Sunday, September 25, 2011

What's up, y'all?!

It's been almost a week since I last posted. I've been having a whole lot of "me time" these days and I am LOVING it!  No emotionally unavailable boyfriend, no stress, no drama, just ME! Happy lil' Ashley.  I've been really focusing a great deal on preparing for my 10 mile race at the Tobacco Trail on October 22nd.  I'm excited to share I worked out 5 days last week!  3 runs (one being a 5 miler) and two PHX (Power Hour Xtreme) classes at the YMCA.

Not too many of you know that I have been really down on myself lately with how much weight I've gained over the past two years.  But I've gotten my act together, altered my diet, and am working out like I used to.  I was sooooooo excited when I put on a pair of jeans Friday and they weren't tight!  I could have done a happy dance right there! :0)

I know that having a friend to work out with has DEFINITELY got me even more motivated than I would be training for this race alone.  I've gained an awesome running/work out partner that motivates me like no other to keep moving no matter how awful I feel.  Erin (or Aaron as a little inside joke) ROCKS! Her and I teach together.  I love hitting the pavement with her and now we've moved on to taking classes at the gym together. She joined me Saturday morning for the PHX class.  It was so much nicer getting my butt kicked with a friend than taking the class solo.  And tomorrow she's motivated me to get out of bed EARLY for a 5:45 cycling class.  EEK!  That's earrrrrrrrly!!

Erin, Amanda (she's running the race too), and I ran 6 miles this morning.  Oh my goshhhhhh, talk about a killer run.  SO HARD!  The humidity was awful.  I was seriously soaked by the time we finished.  A hellacious run, but so rewarding after we finished.   These girls kept me going!  We all agreed that if we weren't running together we would have quit.  I just love my friends!  Fortunately we only have a 4 mile run for the long run this week.  But then there's a 7 miler the weekend after.  EEEEEEEEKKKKKK!!!!!!!

Another cool thing about gaining Erin as a work out partner is her and I are becoming great friends!  We hang out all the time and we just have so much to talk about.

Erin and I on our "first date." hahahaha

  I don't know what I'd do without my girlfriends?!

Anyway, this coming month has lots to look forward to:

*Saturday, 10/1-International Festival
*Friday, 10/14- my Lia Sophia Jewelry Party  (Evites going out soon)
*10/13th-23rd The State Fair--I can't wait for some horribly delicious fried food!!  :)
AND.....MY 10 Mile RACE!!!!!! (10/22)

October is going to be a good month! :-)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm hurting!!

Besides running to train for my 10 mile race in October, the plan I'm following calls for other cardio workouts.   Up until yesterday I had only been running.  However, running isn't enough. I have gained soooooo much weight in 2 years and I'm all about losing it.  I'm tired of not being able to fit into my clothes and wearing things that hide the weight I've put on.  It's super depressing, people!!!  I'm no dummy though, and I know exercise isn't the only thing that's going to help me drop pounds.  I've cut out a lot of garbage from my diet---sweets, soda, fried foods, fast food, etc.

Anyway, since the training plan is calling for other cardio exercises along with running, that's what I'm doing.  I have a membership to the YMCA so I have a variety of cardio classes I can choose from.  Yesterday I took a class.  It was a real booty kicker too.  It's called Power Hour Xtreme. (PHX)   Here's the class description:

Power Hour Xtreme (PHX):  This is an advanced level, 55 min. athletic-based class which uses your body weight, drills and plyometrics.  This class is geared for the athlete.

I think it should read:

This is an advanced level, 55 minutes of pure hell class, guaranteed to make you so damn sore in the morning that it hurts to walk, bend, reach, and breath.  This class is not geared for the weak.

So you can probably guess how I'm feeling today.  My plan to run 3 at Lake Johnson has failed.  I hurt! However, I'm no weak-willed woman and I'll be taking this class again Thursday.  (Let's hope I can move by then!)  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Good Company

Saturday was a for the girls.  Erin, Yazz, Kim, and I spent some quality time together downtown.  Our initially plan of din/drinks/sports watching at Tobacco Road fell through with the ridiculously long wait, so we settled on food at Hibernian.  After LOTS of laughs and stories we headed back to Tobacco Road to have a couple more drinks.  What were we met with?  A $15 cover for a fight playing on TV and a 2 hour wait!!  Forget that!  So off to the Flying Saucer we went for more girl time and my very favorite Brooklyn Brown Ale.

 Roomies :-)

 Kim and Erin

 Yazz just being Yazz :P


 Hanging at FS

 Pretty ladies! 

This was supposed to be a goofy face pic.  Only Yazz followed through! :) (I tried!!)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Just Ace and me!

My 10 mile run is in a little over a month and I still am nowhere close to being ready.  I've been doing much better though with actually hitting the pavement and building my endurance.  AND, I haven't fallen again since the trail run a few weeks back.  (Thank goodness!)

Anyway, since moving in with Yazz I've been able to take her dog running with me twice. :)  The first time Ace (AKA Acie Poo) ran with me, my running partner, Erin was there and she held the leash.  I didn't want to because I had never run with a dog before and she had.  (I didn't know what to expect so I thought I'd just observe!)  But yesterday, it was just Acie Poo and me.  I actually think Ceci was jealous watching me and the pooch head out the door.  I will say it was fun, but a bit of a challenge to get into a running groove at first.  The first half of the run Ace took ME for a run.  He LOVED running down the hills.  He also liked marking his territory and taking care of his business more than once! ;-)  But overall I really liked it! It was nice having company, and by the end of the run he was doing awesome with staying straight on the trail. He had stopped zigzagging all over the trail and trying to drag me into the lake or the bushes!  Ha!  Oh Acie, you are a sweet little poochie!

Check him out.  Isn't he just the sweetest little thing you've ever seen?!

 Cutest passenger I've ever had!! :-)  

Awww, I'm melting!!  He's so darn cute!!! :-)  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

100 Truths About ME!

I thought for my post today I would do a cheesy survey.  I know, I know, it's silly, but I need to mix it up a little!!  Enjoy! :)

1. last beverage: milk
2. last phone call: Anna B.
3. last text message: sent-Yazz  received- Megan
4. last song you listened to: Mindy Gledhill--All About Your Heart
5. last time you cried: Saturday

6. dated someone twice: Yes
7. been cheated on: I don't think so
8. kissed someone & regretted it: Yes 
9. lost someone special: Yes, I miss him so much too.   
10. been depressed: more than once 
11. been drunk and threw up: I went to college... 

12. Pink
13. Purple
14. Green

15. Made a new friend: yes, I love making new friends
16. Fallen out of love: no
17. Laughed until you cried: yep
18. Met someone who changed you: without a doubt
19. Found out who your true friends were: We all do at some point.
20. Found out someone was talking about you: People always talk about people 
21. Kissed anyone on your FB friend's list: Sure.

22. How many people on your FB friends list do you know in real life: 99%. A few distant family members I can't remember meeting
24. Do you have any pets: Ceci
25. Do you want to change your name: No, I don't even want to part with my maiden name when I get married. 
26. What did you do for your last birthday: Read my post HERE
27. What time did you wake up today: 8am
28. What were you doing at midnight last night: Hanging out with Yazz, Kim, Rachel, Eddy, and Chad (see pics!) 

 Kim and I

 Eddie (Yazz's boyfriend), Me, Kim

Chad, Rachel, Yazz
29. Name something you CANNOT wait for: jewelry party Oct. 14
30. Last time you saw your Mother: 3 weeks ago
31. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life: I didn't make so many dang mistakes!!!
32. What are you listening to right now: clock ticking
33. Have you ever talked to a person named Tom: Why yes I have.  I dated a Tom for 2 1/2 years.
34. What's getting on your nerves right now: poor spending habits
35. Most visited webpage: FB 
36. Where do you want to be right now? Right where I am!
37. Nicknames: Ash, Ash Pride 
38. Relationship Status: single
39. Zodiac sign: Leo
40. Male or female? female
42. Middle School: Cheat Lake Middle
44. Hair color: Brown 
45. Long or short : medium
46. Height: 5"7
47. Do you have a crush on someone? yes 
48. What do you like about yourself? I have a happy heart
49. Piercings: ears 
50. Tattoos: None 
51. Righty or Lefty: Lefty 
52. First surgery: ....
53. First piercing: ears, when I was young
54. First best friend: Jennifer Knapp
56. First vacation: I can't remember
58. First crush: Drew Mills--4th grade 

59. Eating: No 
60. Drinking: No 
61. I'm about to: go to the movies with my roomie
62. Listening to: clock ticking
63. Waiting for: something wonderful to happen....

64. Want kids? two, maybe three
65. Get Married? for sure
66. Career? Teacher 

67. Lips or eyes: eyes
68. Hugs or kisses: both
69. Shorter or taller: In betweeny
70. Older or Younger: either, just not too old or too young
71. Romantic or spontaneous: both

72. Nice stomach or nice arms: I don't care about that
73. Sensitive or loud: Sensitive... 
74. Hook-up or relationship: Relationships
75. Trouble maker or hesitant: no trouble please

76. Kissed a stranger: I went to college...
77. Drank hard liquor: yup
78. Lost glasses/contacts: yep, glasses
79. Sex on first date: Nope
80. Broken someone's heart: yes
81. Had your own heart broken: yes
82. Been arrested: No 
83. Turned someone down: Yes 
84. Cried when someone died: Of course 
85. Fallen for a friend? No 

86. Yourself: Yes
87. Miracles: Yes
88. Love at first sight: Yes 
89. Heaven: Yes
90. Santa Claus:  Ha!
91. Kiss on the first date: depends
92. Angels: Yes

93. Had more than one bf/gf:  At one time?  Heck no!
95. Did you sing today? In the car
96. Ever cheated on somebody? No
97. If you could go back in time, how far would you go, and why? I'd go back to high school to talk some sense into myself!
98. If you could pick a day from last year and relive it, what would it be? Christmas Eve with my family.  
99. Are you afraid of falling in love with somebody else? Never
100. Posting this as 100 truths? I'm no liar!!  

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ship of Zion Community Day Outreach

The Ship of Zion (SOZ) is located in southeast Raleigh. South Blount Street to be specific.  It used to be a house but has since been converted to a church.  It is currently being led by Pastors Chris and Jacqueline Jones.  This inner city ministry reaches out to drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, gang members, and anyone who may wonder in through their doors.  My church, Hope Community Church partners with SOZ, and on the 2nd Saturday of each month volunteers from Hope are sent out to help with the "community day" outreach.  Volunteers can assist with serving lunch, distributing groceries and clothing, medical screening, and pray with those from the community.   

Ship of Zion

I've been wanting to serve at SOZ for over a year now.  Every time I had planned to I was busy, or I would just forget.  I was looking online the other day and saw their outreach day was coming up.  I decided that I was definitely going to go and that was that!  :) 

I met a group of people at Hope at 9am.  I carpooled with three super nice people to SOZ.  We got there around 9:30ish and there were a lot of people there.  People from the community, as well as from other churches besides Hope.  I saw a couple people I already knew and learned very quickly that a great deal of people had shown up to serve when we were given a "mini" tour of the place.  When you walk in the front doors you're in the chapel.  There were pews and a stage.  Now, I know you're visualizing what this might look like.  Picture this: very small, low ceilings, dirty carpeting, two window units to cool the space, a couple speakers, drum kit, and two tables for registration.  It wasn't like any place I had ever stepped foot into.

All of us were listening to Richard (he's attends Hope and has been serving at the SOZ for 4 years now) speak about the place when all of the sudden a woman with a great deal of energy came busting into the room.  Before I knew what was going on she and two other woman started singing acapella and clapping the beat.  It was awesome!  We sang two songs, prayed, and then broke off to begin serving the community.

I'll admit that I was a bit lost at first.  I didn't really know what to do? I originally went out front to greet, but I quickly realized that this was a lot harder than when I greet people at church.  These folks live a tough life.  I can't even begin to imagine what some of them have gone, or are currently going through?  How would I even know how to relate?  I immediately became shy (which is not like me) and made my way through to find another area to help.   I was pretty disappointed in myself because I quickly realized this was going to be harder for me than I initially thought.

After poking around for about 15 minutes I asked a nice woman if I could help with clothing.  She said yes and so that's what I did.  I will say that I was kind of surprised at the "stuff" sitting on the table.  Some of the things that had been donated were in pretty bad shape.  It didn't matter though because the woman approaching the table did not even seem phased by what was available to them.  It made me realize how selfish I am.  I have two closets practically bursting at the seams with clothes and I'm always wanting more. As I type this blog I am looking around where I live.  I'm in comfort with the AC running and a light on over my head.  I'm drinking a hot cup of coffee with my fancy coffee creamer.  I've been scarfing down the sweetest blueberries I've had in a long time.  I have it so good compared to the people southeast Raleigh.  It's a tough reality.  

When I was driving back to the church a girl in the car was telling me about working the registration table all morning.  She said that the people who wanted food boxes (over 150 were passed out today) had to have an ID.  Some people didn't have a driver's license.  Some only had a prison ID to verify who they were.  I just can't imagine.  She told me about a man last month who was carrying his grocery box home and someone came by and stole it.  So sad.

I was talking with my friend, Donna about what she did at SOZ.  She told me she prayed with people.  I was telling her how I want to be able to pray with people but I just don't even know what to say.  She told me she didn't either.  But she asked God to give her the words and did it.  People are asked to fill out prayer slips ahead of time and she said that people were asking for prayers to find work, a home, and some were addicts.  She said out of all the people she prayed with, maybe three were followers.  I hope that maybe, just maybe someone walked away saved today. :)

The most amazing thing I witnessed today was with a woman names Sophie.  She was sitting by me outside on a bench in front of the church.  She had been walking by and saw a bunch of people outside.  She wandering in and was able to get a box of food.  She was staying with a friend and wasn't able to get a hold of him to come and get her. I let her use my phone a few times to call him but he never answered. One nice thing about the SOZ volunteers is that they will take you home if you don't have a means of transportation.  A really nice man eventually took Sophie home. I got her a bag of ice to put her perishables in to prevent them from spoiling if she had to sit outside for a while waiting for her friend. 

Now for the amazing part.  The man who took Sophie home was talking to her and getting to know her.  He shared with Sophie that at one time in his life he was without a job, a license, and had just gotten out of jail.  He went on to share his testimony with her.  Incredible.  I also listened to a woman (the one who led the group earlier in song) talk to Sophie.  I heard her share her testimony too and pray with her.  Sophie was crying, and after that prayer I had tears in my eyes.  It was pretty powerful.  I really hope a seed was planted  in Sophie today and this will inspire to to turn her life around.   She's only 27 years old.  

After hearing and witnessing some pretty amazing things today I realized that I need to serve in the community more.  I want to get to the point where I can pray with others, share my testimony, and hopefully help change people's lives.  I am going back to SOZ next month.  I am going to pray that God gives me the words to help others and let them know I care.  

These three woman had amazing voices and were set up on the porch singing their hearts out. The one on the left was the woman who talked to Sophie.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Miss Lazy Bones

Lazy Bones--that pretty much sums up my day.

I slept until 10:30.
Painted my toenails (purple.)
Napped for 3 1/2 hours.
Cleaned out the refrigerator.
Watched old Law and Order reruns on TV.

I'm excited to report that tomorrow I will be taking part in some community outreach at the Ship of Zion church in southeast Raleigh. (Click on the link to learn more about what I'll be doing at the Ship of Zion--Community Outreach Day.)  I've been interested in serving there for a very long time and I'm finally getting my chance!  I'm really hoping for an amazing experience.  I'll let you know how it goes!!!! :)

What do you do to reach out to others?

Mallory and Celeste's Surprise Birthday Party---AND Yazz's 25th birthday TODAY!

Mallory and Celeste are currently engaged to two terrific guys, Mike and Kyle.  These two planned a joint surprise birthday party for their ladies in just one short week. Their birthdays weren't today (Mallory's-9/9 and Celeste's 9/11) so they were a little confused as to why we were jumping out and screaming, "SURPRISE!!" :0)  About 20 people came and we were lucky enough to have Mike's awesome cooking---homemade hummus with roasted red peppers on top, a yummy bean dip filled with corn, cilantro, onions, and some super hot peppers, a low country boil, and my favorite--a chocolate cake.  :)  It was so nice to be able to relax and enjoy everyone's company.  :)  It was a great time!!

Highlights of the night:

 Mallory and Celeste were so surprised when we all jumped out. :)

 Yazz and Celeste 

 Stephanie and Yazzers

 Amanda came even though she's still feeling under the weather from the plague she's been fighting for a week.

 Hanging out, chatting it up.

 Amanda and me.  She figured out the mystery of my recent dark pictures.  Thanks, girl!

 Amanda (AKA urban hippie!!)  and Kim

Kim, Rebecca, Celeste, Amanda, Stephanie

 Eddie and Yazz--today was her 25th birthday.

 Joe and Amanda 

 left-Stephanie middle-Rebecca right-Celeste

 Singing Happy Birthday.

What, no candles??  Hey, this Yankie Candle with three wicks will work juuuuust fine!   

 September birthday girls

 Adam and Stephanie

 Saying our goodbyes

 Yazz and Mallory

 Celeste showing off her new rolling pin from William and Sonoma.  A gift from her wedding registry--she's getting married in three weeks. :)

 Before Yazz and Eddie took a birthday shot.  Oh Celeste, gotta love those silly faces!

 All three of them making faces!! :)


Since today was Yazz's birthday I picked her up a little something for her special day.  Here she is opening her gifts:

 Yazz posing with Acie Poo before opening her gifts.

 Almost there!

 I got her a super cute necklace and earrings from Aldo (not just a great shoe store, people.  They have really cute jewelry and purses too!)

Yazz is planning to wear her new jewels with the adorable strapless dress she bought for Celeste's wedding. (My flash wasn't on...sorry for the poor quality.)

It was a great day!  I love my friends.  God is very good to me! :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Milestone

All of you know I have a cat.  Her name is Ceci.  I adopted her when my grandmother was on her death bed. I happily took her under my wing to give her a good home.  :)

She's not your typical, sweet snuggly cat.  She hisses, is incredible skiddish, and can be mean.  Yazz has already given her two nicknames since I moved in with her: Diva (because she walks around like she owns the place) and Boss (because her dog, Ace is scared of her.)  I don't really understand why Acie Poo is frightened of her?  She's declawed and is actually a scaredy cat!  He is though.

Anyway, this January will make 6 years since I brought her to North Cackalacky.  In those 6 years Ceci has never once sat on my lap....that is until last night!!  Yazz and I were just hanging out in the kitchen talking.  Acie was snuggled up in the corner taking a little snooze and Ceci was just meowing away and nudging at my legs.  The next thing I know she jumps up on my lap.  I started petting her and she made herself right at home on my lap.  I couldn't believe it!!!!!!!!  My phone was on the table so I quickly had Yazz take a picture.  I just had to freeze this moment. Look at my ball of fluff just chilling out with her mama!

This pictures makes me so happy. :)  And yes, I am aware that I am portraying myself as a weird cat lady.  Oh well!! :P

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Black history, civil rights, and segregation are topics I have always been interested in. When I think back on the way things used to be it boggles my mind. I just cannot image growing up during a time when African Americans were treated so poorly. I wonder if I would have been against it had I been alive during that time? Or would I have been right there with so many white people that believed they were superior to black people? I'd like to think I would be a rebel who believed in peace, love, and happiness regardless of the color of your skin.

I've been thinking a lot about this since reading The Help written by Kathryn Stockett. There is a character in the book named Eugenia (Skeeter) who comes from a prominent white family and has just graduated from Old Miss. She aspires to be a writer, and later in the story secretly writes a novel from the perspective of the African American maids who work for white families.

At one point in the story, Skeeter is doing research in the library and comes across a booklet filled with Jim Crowe laws. For those of you that do not know what Jim Crowe is, here's a quick explanation I found on

Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system which operated primarily, but not exclusively in southern and border states, between 1877 and the mid-1960s. Jim Crow was more than a series of rigid anti-Black laws. It was a way of life. Under Jim Crow, African Americans were relegated (assigned--I had to look that word up!) to the status of second class citizens. Jim Crow represented the legitimization of anti-Black racism.

Pretty gross, huh?

In the book, the author lists some of the laws under Jim Crowe. I went on the internet to search more in-dept on some of these laws. Here are four laws that were implemented in NC: (more can be found HERE)

1. Textbooks: Books shall not be interchangeable between the white and colored schools, but shall be continued to be used by the race first using them.

2. Libraries: The state librarian is directed to fit up and maintain a separate place for the use of the colored people who may come to the library for the purpose of reading books or periodicals.

3. Militia: The white and colored militia shall be separately enrolled, and shall never be compelled to serve in the same organization. The organization of colored troops shall not be permitted where white troops are available, and colored troops shall be under the command of white officers.

4. Transportation: The Utilities Commission is empowered and directed to require the establishment of separate waiting rooms at all stations for the white and colored races.

Would you like to know how I feel about these laws? I think they're total bullshit, that's what I think. Disgusting and terribly sad.

Look at this law that used to stand in Georgia:

Burial: The officer in charge shall not bury, or allow to be buried, any colored persons upon ground set apart or used for the burial of white persons.

Ummmm, THEY'RE DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe this was a law!!

I am so happy this garbage doesn't exist today. But we all know that there are still people out there who have hate in their hearts for African Americans, Hispanics, Asian, White folks, etc. I could really write on this subject all day...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The dust is starting to settle

I moved 1 week ago. Let me just tell you that MOVING IS NOT FUN! I am FINALLY done moving boxes and tubs and shuffling things around. Every box has been unpacked and things are (almost) where they are supposed to me. I turned in my keys to #207 and was so happy to not have to move another thing outta that place. #201 (new home) is shaping up nicely. I've got things hanging up on the wall and decorations in place. My zillion items of clothing have been hung up (each second seemed to be torture to me) and I even parted with two bags of clothes. I gave my sister LOTS of boxes of "stuff"" for her yard sale and am happy she was able to find some treasures in what I considered junk! :) Ashley Pride is no hoarder, folks!

Here are a couple pictures of my new room.

 I hung the sunburst mirror myself.  Not easy!  I dropped it on the floor and was sooooo grateful it didn't break.  :)

Sorry the pic is so dark. 

The worst part of the whole move was hanging up all of my clothes.

Living with Yazz is great. It's nice to have someone to talk at night. Her poochie, Ace is the best and my naughty Ceci girl seems to be warming up to him. Now, let's not get ahead of ourselves, she still has hissed and batted at him a few times, but for the most part she is pretty good. I keep her in my bedroom/bathroom when I'm not home and at night. When I'm home I let her roam around freely. I don't want her out and about during the day when I'm not home because I don't know how she will be towards Ace. She's just a feisty little thing!

Anyway, what else has been going on? Well, I'm currently training for a 10 mile run (check it out: Tobacoo Trail 10 miler) I'm gonna kill in October, (gotta get myself pumped when I'm running that kind of distance) but so far it's killing me. 4th week in and I'm finally starting to get around to some actual training. I'll tell you that I hated every single step I took on Sunday when I was running around my hood. I never stopped but man I looked at my watch more than a few times. I'm running today, tomorrow, and Thursday. I gotta build up my endurance. I love having my running partner, Erin. Running with her is so much more entertaining than running alone, and I'm learning how to talk while running. I've always been an ear buds in, music blasting, focus on the breathing kind of girl, but talking makes the run go faster and helps me to keep my mind off a certain gentleman. :/

I'm in my final week of track out. Having time away from work and time for me is so nice and relaxing. I like being able to get away from my usual routine and have a few weeks to mix things up. I can't really complain about the lack of pay because the amount of time I get off in a year is worth it. I'll have subbed a total of 7 days (not too shabby) this break and that will pay for my move and maybe some of my vet bill for C. By the way, she is feeling much better. She's not scratched once and she's even been more snuggly lately.

I spent Labor Day in Burlington with my family. A few pic to share. :)


 She looked too pretty not to include this photo....eyes closed and all. 

 Royce came in and informed us she was a pirate cowgirl. :)

She was all ready to play in the rain.  It stopped two minutes later. ;-)

I can't wait to have kids of my own one day. :)