Wednesday, December 28, 2011

{Part 1} 25 Random Facts

1) I was born in Joliet, Illinois. Located 40 miles southwest from the greatest city in the world, Chicago! My family relocated to North Carolina when I was 10 years old. As much as I love it here, I will always consider Chicago "Home".

* Fun Fact: The television show Prison Break was filmed in Joliet. 

2) <-- My favorite Numbers are 2 and 22. What can I say? I love my 2's. Lol

3) I am of Sicilian, German and English descent.

4) I would love to visit Italy one of these days. I actually still have family in Sicily...maybe I could swing by? Please? *smile*

5) My neighbor has a Sicilian Donkey who frequently comes to visit. His name is HotRod Jack and he is adorable! He was just here last night in fact. 

6) When I was 21 I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Europe! I spent 10 glorious days in London, Oxford, Normandy and Paris! Looking forward to the day I can return and actually take some photos. lol

* Remind me to share that story with you in an upcoming post!

7) Normandy was my highlight. My Papa was a Naval Seaman on an LST Ship (Landing Ship Tank) during WWII. He was stationed at Omaha Beach in Normandy during D-Day. He wasn't directly involved in all of the horror taking place on land but he does have quite a few truly terrifying memories. A couple of days before I left on my trip I went to visit my grandparents in Morganton. During that visit my Papa shared more with me about those days than he ever has with any of his grandchildren. I sat there in awe of this man who has always been such an incredible force in my life. I called my Papa the day that I arrived in Normandy. He answered the phone with "Hey my Normandy girl!". I choked up and tried to get through the conversation without completely giving into the emotions I was feeling. This part of my trip meant so much to me and I really didn't understand why. I figured it out as soon as I felt the cool winds and sand of Omaha Beach. As I looked out over the water, I felt the most intense chills I have ever experienced in my life. I have always had an overactive imagination...but I could almost see everything unfolding on that day so long ago. Tears fell from my eyes as I silently thanked all of those men and women who lost their lives for me and this country. I thanked my Papa too.

8) I actually traveled to Europe with a group of people I had only met once!

9) When I landed in North Carolina after my trip to Europe my family greeted me with a sign that read "Welcome Home Aunt Ashley!". My sister had learned that she was expecting her first baby while I was away. She had a hard time keeping that a secret. *smile*

10) My favorite animals are penguins and lions!

11) I am terrified of moths and spiders. *shiver*

12) My very favorite actors are Gregory Peck and Gene Kelly!

13) My favorite movie as a child was "Banjo the woodpile cat". Whenever my family rented movies I made sure to get this one each and every time. So often that I actually called the rental store "The Banjo store". Years and years later my mom and I were at Family Video here in Shelby. They were selling a lot of their VHS tapes to make way for DVD's. To my surprise and complete joy they were selling "Banjo"! I hope to find the DVD one of these days so I can share it with my own the very far off future. lol

14) My favorite sports teams are: The Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants, Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers and of course the UNC Tarheels! 

15) My favorite guilty pleasure is wasting my time playing The Sims! lol

16) One of these days I would love to have a Lab in every color!

17) I used to sing in the Youth Praise Band at Putnam Baptist!

18) I love to write! I have a ridiculous amount of notebooks. lol

19) I prefer the Monkees over the Beatles. Let the backlash begin, haha!

20) When I was around 12 years old I genuinely thought I was going to be a country singer...

21) ...I currently can't stand country music. haha

22) I have a goal to visit all the different missions in California. 

23) My favorite vacation spot is Ocracoke Island! 

24) My favorite films are: Roman Holiday and Pride and Prejudice!

* Fun Fact: My best friend Annie and I have given each other the nicknames Jane and Elizabeth after the characters in Pride and Prejudice. Annie being alike to Jane and myself being alike to Elizabeth. I am happy to say that we both found our Mr. Darcy's. *smile* 

25) 2011 has been an amazing year for me! I want to thank all of you for filling it with so many wonderful memories! Here's to the next 100 posts! Love you guys to pieces!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My 100th post!

I must admit I am proud of myself for sticking with this thing, lol.
After many failed blogs I am happy to say that I have finally reached the 100 mark! To celebrate I will be posting a "100 list" in 4 installments. To make it interesting, it will be a mixture of some of my favorite photos that I have taken over the years as well as some facts about myself that will give a little insight into this small town girl. I hope you all enjoy and thank you, thank you, thank you for sticking with me for 100 posts! Love you guys! *smile*

Monday, December 26, 2011

Photo of the day

Every year my sister Kristen gave our Grandma a Christmas Village piece to add to her collection. Over the years it has grown and grown so that Grandma now has enough of these to fill an entire dining room table! I have admired these since I was a kid and I look forward to seeing them all set up every year. Now that my sister has passed they mean so much more to me. This year I took the time to actually photograph them. *smile*

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Kiki

Today would have been my sister's birthday. She has been gone for two years, tomorrow marking that dreaded "anniversary". I want to share something with her friends and loved ones that weren't able to make it to her funeral. This video was made for her service. It's not the best quality ever but it represents her spirit so well.   It focuses on her sense of humor (which will forever go unmatched) and her unwavering love for her family.
I am praying for all of you today as well. I know that your hearts have Kristen sized holes in them too. None of you will ever be forgotten. She loved you all so very much! 

Happy Birthday sweet sister!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Photo of the day

Aww, little guy...I'm sad Summer's over too...

...But Christmas is only 11 days away!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Photo of the day

Stumbled upon this snapshot in my files today. 
It made me smile so I thought I would share it in the hopes that it would make you smile too! 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

{Hare Family}

Many of my readers may know Dana and her family and what they have been through this year. For those of you that don't, I am going to share their story with you.
Dana and her husband Benjy have always been active members in our church. Giving their time and their energy to help out, a lot of that time was spent in our Nursery ministry. They are two of the kindest most giving people that I have had the privilege of meeting. 
Things changed for them in a big way just a little over a year ago. One evening they went through their usual routine. The next morning, Dana woke up without full use of her legs. She could feel them, she says they were shaking, but she couldn't get them to move. She continued and continued to try to stand and walk, losing her balance each time and falling over.
She has gone through every test you could possibly imagine after visiting with multiple doctors and specialists in Charlotte, Gastonia and the Mayo Clinic in Florida. 
She has her good days and bad days now. She is able to move around with a walker some days but there are others when she needs the help of a wheelchair.
A year later, this sweet family still doesn't have the answers they so deserve. Please continue to Pray for Dana, Benjy, Hannah and Joanna as they continue down this path. 

Thank you Dana for your courage and motivation that inspires all of us who see it! We love you!

For more on Dana's story: visit our local newspaper