Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Life I Never Imagined

"Are you nervous?" I leaned over and asked Adam.

We were standing across the football field, facing a screaming crowd of teenagers, parents, children, and teachers at the Bellmont High School Homecoming football game.

"No, not really- are you?" he asked me.

We were nominated for Homecoming King and Queen. The scene was all too familiar because just two years before we both represented our sophomore class during Homecoming. I tripped over a flower pot then- so I was truly expecting something to happen this time....

"Well, I do think I might trip and land on my face. Maybe rip my dress," I said.

He laughed. Then I laughed. We both knew this was a perfectly realistic situation. And since my dress was so tight, I decided not to wear undies.
I stopped laughing.

This would be a really tragic situation if I ripped my dress. How about I start thinking about something else? Okay, I shouldn't have worn these shitty heels. That are too small. Oh boy, here we go....

"Next, we have Ashley Bedwell and Adam Arnold," the announcer said.

"That's us!" I whispered as we started walking across the field.

I definitely shouldn't have the worn heels.
"Ashley is planning on attending Ball State University and living with her best friend Toni Suarez," the announcer started.

I started smiling. My little Toni! I was so excited to live with her at college. I didn't know it then, but living with her was one of the best decisions of my life.

"She is planning on majoring in Journalism and once she graduates she intends to move to New York City and write for Cosmo magazine. Or become the next Oprah."

The crowd start laughing. I really did want to move to New York or take over Oprah's job. I didn't know why they were laughing. Because in a few years, I'll be back in my pencil skirt, business shirt, tall black pumps, and a Blackberry. Did they have Blackberries back then? Who knows? If they did, I surely didn't have one.

But I'd definitely have my pen and paper to take quick notes. And a nice camera. Oh and long brown hair. Do you picture me as a successful writer in New York yet?

That would be my life. I was certain of it.


Then I met Justin Sieb. In his black Ball State t-shirt and khaki shorts. Standing on the front porch, he introduced himself as "the cool guy the hangs out here" and I screamed back in "I'm Ashley Mother $#A*&# Bedwell never forget it!!!!"

He certainly never forgot it.

And by the time I ran into him on the stairs, I forced him to my beer pong partner. The only time I was EVER good at beer pong. We won the game. Made the same cup at the same time to win the game. I told him he was my soulmate and the rest is history.

My life changed here.

On Tuesday night, Toni came over to watch "Sex and the City 2" - Justin cooked us dinner and we drank wine. Laughing about old times, comparing ourselves to the movie, and catching up on life.

Justin was obviously forced to watch the movie with us because we only have one TV in the apartment.

I always pictured myself as Carrie. The writer. Living in New York. You get the comparison? And of course, her desperate search for romance and finding her one true love.

I don't want to spoil the movie for you, but Carrie marries her true love Big in the first movie. In the second movie, you see there marriage in a different light. The laying on the couch, watching TV, and eating take out kind of marriage. He never wanted to go out and she did. He was happy just being in their house together and she still wanted the red carpet and night life.

The marraige seems to be in shambles, but the love is still alive. She goes to the Middle East with her girls, runs into her ex, kisses him, and tells Big that night. He doesn't know what to say and doesn't pick her up from the airport. Alone, she realizes that all her life she wanted Big to just pick her. Stay in her apartment. Sleep with only her. Love only her. And now he finally has, and she isn't happy? What's wrong with her? I'll let you find out the ending for yourself... =)

Later that night, Justin leaned over in bed and rubbed my back.

"I'm sorry- I know you want big things in your life and want to do extravagant things," Justin said.

 He was a little buzzed from his whiskey and cokes.

"What?" I rolled over and said. I knew what he was saying, but I wanted to get more out of him.

"Just watching that movie- I'm sorry," he said.

I didn't know what to say. Because part of me is like Carrie because part of me really wanted that life.

And then I heard him start snoring. He passed out. I didn't even have a chance to respond.

I started laughing. And that's when I realized I am Carrie and Justin is Big. The married Carrie and Big.

I'm happy. And I don't know that I could say the same if I were living alone in the Big City. No amount of high heels or pencil skirts could make me feel as beautiful Justin does.

Yes, I'm living a life that I never imagined.

But I'm happy. I'm married to the love of my life. We fall asleep watching TV together and order Chinese takeout when the mood is right. We laugh nonstop and do ridiucolus dances in our living room to Youtube videos.

So I'll keep writing from my couch in Indidna. With my husband, who I never thought I would ever be blessed enough to love this much.

Much love,

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I realized the definition of encouragement this morning. I witnessed hundreds of people do amazing things today.

And more than just running.

There were people who came out to support EVERYONE!

Volunteers at water stations, friends on corners holding signs (THANK YOU Sarah & Dusty Frey), family members with blow horns for ALL runners, and complete strangers who looked at your name on your race bib and told you to keep going.

Don't give up!

You look great.

That is the defintion of encouragement.

I didn't want to start this blog out about me. Because I couldn't have done ANY of this without the support from my friends & family- those who sent me early morning texts, facebook & twitter messages --too many to name. Thank you! They made me laugh and smile! =) Made me feel encouraged.

Thank you to those waiting at the finish line for us- Justin, Toni, Gina, Phil, Dustin, & Kaila.

And a special thank you to my husband for getting the stankey legg finish line dance on camera. You always inspire me- in so many ways- and I love you for believing in me. And challenging me. And letting me reach for all the stars in the sky. You know me babe- I'm a dreamer and this is all just the beginning for us.

Starting out, I was anxious. Literally, I had restless leg syndrome. We parked so far away. Nothing like a two mile warm up walk in the cold. But we laughed and had a great time. Sabrina and Brittany- huge shout out for being amazing partners the WHOLE race.

We got there and it was an instant rush of energy. So many people. All ages and all sizes.

Thankfully we met up with Cayla & Adam Truman (congrats for finishing the race you guys --- so proud) and Kaila Hart. And I passed my friend Jami who was running the relay. So great to see familiar faces this morning.

We were the last group of people to start, but I was completely fine with that- So happy to be there. So inspiring. Here to complete the race. Time is not an issue or concern. Let's do this.

I ran SOOOO much more than I ever thought I would.

When we ran/walked 10 miles last weekend, we finished in 2 hours and 38 minutes. When we reached 10 mile mark today in about two hours!!

So many hills. Hills that made me pray for my life. And strength to get up them. I moaned. I wanted to cry, but sure enough- there were people pushing me to keep going. Adorable old ladies who power walked past me. I laughed, but loved it. You go girl!


At mile 12, I met a 70 year old man and his wife. Power walking.

"Almost there!" I said to them.

"Yes, almost to the keg!" he said. Grandpa is going to get his drink on. Nice.

"Yeah, and they better have it tapped real nice by the time I get there," said another old man who came up behind me.

Adorable. I wanted to put them in my pocket, but I couldn't even carry a pebble more.

My legs were jello.

My back was killing me.

My rib didn't even hurt anymore.

My injuries from the accident were elveated by the pain from my feet and elsewhere.

But we kept on going!

We crossed the finish line at 3 hours and 6 minutes! I simply can't explain the joy I experienced when I ran across that line. And did the stankey legg.

I did that dance during our first dance, first half marathon, and I'll probably have to do it when I deliever our first baby. I know, that's not exactly a sight you want to picture, but I'll still probably do it. But I won't be posted pictures or videos for that one...hahhah! =)

My race partners were excellent. Every step of the way. Brittany was dancing and being silly and Sabrina was coaching me along the way. Asking how I was doing every time I took a deep breathe. Pushing me to keep going- both of you- again, I can't thank you enough.

So how do I feel? A lot better than I thought I would. My feet are sore, but that's too be expected. I might need a walker tomorrow, But I'll be wearing that medal around my neck so people don't judge me.

Encouragement was the cure for my bumps and bruises from my bike accident on Tuesday. And what kept me going today during the race.

Thank you all for being a part of my healthy dose of encouragement for the day!

Looking forward to our next race in May!

Much love,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

To Run or Not to Run, That is Thy Question

I came across this quote in an article today: “There’s nothing you can do in the week before a race to help yourself. You can only do things that hurt yourself.” I laughed. Only people like me.

Who total a mountain bikes and nearly fall off a guard rail down 30 feet. Miss Grace- that is what my momma likes to call me.

Anyway, I do still feel like crap. This morning when I went to get blood drawn, the lab tech told me I should probably re-consider the race this weekend. Give myself time to rest and heal. I got tears in my eyes. So do I run, or do I not run?

I thought about it all day long. What’s the worst thing that could happen?

I fall down again? I already look like a hoodrat who fell too far into a dumpster.

The trolley picks me up? Well, if that does happen at least I’ll make a few more friends. I’m sure I’ll have another interesting story about my trolley experience.

And best the thing that could happen? I cross that finish line. I’m certainly not planning on winning the race. I’ll probably never WIN a race- but that isn’t the point. I’m simply excited to just participate. Run. Walk. Give it my all. Love every minute with my amazing running partners Brittany Gerig and Sabrina Schnurr by my side.

I’m going to run. That is my decision.

“People are going to look at me like I’m tore up when I’m running,” I told Darren looking down at my scrapped knuckles and burnt arm.

“No, no they will look at you and think – damn, she trained really hard. She was running through woods and shit,” Darren said.

He made me laugh. And that made my ribs hurt again. But it was worth it.

I hope people do think I trained my ass off, even though I’ll be running at the speed of a Grandpa with a walker.

Much love,


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

We Have To Teach Them

I observe things. I love watching people. I'm distracted by nearly everything. I can't go anywhere or do anything without thinking about how I can write about the day, the moment, the people, and the emotions.

The other day when I was driving home past the church (that is also a daycare), I saw a little boy sitting in the field all by himself. He reminded me of Brick from The Middle.

I saw two kids walking toward him, one kid was holding a kick ball. They had a serious walk and I was nervous they were going to be mean. I slowed down and kept watching them. The boys walking toward Brick (the kid alone on the ground) were actually nice to him. I saw the bigger kid lean down and stick out his hand. Together, they helped him up. The three of them started walking back together.


The world we live in is full of stories about children being bullies and downright disgusting to one another. In just one week (last week), three young boys took their life because they were constantly tormented at school. Only 13 years old and he thought his life was not worth living- he thought he had no other option. My heart is completely broken to think about those poor children and their families.

The mother's who lost their sons.

Fathers who no longer have their son.

The sisters who lost their brother.

A hopeless best friend, wondering why and what they could have done differently to save his or her best friend.

And then I thought of my brothers and sisters, had they ever felt this way? Had anyone ever made them feel that way? It completely breaks my heart to even consider that and I will do anything to protect and defend my little brothers and sisters.

But that moment proved there is still hope. Kids can be nice; even when adults aren't looking.

But we have to teach them how to be nice. To put themselves in someone else's shoes.

We MUST teach them.

We can't assume they will learn the ways of the world on their own. They need some guidance. Teach them right from wrong. Correct them when they are rude or out of line, but go beyond that and EXPLAIN why it was wrong. Then take it a step further and tell them what they should do differently next time.

The saying, "It's just the way kids are today" is a joke. No, it's not the way kids are today. They shouldn't ever be this way. With or without the Internet, kids should never get away with treating other people in such hateful ways. And sadly, it all starts at home. Home is where it all starts and ends.

We must teach them all we know. Show them compassion. Teach them respect. Love them. Hug them. Kiss them. Encourage them. Support them. It doesn't even have to be your own child. Do this for any child. Seriously.

Be the change you want to see in this world.

Much love,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Always Wear Your Helmet

My story actually starts a week ago. Before tonight, which made me extremely thankful for my husband.

I was at the doctor's office. New patient visit so they ask you tons of questions about your medical history.

Do you smoke? No
Do you drink? Socially- so moderately. Yes I drink.
Do you wear a helmet? Umm, what kind of question is that--- Um, yeah when I do things that require me to. Lie. I don't usually wear a helmet. Ever really. Next question people.

Justin has been on my case about wearing a helmet when we bike, but I get mad because he doesn't wear one (because we only have one at the moment, as I only bike with him once a week) and then I look dorky.

"Ashley, of all people, YOU need to wear a helmet!" he said.

" NOOO- you!" I said back and handed him back to him.

"Ashley," he said and then gave me his serious face.

So I put the helmet on.

Off we went on the Monon Trail. 


We decided, well Justin decided, to take a different route. He went on 146th and then we were going up a different trail. So at this point we were by Clay Terrace. We were crossing the bridge on Meridian and I heard someone coming up behind me. I looked over my shoulder to confirm and started to move closer to guard rail. Then we got across Meridian, but we were still on a bridge.

I looked over my shoulder to see if that person was still behind me. I was about to yell at Justin to move over since the guy seemed to going faster than us. And then I looked back over to the road.

"WHOAAAA" I yelled. Justin later explained that it sounded like the happy "whoa" I do or like the Sports Center announcer who yells "WHOOOOP!"

BOOM! I slammed right into the guard rail. The right side of my body and front of the bike slammed into the railing and then I fell over to the left, landing hard on the left side of my body.

I was in shock. And I looked up and saw the guy who was behind me.

"Are you okay?" He asked.

Obvious question to ask, but my whole body was hurting. The first thing I thought of was that there probably isn't a last thought befroe someone dies. I was completely blank. I guess looking back my only thought I would THINK I had was "PLEASE don't go over the guard rail and land 30 feet down."

Justin turned around at this point, and said, "Oh baby!"

"Do you want me to help you up?" the guy asked.

"No, I don't know- it hurts so bad." I said. The entire left side of my body hurt so bad because the impact was so hard.

And then my second thought: please don't be hurt, I have a half marathon to run on Saturday.

And my third: I knew I should have just ran tonight.....

 So Justin and the guy helped me up. He tried to lighten the mood and told me that he fell off his bike too just last week when he was reaching for his water bottle. I laughed, but deep down I knew he would go home and tell his wife about the awesome wreck he saw. And tell everyone at work tomorrow. Oh well, I'm a fan for stories.

"Thank you for stopping," I told the guy.  "You are very sweet."

And then I started crying like a little kid who just did something wrong and didn't want to get yelled at.

"You know, I looked back and thought- damn, she is really close to that guard rail," Justin said.

So then we started laughing about it. I told him what happened since he was ahead of me and missed the big shit show. Then we saw the bike. Ruined. I completely bent the front rim.

We had to walk 2 miles home. Pushing the bikes. Can't someone just come pick us up, I thought. Anyone?

So we started pushing. Every few seconds Justin would make the "WHOAAA" sound I made and start laughing. Just like Boomer from ESPN.

"It wouldn't be so funny if you were hurt worse baby girl," he said. "I love you- I love you so much my clumsy wife. Yes, I married the clumsiest person in the world."

"I love you too babe," I said with a pouty lip. "I love your supporting, loving, cocky self."

"Yeah, that is pretty much me."

So we walked home in silence, only to the sound of the rhythmic squeal from the wheel. Then a laugh. Then a moan from me. Then another laugh.

"Darren is going to love this one!" he said about one of my co-workers who loves my stories about life. Unbelievable.

We'd look at each other and smile- but really I was writing my blog in my head all the way home and he was probably thinking about fantasy football, sex, Dallas Cowboys, sex, and then me flying through the air. Sexy.

I'm alive, but the lesson is learned. Always wear your helmet. It certainly helped me tonight. I just have bloody knuckles, bloody and swollen elbow, bruised hip, first degree burns/skid marks on my upper right arm, and bruised right leg.

I feel like shit.

I should stick to Zumba.

Much love,

Friday, October 8, 2010

Boots in the Fall

Fall time means rocking out my new boots. And since I’m giving up Starbucks, I’ll definitely need my boots to make Fall come alive!

After I did my zombie walk around the house, I got dressed. Boots and all.

“You look cute!” – Justin

“You know me, same old G!” – Me

“You are a riot!”- Justin

At least he knows!

Much love,

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Son, The Creeper

Some dogs go through this irrational humping stage. They literally hump anything and anyone.

Legs of complete strangers.

Other dogs. Sometimes cats.

Bushes and love ferns in the bark park.

Stuffed animals.

Pillows, which are like stuffed animals except you put your face on them.

The couch.

Beer boxes. I know, but I'm sure a dog at a frat house has been caught doing this after one too many...

Your leg.

But Bandit completely skipped the compulsive humping stage and went straight to the Peeping Tom stage.

This is Bandit peeping through the bathroom door.

Can you imagine being home alone and looking over to that one eye ball?

Seriously, today I was at Justin's parents house. We were watching, "America's Most Haunted Places." I can barely watch ET without getting scared, so this was obviously an issue.

So I go to the bathroom. And all of a sudden, the door starts opening up on its own.



Sure enough, Bandit creeps in...looks at me and then runs out.

Thanks for that Bandit! Good thing I was on the toilet so it didn't matter if I shit myself or not...


When we got home, Justin took a shower. Sure enough, I walk in and see this:

Really Bandit? Now you are creeping on people in the shower?!? So please imagine singing away in the shower. Probably to Kesha or Britney Spears -- Glee style. Washing your hair and not having a care in the world. Suddenly, you drop the soap and bend over and see this dude up in your business.

Then he just runs out of the bathroom and lays down. Like nothing ever happened.

Who me? Bandit? No, I'm not a creeper.

Yes, yes- you are Bandit. And I don't know if you get it from your Mom or your Dad....

Much love,

Saturday, October 2, 2010



What comes to my mind when you think of something that is unthinkable?

I'd be interested to know what you consider unthinkable in life. I'm actually reading a book right now called, "Unthinkable." The book is a true story about the first man to complete the world-famous Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon. What makes is story unthinkable? Not that he was the first man...but he was the first double amputee to complete the Ironman Triathlon.

"9 seconds. That's how long it look for Scott Rigsby's life to come crashing down around him. 16 hours, 42 minutes, 46 seconds. That's how long it took for Scott Rigsby to make history."

He was only 18 years old. Fresh out of high school when the accident happened. He was riding in the back of a trailer when it was clipped behind by an 18 wheeler, throwing him over the side of the truck where he was pinned and dragged 324 feet.

I'm only on page 75 and I don't want to spoil the ending. So I encourage you to read it.

I was running on the treadmill last Sunday when I almost jumped off and decided I wasn't going to run in the half marathon. I've been training by running and walking. I'm not even sure I can run a complete mile non-stop. I've never ran competitively or to work out, so I'm not too sure why I even decided to run a half marathon.

Can I even make it?

Will I look stupid?

What if I don't make it- what will I tell everyone?

All of these negative thoughts started pouring into my mind.

But then I thought of this book. And Scott. And my conversation with Leah about her accident a few weeks ago. And Brittany Raymond, whose life ended way too soon.

What would they tell me to do? I shouldn't even have to ask; I know the answer.

Do it.

 Run it.

Love every minute of it.

Feel the wind hit your face and keep going even when your legs go numb.

And as promised, I shall do the stankey legg when I cross the finish line.

13.1 - that is how many miles I'll run in two weeks.

I can do it.

I'll probably walk most of it.

But I'll give it my all.

Run when I can.

Smile to everyone I pass.

Thank the volunteers.

Be thankful- that I even have the opportunity to do this race.

I've been told I can do anything I put my mind to. And I've put my mind to this half marathon for a reason. It's not unthinkable if you believe in yourself, right?

Let's do this! =)

Much love,