My first month as a Linnberg

Just about a month ago, Jan and I married with our toes in the sand! A whole MONTH already! And it took a month to get my name officially changed- paperwork, and lines and mail and paperwork and fees and waiting. But I made it. Came out the other side a Linnberg. Ash Linnberg. Ashley Linnberg. Mrs. Linnberg. …WEEEIRD. A little neat, but still weird. Wondering when speaking it out loud and using the phrase “my husband” will feel normal. Speaking of- my husband and I have been living the good married life and haven’t found reasons to kill each other. #marriedAF Every morning is a fresh one. Fresh snuggles and fresh eggs and fresh kisses and hugs. He claims marriage makes everything better, too. The way his clothes fit, the air, the food, house chores…everything is BETTER. Can’t argue him. I get better every damn day. ZING!

It’s almost June now, and school is coming to a close. Oliver is pumped! And *I* will have a FOURTH GRADER on my hands. Yeesh. The summer for our family will be packed with weekends outdoors, weekday park and pool trips, playdates, yoga, and family stuff. I intend on making more trips to the farm for hangs (both Linnberg and Olson farms), and having cook outs regularly. We may spend our days feeding ducks and going for walks and swimming or playgrounding. I want to get to the family museum every once and a while, too. Just so many THINGS I have planned, and only 12 weeks to do it all. On top of kid and family plans, I’m making personal goals for ME. I want and need to revisit my yoga books from school. Study up and learn and apply. I also have some books to read on deepening my yoga practice and spiritual connection shit that I am hoping is more “good vibes” than “praise the lord”. But if you know me and books, my track record for finishing a book is no bueno. Unless it is about magic and mythology #wishmeluck

Arthur, my nephew, is turning ONE already in less than a week! #T I M E F L I E S * and Frank will be TWO in a a couple weeks. We are throwing him a dinosaur/ Jurassic Park themed party! Kind of excited to decorate and bake and host. I really don’t mind it, and our house isn’t THAT bad at hosting our brood of fam and friends. Planning on it being outside with a blow up pool to splash in, piñata, games, and cupcakes! I mean, the kid is turning 2…the party is really for me, right?

summing it all up: life is good.

Can not complain much, even though I do. My family is happy and healthy. We have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. I have great friends, amazing kids, and a husband who truly LOVES me. So yeah.. hashtag blessed.

PS*** tooting my yoga horn*** check out my class schedule and come to a class or two or three or ETC

 

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#solongdejonge

ahhhh *big sigh* where to begin? where to begin! So much excitement has come into my life in such a short period of time. I mean, TONS of joy and omg-ness.
Janny came home mid-March *YASSSSS* But let me just say as much as it was a relief and joy it was equally difficult. At least for the first week he was home… So much adjusting to schedules and life, and don’t let anyone tell you things just “fall into place” like no time has passed. We butted heads, we argued, but in the end, we figured it out. He went back to work, and I dropped back into my normal routines. We handled it as best as we could, and I honestly love more for compromising and loving me through all of it (the deployment, the frustrations, the shit we dealt with when he came back, etc). He’s my biggest supporter, and I’m mad about him. Happy vibes and love making ensued #gushmush
It seemed like he was only back for a hot minute, then BOOM! St Patty stuff. BOOM! Brian’s bachelor trip to AZ. BOOM! Packing for Mexico! The preparation and anticipation for Mexico was delightful. The night before we left, I couldn’t sleep. Shocker, I know. But I was dwelling over lists and notes I left my sister (WHO IS A SAINT FOR LOOKING AFTER MY BABIES), and worried about being gone. You know, mom stuff. Then we were up before 5am to catch our flight out of Chicago. That drive was interesting, too…my GPS wasn’t working right, and we ended up driving out of the way (and avoiding a $75/day parking fee) for probably an extra hour at least. Jan was freaking that we’d miss the flight…BUT! We (obviously) made it just fine.

M E X I C O 

We took a flight straight to Cancun, and had a special/VIP ride to the resort waiting for us.

we have arrived!

The resort is beautiful. The staff, same. Everyone was overly nice and helpful. Made our stay so comfy. Our guests/BFFs arrived over the next two days, and heavy partying was under weigh. The whole group rocked. Just…Incredibly fun and perfect for celebrating us. The guys were each given a “spirit animal” t-shirt (Jan passed them out after the rehearsal dinner), and it had ALL of us dying. He had little speeches/ reasons why he chose each friend’s animal…I think Mike’s ‘fried chicken’ shirt topped them off nicely! Rocky’s pig shirt was equally hilarious.

ANIMAL PACK

Every day was gorgeous and sunny, and every night was boozy and warm. I got to wear all the swim suits and all the dresses and buckets of sunscreen (after I burnt pretty bad the first day…dat mexican sun). We ventured to the beach a couple nights (THE MOON WAS INSANE), went to the “night club” and dance-sweated our tits off,  but most nights it was SPORTS BAR (inside joke, but trust me…it is funny).  Beach days were the best days. Salty air and hair, super sun tans, endless palomas & margaritas, and of course beach yoga.

#maegnash

my tribe ❤

 

We even splurged and spent a couple days on some excursions! Chichen Itza (fun ride, insanely hot, but dem ruins tho) was all day pretty much. The driver took us to a restaurant on the way home, too, so we got to get some grub off the resort. And another day we rented a private catamaran and got to snorkel! SO MUCH EFFING FUN. So many fish swimming around us, and sea turtles and sting rays and eels…wild. And the guys who ran the boat were pretty cool- we even got TEQUILA TIME before we were finished! That was such a great day…

old stuff is cool

#merca

these guys ❤

The morning of the wedding was spent in true girly fashion. Brunchies, mimosas, and facials with my ladies. I decided this was a good time to give the girlies my little gift (pura vida friendship bracelets!) while we toasted with champagne and ate all the fruit (except that papaya..ew). We met up with the dudes for some drinks on the lazy river, spent time at the beach,  and took our time in between. Maeg even lead a little yoga flow on the beach! #mypoot

By the time I had to get dressed, it hit me. I AM GETTING MARRIED. Like, M A R R I E D married. My blouse and skirt went together beautulfy (top was from a thrift store, and the skirt was off Amazon.com #fancy), but thankGOD for Cassie and Maeg. Getting that skirt on and off was a feat in itself. It was about that time, and one of the hotel staff came to the room to deliver my bouquet… I don’t know why, but seeing and holding that damn bouquet had me in tears! They were perfect-so bright and pretty (gerber daisies, my fave). I was sniffling and wiping my face so we could take a few pics before the ceremony when I caught a glimpse of myself in the window. Ughhhh crying for real, but like ugly crying. I WAS A BRIDE, you guys.  whew… I was able to pull myself together by the time the wedding coordinator arrived to take us to the wedding location.

this is real life!!!!!

They gave us a ride to the spot on the beach we were gonna be, and Cassie and Maeg were escorted to their places almost right away. I remember I was just standing there taking BIG, deep breathes and trying not to pace. Thinking “omgomgomgomgomgomg” and trying not to cry. And just like that~ it was my turn to walk down the beach. The set up was gorgeous. Perfection. White linen on the two rows of chairs, white canopy, and that mariachi band! As I got closer, I felt my fluster melt away. Jan was grinning ear to ear, and all was right. We spoke our vows from the heart/off the hip (totally impromptu), and poured some marriage sand into a marriage vase, and said “I do.” *Ahhh just bursting thinking about how happy I was in that moment*** And then the twist (Jan, always with the surprises).

I took that man to be mine!

Right before Jan was supposed to kiss his bride, he looks out at everyone and says (loudly), “Before I kiss my bride, there’s something I need to do”…and he proceeds to unbutton his shirt, kick off his shoes, and slide his shorts down into the sand below his feet. Two words: TUXEDO SPEEDO. And not just him! ALL THE DUDES had them secretly on under their clothes, and begun stripping right there on the beach in broad daylight!! On-lookers were gawking and holding up their phones, I was laughing along with everyone else. SO SO fun. and SO SO my husband. Naturally, we had a photo opp.

wife/queen

 

 

So… for those of you who aren’t my FB friend and can’t view the full montage of photos from this trip, there are some posted up on the grams. There is a lot more I could write about- more deets and more fun memories-but I think I’ll spare ya. The friends who celebrated that week with us know what went down and how awesome it was, and I can’t thank them enough for being there. Cassie, Maeg, Lora, Allison, Lindsay, Jilly, Beth, Whitney, Elyse, Kevin, Brandon, Kasjen, Rocky, Mike, Jason, Matty, Spencer, Jeff, and Brian… you are the greatest friends we could ever ask for, and from the bottom of my married heart I want to thank you for showing up. We love you guys.

luckiest couple on the planet.

And sooo, #solongdejonge was a total success. Aside from losing my voice and almost cutting my toes off on those damn secret ocean rocks…It was epic. Never drank so much in my life! Never been so happy.  Very ready to begin the next chapter in my life as a wife and a Linnberg!

xo

When your person is away…

As most of you know, Jan is in Afghanistan till March. You know, saving the world and being beautiful and flirting with women in burkas. So this leaves myself, Ollie, Frank, Odin and 3 cats to tend to the house and each other for 6 months. After 2 weeks and 2 days, I can honestly say that this isn’t my ideal situation. I mean, I’ve had bouts of crying, eating, drinking, hiding in the bathroom, sleeplessness, depression, hysterics, denial, and fake smiling. I’ve also cried into my cat more than once. Literally. I put my face on Dennis’s body and sobbed..and you know what? It made me feel equally psychotic and relieved. And Dennis doesn’t seem to mind. I knew all these things would arise. I’d feel all the feels and have struggles maintaining the kids and house and chores and whatnot. It really helps that many of my lovely friends have reached out to help…seriously! It doesn’t go unnoticed, and I will (eventually, if not already) take you up on the offer. Whether it’s babysitting while I shower/get a manicure, or cooking dinner for us, or just being an ear to vent to- I truly love all of you for the support. It means everything. Also, putting up with me is just something you’ll have to do. So, sorryimnotsorry about any mood swings that may occur.

I do get to chat with Janny most days, and it’s what I look forward to the most. That, and it being a reasonable hour for me to have a beer. Can I say that? #nojudgement
His face and voice and antics make me happy. And nobody will ever make me laugh like he can, so it’s great when I do get to hear from him bc laughter is a great mood lifter. He seems to be doing ok, even though his room looks like a scarier version of my college dorm room. Despite his tiredness (from working 7 days a week, 8-10 hours/day), he still manages to make time for me and the boys. Always with a smile or a joke… He is just the best, really. I love him more than I can express.

I’m blogging today from my front porch while Arthur and Frank nap, so I’m trying to hurry through*
U MMMM

OH! This is my BIRTHDAY MONTH!! Yes, yes, yes..I know you’ve ALL been wondering when you could send me gifts and vodka, and I’m pleased to tell you the wait it OVER! Send me all the things! I turn (had to think about it, counting the years on my fingers) 31 this Thursday, and I’ll probably bring in the new age with baby vomit, shitty diapers, and microwave corndogs. And all that, in all its yucky and blahness, is okay. I love being me and I love my life here. I love the chaos and the to-do lists and the babies and all of it. I love it because I worked hard to get here. I’m a good mama with a sense of humor (which, let’s be real, a lot of moms don’t have!), and I worked hard this summer and made sacrifices to get my yoga instructor certificate! I’m proud of me. And I’m proud of my family. I’m in love with the man of my dreams- like, insane, over-the-moon, can’t catch my breath, exploding heart, big BIG love. My boys are healthy and beautiful and SMART. I love my house and my neighborhood. I love DENNIS… There is so much to be thankful for, and my heart is overflowing with gratitude.

On that note~ I want you to get happy, too, and find some goodness in your day/life! Hold on to it, and enjoy positive moments! I sound like a hippy, but what I’m saying and feel is true:

One happy moment in your day can change your entire outlook!

Find that moment and spread good vibes 🙂

XO

“Just walk away”- Lord Humongous, best-dressed bad guy (PS: NO FRANK, YET)

Well, here we are. Large and round at 38 weeks (and 1 day) pregnant. And by “we” I mean me. No one else is sharing in the uncomfortableness quite the same way. My belly is “out there” and always in the way, my hands are somewhat swollen and tingly, I’m having more and more contractions (accompanied by the occasional twinge in the pelvic area), and I sleep restlessly and wake up at least once in the middle of the night to pee. On top of the “normal” pregnancy side effects, I get asked e v e r y d a y about the baby. “Is Frank here yet?”, “no baby?”, “when are you having that baby?”…I PROMISE IT WILL NOT BE KEPT A SECRET WHEN HE GETS HERE, GUYS. And trust me, I (above all others) am more than ready to meet the little bugger. Your concern and asking/checking in is well-received but also slightly annoying, bc all I want to do is have this baby at this point. Love you all, and I assure you Frank will arrive when he wants to and you will all be notified.
There is a lot I do everyday to help pass the time, and there is a lot I do to encourage the babe to show himself. I exercise (yoga, walking, weeding/gardening, house chores) throughout the day.

continuing my practice has been a huge help

38 weeks pregnancy shelf

I walk lots. I do my kegels and squats like a good little lady, and still nothing. Maybe I am doing too much? Is that a thing? Is too much activity working against me in this? #lesigh Frank is probably in there like “NEVAAA!!!” I suppose I will just keep on doing normal things and accept the fact that baby will arrive when he’s good and ready. After all, the longer he’s in there, the chubbier he gets! #ILOVECHUBBYBABIES

Recent happenings:

~Oliver went on a trip with his dad to Chicago this last weekend. I’m actually waiting for him to come home (should be today around lunch time). His dad took him to the aquarium Friday and they stayed in a hotel, then went to a wildlife preserve and saw/fed buffalo camped outside Saturday. Yesterday, they went to a water park… Just lots and lots of fun stuff! I’m sure he is thrilled about coming home to boring ol me- mommy who is too pregnant to do all the things! I am really looking forward to him being back, though. Nothing is the same/normal when he is away. And he is my favorite little man.

~My belly bump at 38 weeks looks so much smaller than it did when I was pregnant with Ollie. Not complaining or anything, just noticing that maybe the 65+ lbs I gained my first pregnancy didn’t look this “cute” (even though I feel I’ve complained a lot more about uncomfortableness this pregnancy).

~I invited friends over Saturday for an impromptu grill out, and it was lovely. Cass, Kev, Whit, Jeff, Jos, Jay & a couple of dude bros of Jan’s showed up. Good turn out, good convos, and good foods. Reminded me of the cook out get-togethers we had at my grandma’s house growing up. Neighbors and family chatting at picnic tables, the plethora of side dishes scattered on the counters, and kids running amuck… all the stuff my childhood is made up of.  I always wanted that for me and my family, too. Effortless gatherings filled with a sort of balanced chaos that only OUR family/friends understood and appreciated. Home. Home is where I’m surrounded by all the good things and people I love… I have to say that it really felt like home. And I enjoy entertaining/hosting things like that, too. #homeiswhereverimwithyou

~I watched a couple movies this weekend (per Jan): Road Warrior and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. I just want to say that anyone who says, “Road Warrior is better than Thunderdome” needs to RE-WATCH it. RW was hilariously awful. Mel Gibson probably said 20 words the whole movie, and when there was dialog, it was dull/made no sense/poorly written. The action sequences were alright (not better than Thunderdome, duh), but the best thing about the movie were the bad guys and their leader. Lord Humongous and his leather-clad, nambla gang were everything. Their wardrobe and scenes made the movie. Thunderdome was better all around. With characters like Master Blaster, Aunt Entity (TINA TURNER) and a brood of wild children, it is clearly the better movie. #notawasteoftimereally I won’t go into detail for those who haven’t watched it and want to, but I will say that you really don’t need to see Road Warrior to enjoy/understand Thunderdome. I’m looking forward to seeing the new one in theaters w/ Janny Boy (that is, if baby decides to stay put a little longer).

And so that brings us to today. A gorgeous Monday in the neighborhood. My lawn is freshly mowed (thanks, bae), my floors are clean, and my dog is sleeping. A nice, quiet morning thus far #cantcomplain I think I might go for a walk before Oliver gets home. Or go see what Jay is up to. Or bake cookies. Or I could nap… SO MANY CHOICES!

I’m hoping the next time you see a blog post from me I will have a little baby to write about. 🙂

 

 

Parenting Woes & Showering Baby Frank

‘Ello, ‘ello. Let’s get all the things up to date, shall we?

So, last Monday Oliver was super sick. I kept him from school because he said his stomach hurt and he wasn’t hungry (which was unusual in itself, because he always eats breakfast). He was tired and slept the whole day. Then around 3pm he starts crying and screaming, holding his stomach. Jan was home because he’d just flown back from Las Vegas that morning, so we kept asking where it hurt. I touched on his abdomen and he freaked out. I have never seen him in that kind of pain. So…I loaded him in the car and went to the ER. Poor thing was writhing in pain, and the nurses checked us in and got a room for him. They put an IV in his arm, which was more unpleasant than anything ever, and gave him morphine for the pain (I know…morphine seemed a bit extreme to me, too, but I guess they do that). We waited around for a while. Oliver looked so pitiful and sad, and kept saying things like “I’m scared, Mommy” and “I don’t want anything bad to happen to me” which broke my soul into a million little pieces. Thank god Jan was there to comfort ME and lighten Ollie’s mood. Jan was making Ollie laugh with jokes about which “belly jelly” the nurse will use for his ultrasound. They took my loopy Oliver back to get an ultrasound. Ollie made some cute remarks to the tech about “blueberry jelly” and told her it was ok when she pushed on his tummy because she’s “gotta do what she’s gotta do”…adorbs. They found nothing on the ultrasound, and gave us the option for a CT scan. I am terrified at this point. They were thinking it was his appendix this whole time, but couldn’t seem to locate it. So, I signed the paperwork for the scan (what else was I to do?), and in Ollie went.

smiling once we were told we could go home

He called it a “donut space ship” 🙂 The results from that weren’t helpful, either. By this time, Oliver had to have another IV put in his other arm because the 1st one “blew out” and was filling his skin with saline stuff- this was terrifying because I could see the pocket under his skin filling up and he was screaming and the nurses were TOO SLOW but I couldn’t touch anything! Eventually, we got passed that though. The doc came back in (this would be around hour 6), and told us it might just be constipation and we could go home. #RAGING
Since then, Ollie has had a follow up appointment with his pediatrician. She said it was a stomach virus that has been going around, and to keep him hydrated while it passes through his system. What a way to start that week. Oliver is doing much better, and I’m just glad it wasn’t anything serious!

32 weeks, y’all

I, also, went to the doctor last week. Just my regular OB check up- weight (188 lb), belly measured, heartbeat heard, next appt scheduled. I’m 32 weeks and 2 days now! Baby Frank is growing big, and moving around in there ALL DAY LONG. It feels like he’s rolling, and looks like waves on my skin. So neat! Neatness aside, I feel huge (nothing new) and find myself short of breath alllllll the time. Walking up/down stairs: panting like I ran a marathon. Getting up and out of bed in the morning: embarrassingly difficult. My hunger levels are wild, and at any given point in my day you will see me eating something. I still want to do normal tasks (yard work, house stuff, etc), but the whole baby-in-my-diaphragm thing kind of makes “work” (of any kind) impossible. Five weeks til I’m full term, and baby Frank can’t get here soon enough!
Over this last weekend, Whit and Cassie threw a lovely little baby shower for me! It was adorable and fun and perfect! They had a POSH party slash shower- and for those who haven’t heard of POSH, please check it out #sofun The decorations, the setting, the FOOD, the girly stuff, the game/gifts… all of it was super. And I am one grateful momma!

Grandma Jos (Jan’s mum), Cassie, Sheri, ME, Riss, Whit & Cindy

the spread 🙂

The guest list was small, but so’s my “list” of friends. Everyone who came knew how much it meant, and I’m so thankful to have people in my life who care about me/this baby the way they do. Especially Whit and Cassie. Those ladies get me 🙂  Pretty soon, they will have a wee one to dote on and shower with lovies!

That’s my tummy! On Roberta’s business cards!

My schedule has been kind of jammed full these days. Between Oliver’s activities (piano, gymnastics, soccer practice and games), prenatal yoga (can’t leave that out!), my doctor’s appointments, and this child prep class Jan and I have coming up, there’s gonna be a lot to do before Frank arrives! I think it will help the time pass by quickly. Yoga is still a part of this pregnancy- even though my endurance/ability to breathe has left. I can do standing poses and transitions ok, but others are getting trickier. Downward dog and child’s pose have to be done with a much wider stance to accommodate belly. And stretching my hips feels amazing, but (again!) bigger belly means alterations. I really look forward to my weekly prenatal classes at Indigo, because it is like a little club I am in. And we are all showing off our bellies and moves! I’m curious how many more classes I will make it to!

In other news- my last day at work is approaching. I have 12 1/2 [working] days to go, and am scrambling to get my caseload and kids in order before I leave. It will be a change being home, but it is one that I welcome with open bird arms. I’m ready to begin this new adventure with my baby~