FALLing Back Into The Swing Of Things

Summer is officially over, ya’ll. Autumn is here, and with that means all things I love: pumpkin spice, Hocus Pocus, apple picking, hayrides, bonfires, flannel shirts, crisper temperatures, dry reds, and coloring leaves. Autumn also means Life should be slowing down… ha! As if! But even though Life still steams ahead at a ridiculously fast pace, I am back on the keyboard punching a word here or there for you, my little winos. So to those I haven’t spoken to in awhile: hello again, friends. And to those wandering across this blog for the first time: hello and welcome.

Since my last post, many changes have occurred in my world and as I move forward with the remainder of 2019 and start thinking of 2020, I would like to touch upon some of those “new things” in my life:

Since mid-Fall 2018, my gluten intolerance was wrecking havoc on my body and mind — and my self-esteem. Every day I found myself nauseous, uncomfortably bloated, tired, achy, and irritable. I was gaining weight because I couldn’t find motivation to work out. So to make up for the lack of exercise, I tried to diet and eat whole foods — whole grains, salads, fruit, lean proteins. Unknowingly, the base of many of my meals was made from foods toxic to me. It became an endless cycle of eating, sudden nausea, uncontrollable fatigue, and slipping into a hole of eating whatever I could get my hands on simply to ease my stomach and perpetual hunger. This vicious cycle led to my clothes growing tighter and my self esteem growing dimmer. By the end of every day, I was so disappointed in myself at what I perceived as a case of laziness I just couldn’t overcome. Cue another type of cycle then — cruel, self-criticism. My fatigue grew worse as I failed to sleep through the nights. I was so burnt out, physically, mentally, emotionally…

Then the cancer scares happened in February and March, and with those scares came answers. Following blood work and various doctors’ appointments, I discovered that my inner battles were being waged by intolerance to what I was eating. What I presumed as healthy was in fact not. For me at least. And so came a lot of changes and transitions and learning curves.

In the past six months, I’ve discovered what foods my body can handle and what it cannot. I have eaten 90% gluten-free for the entire month of September and it is AMAZING the differences I feel and see in my body. My energy has returned. My body is no longer bloated. I’m able to wear my wedding rings for the first time since February! Now the goal is to go 100% gluten-free in October and 50% dairy free. It is a process, but I’m continuously moving forward in the correct direction.

With the increase in my energy and positivity of mindset, I joined a CrossFit Box at the beginning of the month. As most people who participate in CrossFit can attest, I fell in love quickly with the exercises and daily differences in workouts. Not only do I sweat, but I never get bored. I’ve also increased my running regime, growing stronger in my intervals and preparing to run my first 5k in over two years on Thanksgiving Day. My next  personal goal is to complete Beachbody’s 100 Morning Meltdown workouts before December 31, 2019 beginning the 100 workouts on October 1st.

Aside from fitness, I’ve started a second job at a local winery. I enjoy my day-to-day employment at the Agency, but upon returning from the Finger Lakes, I realized how much I missed talking wine. Wine is my passion! Luckily, G and I have become regulars at a winery down the road from us and the owner offered me a position on the weekends to make a little side cash. It was easy to get back into the swing of pouring and chumming it up with patrons, and I could not be more excited to spend my Fall investing a bit more time in the wine industry.

Speaking of our vacation — WOW! G and I needed the time away from the house and our jobs to reset and refresh. The trip was one for the books, and I will be writing plenty of posts in the future on our experiences. Let me suffice it to say that it was absolutely perfect in every respect.

Life is crazy now that we’re back home though. G is taking three classes this semester on top of working seven days a week. We are (fingers crossed) within a month’s time of G getting his full rights back in terms of his license. It has been chaos attempting to get all the paperwork together with his hectic schedule, but can I just take a moment to say how much I adore my husband? This process has hit every last nerve, and he continues to push through the mess and become a better, stronger man every day. I could not be prouder of him and his perseverance. He is an inspiration to me every single day.

Once we are over these last few hurdles of court and schooling, we have a good outlook on our futures. I’ve been toying with the idea of returning to school for my masters, G would like to get a business degree, there’s been talk of moving to the mountains, and also talk of children. Life is exciting. Life is good. And we are ready to take a step forward into whatever God has planned for us.

Even if children are not in our future, we are so incredibly blessed with little ones in our lives already. Copper — our furbaby — will be celebrating his one year birthday in November and we could not be happier with our pup. He is such a joy to come home to every day. My brother and sister-in-law also surprised us with news that they are expecting our second nephew/niece in April and we could not be more excited! Our nephew is going to be the best big brother. Plus two of my best girls are pregnant and both expecting girls before the end of 2019 — I could not be a more joyful auntie.

I think that covers all the big items that are allowing this Autumn to be extra special. As I continue to grow stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally, my outlook on Life has grown brighter as well. I can honestly say I’ve never been happier.

I’ll be in touch soon with vacation information and some delicious (gluten-free) Fall treats. I hope all is well with you as well — is there any exciting news in your lives that makes this new season better? I would love to hear of your Summer successes, personal goals, fun activity plans, or anything else! Please feel free to share in the comments below.

To a fresh season, my friends!

12 Signs You’re Doing Much Better Than You Think

“Hello blogosphere, my name is Ashley and I have an issue of busying myself far too much during the summer months.”

I know, I know, it has been a second since I’ve posted. I kick myself at the ending of every week for not finding the time to sit down and spend time with my keyboard. I feel like you’re all friends who have moved away and who I’ve promised to keep in touch with but… then I fail. So this is my little phone call to you all, promising to text, dial, email, smoke signal, whatever more in the future. I’m still here and I’m still here for you!

With that being said, Life is crazy right now. Work, House, volunteering committees seem to have devoured my every second and its every thing I can do to just find time to wash my clothes and brush my teeth. But hey, I love it! A quick overview: Wilbur and I are still happily together, I’ve recently picked up bujoing and am obsessed, my summer of weddings is about to be finished come August 12th, I danced with the idea of being a homeowner, I’ve committed to a few new responsibilities, Vinny from the Bachelorette liked my tweet… Overall Summer 2016 has been a rush and I’m excited to see what the rest of the year might bring! But, until I can actually sit down and choose a topic from my long list of options on my next blog post, enjoy this little nugget of wisdom found on Puckermob:

Originally posted on Puckermob:

It’s really easy to get caught up in your own head and believe you’re behind where you’re supposed to be for your age or that a single mistake is the end of the world.

Here are some signs that you’re actually doing much better than you think:

    1. You’re unsure about everything. Constantly wondering and questioning is a sign of intelligence. Have you noticed how it’s always the idiots that are so sure about every damn thing they are doing in their lives?
    2. You’re not content with something in your life. This is such an important thing because it means you’re self-aware and you don’t want to settle  -and that’s the first and most crucial step towards change. So many people stay where they are – emotionally or physically – because it takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery.
    3. You fell for the wrong person and got your heart broken into a million pieces. Someone can be madly in love with you and still not be ready. They can love you in a way you have never been loved and still not give you what you need. That’s okay. There is a more extraordinary love out there that you would never know if it didn’t end it with the last one.
    4. You’ve lost something important to you and you’re still hurting. That means you are alive, you have a heart, you are healing, and your soul is learning the natural cycle of breaking and healing. The only real tragedy is the loss of emotions all together.
    5. You feel lost. That means you’re ahead of the game – anyone who thinks they’ve got it all figured out is settling for something for okay or sort of good enough. You’re lost because you know that there is much more inside of you than what you’re currently offering the world. Being lost keeps you hungry and it keeps you moving forward. You are exactly where you need to be right now.
    6. Your ego has been really hurt. In the words of Jillian Michaels, “A bad day for your ego is a great day for your soul.”
    7. You have one or two friends that feel like your family. If you have one person in your life that just gets you, that you can call crying at 4 a.m. and you know that somehow, they will just make you feel better – you’re set.
    8. You’ve made mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable in a life worth living. As long as you learn from them, mistakes are very important. They teach you exactly what you want and who you want to be.
    9. Some days you feel miserable. Maybe it’s because of a breakup, a divorce, losing a job, or life’s just getting you down – whatever it is, the harder you slam a ball into the ground, the higher it bounces back up. Some days life is gonna rough you up a bit, but it will leave you stronger, more appreciative, more compassionate, and wiser. Beautiful people do not just happen – life is all about experience.
    10. You got rejected or didn’t get something you really wanted. Remember, when one door closes another door always opens. If you open your eyes, you will see the next door that opens is a better door.
    11. You didn’t get your perfect ending. Some of the best stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about making the best of each moment because we really don’t know what will happen next. Maybe you didn’t get your perfect ending, but you will get something so much better.
    12. You’re not the same person you were a year ago. So many people never change. They get stuck in their stubborn ways and never progress. Life is all about evolving.

This articles was originally written by Anna Bashedly on August 9, 2015.