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Note to Self

It’s been awhile since my last post, but I’ve been busy making cakes, running races, traveling, organizing and crafting.

What made me want to post again has to do with the way I was beginning to feel as a result of my self-image; I wanted to share this with other moms, wives and women, as a whole. As I mentioned, I was insanely busy this summer, not unlike me at all, and in true me fashion, signed up for a brand new workout program in my neighborhood…at 5am…because that’s what (I thought) worked best with my schedule. The class itself is AMAZING. Of course, getting up and out the door every morning is difficult, but I have a purpose each day. By the end of the class, I am drenched in sweat but pumped to start the rest of my day. I found that this is the only time I can really shut my brain off and be in the, “now”. Sounds great, right?

After the first couple of days, I found myself hiding from mirrors on the front wall, wearing baggy t-shirts all the time and hating every little thing about myself. I hated my chest, I hated my workout clothes, I hated my jiggly belly and I even hated the amount of sweat I was producing. I would even catch myself looking around to see if anyone was looking at me and wondering if I could ever be as fit as some of the other women in the class. I was distracted and defeated. I finished the rest of the week like this and decided to put all of my energy, instead, into the things I knew I was good at.

self-im·age
noun
the idea one has of one’s abilities, appearance, and personality

I kept myself busy, I would forget to eat or consciously decide to skip meals until I could find a healthy alternative…and then forget to eat that! You can only imagine what happened next. By the end of the weekend, I was so irritated by everything and everyone that I would go full out HULK mode on my husband. “I’m going to quit working out in the morning because, CLEARLY, I am the only one who takes care of things around here.” Are you laughing yet? You should be, because I was completely unreasonable, but that’s what happens when you don’t take care of yourself.

I can recall all the way back to middle school when my gymnastics coach made a comment to me about my hips growing, and not really understanding at the time what she meant, but not really letting go of it either. Once I was done with gymnastics, my chest filled out…like A LOT! I tried most sports my freshman year before settling on the dance team. If you are keeping track, that is two sports where you wear very little clothing…people can see everything! I began comparing myself to the other girls–as most girls do at that age – and wondered why I couldn’t look or be like them. Ive held onto this type of self-analyzing behavior for a very long time and, now, Im ready to kick it the [bleep] out the door!

You know the saying, “only you can make yourself happy?” Well, as clichéd as that may sound, its what im banking on to change my attitude, self-image and overall happiness. I know improving my self-image, like improving any skill, takes time and practice so this isn’t going to be immediate, but I plan to make small steps each day. Each morning, I try to look at myself in the mirror, at least once, and tell myself how badass I look. I’m also working on my nutrition and reminding myself, I want to be the best me I can, not just for my kids and my husband, but for MYSELF!

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Father’s Day Has Come & Gone

My Saturday started early as I had to pick my sister up from the Quad Cities Airport. I had an hour to mentally map out how the kids and I would execute our crafty projects for dad. On the agenda were the following:

  • “We Love Daddy” photo
  • Painted catch-all tray
  • Kabobs on the Grill cupcakes

After dropping my sister at home, I took the opportunity to hit up the grocery store while I was still kid-free! We had some quick sandwiches before Kelly decided to run to his shop and get the golf clubs ready for the morning. As soon as Kelly walked out the door, Henry and I got to work on our catch-all trays. Quite a few weeks earlier, I found some porcelain trays on an end aisle at Target. I was just sure I could/would find something to do with them. Sure enough I did! We tried to accomplish a watercolor look that I discovered on The Crafted Life blog. We did not succeed, BUT we will try again.

Charlie woke up from her nap as Henry and I were cleaning up our mess so I had the kids change quick into something nice and we headed outside. I tore the flap off an Amazon box sitting in the garage and asked Henry to write “we love daddy”. He did a great job and and I captured a handful of beautiful photos before Charlie got bored!

Later Saturday evening we gave the catch-all trays another try and printed out the photos we took early in the day. This time, we decided to use vinyl instead of paint. Henry designed his layout, I printed his design with my Cricut Explore One and he finished it off with a coat of Modge Podge. Our craft projects were complete and all laid out for daddy to find in the morning!

Sunday morning Charlie and I work up early (not my choice) and got coffee at Starbucks for daddy and Henry before they left to golf. While the boys were golfing, Charlie and I got our bake on! I went ahead and colored the frosting, piped it on and had the cupcakes ready to decorate for Henry. Once Henry was home, I had him help me with the grill and kabob parts of the cupcakes. Finally, finished and we all got to enjoy!

We finished our day off enjoying the sun with our cousins and grilling some burgers for dinner.

Father’s Day 2016 was a success!

Father’s Day is coming!

Father’s Day is just around the corner. June 19th to be exact. Every year I rack my brain trying to come up with the perfect gift for my husband and without fail, I end up throwing something together the night before and telling myself, next year I’ll do better!

Here it is, next year and I feel just as lost as I felt last year on gift ideas. I have been trying to pay attention to what my husband needs/wants or anything he may show interest in. I’ve done a wallet, a beard trimmer, a briefcase, fun socks, a nice polo, blah, blah, blah. Part of the problem is that my husband, like most, is easy-going and claims to need nothing. The other part of the problem is me! I’m indecisive and put too much pressure on finding the perfect gift.

As the years have gone by, I’ve begun to realize the gift is not what makes the day special, it’s the time we spend together. The memories we make and cherish. In the last few years, we have participated in a fun 5K race (well, I just observed as I was 9 months pregnant), enjoyed breakfast at our favorite diner, spent an afternoon on the golf course and grilling/cooking together at home.

I have also done my fair share of crafts with the kids and I’d have to say some of my favorite pieces are the pictures that Henry makes on his own and the “All About Daddy” fill-ins.

I did, however, do some browsing for potential gift options and came across a few cool websites. Most of these gifts are geared towards men and don’t necessarily have to be gifts for Father’s Day….that might be why I like the site so much!

Since it isn’t Father’s Day yet, and I’d like to think my husband reads my blog, I won’t share what I am doing just yet. I promise to follow-up with pictures of the how we celebrated Father’s Day this year. I have come across some cool options (see links below) via Pinterest that I think you all might like.

Follow in Daddy’s Footsteps

We Love Daddy photo

My Daddy fill-ins

“Daddy we love you to pieces”

Hand tree framed

Monster Trail Mix

Happy crafting and Happy Father’s Day!!

Day in the Life

Since this is my very first blog, I thought I would introduce you all to a day in the life of Ashley Thompson!

5:00 AM: Alarm goes off. SNOOZE

 5:16 AM: Alarm goes off, again. SNOOZE

5:32 AM: Alarm goes off, again. Sigh to self and wonder how much time I have before Charlie starts fussing.

 6:25 AM: Finally ready after trying on 3 different outfits and deciding I have absolutely nothing to wear to work anymore. Tell myself, start making a shopping list for my girls’ trip to Des Moines this weekend.

 6:35 AM: Start working on diaper and clothes for Charlie. All the while I’m watching Kelly, my husband, refill and diaper Genie and think to myself, should I tell him that he is completely WASTING the refills because he tied that knot so large? Nope, I’ll just sit here and judge him quietly.

 6:45 AM: Henry, my son, tries to convince me to let him have ice cream if he does well on his spelling test. “It’s time to go, get in the van.” Secretly hope he doesn’t realize I didn’t answer about the ice cream.

 6:50 AM: Alright, I managed to get both kids with breakfast and, literally, all 7 of my bags for the day in the van. Just as I walk around I remember its Wednesday…RECYLCING.

6:54 AM: After making 3 trips to the curb with recyclables in my heels. I’m finally pulling out of the garage. Pick up Charlie only to discover she is completely wet. Experience mini-meltdown and realize she just spilled her milk on her pants.

 7:30 AM: TIME FOR WORK

 4:50 PM: Stand around parking lot with co-worker complaining about our day and all the annoying people.

5:00 PM: Get in minivan; turn on my “Minivan Bumping” playlist; think to self, remember to go out on 42nd because Edgewood was backed up. AWE! The baby geese hatched……where are they? I have to remember to tell Henry.

5:25 PM: Pull into daycare, glance at Fitbit & see I made it to North Liberty in 20 minutes….yeah I speed, a lot, while listening to rap (judge away).

 5:26 PM: Log kids out of computer as soon as I walk in the door, every minute counts right?! Go to nursery and watch Charlie walking over to the other baby and secretly hope she throws the toy at her or falls on her, either will do!

 5:27 PM: No such luck, so I scoop her up and get her daily report card. Think to self, dang girl you should really sleep more!

5:30 PM: Head outside to get Henry. Open the door and he’s smirking because his teacher saw him throw a ring on the roof (little turd). Proceed, “HENRY JAMES! Let’s go!” Teacher comments on the mention of middle name as another little kid lobs a ring at Henry’s head and nails him. I patiently wait for him to start crying! “Henry lets go, shake it off.” He proceeds to cry more. “Henry, it was a complete accident so man up and shake it off!”

5:35 PM: FINALLY get back inside only to discover Henry has to go upstairs to get his bag. As I wait I ponder, why do I always think I can wait till I get home to pee? Henry finally comes down and we get in the van to go home.

 5:43 PM: It’s Tuesday, so Henry gets $1.99 happy meal. While in drive-thru I notice Charlie is abnormally quiet. She’s asleep, hence the previous thought about sleeping! Take photo (while stopped, of course, and send to Kelly)

5:50 PM: “Oh Henry, guess what! The baby geese at work hatched! I’ll take a picture tomorrow…if I remember!”

 5:51 PM: As we unload from the van, I remind Henry to feed the dog and pray Charlie doesn’t wake up! Made it upstairs without Charlie waking up. Tell myself, just leave her downstairs next time to reduce the risk of her waking. DUH!

5:53 PM: Run to the bathroom as I’m seconds from peeing my pants now and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I wonder, Yikes, is this what I looked like all day?! Time to put on the sweats and tee!

 6:10 PM: CRAP! Charlie is awake. Take her out of car seat and check on daily report to see if I have to actually “mom up”. Diaper 4:40pm ✔ Fed 4:20pm ✔✔ Think to self, how I’m I going to cook with Charlie on my hip?! “Oh look here, a muffin tin and a clothes pin and a paint brush and a hair clip and here, a graham cracker. Now see all this fun stuff Charlie, sit and play while I cook….thanks!”

 6:12 PM: open the fridge to get ingredients and notice I have a full bottle of wine in the fridge. MUST HAVE A GLASS!

 6:30 PM: Kelly’s home and grabs Charlie. (Charlie whining) Kelly tells Charlie, “let me just put my pants on….” LOL – Amateur!

 6:45 PM: (Charlie still whining) Get some beef stew heated up for Charlie. Dang, this is good. Now contemplating whether I should tell Kelly that I’ll just share stew with Charlie…..nah!

 7:00 PM: BATH TIME! Put Charlie in the tub and she looks at me like I’m crazy which reminds me, I need to paint my toe nails. But first, MORE WINE!

 7:10 PM: Kelly brings me dinner while I sit on the bathroom floor watching Charlie and my toes dry.

7:20 PM: Charlie starts freaking out, I think she bit her finger or tongue, so bath time and eating come to a screeching halt. Time to wash up and get out….Henry now wants to know what is for dinner…SERIOUSLY?!

7:35 PM: feeding Charlie and I message my girlfriends that I have only had one glass of wine and I’m already tipsy.

 7:45 PM: Charlie is asleep and Henry starts whining about watching a movie. Clearly, it’s time to go to bed, but I turn on Bernstein Bears while he eats his banana. Wonder, why does a family of bears own a cat? Weird. I look over and Henry is crying, ugh. I ask him if he needs a hug and we hug.

8:30 PM: “OK Henry, time for bed.” Henry trying to delay the inevitable, proceeds to tell me a story about some sleep game he plays. I stop listening and wait for him finish. “Cool. Good night. I love you.”

 8:45 PM: Finish cleaning up the kitchen and bathroom. Done. Thank God. Crap my toes are still a mess and I’m drunk (from my 2 glasses of wine)…..time for bed!!