Friday, September 25, 2009

A Narcissistic "about me" post - BUT I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT YOU!

So, I've been thinking about you guys a lot lately. Is that weird?
I mean, I have a long drive home, and plenty of time to think about random nonsense, and blogging usually takes up much of my thinking.

I kind of wonder what your life is like.
I mean, I know bits and pieces, a lot of bits and pieces. But I feel like I don't know much about your day-to-day, or mundane details. Like what do you like to do on a weekend? What do you want to be when you grow up? Do you have siblings? How did you like college? I mean, hook me up with a mini (or not so mini) biography. it weird that I want to know this? The internet kind of blurs the line between what is considered creepy and what is totally acceptable. I think it would be weird if I walked up to one of my coworkers (that I wasn't super close with) and was like "What's your life like?" But here, I may get an awesome response. I'll take my chances.

I'll tell you about me. It's probably lame, but whateves. Everyone likes to write about themselves - its the spirit of blogging! If you feel so inclined, please write a similar post, and leave a link to it in the comments. I feel like this could be a getting-to-know-you sort of situation. Share as much, or as little as you'd like. Here we go...

My name is Ashley, I am 24, a Gemini. I graduated from college in 2007 with a BA in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I only attended UIUC for 2 years because prior to that I started off at the University of Iowa, but left at the end of my first semester because I was too unhappy to pay the exorbitant out of state tuition. I finished my general education requirements at McHenry County College.

I met Mike (husband) when I was 15. He was dating my best friend at the time. When we were 17 they broke up, and Mike and I started hanging out. There's a whole sordid story that I'll have to share another time, but when Mike and I started dating, we were no longer best friends.

Mike and I broke up when we were 19, and at two different colleges. We stayed "friends", I use quotes because I was clearly still in love with him, but totally in denial about it. During this time, I rekindled my friendship with his ex girlfriend/my best friend, and we ended up being roomates at UIUC our senior year and it was awesome.

Mike and I got back together when we were 21, in our senior year of college, and from the day we got back together we knew we were going to get married...granted, I thought I was going to marry him from the time I was 17. His ex girlfriend/my best friend (who shall henceforth be referred to by name: Rache) stood up in our wedding, and is currently a great friend to both of us.

Mike and I briefly lived in Des Moines, Iowa while he finished his last semester of school. I worked at a small internet start up, and for the entire time I lived there I was depressed and mean and heinous...and I cried a lot. It was the first time we lived together and it is a wonder Mike didn't dump my ass. At this point I had graduated college, had no idea what I wanted to do, moved to a state where I didn't know anyone, worked at a crappy job and I was misssssserable. Mike has the patience of a saint.
The house in which our first apartment was located (Des Moines, IA)

While we lived in Iowa we adopted our little dog Maddie from a shelter. We were at the shelter for a good 45 minutes before we even noticed her, and we went there not really intending to walk out with a dog, but there she was. She was sick with kennel cough, clearly underweight and shaking like a leaf. As soon as we took her into the little visiting room she ran back and forth between us, so excited and peeing, and we were sold. I think it was the pee that sealed the deal.
Little Dog Maddie. They day we brought her home

We moved back to Illinois and I started working at my current job at a publishing company just outside of Chicago. We're the number one publisher of children's sound books, and I promise, if you have a little kid, or know one, you've seen the books. I was recently promoted and I now work very closely with our children's line. I really don't mind the job, and I love my coworkers, but the commute kills me. I leave my house at 6am to arrive at 7:30am, and in the afternoons I leave at 4pm to get home at 5:30 - 6pm. It's kind of awful.

(omg. this is insanely boring. If you're still reading, awesome. But I think I've reached a point where I'm just writing to write. A good exercise, no?)

My dearest ambition is to be an Academic Advisor or a HS Guidance Counselor, though I realize I have to go back to school to do that. It's something I've been looking into recently, because I would like to have a plan. And soon. I've looked into teaching (I've always loved working with kids), but I can't financially justify going back to school and then student teaching (working full time, for free, while paying tuition. No, thank you), when we're on the cusp of taking on a mortgage.

Mike and I will close on our first house on Oct. 8th. It's a cute little townhouse in my parents' neighborhood. We'll be neighbors, which is a little weird, but I grew up in the neighborhood - I know it is safe, and clean and everyone is nice. We've been living with my parents in my childhood bedroom, and it's been reallllly cramped.
Our soon-to-be first house

The plan is that we're going to make it an awesome little house, do a lot of affordable improvements (and blog about them). We want to refinished furniture, and paint and basically start our married life off, because it feels like it's been on hold since we've gotten back from the honeymoon (remember, we've been living with my parents...) We've got huge plans to launch the etsy shop, get in shape, cook, garden, craft, write, read.

We want to have kids in the next 5 years. At first it was the next 8 years, now it's 5, but recently we've been talking about 3. We are very quickly whittling the number down. We're hoping to have two, and we've already talked about names. Haha.

Truthfully, we mostly have to wait because of our financial situation. We're buying this house, and we're going to be close to broke - so we need to rebuild our savings and make sure that we will be able to survive on one income, because both Mike and I feel that it is important that I stay home once we have kids. And currently, that makes me do backflips in excitement, because on principle, I don't really like working. I prefer to clean, cook, pay bills, run errands, and duh, take care of kids. Do most people prefer that? I don't really know.

I'm a hardcore homebody. I love blankets and pajamas and watching a movie. That's my favorite way to spend an evening. I also love to go to bed. And sleep. I love to sleep. Though, it does cause me a little anxiety because I feel infinitely boring. I feel like I SHOULD want to do other things, and enjoy nightlife, but I just don't. I like my house, and my bed.

Mike and I are still friends with our friends from high school. Our entire bridal party was made up of the people we grew up with. They are fabulous, and we've managed to maintain very strong bonds with all of them for almost 10 years, and they are totally understanding when I blow them off to sleep.

Our siblings and friends from high school (click to enlarge, if you are so inclined)

(If you're still reading...i kind of love you. But please. Don't feel obligated, this has become quite the tome.)

Our etsy shop is in hiatus. We've been brainstorming and figuring out what we want to sell, and how we want to go about it. We keep getting more and more excited about it. We hope it is somewhat successful, because we both love to do artsy craftsy things, and would love to have a really cool reason to do them.

Mike is a graphic designer by education and trade. He looooooves video games, and truthfully him playing them is one of our biggest battles. Partially because he's fanatical and can go a little overboard (though not recently!), and partially because I am unreasonable and needy. Someday we'll reach a truce. Someday...
He's currently running the show with the acquisition of the house, making the phone calls setting up appointments - While I take care of things on the back end, finances, budgeting, paperwork. We have both taken on the roles that we prefer, and it's going swimmingly.
Michael is a daydreamer and has an insane imagination. I am much more pragmatic and in the here-and-now. He is the art to my science and I am the method to his madness.

I am lazy, and usually feel very awkward. I obsess over cutting my hair more than a healthy person should. I've recently discovered a love of artichokes, and I. Love. TV. but it is a total time-suck. I complain more than necessary, while I should be counting my blessings (a house, a husband, a loving family, non-insane in-laws, my health, a job) instead. But I've found that you make more friends commiserating about things than you do advertising how awesome your life is. The longest love affair of my life has been with Harry Potter, and I still feel very passionate about him to this day. I think doing dishes by hand is relaxing, and I find solace in a clean living space. I am obsessed with Food Porn, and I collect recipes that I will someday make. I am fascinated by pin-up culture, but am an outside observer. I think tattoos are beautiful and I have 4, while Mike has 5, and intends to eventually have a half - 3/4 sleeve.

Beyond that...I've got nothing. That's a lie there's plenty more - but I think this has gotten insane enough.

Remember, if you feel so inclined, please write a similar post, and leave a link to it in the comments. I feel like this could be a getting-to-know-you sort of situation. Share as much, or as little as you'd like.


  1. I like to read bloggers' bios too :) Maybe it's because it sort of satisfies the voyeur in me in a relatively neutral and safe environment?

    I think your dog is really cute, and I also want to know what kind of tattoos you have? I am kind of obsessed with someday getting a tattoo. I really want one (or a few) on my forearms but am afraid I would be sanctioned/banned from my future profession-nursing-where most of the time you aren't allowed to have any tats showing. Not sure how I would cover those up.

    I'm also really glad to know that I'm not the only one in the universe who married their high school boyfriend. Sometimes I feel like I missed out on the whole "single lady" scene, but most of the time I feel lucky to have found a good one from the get-go.

    Andrew & I bought a house (his 2nd, my 1st) 9 months ago--it was a stressful, exciting time. It's a great time to buy if you're able! You won't regret it.

    Right now I'm pursuing a second career--nursing, which eventually I'm hoping will lead to a nurse practitioner/public health/health education/academic role after I load up on graduate degrees once I get through nursing school. My current profession is magazine editor. I studied journalism and English in college, and struggled since then (I'm 3 years out now) to figure out what I want to do with my life, and then realized I do not have the passion that is generally required to do anything related to my degree and be successful or even happy/fulfilled. So.

    Andrew (my 'homeboy') is an artist/graphic designer. He works for our town's paper but he actually hates his job because he works nights. So he's looking for something different but times aren't great to be on the job hunt.

    We're both what you might consider "crunchy." We're into sustainability in a big way, we have a garden in our backyard, we ride our bikes around town, and we're pseudo-vegetarians. We're thinking of starting an Etsy shop as well, because if I go back to school full time next year it will be a nice, flexible way to earn a little extra money. I love to knit and do crafty things like sew, but I admit that Andrew is a much better seamstress--seamster? than I am.

    We have two dogs, Penny & Juno (a vizsla mix and a german shorthair pointer), and right now they are our "kids." Although we do plan to procreate in the near future, my second career thing is kind of the priority right now. So hopefully in a few years we'll have human kids, but it's on the back burner for now.

    I'm also a major homebody--I think that the "homebody" tendency increases when you have a home to call your own. I like the occasional night on the town but I have no problem whatsoever with spending a Friday or Saturday night at home watching TV and knitting.

    So there you go, my own li'l bio for your enjoyment!

  2. OMG I went to University of Iowa (and am still paying for the outrageous out of state tuition) and I live about 45 min from U of Illinois!

    Shane's parents will be here in a few hours so I don't have time to comment more now, but I'll for sure reply via my blog tomorrow while they're at a car show :)

  3. Adorable! I love it!
    Since I just posted a sort-of similar post recently (though yours was much more impressive), I'm going to hold off from writing another too soon. But when I do, I will let you know!
    And as I was reading I had all these little thoughts of *oh, have to reply about that!* and *oh, we're so similar on that!* and now I can't remember any of them...
    ...understand how you felt while in Des Moines, I'm currently in the same boat here and Justin is a saint as well for putting up with me... living with my p'eas, too, but you knew that already... I've got a tattoo too, and want more!... yes yes, homebody here as well, but only as of the last year or so... totally opposite of you in the fact that I am friends with NO one from highschool, well, maybe 2 people sort of. All my closest friends live in Colorado or elsewhere... and I am beyond envious of your doggins and house, for sure.

    I think that was about all of them :)

  4. I grew up an only child in northern Indiana (called "Michiana" by the locals for its proximity to the state line). My parents divorced when I was 13. That was rough, but I was a cheerleader so I thought I had the world on a string. I did a lot of theatre and music stuff in high school. I went to a small liberal arts Catholic women's college across the street from Notre Dame. I studied in Rome, met new friends, and eventually met my Joe through one of those friends. I majored in Women's Studies and Communications. Jobs after college include: camp counselor for junior high girls, Congressional campaign, new Congressional district office manager, and now barista. I loved politics but hated the politics... so I do that now. We live in Cook Co suburbs (as you know) in an apartment complex that used to be the ghetto but is improving under new management. We have a cat (Maine coon is the breed) named Gus who likes to shit in closets when we're not around. Gus is one of the kittens my mom's cat had. I like to wake up early these days, have some me time before Joe gets up, have a cup of tea, read my blogs. I don't have a whole lot of hang-out-friends in Illinois, which is why I spend a lot of my time on the internet. It makes up for that. Plus the support and love I feel from my blog friends is so much more than I feel from a lot of my real life friends. I try to do yoga, especially when I'm stressed, because I carry stress in my shoulders (and have had a HUGE knot there since last Friday). I hate exercise, though. And I love to cook. I'm going to be 300 lbs soon. Fried food is my vice, but I limit it. When I go to heaven, there will be a warm plate of Rice Krispie Treats waiting on me.

  5. I love bios too. But I have this thing about privacy and public forums, so if you want to know anything, just email me. :)

  6. Here's a little about me:
    I'm twenty (21 in December); my husband is 22 (23 in December). We got married when we were 19 and 21, respectively. We've been dating since I was 18, BUT we were kind of dating/best friends since we met when I was 16.

    I have two siblings, a brother and a sister. They're younger than me at ages 19 and 13. My parents have been married since they were 18, and they're now both 40. We lived in Florida until 2001 (with a brief move to Kansas in the early 90s), then moved to TN. We did move back to Florida for seven months when I was in high school because my granny was diagnosed with cancer.

    I graduated high school in 2007, and I started school that fall majoring in early childhood education. That spring, I dropped out ... Now, I'm going back, though, and I'm majoring in psychology for counseling. I also work full time as a business support rep for an engineering group at a nuclear power plant.

    Children aren't on our list yet, but I'm hoping to have our first in about 5-6 years (after I graduate with my bachelor's degree). We'll see how that goes!

  7. I love this! I will do a similar post and link to yours here :) It's just such a nice way to connect the dots between all the various and sundry posts we read. Fun idea :)

  8. cool idea, im glad i now know all this stuff~ here's mine:

  9. Another income idea to consider (besides the Etsy shop) is tutoring. With your degree in English you could do some SAT tutoring or college application essay review. It could help make ends meet if you do have a hiatus from full-time work while making a career transition. I currently work for a tutoring company, and that income will help when I'm doing my student teaching.

  10. I work at MCC in the marketing and public relations department. Who was your favorite teacher at MCC?

  11. kk, here you go!

  12. I finally got mine written. It's here but it's password protected so if you want to read it, you have to get the password from me. :)

  13. I got mine up today... only a month late... you can find it here, but it's password protected. I DMed you the password on Twitter in case you wanted to read it :)

  14. I love your story!! And this totally makes me wish I lived closer because I think we'd be awesome RL friends. I'd love to stay in touch and talk about houses and jobs and future kids and all the things we still have yet to come in our twenties :) You've inspired me - I'll write one of these soon :)

  15. wow, I love this! and I know I'm a little late to the party, but what the hell, I'm going to write a little about myself anyway :)

    My Name is Jess, I'm 25 and I live in Western Australia. Moved into my first 'owned' home 2.5 yrs ago and now that I think about it, thats crazy stuff for my 22 year old uni student self to have done! I also adopted a gorgeous little dog from a shelter, her name is Lulu and Maddie reminds me a lot of her already. Lulu was shaking and wouldn't look us in the eye, and she had kennel cough, and its taken her a loooooong time to settle down and trust us, almost 2 years - she is pretty much insane.
    So I'm engaged and will be married in Hawaii in 4 weeks time to my love of almost 8 years... I'm currently dealing wth a huuuge guilt complex because we're eloping and my parents are sad they can't be there...oh yeah, and commenting on your blog is much more fun than last-minute organising!

    I love writing and my ultimate goal is to be a published author. I wrote my first novel this year which I'm still shopping around to publishers and working on my 2nd. I feel your pain with the whole commuting hell / Tv addiction / not enough time in the day to do everything I need to like work, keep a clean house, walk the dogs, spend time with my beloved, cook a good meal, watch some supernatural, write my novel, blog, oh and have 5 minutes to myself. Truthfully, I think I'm too lazy to keep up with all that!

    I can't wait to start a family but I AM waiting, for at least 5 years, because of our financial situation meaning we both need to work, and also because I really want to get myself established as a writer in the next couple of years before I commit to such a huge, life-changing mothering role. All my friends seem obsessed with settling down and having babies and it kind of scares me how they think having a child is the answer to their life's problems. In the next year or so ALL my close friends that don't already have kids are planning on getting pregnant. I've already committed to being a great aunt :)

    Well, that's me for the moment, now excuse me while I make some more tea and find a vanilla cupcake!


    This is getting kinda



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