my dear friends, 

i come before you today with a problem. almost a disease, if you will. something i need to work on and overcome. it won't be easy, and the transition to a new and better lifestyle won't come quickly. i have slowly dragged myself deeper and deeper into this unhealthy habit. so much so, that it just seems normal to me. 

until saturday night. 
i ventured off to target on a mission to buy three simple things: 
1% milk
egg roll wrappers
the hunger games books 1 & 2

easy, right
in and out. 


as i was driving home, i was self-diagnosed with what i call O.S.S.

obsessive shopping syndrome. 

seriously. the second any amount of money comes into our bank account, i am giddy with adventure and suspense of what my newest future purchases will be. 

this problem is extremely dangerous because it can be triggered at any time, on any day, and ANYWHERE. walking to my car from work? pull up the nordstrom app. sitting in bed? surf online at www.asos.com. run to smiths for some eggs? come back with nail polish, candy, and children's books. go to target for milk, egg roll wrappers, and the hunger games books? 

come back with this: 

what part of "milk, egg roll wrappers, and the hunger games books" inspired me to compulsively buy 9 bags of merchandise and one box of capri suns?

my purchases couldn't even fit on one countertop. 
see blurred picture because of laughter below: 

i love shopping. i really do. it doesn't matter the store, the day, the time, the amount of money on me, or what i need. i just love shopping. 

someone help me. 


cheesing it up.

i've had a strange past few days. 
school ended, which was awesome. 
and i had all of this excitement and build up toward summer like i do every year. 

i even found myself singing this great summer song: (click here) 

and then all of my friends had facebook statuses like "home at last!" or "finally in my own room!" or "i love las vegas!" and all that type of stuff. 

and it hit me... im not going home this summer! i'm married now... so pootah is my home.
what. the. heck. 

i obviously knew i wasn't going home. but i didn't really understand that i wasn't going home until just recently. 

and it's a pretty heartbreaking concept to accept when you think of memories like these: 

 hanging with my girls. 
stratosphere rides.
 beach trips. 

 laying out with mom. 
 kissing my babies. 
 laughing at tanner. 
 swimming in my backyard. 

suddenly i didn't know what to be excited about. 
what is summer if you're just working full time and you don't even get to see your parents or friends or brothers or laugh at the fresh crop of weirdos in the singles ward or spend an entire saturday laying out by the pool with a cafe rio salad or have nightly BBQs from john and the grill? 

it's kind of depressing. 

but, as i was watching glee last week, i heard a quote that totally applied to the situation.
rachel was like "my home isn't some place, it's someone
and i was like "omg my home isn't vegas, it's SCOTTY!" 

so boom. i will be home for summer. 
cue "i'll be home for christmas" tune with modified lyrics. 

i'll be home for summer,
you can count on me. 
i'll be home for summer,
if only with my scottyyyyy

and now i'm excited.
our first married summer!
i love him. 


scruff appreciation day

my brain has been conditioned to make me quite apprehensive when i see scruff.
i'm serious.

i can blame the anxiety i get on two different situations that i encounter on a weekly basis: 
1. i work in an office on byu's campus, and i can't help a male customer unless he is clean-shaven. part of the honor code. i have to muster up my courage and say, "everything we need from your supervisor is here, but before we start any paper work we need you to be clean shaven to be in compliance with the honor code" and then brace myself for the evil glares and annoyed comments. 
2. when scotty has scruff i don't let him kiss me, as it can get quite painful. i hate it. it's like someone shoving needles into my chin. i feel like my face is going to start bleeding. 

scruff = bad

on sunday, scotty had a lot of scruff.
probably like three days worth.
and then i stole a baby. 

i'm sitting there in sacrament meeting, minding my own business, when the cutest little head i've ever seen pops up from behind the bench in front of me. i stood firm in my anti-baby mindset, smiled at her and then looked away. no. no babies for me. but then she kept smiling at me and flashing those huge precious eyes and every maternal bone in my body was tingling. 

i snatched her. i just picked her up and stole her. we played with books, i bounced her on my lap, and she even snuggled with me. funny how a small act of larceny turned out to be the highlight of my day.

and um... have you seen anything cuter than these tights? 

the answer is no. 
but if you were wondering if this unknown baby and scruff have anything in common, the answer is yes. 

she started getting fussy so, naturally, i passed her to scotty. 
and to my surprise, he started rubbing his scruff all over her. 

he rubbed his scruff on her cheeks, her forehead, her chin.
the baby and i were both dying.

she loved it. 
she could not stop giggling and smiling. 
and oh my gosh, my heart was melting.

then all the laughing and squealing made her sleepy, so she curled up with my sweet husband and they cuddled while i sat next to them in total envy.

i'm glad we finally found someone to appreciate scotty's scruff.
we plan on sitting behind her every week for the rest of our time in the ward.



my all-time favorite days of any given year are as follows: 
1. december 25th
2. black friday
3. thanksgiving
4-18. the days included in the nordstrom anniversary sale
19. the first day of fall semester
20. textbook sell back day

textbook sell back day produces some of the happiest moments i've ever experienced. 
not familiar with the cycle? follow me. 

at the beginning of the school year, one spends approximately $300-400 on books.  those numbers are coming from my own personal experiences. however, once the official last day of school has passed, one can take those same books from the semester and the bookstore will buy them back. yes, you read correctly. BUY THEM BACK! 

and before you know it, this...

 turns into this...

 photo courtesy of lauren harris
which turns into this...

pink skinnys and a new dress in exchange for my old p.e. book?
i'll take it!
i love textbook sell back day.


butt-crack of dawn

Thomas Jefferson said, "Teaching is a moral endeavor."

if you think about it... it really, really is.
because both parties are not equal.
the teacher has significant authority over the students.

we are taught to be so careful in what we say, dress, and teach.  there are so many rules and guidelines to follow.  not only are we representing the principal, we are representing the school, school district, and even the name of public school in general. we have [almost] total control of what goes on inside of our classrooms.

so why wasn't my teacher thinking of this when he planned our final exam at
7:00 AM 
on a freaking SATURDAY???
i drove 40 minutes to take a 15-minute final exam.

i got back around 8... 
too late to go back to sleep but too early to take a nap.
i don't know what to do with myself after this moral injustice. 
happy saturday. 


survivor: finals week

since i have lived on this earth for over 21 years, it's inevitable that i have had my fair share of finals weeks.
ohhh, finals.
for six months i am blessed with happiness, homework assignments, and free time.
and then come the five days of torture. a deadly repeating pattern that will FINALLY end in two years.
these ten days are my most dreaded above all other 355 we are given in each year.

i have hit all levels of finals week:
happy, depressed, content, enthusiastic, excited [okay... maybe not], motivated, unmotivated, heart broken, and especially disappointed.

below is a compilation of the finals week tips i narrowed down to be the very best.
i estimate a 96.8% success rate if all of these rules are followed.

but then again... i dropped out of my math class last semester.


1. dress
my freshman year at BYU, i had an ingenious idea.
seriously. i could sell it and make millions.
instead i freely give it away on my public blog.

after walking out of the testing center with a final exam grade of 27%, i knew something had to be done to ensure my self-esteem didn't burry itself in the hole it was already digging. i felt horrible. worthless. idiotic. and from that day forth, i have followed this strict guideline: on the day of a huge test, dress as cute as physically possible. hair curled, too much make up, and the newest or cutest outfit you own. i say this for two reasons.

one- you will feel SO MUCH more confident.
two- regardless of the test score, you'll know you still have something going for you.
(27%? who cares?! i'm the hottest thing here.)
here are my three new finals week purchases:

it's hard when your new haircut reminds you of a lesbian, but i managed.

2. eat
i know you've heard this a million times. whether you're preparing for elementary state tests, high school finals, giving blood, or the ACT, teachers always tell you to eat a well-balanced breakfast.

it can be as simple as toast drowning in your mothers homemade delicious strawberry jam and a glass of milk.
"yeah, whatever. i don't eat breakfast."
WRONG. you do during finals week!
because regardless of how not hungry you are before you sit down to take that test, halfway through it you know you'll be sitting there either distracted by how hungry you are or smothered with regret of not eating before you came to conquer this huge test. you'll rush yourself because you can't focus, and you'll fail.
trust me. eat food.

3. tricks
i can remember almost everything with a song or acronym.
"My Pony Prances Near Or Below Satan's House."
what is that, you ask?
"Monson, Packer, Perry, Nelson, Oaks, Ballard, Scott, Hales."
see what i did there?
genius. genius.
ideal for memorizing a list or groups.
seriously, you can't go wrong. the weirder it is, the easier it is to remember.

4. isolation
if you're serious about your tests, you need to ISOLATE YOURSELF!
from what?
facebook, pinterest, texting, twitter, instagram, pinterest, blogging (woops), facebook again, and especially pinterest.
if you have enough self control to stay away, congrats. you're a champ.
anyone else, try something like this or have a friend change your passwords.

and lets not forget people. go somewhere that forces you to be quiet: library, library, or the library.
in my case, scotty gets the living room and i get the bedroom.
no communication.
no distractions or distracting.
you just can't!

5. rewards
does receiving an A give you enough motivation to pull your crap together and study? if you're like me, then the answer is no. it doesn't. so try something even better: candy. or wingers. or a nordstrom trip. set high goals for yourself and accept your deserving reward when they are accomplished.
example: write a paper, we will get wingers for dinner.
example: write one more page, then you can go on pinterest for a whole 15 minutes.
example: finish a reflection, then you can write a blog post about finals
example: take a quiz, snuggle with this guy-

it works wonders.
and apparently so does making a disgusting asian face in pictures with my husband.
happy finals week! chin up.


you've got to be kidding me.

am i being punked?
is this some kind of sick joke?
please tell me it's true!
i am in a state of disbelief and pain.

for 11 months out of the year, i sit and wait oh-so-patiently for my favorite favorite favorite favorite easter candy to arrive in local grocery and convenience stores.

remember last year when i professed my undying love for the easter sweetarts?

usually i spot them within hours of being put out on the shelves, buy a bag or two, and return when i need more. it's as simple as that. this year, i waited... waited... searched... tried different locations... and was disappointed with every target, smith's, maceys, winco, [need i go on?] that i stepped foot in.

for all i saw was this:

a mediocre and incomplete arrangement of sweetart selections.

i searched high and low for some sort of explanation.  how can these things just be done with no public opinions taken into consideration? after hours of googling, this is the only thing i found:


is it too much to say i am heartbroken?

they have now altered my flawless favorite candy in too many disappointing ways.
the most drastic changes are apparent in facade as well as taste.

as you can see, there is a perfect color combination. only the best flavors. bite-sized, but more so on the larger side. perfect for one in the mouth at a time (makes the bag last longer). crunchy, but still soft on the inside. classic. lovable. 


the manufacturers probably pressed the wrong button that allowed the orange flavor to enter the mix. "hey, here's an idea. let's take the most revolting flavor and add it to the best easter candy of all time!" not likely. it had to have been a mistake. the new size is too small to know what to do with. putting one in the mouth is not enough, while putting two or three in the mouth can get a little overwhelming. too small to have any type of middle or center. one crunch and it's gone. 

... excuse me while i go into depression.
you can be assured that nestle and wonka will be hearing from me.


my calling in life

remember how i don't have any skills or talents or hobbies?


it involves the newest hottest app: draw something.

basically, it's like pictionary for phones. and i dominate.
just wanted to showcase a few of my favorite drawings of all time... either because they are hilarious or amazing.  most contributions are from me or my sweet little tanner.


 ...cave man
 ...my awesome pikachu
 ... what can i say, i'm an artist.

 ... my proudest moment. disney movies are my thing
seriously can't stop laughing. "you get a car. *repeat 2000*" oprah. 

if we aren't playing already... add me.
it's addicting!



i guess the gods of the blogging universe heard my cries.
scotty doesn't work his night shift anymore!
can i get a round of applause for my persuasive blogging?!

do you know what this means? 
scotty and i spent the whole weekend together
to any other couple it wouldn't really be a big deal...
but considering our previous situations... this was, indeed, a really big deal. 

the first thing we did was go to the planetarium. 
free, fun, and actually very interesting! 

oh this is us just hanging out on the moon.
we both learned a lot about the universe and our cute little earth.
it really is little compared to the other planets. who knew?

not sure what this contraption had to do with anything at all...
but it was fun nonetheless.

scotty was fascinated with the pendulum.
frankly, all i could think about while looking at it was peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin streusel pie.

did you know we are rotating at 787 miles per hour?
did you know scotty would feel like 664 lbs on jupiter?
did you know the only reason i know the planets in order is because of this very song that i heard years and years and years ago?


got iphone?

we do.
we love love love our iphones!
so naturally, we want them to be protected at all times.
and in all things. and in all places.
i about have a heart attack every time i drop mine.
(and by "every time," i mean both times)

getting to the point.
my awesome aunt cindy told me about this website from which she ordered super cheap iphone cases. they start at like 80 cents. i had to check it out for myself. there are a lot of weird cases. like anime jap cases. but it's just like forever 21... you have to search, but eventually you'll find cute stuff.

and who doesn't love forever 21?

anyway. we ended up buying like six cases.
(five for me and one for scotty)
and tons of screen covers. cant have too many of those, right?

the website seemed pretty sketchy. and it took like 15 days to get here.
but i guess the free shipping made up for it.

here is my personal favorite:

 scotty says it looks like a grandma case.
whatever. im obsessed!
go, my friends! visit www.focalprice.com today!


wait 'til you see my...

not sure yet.
freaking out.
more to come.


conference wrap up

i love listening to general conference every six months.
however, the brethren's voices are so soft and soothing that i need some sort of activity to keep me awake and alert. but it can't be anything too intense or i won't pay attention.

what conference activities did you do this weekend?
scotty and i got a lot accomplished.

we dusted every inch of the living room.
(parents are coming this week)

we took my extensions out!


i painted my nails and toenails.

played a hardcore version of "i spy" looking for elder archuleta in the missionary choir... scotty spotted him first.

we made a delicious chicken fried rice dinner.
recipe unknown because we didn't save the link!

and between saturday/sunday, we watched mean girls, breaking dawn, and real steel.
all three were great movies.

especially real steel... seriously. i cried.

we watched our FAVORITE show right now (since grey's is being a d-bag and not fulfilling our craving for new episodes) ONCE UPON A TIME.
ohhhh my gosh it's good. it's real good.
usually i hate mystery shows. not this one.
maybe because it involves fairy tale characters & princesses.

here is the link. get started.

we cracked a bunch of hilarious/idiotic april fools jokes to each other.
"scotty i'm never making dinner again. seriously. you're on your own." ... APRIL FOOLS.
"ashley do you want me to rub your feet?" "yes!!!" "APRIL FOOLS!"
"did you know i used to be left handed?" april fools.
he even texted his mom and said we were prego... real original haha.
luckily that stupid day won't come again for a whole year!

my favorite talk / the one that stuck out to me the most from the whole weekend was by Elder Donald L.  Hallstrom. (yes, we watched the saturday sessions. be proud.) he talked about the difference between being "active in the church" and "active in the gospel."  really great talk. it reminded me of a favorite quote of mine... "sitting in church doesn't make you a christian any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car."

i think sometimes we get so wrapped up in the church that we miss out on the gospel.
when all is said and done, it won't matter what amazing quilt you made in achievement days or how successful you are at baking funeral potatoes, or even how elaborate your relief society lesson was displayed. all that matters is that we try our hardest to keep the commandments, encourage others to, and repent when we mess up. we need to go to the temple, pray, and serve others.

all in all i'd say it was a great weekend. we loved lounging around in our PJs and relaxing for two whole days. now it's time to buckle up and get ready for finals! 2 weeks left in the semester.