Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Two Peas In A Pod

Facebook and Homework. You can't have one without the other.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Typical Morning

Coffee spill. Starbucks and reduced fat turkey bacon muffin from Starbucks. On the go: Story of my life.

New Idea

Humans are visual creatures. We like to look at people, pictures, places, events, and interrupt them, and make our own stories up about them.

At least, that's what I like to do.

A picture can tell a thousand words.

So I am going to start photo blogging. Adding a pictures with just a caption or few sentences. And leave the rest for you to interrupt.

So, today marks my first photo blog post. I'm excited to see how this goes....

Much love,

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Snot In My Eyebrow

I can't believe I'm finally telling you that my scuba diving adventures are coming to a near end.

Yesterday was my final day in Ball Pool doing scuba diving exercises and skills.

Its bittersweet.

I started out my journey terrified. My body image and self perception dominated all hope of completing a class without crying in the shower alone.

But with the support of my friends, family, Justin, and my followers on my blog- I ended my journey with a smile.

Recalling to the very first day, I embarrassed myself.

Not like yelling down the isle during the middle of church embarrassing, but boobs flopping out during my swim embarrassing.

You really can't do anything else except for laugh during situations like that, well, and hope people at least think you have a nice rack. Just kidding, but really...

In the middle of my journey, I had lots of tears and failing memories. But I also had laughs and victories to share.

So now, I tell you the story about my final scuba diving adventure. I know, you can hardly wait.


I got into class early, so Carol asked me to be in the first group. I didn't really want to be in the first group because my buddy was in the second group.

Before class, I put a card on her bag. It was a sympathy card. "Sorry you had to be with the slow kid in class," I wrote. "But we had a lot of laughs. So enjoy the laffy taffy I got you. Thanks for being so patient. You were a great buddy!"

So I was partnered up with a new stranger. Someone who didn't understand my freak outs. Someone who didn't understand my underwater language. Did I mention they didn't understand my freak outs? Oh, okay, I did.

As a buddy team, we had to swim to the bottom of the pool. Once on the bottom, one buddy needed to remove all of their scuba gear. The last thing they removed was their regulator. And once they did that, we buddy breathed a lap around the pool.

Let me assure you that buddy breathing sucks, especially if you are a hyperventilating nervous stressful chihuahua like me!

So he went first.

We got through it alive . I only thought I was doing to die due to a of lack of air twice. No biggie.

Then it was my turn.

Everything was going fine until we were back in the deep end and I had to swim back down to my gear, finding the regulator first.

Well I couldn't find the regulator and my buddy wasn't close enough to buddy breath. So I grabbed the octopus regulator (the one you use to share with your buddy if your tank has one hooked up-- its yellow so stands out really easily).

But it wasn't on the right side of the gear, so I ended up breathing in more water than air. I started choking on the water I just breathed in. I searched a little more for my regulator, but couldn't find it so I swam up to the surface.

OMG, I thought. So glad for air....

I told Carol I couldn't find my regulator. She told me to look for it from the surface, find it, and then surface dive back to the bottom.

I looked and looked and looked some more...finally I spotted it, buried and blended in with my vest.

Down I went. Put my gear on. Done.

We had to exit the pool using only a rope (replicating an ocean dive) and people were making waves at us.

Well, all of the waves must have gotten the best of me. I was definitely breathing hard because I got snot on my face.

I was talking to Carol and the two student dive instructors and finally Carol interrupted me and said, "You've got some snot on your face."

"Where?" I asked. Always the first question, like just be specific the first time you tell me.

"On your cheek," she said.

Well which cheek, right or left? I thought rubbing all over my face.

So I pushed around on my cheeks trying to find this snotty mess.

"Now its in your eyebrow!" Carol said.

Wonderful. Boobs out on the first day snot in my eyebrow on the last day.

At least I'm consistent with letting stuff flop out.

Much love,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Don't Take Life Too Seriously, You'll Never Make It Out Alive

Van Wilder once advised a beautiful, young girl some brilliant words of wisdom.

"Never take life too seriously, you'll never make it out alive."

Sometimes people walk in the shadows of their own sunshine, never getting letting the eager sunshine bring itself forward.

I really don't want to be a person like that. Ever.

As most of you know, scuba diving class has been a crazy journey. Tears. Laughs. Inspirational moments. Heartbreaking moments. I've felt it all- in a class that is designed for an adventurous soul. But perception is reality, and I was terrified of this class.

Today I finally realized that laughing and staying positive during a mistake is key to making it out alive. Literally.

Today we had two tasks: buddy breathing rescue and octopus buddy breathing exchange. Sounds easy, right?

For the buddy breathing rescue there are a few steps.

One person is the victim and the other person is the rescuer. The victim swims down to the bottom, deepest part of the pool and lays down on their stomach. They lay there limp and act like they aren't breathing. Notice I said act- you aren't really supposed to hold your breath and play dead. Or you'd end up dead. Did you know the average human can only go 4 minutes without air before they die?

So the rescuers need to swim down to the victim.

Role them over.

Take off the victim's weight belt.

Grab their BC vest or tank.

Put your hand on their mask and regulator so it stays in their mouth while you swim them up with your own strength.

Once you get to the surface, you did to wrap you arm around them in a "do-si-do" wrap and inflate their BC vest so they can float. Once you do that, inflate your vest so you can swim them to shallow water.

Give two rescue breaths and then one breath every five seconds while swimming them to shallow water.

Once in shallow water, you stabilize their head and take off their equipment. You still need to give rescue breaths every five seconds. The skill is over once you have their scuba gear off.

No biggie, right?

Well, I went first. My poor buddy. When I got her to the surface, I forgot to inflate her BC and I didn't hold her chin up and regulator on her face when I took her up.

But I didn't realize I made those mistakes. So I tried to swim her to shallow water anyway, but she kept sinking. And she kept swallowing water. God love her, she was drinking more pool water than some college kids were drinking green beer today.

At this moment, I knew something wasn't right. She looked up and me and whispered, "I think you were supposed to inflate my BC."

That would have helped her float. A lot.

Oh my. I looked over at the student instructor and asked if I could please re-do it so I could get it right from finish to start.

I did the next try :) And Jena lived on.

She, of course, rocked at saving me on her first try. I'm so glad I have such a sweet and patient buddy. I couldn't think of anyone else better to be with than her!

So the buddy breathing with the octopus (the extra regulator) was next. During this skill, you had to swim half of the lenfth of the pool, without air, to your buddy who wasn't facing you. You had to tap them on the shoulder and signal that you were out of air.

Epic Fail for me!

So I went first again. And the first time I couldn't sink that well, but couldn't figure out why. Screw it, I thought and just started to swim. But I was moving slowly and it was hard and before I knew it I was back up to the surface.

"I think I need a weight belt to sink," I said.

Carol told me to go get one and went down to my buddy and informed her why she was starring at the wall for five minutes without me coming asking for air.

So then I put my weight belt on. Still couldn't float. I came back up from the surface.

"Ashley, deflate your BC!" Carol said.

Well go freaking figure. I had air my vest, which was causing me to float. LOL This definitely explains my rush to the surface. Oh, and the lack of air in my lungs too.

So I got the air out of my BC and swam to my buddy.

Wow, that was intense. I remember looking up to the surface and thinking how close it ooked. I wanted to get air so bad and didn't think I could make it to her without having a lung collapse. But I gave it all I had and swam to her.

She turned around and I don't even know I made any sort of signal. Just kind of grabbed the regulator out of her hands and looked like a spaz.

We came to the surface and everyone was laughing. Even Carol.

"Well you don't ever want to be without air in your tank, now do you Ashley?" she asked while laughing.

"Heck no! I was looking up at the surface thinking about how good it looked, but I knew her air would be good too so I just gave it all I had!"

"You should have seen your face," Jena said. "I turn around and your eyes were big and you were reaching for the regulator so fast!"

I really wish my life was taped sometimes. I would have paid money to see myself. Not in an ego, cocky way-- I just think it would have been REALLY funny.

So I just kept laughing about it. And thinking about how funny I must have looked. Any other day, I would have considered myself a failure.

But I think I am winner.

I never gave up. I did it until it was right. And I made people laugh along the way.

"Hey, at least you can never say you had a boring buddy," I said to Jena.

She laughed and said, "No, no I could never say that!"

If I was on Saved by The Bell, I would buy her a buddy band! She rocks!

Moral of the story, learn to laugh at yourself. And I promise that not everyone notices when you messed up. Or that your fly was down. Or that you have mustard on your shoe. Or that you farted. Truth be told, everyone else is worried about themselves and the toilet paper on their shoe (and they might not even know about it).

Much love,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thanks For The Marriage Advice, But No Thanks

Sometimes I don't understand how our society has developed its impressions of marriage. In the early years, you "dream" of a white wedding with tons of people. When you are a teenager, you swear to never be like your parents and never want to settle down. As you go through college, you kind of start to realize that being married and having children is something that you would like to see in your future. Then you get engaged in or shortly after graduating or after working at your first job for a while. You get married. Go on the honeymoon. But maybe by then you realize marriage isn't for you, but you start to see all your friends get married. And then....

And then everyone talks about how bad marriage is and how you should never get married. "The old lady" never lets me go out. "My messy husband" never gets off the couch.

I really just don't understand how something magical turns into something tragic.

Undesired. Unwanted.

I went to Wal-Mart on Monday to return a book. The guy in front of me was returning about 30 towels and three boxes of wine. Yes boxes of wine. I like his style.

The sweet old man that greets Wal-Mart customers had to scan EVERY single towel and box of wine, taking the elderly man a hot minute to accomplish the task.

Finally, the man doing the exchanges turned around to me and said, "Sorry, my wife thinks if something is on sale, she just buys everything!"

I laughed and thought of myself and said, "Yeah, sometimes we just think so much about saving a dollar that we forget we are spending $50 more just to get the "deal" or "saving."

"Yeah, she does that often!" He said.

I was wearing an IU hoodie and he asked me if I went to school there and we had small talk for a minute. He was impressed that I went to Bellmont because he was really into wrestling and followed us. He thought very highly the Sheets brothers and I was happy to saw John was one of my best friends in high school. In fact, I even wrestled with him a little bit. I told him I won a few matches, but we all knew it was John who could do some serious "strawberry shortcake moves!" LOL

He looked down at my ring finger and said, "You should wait to get married. You are too young."

If only I had a quarter for every single time I've heard this statement, even from the Comcast cable man who asked me if he treated me "well enough" -- okay, If I start pouring out my heart to the cable man, we know I'm in trouble.

"I am 23," I said back.

Its not like I'm 15, come on. Or even nineteen, I think that's too young. People change the most from about 18-25...I am almost done with my "most notable change" stage.

"Yeah, that's still young," he said. "I was a party man in college and I had a lot of fun. I didn't get married until I was 30! And its (our marriage) has only gotten better from then!"

"Well that's good," I said. "Because that's what works for you and you didn't marry when you weren't ready. But I'm ready. I am with my best friend who means the world to me. He supports me and encourages me to do great things, why wouldn't I want to spend the rest of my life with a person like this?"

He looked shocked and puzzled that I was that confident in my decision and commitment to get married. Listen, I'm not getting married to wear a nice dress and have a big party. Marriage is a WHOLE lot more than that and its going to be hard and its not to take work and I'm going to have to fight to make it work-- but I've given my heart away to a man who I trust 100%-- which is something I never thought I'd be able to say with my rocky relationships in the past.

"Well, congratulations- seems like you have a great guy!" He said with a sudden change of heart.

"He is," I said. "And we are happy."

"And he got you a nice ring," He added.

"Yes, he did!" I said back. "He picked it out all himself! I am so proud and happy that he picked this out for me without even me being there. He just knows me so well that he knew I'd love it. And I'm the type of girl who doesn't need a big rock.... because that won't keep the marriage together. Heck, I didn't know what a caret was- still really don't. I always just thought it was a vegetable."

Just then the cashier called him up to do his exchange. He laughed and said, "Well good luck with everything!"

I thanked him and smiled. I don't really need luck, I have destiny on my side.

Much love,

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dear Justin

I drove home from the movie "Dear John" with full eyes. Tears streamed down my face as I unlocked my car door. I managed to keep my emotions to myself in the restroom, but once I got inside my car -- it was fair game to let my tears pour.

I was overwhelmed with emotion. Thinking of the love in the movie and comparing that love to my own love story. Justin isn't in Iraq and I'm not a skinny blonde girl who grew up on a rich farm, not drinking. But that's because our love story has a different story, one surely worth crying about. Happy tears. And since writing is my passion -- I am dedicating this blog to the man who has completely transformed my life. With tears splashing on the keys of my worn laptop, I dedicate this to you Justin Sieb.

Dear Justin,

I know you aren't overseas. You are currently in the same city as me, but its safe to say I miss you. With work during the busiest time of year for you and my spring break coming to an end, our schedules are at constant conflict. I miss you.

I miss you when you aren't right next to me. Often. The feeling of your hand in mine makes my heart melt and the smile on your face makes my eyes glow.

I never thought a love like ours was possible. When we first met, I was a young college girl looking for a good time. You were a young college boy ready to grow up into a man. I can't even explain what sort of forces were pushing us together that night, but I am so glad our paths crossed. Our lives began on the steps of a college house on Maplewood Avenue. The same place that you proposed to me. You took me there so we could start the rest of our lives together in a place where it all began.

I was fragile when I first met you. Sure, its easy to smile and make people laugh. But loving someone with all your heart, every ounce of your soul is a challenge. Something you can feel, but never find the words to explain precisely. So I am doing my best now. I love you.

I was broken when you came into my life. With a past of cheating "boyfriends" and heart breaks, I wasn't ready to give my heart away to you. But you stole it from me. You had me from the moment you met me. Most of all, it felt like I hadn't ever not known you. That first night together we walked home from the party holding hands -- you would never know we hadn't walked home together like that for years.

I'll never forget the first night you realized we would be apart for a summer. You were going home, but I was staying in Muncie. Your dorm was just up the street from my house, so we had no trouble seeing each other. But the days would be longer without each other. And I remember coming out of my house and seeing you sitting on the front steps. You weren't smiling, but you weren't crying. But I could feel something was wrong as you were starring up at the sky.

"Are you okay babe?" I asked slightly knowing the answer.

"Its just--" you started. "It just hit me that I won't be able to walk down the street to see you anymore."

"No, you won't," I said. "But you can drive to see me. And we will do that often!"

I smiled and you gave me a small smile. It made my heart hurt. But we made it through the summers apart. We made it through the semester apart. We can make through anything together babe.

You have changed my life. I will never be able to thank you enough for not giving up on me. I am sorry I couldn't give you all my heart right away. I'm sorry I questioned your intentions and actions sometimes. The truth is I always trusted you, but not myself. I didn't trust myself enough to give my heart to you. But now its all yours. And I will never turn back. In fact, on May 15, 2010 I will be looking forward at you. Down the end of the isle. I hope that you smile with tears in your eyes. I'll mouth, "I love you" and I know you will mouth it back. Maybe I'll say "Olive Juice" -- to make you laugh. But just know, I can't wait to spend my whole life laughing; laughing with you.

Forever yours,

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Spring Break of Many "Firsts"

The theme for my spring break is "firsts." Many things and events have happened over this break for the first time. Typically, my spring breaks in the past were spent getting drunk on the beach and throwing pretzels around a friend who was the first one to pass out -- assuring sea gull dive bombs. But this break is the exact opposite. I guess I am growing up. Here is how my break started:

My First Plane Ride Alone

The news and movies have terrified every inch of my soul about flying in planes. Crashes. Terrorist Attacks. Snakes on a plane.

The first time I flew in a plane was my freshman year of college. I took a high dose anxiety pill. All was great until I could barely keep my eyes open. I think I passed out on the plane sprawled across the passengers next to me. I slept for like two days straight, so I made a pact with myself to never take one of those pills again. Because if a snake does get on the plane, I'd be too tired to run away.

So Justin dropped me off and walked me into the airport. Of course, my flight was delayed. But I still had to check-in because the plane could have landed sooner than they thought. So with a long hug and a sweet kiss, I said goodbye to my love. As he walked away, I turned around over my shoulder to watch him walk away. I'll miss him.

The plane ride went surprisingly well. For the first time ever, I got up on the plane to use the restroom. Prior to that, I didn't dare stand up and walk when the plane was in the sky. My seat belt stayed on the entire time. But not this time, I was a brave soul.

Two things sucked: I was in the middle of two other people and our seats were at the back of the plane practically in the toilet.

My First Sober Spring Break
I booked my plane tickets to see my best friend, Nicole, who has a four month old son. I knew getting wasted on the beach and bar hopping at night was out of the question. But to be honest, I didn't mind it at all. I've grown out of that stage. I don't really see the point in getting drunk in the sun and meeting strangers. With my wedding day approaching quickly, I am constantly reminded of how thankful I am that I don't need to go to a bar to meet people.

I didn't get drunk the entire break. I had three drinks total whereas previous breaks I'd have three drinks an hour.

I am proud of myself.

I am growing up.

My First Extended Stay in a House With a Baby
I admire Nicole for how wonderful of a mother she is and will continue to grow into. She puts Hudson first in all that she does and every where she goes. She can't stand to be away from him and his cry brings her to tears. She has grown up so much and I am proud of the person she is today. She has her struggles, but she is still one of the most compassionate people I know. She is just starting her journey into motherhood and I am excited to see where her life with Hudson and David takes her.

I've learned that being a mother is hard work. All the crying and all of the diapers. All of the bottles and all of the fears. I am not prepared for motherhood. At all. In fact, the trip was like free birth control for me.

Prior to coming to Florida, I told Justin I was considering having babies right after we got married. In a way, I thought it would be give me more purpose in life. But now, I've learned that Justin and I should wait. I'm still too selfish with my time and I am not physically, emotionally, and financially prepared for motherhood.

But everything happens for a reason. I know that when Justin and I finally start having babies, it will be the perfect time. But it won't be on the honeymoon- I can promise you that.

My First Diaper Change Alone
Nicole had to work one day, so I offered to watch Hudson. I can't even begin to tell you how nervous I was about taking care of a small child. A dog-- that's fine. I'll let him out when he barks, but a baby. That's another story.

So when I lifted Hudson off the ground and felt his wet butt, I knew it was that time.

I was praying that there wasn't poop in the diaper.

I wasn't ready to hit a home run on my first time up to bat.

Just pee.

Thank goodness. And he smile and laughed the whole time. Maybe I can change a diaper after all....

My First Time Barely Seeing The Beach
The weather in Florida was pretty cold. And on some days, the weather was warmer in Indiana than Florida. But even more than the weather, taking a baby to the beach is not a good idea. But some how, I didn't mind it that much. Of course, I wanted to lay out on the beach and get an amazing tan. I'd be lying if I told you I didn't want to soak up some rays. But on my last day there, Nicole, Hudson, and I found a beach that allowed cars to pull up to the water. Therefore, we could keep Hudson in the shade and allow us to grab some Vitamin D while basking in the sun, which was finally out!

The beach wasn't like most of the other beaches you think of when picturing a spring break beach. I saw just as many dogs as humans. I loved watching the dogs rush into the water, swim a few laps, and then roll around in the sand. It really made me miss Bandit. He would love the ocean.

A lot of cars pulled up just to sit in their car and enjoy the waterfront view while on break. I didn't see crashing waves or worry about sharks. In fact, I only ventured into the water to pee. Come on, everyone does it. But most people go deeper than me. Someone definitely could have seen my bathroom break running down my leg if they were walking their dog close enough. But it sure was better than peeing my pants on the sand.

My spring break was different than any of my previous trips, but I still had a blast. I got to smile, laugh, and cry with my best friend who moved away a few years ago to start a new life.

So its 5 o'clock some where, just not where I ventured this year. I've grown up- its kind of cool.

Much love,

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Day In The Life...

An incredible event took place this morning. Some people won't believe this while others won't think this is an accomplishment. But ladies and gents, this is a big deal.

I woke up on the FIRST ring of my alarm clock this morning. I didn't hit snooze. I wasn't running late. I had time to shower. And I even had time to Facebook stalk people before I left for my doctors appointment. WIN!


As I pulled out of the apartment complex, I saw some of the maintenance workers at the end of the road. They were waving, so I waved back and smiled. Then they gave me the sign that said, "heyy stop lady!!" (The same look the kid gave me when I ran over his box spring mattress on the highway---fail)

Anyway, they handed me the apartment's newsletter and said, "Here you go -- breakfast for you this morning!!"

How cute! A cinnamon bun and orange juice. Very nice, but then I thought about my major...this is just good public relations because of the fire that happened last week. But anyone can win my heart with free food. Just saying...

As I was driving down the interstate, I smiled. I thought about how successful and happy I was about my morning. Then I looked over and didn't see my SCUBA gear.

OHHh shit.

Left it at home. And $42 later I bought myself new gear in Muncie.


I had a doctors appointment this morning..basically I paid a $30 copay to shake the doctors hand and tell him about my life. Moreless, I told him I am a stress bomb ticking because of school, work, and the wedding -- but that I love life :) He smiled and told me I am healthy, just need to to think of ways to reduce my stress. But nothing I haven't heard before or everyday..cough cough....Justin :)


I went to MC Sports to get myself new snorkel gear...mask, fins, and a snorkel in a cool diver bag. Since I am leaving for Florida on Saturday, I realized I needed to get some flip flops from Old Navy. And $20 dollars later I was happy again.

My next stop was a lunch date with myself at MCL. I had Asian infused trout with Chinese vegetables and green beans and mashed potatoes. BEST lunch all week!! :)

I couldn't help but smile looking at all of the old people. I love old people. Snarky and sweet -- they have a spot in my heart.

An older couple sat down in front of me and I instantly thought of Justin and myself in a few (50) years.

The old man looked at his full plate and said, "I sure was hungry. Were you hungry?"

She didn't reply.

"Will you help me eat some of these potatoes?" He asked his wife.

She didn't reply again. What a peach, I thought.

"Will you help me eat some of this chicken?" He asked.

"I'll have a bite," she finally said. "Is that chicken?"

I couldn't help but smile and laugh on the side...this is exactly why I love old people.

"Yeah, I think its chicken," he said. "It looks really good..I mean-- I don't know if its good, but it looks good. DO you want a bite?"

I couldn't stop smiling. I closed my eyes and pictured myself in 50 years. Only I hope I am in Florida on the beach asking Justin if I can have a drink of his Corona....before we scuba dive! BAHH!

And that brings me to scuba diving class.

First, the good news: I passed my 50 feet under water swim with one breath-- so all of my exit skills are now complete :)

Second, the bad news. I wouldn't say bad news, but it definitely was a hard day. We had to play buddy games today. Most of the games we were buddy breathing, which means you are only using one regulator for the two of you. We had to do things like swim around the pool blind folded with our hand on the wall and our buddy trying to guide us..then buddy breathing.

Another thing we did was swim to the deep end of the pool buddy breathing and then sit on the deepest part of the pool. Once we did that, we had to tie a rope with a weight on it to an empty water jug. Then we had to rotate filling it up with air and buddy breathing until it went to the surface. I thought that jug would never get to the surface...but it did. :) Thanks mainly to my buddy.

The scary part was a few times I didn't grab the regulator right way because I was on the wrong side of my buddy so instead of breathing in air, I was breathing in water. Scary! Per usual it was hard to float too...story of my life.

My buddy might hate me, but we are both alive.

Next time, I really hope to have a dance off under water. Please SCUBA Gods let this happen....I'll be practicing my booty shaking dance in the mirror just in case.

To conclude, I got home and showered. I couldn't find a clean towel because our laundry is up to the ceiling...so I grabbed one from the top.

The towel I used to dry off after my shower was the towel I used YESTERDAY to clean the mud and dog drool off Bandit after our bark park adventure.

Just a day in the life of Ashley Bedwell...

Much love,