Monday, October 4, 2010

Farewell Age 26

Another birthday has come and gone. Jeremy was nice enough to schedule his vacation over my birthday so we could go back to Utah to spend it with family and friends. It was so nice to be back home, surrounded by friendly, familiar faces. It was a busy trip, bouncing from breakfasts, to lunches, to dinners and we had a lot of fun spending time with people we love.

I've welcomed in the age of 27 and will try to treat it well. As I consider the many things I could possibly do with 27, I'm taking a fond look back at 26.

26 will be remembered as a year of big changes. I got engaged, I got married, I moved to Seattle, I watched Jeremy graduate from medical school.. There were many things that others may not consider to be monumental that were important to me. I spent priceless time with kids that taught me more about life than any school ever could, I visited new places, I said goodbye to people I love, I strengthened old friendships and made new ones, I kaboshed some negative relationships, I donated blood for the first (and second and third) time, I lost my favorite pet, I volunteered with friends.

And sometimes 26 was just plain fun. I went on vacations with girlfriends, learned to shoot a gun, went to an NFL game, learned to carve on my snowboard, appreciated Sunday Fundays, traveled with Jeremy, watched my niece learn to walk, had a denim bachelorette party, smiled everytime Cohen and Bridger said my name, rowed a boat, made up dances with a 10-year-old.

When it's all typed out like that, I realize how lucky I am to live the life I do. 26, you've been good to me and I'll miss you. 27, nice to meet you. You've got some big shoes to fill.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Kind of Seattle Day

Jeremy has had a pretty ridiculous schedule since we got here. He works all the time. I know he would like to relax any time that he's not at work, but he's a good sport and takes me out to do fun things. Yesterday was one of those days.

The University of Washington has a little place behind Husky Stadium that rents canoes. You can take them out and paddle around Lake Washington. Yesterday we paddled out to a different part of the lake. It's pretty marshy and full of ducks and geese. The birds on the lake are used to people (and their food) so they swim right up to your boat. It's pretty cool to have little ducklings surround your boat and swim with you for a bit.

I learned why you're not supposed to feed the ducks. We had some peanut butter crackers and the ducks went crazy for them. Right after this picture was taken, that duck ate the cracker right out of my hand. It would have been fine, but I thought it was going to take my finger with it. When the crackers were gone, the ducks weren't full. They do this thing where they stand up in the water and I was convinced they were going to jump in the boat. I'm done feeding ducks for a while.

The first crane we saw flew away before we could get close enough for me to take a picture and I spent some time talking about what a wimpy bird it was for flying away. This one, however, wouldn't fly away even when I wanted it to. We got really close to it and it kind of freaked me out. I even splashed it with the paddles to make it fly away- nothing. I'm sure he spent some talking with his friends about what a wimpy girl I was.

There are lily pads around the edges of the lake. I love the flowers that grow in the water. I'm not sure how that happens, but I like them.

Unfortunately, we don't have a picture of the most entertaining part of the lake trip. When we found out we were moving to Seattle, I immediately thought of hippies.  I haven't been disappointed. They are everywhere here. Yesterday we saw the best ones yet. If you hear "hippie" and it makes you think of 60-year-old with long hair, bathing naked in a lake, you would be correct. We saw a group of 6 or 7 chilling by the banks in all their hippie glory. And they were not shy. Think of a 65-year-old with long gray hair giving you a full frontal in knee deep water. That was our view. Once I got over the slight shock of seeing the group of nakies, I realized I was grateful. A lot of people in Seattle don't seem to wear deodorant, so at least this particular group would be getting rid of that BO for a while.

After canoeing, Jeremy and I went on a quest for a green pepper for dinner. There are little corner markets all over our nieghborhood, but they are more like glorified 7-11s that sell Costco canned food. We went to a couple of the markets and couldn't find any veggies, so we decided to bag it and go down to the lake. We found a new water spot that we love. It's only 4 blocks from our place and I think it's where we will be spending our evenings from now on. There were people and dogs swimming nearby, despite the "No Swimming" signs they had to pass to get in the water. We like walking down to the water to read or just sit. It's so relaxing to be near the lake.

There was another market just across the street from the lake so we made a last-ditch effort and headed into Pete's Deli. It was my dream market. It's this cute little mom and pop shop and I fell in love with it. I can't believe I didn't find this place before, but I will be a regular now.

We came home and made dinner and relaxed. It was a perfect day. When I imagined life in Seattle, this is exactly the kind of day I hoped for. Just exploring, discovering new things and spending quiet moments together. It's so fun to be a newlywed, and I can picture days like this well into our old age. This city is amazing and we have so much to see and learn here.

Seattle, you're growing on me every day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bear River=Best Friends

Tama, Karly, Jayme, Trudy, Britani, Ashley, Becky, Lacey, Kami  (We're missing a couple in this picture, but I was glad to see them too!)

Trudy, Cami, and Britani threw me a bridal shower in April. It was so nice to get all of our friends together and catch up. It was weird, in a good way, being the star of the shower show because I'm so used to being the one throwing them. The food was delicious. (Olive Garden style, since it has special signifigance for my friends) The decorations were so cute. The presents (skank sacks included) were awesome. The company was perfect. Between bridal and baby showers, we've probably had 15 at my parents' house. Being at Cami's cute house was a nice change of scenery.

All of the girls at the shower have been amazing friends. This is the group of girls that I had fun with, got in trouble with, laughed and cried with, grew up with. I can't think of anything from home without including at least one of them in the memory. They are beautiful, inside and out, and I am so lucky to have spent the last 17 years with them.

Trudy, Cami and Britani were all over the shower when I told them I was engaged. Everything they did was perfect. So this is my shout out to them-

Britani was my first friend at North Park Elementary when I moved to Tremonton. She was the most popular girl in 5th grade and I felt pretty cool being her friend. We had sleepovers all the time, played in the ditch and traded shoes. When I told my mom I couldn't see very well, she thought I just wanted to get glasses so I could be like Britani. (She didn't take me to the doctor until the school sent a note home in 7th grade saying I couldn't see well. I'd been blind for 2 years by then. I've had contacts ever since.)

Trudy was the best dancer in our VaDels class and the girl everyone wanted to be friends with in 6th grade. She also had the very best perm at Bear River Middle School. She taught me about swimming in canals and had the coolest room I'd ever seen. We had some pretty sweet Stadium of Fire moments together. We had a special notebook full of our "Top 10" that we passed back and forth. We have a mutual love for pickles, olives and cheese. And a mutual understanding for the usage of "Handi-Snack".

I met Cami in 6th grade. Once I got over my crush on the boy she not-so-secretly loved (now her husband), I realized she was the coolest girl ever. Cami taught me to shoot a basketball. We rode 4-wheelers and laid on the tramp looking at stars all night. I ate many Oreos at Cami's house. I think the most emotional moments I remember from middle school took place at her house.

I was always the awkward friend while the high school boys were drooling over them, but they loved me anyway. I could tell the story of these girls drugging me or the time I fed them tainted breadsticks, but I'll keep those stories to myself for now. Thanks, ladies, for being there for me and with me through all the moments. I can't tell you how much you mean to me, so you'll have to settle for knowing that I love you.

More wedding-ish posts to come.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dr. and Mrs. Thueson

May 28, 2010=Best Day Ever!

The short version- Jeremy and I were married on May 28 at Millenial Falls in Draper. It was an amazing day and my only complaint is that it didn't last long enough. The day flew by. We were so lucky to have our family and dear friends there to support us and celebrate with us. We left early the next morning for an incredible honeymoon in Costa Rica. I'll post pictures as soon as we get them.

Thank you so much to everyone that came and helped make our day so special. We love you all!

Alice Teal

This is the cutest baby ever. If you disagree, you're crazy. I only got to spend 9 months around her before I moved, but I think I miss her most of all. She better not start walking until I'm home for a visit. Love you Ali!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I'm so overwhelmed with all of the things that I need to write about that I can't even figure out where to start. So I'll skip over everything for now and focus on what I'm feeling today.

It's so easy to feel alone in a new city. I see groups of people on the street, I hear voices and music and laughter through the open window from across the way, I pass people running in twos and threes while I pound the pavement by myself. I hear the stories of my friends back home on weekend getaways together, going to concerts and movies and dinners, wasting a day at the pool together. Lonely is a strange feeling. One that I have luckily not had to experience much of in my lifetime, but one that I now get the opportunity to overcome.

But it's not all lonely. I'm so lucky to have my best friend here. We get to tour the city together, find places to eat, see the sights, cuddle on a rainy day. It's fun to start a whole new life together. New city, new jobs, new experience. We're in uncharted territory, and I so look forward to mapping it out together. Jeremy makes me laugh every day. The transistion is easier when I'm doing it with my best friend.

I have a friend here. I thought Mauri was a sweetheart when I met her last summer, and now I know she is one of the best people this world has to offer. She beat me to Seattle by three months and has spent the last couple weeks showing me around. She has saved my sanity and kept my spirits up. She has the most positive attitude and makes it impossible to get sucked into the pity party I would surely throw myself if she wasn't around.

At a time when it would be so easy to feel lost and alone, I have been comforted and reassured by God's love and awareness for me. There are signs everywhere that He has not forgotten about me and that I am in the right place at the right time. A missionary in the ward that was a patient of mine in the past, the surprise discovery of a high school teammate living a block away. It's easy to get discouraged, but easier to recognize the signs of encouragement from someone bigger than me.

It's a strange feeling not having a job. I don't know what to do with all the free time and end up wasting most of it. I hope a find a job quickly because I feel all out of sorts without one. I miss Primary's every day. I find myself constantly thinking about the patients there and hate not knowing how they are doing. I miss my coworkers. I miss the kids and their families.

The plus side of being jobless is that I've had time to run again. It's so different to run in a new city, unfamiliar with the streets and the landmarks. Getting lost and finding my way again. Going just far enough that I can't turn around, I just have to make the full loop. Finding myself on scary trails, but coming out on the other side to the most beautiful views. Symbolic of this move to Seattle I guess.

I'm figuring out the city. I've found my favorite grocery stores, my favorite dock to sit on in the afternoon, my favorite spray-painted message on a freeway overpass. It's a little easier to determine which way is North or West. I've picked up some of the lingo. I can't bring myself to stop wearing makeup or doing my hair yet.

I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss work. I miss air conditioning. But the water here is beautiful. Everything is so green. I hiked through the forest and came out on a beach. I saw a turtle on the trail. It stays light until 10 o'clock in the summer. I live a mile from downtown.

I like Seattle. Before long I will love it. And while Utah will always be where the heart is, Seattle will be home. At least for now.

Life's not fair

How do you distinguish between the happy tears that someone has finished their treatment, that they are "cancer free", that they can finally get back to the life they should have been allowed to live for the last year, and the sad tears shed for the child who never gets to know what that feels like? The one who will never hear they are cancer free, never know what it feels like to live a normal life again, the one who knows they only have months, or days, to pack a full lifetime into? They are the tears that no one should ever have to shed. Whether the happy or the sad ones, they are both tears brought on by cancer, and it's not fair that those tears exist. No one should have to hear that diagnosis, endure that treatment, live in fear that such an ugly disease could creep up again at any time. No one should have to hear that it's over, there's nothing left to do, your body has lost the fight even if the mind and the heart aren't ready to give up. No one should have to live that way and no one should have to die that way. No parent should have to decide when enough is enough and no child should have to endure it.

How do you respond when someone tells you it's not fair? They're right, it's NOT fair. And nothing you say or do will fix it or make it better. How can you possibly help when the specialists that are trained to help can't do anything more?

How do you help someone say goodbye? You can't tell them what to say, or do, or feel. You can tell them to take it one day at a time, but would you be able to do that if you were in their shoes? How can you feel anything other than completely helpless at a time when someone needs so much help?

And for the ones that make it through the treatment, that get a second chance at life, how do you put into words how proud you are of them, how happy you are for them, how much of a difference they have made in your life, that they've marked a little piece of your heart and restored a lilttle bit of your faith?

How is it that your heart can break every time you walk through the door to work, and also ache for the time away when you don't see those kids? How can someone so small make such a big mark? How and why and the questions no one can answer...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Funday

After a stressful week at work and a busy weekend with Cody's birthday, a trip to Tremonton and a bridal shower (all things I will try to blog about soon), I can't think of a better way to wind down and regroup than this Sunday Funday.

Burger King breakfast with Jeremy and Spencer; brunch with Heidi, Jess, Bev, and Kristy at Park Cafe; a jaunt around Liberty Park; a weiner walk with Jess's puppies and a rope swing detour; a walk to the park with Cohen; and coming home to watch the Jazz playoff game.

It truly is the little things that I will miss the most when we move away. Days like today make me realize that the most. But it's comforting to know I will still have all these things to look forward to when I come home to visit. I'm so blessed to be able to spend a whole day doing things that make me happy with people that make me smile.

Thanks for the good day, to everyone that played a part in it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Invitations-check (minus the ribbons because they sent the wrong size)

Kick ass fiance-triple check

39 days!!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

S-E-A Double T L-E

For anyone that missed it on Facebook,
Jeremy matched for his residency.
That means we are headed to...


Jeremy will start his psychiatry residency at the University of Washington in June. We'll have a crazy month with his graduation from medical school, the wedding, the honeymoon, and now moving. It will be busy and exciting and probably exhausting, but we're looking forward to it.

I had two prerequisites for moving. 1-It had to be a direct flight and 2-We had to have a two bedroom place so people could come keep me company while Jeremy is working his tail off. Everyone loves Seattle, so feel free to come visit!

**And another reason I love Jeremy, he agrees to take pictures like this one. Awesome.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Time clocks

During a payroll conversation today:

Receptionist: It's a time CLOCK, Ashley, not a time MACHINE.
Me: Might as well be a time machine. Every time I touch it 12 hours of my life disappear.

I really wasn't trying to be a smart a, but she was not amused. Oops.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Work work work

I've been working too much lately. Way too much. With RSV season in full swing, Primary's has been way too full and far understaffed. The benefit to this is that I'm working a lot of overtime and extras. The downside is that with the wedding creeping up, I can't say no to the extra money those shifts bring in. So it's been a lot of work lately, and no play. Boo. And the only thing saving my sanity is that I love my job. Don't love "going to work", but couldn't ask for a better way to spend the hours I'm at my job. And here's what I miss when I work so much-

Tremonton trips (especially now that Ali is there)
Lunch with friends
Actually, any time at all with friends
Chillaxin with Jeremy in the evenings
Gym time with Jess and Bev
The Blue Crew
A clean house
Making dinner
Early morning yoga with Erika
Being outside

Time for a vacation. Or just a week off. Counting down the days til the honeymoon. 72!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I'm happy to announce that in the past two weeks, when people asked about the wedding planning, I did not:

Roll my eyes
Get annoyed/anxious/stressed/angry
Quickly change the subject
Unload all the hellish details of wedding planning
Leave the conversation

And that is a big step for me. I'm also happy to say that it's actually been fun to discuss all things wedding related lately. It should be even better after the consultation Wednesday. I'm getting so excited. I'm pretty sure THIS is what it's supposed to feel like, and I so enjoy finally feeling it.

Oh and Jeremy has a ring now. And Chrissi has a dress. And I have ribbons in my favorite colors. These are all good things.

And my friends are kick-ass and offered to throw bridal showers. This is the first thought that went through my head after discussing dates with Cami and Trudy- "I guess I'll have to check with my mom to make sure she'll have time to clean her house." And then I realized I don't have to do that because for the first time ever it's NOT at my house. That feels weird. And people won't let me help, which is also weird. I have mixed feelings about the whole 'go to a party, don't help with anything, let people give you stuff while everyone is watching you' idea. I'm a better host. This is new for me. We'll see how it goes. I feel weird about it. Excited, but weird.

I don't know how many days, but maybe I'll count tomorrow. Or someone can do it for me. :) It's coming up quick. Booyah!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

"The fresh hell that is wedding planning..."

I like to think I'm pretty easygoing. I can usually roll with the punches, spur of the moment is fine with me, I'm up for whatever. But I am a hardcore stresser. Always have been. I don't know why. It's annoying. It's pointless. It's a waste of time. But I can stress out with the best of them. It's something I need to work on. I have recently discovered that wedding planning brings out the stress like nothing else I have ever experienced. I was reading a wedding blog the other day (yeah, I do things like THAT now) and the writer mentioned "the fresh hell that is wedding planning". Right on, dear blogger.

I'm almost positive that I've heard people say they enjoyed planning their wedding. They thought it was fun, not stressful, loved every second of picking out every detail. I know I've heard this before... And now I know those people were LYING! Wedding planning=high stress, not fun, hard... I don't love it. But what I do love is that when I'm done with all this planning, I'll get to have an awesome party with all the people I care about, get to wear the most fantastic dress I've ever put on, and most importantly... I'll get to be married to the one dude that makes me smile, love, feel more than anyone else in the world. And for that, all the stress will be worth it.

We finally have a date and a place and that has made life this week much easier than it has been in the weeks past. It took multiple breakdowns, tears, phone calls, and hours to nail something down, but we finally did. And it's amazing how much relief I feel having that done. One thing that has made me realize is that I need to breathe. It's all going to work out in the end (haven't people been telling me that all along and I forgot to listen?) and I just need to relax and take it one detail at a time. Having the date/location stress off my shoulders has given me time to focus a little more on what's really important for the wedding. And what's really important is spending it with Jeremy.

Don't get me wrong. I'm excited to have all of our family and friends there. I so look forward to spending that day with the amazing people in our lives. But more importantly, I want our wedding to be about us. I want it to be the happiest day of our lives. I want Jeremy to feel different than he ever has when I walk down the aisle, because I already know I'll have to choke back some tears.

I so look forward to spending the rest of my life with Jeremy. I came to the hard realization that he is a much better fiance to me than I am to him. Through all my crying and flipping out, he has been incredibly patient and understanding and put up with more than anyone should ever have to. But I hope that we can be equally awesome husband/wife to each other.

I can't wait. Really. And not just because when the wedding finally gets here it will mean all the planning is done. Although I'm ready for that part too. I can't wait for the marriage. The rest of our lives. Together. That's the thing I look forward to the most. And that's what will make everything worth it. Seriously, can't wait.