Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Under Construction!

So I'm in the process of creating my OWN blog layout!! 

And... in the process... I have seemed to tweaked some things.

So, please don't mind the html mess right now.

It will be pretty soon :-)

Dove Quote

So at work, I've slowly gotten the reputation of eating any junk food within arms length.  Candy, donuts, chips, chocolate, cookies, you name it and I want it. 

While waiting at our meeting the other day at work, a bag full of candy was placed on the large conference room table.  While everyone stared at it, not wanting to make the first move, I jaunted up to the table and took my handful of carefully selected chocolates.  Among my handful were Dove Dark Chocolates, Snickers, and Twix.  I plopped the Dove Dark Chocolate into my mouth (while my coworkers chuckled as I was the only person to eat the candy) and read the quote on the inside of the wrapper.  This was my quote:

"Instead of complaining, try to find a solution."

Amazing, right?!  I love quotes like that.  It's true too.  In any work place if you have an issue or a problem, don't complain about it until you can present a solution.  This is also a huge component of my relationship with Aaron as well.  In the past I have been used to getting what I want 100% of the time.  I realized quickly that whining just to whine, and complaining just to complain, DOESN'T WORK.  Not only is it tiring to always be complaining but it creates no results.  I pride myself now on being able to say, "I'm upset about this, and this is what we can do to prevent this from happening in the future."  

It's a great little motto to live by.  Everyone can benefit from being proactive and taking the first step to presenting a solution rather than complaining.

Have a great day today.  Don't get blown away!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Brooks and Dunn

(Sorry it's a blurry image, it's the only one I had of both of them)


Courtney and I had amazing seats. We went to the concert in Marysville, CA. Unfortunately we missed Jason Aldean because we were stuck in horrible traffic the entire way. LUCKILY we made it to our wonderful seats during intermission!!

And we DANCED the whole time!

It was wonderful.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

This, that, these, those, or none

I am conflicted.

End of story.

I am in the COBALabs where I should be finishing my homework for my 7-9:45pm class, but instead I have a certain "MLS Listing" pulled up on my computer. 

Yup - A House!!

I am so excited I found the most adorable house that was love at first site.  I saw the house, looked at John and squealed "I LOVE IT!"  Ok, so it needs a new roof.  It probably needs a new water heater too.  It probably need a lot of new things which is why it's going for $75K (hey, call me cheap!).  But I love it, and it's something that has finally caught my eye.

Unfortunately I'm conflicted.  I feel like I'm playing blackjack and I have a hand where I could either win a TON or lose a TON so I'm begging other people to tell me what to do so that I don't have to make the decision and take the fault of potentially losing money.  "What should I doooooooo?"

  • Make an offer? 
  • Don't make an offer? 
  • Let an amazing opportunity pass me up? 
  • Maybe there's a better opportunity down the road? 
  • Perhaps I'll go bankrupt and die a horrible death where the banks come after me and shave my head then call me fat.

I need support and I feel like I want support from everyone.  But I think when I say "support" I'm asking for someone to coddle me in their arms, tell me "everything is going to be ok," then tell me what to do.

.... like when you're in the 1st grade and your best friend breaks her arm so you think it's the end of the world.  Then your mom gives you a hug and says, "You know what?  She's going to be ok!  This too shall pass" and then all of a sudden everything is ok again.

That's what I want.

P.S. I would post a picture but I don't want anyone to steal my house so I'm keeping it a secret (haha and I'm totally serious)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Baby Jake Lee Walters

We have a new addition to our family!  
Baby Jake Lee Walters
7 pounds 11 ounces

My step-sister, Jennifer, gave birth to the most perfect and beautiful baby boy last night.  So I'm an Aunt!

Monday, April 19, 2010

About Me

My name is Ashley Cray.  My little “about me” portion of my profile is my favorite and describes a lot of my quirks and personality traits, but it doesn’t go into detail.  I am 23 which is a scary age to me.  It’s that age where you should have your own responsibilities.  Yes, parents can help you to a certain extent, but it is my belief that at 23 and a college graduate I should be paying my own rent, buying my own car, and doing my best to live my own life.  On the flip side, I still beg my mom to come with me to every Doctor Appointment, I still call my dad for help cooking, and my step-dad still does my taxes.  Hey, I’m not entering the big kid world cold turkey!

 (Step-dad, Me, Mom, Brother Matt, Dad)

My undergraduate degree is Information Systems from the College of Business.  Unfortunately, some very important information slipped through COBA and upon getting ready to receive my diploma I found out I still have FIVE more credits!!  Five credits of anything.  PEX classes.  Education Classes.  Business classes.  ANYTHING.  Just 5 random meaningless credits.  So concurrently with these 5 random credits, I am also taking graduate classes to pursue my Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).  After Fall 2010, I’ll only have 7 more classes left for the MBA program and I’ll be a proud recipient of a Master’s Degree in Business Administration!!

Another important tidbit about me is I was adopted when I was 6 years old.  I’m not embarrassed to talk about it.  I actually talk about it quite frequently.  One thing that REALLY offends me more than anything is when people ask me about my “real” parents.  

Oh no no

Once you do this, you open the discussion to “real” vs “fake” family and I am going to tell you my opinion.  The people who raised me are my “real” parents, and the people who gave birth to me are my “biological” parents.  It just means I have several families, it  doesn't mean one is superior to the other.  My parents had a son (my brother) Matt before adopting me, and people often ask “so is he your real brother or…” to which they can’t finish the sentence.  Or what?  Or… fake?  Yes he’s my “real” brother, he’s a REAL BOY!  Is he biological?  No.  But who cares?  
 My favorite poem describes my understanding of my adoption and heredity vs environment.

(Embracing my red hair as Little Mermaid)

In addition, another important fact about me is I have red hair and I EMBRACE it!  When I was younger I wanted to be as blond as I could be (I wanted to be Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson).  I hated my freckles.  Now I love them.  I have odd freckles on my lips that I feel look like food remains occasionally.  I also find silver (not gray) hairs quite frequently.  My mom used to call them “Silver Angel Hairs” and refer to my freckles as “A face without freckles is like a night without stars.”  Thanks mam.

Lastly, I’m weird.  I’m inappropriate and I have no filter.  I’ve always wanted to be the serious, classy, wonderfully beautiful girl who wear pearls and never leaves the house without makeup.  Eff that!  Makeup makes my eyes water.  I’d dress a little more beautiful, but I dearly miss my bank account every time I try to be somewhat fashionable. 
Instead, I’ll rock the ponytail with no makeup. 
I’ll say the word “SEX!” just to see what everyone’s reaction is. 
I don’t glide down the hallway, I stomp. 
I’m too loud often times. 
I have a horrible poker face (it’s more of a “I can’t stop giggling” face.)
If I don’t wash my hair for 3 days, that’s ok :-)
I love wearing jewelry, but I usually don’t because I always lose it.
I am UNORGANIZED and try so hard to change that
My purse is a MESS
I always have at least 2 bruises on me, and I never know where they come from.
And every time I eat sushi, I manage to get rice in my hair.  HOW?!  NO idea.

I could go on for days.  But basically, I consider myself weird.  I am sensitive.  I hate being alone.  I love having girlfriends. I love wearing costumes. I love my red hair.  I love my “biological” family and my “real” family.  I am easily offended.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I love feeling pretty the few times I can actually make the effort.  My friends call me ACray, some call me Red.  I love to text.  I think I’m a good driver (don’t we all).  I cry.  I love going to the movies.  Most times, I’d prefer to stay in and watch a movie than go out and party.  I’m 23, but pride myself on looking 18.

I love to laugh.

Friday, April 16, 2010

My favorite poem...

 This is a poem my sister, Tara, gave to me when I was in the 6th grade-ish.  Ever since, it has been my favorite.  I lovelove it.

Legacy of an Adopted Child

Once there were two women
Who never knew each other.
One you do not remember,
The other you call mother. 

One gave you a nationality,
The other gave ou a name.
One gave you the seed of talent,
The other gave you an aim. 

Two different lives shaped
to make your one;
One became your guiding star,
The other became your sun. 

One gave you emotions,
The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile,
The other dried your tears. 

The first gave you life,
The second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love,
And the second was there to give it. 

One gave you up,
It was all she could do.
The other prayed for a child,
And God led her straight to you. 

And now you ask me through your tears,
The age old question through the years;
Heredity or Environment, which are you a product of?
Neither my darling, neither;
Just two different kinds of love. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


It's easy to feel like a failure when you realize you've made no progress on a homework problem.  You've exhausted every resource to find the solution, yet the solution is still unknown.

I spent over an hour on a single homework problem, and I'm still not sure how I arrived at my answer.

So now it's 11:30pm.  I have work tomorrow at 7:30am.  And all I can think about it my homework and how I was unable to solve the answers, when I'm sure the other kids in the class solved it with ease.  I hate that feeling.

 Dear SleepJuice (wine):  Please kick in soon, I need to sleep.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jake Owen!!!

So this last weekend I went to the Jake Owen concert at the Knitting Factory with my cousin Sam, and friend since 7th grade Lisa Cohen.  While waiting in line, Sam ventures off to find where we purchase tickets.  While she's on the phone explaining the ticket process, Lisa is talking to a man asking her some questions.  Before I know it, I get off the phone and the man is handing us MEET AND GREET passes to meet JAKE OWEN!!!!!!!  Thank you to Lisa for answering whatever question he was asking CORRECTLY!

So after one of the most AMAZING concerts I think I've ever been to (next to Taylor Swift), we got to meet JAKE OWEN!!  I couldn't be more excited.  Finally, the pictures posted on his website!!!  When I met him I walked right up to him, gave him a hand shake and said, "I'm Ashley!!"  He goes, "Did you have fun?  You looked like you were, I saw you dancing the entire time."  JAKE OWEN SAW ME DANCING!  I wanted to say "Yep that was ME!  Dancing!  The whole time!  Dancing!  ME!"  But instead I played it cool and and said something along the lines of, "It was an amazing concert!" 

Not only did I get to meet Jake Owen, but he saw me DANCING!  Weeeeee!

Dear Jake Owen,  I should be in your next country music video!  

(P.S.  Being in a country music video is my lifelong goal.  It'll happen one day.  You'll see.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Oh, the places to go!

One thing that keeps me going and keeps a pep in my step is looking forward to things.  Looking forward to a yummy dinner in the evening.  Seeing someone.  An event.  An approaching trip.  Because of this I try to plan as much as I can so that I have something to look forward to.  For a while, I stopped making summer plans.  It seems that my plans always involve someone else, as I hate going places and seeing new things by myself.  This is for several reasons, but mainly:  1) I hate being alone and 2) I love sharing my experiences and making memories with those I love.

Unfortunately, I feel like in the past I have always been let down by others.  Making plans, getting excited, then never having anything follow through.  I make an active effort now to include those who I feel will actually follow through.

So... now that summer is encroaching I am getting so excited to make plans for the upcoming year and future endeavors.  I want to:

  • Go to Havasu Falls (Havasupai)
  • Knottsscary Farm (Knottsberry Farm during Halloween)
  • San Diego to visit my dad (April 23-25)
  • Donner Lake/Dad's Cabin
  • Oregon! (April 16-18)
  • Red Rock Rock Climbing
  • A Night in the Country, Country Music Festival
  • Sugarland Concert (won 5th row tickets!)
  • Yosemite National Park trip with Courtney
  • New Orleans
  • New York
  • Florida and ride on one of those boats with the big fans with the Alligators!
  • Alaskan Cruise 
  • Glacier National Park
  • Grand Canyon
  • Ride bikes through Moab
  • Italy and Greece!  
  • Zion
  • Big Sur, CA
  • Eastern Sierra Hot Spring tubs!
  • Go to Georgia and eat a Georgia Peach

... and so so so much more!  I have so much time to do everything, and I can't wait to slowly start checking off my list :-)

And I can't wait for my photo with Jake Owen to post on his website!!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Big Sur

April 2-4 2010

Aaron and I went to Big Sur as part of my birthday present (from Aaron).  We decided to take my car, because we usually take his when we go somewhere.  We started the trip off wonderfully; it was snowing over the pass and chain requirements were being enforced.  I've never driven my little problematic Jetta in chains before, so I was stressed (to say the least).  Aaron popped out of the car and strapped on my chains in the snow.  NATURALLY, almost every warning light comes aside from my coolant and oil.  I cry.  We still have 5 hours to go, and my car is already breaking down!  Aaron finds it funny that one of my warning lights says "Abs Fault" which lightens up the mood.  Slightly. 

So finally after Aaron unstrapped my chains (in the rain and slush) we were on our way to Southern California.  And I drove the entire way!  I don't think I have ever driven that far on my own before :-)  At least I didn't get car sick!

Big Sur was beautiful.  While we were driving along the coast, it was dark so we couldn't see what we were actually driving through until the next morning which proved to be a beautiful drive.  Green lush trees, endless coast lines, wildflowers galore.  It was wonderful.  We woke up the next morning and got breakfast at the Big Sur Lodge (which took AN HOUR AND A HALF!), then explored 2 different areas.  The first hike was Buzzard's Roost which is a 5 mile hike with coastal views.  The hike was beautiful, however the view from the top wasn't what we expected.  We were expecting coastal cliffs right above the water.  Rather, there were just ocean views.  Slightly anticlimatic.  But still beautiful!

After that hike, we went to the Pfeiffer Beach and climbed a coastal cliff.  The winds were so strong it was hard to keep your footing in some areas!  The top was beautiful, and the people below on the beach looked tiny.  We stayed long enough to snap a few pictures, give a few mushy kisses, and then we peaced out.

After the beach, we drove to Monterey and had our first Monterey Bay Aquarium experience!  It was AMAZING!!  There were sharks bigger than my dad, jelly fish the size of my head, horse fish, EVERYTHING!  It was an amazing experience, and Monterey was beautiful.  I can't wait to go back!

Unfortunately the weather over the pass wasn't looking too splendid, and Aaron didn't fancy putting chains on again, so we booked it back to Sacramento, stayed the night there, then made it over the pass by 11am as the snow was just beginning.

It was a wonderful trip.  I would recommend this to anyone!!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Nasty Thursdays

The MBA program is a Part Time program designed for business professionals who have decided to pursue their Masters.  This means:  Evening Classes.  So I'm the lucky girl who gets to attend class every Thursday from 5:30pm-9:45pm.  Yes, until 10 o'clock at night.  Last semester I had a 7-9:45pm class, however it wasn't as horrible/tedious because I didn't have a class before.  This semester, I have 2 classes back-to-back resulting in Cliff Bar dinners and fluttering eyelids.  I cannot wait for this semester to be over, and for the warm weather and summer to be here.  I am excited to wear shorts, roll my windows down, and soak in the Vitamin D!

The UNR MBA program was ranked number 21 in Business Week as best Part Time MBA.
Read Article

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Brand Spankin' New

I hope this works! It took me forever to find a layout that I loved (and yes, I had to absolutely fall in love.  SO after a little HTML editing, I found my perfect layout... for now.). I read blogs of friends religiously, so I figured it might be a good time to try it out. Who knows if I’ll stick to it but I'll give it a shot anyhow!

Now on a side note, I'm extremely excited to eat some yummy Macaroni Grill tonight, then go to the BANFF FILM FESTIVAL with the boy :-)