Wednesday, November 11, 2009

September to November

I've gotten behind again the last three months. Now time to try and remember what we've had happen since the last time.

September: We finished off the month celebrating Dakota's 1st birthday. It was so much fun to set things up and have a party for her. Slightly stressful, but very fun. Now that she is over the one year mark, it's amazing to look back and see how much she's grown and how much we've done as a family. Her birthday party was carebear themed with streamers and balloons and bright colors everywhere. My sisters came over and helped me set up and get food ready, which I really appreciated, I needed the help. What was super exciting was that Dakota stood up for the first time on her own right in the middle of everybody. She was out on her blanket in the middle of the lawn, and decided she was going to stand, so she did! I was so proud of her. And Dakota REALLY enjoyed her birthday cake. SaveMart had a special going on, so when we ordered a 1/4 sheet cake, we got a free 8-inch cake for baby's first birthday that matched the sheet cake. She was so dainty at first, Chad had to shove her hands down into the cake before she started enjoying it herself. Dakota had such a sugar rush; she didn't crash until 11 o'clock that night! But she had fun, and that's all that mattered to us.

October: Dakota worked on standing on her own some more, and we kept watching for her to take those first important and exciting steps. She still wasn't that brave though, so we continued to work with her, and wait. As Halloween neared, we started deciding what we wanted to do for costumes and which parties we were going to go to. Every year, our friend Debbie has a party the weekend before Halloween. It's always a lot of fun, and it's huge. So Chad and I knew we'd be going to her party. I dressed up as a swedish barmaid, and Chad went as a breathalyzer test with a twist. He was a big hit to say the least. It was hard to find a costume for him this year, there really wasn't much that was interesting to him, but we made things work. The hard part this year was that I got tired early, and we went home around 11pm. As it turns out, I'm pretty thankful that we left early. Not long afterwards, there were a few fights and the police were called out. When we left there was a policeman in the driveway who had been called out for a noise complaint by the neighbor, and when we returned the next morning to help clean up, there was another taking statements by those involved in the fights. Hopefully, Debbie has another party next year, but I wouldn't blame her if she decides to take a year off after all that happened this year. The plan as far as I know is to make sure that everybody is limited on how many drinks they can have, and to make sure that everybody is the proper age, apparently we had a lot of underage people sneak in this year.
On Halloween, we went to our friend Larry's. He always does a haunted walkway for the trick-or-treaters that everybody in the area comes to check out. This year Chad and I took Dakota trick-or-treating, which was a lot of fun. I dressed up as a cowgirl, and Dakota went as a baby leopard. She was so cute!!! We figured it would be fun to take her out and get her used to the holiday and all that comes with it. Next year she'll understand it more, but it was fun to take her out anyway. She got to grab our hands and do some walking that way, which she is getting really good at, if we're not ready she'll take off faster than we expect and end up pulling herself backwards. But she had a lot of fun walking with Carissa (age 4) for a little while on Halloween.

November: So far this month has been amazing. On the first day of the month Dakota decided to take her first steps for her dad and Grandpa Blaine while I was getting her bath ready (so I missed them!). It took a few days to get her to do it again, but I finally got to see her walk. I am thrilled. I can't wait to have her really walking and starting to run. I know everybody tells me that I won't be saying that when she is, but I don't care, I honestly can't wait to see her achieve the next stage of her abilities. I am so proud of her every time she learns something new. Then, on the 6th Chad and I went to Pismo so I could finally get my birthday present. Back in January, Chad's gift to me was a new tattoo. And I absolutely love it! I still have color to get done on it, but I love it. Now, before it becomes an issue, it's already done, and it's not going away. You don't have to like it, but it's there. I won't be pressuring anybody in any way about it, so please do not lecture me about it. I will be respectful of you and keep it covered if I know you don't approve, please just respect my choice to get it. Anyway, if you'd like to see pictures, let me know by e-mail ( and I'll send them to you, but otherwise I won't be putting it on display for everybody to see.
I'm excited for Thanksgiving this year. Chad and I will be joining my family in Modesto for dinner, and I'll get to see many of my cousins from the east coast who will be visiting: BJ and his new wife, Ally, Brienne, Connor, Michelle, and some of their friends. I can't wait to see them all, it's been 6 years since I've seen many of them, and I've never had the chance to meet Ally, so I'm looking forward to getting to know her and introduce them all to my little family.

Future Plans for the Snavely Family: Next month Chad and I are going to be going on a cruise to Ensenada. It's a 3-day cruise just to Ensenada and back, but I'm looking forward to it anyway. I bought a stunning dress to wear for the formal captain's dinner, and I can't wait to have Chad see me in it. We'll leave December 4th and return on the 7th. I can't wait! I'm also really excited since Chad and I have decided to start trying to add another little miracle to our family in the near future, so wish us luck!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Catching Up

I've gotten behind on my blogs. The last few months have been crazy for us, and I've been too preoccupied to type up much. But today I'm attempting to fix that.

We're coming up quickly on Dakota's first birthday. Plans are all set for her birthday party a week from today. It's going to be simple: balloons, streamers, BBQ, and swimming. But it should be fun anyway. We're excited about it anyway. Trying to believe it's been a year...that's a whole different thing! I cannot believe that I've had an entire year with this precious girl already. She's grown so much and is quickly becoming a beautiful toddler. She isn't walking quite yet, but she's working on standing up on her own in the middle of the floor. She'll push away from you if she's standing on the bed and stand for a few seconds. We're thinking she'll be walking within the next month. Then the real fun will begin (and I'll really start losing weight!)!

We made a move this month from our apartment out to the country. We're currently living with my father-in-law. It's nice, we've got our own little portion of the house, and we're going to be building on a temporary room for Dakota. It'll be added on to the garage, so it shouldn't be difficult. All we do for now is have her sleep in the back office in the playpen. She's done well, she's stuck to her schedule and not been disturbed by the change. I just can't wait to get her back into her crib and more settled. Blaine's place is nice, we're all adjusting pretty well to living so close. All we do right now is share the bathroom and the kitchen. Otherwise we have our own space and pretty much keep to it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Month of June

Dakota is 9 months old. It seems impossible that time has gone so quickly. In just three short months, she'll be a full year old. She now crawls everywhere (yay! finally!), and has three and a half teeth. She's got three on the bottom, and one is cutting through up top. Lucky for me, she hardly notices now that teeth are coming in, I just wonder how she'll handle having her molars come in when they decide to make an appearance. Dakota is just a happy, beautiful child who brightens my day every day. She's just starting to pull up on the furniture, but luckily hasn't found much that she can reach to pull up on yet. What we really enjoy now is that she finally gets to sit in a high-chair when we go out to eat. She's getting to eat rice puffs and learning how to mash them up and "chew" them. She absolutely loves them too! Before I know it she'll be walking, then running, and able to eat almost whatever she wants. We're working on teaching her how to open her mouth so we can brush her teeth, but so far I think she likes the taste of the tooth and gum cleaner (it's berry!) too much, and she just sucks or chews on the toothbrush. At least we're trying to start her on good habits though! Summer is fun for us, trying to keep her cool enough is a bit of a challenge, but we're doing well. Luckily, she loves water and will gladly go swimming or sit in a cool bath when it's really hot. But I love my daughter, she's just a joy I couldn't imagine not having in my life.

We had the second of our four-wheel drive trips this past weekend. We didn't take Dakota with us for Moonlight Madness though. The drive is done at night, and many of the obstacles are just too rough for her to go on this year. Chad and I had a really good time though. We drove up Saturday morning, went on the day-time run, came back to kabobs for dinner (super yummy, thanks Debbie!), and packed up and went on the night-run. The trail was particularly rough this year, so we're glad we had Dakota stay at Grandpa David's while we were gone. The day was hot, and the night got pretty cold. I came back needing to stand by the fire to warm up!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

How Fast They Grow!

It is amazing to watch my daughter grow. I am just so proud of her. It was just Thursday that my sister and I walked into Target, and I was telling my best friend, Stephanie, that Dakota was working on sitting up by herself. Then, not five minutes after we got home, Dakota sits up all by herself! Chad and I were just watching TV, and he looked over at her, and she was just pulling herself up into a sitting position! Now we cheer her on and encourage her every time she does it. It's just amazing to see how fast she can do it now, and how quickly she learned how to do it. Now if only she would crawl! She still insists on rolling everywhere, so she'll probably be one of those kids who walks before she crawls. It's especially funny to see her sit though, because she's really doing the splits, I understand that's how it starts out, but it's just interesting to see. I am just so proud of her every time she figures out something new. Her ability to learn new things is fascinating, she's so smart already. It means so much to me, like I've done something absolutely right, and that I don't have to feel bad for any of the things I think I've messed up on because she still manages to do the right things. She still improves by leaps and bounds. Before I know it, she's going to be walking, running, jumping...and I'm not going to believe how quickly she's learning so much right in front of my eyes.
Last week Dakota went swimming for the first time, wearing my old baby swimsuit. She was a little scared at first, she hadn't gotten the sitting thing down yet, so she still managed to get a little water on her face. Now I don't think I'd get her out of the water if she had a choice. She loves playing more in the bathtub; she splashes and plays now, and knows what it means when I put her in her new swimsuits. It reminds me of what everybody says about me being a fish when I was a baby and a kid. I still love swimming, and it's exciting to get to swim with her now. Even if it's just that she gets dipped in her baby pool or carried in the bigger pool, it's fun because she enjoys it so much, she gets so excited. She gets into her suit, gets all greased up with sunscreen, and is ready to go. She's laughing and giggling the entire time we're in the water, and when we decide it's time to get out, she doesn't want to. Sad thing is, I think she has more of a tan than I do. She must have gotten some of Chad's Cherokee coloring, because she's already darker than me. As you can see, I desperately need a tan, I am white, white, white. Except for my shoulders now. When we went on our 4-wheel drive run last weekend, my right arm got a little toasted, so it has some color, but now I'm all lop-sided, I need to even out. Luckily, we have some time at the beach coming up, and another 4-wheel trip next month, so I'll have some time to tan a bit. That's the plan anyway. If I have a good few days in Pismo, I can get myself some good color and hopefully be my usual beautiful summer bronze for the first time in a few years. That's my goal, get in shape and look more like my slender self by Christmas, complete with a good summer tan.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Busy Month of May!

Wow! What a busy month for us. We've got 5 birthdays, 2 races, Mother's Day, 1 camping trip, helping a friend move back from Lancaster, and a wedding this month. We are busy, busy, busy. I don't think Chad feels like he's stopped moving and running around trying to get things done for awhile now. He's exhausted. I'm tired, but it's just from trying to stay on top of things and take care of Dakota at the same time. She's got so much energy! She still isn't crawling; she prefers to roll everywhere she wants to go. She still manages to get around fast enough though, if I don't watch her, I lose track of her quickly! She's 8 months old on the 30th of this month and every month we're closer to a year, I believe it less and less. Dakota can stand on her own for a few seconds, she's got very strong legs. Chad and I are starting to think she'll seriously walk before she decides to crawl. What I love is that she reaches out for me now when I go to pick her up or take her from somebody else. She doesn't do it that often for Chad, and she absolutely refuses to do it for anybody else. Mommy is special in that regard. Her hair still grows just in the strip down the middle of her head, so I tend to give her a bath-time mohawk (It's so cute!). She is just such a happy, easy baby it makes me wonder if a second baby is a good idea. There's no way we could get lucky and have another super easy and well behaved child. Dakota is such an independent kid, she takes care of herself for entertainment, the only thing she asks for is some cuddle time in the afternoon, and playing on the floor with the rest of her toys. All I have to do is watch for her signs of needing a bottle, diaper change, or a nap. They're all pretty easy, so I don't have much to do for her otherwise. I love having such an easy baby, hopefully the next will be the same way.
I'm excited for Chad right now as well. He's starting up a second business to help earn some extra money called Poor Boy Chassis. He'll be putting together sand rail and rock buggy frames for his customers. We're just finishing up our second rail right now. We built one smaller rail for Chad's dad (to the right) and this week we sent our V8 rail in to get powder-coated. It's a beautiful red-orange with a pearl finish. It's really very pretty, almost coral in the sunlight. To offset the orange, certain parts are black satin, and it's stunning. It's our racing rail, unlike his dad's, which is our jumping/wheelie/play-time rail. Blaine's is nowhere near as fast, but we play a little harder in it (clearly). It's a lot of fun to have these to play in out at Pismo Beach. We wanted something we could both be in together, and when she's a little older, that Dakota can be in too. Blaine's rail is just a 2-seater, but ours is currently a 4-seater and will eventually become a 5-seater. Once we get finished pictures of it (later today) I'll post a few and give more details about it. The one picture I have is in it's unfinished stage, and it looks a little like Mater from Cars. Besides, I'll have more details from the races; speed, times, that kind of thing. It should be a lot of fun. We certainly enjoy them anyway.
We finally have Lucy, our boxer pup (although she's hardly a puppy anymore!), back at home. She's 11 months old now, and although I think she's already huge, she still has some growing to do. She's going to be a very big girl. And, typical of big dogs, she still thinks she's a lap dog, of course. She loves to sit in my lap every chance she gets. She's in heat right now, but normally I let her sit for a little while and then wrestle my way up. We're going camping in Jose Basin next weekend, and she'll be coming with us. She's so well behaved, we know we don't have to worry about her a bit. I'm just a little worried about the rattlesnakes. It's been really hot up there, but when we went to drop off a few of our friends' trailers and rope off our camp site, we saw a lot of jack rabbits, so I'm hoping that means their (the snakes, that is!)numbers are down. If we don't see a single one the entire time that we're camping, I'll be very pleased. The two last things I'd want to ever see is my daughter or my dog get even within strike range of a rattler. I've already seen Chad there, and I don't like it either. Lucky for us, we had a shovel with us and he killed it. No more poisonous snakes! Eventually the plan is to breed Lucy. Now, I more than anybody can respect that animal populations are high and the thing we're encouraged to do is spay and neuter our pets, but this is something we have discussed and decided to do. We'll wait until after a few more heat cycles have gone by and she's a little older, but we are going to breed her once we feel she's ready. I'm excited for that, I loved having the puppies from my last dogs, and I know that if I'd had the chance (in other words, the time) I'd have found them all wonderful homes. But at the time, that wasn't an option. I was being kicked out of the place I was renting to make room for her son on three days notice, I was 7 weeks pregnant, and was not working because of the pregnancy [I miscarried anyway due to all the stress]. I barely had a chance to keep the puppies until they could be separated from their moms as it was. I had to beg for that amount of time. But we're excited to eventually get to do something we love with such a wonderful pet. No worries, we won't go overboard and breed her too many times too close together, we love Lucy and would never do anything to hurt her or not take care of her properly.
I'm especially excited for Cara and Matt's wedding on the 29th. My great grandmother and great uncle are coming from Idaho, and my aunt, Pam, and uncle, Shawn, are coming from North Carolina to be there. I'm so excited for them to get to meet my family and to see them again. It's been close to six years since I've seen my aunt and uncle, and I've been trying to figure out a way for my great grandmother to meet Chad and Dakota. We were trying to plan a trip to Idaho this summer, but I don't think we would have been able to go, so I'm so excited they're coming here! I'm also glad that Cara and Matt are finally getting married. As a kid, I remember my mom saying that Matt would probably end up marrying either Cara or Mandy, but it was kinda inevitable that he'd become part of the family. Cara's bridesmaids dresses sound absolutely beautiful too, I keep hearing descriptions from Grandma Meadows, and they sound really pretty. Plus, who wouldn't love a picnic reception? It's planned for later in the evening, so the weather should be fairly nice. I'm excited to get to go and see all the family again. I haven't seen many of them since my wedding, some of them I haven't seen since November. After Cara, we'll just have Laura and Amanda to get married, and so I don't know how soon we'll have the family again together, especially not with great-grandma here. It'll be fun!
Speaking of marriage, I am so happy now that Chad and I are married. I know I said in my previous post that things really haven't changed, and for us they really haven't. But for me, it's very different in many, many ways. My first marriage never felt this secure, this fulfilling. The relationship that Chad and I have is so much more than I could have hoped for. We still don't fight or argue, we talk about anything and everything, and we work together on everything to make it easier for the other. But I have no worries about his loyalty or security in our marriage like I did in my first marriage. I know that Chad is dedicated to me, and that he isn't going anywhere, that he is always there to support me when I need him, and is always going to love me more than any other woman he knows. I never had those feelings before, and it makes me feel so much better than I have in years. I have no reason to doubt myself or the direction of my life, so my self confidence is much higher than it's ever been. Chad and Dakota hold me up and keep me from ever feeling depressed. We all love and cherish one another, and we truly are a family. Chad and I still do many things together, and try to spend quality time together as much as possible after Dakota goes to bed at night. That's why we're both so glad that she knows bedtime is between eight and eight-thirty. It makes it so easy for us to spend time together at night. With Chad working so hard, it's nice when we do get time to spend together before going to bed.
When we travel, unless it's a situation where it's too loud or if it would be easiest to leave her with a babysitter, we take Dakota with us. We've got a 4-wheel drive run next weekend in Jose Basin and she's coming with us. She'll be strapped in tight in her carseat, riding on the run with us. We're trying to get the "Youngest On the Trail" award this year. We'd have gotten it last year if they'd counted her age at -4months. I was six and a half months along, but it didn't count, the child actually had to be born. Go figure! Hopefully, at almost eight months she'll be the youngest this year. We'll find out! I'm excited that it's finally time to go again though. It was this same run last year where Chad proposed, and that makes it extra special for us. We were just sitting around the campfire and Chad said "Hey, I forgot, did I tell you guys that as of today Ash and I are officially engaged?" I just about fell out of my chair. I gave him the most shocked look, to which he responded with "Oh, I guess I forgot to tell you. I think you'll be needing this." Which is when he pulled out my ring, got down on one knee, and officially asked me to marry him. Granted, this picture is from Bald Mountain, but it's the same basic idea. This is our Toyota 4 Runner that we use for all our four wheel drive excursions. We've been in the desert, in the snow, and in the rocks with this thing. It's definitely one tough truck! We have a lot of fun, and I'm hoping Dakota enjoys going with us too. She enjoyed the monster truck rally last month (picture to the left [I look really creepy]), she loves the drag races, so she'll probably love the run just like everything else. She was waving her arms and laughing the entire time, so we'll hope it's easy to keep her entertained on the run, I just wish we could turn her around so she could see everything going on. The view of the back of the seats can't be that exciting, I'm sure it'll get boring fast. And I really hope that the weather isn't too hot. It's so hot this weekend, I don't really know what to expect for next weekend. Pray for cooler weather! Besides, cooler weather means less chance of snakes (again, no rattlesnakes for me = good weekend!).
In the meantime we're not up to much. Just taking as much time to relax as we possibly can when we can. With so much going on, not easy, but busy months are always exciting. Dakota and I are heading out to Grandpa Blaine's, we're going to go swimming for the first time! How exciting for Dakota! Pictures will come soon!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Wedding

Well, it's official, I am now Ashley Nicole Snavely. The wedding was absolutely beautiful and I couldn't have asked for a more fun and creative time. And the bonus? I have my wonderful Chad as my husband for the rest of our lives. To start, you can't get much better than a wedding on the beach at sunset. The only thing I wish I could have changed was the cold wind that kicked up out of nowhere an hour before the wedding started. Then, Chad, being the creative person that he is, built our "alter" in 45 minutes. We had an official hitching post, since our wedding was a western/beach theme. Everything was so beautiful. Unfortunately, my dad got lost and didn't make it to the ceremony. He didn't make it until we were almost done with photos, the sun had already gone down. We just couldn't wait for him. It hurt that he wasn't there, but there wasn't much that I could have done about it, so I moved on and enjoyed the rest of my wedding. Luckily, he wasn't going to be walking me down the aisle (I did that by myself-it's more dramatic), so I didn't have to wait for him or find somebody to replace him. I'll say one thing though, our cakes were a lot of fun. I say "cakes" because we had three. Wedding cakes are expensive, so we went to Save Mart and ordered three half sheets. One was decorated in a hawaiian theme with sandals. It said "We met on the beach...". Our second cake was decorated in a woodsy theme with a four-wheel drive vehicle, saying "We got engaged in the woods...". Our third cake was a wedding design with swans that said "And joined together forever March 28, 2009". We added a humorous cake topper with the bride dragging the groom by the collar of his jacket, Chad just loved that.
Oh, and I nailed him with the cake!

Chad and I are both enjoying married life, although it really doesn't feel like much has changed for us. After all, we've essentially been married for over a year already. Ever since we started planning for Dakota. By the way, she wore the dress I was blessed in as a baby, for the wedding, it was so cute! But everything was so wonderful, we both enjoyed ourselves a lot. Our "honeymoon" was spent at the Sea Venture Resort. It's a beautiful place, right off the beach. We had a private spa right on our balcony, chocolate dipped-strawberries, and rose petals in our room. We were supposed to receive a complimentary bottle of champagne as well, but the guy at the front desk wasn't that helpful and we didn't get it until we checked out and told them all the trouble we had with him. They sent us a free night's stay with everything that we didn't get this time. You can bet we'll use that as soon as we get a chance to go again, when it's just us.

Dakota is doing well, she now has two teeth!! Her other bottom tooth came in the day we arrived in Pismo (the 26th). She's now enjoying teething biscuits, although we watch her very carefully to be sure she doesn't bite a piece off and choke. I can hardly believe she's six months old now, she's getting too big too fast. My baby girl is slowly becoming my big girl, and I'm not sure I like it. She's to the point of almost crawling. She can lift herself off the floor, but she hasn't got the concept of moving in coordinated movements yet. It won't take her long though. I'd say, give her another three weeks, and she'll be all over the place. The cats are going to have to get used to her being mobile, they won't just be able to move three feet away anymore.
Well, this may be my last post for a little while, we're temporarily going to be getting rid of our internet. Money right now is extremely tight, and although I may not always agree, internet is a luxury, not a necessity, so we're cutting it out of our budget for awhile. Not easy, but necessary at the moment.
So, until next time, take care, we'll be in touch!

Friday, March 20, 2009

One Week to Go!

I feel like I'm about to lose my mind! A week from today (Saturday) I am going to be Ashley Nicole Snavely. I. Can. Not. Wait. Chad and I are so excited. We're getting all the details finalized and picking up the last pieces of decorations and stuff, and on Wednesday we'll be headed off to Pismo, and when we return...we'll be married!!! Despite having been married already, I'm so excited to finally be spending the rest of my life with the man I love more than anything. Our little family is finally going to be legally complete. The only thing I'm not sure about are my two furry kids. We'll be gone for a week, their litter box is going to be disgusting when we get back. We have an automatic cleaning one, but the motor on it isn't working, so I've had to treat it like a normal litter box and clean it every day. I'm not looking forward to how it's going to be after a week. Anyway, I'm picking up my dress today (YAY!!!) and taking care of some of the simple beauty things (eyebrows for one). At least, that's the plan. I'm exhausted. Dakota was having some major trouble sleeping last night. She went to bed at 8:30pm as usual, but instead of sleeping until 7:00am, she woke up at 1:00am, and again at 3:00am. I think her new teeth are starting to hurt her more than they were. She was just so fussy, and nothing I could do seemed to help, except to hold her and cuddle. I gave her some baby Tylenol, and turned the fan on in her room in case she was too warm, gave her a bottle at 1:00am, but just played with her a little at 3:00am. Chad had a major migraine yesterday (even after going to the chiropractor), and so I turned the baby monitor off in our room, and came to sleep on the couch so he could sleep and not hear her cry, but I could still get up with her if needed. It didn't last long. He came out at around 4:00am because he heard something outside and went to check it out. We've had some recent burglary to our cars, so he checks everything now. He told me just to come back in to bed, there wasn't any difference for him whether the monitor was on or off, he'd hear her either way. So far, she just seems tired today, but I'm watching her very carefully. I just hope she isn't sick and I'm missing the signs. She doesn't have a temperature, but I just can't figure it out.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A First Tooth and More!

This week we were so excited to find that Dakota has cut her first tooth! She'd grabbed my finger, stuck it in her mouth, and chomped down. I was surprised because it actually hurt, did the whole "Ow!" thing, and pulled my finger out. Then it actually registered that there was something other than just hard gums in her mouth. I did the double check and found her tooth! It's on the bottom in the front, and it's sharp. I can't believe that she's got just the tiniest bit of her first tooth coming through already, but then I look back and realize that she's five and a half months old, and it's not that surprising. Dakota is taking teething very well, for which I am extremely grateful, I know that many don't handle it well, and it's no wonder, teething hurts. But she's also learned how to grab her teething ring and bring it to her mouth, so she doesn't mind much anymore. I'm especially excited, she's blonde! It's a dark blonde, but she's definitely a blonde! Her hair has finally grown in enough that we could get a clear look at the color of her hair. She's just a joy to spend my day with, I love being a mom.
Well, we're seventeen days away from the wedding, and things are slowly coming together. I've got a dress fitting next Tuesday, and an appointment to figure out my make-up for the big event. The last couple of days I've been having a hard time getting to sleep, I just can't seem to make my mind shut down. I'm just so excited, I can't wait for everything to happen, at last. My plan is to get Chad's feelings two weeks before the wedding, and post them here, but I don't know how easy that will be, he's always so busy. Either way, I know I'm excited, and I know he's more than excited to finally be getting married and completing our family for good. We'll have tents, trailers, and motorhomes all out on the beach, so if people need places to stay, there will be a few extras. Chad and I have two nights at The Sea Venture Resort reserved, which I think we're both excited about. There is a private spa on the balcony, a delicious breakfast is brought to us every morning, and it just looks beautiful. This weekend Chad and I will have his "step-daughters" here to go dress shopping. I might have to change my wedding colors, but luckily there isn't too much to change. I would like to do white/peach, but I may have to do white/green. Either way, at this point I'm ok, just as long as we get it all coordinated. I'm just ready to have things all set and be able to relax for a few days before the wedding. I'm still waiting to get some RSVP's, which we need to have so we know how many tables/chairs to rent. So until I get all those done, I'll be a little extra stressed, but it'll work out, I'm sure.

Friday, March 6, 2009

First Things First

Hi there! We're not always good about keeping in touch with people about what is going on in our lives, so I (Ashley) decided it was time to start keeping a blog and let our friends and family know what's new.
Lately the biggest thing keeping our attention is, of course, the wedding. We're both extremely excited that it is finally only three weeks away. We're scrambling to get things all figured out and paid for, but they're slowly coming together. I just hope that the weather cooperates and doesn't throw all our hard work and planning in the garbage. If it's anything like it was last week though, it will be gorgeous. The plan is to have a quick ceremony right at sunset, so hopefully we've estimated the time right. It's hard to know, so I did some exploring to find the average sunset time for our wedding day, and I came up with 7:21pm, so I hope 7:00pm will give us a beautiful backdrop. Our photographer, Aaron Rogers, came to talk to us Wednesday about what we're looking for by way of pictures, and he's got some amazing work in his portfolio. I know he'll give us everything we're looking for and more. We'll have to do some pictures before the ceremony, which means I'll be seen in my dress early, but I'm ok with that as long as they turn out the way we want them to. Chad is working so hard to get all the little things together, it's the only thing keeping him sane, I think (It's still not positive that he is sane to start with :) ). I'm busy making sure the decorations and outfits for the bridal party are all figured out. Decorations are easy, they're all planned, they just have to be paid for. Outfits, that's a different story. We were going to have everyone in black pants and a white shirt with black or white cowboy hats, but it's actually cheaper to have the girls in dresses. Our colors are currently up for discussion. I was going to have black/white/peach, but now we're probably going to have to change them to black/white/blues. It's not what I would have chosen (I think it's too common with a beach wedding), but I'll do what I must to keep the cost down. Ultimately the colors don't matter anyway. I still need to go shopping to find a dress for Dakota.
Speaking of Dakota, she is getting so big it amazes me. Today she finally figured out how to roll from her tummy onto her back again. She's twenty-two weeks old and growing way too fast for me. I want her to stay small and cuddly and baby.... I can't believe it's been five months already since she was born. We're finally getting her characteristics figured out. She's got my eyes and mouth, but looks a lot like Chad right now. But last month she was identical to me at five to six months old. She loves teddy bears, the blue and green elephants on her bouncer, and her purple elephant on her carseat. She loves to take a bath, and has five very strict rules about bedtime.
One: It is promptly started at 8:00pm with a bath.
Two: The bath water has to be the same temperature as Mom's baths, very warm but not hot.
Three: After the bath, a diaper and PJ's are put on immediately, no playing or dilly-dallying.
Four: A bottle is given as soon as clothes are on.
Five: After the bottle is empty it's time to be put in bed.
She falls asleep pretty quickly and usually without any fuss. Ever since she was one month old, she's been sleeping through the night. Right now she falls asleep by 8:45pm and wakes up between 7:00am and 9:00am, takes a diaper change and a bottle, and will usually go back to sleep until 11:00am. It's been wonderful. She is such a good and easy baby. I hope the next one is just like her. But first I have to talk Chad into having one more. He'd be happy with just one, but I want at least two. That way Dakota always has a playmate, and I can try for a boy.
Well, I think for now that's got us up to date. I'm going to try to update this once a week, but we'll see if things work out that way before the wedding is done. In the meantime, take care and feel free to give us a call at any time to chat!

About Me

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Clovis, CA, United States
Chad and Ashley met in August of 2007 in Pismo Beach, CA, but the time just wasn't right for anything more than friends. By the end of October a relationship was started, and by Christmas a family was being planned, even though they weren't even engaged yet. They found out they were pregnant Jan. 25, 2008, and September 30, 2008 Dakota Lyn Snavely was born at 4:21am. On March 28, 2009 Chad and Ashley were married in Pismo. They are now expecting a baby boy June 15, 2011. The family lives in Clovis, CA.