How I've coped with loss

7/27/2010 07:53:00 PM Ashley 1 Comments

This post is going to take a little turn away from our travels.

Recently I received a comment from a reader who wanted to know how I coped with my mother's passing and I felt that the question deserved it's very own post. Hopefully what I have to say will help the reader and anyone else who has/is going through a loss. Please keep in mind that this is how I dealt with my mother's passing and that I understand that everyone handles things differently.

Surround yourself with people who you love/who love you, but at the same time don't feel badly asking for time to yourself. While it was amazing to have the support of so many people, there were times that I just wanted a moment to myself. On the flip side don't spend too much time alone. I found that this was the quickest way to fall into the "what ifs" of life. Find a balance that works for you.

Also, don't be afraid to cry, if you need to, do it. Almost 5 years later I still have moments where I just break down and cry. It's not pretty, but it helps get it out. If the loss just recently happened, don't feel badly if you can't cry anymore. After about the 3rd-4th day I just couldn't cry any more. There was a solid week where I just couldn't do it...I couldn't even force myself to cry. Just because you aren't crying doesn't mean that it still doesn't hurt. Nothing aggravated me more then when someone acted like I didn't miss my mom because I wasn't able to show it at that moment.

I wasn't able to do this right away, but I did things that helped remind me of my mom. I got back into crafts and started cooking more (using her recipe cards). I talked about her to my husband. I made sure that I have pictures of her up. Though getting to the point where I could do those things and see her picture took me months.

If I can I take the day she passed as a day for myself. I still have no idea how exactly I will react, and I want to be ready for whatever my emotions throw at me. Like this year I had a total forgetful moment. I forgot that the day was coming, but my mind knew. The night before I woke up crying and kept crying. Then it hit me that I had forgotten and I cried more. Two years ago I was fine. You just never know.

Most of all, I always know that my mom loved me and that I loved her. She made me into the person that I am today and I am forever grateful for that. While I wish I could have had more time with her, I am so very glad that I got the time that I did. She may be gone, but I still think about her and love her more than ever. That is the most important thing to me being able to get through the day.

I also keep in mind that if I ever feel like I am just not coping properly that I can see someone for help. I think it's so important to know when you are no longer able to handle the grieving by yourself. If that happens, seek help, because you can't go through this alone.

One last thing, whoever said it gets easier is full of it. Yes there are easy days, but at the same time I have awful days. It hurts as much and sometimes more then when she passed away. That is something I wasn't prepared for.

In the end every day I wake up knowing I need to live my life for myself and in honor of the woman who gave me life and raised me.

For those that have lost, I am so very sorry. There is no easy way to go through it, and sadly I know how much it hurts. My thoughts are with you and I hope what I had to say helps you in some way. Know that you are not alone, and if you ever need help or to just talk, please email me.


Day 2 and hotel stays

7/26/2010 07:49:00 PM Ashley 0 Comments

Yesterday was a long day. It all started with the fear that we might actually have to drive both cars instead of towing one behind the other. After a freak out and a trip to a U-Haul, we were able to get the Versa up onto the dolly. Then were were off.

Ten plus hours of driving and we got to Oklahoma City, OK. Seriously...the roads on the interstate in the city were awful. We bumped and jerked our way into the parking lot and by that time I was done for the night. We fell into the Sheraton in Midwest City. The woman at the front desk wasn't friendly and made me feel rushed as I filled out a questionnaire about Emmett.




The room was an odd mix of old and new. The room felt, meh with random hi-tech items thrown in. There was also a $6 internet fee which I find laughable when the cheaper places offer free internet. There wasn't a pet fee which was great, but by no means did they do anything to welcome your pet.

All in all, it might be a place we stayed again, if we had to. Though for being pet friendly...I'd like to see more friendliness.

Today we ended up driving from Oklahoma City, OK to North Little Rock, AR. We went for a Comfort Inn here, because it is close to the interstate. It's a good basic hotel and has a low $25 one time pet fee. pictures, but really this hotel is not that exciting.

Tomorrow we are off to Birmingham, AL. Which I am really excited for because we are staying a what is supposed to be a very pet friendly hotel and it puts us one day out from seeing a good friend of ours!

All in all I already hate sitting in a car, but am excited about where all of this driving will be taking us!

Hope everyone else had a great start to their week!


Homewood Suites (pet friendly review)

7/24/2010 10:21:00 PM Ashley 1 Comments

As promised, I wanted to give reviews of all of the dog friendly hotels we stayed at.

More and more people are traveling with their dogs. Or if you're us...we are moving across the country. We all expect a certain level of comfort, depending on how much we pay for a room. So shouldn't we expect that for our dog? Especially if you are paying a pet fee.

With our travels, we'll end up stay at six different hotels. My hope is to rate each one, as well as the company as a whole if I can (like if they allow pets at all hotels).

I'm going to base our rating on price of room, pet fee, comfort/feel and actual pet friendliness. These will be out of a "5 star" rating system.

So first up we had our unexpected, but very much needed stay at Homewood Suites in Albuquerque, NM.

From their site:

Maximum size: Medium
Maximum weight:
50 lbs
Pet Service Fee: USD 50.00 Non-Refundable Fee
Services: Non-refundable Fee/Dogs Only

Our rating:

Price: $$-$$$
Pet fee: $$
Overall comfort: ★ ★ ★ ★
Pet friendliness: ★ ★ ★

View or living area from door.

Small kitchen area.

Bedroom is in a separate area from living area and can be closed off with doors.


Gift bag for Emmett.

Overall we're happy with the place. It's a little more pricey, but at the same time you are getting a room with a small kitchen and living area. The beds are comfortable, but I may be biased because I have been sleeping on an air mattress. The beauty products are all from Neutrogena. The pet fee is a one time $50 charge and because we have a dog with us, we have to stay on the first floor. This is nice because it means we can get outside quickly with Emmett if we need too. While they weren't overly friendly to Emmett they did give us a gift bag with a dog toy and two Milk Bones. Though I am a little shocked not to see any poo bags, especially because I didn't notice any waist stations around the hotel.

If we ever came back to Albuquerque, we'd definitely stay here again.

Emmett says thanks for reading. Okay really he's passed out on the bed with his nose touching his toy that he pulled out of his bag (yes he has his own bag). If he were awake he would say thanks, I swear.


And then there was none

7/24/2010 06:47:00 PM Ashley 1 Comments

As of Thursday afternoon we were living in a very very empty house. The emptiness wasn't as crazy to us and the echo-y madness was. With all wood and tile floors and a sudden a lack of area rugs, you could hear everything.


We ended up getting great packers and a great truck driver as well, so we feel really lucky for how everything has worked out thus far. Especially with the horror stories we've heard.




We had planned to stay in the house for three nights and just use an air mattress, but after two less than ideal nights, we decided to stay the night in a hotel. Pretty much a decent night sleep, breakfast made for us and being right on the interstate and ready to hit the road in the morning!

It's hard to believe that the move/road trip is finally here. It felts like yesterday I was starting all of my research on moving and Ohio. I'm so very excited for this next chapter in our lives!

Oh and because we are traveling with Emmett, I figured I'd do little reviews on the hotels we're staying at and how dog friendly they really are. I'll try to update the day after we stay at the hotel, as long as the hotel has internet for us to connect to. So keep your eye out for that!

I hope you all join us for this adventure, cause I know I'll be blogging about it!


Living out of boxes

7/21/2010 09:04:00 PM Ashley 3 Comments

Well the move is finally, really, truly upon us.

Holy crap balls.

Today was day two of the packers being here. Luckily we lucked out with three very nice and helpful packers. I never once felt like I was going to freak out and cry. Which is great, because I already did the freak out/cry Monday night. That was not a pretty night.

Now we live amongst boxes. Lots and lots of boxes...

Our breakfast area with kitchen to the right.

Master closet (can I say how much I love wardrobe boxes? LOVE!)

Office/second guest bedroom/craftroom

Guest bedroom.

Dining room.

Kitchen...with the husband heating up a molten cake. Mmmmmm.

Currently we are sitting and watching 30 Rock on my husband's laptop, which is sitting on top of a box. Big pimpin' people, big pimpin'.

Tomorrow we have yet another day of craziness, but this time it's in the form of everything being loaded into a truck and hulled away. Then the really fun living starts, can we say air mattress?



Hidden Treasure nail polish really is a Hidden Treasure!

7/16/2010 10:03:00 PM Ashley 4 Comments

So...sometimes my city doesn't seem to get popular makeup lines...or they do and they seem to hide them. This happened recently on a line that Sally Hansen paired with Tracy Reese (they seem to be working together a lot). One of those recent pairings produced Opulent Cloud, which I personally love.

The newest pairing was from a few months back and was a part of Sally Hansen's new Complete Salon Formula. This meant some awesome colors and by far the coolest and most covet-able was Hidden Treasure. I wanted it. It's shiny and pretty and I just had to have it on my nails.

(Midnight in NY and Hidden Treasure)

Fast forward a few this week. I saw Hidden Treasure again on another blog and my mind went racing. I never saw it released...and I had been keeping my eye out for it. I never saw it in my local Walgreen' fact I never saw at any of my local drug stores. Then this past week I noticed a few lingering colors, from the line, at some stores. Had I really missed it? How? I asked the employees about the line and got pretty much the same blank look from each of them.

So for the past few days I have been visiting different drug stores trying to find my new love, in nail polish form. After 5-6 stops I had given up. Then we ended up at one last store.

There is was...hidden on a bottom shelf with all of the other cast off colors that didn't have a home. I snached it up and ran over to show Nate (who lovingly was trying to help me find it, oh the things he does for me). I then promptly danced in the aisle.

Today I got to dance I found another! So now I have TWO bottles! Squeee!

I am smitten with the color. I can't wait to get it on my nails, but that will have to wait as I don't want to waist it on nails that will be broken during the move. As soon as it graces my nails, I will get it posted for you all to see.

Did you know about this color? Did you want it? If you did were you able to get it?


Emmett is all packed up and ready to go

7/12/2010 07:15:00 PM Ashley 2 Comments

Less than two weeks from now we will be on the road...holy.crap.

Of course the fire has really really really been lit under my butt with organizing/pre packing.

Now while I am trying to figure out what we are going to be taking with us; you know clothing, shoes and whatnot...we can't forget about Emmett. He's already not so happy about all of this unknown commotion. So if we forgot his stuff...oh heck no. But at the same time he is also displeased about the movement of his stuff.



If only he knew that we're doing this for his good, because right now he is miserable. least someone is packed and ready to go. I really need to get on top of that.


Moving has become my life

7/07/2010 11:44:00 AM Ashley 1 Comments

I swear I haven't fallen off the face of the earth...I've mostly just fallen into a mile long to-do list for this move.

I have been busy doing stuff that makes it feel like I have been doing nothing (can I tell you how much I hate that!?). The movers are packing us (in two weeks, EEK!)...but I still feel like more should be packed.

Anywho, I just wanted to stop in and say that I am still here, but that my posts may be few and far. It's not that I don't want to be posting, it's just that it's probably better if I don't. Plus how many posts about moving do you all really want to read? I do promise a few posts before we set off on the road (perhaps a clothing I am packing post?). And I swear there will be fun and exciting posts about our 1600 mile trek across the country.

Before I go, I will say that we have been booking our hotels for the drive and we have come across a few really great ones. In fact I can't wait to stay at aloft in Birmingham, AL. It looks awesome, plus it's pet friendly. And even better than that there is no pet fee! Holy awesome. Also they set you up with dog treats and a dog bed (so we were told). I can't wait to stay there and give a full rundown on the place!


One last craft before the move (and a DIY)

7/02/2010 07:14:00 PM Ashley 4 Comments


It had to happen. I was putting it off for too long. If I didn't start organizing now...I would have to deal with it after the move. So today I set off packing and organizing my craft area and when I say craft area I mean the dinning room table that got taken over with my projects.

It was hard...because I have a hankering for some good crafting, but with 3 weeks left before the move that really isn't an option. was.

I had a wreath that I had started a few months back, but I had to take it apart because the spacing was off. My option was to toss it all in a box and deal with it later, or make it and pack it with the other wreaths.

15 minutes later I finally had my finished wreath!


I had seen this style of wreath on Crate and Barrel (no longer on-line) in red Hydrangeas, but if I remember correctly it was $60. Pass. So off I went to the craft store and bought silk Hydrangeas for 50% off.



I pulled the heads off the the stems and hot glued any parts that that were lose.



I then wrapped wire through the flower head and twisted it onto the metal frame. I cut off any extra wire and hot glued the wire tail onto the metal frame (for added security).




A simple and quick wreath, for far less than $60. If you wanted to could add a feather butterfly to the wreath (or whatever else), but I like how simple it is.

Because all of my craft stuff is now organized and slightly packed, this will probably be my last project/how-to for awhile. But don't you worry...we're moving onto another house that will need its own wreaths and crafty goodness. So keep reading!