Sunday, January 4, 2009

Year in Review!

2008 is officially gone and now that 2009 is upon us and like a guy in our ward said today in his testimony... "as of 2pm today the year will be 1% over" So I thought I would spend a few minutes reminiscing about what happened with us over the past year. We just started blogging a couple months ago so we figured since there aren't any postings for most of the year we would do it this way instead. We didn't do a christmas card either so I think this will count for that too!

Today is our anniversary too! We have been married for two years, it's crazy that it was two years ago that we were truckin thru a massive snowstorm up in bountiful digging cars out in our suits and all sorts of fun stuff. It's gone by so fast! We've had great fun so far and we both look forward to the many many more fun years ahead of us!

The things that happened in our life can probably be boiled down to a few categories: Jobs, Vacations, and Hobbies.

I started out the year working at a fabulous car detailing establishment here in Sugarhouse I quit in April and moved on to my next adventure which was doing a graveyard shift delivering fine german pastries to downtown coffee shops. This was a fun job but when the opportunity came up to work at my current position at the Freedom Fast Track I quickly shifted jobs again. If I stay till May that will mark 1whole year at this job which would be a world record for me. I fully anticipate this happening because unlike all the other jobs I've ever had, I haven't got hideously bored yet! Sweet! I really like it there, I'm learning tons and look forward to the events of the upcoming year.
Sharlene: Worked at the American Red Cross for most of the year, packaging and delivering blood all over the salt lake valley. She quit in September to start working more at the local yoga studio. She just recently quit that because she is starting school full time tomorrow but will still volunteer there often because she loved it so much there.
I guess school isn't a category but I will mention that Sharlene is starting tomorrow at the Utah College of Massage Therapy! We are both way excited she is going to love it and I am going to love helping her with her homework for the next 7 months!

I guess you could call a church calling a job, in January we got called to teach the 7 year olds of our ward, we got really luck we gotta pretty big primary and all the classes except ours have at least 10 kids but our class only has 4! They are great kids we really enjoy teaching them each week. Countless games of hangman, simon says, pushup contests, and loads of candy have been essential in teaching them:)

We had some fun vacations this year: Lake Powell over labor day, Park City on Christmas Eve, St. George on the 4th of July, a couple camping trips, and our biggest one was probably going to California for a couple days in April to see my Dad and Kelly get sealed in the Los Angeles Temple. It was a great experience one we both won't forget for a long time. We even got to see Mckell for a few minutes so that was cool too. The big trips were fun but we probably had more fun just doing small one or two day excursions to park city, logan, local mountains etc. We're planning on doing more of those types this year.

Sharlene got way into yoga this year, we have a yoga studio just down the street from us and she loved it so much that she started volunteering there and then it turned into a job. She loves it and tries to get me to go but i'm intimidated cuz I can't even touch my toes! She still wants to someday become a yoga teacher so that is on the list of her goals.

I started running alot this year, which was really weird cuz for as many years as I can remember I have always laughed and made fun of the people who were running in the cold, early mornings in silly looking tights with goofy hats and grimaces on their faces. Somehow I got convinced to seriously try it out and I got hooked and now i'm one of those guys with goofy clothes and a sweaty, grimacing face running all the time. I've had some fun experiences running: the Logan 1/2 marathon, running a 5k with a guy dressed in a full out spiderman costume, running in the snow, almost getting hit by a car, becoming best friends with the treadmill on the first row on the left side in the cardio cinema at golds, making the mistake of eating 2 spicy McChickens right before running at the gym and soon after clearing out the whole row (sorry!) Now my goal this year is to convince other people to join since it's funner to run with friends.

We both love to read, and watch movies together many nights of 2008 were spent either watching movies together on the couch or reading together on the bed. Sharlenes favorite was anything by Wayne Dyer and my favorite memory was the inaugural movie marathon where I woke up at 9am one day and watched 6 movies straight, only taking eating and bathroom breaks. It was awesome.

I think that about does it for what happened with us in 2008. It was a fun year and we look forward to more fun and adventure in 2009. I think for the next post i'll put up our resolutions and goals and stuff like that so you all can help keep us accountable:)

Monday, December 22, 2008

So Gaven and I have had our own little Christmas break time despite the fact that we are not in school. Both of us have no work/school until Jan. 5th. It's been nice to just hang out and relax. It seems like it's been a long time sense we've had a break like this... Yay! Lots of fun, sleep, movies, and food!

Last Wednesday we decided to venture over to the local snowboard/ski shop and rent some cross country skis and go give it a try. Turns out one of Gaven's old mission buddies works at this place so I got to meet him and we all talked for awhile... He hooked us up with the only pair of cross country skis there and we were off. We decided to go up Parley's Canyon a ways to Mountain Del golf coarse (a popular place to go cross country skiing). It was so beautiful!!! There was already a track around the golf coarse but after seeing the pro's skiing along we thought we might try skiing in the new powder off the beaten path to try and get use to the skis. We watched a bunch of people trying to pick up how they were doing it. We fell a lot and laughed alot so it was good. Don't know if we were even doing it right but we both enjoyed trying something new.

Making our way up Parley's Canyon

We've enjoyed the buckets and buckets of snow. We went out late one night after it had just dumped on us and shoveled the walks and Gaven jumped in the snow! I got to cover him and take a picture.

Last Friday Sister Mary Grow got home from her mission. This past year and a half has flown by... I've missed her so much. She was one of my best friends and roommates during college. After I found out she was coming home on the 19th I tried to find out when her actual flight was scheduled to land so we could go see her. I finally ended up calling her mom and asking... It was so nice to see all the Grow's at the airport and so fun to see Mary again. She is an amazing person and I look up to her in many different ways.

Today Gaven was nice to take me all over downtown to drop off some fliers for the yoga studio. It took us pretty much all morning and into the afternoon. We were both beat. Thanks so much Gaven. I appreciate all you do for me!

We appreciate the notes and Christmas cards from many of you and hope that you all have a Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This was an AWSOME week(end)!

It started with the Judd's inviting us and a couple other peoples up to a condo in Park City on Thursday! Gaven and I both love going over there. It's nice because its only 20 min. away, it's beautiful and fun! So after work we packed up and headed over. It was nice seeing Brad and Alicia (I didn't get to see the baby because she was sleeping), Carter and Amanda, and Bryson and Brittany! We munched down on some yummy food and hung out with some awsome people! I left Friday morning for work but Gaven got to stay up there and enjoy the day snowboarding and shopping! We both had lots of fun!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday I got to participate in one of the best yoga practices i've had yet. The yoga studio I practice at had the creator of Vinyasa Flow (the style of yoga I practice), Shiva Rea, come to the studio and take the weekend to dive into some serious yoga! It was fun to be a part of that... It was fun to see someone teach with such creativity and passion. I don't have any pictures so here are a few examples of the new poses we learned...

We did some fun arm poses... This one was the hardest for me.

This was fun

Backbends have been a bit of a challenge but I think I'm really starting to like them!

I also got to spend some time with Gaven... That is always nice. We relaxed around the house most of Saturday and then ended up going to Eagle Eye. That was a cool movie. Afterwords we made our way to Barnes and Noble to get some hot chocolate and a cookie. Mmmmm... so good.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Recommended Reading

One of my favorite things to do is read and/or listen to audio books. I love it because I don't think there is any better way to help your imagination run wild and your brain pop and fizzle with excitement and activity. I wanted to share my thoughts with one of the books that I read recently because it has totally changed to the way I see world. My goal is pretty simple, at the end of this post I hope to have inspired you enough to go over to amazon and pick up a copy of the book cause I think it will change the way you see the world as well! So the book is called The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. Tim is a maniac simply put... Here are a few of the roles he plays in his life...

* Princeton University guest lecturer in High-Tech Entrepreneurship and Electrical Engineering
* First American in history to hold a Guinness World Record in tango
* Advisor to more than 30 world record holders in professional and Olympic sports
* National Chinese kickboxing champion
* Glycemic Index (GI) researcher Political asylum researcher and activist
* MTV breakdancer in Taiwan
* Hurling competitor in Ireland
* Actor on hit TV series in mainland China and Hong Kong

And he is only 31 years old! Crazy!

In the book he talks about how he escaped the normal employee life and gives a formula for us to do the same (if you want) His formula is pretty simple he talks about 4 areas and he uses the acronym D.E.A.L. I will just give a super brief description of the book and hopefully you will fill in the rest. D is for deciding what you want... This is a question that I am continuously working on. What do I really want? If you had all the money and all the time in the world, what would you do? What would you have? Who would you be? These are all pretty tough questions but they are fun ones to think about:)
E is for eliminate. This one is especially important for employees and this section helped me a ton. Just focusing on the most important activities throughout the day and either eliminating or automating (the A part) the activities that take up tons of time but aren't necessarily productive.
Then L is for liberate, this section talks about how you can work from wherever you want either as an employee or a business owner, even overseas if you want!

The idea I enjoyed the most was the overall theme of doing what you want to do with your life today. Not in 30 or 40 years when you retire but today. I know I can't just wake up tomorrow and live life exactly how I want to right now but I certainly have the ability to make choices and decisions that could lead to enjoying the life I want to live in a year maybe two or three or maybe much less... it all depends on what your ideal life really looks like! So what does your ideal life look like? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Ok that was my quick little review I really could write mountains on all the ideas and thoughts I got from this book, I recommend it to almost everybody I talk to these days. Hopefully this sparked a little interest in the book and you'll pick it up:)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Catching Up

I can’t believe how fast the last couple of months have gone… Thanks to Carrie’s harassing message I am now writing on our blog to let peeps catch up on the Ashton Life.

Where to begin… I guess first I’ll let you all know about Gaven’s new craziness that I think is the coolest thing. So I’ve been working nights lately (Gaven has nights off) and he tends to do his running on some of these nights. Each night I come home excited to hear which new feat of running has taken place. Couple surprises within the last couple weeks have been running a 19 miler and then running outside in that big snow storm we had a week or two ago. Yup, my nice surprise at work was a soaking wet husband that ran pretty much all the way up steep hills to come visit me at work. I’m a proud wife, what can I say? We made sure to take some pictures of the after effect blisters that took place. Gross! I think we’ve geared him all up though with some special socks, tights and shirts that he can now run his endless miles wherever he chooses to go. We’ve both started up swimming and took our first complete official cycling class together too. Oh so fun… Now we just need to save up for some awesome bikes so we can ride outside.

Here is a picture of one of the many blisters Gaven got from his run.

Gaven has decided to “burn the ships” with his job. Meaning, he is going straight commission (I believe it’s starting next week). We both are excited because it will make both of us stretch ourselves. I think Gaven should have done it awhile ago… He hasn’t yet grasped the idea of what a ninja he is with his people skills and his ability to communicate and get people to see his ideas. He is an amazing companion, friend, lover, teacher, student… This list could go on and on. To put it simple I can’t imagine what my life would be like without him. (Oh so mushy… come on you love it)

Halloween was awesome. Actually, we didn’t do much then. I worked and then came home to Gaven having dinner ready for me (oh so wonderful). We did our Halloween celebrating a week beforehand at Garrett’s house (a friend, mentor and Gaven’s old boss). It was fun to go see everyone all dressed up. It has been years sense we’ve dressed up. Saturday (the day of the party) we ran down to a costume shop here in Salt Lake and picked out similar costumes. I guess you could call us Greek or Roman… who knows. That night we pigged out on delicious food and hung out with great company.

Here is a picture of us dressed up for Halloween

Can’t think of anything else too big right now besides that we are so excited for Mary and McKell’s homecomings. Its a couple months away but I’m already counting down…

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So far i'm averaging about 1 post per month, not too bad:) I get inspired to blog each time I attend a Madsen get together and this past weekend we had a great time at Mike & Emily's wedding in Axtell. It's always great to see everybody in person and everybody is talking about each others blogs, pretty fun stuff!

Anyhow I wanted to write tonight because we rounded up our pictures from the half marathon we ran about a month ago up in Logan and I wanted to post them as evidence that I actually ran the race! Running has become an interesting hobby for me lately, I've always been active in sports but I have always HATED running with a passion! Especially sprinting, I got made fun of all the time in high school cause of how slow I was:) But an interesting thing happened a couple months ago.

We were talking to my friend/mentor/boss Garrett and he challenged Sharlene (who has been a runner forever) to run the Salt Lake half marathon, which was further than she had ever run before. He then asked me the farthest I had ever run which was at the time about 3 miles (optimistic guess) Then he challenged me to run 8 miles that night! Holy Crap! Right away the first thing I said was of course "There's no way I can do that!" Well he encouraged me and told me to throw a towel over the treadmill so I couldn't see how far or how long I had been running and just to run forever! And it worked! I ran a little more than 8 miles that night and was just amazed. Right away the first thought I had was How many other things in my life do I think are "impossible" but really it's just my mind playing games?

After that night I have actually enjoyed running because each time I go, I experience the same feelings of overcoming the limiting beliefs and thoughts that so often sneak into my head. The next big challenge was a half marathon and as you can see from the pics below we did it! Sharlene was such a HUGE help, about mile 10 I started complaining like a banshee telling her that I couldn' t run anymore, I needed to walk, I was tired, blah blah, whine whine! Well she she didn't put up with my lame excuses and helped me keep going and finish the race!

I think this was at mile 7 or 8ish... Still having fun!

This was mile 10 or 11ish, I was pleading with Dana to hit me with her car to put me out of my misery:)

Finished! and survived too!

So what's next? We are going to do a couple more half's then go for a full later this year. The ones we are looking at next are the Salt Lake half in April or the Ogden half in May...

How bout you? Come run with us!!! Here are the links to the different races, one thing is for sure it is way fun to run with other people and it would be way fun to get a big group to run together at one of these races!

Salt Lake Half

Ogden Half

P.S. If your mind is saying "I Can't" I'm telling you "YOU CAN!!"

P.P.S. Thanks Dana for taking the awesome pictures!

Friday, September 5, 2008


Today I was shown this video clip. I rarely watch TV because of all the trash, but this quick clip is absolutely moving and inspiring in every sense of the word. My whole body was covered in goose bumps and i'll even admit, things got a little blurry.

It was not only the video but what was said after the video was played. Our good friend Garrett said this..."That desire we feel when we are inspired by others living in their purpose is a calling to each and every one of us to stand in our own purpose. Each and every one of us has something great to offer to society... and by us standing in our power we allow others to stand in their's... We must stand alone in order to stand as one!"

Click here to watch the movie!