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Ashley AccidentalOlympian
Olympia, WA
Handed a pink slip, and forced to make a go of it by relocating and starting over in Olympia, WA. Bye-bye big city, HELLO mental breakdown!
Recent Activity
I haven’t felt settled since 2008. Seeing as it’s now 2014, that’s a really long time to feel constantly in flux, wishing you had some stability in your life. Something you can settle into. In 2008 I had been living in Seattle for five years. I had friends, I had a job, I loved my adopted city, I had met this amazing guy who would one day become my husband, and I pictured a life as a Washingtonian forever and ever. Clearly life had other ideas for me seeing as in December of 2008 I was laid off, and by... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The Accidental Olympian
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Adam's mother was kind enough to give us her DSLR camera she no longer used, so we've been playing around with it and realizing how very little we know. I've found some online DSLR camera classes but I'm hesitant to pull the trigger, so if anyone has any recommendations of one you've done, I'd love to hear! Below are some crappy shots from a morning in the garden. I'm still loving how this summer each new plant is a surprise as I watch my yard take shape. I can't wait to continue to mold it into the garden of my... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
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[Today, July 6th, marks Adam and my 1 year wedding anniversary. In honor of this lovely day I'm sharing the story of our engagement. Hope you enjoy!] Adam and I had been together for nearly five years by the time he finally asked me to marry him. I mean, come on kid, put a ring on it! I joke. Honestly, I only really got the engagement itch after I’d followed his ass to Alaska. The first three years of our relationship were so busy with relocations and buying houses and getting dogs and trying not to go completely broke and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
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Last year on this very day, friends and family gathered at our rental house in Sunriver, OR for a 4th of July BBQ. Adam and I broke out our custom Cubs wedding weekend t-shirts, Naomi broke out the 4th of July American themed cupcakes, Kevin manned the grill, babies wore fedoras, high school friends were reunited, beers were drank, flip cup tournaments raged, American fanny-packs were rocked, karaoke was sang, kids rode bikes, and I couldn't stop smiling. People had come from all over the country to kick off the Jones wedding weekend, and this was the first day Adam... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
Dreaming of Alaska I have a hope some day to fill the walls of my formal living room with a collection of art that reminds me of Alaska, and most importantly, highlights my love of moose. The biggest thing I miss about Alaska is those goofy beasts. Until I can actually hang my collection I collect items on Pinterest and build dream rooms on Polyvore... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
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My friend's one and a half year old is OBSESSED with construction equipment. We're talking so obsessed that sometimes her and her husband take their son to construction sites to stand outside the chain link fence and watch the machines work. This child has a calling, and we're all in. So when I came across a dinner set for kids that turned utensils into a construction site, I knew a special little boy needed it. The part I liked the best is how, "the patented connecting ramp and loading dock [on the construction plate] are designed to work with the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
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The other night Adam handed me a photo copy from a magazine from 1983 and asked me if this week I could make one of his childhood favorites for dinner. You know, no pressure or anything. It's just one of his favorite things his Mom used to make. So I did. And I was nervous. I once took a few liberties on another of his mother's famous recipes and NO YOU DIDN'T THAT IS NOT HOW YOU MAKE IT, EVERYTHING IS ALL WRONG AND WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE. Ok, he didn't actually say that, but it sure felt like... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
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Alright, so I put it all on the table the other day and admitted that financially we're not in a good place and we're taking drastic steps to get a handle back on our finances. Believe it or not, there's a really easy, no stress to you way you could help with this. I'm taking a page from some of my favorite podcasts and putting a button on my sidebar, as well as sometimes putting a text link, or image in the footer of all my blog posts. They'll look something like this, Or this, Look, I have no shame.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
[This is a really long post about finances, our finances in particular, and so if talking about money makes you feel icky, come back next week. I'm writing this for me, because it's time to get shit back in control.] We're breaking the cycle. Again. For the third time in the six years Adam and I have known each other we've had to take a long look at our choices, at our decisions, at the way we live our lives and ask ourselves if we're making smart financial decisions. The first time we did this was when we moved to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
Babies. About what they’re like to hold. And how much they cost. I wonder what it’s like when you finally pull the goalie, how scary that must feel, and I wonder if it will feel more scary, or more exciting. Will I cry, or will I scream in joy? I wonder about how everyone says there’s never a right time, but then how do you know when to take the plunge when it all feels so scary? In the middle of my terror I think again about how much they cost. About daycare. I think about the people I know... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
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April and May, OH BOY were you guys wild! There were weddings, and work trips, friends visiting, and then more friends visiting and then some more work trips and now that it's June I look at my calendar and I see a whole lot of nothing ahead of me which makes me both sad, and a little thrilled. The hermit in me is looking forward to a little rest, while the extravert in me already misses everyone. The last group we had in town was my bff of life for over 15 years now (HOW DID WE GET SO OLD?)... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
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It's that time of the year again and college kids across the country are putting on their caps and gowns, being handed their diploma and finding themselves tossed into the real world. A couple years ago my sister was graduating from the University of Oregon and I wrote a post called, Things A College Grad Actually Wants As A Graduation Gift. This post continues to draw in great organic traffic each May and June, and these are the hard hitting issues people are looking to solve on Google which lead them to my corner of the internet: What to get... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about who we are in real life, vs who we are on social media/online and how over the course of the last 5+ years it feels as though our online personas have begun to infiltrate and influence more significantly how others view us in real life. Let me try to explain. Let’s look at one version of the online/real life friendship. Let’s say there’s a person you’re friends with on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter who you also happen to know in real life. Most likely you met them in person before you ever began connecting with them... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
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Absolutely wonderful weekend with amazing company and an even more superb background. Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
So I’ve told you what I like after a week+ with the Jawbone UP, but we all know there are pros and cons to everything. Adam says I’m hyper critical to start with, so you know I’m going to find some cons no matter what the tracker was. So without further ado, here is what I’m not a fan of with the Jawbone UP: This Mo-Fo Is Ugly – I can’t tell you how hard it has been getting used to wearing this god awful looking thing on my wrist at all times. I mean I get it, this is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
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So remember the other week when I declared I was over being flabby and out of shape, blaming my knee, and was committed to getting back on the fitness wagon? Well by golly I’ve done it! Ok, one week worth, but whatever. One small step at a time, right? image credit Wired.com As I mentioned last week, one of the things I was going to do was get myself a fancy pedometer. I originally bought the Fitbit Flex, and then wouldn’t you know it, my friend Naomi was like, “Um, I have an extra Jawbone UP (long story!) if you... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
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After a long, long, long cold winter suddenly April came out of nowhere and tossed a whole lot of awesome into our lives. In the span of two weeks there was hardly a moment to sit still. Family plus two groomsmen came to town the first weekend of April to celebrate opening day for the Cubs which we of course stretched to include an unhealthy consumption of deep dish pizza, museums visited, zoo animals ogled at, games played, and fires burnt in our new backyard fire pit. Then after only a two day break from guests visiting I boarded a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
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[This is not me fishing for your compliments. I just need to finally be honest about how I'm feeling in an effort to jump-start a move in a better direction with my eating/working out. And if I wasn't honest on my own blog, where the hell can I be?] I am not pleased with my body. With my fitness level. With my energy. With my eating habits. With the way my pants feel. With the way I feel about myself when I look in the mirror. It has become so much more than a number on a scale. It’s how... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
Since discovering Goodreads I've been taking part in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Each year I set a goal to read about 40 books, and I've manage to exceed that goal two of the three years (damn you 2013). Now I get it, if you don't like reading this is about the dorkiest thing a person can do. But any fellow book nerds, continue reading! I've had a really slow start to my challenge in 2014, so to get me inspired I recently combed back through my Welcome To My Library section of my site and rounded up my 5 out... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
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In the past six years Adam and I have relocated three times. We have said goodbye to friends and a community, our sense of normalcy, and tried something completely out of our comfort zone. And all three times we experience the same cycle of adjustment, bewilderment, depression, longing, excitement, tossing and turning. The first year of a relocation is exciting and wonderful and an adventure, while at the same time being terribly lonely and isolating. While smiling and enjoying yourself you're also surrounded by an ever present sense of nostalgia for what you left behind. This was a hard first... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
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No seriously though, 2013, WOW. 2013 was full of SO MANY THINGS my biggest hope for 2014 is full of a lot of "easy." Yes. That's my resolution for 2014. To simmer down. In 2013 Adam and I stuffed as many big life events as we could into a single year. First we moved from Alaska to Chicago. Most people would have probably flown, but we like to make things hard on ourselves and we spent 6 days in the car driving 14 hours a day, covering a total of 3,500 miles because apparently we wanted to see as much... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2014 at The Accidental Olympian
It should come to no shock to any “longtime” readers of this here blog that when it comes to winter darkness I’m easily affected by what I like to call, “The Sads.” Or Seasonal Affective Disorder if you’re being all proper and such. I don’t think it would matter how far north or south I lived, in the winter when our days shift and we start having more darkness my body registers this change. It doesn’t register the extra darkness by an increased desire to knit, or to craft, it doesn’t welcome the extra darkness with a flourish to exercise... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2013 at The Accidental Olympian
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I think my favorite new feature of working in an office is working in an office that does things. Let me clarify. While working from home for the last three years I often wanted to stab myself in the eye with a rusty nail each time I received an email about the office book club I couldn’t attend, or the pie someone brought from home, or the summer BBQ complete with cocktails I wasn’t partaking in. Sure they spent their hour off awkwardly socializing with coworkers and I spent it watching tv in my pjs and you're probably thinking I... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2013 at The Accidental Olympian
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On Thanksgiving Adam and I found ourselves in the kitchen of our new home. A home we'd finalized and finally received the keys to only the day before. We were sitting on camp chairs around our camp table, and a few hours before I'd ran to the grocery store deli and grabbed two $10 dinners of prime rib, mashed potatoes and stuffing. I opened the bottle of bubbly and we toasted in our red dixie cups. I asked Adam, still wearing his paint clothes what he was thankful for this year. He took a pause, and said... Since we'd received... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2013 at The Accidental Olympian