Ashe Background

Ashe Background

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hot Springs, SD

What do you do when you've just moved somewhere new and your household goods aren't showing up for 4 weeks?  Go exploring, of course! 

We drove to Hot Springs and checked two items off of our South Dakota bucket list. First we stopped at The Mammoth Site which is an active dig site.  It was pretty awesome to check out and see all the great fossils they have dug up so far, but being able to witness the unearthing of fossils made it even more fun.  The kids love anything that deals with the past and history, so they thoroughly enjoyed this.  Our next stop was to Cascade Falls which was a great idea since it was a very hot day.  My little swimmers couldn't believe that we were swimming in spring water and were even more fascinated by the cliffs that allowed for some pretty epic flips and jumps.  The kids mentioned how both places didn't disappoint, so I see us going back to both.  

The Mammoth Site 

Dance party in the Mammoth Bone Cave 

Cascade Falls 

So we hit a rough spot that day.  Lexie isn't comfortable walking on uneven surfaces. Really though, who is?  However when most of us just try to be extra cautious, she just melts down.  She LOVES to swim and has no problem staying afloat thanks to her puddle jumper, but when something isn't perfect for her, she hits the sensory brick wall.  She would've done fantastic in the deep end, but seeing how my swimsuit was with the packers, I wasn't comfortable letting her go without me.  I have a feeling she will love the next visit when we can all get in. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Undeserving of Lexie

When we moved to South Dakota, my first stop was the base to sign the papers for our new house.  The next stop was the local YMCA.   I have grown to love our old YMCA and the people in it.  For 5 days a week, it became a second home.  I thought I wouldn't find joy in working out and took it as a horrible and cruel thing to do, but our time in Alabama made me think twice about that.  Little did I know that losing weight was just a bonus.  I grew to love it because I saw a change not only physically, but mentally.  Watching your body overcome obstacles does something to you mentally and I became addicted to it.  The noticeable changes in my morale and by eating and being healthier, it was easier to view many things with a positive outlook.  I didn't feel like I was trying to find happiness, but that it was present when I was doing something to push myself.  My fellow YMCA members cheered each other on and made it feel like a family.

When I stopped by the YMCA here,  I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to find that unity or family connection with the teacher and the other patrons.  I was more correct than I thought.  We took a tour of the beautiful building and it is indeed huge and has so many classes to offer for adults and children alike,  I was feeling optimistic.  I hurriedly signed us up and after getting our ID cards, I asked to speak to the child care supervisor.  You see, Lexie and Eli aren't children that you just drop off and skip to class.  The teachers need a warning, but since our last YMCA was so welcoming, I didn't think twice.   It's only a hour a day, right?!  The child care at this location only allows children from newborn to 6 1/2 years old.  Lexie tuned 6 1/2 one week prior.  The clerk notified me that the child care supervisor was on vacation, but not to worry because she was sure they would make an exception seeing how she has special needs.  Because you see the other option is the youth room.  Children from 6 1/2 to 16 can come and hang out.   It's supervised, but not to the extent that Lexie would need and they have a more lax come and go policy.  The door literally leads to the outside.  The clerk agreed with me that it's a perfect place for Ethan and Gracie, but not quite suitable for Lexie.

All I had to do was wait one week for her to come back, and then I would be able to go the gym and afford myself some me time.  With the stress of moving to a new state, the thought of having some time to myself was welcoming.  A mental break that was just for me.  We could get back into our routine and start establishing roots within the community.  I waited the week and called back.   The child care supervisor was very sweet, but told me that Lexie wouldn't be able to go in the child care.  She was apologetic while she explained that if she broke the rule for Lexie, she would have to bend the rules for everyone else.  That was when I started to cry.  Are you crazy...this is the YMCA, not a school or doctor's office.  You can survive without it, pull yourself together DESTINY!!!   I asked her if she could budge a little to accommodate Lexie's needs.  She said no and shared her own experience of her niece that also has special needs and can't attend the YMCA due to that same reason.  I was shocked, but accepted the fact that if she had no problem alienating her own niece, she wouldn't budge for a total stranger.  She then suggested that Ethan and Gracie could keep a close eye on Lexie while she was in the youth center.  Putting that much responsibility on their shoulders isn't what I had in mind and I don't think I could really focus on the workout knowing that Lexie wasn't in the safest environment.  Her final suggestion for me was to come and work out after Eric gets home.  That was the moment that brought me back to the conversation and I respectfully asked her to transfer me back to the clerk so that I could get a full refund.   This YMCA is 20 minutes away and will be about $80.00 a month.  If I'm going to wait for my husband, which I don't like doing because that is our family time, I would rather drive two miles to the base gym which is free.  I could easily join again in August when Lexie goes to school, but do I really want to support an organization that doesn't fully support my family.  Again, I only needed one hour a day.

The clerk refunded me my money and apologized profusely.  I was upset and discouraged.  I joined the base gym and have been going after bedtime to preserve our family time.  It's not the same, but at this point it's my best option and one that I can live with.

Later on while we were at the local McDonald's, the kids were happily playing in the play center.  It's about three stories high and is pretty clean.  The kids enjoy it and it provides us with a nice break from the base every once in awhile.  Despite how loud it is and busy with children, Lexie will sit and eat her entire meal before asking to play.  That's extremely hard for child that has sensory issues.  There is a small swing on the third story that is Lexie's favorite.  Upon noticing a boy on the swing that she loves, she went right over and hugged him.  She didn't push him off or try to sit on it with him, she being the beautiful soul that she is gave him a hug and said hello.  She was all smiles and jumped on the swing as soon as he got off which was immediately after her hug because he became uncomfortable.   As I was watching her swing and cheering herself on,  I was reminded how spectacular she is.  She loves life and gives it her all.

Screw them, Lexie.  They don't deserve that one hour with you anyway.

Sunday, July 10, 2016


I can't stop using this hashtag because I'm that excited I get to finally host a bridal shower for my dear friend, Tiffany!!!!  She stood next to me 12 years ago when I married Eric, so I'm overjoyed that I get to stand by her side in September when she marries her love!  I hosted the shower in Las Cruces, New Mexico where Tiffany lives which worked out beautifully since I was able to catch up with some friends and family while I was there.   I had a fantastic time planning this party and even though I had to do it over the phone and miles away, it came out simply beautiful.  It's such a honor to be able to spoil her and September can't come fast enough! 

My grandmother and I built the backdrop and we had so much fun doing it together! 
It was a labor of love which is now hanging in Tiffany's dining room. ;) 

We had lunch at the Sunset Grill which overlooks the Sonoma Ranch Golf Course. 
It was the perfect location and the food was top notch! 

These cookies were so freakin' cute and tasted delicious.  
SweetShopNatalie on Etsy made me scream with joy when I got these beauties in the mail. 

Isn't this cake absolutely gorgeous!!! 
Let Them Eat Cake did a fantastic job and followed my directions to a tee! 
It was absolutely delicious as well. 

We finished off the day with dinner and Green Chile Bloody Marys!! 
Such a great day celebrating her! 

So I can't go to New Mexico and not indulge in my favorites.  
Green Chile, Red Chile and DION'S!!!! 

You thought it was going to be another annoying food pictures and it isn't. 
It's me running all that food off. Or at least me trying to. ;)