Wow! Ashlie Actually Put Up a Post!

I’ve been meaning to write an update for a while. A combination of laziness and actually having a life have prevented me from doing so. To my few dedicated followers, my apologies. I’ll do my best to make this a semi-entertaining update for you.

Since my last real update, I’ve finished school (for the semester), gone to Oregon, taken a weekend trip to Georgia, acquired a Godson, got a job, started said job, enrolled in an online course (Cultural Anthropology), Becca moved to Fargo, Josh got Lasik eye surgery, Poppy had surgery to remove his lung cancer (they cut into him and informed us that he did NOT have cancer – praise God), JOSH CAME HOME, we moved to a new apartment (Becca’s old apartment), and Matt Hall visited us.

Phew, time to take a breath.

In between those somewhat major events I have done some napping, a little exercising, a bit of painting, enjoyed a few glasses of wine, stared off into space, not enough reading, lots of talking, had a few cry sessions, and much laughing. I’ve also gotten hooked on Downton Abbey and I eagerly await 2013. I’ve tried a few new recipes (my two fave – Mongolian Beef and Lime Chicken).  I’ve had a desire to learn to sew stir within me, but I’m scared to start. I’ve spent too much money at TJ Maxx (whatever, it was worth it). After a year of motivational self-talks, I finally went to the UND gym.Currently, I’m waiting for a Bavarian Crème Butter Braid (Becca left it in the freezer. Finders keepers.) to make its delightful little way out of the oven and into my belly.

Josh is reading Sherlock Holmes (aka “Sherky Sherk”). It’s the 4th of July – Josh’s most favorite secular holiday – and it’s the first time I’m not in Oregon for the 4th (crying a little bit). He drank out of his George Washington mug this morning.While Matt was here we named this mug “G-Dubs” and found that it has an incredible power to inspire anyone who looks into the eyes of Mr. Washington. The supply of caffeine that it carries may also have something to do with the feelings of inspiration. But mostly G Dubs. I mean, Mr. President…G Dubs.

I’d like to elaborate on some of the more major events that I mentioned above. (awkward transition, but I’m over it. I hope you are, too.)

Going to Oregon was a wonderful break and a huge relief. I had just finished school, so it felt natural to head back West since that was the normal routine for me in past years. It was a relaxing trip. The first week was gorgeous weather – but the next week the Pacific Northwest showed its true colors and brought in the rain clouds for me. I was glad to get both a chance to tan and to guiltlessly enjoy the indoors while it rained outside.

Not having regular access to a car made time go slow (in a good way) because I couldn’t pack in as many activities; I kind of had to go moment to moment, and usually walk or ride my bike places, which was great.

It was just awesome to be with my family. Ihung out with Nana, and learned about Poppy’s days at Gibault’s School for Boys. We definitely hit up La Perla, and I also got to enjoy Thai food with my brother, Dan. My mom and I threw a tea party for my 6 year old cousin, Rochelle, and 5 of her friends. It was so much fun! They were just darling. We all dressed up in fancy clothes  – even mom and I. One of the little girls, Gigi, thought I was a real princess. I didn’t hate it. Also, do any of you out there know that Disney has a Disney Princess Tea Party CD? Yeah it’s real. Obv, not the original Princess voices, but overall pretty fantastic.

After a lovely two weeks in the homeland, I flew Georgia to visit the delightful family of Andrew and Emily Hammer. Josh flew in as well, and it was so wonderful to see him after being apart for two months. We got to meet our handsome little Godson, Samuel David, and enjoy the experience of Big Family Life – which is always a treat. Emily and Andrew let Josh and I take the car and go out on a date night. So we went and had dinner and went mini golfing (Josh and I tied, for the record).

It was hard to say goodbye to Josh and the Georgia Hammers, but alas, it had to be done and I made the return flight to North Dakota. Shortly after coming back, I started my job as the Director of Religious Education at Saint Michael’s parish. It’s been pretty difficult to get into the groove of things. Because it’s summer, it is time for planning for the school year. So, I don’t get to interact with the families much and I don’t get any immediate feedback on my work. I don’t have any opportunities to run trial and error tests on my planning because all of the plans are long term and none of my projects/responsibilities begin until the end of August. Because of this I find it difficult to stay motivated and focused. I try to create short term goals for myself, but there is no accountability – no one is depending on me right now, and so I get easily distracted. It’s getting better – I just have a lot of learning to do!

A couple of weeks ago, Poppy went in for surgery. Back in March, Poppy got really sick and went to the emergency room. Some of the blood work indicated signs for cancer. This wasn’t too surprising because cancer runs in the family, and Poppy had smoked for many years. They started doing scans/tests up in Portland and eventually they gave us the news that he did have cancer in his upper right lung; they were so positive that it was cancer that they didn’t even do a biopsy on the mass. They determined that Poppy was healthy enough to have the surgery, and they were pretty confident that they could successfully remove the cancer without needing to do any chemo or radiation treatment. So, in mid June, Poppy went up to OHSU for his surgery. About an hour into the surgery, the doctor came out and told the family that he didn’t have any cancer. We know that this could easily have been a medical mistake, but we truly believe that he was healed. Either way, we’re thankful and rejoicing! He was released from OHSU within 5 days, and has been healing steadily, all praise and glory be to God!

The day after Poppy’s surgery, Josh had Lasik eye surgery. You can ask him more about it, but it only took about 30 minutes and he was already feeling better that afternoon. He puts drops in his eyes frequently, but that’s normal and necessary. He has to wear sunglasses anytime he goes outside (for a year) but he’s got crystal clear vision now! Lucky guy.

We moved into a new apartment. Sort of. It’s Becca’s old apartment, where I’ve been staying the last few months. Becca got a job in Fargo, and Josh and I were looking for a new apt…it was good timing, and I really love the place. It’s right across the street from where I work – it’s just great! I’ll take pics soon. We’re still settling in a bit.

But to satisfy your visual need, here’s a photo from the 4th of July. FREEDOM.

One thought on “Wow! Ashlie Actually Put Up a Post!

  1. Glad you guys are doing well! I just read Sherlock Holmes last month and I must say I am a fan. I hear you on the sewing thing, I need to sew my own curtains and a bunch of women in the village mentioned they are really interested in me teaching them how to sew (I just have to learn myself :/) Glad to read your posts, it makes me feel more like I’m back in the states! Lots of love to you both!

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