Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I won!

Remember that posting awhile back with the painting of the Peacock and the Give-away? Today, I found out I am the lucky winner! I was so thrilled when I found out this morning.

Usually when I enter these give-aways, I always think that theres no way I'll ever win. but maybe, just maybe I will... I am so excited and it's an Art Original give-away! Could not be more perfect for who I am, as an artist myself.

This will be mine:

I love getting free stuff. :] Go here to see more paintings by this artist.

Monday, August 23, 2010

If you love babies.

My Savior

Last night I attended the special fireside with President Wood as the guest speaker. I'm so glad I was there because the Spirit made itself manifest to me in a very powerful way. 

There was a special musical number of "A Poor Wayfaring Man" and it was absolutely beautiful. I thank the woman who sang it and really owned the words of the song, you could tell she believed every word and that she was singing for her Savior. Tears flooded my face as she sang the last few verses with such conviction: 

"Stripped, wounded, beaten nigh to death,
I found him by the highway side.
I roused his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied
Wine, oil, refreshment—he was healed.
I had myself a wound concealed,
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.

In pris’n I saw him next, condemned
To meet a traitor’s doom at morn.
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
And honored him ’mid shame and scorn.
My friendship’s utmost zeal to try,
He asked if I for him would die.
The flesh was weak; my blood ran chill,
But my free spirit cried, “I will!”

Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in His hands I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.
He spake, and my poor name He named,
'Of Me thou hast not been ashamed.
These deeds shall thy memorial be;
Fear not, thou didst them unto Me.'"

There is just one other moment I'd like to share with you that touched my heart in a way that it yearned for. President Wood told a story of how he had been with his daughter one day, talking about life in the car. As he was talking with her, he began to say he was sorry that he had missed her open house and she replied, "Dad, there's not one thing you could do that would make me stop loving you." What a sweet moment. President Wood continued to say that the Savior loves us with a perfect love and that there is not one thing that could make him stop loving us. Within me, as I listened to this, a warming sensation filled my body and I knew that he was speaking a beautiful truth to me. I needed this confirmation, to know of my Savior's love for me. I wavered on this truth just not too long ago. I questioned how the Savior could possibly keep loving me time after time of messing up and making mistakes. It was disheartening and I was scared for my soul, for my life. Then last night, I had that special confirmation that the Savior in fact does love me perfectly. 

May you all know how much you are loved and held precious to our Savior and to our Heavenly Father. We may not understand it, but if we can feel their love, as I did, then we know we will be taken care of so long as we allow their Spirits to work within ourselves and within our lives.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dream on

I had a dream. I was pregnant (barely showing) and I was all stressed because all my training for the marathon would obviously not be of any worth to me anymore. I was torn between happiness and disappointment. It was WEIRD.

It's NOT weird that I'd dream of pregnancy or babies...if you know me at all. I tell you, Heavenly Father instilled within women the desire to have children, but he must have given me an extra dose of that. Ever since I was a little girl, I played with babies and in Kindergarten my answer to "What do you want to be when you grow up?" was always "a mother." Even at 5 years old my head was thinking motherhood... not ballerina; not doctor; not astronaut.

But this post isn't about motherhood or getting pregnant. It's about the flippin marathon! Geez, I cannot seem to wake up early enough to run, so my runs turn into evening runs. I take that back, I could have easily woken up this morning but I'm slowly getting the "I don't want to run" bug. I HAVE TO WANT TO RUN. Roughly 3.5 more months left of training. I need to keep it going so I don't fall behind, get fat and die on the course. I think today erks me because its speed workout day. I never really was a fan of it in Cross Country during my high school days, and I'm not really a fan of it now. But I still have that motivation to do well time-wise...what ever that turns out to be.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I want this! I love the color; I love the shape; its natural and organic. I feel inspired to paint masterpieces of my own. Go here to check out more artwork by this artist and find more information about her give-away!

Which reminds me, this Thursday is my first practice class with KidzArt. With REAL kids. Ha. Exciting! Wish me luck.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sunday Will Come


I remember the first time I met my wife, Elisa. As a favor to a friend, I had gone to her home to pick up her sister, Frances. Elisa opened the door, and at least for me, it was love at first sight.
I think she must have felt something too, for the first words I ever remember her saying were, “I knew who you was.”
Elisa was an English major.
To this day I still cherish those five words as some of the most beautiful in human language.
She loved to play tennis and had a lightning serve. I tried to play tennis with her, but I finally quit after coming to the realization that I couldn’t hit what I couldn’t see.
She was my strength and my joy. Because of her, I am a better man, husband, and father. We married, had eight children, and walked together through 65 years of life.
When President Hinckley spoke at Sister Wirthlin’s funeral, he said that it is a devastating, consuming thing to lose someone you love. It gnaws at your soul. He was right. As Elisa was my greatest joy, her passing is my greatest sorrow.
In the lonely hours I have spent a great deal of time thinking about eternal things. I have contemplated the comforting doctrines of eternal life.

The Gift of the Resurrection

During my life I have heard many sermons on the Resurrection. I can recite the events of that first Easter Sunday. I have marked in my scriptures passages regarding the Resurrection.
We know what the Resurrection is—the reuniting of the spirit and body in its perfect form (see Alma 11:43).
President Spencer W. Kimball said, “I am sure that if we can imagine ourselves at our very best, physically, mentally, spiritually, that is the way we will come back.”1
Can you imagine that? Life at our prime? Never sick, never in pain, never burdened by the ills that so often beset us in mortality?
The Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless. The Apostle Paul said, “If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and [our] faith is also vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14).
In all the history of the world there have been many great and wise souls, many of whom claimed special knowledge of God. But when the Savior rose from the tomb, He did something no one had ever done. He did something no one else could do. He broke the bonds of death, not only for Himself but for all who have ever lived—the just and the unjust (see John 5:28–29).
When Christ rose from the grave, becoming the firstfruits of the Resurrection, He made that gift available to all. And with that sublime act, He softened the devastating, consuming sorrow of those who have lost precious loved ones.

The Dark Friday of the Crucifixion

I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross. On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth.
Those evil men who sought His life rejoiced. Now that Jesus was no more, surely those who followed Him would disperse. On that day those men stood triumphant.
On that day the veil of the temple was rent in twain.
Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were both overcome with grief and despair. The superb man they had loved and honored hung lifeless upon the cross.
On that Friday the Apostles were devastated. Jesus, their Savior—the man who had walked on water and raised the dead—was Himself at the mercy of wicked men. They watched helplessly as He was overcome by His enemies.
On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled. It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God.
I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world’s history, that Friday was the darkest.

Sunday Will Come

But the doom of that day did not endure.
The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.
And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.
Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.
But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.
No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, in this life or the next, Sunday will come.

Testimonies of the Resurrection

The Resurrection is not a fable. We have the personal testimonies of those who saw Him. Thousands in the Old and New Worlds witnessed the risen Savior. They felt the wounds in His hands, feet, and side. They shed tears of unrestrained joy as they embraced Him.
After the Resurrection, His disciples could have disappeared and returned to their former lives and occupations. In time, their association with Him would have been forgotten.
They could have denied the divinity of Christ. Yet they did not. In the face of danger, ridicule, and threat of death, they entered palaces, temples, and synagogues boldly proclaiming Jesus the Christ, the resurrected Son of the living God.
Many of them offered as a final testimony their own precious lives. They died as martyrs, the testimony of the risen Christ on their lips as they perished.
The Resurrection transformed the lives of those who witnessed it. Should it not transform ours?

Blessings of the Resurrection

We will all rise from the grave. On that day I will once again hold in my arms my beloved Elisa.
Because of the life and eternal sacrifice of the Savior of the world, we will be reunited with those we have cherished. On that day we will know the love of our Heavenly Father and will rejoice that the Messiah overcame all that we could live forever.
Because of the sacred ordinances we receive in holy temples, death cannot long separate relationships that have been fastened together with cords made of eternal ties.
Death is not the end of existence. Because of our beloved Redeemer, we can lift up our voices, even in the midst of our darkest Fridays, and proclaim, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)
When President Hinckley spoke of the terrible loneliness that comes to those who lose the ones they love, he also promised that in the quiet of the night a still, unheard voice whispers peace to our soul: “All is well.”
I am grateful beyond measure for the sublime true doctrines of the gospel and for the gift of the Holy Ghost, which has whispered to my soul the comforting and peaceful words promised by our beloved prophet.
Live in thanksgiving for the priceless gifts that come to us as sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father and for the promise of that bright day when we shall all rise triumphant from the grave.
No matter how dark our Friday, Sunday will come.
The Resurrection transformed the lives of those who witnessed it. Should it not transform ours? We will all rise from the grave. On that day we will know the love of our Heavenly Father and will rejoice that the Messiah overcame all that we could live forever.

Monday, August 9, 2010


My mind is swimming in deep waters. Thoughts building on thoughts, building on thoughts. I'm swamped!

I think a lot. Probably too much. And when I do that, I start to self-doubt. Second-guess. Question. And I do this on anything, ranging from a multiple choice question on a test to the biggest decisions I'll ever make in this life.

I pray, and I feel like I'm listening. But are they my own thoughts or the Spirit making itself manifest to me? See where I can mull over this until I'm so confused that I have no idea?!

How do I know? Perhaps a temple trip is calling me...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Primary: 6/7 Year Olds

First class today! 
Lesson: How to be a good example.

Lesson outline: Borrowing my dad's since he taught it last week in his class and it was AWESOME.

Handout: Handcrafted masterpiece of a candle with the saying "'Let Your Light So Shine' Matthew 5:14-16" on BLACK construction paper...get it? Being a light in the dark, drawing others to you, etc... I'm so clever and symbolic-like. They even get to color on the back...fill in that EXTRA time we might have...

Treat: Funfetti cupcakes + vanilla frosting + sprinkles. Yum. They are getting spoiled-rotten today. Literally...their teeth will fall out with all that sugar in them. Not to mention the whole dessert before dinner thing... Good thing it's like an unspoken rule to bring all sorts of treats to feed them to the kids at Church, ha (ever seen singles 2nd ward? the part where the mom pulls out a gallon of milk, bowl of cereal, pb & j and bread--of course there wasn't time to make the sandwich before church so you just gotta pack it all in there!-- funny part and sorta true in an extreme sort of way); the parents will understand...

Think I'm going overboard? Isn't this what first-timers typically do? Go above and beyond and later realizing that may not be ideal for EVERY Sunday the rest of the year...? We'll find out!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

If only

Sometimes I wish the Magic 8 Ball could make all my decisions for me.
Especially the big ones.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Last night was sparring in Karate Class. I cannot begin to tell you how much I hate sparring. (Ok, well, I sorta am beginning to tell you)... I seriously try to avoid it at all costs and it has made me (a brown belt) like a white belt fighter. I kid you not, I am elementary in sparring when I should be advanced.

I truly cringe inside at the announcement from my dad:

 In the past, I've tried being late, or forgetting my gear. Somehow he always has a spare set laying around and somehow I'm never late enough... Oh the agony.

You know what else I hate about sparring? That I'm a cry baby. Ever since I first put on those sparring gloves, I have been a crier because I got hit hard (I have pictures to prove it if my memory doesn't do it for you). Like last night, I got hit in the face and my reaction is to burst out the water works. Max got hit too and he ended up with a bloody nose! The difference is he actually likes sparring and it's probably his favorite part of class.

And look at Josh Costa from the demonstration we did a couple weekends ago. He got hit in the face with a stick, cracked his glasses, and he didn't even flinch. Blood is dripping down his face and not one tear. AMAZING. But no, not me, I cry if I get whacked in the face with a padded glove.

I can't help it either. It's like a reflex.
Hit Ashley=Cry Reflex.

I know I'm fine. But this instant reaction to cry just sucks. Which leads me to my other point. I hate it when the opponent starts feeling bad because he sees my eyes glistening with tears and my eyes getting red. The worst is when they try to be all sympathetic and ask "Are you alright? Are you ok?" YES, I'M OK! Stop asking. It only makes it worse when people try to do that. It's a freaking reflex; I can't help it. Just forget it ever happened.

I hate sparring. It's almost enough to make me quit...thats how much I hate it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Well, its true. I am now registered for the CIM in December. 26.2 miles. And I'm scared. I waited the last second to register before the price went up $20...otherwise I wouldn't have done it. 

So, it's official. No refunds. No looking back. It will be something to cross off my list. 

I worry about putting a time goal in case my body doesn't feel just right on race day or I'm just much slower in general. My goal (kind of generic and usually my goal for any race) is just to finish. No pressure. No need to worry or get anxious over it.  Just finish.

I'm excited. It will motivate me to keep up with my runs and keep me healthy during the holidays! And I love my Garmin watch. It saves me from quitting. :)