Monday, January 28, 2008

Birth Control - Which Method works Best???

Ok ladies, let's get personal! I can honestly say that i have tried two methods of birth control. I recently found myself asking: which of these works best? And over the weekend, I GOT MY ANSWER!!!!! Allow me to elaborate!

I have been on the birth control pill since before I got married to prevent Brant and I from having children before we were ready. Thus far, it has worked. However, anyone who knows me knows my LOVE for BABIES!!! I adore them!!! So, it has been hard for me to not want to get pregnant. To make matters worse, two weekends ago, a dear friend's dad had quadruple bypass surgery. Her husband was on an active military training weekend, her family was all at the hospital, and she had no desire to subject her darling 5-month old Colton to the floating germs and silence of a hospital ICU waiting room. So, I happily offered for Brant and I to play "Mom and Dad" so Audrey could be with her family. She so graciously accepted. So Colton came over to "play" for the entire weekend. I can truthfully say it was a fun weekend. Colton is an amazing happy baby who loves to play and laugh, and sleeps THROUGH THE NIGHT! So after this weekend, I really wanted a baby of my own. Of course I never told Brant about my desire because I knew he would think I was off my rocker! So, I kept it to myself and just daydreamed about it every-so-often. Until this weekend!

Most of you know about my dearest sister: Amanda. Amanda has four children, Mason - 9 in two weeks, Connor - 6, Kate - 3 and Baby Ethan is 3 1/2 months old. Well, unfortunately for Amanda, her husband is sometimes required to travel for his job - such as ALL of last week. Well, as soon as Michael got home on Thursday night, he was incredibly sick...high fever, chills, cold sweats, aching, name it, he had it. So they took Michael to the dr. thinking he might have the flu, but the flu test came out negative. The dr. just gave him an antibiotic and told him to stay in bed. So my sister was in a pickle trying to care for five kids: 3 kids, a baby and a husband. She felt bad for telling the older three that they had to be quiet because Dad was sick, and that they HAD to stay upstairs - they couldn't really have any fun during their weekend. So, Uncle B and Aunt Grabbie came to the rescue. I called my sister, and in my most stern voice said..."Sis, pack the kids a bag, they're staying with me!!!"

So, began a fun-filled weekend of Chucky Cheese, crazy bath-time, Cars movie blaring from the TV, chocolate donuts, and chasing Dax in the backyard...not to mention trying to get 3 kids ready for church plus myself (maybe this explains why we were 10 minutes late). It was the CRAZIEST weekend, fun but crazy! If you were a fly on the wall, you might have heard a little something like this around bathtime...

Ashley: Ok, Kate let's get ready for your bath...Kate??? Kate??? KATE????? Get in here and stop putting on my makeup! Kate, what is in your hair? Gum? Where did you get gum???
(2 minutes quite)
Connor, get in here and take a bath with Kate. Connor, do you hear me? Connor???? CONNOR???? Get in here!!! Mason, you go take a shower in my bathroom, and make sure you wash your hair.
(5 minutes of playing in tub)
Ok, now let's dry off. Here are your PJ's, so put them on, then we'll get ready for bed. Wait Connor, stop running around naked. Connor?? Connor?? Kate, don't chase your brother naked!!! KATE, CONNOR - GET IN HERE AND PUT SOME CLOTHES ON!!! Brant, stop them. No Brant, don't chase them around the living room naked!!! BRANT!!!!

So, the moral of the story is that if you have baby-fever, and it's just a fever, taking care of your sister's 3 kids for the weekend is GREAT birth control and helps your fever "break" quickly!!!

Much Love from the EXHAUSTED Aunt Grabbie,

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cutest Pops Around

Ok, so I found this blog through Janelle's blog...Pop Culture Candies. These are the CUTEST lollipop and candy arrangements I have ever seen and have an incredibly reasonable price tag. I even ordered one with Chcolate Covered Oreos for Brant for Valentine's Day, and one for my sister's kids! She has arrangements for every are a few pictures I copy and pasted so you can see how adorable they really are!!!!!

Here is site...go check it out, or click the link under "Favorite Links".

Monday, January 21, 2008

6 Glorious Months!

As of yesterday, my sweet husband and I have officially been married for 6 months! Yes - we've made it half a year!!!!! So, of course, the intrigued woman that I am played 20 questions with Brant yesterday to find out his perspective on our marriage. These are some things I found out...

1) My husband loves being married - he said this himself and it made me giggle! I'm not sure why exactly it made me giggle, but I've always had the perception that women place a higher value on being married than men, and in some instances this may actually be the case, but my dear husband actually loves being married!!!!

2) Brant's favorite part of being married (which actually surprised me a bit) is just knowing I'm there. No matter what, I, his wife, am always on his side and I'm always going to be there. This made me smile.

3) He has never doubted that he married the right person. This question came up because we were reading this book and one of the questions was "Have your ever wondered if you married the right person?" So, I asked him this questions, and he quickly said "No, beyond a shadow of a doubt I know I married exactly who the Lord made for me."

4) The one thing Brant would change is...being more of a spiritual leader. This is a big one and I need to elaborate for you a bit. We live in Mansfield (and for those of you know don't know Texas well, this is right in between Dallas and Fort Worth...about 30 miles from each). I work in
Las Colinas (North Irving) which takes me every bit of an hour to go to work every day, not to mention an hour to get home. Our church family has been in Irving for several years now and we both have a special love for First Irving, but we know that we've been called somewhere else. We've been called closer to home, around our peers that we can fellowship with in our own community. However, we are still unsure of exactly where that calling is. We have visited several churches, but we don't feel led to join any of them, so we have honestly been starving spiritually. So to hear my husband say that he longs to be the spiritual leader of our family and household meant the world to me because he realizes that is his call. So pray for us friends as we try to find exactly where the Lord is leading us. "Church hunting" is not easy, in fact, it is very difficult. We long so badly for a place to call home; a place to meet people just like us; a place to fellowship with fellow believers and help our community grow.

Now, you might be asking what my answers were to these questions...well here they are.
1) Yes, I love being married. Brant bring such joy to my life and I can honestly say that I love spending every day with him.

2) My favorite thing about being married is knowing that every night I come home, he is there and I don't have to leave. Some of you may know that we bought our house shortly after we got engaged and Brant was the first to move in. I lived with my parents and Brant lived in the house. I would of course go over there everyday because it was my house too, I just didn't live there yet. So, every night I would go there first on my way home, then leave around 9:30 or 10 to go home. So, my favorite thing about marriage is that I get to go home and I don't ever have to leave!

3) Have I ever questioned whether or not I married the right person? "No, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I know I married the man God made for me."

4) The one thing I would change is the amount of work I have to do on my own. Several of you have heard me "gripe" about this before but I sometimes feel like I am more of my husband maid than his wife. I love to cook, but growing up in Wages house the cook never had to clean (at least not by themselves). Usually, the entire family helped clean the kitchen after dinner. It's not always that way in the Williams house. I often cook, and clean, and do the laundry, and pick up after Brant, and take care of Dax, and then try to spend some time watching TV with my husband (because he is always in front of the TV). There are some nights where I will actually tell him that if he wants to spend time with me, then he has to help me. So, the only thing I would change is his initiative. I wish he took more of an interest in helping me keep our house in order.

So, after these six months, I can tell you that we have learned a lot. We have learned about each other, and we have savored every moment of it. Yes, there have been a few "tiffs" every now and then, but no huge blow-out fights (we're both lovers not fighters). I can lay my heart on the line and tell you that marry Brant has been one of the biggest blessings and I cannot describe the joy that has been brought into my soul through him.

So raise your glasses folks - Here's to the next 6 months, 6 year and forever!!!

Much love,

Thursday, January 17, 2008

All My Emotions

So yesterday was the day from Heaven, and from Haties. I went from up, to down, to up, to down, and none of was because Brant was gone! The day started off well. I dyed my hair back to its natural color (which is a light, ash brown) on Tuesday - all by myself ladies! So when I woke up and re-washed it, I was quite happy with way it turned out. That was an up! Then, I really started feeling sick throughout the day - you know, that cold and stuffy feeling, do that was a down. Since we got married, Brant and I have kept separate health insurances (through out respective companies) but I began to compare the two and decided that his has much better benefits for almost the same cost that I pay for my "crap" insurance now, so that was an up! At 5:30, I had a hair appointment to chop all my hair off. It had really gotten long since the wedding 6 months ago, and I really do love it short. So I decided that my husband would come home to a new wife...with dark short hair instead of blond long hair. Then came the biggest down of all, my Buddy.

Buddy was my dog since high school - he was actually a mistake. My family and I have adopted a dog named Bandit from Pet Rescue. But Bandit was scared to death of storms and thunder. He would actually get under the covers of someones bed if it began to storm. One day I was outside getting the mail when it was beginning to get stormy - no rain yet, but there was thunder. Bandit was outside with me and when he heard the thunder, he ran....away from my house! We searched for days and never found him, so we put up signs all over the neighborhood and at the local grocery store. About a week later, we got a surprising phone call that someone had found Bandit. When she found him, he was very sick and she had taken him to the vet to get better, but she saw our signs and we went to pick up Bandit. After having him home for a few hours, we began to realize that this might not be the same dog, so we compared pictures and we were right...this was not Bandit! So, we put up "Found Dog" signs, and we searched neighborhoods for "Lost Dog" signs, but saw nothing. So we kept this dog, and called him Buddy.

Buddy really became "my" dog after we got him...he slept on my bed, went places with me, and was my baby through college and well after. But my family and I knew Buddy was getting pretty sick and I honestly did not expect him to live past my wedding, but he did. He even made it into my parents new house by the lake. But last night, we finally had to put Buddy to sleep. He had been so sick for so long, and had lost over half of his weight in the past few months, so we knew it was time. So after my hair appointment, I went and said "Goodbye" to my sweet Buddy. It was much harder than I thought it would be, but I KNOW it was the right thing to do.

One huge realization came from yesterday though: God really does have a purpose for everything. What do I mean? Dax! Dax has become my sweet baby and last night, I was able to say goodbye to Buddy knowing that I now have another sweet pup to love just like I have "the Buddster". The Lord knew exactly what was going to happen, and exactly what I needed before I ever did. There is no doubt in my mind that yesterday would have been 10 times harder if I didn't have a sweet pup to go home to and play with, a boy that I get to look forward to having for many, many years to come. God knew, and made sure that I was taken care of.

So my emotions for the day: happiness for my hair, excitement for my hew 'do, sadness and mourning for my Buddy, but amazement at my God.

Much Love,

Monday, January 14, 2008

Ready, Set...Depression!

Yes, I am preparing myself for a fun-filled week of husband has left me for 6 long, grueling, lonely nights (which would actually be 7 days, but the nights are much, much harder to handle). Not long after we got Dax, Brant left for 3 days to go to a conference in San Antonio. I thought things would be fine and go on as normal, but to my surprise, I was absolutely miserable the entire time he was gone...literally I fell into a depression. It of course made no sense to me because I used to travel and be gone from Brant weeks at a time, he was even gone to Africa for a month and I was ok, but the time he was gone was horrible.

So, I of course did some thinking and realized that there has been a huge development since we both traveled and left each other...NOW WE'RE MARRIED! I never realized how these vows truly change you until now. I hate it when my husband leaves and I long for his return. He is truly my best friend and I look forward to going home after a long day, cooking dinner, walking Dax, then just sitting on the couch talking (or our new favorite thing is working puzzles together). These are the moments I live for.

So when my alarm clock went off this morning, I didn't even try to get out of bed, I just rolled over into the arms of my beloved and fell right back to sleep. 9 minutes later, the alarm went off again, and I still stayed in the arms o f my beloved. I didn't want to leave that spot where I fit so perfectly because I knew that I would not have this until next Sunday night. After the 3 alarm sounded, my sweet dear husband finally look at me and with his horrible morning breath said "Ashley Gayle, get out the bed." So I began to cry...not just because of how bad his morning breath smelled, simply because I HATE it when he is gone...the bed is colder, the nights are longer and I am terribly lonely without him.

So now he is on a plane, on his way to Phoenix, AZ for the SportsTurf Managers Association Annual Conference. So, yes, I begin a week of loneliness and longing for my little furnace to return to my bed so I don't freeze as much...maybe Dax will sleep in the bed with Mama this week...but we won't tell daddy about it!!!

Much Love,

Monday, January 7, 2008

Oh, how I hate New Years Resolutions

So, it's that famous time of year again when everyone begins to decide "What will I do differently this year, than I last year?" Well, I have also been plagued by this difficult questions, and hence, my New Year's resolutions have made their way to the top of my brain.

1) Lost Weight! Right before the wedding, I had done great and lost 10 lbs. in order to fit into my wedding dress. Now, after being married for 6 months, I put every bit of it (plus about 10 lbs more) back on. Not to mention, Brant has done the same. So we both agreed it's time to kick our rear ends back into shape! So I had a massive "kitchen clean-out" and threw out so much "junk" that I filled the trashcan and then re-filled the kitchen with healthy snacks and "good-for-you" food.
Then, Brant decided that he really wanted a treadmill - so he could work out and watch TV at the same time. I, however, prefer the elliptical because it works our more than just my legs and burns more calories. So how did we fix our problem, we bought a treadmill with walking sticks that I can walk/run, exercise my upper body, and burn a few extra calories! It was a great investment!

2) We are getting out of debt! Well, Brant says "out of debt", I say paying off all credit cards and having a master budget. For two mid-20 year olds, we are actually in a very good financial position, but Brant HATES debt and credit cards,...not that I enjoy them, I just have the mind set that almost every American has debt, and we are just typical Americans! But this isn't good enough for my husband. So, my entire family goes to Crossroad Christian Church and the pastor, Barry Cameron, had written a fantastic book on the Godly principles of financial freedom called "The ABC"s of Financial Success". Starting yesterday, Pastor Cameron began a series about the Road to Freedom and they are also offering special LifeGroup classes working through the workbooks. So, we went to Crossroad for this special series and also began going to a LifeGroup class to work through the workbook.
So now, we are planning a budget and watching our spending to get us on the way to Financial Freedom!!!

3) Spend more time with the Lord. One thing that no one ever told me about getting married is that is can be so difficult to maintain and grow in your relationship with the Lord. Since I got married, it seems like my quiet times have just flown out the window...why? Because I LOVE those 15 or 20 extra minutes snuggled in my bed next to my giant teddy bear - it's my safe place. So to get up and leave my warm special place is horrible, and I don't want to do it. So what has happened, my relationship with my 1st Priority has suffered, terribly. And don't think that I like it, I HATE it, but I love being married.
So, my biggest prayer this new year is for the Lord to deal with me, and let me back into His wide, open arms. I pray that He forgives me for pushing Him to the back burner, and restores the gladness in my soul. I have missed Him so much, and long to be back in His embrace.

Much Love,