It’s been awhile…

30 Nov

I have really slacked off on here and for that, I’m truly sorry. Since my last post a lot has happened and I guess that’s the main reason why I haven’t been around. Over the summer, well actually at the end of summer, I finally got hired! I am now teaching kindergarten and even though it’s challenging, I absolutely love it and consider all of my students part of my second family. My best friend got married just a few weeks ago and I was a big part of that special day. I was bridesmaid, co-host of the shower and bachelorette party, and a host of other bridal party related duties. After the wedding I moved in with my other best friend and couldn’t be happier. We have the perfect little house with a great view of the lake! I love it! I also successfully completed the tower of terror 10-mile race. It was a struggle, but I somehow made it through and I am now counting down the days until the glass slipper challenge in February! The GSC is a 10k on Saturday morning and the half marathon on Sunday morning. I got it, no sweat…I hope. Probably the greatest things that have happened this year, besides the above mentioned experiences, were the people I’ve met and shows I’ve attended. I saw Taylor Swift, Wicked, a few of my favorite artists at Rock the Universe, Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson, JOSH GROBAN, Mandisa, TobyMac, Brandon Heath, Colton Dixon, and Chris Colfer! And up next in December I’m going to see Justin Timberlake! Of all of those people I saw this year, I met about half of them: Josh Groban (plus his violinist and pianist), Mandisa, Brandon Heath, and Chris Colfer. Makes me wonder who I’ll meet next! I’ve been truly blessed this year and I hope that 2014 is just as great. The biggest decision I have to make is if I want to make a big move in the next year or so. I’m young and unattached and would love to one day live in New York City (or just outside of the city). I figure now is the best time because there’s nothing holding me back. But it’s also a lot to consider. So if any of you have any advice or suggestions, please send them my way. 

Much love and I promise I won’t be gone so long this time.

13.1 – Mission Accomplished

27 Feb

On Sunday I ran in my first half marathon.  With the exception of being pretty darn sore after, it was the greatest experience ever.  I ran in the Disney Princess Half Marathon, which starts and ends at Epcot and takes a detour through Magic Kingdom.

I signed up for the race last summer on a whim, and because I was going through so many personal things at the time that I thought it would be a way to clear my head. Boy was I right. For seven months I trained my little princess booty off and got as prepared for this as I could. Now, I would be lying if I told you that training for it went off without a hitch. It definitely did not and there were times when I just didn’t feel like running. As race day got closer I started doubting myself and whether or not I could actually do this. I hadn’t gone running in a few days and just didn’t feel ready. But I went to the expo, picked up my race day essentials, and got ready for it anyway.  The expo was amazing, but REALLY crowded. And by crowded I mean you could barely move in some places because the lines were so long. I don’t blame that on Disney really…I think it was just that the expo venue was a little small. I also went on the first day of the expo first thing in the morning which is when everyone else apparently decided to go, too. The expo made me even more excited for the race. I met so many other women who were in the race and even talked to some of them.  I also got some cute things to commemorate this fun experience.

2:30 Sunday morning came WAY too fast. I didn’t stay at the Disney hotels because I live in the area. But since we were told to be at Epcot no later than 4:30, I knew I would need to get up crazy early.  I was tired when I left my house, but by the time I got to Epcot I was pumped and ready to go! I worked my way through the crowd and towards my corral, which was about a 20 minute walk. A lot of people in the corrals were sitting because it would be awhile before we got started. I couldn’t sit. I was too excited to sit! A friend of mine was in the corral ahead of me and we kept messaging each other back and forth trying to figure out a game plan for meeting up with each other after. She thought I might catch up with her, but I had a feeling I wouldn’t.  She stayed about 10 minutes ahead of me the whole race.

At 5:30 corral A went out and they slowly started moving all the other corrals forward towards the starting line. I was in corral E and so my start time wasn’t until 6:03…they had corrals all the way through H, by the way. Probably because 26,000 people (mostly women) were signed up for it. Can you believe that?! 26,000! Now you understand why it was so hard to move around. Finally it was my turn to start and as soon as the Fairy Godmother said 3-2-1 GO! I was off! I wanted to start out somewhat slow, but because of the adrenaline and whatnot…I didn’t really. I took pictures of all the mile markers along the route (except for mile #1) and just about all the characters that were stationed along the way. Yes, you could stop for pictures with characters as you ran (or walked) the race. I REEEALLY wanted to stop for a picture with Belle and Gaston, but the lines were just too long so I didn’t.  I was making pretty good pace, but around mile 10 I started losing steam. That is when the self-doubt started kicking in again. I wasn’t sure if I could finish it.  But I pushed ahead because I wanted to finish. That was my goal: to finish and get that princess medal!

I picked up the pace a little and finally, FINALLY crossed that finish line 3 hours after I started. I high-fived Mickey and ran towards my medal with the biggest smile on my face. I wanted to try and finish under 3 hours, but I’m okay with not. I’m really proud of this accomplishment and you can bet I’ll be doing this again next year!  On a side note, I signed up for ANOTHER runDisney event this year and it is: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-miler!! I am so excited and CANNOT wait for it! Right now my goal for that one is 2 hours, but maybe that will change as I train for it and the date gets closer. This race is in October and is supposed to be a “haunted” race, with villian characters around every corner. October 5th at 10pm…I’m coming for you!

PS-the distance of a half marathon is 13.1 miles. By the time I crossed the finish line and stopped my iPod, I had traveled 13.84 miles.  Somewhere along the way Disney’s 13.1 distance got messed up and so it was longer than a half marathon. But I don’t mind because I still finished and had a great time! :) Oh and out of all 26,000 people…I finished in the top 50%. Over 14,000 people finished behind me. One proud runner, right here!

Now here are some pictures of my fabulous Princess half marathon weekend…enjoy!

Much love,

Princess Ashliegh

 

PrincessHalf 2013 (96)PrincessHalf 2013 (18)PrincessHalf 2013 (45)

 

PrincessHalf 2013 (82)PrincessHalf 2013 (84)PrincessHalf 2013 (86)

 PrincessHalf 2013 (89)PrincessHalf 2013 (92)

so close…

18 Feb

…TO THE FINISH LINE!

Last week I turned in my application for my internship this fall.  And you know what that means! That as long as I get the last four classes I need, I can intern and graduate this fall. I am so close to that master’s degree. SO CLOSE!

Keep those fingers crossed!

Also, this Sunday is the Disney Princess half marathon…my first ever half marathon! I am so excited for it! I have been counting down the days since last summer. I can happily say that now my countdown is finally down into the single digits. SIX MORE DAYS! :)

Winner winner, chicken dinner

11 Jan

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Sunday night’s dinner that I made for the family! Chicken crescent roll casserole, mashed potatoes, green beans, and baked beans (because I’m the only one who eats green beans.) The meal was quite tasty. Even my sister, the pickiest eater I know, loved it! This is a keeper in our house!

Puppy Princesses

6 Jan

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These two. Always making themselves comfortable in my spot. But I’m okay with it. They are quite the entertaining duo and always make me smile.

master chef

5 Jan

I love to cook. And bake. And cook and bake.

Basically I love to make all kinds of food because I love to eat! One of my resolutions this year is to eat healthier. I try to do this every year, but somehow the smell of french fries and other fatty and “really bad for you” foods win me over. To make this resolution stick until the end of the year, I want to cook more meals at home so I’m not having to run out for food or constantly eat microwave meals.

I’m going to start this by cooking dinner for the family tomorrow night.  I figured it would be nice since it’s the end of the winter holiday and we are heading back to school and work on Monday.

On the menu: Chicken crescent roll casserole, mashed potatoes, and green beans!

I’ll let ya know how it goes :)

Hello 2013, nice to meet you.

3 Jan

I have been doing a lot of thinking the past few days. I thought about 2012 and how it turned out completely different than I expected. I thought about what 2013 has to offer and where I see myself heading.

I’m sorry if this seems kind of random and all over the place, but I needed to put it somewhere and let it all out…

2012 was not at all how I thought it would be. It was stocked full of friends and family, ups and downs, and many wonderful memories. Last new year’s, when the clock struck twelve and it was officially 2012, I was surrounded by a group of great friends and an amazing guy that I truly cared about. I didn’t think it could get any better than that. I was happy with where I was headed in life. I was about to start grad school at the University of Central Florida and I was beyond excited. If there is one thing I have discovered about myself over the years, it’s that I love going to school. I’m not crazy about homework and tests, but I love learning new things. I took two years off between undergrad and grad and it killed me to not be in a classroom learning about something, anything. I was nervous about starting grad school because I knew it would be harder, but I did extremely well and to this day still have a 4.0 GPA (nerd alert).

While I stayed busy with school and work, I still made sure to spend time with friends and family and, of course, my guy. Last spring, I was a constant presence at his school functions (he’s a teacher) and even went to every single performance of their spring musical, Les Mis. I was completely blown away by their performances each time and was sad to see so many of them graduating and going to bigger and better things at different universities. So far, 2012 was off to a great start and I thought it could only get better. Boy was I wrong.

I had many personal things happen last year and, unfortunately, they all happened at around the same time. For some time my parents were struggling with some issues and constantly arguing. Once summer rolled around it had gotten so bad that they separated. My mom was a wreck and came to me for comfort. I did the best I could, but having never been married or even in a situation as theirs, I fear that I did little to help. Her mood started affecting mine and I had no idea who I could talk to. Eventually I told my boyfriend and it made me feel better knowing that he knew…because he was the only person I had told. None of my friends knew. But they all found out just a few short weeks later when I literally felt like the whole world was against me. A few weeks after my birthday, I got the text that no one wants to ever get. I got the “we need to talk” text. I panicked. My bad habit of overthinking things started kicking in. And I just couldn’t focus on anything. The relationship that I was extremely happy in and thought was going so well had just hit a brick wall. In just a short amont of time, my relationship with the person I loved more than anything was over and there was nothing I could do about it. I was stunned and couldn’t believe what was happening. For a long time after that day, that dark day as I call it now, I could barely eat or sleep. I could barely muster a smile, let alone laugh. I wasn’t myself and borderline depressed. I felt like my heart had been shattered into a million tiny pieces and I had no clue if it would ever be whole again.

Luckily I had the fall semester getting ready to start and a new job, so I had plenty to keep me busy and not thinking about certain things. I did my best to focus my time and energy on school, work, and (most importantly) my mom. She needed me and I did my best to be there for her.  I was learning to cope with my loss as well as my mom’s. The last few months of the year were some of the worst parts of last year, but also some of the best. Because out of a few bad things, several even better things happened. Several friendships that I had before my “dark day” became even stronger because of that day. I honestly don’t know what I would have done if it weren’t for a handful of people that stood by my side and helped me put the pieces of my life back together.  I finally felt like my life was back on track and getting better each day. I still have some days where I go back to my old ways and just feel like crying, but they are few and far between. I managed to do well in school again and have spent as much time with my mom as possible.  When the clock struck twelve, officially making it 2013, I was surrounded by some of the best friends I could hope to be with. I did think back to last new year’s, but I didn’t let it get me down. Because I’m focusing on myself now. I’m focusing on finishing my master’s this coming December and (hopefully) starting to teach next January. I am running in my first half marathon at the end of February and in June I will be turning 25. I’m going to see Taylor Swift in APRIL! I may even plan a trip or two to visit friends because I am long overdue for a fun vacation. And most importantly, I am focusing on my faith. When I lost all hope, I turned to God to help me through the difficult times and He was beside me every step of the way.

After thinking about my past year and how I pretty much went through my quarterlife crisis a year early, I feel like I am a better and stronger person. I am going to take all my experiences from last year, good and bad, and learn from them.  I am going to do my best to continue supporting my mom in any way that I possibly can and I am going to continue strengthening my relationship with God and my friends.

I am excited to see what 2013 has in store for me and for my family. I have this feeling that 2013 will be even better than 2012.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
-Jeremiah 29:11

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