My Fangirl Friend

My Fangirl Friend

There are a lot of different types of friends. Some people are your "let's chat during Bible study" friends or your "check out this sale!" friends (hi, Jen!) or your deep-talk friends or your philosophizing friends. And even though it's possible to bond over a short period of time, I really cherish those friendships that have had years to deepen. 

When the Foleys came to our church years ago, we quickly realized we were kindred old-movie spirits and hit it off immediately. And every time I come to Georgia, I love spending time with them-a part of my extended "church family" that reminds that this is "home." 

The best kind of friends kind of span the "categories" and that is Claire for me. We can talk about anything (and do) but most importantly she is my fangirl friend. She and I (and Rory) faithfully watched Psych "together" for years, texting quotes and reactions throughout. She and I FaceTimed after the finale (both weeping) and spent an hour analyzing it all. And whenever I need to gush about a book, show, movie, or character, she is my go-to for an always-satisfying level of enthusiasm. Plus she is adorably tender-hearted and tends to cry easily (which is endearing as well as funny.) 

Is it weird that one of my favorite people- and sweetest friends- is sixteen? Oh well. (I'm a little young for my age and she's very mature for hers, soooo.... it all evens out.) Tonight I'm just thankful for friends... old friends, sweet friends, friends who will cry with you while you watch your favorite show, friends you can text at any time with an emoji-filled message about a fictional character and receive an equally hysterical reply... friends like Claire, who is far too grown-up and responsible these days. (Can I say I'm proud? I had nothing to do with her turning out so well, but hey.)

Love to all my friends... and to Claire. On the alpine highway of life, you are my all-weather tires. =)


Missions Monday

Missions Monday

When we first started this whole moving-to-Texas process, I contemplated starting a separate blog or Facebook page or whatever for those wanted to keep up with our progress. I decided not to since I already have a blog and I didn't want people to be like, "For crying out loud... Ashley is taking over the internet!" So I've stuck to using my own Facebook or the occasional post here for the same purpose, but now I kind of regret that because there's been so much to share and I don't want every post to be all about our missions stuff (even though it's kind of the biggest thing going on in our lives right now!). ANYWAY, long, pointless story short, I've decided to do missions-themed posts on Mondays (maybe not every Monday, but most, I hope.) Ironically, our deputation is nearly over so it's a little late, but I'm hoping to continue sharing even after we get to Houston... which I think is fine since that is the whole point of the past few months!

So, our service schedule has really picked up since Christmas, mostly recently in the past couple weeks. On Friday, January 23, we left for Nashville (ah, I love that city!) and spent the night with Jonathan's cousins Brandon, Kristen, and Kristen's husband Daniel. We ate at Cheddar's and watched some truly horrifying reality show about a swamp family (?!) and just had a great night. Every time we're there I wish we had more time together... and Daniel is John Krasinski's doppelganger and the closest I'll get to meeting Jim Halpert in real life so obviously we get along splendidly. =) 

The next morning we woke up to snow on the ground (!)... just a little bit, but still... ate breakfast, and then drove over to Green Hills to see my cousin Jonathan and his wife Janie (they work at Nordstrom and I may have had a minor stroke looking at all the designer stuff.) We got to eat lunch with Jonathan and hang out for a little while before he had to go back to work but it was a fun, if too short, visit. THEN we hit the road again to head to Memphis.

I said this Instagram last weekend, but I was a little nervous about our visit to Jonathan's other side of the family. I haven't met his cousins or his aunt since our wedding (which obviously doesn't count since I was in a bride-fog all day) and it's a little weird to meet strangers who happen to be family, you know? But we had such a good time with them. Rachel and Megan are so sweet,,, if I may gush just a little =), they're the kind of girls that make me want to be a better person, honestly. They're awesome! We stayed at Jonathan's grandmother's house for about four days and her husband spoiled us... if nothing else, his cooking was the bomb! 

On Sunday morning, we had a service at Jonathan's grandparent's church in Olive Branch, Mississippi, and Sunday night were in Millington, Tennessee, where we met the man who had been Jonathan's pastor when he was really little (he was there the day Jonathan was born!). We went to dinner with him and his wife and they were a hoot... it was so fun. And the next few days were relaxing... lots of walks, shopping, reading, Netflix... my favorite things. =) 

We left Tennessee on Wednesday morning... on our way to our next service, we were able to meet up for lunch with our friend Eric. We had such a good time catching up and it's always fun to hang out as "adults" (used loosely =) with someone you knew in high school. Then we headed to Dothan, Alabama, for our service at Corinth FWB Church. When we were visiting Houston last May, there was a group from this church at Woodforest and they got the new children's space all ready for use... it was fun to see some of those people again and enjoy seeing some old friends (one all the way back from Guin who said she knew she recognized me because I look just like my dad. Ha!). 

Thursday we headed to Georgia (yay!) and were able to spend the weekend with my family (minus Amanda and Steve... stupid Connecticut!) and had our service at Berean Baptist, my home church for nearly ten years! I was so excited about it and we had a great time sharing our work on Sunday morning. (I say "we" as if I have any part of the presentation which I certainly do not... I did sing with my sisters which should count for something, right?) And then this morning Jonathan headed back to work and I stayed for a few extra days since I won't be able to get down here again for probably a long time. 

I said this on Facebook already today but I really am so proud of Jonathan... this whole journey (love the melodrama of that word!) has not been in his comfort zone. Asking for money and meeting strangers isn't really fun for anyone but if you're an introvert it can be even more stressful, but Jonathan has worked so hard and been so enthusiastic about everything. At least one person at every service has said, "Well, you're really excited about this, aren't you?" and he really is. (I am too, for the record, but I tend to get excited easily so it's not as impressive. Ha!) I can't imagine going through this process with a husband who wasn't so dedicated and at the same time understanding of me and all my limitations (which are many.) He's the best!

So, back to the "missions" part of it all... we have raised some more support in the past couple weeks but we're still about $700 short of what we need in monthly support. (That means if you've been contemplating supporting us, feel free to sign up right HERE... every little bit helps!) I'm not worried because God has provided everything we need up to this point, but obviously he does that through people so... don't be shy if you'd like to be one of those people. =) 

Here are a couple of BIG prayer requests right now: 

-Jonathan has a job interview at Woodforest National Bank next week. Ah! Pray he gets the job!
-Due to the job interview and the fact that we still need to find a place to live, we are flying out to Houston on Saturday. We're super excited about seeing the Fergusons and meeting more people at church on Sunday but we'll have a LOT to do in a couple of days and some big decisions to make so pray for clarity (and sanity, for me.) 
-We're coming down the home stretch of deputation with just a few services left. Pray for a great response and for that last bit of support to come in! 

That's all, folks! As always, thank you, thank you for your support! I'ts hard to be believe we'll be Houston bound in a matter of weeks. (I'm not freaking out, I'm not freaking out, I'm not freaking out.) I promise. Okay, maybe a little. But it's mostly in a good way. You know how calm I am!