Monthly Archives: November 2011

Officially becoming “Eric & Ashley”.

Six years ago today Eric Durso officially asked me to be his girlfriend and I said yes…..a decision I have never once doubted or regretted even for one second! We both agree it was by far one of the best decisions we ever made and we have very happily been together ever since! Here are some of the fun details leading up to the big question/event six years ago for those of you who may be curious… always fun to hear bits of a good love story, right?

Just remember this is just a very small bit of the whole story…I am sure I will fill in with other parts of our love story in many posts to come…for today, here is just a basic gist of how we became official girlfriend and boyfriend!

Eric and I met on the second day of orientation week as freshmen in college, we were in line for a financial aid meeting and began talking. We went on our first date September 11, 2004 (movie and coffee afterwards). The date was fun and I of course thought Eric was super super cute (sidenote: Eric is such a hottie and as the new freshmen on the basketball team I figured – and knew from word around campus – that he probably had enough girls interested in him, so anywho I guess I became a bit determined to play a little hard to get…to which he stepped up and got me one year later, head over heels forever baby!) but for that first year we just continued as friends, hanging out in the same group of good friends and enjoying each others company (while still obviously being quite observant of one another that whole year too!).

This first year of good friendship was great in the long run for our relationship because by the time we started dating a year later, we had a pretty good idea of who we really were and never tried to fake “impress” each other. This year of friendship also paid off when it came to Eric knowing that we would not ever just “become” boyfriend/girlfriend…he had to ask me officially. Somehow in one of our many friend conversations that had come up and he had never forgotten it.

You see, Eric was my first and only boyfriend ever (along with my very first kiss…another story for another time)! I guess you could say us Smith (my maiden name) girls had been raised to be very picky with very high standards and not just any boy was good enough to be our boyfriends (thank you dad for instilling this in us girls!). These being the reasons I had stated in some passing conversation at some point in our friendship that my guy would have to ask me to be his girlfriend, he couldn’t just assume.

Eric & I, November 22, 2005...the night he asked me to be his girlriend...this pic was taken when we stopped by his parents house that night with the good news on our way back from the beach!!!

And so, six years ago today Eric Durso took me out to a very nice restaurant in Malibu, took me to the beach afterwards and there asked me to officially be his girlfriend…to which I immediately answered YES…and I have very proudly been his girlfriend ever since and will continue to be for the rest of my life!

What a lucky lady I am and I really do thank God everyday for bringing us together and making us “Eric & Ashley”!!! It has been a wonderful six years together and I look forward to many many many more! Thank you for asking me to be your girlfriend my love. :)

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Our “Go” Mode.

Eric and I have come up with the “go mode” term to get ourselves amped up for certain weeks that seem to just have everything falling into them. These past two weeks seminary projects and papers, church planning meetings for Eric, continuing to settle things into our new home and just the everyday happenings of being about 7 months pregnant with a little one at home (an adorable little one, I might add) culminated and put us into “go mode.”

Luckily my husband was aware enough and kind enough to warn me ahead of time that we needed to gear up into “go mode” before these past two weeks snuck up on us. “Go mode” simply means…

  1. Do not miss your daily quiet time with God because you will get tired but God will sustain us,  He is the only way we will get through the busy time and still be able to honor Him in all we do in our actions and attitude.
  2. There are gonna be some late nights of work for Eric (meaning Ashley….be ready to have some long days at home).
  3. Be on the lookout for ways to fit some fun family time into the busy schedule these next couple weeks no matter how busy it gets as well as being on the lookout for ways I can encourage and support Eric through the crazy busy weeks ahead.

    A fun little family picnic we worked in during our "go mode" weeks one Sunday afternoon after church and before a meeting Eric had to be back at church for later that afternoon..always on the lookout for some fun family time, never too busy for that!

This morning I got to hear Eric speak at two high school chapels, which is always a blessing to me to hear my man speak and be used by God and I always walk away encouraged and challenged by what God says through Eric’s message (thank you baby!). And then………we got to out on a brunch date!!! We planned the brunch date about a week ago and have been looking forward to it all week…our celebration brunch together for getting through the crazy busy past two weeks of “go mode”!!! We are a team that God has brought together and we love every moment of going through life together being married to one another…”go mode” weeks and all, it is an unexplainable joy and blessing to share life together!

Plus to top it all off…today is exactly two years to the day that we found out I was pregnant with little Emma!!! Just another reason to enjoy talking, laughing and relaxing together this morning over brunch as we thanked God for all His many blessings to us!

Eric & I two years ago today...moments after we found out I was pregnant with little Emma...it was very early in the morning, hence the crazy hair!

“Go Mode” weeks don’t happen all that often but when they do we like to have a celebration at the end, reminds you to thank God for the strength He gives and the blessings He brings! These kind of weeks just make the celebration time that much more sweet and exciting! And now this little Durso family is sooo looking forward to some serious family time over this next week of Thanksgiving!

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Two Cents Tuesday: The Trash Trick.

Where all trash belongs.

It is a teensy tiny pet peeve of mine when random trash is just left around; whether opening the mail, a piece of candy, a bag of food, leaving out a used napkin, paper plate, empty paper cup…the list could go on but I’m pretty sure you get the point…I don’t like trash lying around and generally try to keep that kind of clutter from our floors, counters, desks, and dressers in our home.

So, if you’re ready I will now share the “trick” I use: throw it away right away…yep, that’s it, really no trick to it at all…just a matter of taking the 10 or so extra steps to the trash can each time you spot a piece…it’s really quite simple and will do wonders to clearing off some of those cluttered spaces in your home (this fits right in under the “Do It Now” principle that many of you have now come to know and love)!

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Eric & Emma: Sweet Moments.

I just love watching Eric love our little Emma and Emma in turn love and absolutely adore her daddy, it just thrills my heart! Seriously I get to watch their precious little interactions daily and I never tire of it, never! From Emma’s running up to daddy everyday when he gets home from work to her excitement in just seeing a picture of daddy during the day (which often turns to crying because she then realizes he’s not home yet and I have to remind her he’ll be home in just a few hours), it’s just too adorable.

I’ve written about their adorable daddy/daughter relationship in this previous post a little while back and I am pretty stinkin positive there will be more posts in the future on this particular topic because as mentioned a second ago I seriously love watching Eric with our little girls (as Baby Ella will soon be joining in on the daddy/daughter fun as well!)!

For now, I just thought you’d all get a nice little smile inside and out from these two simple yet adorable daddy/daughter moments that happened in our home this past week….

One evening while giving Emma her bath, I noticed Eric was busy doing something in Emma’s room. I asked him what he was doing and he simply replied..”getting a surprise ready for Emma.” Then when we walked into Emma’s room, with her all bundled in her warm towel…she saw daddy’s surprise and had just the reaction he was hoping for. The surprise: Eric had taken all of Emma’s most favorite books and more importantly had even opened each one to Emma’s very favorite pages in each book (Emma has made it fairly obvious to us which pages intrigue her most as she often turns the pages of her books till she lands on the one she really wants to look at)!

Emma's special surprise from daddy!

Then to top it off, Eric had even put her very favorite stuffed animals right by her books to sit and read them with her, it was a little dream come true for Emma! She ran out of her towel, went to each book one at a time, took the time to glance at each of her favorite pages and then just took a slight second to stand in amazement at the fact that they were all so perfectly laid out just for her and with her favorite furry friends all lined up to join her in this excitement. Eric was very proud of his exceptional daddy work and I enjoyed soaking up every second of standing back and watching this sweetness unfold.

Now this second moment is just so simple but still so sweet. Last Monday we woke up to some verywindy weather and Eric could not wait to scoop Emma up from her crib once she woke up, bundle her up in our big white blanket and whisk her outside on our patio to enjoy the wind. Oh cuteness. Emma was sooo excited about it, safe and warm in her daddy’s big arms just soaking up the fun fall weather God had brought us that morning!

Enjoying the windy excitement with daddy!

So there you have two simple but oh so sweet daddy/daughter moments I got to enjoy (among many other little day to day moments throughout the week) this past week…just continuing to enjoy these simple joys of home! Hope this cuteness gave you a nice little smile inside and out this Monday! :)

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Cozy Sweater, Coffee Cup & Contentment.

Moving at 6 months pregnant with a little one year old can be exhausting and I seemed to have forgotten that until it all hit me at the beginning of this week! I was originally intending on writing a little blurb about our move (which I will still do sometime in the next week) this past Monday morning but to be honest I was feeling rather worn out and wasn’t sure how well my brain would recollect all the details of the past couple weeks in any type of cohesive way for you all to read about!

Our little family enjoying a pumpkin patch days before moving.

So, here instead is the wonderful result of what came out of my tiredness this Monday morning. Once Emma was down for her morning nap, I got in my cozy sweater, got myself a hot cup of coffee, my Bible and journal and headed out to our new balcony to enjoy the fresh fall air and some vital quiet time with God.

Now, I was feeling a tad bit blah simply because of my tiredness, my belly getting bigger and therefore my back starting to hurt a little more, my not being able to just get things moved and hung as easily because I need to be sure I am being smart with how much I do or don’t do for baby Ella’s sake, my parents are overseas right now for about a month and I was really missing my mom’s help as I got stuff moved into our new place, and then as soon as my nice quiet time was about to start….I heard little noises come trailing from Emma’s room, apparently this was one of those “no napping” mornings for her.

However, they were still just happy chatty noises from her room so I decided to proceed with my quiet time for a least a few more minutes…and I am so glad I did.

I happened to be reading in Proverbs chapter 30 on this particular morning and the very first few verses start out with the writer discussing just how worn out he is. Then in the following verses God reminds the writer how He’s got it all taken care of. It was perfect timing and I immediately had an attitude change from blah to brimming with joy and gratefulness. I was so quickly reminded in those first few verses I read that God is my refuge and I can completely rest and relax in Him. He is my God and He is in control…why did I let all the tiredness affect me in an ungrateful way this morning, that was just silly.

I mean look at these two! How could I not be thankful?

In the quick ten minutes I got before going to get little Emma up from her “non-nap” my whole mindset changed. All those things that were making me throw a tiny pity party in the morning were suddenly huge reasons I saw to be thankful for in my life:

The fact that I was tired and my belly was growing (back aches and all) was a good thing it meant little Ella is growing healthy and strong, I’ve got a little miracle growing inside of me and any ounce of pain or tiredness is so worth it in comparison to the huge gift that little Ella is to our family! I am blessed to be pregnant and I love feeling her little kicks and movements inside my belly!

As far as not getting things moved as quickly or easily because of being pregnant..so what?? I decided…really things have moved quite smoothly and quickly in getting things settled, I have an amazing hubby who never complains when I ask him to move something or hang yet another shelf for me, and we have this great new place that has immediately felt like home to our family, God once again exceeded our expectations with this new place we have.

My parents being gone. Hello!….I am soooo grateful for parents who love God and serve God so willingly in all that they do and how cool is it that they have the opportunity to be serving Him overseas for a month right now? They are reaching and encouraging so many different people in different countries. My parents are an enormous blessing to me and our whole family and we are privileged that others get to share in the blessing of our parents in the different countries they will be visiting, serving in and speaking in over this next month!

Me and our joyful little baby girl!

And then our little Emma making noises in her crib, not wanting to take a nap as soon as I sit down….oh the little tears come to my eyes when I realize what a blessing it is to have a little healthy girl making joyful little noises in her crib, just waiting for me, her mommy, to come get her. There are no words. I get to be home with my little girl daily, I get to be the one playing with her, reading to her, walking with her, talking with her, singing to her, rocking her to sleep, etc. etc. daily…once again what a gift.

So you see why I realized I was being so silly??? I have been incredibly blessed and I am so grateful to God. No need to be superwoman getting it all moved in, perfectly organized, and settled in under two weeks when I have an amazing hubby, an adorable happy little girl, and yet another adorable little girl growing nice and healthy in my belly!

And this is why I decided the blurb about our move will have to wait till later this week…because as I cuddled in my cozy sweater and drank from my warm coffee cup, I realized just how content I need to be with the bountiful blessings God has poured into my life. I am one grateful woman just resting in His joy…no matter how long it takes to get things fully organized in our new place. :)

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Two Cents Tuesday: The Shoe Basket.

We have a big cream-colored basket right by our door…for our shoes and it works wonderfully, we have a place to put our shoes right when we get home and a place to grab them right before we step out the door!

Not our shoe basket...our camera is currently broken...will post pics of our new place (shoe basket included) once our camera is repaired! In the meantime, this pic gets the shoe basket idea across just fine.

This basket solves the problem of those random shoes you find cluttering the floor, not to mention also cutting down on the time you take looking for your shoes before you go somewhere… try it…I’m pretty sure you’re gonna love this super simple trick (quick tip: be sure you take the time to clear out the basket every couple of weeks, it can get full at times)!

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