of the work she put into it back in the day, but I'm so glad to have grown up with home canned foods. Mark had never been u-picking before and he has never done any canning so this is quite a fun adventure for us.

We picked 80 pounds of tomatoes today to can!!!

 The newest addition to our family (in Amelia's hair) named Critter

I hope they turn out!

Here are some pictures from our apple picking trip on Saturday! Boy oh boy do I love fall!!!

 Carly and Amelia... great little friends

 adorable Carly

 the little ladies that helped us pick apples

 Beautiful Emma

 my lady


 they are so darn cute!

So two weeks ago yesterday I had set two goals for myself. 1. to lose 5 pounds and 2. to clean my bedroom. Well I cleaned EVERY room in the house so I can definitely check that one off my list. I haven't finished the decorating part of my bedroom so once it is done I will put up a before and after picture of it. I didn't weight myself this morning but I was pretty close to 5 pounds the other day so I'm hoping I reached that goal. Now to make goals for the next two weeks...

1. Go on a date with my husband. We rarely go out together, just the two of us, and right now I think we need to take a break from our busy life and just go out for an evening, reconnect and spend some time together.

2. Track everything I eat on Sparkpeople... the good and the bad! 

I hope next weekend is as great as this one! Oh and if you are interested, my etsy site is back up. It is a work in progress and I really only have a few things up but please check it out. I plan on getting a lot more up in the next few months (some new crafty things as well, not just the normal hair clips and such). 
Ashley Elizabeth

My tardy high five for Friday post!

I know I'm slightly late on my high five for Friday post, but I have a good excuse. My Aunt Pam, Cousins Robert and Kristi, along with Kristi's two kids were in town for the night. I just had to go see them!!!! and we just got home. So, here is my H54F post...

1. My friend and co-worker Cindy was so sweet and brought me flowers to work. I took a nasty fall down our stairs on Sunday and was home from work for two days. I came back to this beautiful bunch of flowers.

2. I love when Rudy sleeps like this... it is adorable!

 3. My little ballerina visiting me at work. Her daddy brings her by so that I can put her hair up in a bun (they require that their hair is in a bun if long enough). Cutest bun ever!

4. Fall weather is so close!!! I love when summer turns to fall. The colors of the season are beautiful and I love bundling up in sweaters and Uggs. This is Amelia's new coat!

5. COUSINS!!! Amelia with my cousin Kristi's adorable 4 year old K'lynn. These two girls got along great and played so well together. I wish we all lived closer so that regular hang out sessions could happen.

I have absolutely NOTHING planned for this weekend and I am SO happy about it. I think I am going to have a massive craft fest!
Ashley Elizabeth

A crafty transformation

 So this picture above is of our spare bedroom. I must first say that it doesn't always look like this. I had intended to take before pictures of the room since I was going to be giving it a drastic transformation but I had started pulling things out of closets and stacking things in piles before I remembered to snap a photo. This room hasn't ever had organization. Mark had taken up one of the downstairs bedrooms and set it up as a treatment room so everything else had to be crammed into this room. Since he is now practicing at a clinic in Beaverton... I get BOTH bedrooms!

Here is the other side of the room. It was jam packed with junk. Again, this is picture that was taken mid way through my stacking and thrashing.

My dad's friend was selling her entertainment center that included two bookshelves. It was a great deal and I needed the storage space so of course I nabbed it.
This is what my new furniture looks like. I am missing a second bookshelf in this picture (like the one on the right).

Amelia and I worked our bums off Friday night, staying up until 1:30am. When we finally hit the sheets we were exhausted and had so much work left to do. Saturday we spent every spare moment in that room. Amelia is a really great helper, I never even have to ask. I'm quite certain she's a little OCD. The room would have been completed on Sunday but I took a nasty hard tumble down our stairs (7+stairs that I fell down) and was laid up for three days. I hit everything and am still so incredibly sore; swollen knees, horrible headache and a tweaked back and ribs. I am excited to say that tonight Amelia and I finished our arts, crafts and FUN room! Now for picture overload... I'm just so excited I have a whole room dedicated to being crafty!


 A chair for Amelia and I

 This piece holds all of my cricut machines, sewing machine and plastic tubs of ribbon galore

 Amelia had to bring her easel down... after all this is OUR craft room :)

 Amelia helped me put things on the shelves

 The bottom shelf was Amelia's to decorate

 Amelia picked these flowers for our room... thank goodness I just bought a few vases that they fit perfectly in.

This shelf is packed full of chalk paint, hair bow hardware, buttons, beads, jewelry and a picture from our wedding day.

I can't wait to get crafty in there. I've got a sewing project to get working on, but I think it will have to wait until the guest bedroom is finished. I can't stop while I'm on a mega cleaning, organizing and decorating kick. Good night all!
Ashley Elizabeth