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Getting Personal Parks Barks

The Best Day of My Life

Two years ago, I took a rainy (see: pouring) Saturday morning drive to get a pedicure. After driving through standing water with my wipers on high, I realized I left my gift certificate on my fridge at home. Frustrated, I made the trek back home and climbed back into bed.

When we finally got up, the rain had stopped to reveal a beautiful (and hot) sun. Andy asked me, “Would you like to look at puppies today?” I had started a new job the previous Monday, so why not.

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Getting Personal

Giving Thanks

Let me be blunt – I am not a fan of the “post something your thankful for everyday on Facebook” nonsense. I’m happy that you have a great family, friends, boyfriend, dog, etc. I do, too. But the things I’m most thankful for might not fall into your standard buckets.

I’m thankful for the teen moms who existed before the MTV show, like my birth mom, who may have had unprotected sex, but was smart enough to realize she could not handle a child and gave me up for adoption, allowing me to grow up in an amazing family with plenty of opportunity.

I’m thankful for AT&T, although they may not have the greatest cell reception or customer service, because they have given my father a job for the past 35 years, allowing him to support my mother and I.

I’m thankful for hockey. Yes, hockey. Hockey has given me something to be passionate about, it brought me and my boyfriend together (no joke, we met at a hockey tournament), and gives me something to connect with friends and family about.

I’m thankful for the Humane Society, Animal Protection Association and all other pet rescue companies. My rescue pup brings an insane amount of joy to my life, and these folks get to give people that same joy day after day.

I’m thankful for the Great Pumpkin (my Eclipse). Without it, I would be unable to go to the job I love every day, visit friends and family, and have some much needed me time with nothing but the radio.

I’m thankful for Martha Foote Crow. If this lovely lady did not decide to start Alpha Phi at Syracuse in 1872, I would not have had the opportunity to grow, lead, and meet some of the most amazing women on earth.

I’m thankful for communications. Communication is such an integral part of my life – my degree (Strategic Communications), my passion (writing), my relationships – that without it, I would not be the same individual I am today.

And yes, I’m thankful for my supportive family, my loving boyfriend, my fantastic friends, and my darling dachshund. But you already knew that. 

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Parks Barks Parks Picks

Top 5: Reasons To Get a Dog

I feel like this post goes without saying – getting a puppy was the best thing I’ve ever done. (Sure, it’s only been 22 years of stuff, but still). Yadi is my little baby fluff ball, and unlike that adorable Windows 7 “Why We Need A Dog” commercial, I’m going to get to the heart and soul of why it’s worth the trouble, because trust me, he’s gets in a LOT of trouble (I’m still mourning my brand new sperry’s).

1. They Support Your Team: Unlike the unfortunate fellow below who’s parents turn on him, your four-legged friend will always support your team. They’ll bark at the refs for a bad call, proudly wear your team’s colors (after a little bit of nipping), and always comfort you when they lose. And yes, I just wanted to throw the video in because it’s adorable.

2. They help clean: And by clean, I mean destroy any crumb that hits your floor, couch, bed, shirt, pants, table…

3. They always offer to drive: Talk about a built in DD! You may just have to help with that whole pedal thing. Oh, and steering. And you may want to be sure to check the break. Paws tend to slip.

4. They volunteer to take those annoying calls you get: After all, wet noses were made for the “end” button.

5. They provide you with unconditional love: Regardless of what else is going on in your life, the second you walk into theirs, it’s over. You have work, friends, laundry, cooking, cleaning and more, but all they have is you. Cherish that, because no one else will tinkle out of excitement when you walk into a room.

Editors Note: No dogs were harmed in the writing of this blog.

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bucket list

New Years Resolutions

I’ve never been good with these things, however I figure if it’s published into the world wide web (does anyone EVER call it that?), I’ll have to stick with it.

  1. Never again will I dye my own hair. Learned that lesson all too well. The extra money is COMPLETELY worth it. (Thanks Illusions for fixing my mess!)
  2. No more nail biting. OK – I’m kind of cheating. I stopped biting my nails this fall. But I want to continue keeping them nice, because I just feel better with pretty painted nails.
  3. Cook at least 3 nights a week. Even if that means frozen pizza, (which it shouldn’t, since I just got a crock pot) I need to use the food I’ve bought, as well as enjoy the calories I’ll save by skipping the drive thru.
  4. Stick to a cleaning schedule. This whole Sunday cleaning day is a pain. I figure I’ll do floors one night, laundry two (we wear a lot of clothes!), bathroom one and kitchen one. Shouldn’t be terrible, right?
  5. Walk Yadi weekly. I’ve got to stop being lazy! That little ball of fur is FULL of energy. He deserves to get outside whenever we can! Weather permitting, of course.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Whatever they may be, I wish you the best 2012 can possibly bring!

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Parks Picks

Top 5: Moments of 2011

Don’t judge on the cliche topic – I had a damn good year! Let’s go backwards.

5. Mizzou 100th Homecoming: You never forget where you came from, and Mizzou homecoming will always be a top event in my heart. After spending four years pomping house decorations, glittering alpha phi posters and watching Mizzou football, I was happy to be able to just enjoy this year’s festivities.

4. World Series Win: OK – I wasn’t directly involved, obviously, but I truly enjoyed watching along the Cardinals journey. (did that really just come out of my mouth?) I went to easily 10-15 games, including a few Cubs series with my favorite Chicago kids (the Cards won, of course). We also traveled to Pittsburgh for a series with the Pirates, so I felt like I could really enjoy this season’s victory.

3. Getting my first job: Now you might ask, “Ashley, didn’t you quit there?” And yes, I have since moved on, however, getting your first job is quite an accomplishment that should not be ignored. O&B gave me tools that I needed to enter the professional world as well as giving me my first real paycheck, which is pretty awesome.

2. Moving out: Sorry Mom & Dad, but moving out is awesome. Sure, it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of time spent cleaning, decorating, organizing, etc., but I now am able to truly appreciate everything you’ve done for me in the past 22 years. Plus, I love being able to cook for myself [hi, half my Christmas gifts were kitchen supplies!] and decorate myself [thank you Hobby Lobby]. Oh, and that cute roommate of mine helps. 🙂

1. My first puppy: I doubt this comes as a surprise to anyone. Yadi has been the best thing to happen to me this year, if not the past 22. There is something so special about coming home to a wagging tail and a huge lick on your face, and since July 30, I’ve been able to experience it first hand.

What will 2012 hold for me? Who knows, but I’m sure next year at this time, I’ll have five more great things to share.

Editors Note I’m not sure how I missed this, but I’d like to add a tie with #4 – watching the Boston Bruins clinch the Stanley Cup at the ESPN Zone in Orlando with my dad and a room full of Bruins fans. Nothing can beat that experience, unless of course the Blues bring home the prize in 2012.