Thursday, August 30, 2018

It's Been A While

Hi friends! It's definitely been a while! I loved this blog in grad school because it gave me something else to focus on other than my PhD research. But I'm pretty sure the last post I published was right after I received my diploma. Oops!!

I think I also felt a sense of perfection with this blog, and when that perfection couldn't be reached, I just quit. I've loved diving into the blogging world these last few years, and I've been some really great women through it! But when you see them all have their blogs so well put together, themes out the ear, and blog posts published on a regular schedule, it's hard to get over that comparison.

So here I am, coming back to something I loved. This time though, I'm not letting perfection take hold. I may not have a theme that I blog around. I may not have the best photographs. I will probably definitely forget to post. But, hey, life is messy. And speaking of life...here's some updates:

First, we're 37 days away from getting married!! It's crazy to think that it's this close. (Also why am I blogging this close to a wedding???) We only have a few details left to iron out, but nothing I'm too concerned about. Honestly though, I haven't been too worried this entire time! My mom was probably more stressed than I have been. Only one thing has stressed me out: how in the world are we going to fit all of these people in our reception hall?! I have a huge family and we're getting married in the same area Jake grew up in so our guest list grew pretty quickly. It sounds so terrible, but I'm not even upset when someone says they can't make it (unless you're Susan...I'm happy you're having a baby but yes you should have timed this pregnancy out better haha). Other than that, I'd be just as happy if we had lunch meat sandwiches for dinner!

Engagement photos by Dear Tomasine Stills and Films (I can't say enough great things about Kelsea so if you're in the tri-state area, check her out!!)

Second, we got a puppy!! Her name is Heidi Ruth Furlong and she's actually 8 months old at this point, but if you follow me on Instagram, you've seen her many times! She's a holy terror sometimes, but when she gets sleepy, she still crawls up on my lap and my heart melts! We went through some health issues with her this summer that stressed me out so bad. I mean I was crying at the vet's office. It was hard because not only can I not help her, she can't tell me what's wrong either! I asked my mom so many times "how am I going to have human children????" I'll be a mess y'all. A very hot mess.

Third, we've been redoing our house. When I met Jake, the living room had three jade green walls and one glittery maroon wall. Glitter. On the wall. On purpose. And bless his heart that wall would still be glittery if I hadn't moved in. On top of that, the previous owners smoked so the carpet had to go. We opted for laminate flooring throughout because we have a cat and a dog in the house. Plus, carpet is expensive and rugs are cheap! But the real kicker was the bathroom. Our friend Cody is a contractor and he came over to look at why the flooring by our toilet was soft. He came out from the crawl space and said "don't sit down on your toilet too hard." Turns out there was a leak from the spigot (not spicket like all midwesterners say!) that rotted not one, not two, but three layers of flooring. Yes y'all, there were three levels of flooring in our bathroom. In fact, there's three layers of flooring in the entire house. It's ridiculous. There's even original hardwoods at the bottom!! If I had the money of Joanna Gaines, you can bet your sweet heart that we would be walking on original hardwoods right now. But we're still paying off student loans and junk so that's just not happening. But now we have new flooring in all the bedrooms and the bathroom, freshly painted cabinets, new countertops in the bathroom and kitchen, a tub in our bathroom (before it was just a standup shower), and every single wall in this house has been painted. Hallelujah!!
[Unfortunately I have yet to take any photos of our house now. I'm slacking. One day! I promise!! Instead, enjoy a picture of Bug looking very majestic in the evening sun]

Fourth, I've been working for Dow Chemical Company since January. It was such an answer to prayer too. I actually got my offer the day before I got my diploma and walked at graduation. I work for the quality division now which is a totally different ballgame than analytical/research. I actually started in an analytical role, but recently found that I'm shifting to quality. It's not something I ever though I'd like, but it's actually challenging in the best ways. I get to use my chemistry knowledge still to manage customer complaints, but I also get to interact with a lot of people as opposed to just our lab. The best part by far is the people I work with! I've only been there for 7 1/2 months, but I feel like I've known some of them for years.
[Yeah there's no photos of me at work unfortunately. If you follow me on Snapchat or Instagram, you might see some photos of me being annoyed at work...or complaining that our lab is 90 DEGREES IN THE SUMMER!!!! Here's another puppy picture instead.]
Yes, her tongue is out 90% of the time. It's also hot in Ohio.

Phew. I think that about does it! Like I said, moving forward this could be a place where you see posts of what's going on in my life, outfit posts (unfortunately my work outfit is not cute...no one looks good in flame-retardent clothing), faith encouragements, or anything else! I'm giving myself the freedom to not have a niche...no matter how many high-profile bloggers might tell you you need. So thanks for checking out my little corner of the internet! Plus, I can always just flood this blog with cute photos of my puppy!

--

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Cozy Outfit Perfect For Christmas Lounging

Cardigan | Shirt | Jeans | Booties (similar)

Anyone else love just lounging on Christmas? Don't get me wrong, I love to dress up! I rocked my plaid mini skirt and heels for J's work Christmas party. But as soon as we got home I was in sweats and one of his shirts. So of course when it comes to opening presents and eating with family, I think we can all agree that most people want to be comfortable. But you also want to look somewhat presentable because we all know that plenty of pictures get taken. Which is why this outfit is perfect! Wearing a comfy pair of jeans keeps you from looking like a college students, but the cardigan keeps your warm and cozy and perfectly comfortable! Scroll down for some more options!

A quick note about these jeans (and no this isn't sponsored): I found them at Old Navy. A year ago I would have told you I hate ON jeans because they just never look good on me. But something must have changed either with me or their styles because these are my favorite jeans! They have plenty of stretch but don't get baggy and stretched out. Plus, they're so affordable! One in every shade? Yes please!!

--

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Lord Is Good Y'all


Hello! First of all, Christmas is one week away!! And honestly I won't be done with wrapping until Sunday. The struggle of trying to hide packages from your fiance! I think we're just about done buying presents for people too.

So now for the exciting news: I HAVE A JOB!! Yes y'all after four months of not using my degree and struggling to trust the Lord, I have a real job. I'll be an analytical technologist at Dow only about 25 minutes from where we live. It's also like 7 minutes down the road from where J works. Before you ask though, no we will not carpool to work. I love the man but he leaves at the very last minute for work and it stresses me out.

If you've been following along for a while, you'll know that I recently received my PhD in chemistry (I officially graduated on Friday!!). I started applying for jobs way back in January/February. I had two interviews in April, one in New Jersey and one north of Chicago. Unfortunately those didn't lead to offers...or fortunately because then I didn't have to choose between a job and J. Over the summer I had a few companies reach out via e-mail and then a few phone interviews. But again those didn't lead to any offers. Keep in mind I was applying for so many jobs! Literally anything I was qualified for in the Cincy/Dayton/Columbus/Indianapolis areas. There were weeks I'd apply for 10+ jobs!

Through all of this, I was frustrated. Frustrated that I spent 4 years of my life stressed to the max. Grad school is not easy! It was hard and it isn't something to go into lightly. I was angry that the Lord would bring me through all that trouble and hardship just to end up with nothing. I had nothing to show for my degree. Here I am, Dr. Ashley Richardson, and I'm a substitute at a preschool.

Of course I had people around me pointing out the good things to come out of grad school:
1. I'm getting married. J is better than any man I've ever met or imagined. I couldn't have picked a better husband-to-be!
2. I made great friends. Seriously, two of my bridesmaids are girls I never would have met if it weren't for grad school.
3. I actually got to rest. These last four years have been the longest and hardest of my life. I needed a break, whether I realized it or not.

So all in all, the Lord was working. Being married is something I've wanted with all of my heart. I cherish my close friendships. And I really needed a break. Like bad. It was so nice to not use my degree for a while. Being with preschoolers for a couple months has been a blast! They reminded me that life can't be taken too seriously. Just roll with it. Improvise! And I realized that I'm pretty well prepared for kids because I handled being puked on like a champ! No joke, one of my kiddos threw up all over me. And I didn't vomit right after. I sat her down, waited until she got it all out (we were outside), and then calmly walked her in with a smile on my face and cleaned us both up. 

All of this to say, regardless of what you're going through, wait on the Lord's timing. I know, it's so easy for me to say that when I'm now on the other side of the crappy time. But do it. Wait on Him. Because His plan is far greater than anything. If I had gotten a job immediately out of grad school, I would be so burnt out. I would probably resent my degree. It would have strained all of my relationships, especially mine with J. And that's not something I'm willing to do. 

My friend, know that I know your struggle. I get it. It sucks. While I only waited less than a year for a job to come up, I've waited over 10 years to find my future husband (seriously I was okay with finding him when I was in high school). There are going to be days when you think the Lord doesn't hear you. When you think He's punishing you. But friend keep going. Keep trusting that He will provide one day. Whether it's next week or next decade, God's timing will always be perfect.

--

Subscribe to my mailing list for exclusive content, recap of recent posts, plus other fun and exciting things!

* indicates required