Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

It's so hard to believe Christmas is here already. Not to mention the fact that I have not posted anything since August 2nd. My life has been consumed by Nutcracker for the last 3 months and now I can finally breathe. I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to be a part of it from beginning to end although there were times I thought I would loose my mind! I'll do a post soon with pictures

In the mean time here are a few of our home. I barely made it getting everything decorated, but at least for the last 4 or 5 days we have been able to enjoy the tree and feel like things "look" like Christmas!

If only the accents of Tiffany blue could be scene in the trees!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Surprises and then some

I absolutely love surprises! Even when I know one is coming and the suspense is killing me...I still love them! Thankfully I have a husband who likes to surprise. What he doesn't like is when I spoil it (not intentionally of course!) like I did yesterday. I did this by discovering before I even left our driveway instead of when I opened up my suitcase at my hotel in Houston hours later.

It seems that was the first of surprises and I wonder if they will continue through the week. I'm in Houston, Tx right now attending a Dance Intensive(workshop) where I get to dance all day with people from around the country and learn from amazing artists. The first day has just ended and I am blown has been a breath of fresh air just what I have needed for some time-INSPIRATION!! To move and learn and experience is an incredible thing. My other surprise I referred too happened in the last class of the day (am-ballet, afternoon-modern, and then two electives finishing around 6:15pm). It was was all about dance in a Church Ministry setting given by Michelle Leaney, the director of the dance ministry of Hillsong Church in Australia and she has done it for 18 years. To go to this specific elective was a last minute decision because I had planned on going to one about "Faith in a professional dance community" I thought it would be applicable because I'm now working in a dance department of a secular college.

So I attended the Church Ministry session and it was really good-even thinking about getting her book because I love how she thinks outside the box! In the last 10 minutes I felt like my heart breathed again in a way it hasn't in a while...I've just been tired spiritually and feeling a little dry I guess, without a whole lot of energy. It was a moment of revelation where 'head stuff" became "heart stuff" because no matter how many times you tell yourself something it isn't until that light bulb turns on, heart beat quickens, and you can't figure out why on earth you are on the verge of tears that you realize there is so much more than simply knowing the right thing to say. God wants the word to become flesh...real...tangible...something you can taste, that makes you want to come back for more. He wants to inspire, engergize, and breath life into dry bones because with out that breath of life we, I, am nothing, simply a shell that walks and talks.

After everyone left and I asked a question to Michelle that moment came...followed by her looking me in the eye and speaking truth. I don't think I was supposed to go to that class and just hear about church ministries (I'm not even currently in one!), but rather to have my heart awakened to the truth that God has placed me where he has me and THAT is my ministry-secular or not. I may not pray with my students before class, or use Christian music persae, but living my life in a way he has called me too is a ministry to Him and hopefully inturn will cause an influence on those around me.

Walking out of that studio in tears was not what I expected at all, but I'm thankful for last minute decisions that really could have been little urgings from the One who knows me best. Surprises truly are a good thing. So for the rest of the week I would like to expect the unexpected and see what happens and what each day may hold.

It's funny to me because when I started this blog never did I see myself sharing, better yet baring, these parts of me. That is typically not my personality-it would be too personal. I had planned on posting about fun(or sometimes not so fun)projects, house stuff, cool finds, or visual inspiration. Maybe ever once in a while posting something about dance and my great life with Mr. Wonderful, but heart stuff? Would never have dreamed! Maybe it's part of the process for me right now because when I got back to the hotel all of the sudden all I could think about was somehow sharing what had just taken place. Maybe there is more to this than I realize...Well for those of you read or have stumbled on this I hope you don't mind a glimpse into my journal(because that is basically what this entry is!) So there it is for all to see and amazlingly enough I feel a little freer for writing it! Have a great night!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What's A Girl To Do

While my dear husband is playing plumber and doing a pretty good job at tackling our waterless kitchen sink, I find myself getting all contemplative and maybe nostalgic. (i think those are good words to describe my mood) You see in just two short weeks my life is going to change. My new job will start and I will go from a relatively carefree day to day schedule to one that is based on many to-do lists, phone calls, and plunging into the unknown of directing a studio.

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited and looking forward to the challenge as it has been a while and I'm ready to dive in. It's one small detail that has me feeling a little lost...what is a modern dancer supposed to do in a ballerina world?! I love ballet (most of the time-sometimes it kicks my tail and I'd like to throw in the towel!) and being on pointe, wearing pretty tutus, and the discipline of training my body. But in all honesty...I never feel more alive than when my hair is down, my feet are bare, and I can let my heart take over. Even sitting hear thinking about it makes me want to release myself from the constraints of classical ballet! I will forever endorse classical training and technique-it truly is the foundation of all dance, but when I want to feel alive, to share my heart...I wouldn't touch a pointe shoe with a 10 foot pole.

So what will I do? How will I find a way to not only dance myself, but create/choreograph as well in the midst of thinking about glissades, jete's, and fouettes?!

I hope you'll pardon my rant...somehow I needed to let my thoughts out so that in the next 15 minutes when I am trying to fall asleep, I won't be laying there thinking all these thoughts and getting myself worked up into something that can't be changed at 11pm. (that already happened once this week)

Ultimately it comes down to trust...God provided this job, this opportunity and He know me best. In that I find peace and will have to actively, day-to-day, depend on Him for this area and then take the chances He gives me when they come. sigh. I think I'll try to sleep now...put these thoughts to rest for today. goodnight

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Dunes some point I'll stop posting about this trip! I just keep finding pictures that I want to put up! I still have a few more and then I'll move on...promise!

One night we headed off about 5 minutes down the road to the large sand dunes. Most of us had never been to anything like it. I had a blast and must confess that large open spaces, with the wind blowing, and the sun setting make me want to do one of two things...or maybe even both...either dance or fly! I just can't seem to help myself and if there were so many people around I might have tried to do just that!

Attacking the gigantic hill

Mr.W trying to slide down, but the cardboard wasn't too successful. Some kids were just taking flying leaps and rolling down!

It was beautiful although very windy!

Love this shot his brother captured while we were trying to get a more posed picture like this...

The most amazing thing is that the baby slept the whole time! With all the wind and the sand she simply slept only to wake up when getting in the car. We were pretty impressed.

Jumping off! Fun but note to self - don't try this again in a dress

Don't know what I am doing with my arms! Balancing maybe? Who knows but I look like I'm working on my "jazz" hands!

Finished off with a beautiful doesn't get much better!

Cape Hatteras Adventures

About mid-way through our week we decided to take off for some time to ourselves and head south to explore a little and ended up doing one of the most "touristy" things we've ever done together.

Of course always glued to the iPhone to navigate...even when the car has a navigation system in it!

We visited the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and Museum. It was a fun experience and I'm glad we did it although climbing the, I think, 9 flights of stairs to the top was quite the workout. Apparently this particular lighthouse is the tallest brick lighthouse in the country!

Just about to climb!

Looking down at the old keepers the museum

On our way down that morning we had passed a house that looked like the one from the recent movie "Nights in Rodanthe" so we stopped on the way back to check and see. Plus get a few pictures. A couple days later in a gift shop it was confirmed to be the right house! I was pretty proud of myself for guessing while driving past it and I've never even seen the movie!

It was pretty incredible and the water even came up under the house at high tide...that part is kind of scary though and probably why they were only selling it for $800k instead of over $1 million!

Right by the Rodanthe house the beach was incredible. Hardly any people were there and the waves were so big! I could have stayed there for the rest of the day, but we had to head back. Still it was a great morning together!

More of the Beach!

One of the best memories from the week at the beach was a surprise planned by my sister and brother in-law. Every night a different couple would make dinner for everyone and for Jonny and Alissa they made homemade pizza. Amazing! Afterwords they wanted us all to go on a walk and when we came back Jonny would be ready with dessert. So we headed off to the beach and when we came over the dune this is what we found....

The Masterminds!

Sister-in-law Tina and niece Selah

Nate, Tina, & Selah

My wonderful in-laws!

We had such a great time hanging out...and stuffing our stomachs with s'mores! I didn't even mind missing So You Think You Can Dance and to make up for missing "my" show, the Mr. let me do this....I am one lucky girl to have such a wonderful man who will let his wife put him through so much. He even had a little sunburn! And this is one of the many reasons I call him Mr. Wonderful!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

"I could have danced all night..."

The Best!

So this week Mr. husband and I had our first ballroom lesson together! Well...that's not totally true because we had one lesson a week before our wedding but that doesn't really count because it was such a whirlwind! And I really don't remember a thing about the lesson other than the fact the instructor was breathing on me with dragon breath.

We started off with waltz. Funny thing is, apparently ballet can sometimes work against you even in a waltz because you lead with your heal (big no-no in ballet) and not your toes. So I have some habits to break! Over all I think we both did well...and I made mistakes so I think that secretly makes my husband relieved that "the dancer" doesn't always get it first time around. I love him even more for doing this and that he actually wants too, not me having to drag him kicking a screaming!

I think we are doing Rhumba next week, but the one I am really looking forward to at some point is Tango! Not sure when that will the mean time I'll work on not stepping with my toes and bringing me feet together!

p.s Sorry for the poor photo quality. It's a print I have that I scanned because all of their pictures are protected by royalties

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Stuck in Currictuck

I tend to be someone who likes to do things in order, but transferring pictures from my laptop to our main computer is proving to be a little difficult today and I am getting impatient! So much to my husbands dismay....I am going to post one of our more memorable mornings.

It was our second to last day in the Outer Banks ad we wanted to do one last exploring trip (we had already gone south and visited the Cape Hatteras lighthouse a couple days before) and see the northern part of the island. Plus if you drive far enough there is an where they have 4x4 cars only. We took my SIL Subaru and headed out!
One of the many AMAZING houses we saw on our drive

It was beautiful in the Duck/Corolla area and I would definitely love to go back there someday. I loved the community feel it had with everyone out riding bikes, walking, and running.

Another incredible house

Well we headed to Currituck, also hoping to see wild Mustangs! It's awesome because the road curves and suddenly you are on the beach!

Neither one of us had ever driven on the beach and my husband's first words were, "This is nothing like snow!" I don't think I have ever said this, but he is obsessed with driving in snow...not just a little bit either- a whole lot! Every winter he talks about missing snow, driving in snow, wanting to be in get the picture!

It was fun until all of the sudden our car wasn't going anywhere! One moment the sand was hard and compact and the next it had given way to a deep, none forgiving, felt like quick sand, ruts of sand.

Now I get emabarrassed pretty quickly, so I'm moaning and wanting to sink into the car seats never to be seen again, all the while he is telling me "Ashlee it's not so bad!" Then we got out and realized the sand was literally all the way up to the undercarriage of the car and the wheels were just spinning! One guy stopped in his Humvey only to tell us good luck on digging ourselves out! "You too little Missy!"(his exact words) He then went on his merry way....still can't believe he stopped only to tell us what to do. To make matters worse all of these SUVs and trucks kept driving right by! Surely one of them had a tow hook or something, either that or they just thought we got ourselves into it so we'll have to get ourselves out. So the Mr. got to it and jumped out in my flowy white skirt, strapless shirt, and pink nails and started digging!

Hey those pink nails came in handy...letting air out of the tires!

Another guy did stop and tried to help push, but that didn't help and then finally someone(guy with yellow shirt) with a nice big truck and hook stopped and had us out in a jiffy!

Now for all who may husband is an very intelligent and savvy when it comes to things like the fact we got stuck did come as a surprise. But hey, it can happen to the best of us!

Thank you Mr. Nice man who saved us from calling a tow truck and paying a ton of money for it!Free of the sand and heading back! (remember I am wearing a strapless shirt so I do have clothing on)
Sad to say our venture too see the horses was cut short and we turned around and headed back to the pavement. In the end I loved every moment of it! I love exploring new places and even the unexpected that can be, at the time, embarrassing, but that is how life works! And with our extra time we went shopping!! No complaints here;)Shopping at Tim Buck II

And then some sustenance at The Roadside!

Mr. W's yummy fish sandwich(and I don't even like fish!)

My first time trying shrimp and was so good!

And this great produce stand called "The Tomato Shack" next to the restaurant

All in all a great day...we got back to our house and lounged by the pool with the rest of the fam for the afternoon!