TBT: throwback birthday

it's thursday (or late wednesday night) again, so you know what that means!
the throwback thursday link up with the life of bon.
today's topic is birthdays.
my birthday happens to be on christmas day.
i know, i know.
you're thinking, "that sucks!"
and i'm here to tell you today that yes, it can suck, BUT there are precautions that can be taken to ensure any precious soul who shares a birthday with a holiday can enjoy that special day. you see, i didn't hate my birthday my whole life. in fact, i kind of liked it. i think my parents and friends handled this situation in ways that made me feel special and important, regardless of the fact that billions of people were receiving gifts on that same day. 

here are the top 5 tips on how to NOT make a holiday-born person feel like they're second best: 

1. if you're a gift-giving person, don't clump presents together. "this is for your birthday aaand christmas." no. it's not. i mean, obviously if it's an extravagant gift (one whose excellence exceeds that of two holidays) that is acceptable. but giving an ordinary gift you would give anyone on a birthday... does not count, my friends. don't cut us short. 
2. give the person as much choice as possible. sure, it's a world-wide holiday. but that doesn't mean the birthday girl shouldn't be able to pick the days' activities and menu items. i always felt special picking our christmas dinner. 
3. OR, even better, celebrate on a different day. sometimes we would go out to dinner the friday or saturday before, so i could enjoy all the attention my little heart desired. in fact, my sweet mother-in-law refuses to celebrate my birthday on my actual birthday, and only sends her wishes and gifts on june 25th. i like it. i wish i had started celebrating my half birthday at a young age, but now it's a little too late to switch. everyone knows, and making that transition would be awkward. 
4. don't name them after the holiday. mom, i love you. but having a middle name of "noel" has always been awkward and always lead to the conversation which i will talk about in tip 5. 
5. don't tell them it sucks! don't ask them if they like it! we can't do anything about it, and i have never had any other birthday to compare mine to. so asking me these questions i am not capable of answering is extremely embarrassing and depressing. a typical conversation with anyone who sees my date of birth or middle name goes like this: 

person: oh wow, your birthday's on christmas?!?
me: yep. 
person: ha- that sucks! 
me: ... thanks? 
person: i mean, do you like it? 
me: i dont know, because it's all i've ever lived with. 
person: do you get two sets of presents? 
me: yep.

... and then it dwindles away into nothing. because that's what the conversation essentially is: nothing. so next time you encounter a holiday-birthday sharer, resist the urge to make a comment about it, and act accordingly! i promise you, they'll appreciate it.
christmas and my birthday... they are separate, but equal. 


iphone dump 2

i've said it before, i'll say it again. the best way to know what's going on with my life is to look at the pictures on my iphone. so here they are, and here is my life: 
 the sunbeams hate me // determining my own grade! 
 peanut butter popcorn and disney movies // our anniversary present from hyundai 
i'm psychic. this is a new feature in iOS 7! // i love utah's pretty mountains. so green.
tried a new cookie recipe // i freaking love this creep
babysitting cute baby eva // salt lake temple date with myself
excited for instagram videos // good makeup day. i love mascara.

not pictured: 9 credits of summer school and endless hours of laundry and dishes.
happy summer, all. 


ashley-scotty day

i remember being engaged and thinking, "i can't wait to be married -- i'll never leave scotty's side!" HA! what a joke. i was so naive and so wrong. now we hardly ever see each other. during my spring term, i left home at 7 am and didn't return until almost 8 pm. scotty's new position at work has him gone until about 9:45 every night, so by the time we ate dinner and said hi to each other, it was 10:30 and we were wearily climbing into bed! it's been a tough, busy summer. we are both working really hard. i'm happy because we are both moving toward our dreams, but i'm sad because we spend less than an hour a day together. so yesterday was officially ashley-scotty day. i told scotty he couldn't plan anything for the entire day. no meetings, no errands, nothing. just pure husband and wife time. 

we woke up around 11 (truly a miracle!), showered and ate some breakfast. then we headed off to the farmer's market at gardner village in west jordan. we had never been, but i had heard wonderful things about it! 
the best purchase of the day was this pineapple filled with ice cream and shaved ice. can you think of anything more perfect for summer? we are already planning on getting another one next weekend :) 
it was a beautiful morning. we were so relaxed as we walked around tasting samples and laughing with the various sellers. some people are so talented! we tried all kinds of foods and sauces, and walked away with a sweet lotion bar. the trip was successful! 
then we headed over to target to pick up a few necessities, and scotty got a haircut. our fun day continued at chilis, where i got a free flatbread thanks to this coupon. it was alright, but now i'm afraid i'm scarred for life because nothing is comparable to our shaved ice in a pineapple. 
we came home to clean and rest for a little bit. for dinner, we attended a church picnic. it was just lovely. the weather was perfect and the food was delicious. i watched scotty compete in a kickball tournament, and somehow i ended up with another shaved ice in my hand. 
we love summer. 


tbt: elementary school crush

today i'm linking up with the hilarious bonnie and talking about my first crush!
man, oh man. my first crush. we met in our second grade class. he lived up the street from me, he was in the same ward as me... it was inevitable. we traded pokemon cards and walked home together, but i knew things were getting serious when he gave me a stuffed animal on valentines day. my heart broke when i moved to vegas in 7th grade and the distance caused our love to slowly dwindle away. even though we were miles away transforming into completely different people, we actually kept in contact for a good amount of time! we sent the occasional text or email all the way through high school. now i stalk him on facebook from time to time, and we exchange happy birthday posts.

i have narrowed down our experiences together to the two most noteable, and i think you'll enjoy them.

1. msn instant messaging was the only form of communication back in the day, so we were frequenters. we messaged back and forth about our stuuupid elementary school problems or exciting things that happened to us that day at school. on one particular instant-messaging session, he had to sign off because his dad needed him. when i saw he was "now offline," i decided that would be a perfect moment for me to release my true feelings. they had been cooped up in my heart for too long! i typed out something like, "i think you are so cute and i have a crush on you," and pushed enter, knowing he would never see it. i expected a weight to be lifted off my chest, but instead i watched in horror as i read, "this user is offline. (s)he will receive this message next time they sign in." HA! how embarrassing!

2. my mom was driving us home after a successful mall trip. we had both bought sweet new packs of pokemon cards, and were trading in the back seat. i let my feelings take over and got suckered into a ridiculous deal, trading one of my really rare cards for a few of his boring cards. after the exchange, he exclaimed how happy he was and said, "i almost want to kiss you!" my heart flew out of my chest, but i kept my cool by saying, "umm... ew! i'm glad you didn't!" ... and that, my friends, is the first time i ever lied to a boy about my feelings.
those were the days! the funny thing about becoming a teacher is i'll never really leave elementary school. hopefully some of the girls in my classroom will write journal entries about their crazy love lives so i can soak up the drama.


my father

happy father's day! i love my dad so much. he has many noteworthy qualities, it's hard to narrow them down to just a few... but i will try to do so in this honorary fathers day post. 
 + he serves. he is always looking for opportunities to serve. he's put me outside of my comfort zone with feeding homeless people and digging up the neighbor's weeds. the memories and good feelings we received afterward are priceless. he is always on the lookout for someone he can help. he has a selfless heart, and always puts others before himself. he sacrifices things to make others happy. 
+ he puts up with me, even when i don't deserve it. i've terrorized him with bald jokes and called him by his first name for years, and he still loves the crap out of me! i'm glad we have such a fun-loving relationship. 
+ he loves the arts. he introduced me to a wide variety of art at a young age. we talked about plays, museums, paintings, music, sculptures, and everything between. we love van gogh and les miserables. he is very in tune with his artistic side! in fact, he even painted the canvas in this bathroom selfie: 
+ he is a people person. he's always friendly, and he loves public speaking. he can entertain a whole crowd with his stories and ideas. he might be the most exciting high council speaker in church i've ever known :) he has a happy charisma that draws people toward him. 
+ he is the most creative person i know. the amount of creativity he has inside his mind is borderline ridiculous. he loves to design, persuade, and imagine. when i was little, he would ask me to name three random items, and he would create a bedtime story (on the spot!) revolving around those three things. i think he could have been successful in just about any career, but i'm glad he chose marketing and advertising. he is so amazing at what he does. i can only hope some of his talents are rubbing off on me. 
+ he is sentimental. i love that my dad tells me he loves me and misses me. his random texts, calls, and voicemails make my day. he does cute little things and surprises for my mom, and i love that.
i'm so lucky to have him as my dad!


apple debrief

if you didn't know, apple's little (okay, maybe not so little) developer conference was today. i was hoping to hear an announcement about something that rhymes with shmiphone shmix... but i guess i'll have to wait another year. what they did announce, however, is the new operating system, iOS 7. see for yourself over here: http://www.apple.com/ios/ios7/

or, if you prefer my amateur summarization, keep reading.

some new features i'm looking forward to: 
-brightness in the control center. HELLO, where has this been all my life? it takes so long to access the brightness, and i need it multiple times throughout the day! can't wait.
-seeing the actual screens in multi-tasking. this will be very convenient; it just makes sense to include the screen preview before switching from app to app.
-totally redesigned app icons. while i'm sad to part with the images we know and love, these new ones are so clean and crisp. they are full of vibrant colors and bring a sense of unity across the phone.
-airdrop. freak yes. now i can trade pictures with my mom quickly and efficiently!
-new view of safari tabs. umm... this looks so cool.

some new features i don't care for: 
-filters in camera app. HA, the joke's on you, apple. we already have our favorite photo-editing apps, and i seriously doubt your puny little palette of filters will compare.
-notification center accessible from lock screen ... because "sliding to unlock" takes too long?
-clustering photos based off of location/time. cool, i guess? i mean, i could have organized them in albums if i wanted them that way in the first place.

i left the apple website today feeling happy and proud to be an iphone user.
come fall, i get a whole new phone without forking over $200+.
what are your thoughts on this new software?


the quickest of quick trips

on tuesday i saw jen in the hallway at school (i love that we're both education majors) and we caught up for a few minutes. she told me she was going to vegas on friday -- driving all by herself. i couldn't bear to think of my friend being so lonely, and next thing i knew we had arranged on a spontaneous girls trip! (four days is about as spontaneous as i get, haha!) she was only going down for a baby shower, and i was hitching a ride to see my family and keep jen company. we left friday around 3, and returned late saturday night. a quick 22 hours in vegas... this may be my new record. but even with the short amount time, i had a blast! vegas never disappoints. here's a recap of the weekend: 

love my favorite travel buddy. we've made this drive many times together. 
 ... it was all fun and games until we sat in this spot for 40 MINUTES. a semi was on fire. 
 it's okay, we got out and walked around to pass the time. 
 putt putt golf and yogurtland with my family. 
 breakfast on saturday morning. 
 followed by classroom crafts!!!
 and paper-stealing. 
the rest of the day was spent by the pool. we read books, laid out, had a BBQ, and even played a little basketball. (i lost, but what else is new?) 
 for the grand finale, we ate dinner at cafe rio. always a favorite. 
we had an eventful drive back (almost hitting a deer, jamming to old-school britney spears songs, and having deep talks about life), but i was happy to snuggle up with my cute husband at 1:30 this morning. let's just say i'll be needing my sunday nap today!