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Author Archives: ashleybustamante

Boyfriend 1.0 to Husband 1.0

When I was 16, I began my search for a Boyfriend.  There were many models on the market and I had to decide what features I wanted.  It took some time, but I finally decided on Boyfriend 1.0.  I thought Boyfriend 1.0 was everything I wanted, but for whatever reason, it just didn’t work out.  I was disappointed, because I had really wanted it to last.  But I moved on and began my search for a new Boyfriend. 

I tried a number of Boyfriend models over the years.  Some of them came highly recommended by others, but when I tried them out for myself, they weren’t for me.  Others promised many things, but couldn’t deliver–totally false advertising!  Some of the models were very nice, but just didn’t have all of the features I was looking for.  Eventually I stopped trying so hard to find the perfect Boyfriend. Maybe I just didn’t need one as much as I thought I did.  But then I started hearing talk of another Boyfriend model that people thought I should try out.  Oddly enough, it was Boyfriend 1.2, which was the upgraded version of Boyfriend 1.0. 


At first I resisted.  I had already tried 1.0 and it didn’t work out.  Why should I expect 1.2 to be any different?  But finally I was persuaded and decided to give Boyfriend 1.2 a trial run.  Amazingly, all of the things I had originally loved about Boyfriend 1.0 were still there in the upgraded version, but with many extra features added.  Boyfriend 1.2 even acknowledged that 1.0 had some faults, and I had to admit that I had several shortcomings back during the Boyfriend 1.0 phase as well.  All that was in the past, and the new Boyfriend 1.2 seemed to have everything I wanted.


I was so happy with Boyfriend 1.2 that when I was offered the upgrade to the Boyfriend 1.2 Fiance Edition, I had to say yes.  How could I say no?  Because of my continuing satisfaction with the Fiance edition, just four months later I decided I was ready to upgrade again to the model a step above the Fiance edition: Husband 1.0. 


I knew that upgrading to Husband 1.0 would be a huge commitment.  It was a big investment and I couldn’t just toss the Husband aside if it didn’t do what I wanted or expected.  Fortunately, Husband 1.0 included a lifetime guarantee, so I knew it would be possible to work through any issues that might arise.  I took the plunge. 


I have been with Husband 1.0 for five years now and I couldn’t be happier.  I know I made the right decision and look forward to many more years with Husband 1.0.

Happy Anniversary! 

And believe me, I am still alive!

A breeze blows…..

Crickets chirp…..

A pin drops…..

Ok.  Done with that.  The silence has ended!  I am still alive.  I have been incredibly busy between work and school and life, and my blog has been terribly neglected. 

We are into the second month of a new year.  How crazy is that?  A month ago, people started making their New Year’s Resolutions.  By now, probably about 95% of those resolutions have been forgotten.  :-) 

Once upon a time I set resolutions for myself, but I noticed something.  Usually those resolutions were pretty grandiose.  I would end up not doing it and then feel horrible about myself later.  Rather than making a resolution this year and then feeling bad about it afterward, I decided to try something a little different.  This year, I simply want to do the best that I can.  I want to push myself a little more to learn new things.  I want to work on my self-confidence and just do what I can to be a good person.  I know I’m not going to be perfect all the time.  I know in the eyes of some people, no matter how hard I try I will always come up short.  I don’t need to worry about those people.  I don’t need to compare myself to others.  I am not them and they are not me.  I just need to do the best that I can and not worry about the rest. 

I am working on checking a box on my “learn new things” list.  My in-laws gave me an early birthday present– a sewing machine.  I’m pretty excited about that!  My mom has been kind enough to let me borrow hers over the years, but I’m always worried about breaking it or using it when she needs it or coming over at inconvenient times.  Now I don’t have to worry about that.  My mom has taught me sewing basics over the years, so I have had a good foundation to start with, but I still have a long way to go!  I have already completed a few simple projects, and I may post details on them in the future.  I’m pretty happy with how they turned out!  I feel like sewing is such a good skill to have and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can come up with.

So here’s to a new year!  New skills, new goals, new hopes.  May we all make the best of it!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I know it’s not original, and many of you may not care, but I’m going to do the obligatory blog post about the things I am thankful for.  Why?  Because these things are important to me.  I’m so thankful to my Heavenly Father for blessing me with so many wonderful things. 


First, my family.  Immediate family, In-laws, extended family, the whole bunch!  I am so blessed to have such a loving and supportive family.  I’m especially thankful for my parents and my husband’s parents.  They do so much for us and have given us much to be thankful for.  I love them so much!  And of course, I’m especially thankful for my husband as well.  He has been working so hard in medical school and still takes the time to show me he loves me.


I’m thankful for children, particularly my two little nephews and my…second cousins?  Whatever you call my cousins’ children!  Children bring such joy and such opportunities for learning.  My two nephews are at our house nearly every day, and I enjoy watching them grow and experience the world.  I also think it’s funny how entertained adults are by the things kids do and say.  Some of that stuff you just can’t make up.   I look forward to having my own someday!


I’m thankful for animals.  I have always been an animal lover and I don’t think that will ever change.  They just make me smile and I’m glad to have them around.  I’m especially thankful for my goofy dog.   She is a sweetheart and it’s nice to have her come snuggle up next to me on the couch.  She does important things like protect me from moving clouds and hot air balloons.  ;-)


I’m thankful for my friends.  I feel like I have been kind of a flaky friend lately, because I’ve had so much going on in my life that I haven’t had much room for friend time.  But even throughout my flakiness, there are still my true friends who are always there for me. 


I’m thankful for my job.  In this economy, having a job at all is something to be thankful for.  But I’m especially thankful to have a job I enjoy.  When I used to think about what I would like to do for a job, I always came up with the same list of interests: Writing, drawing, photography, working with kids, designing.  Somehow I found a job that lets me do all of that and more.  I’m also thankful for the people I work with.  It’s a positive environment and I’d say we all get along pretty well.   The job I had prior to this one had me coming home on the verge of tears every day and dreading going to work—not because of the job itself, but because of the people I worked with.  My current job is completely different, and that’s a good thing.  I have been here 3 years so far, and hope for more. 


I could keep going on and on, because I really do have so much to be grateful for, but I’ll end it here.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!     

The Journey to “The One”

Have you ever sat and reflected on what it might have been like if you married someone else?  I’ve thought about it before, and I’m always grateful that I didn’t. Everyone’s journey to “the one” is slightly different, and many are searching for that person.  “How do you know when they are the one?” is a common question.  For me, everything just clicked in a way that it didn’t with other guys, and I felt so at peace about it. 

I’ll tell you a little about some of my experiences, in no particular order. 

With some guys, it was almost immediately apparent that I’d rather gouge my eyes out than endure a relationship with them.  Others it wasn’t quite so simple.  I think of one guy who there wasn’t anything in particular I disliked about him.  We had a lot of common interests, shared the same values, he was respectful, physically attractive, and he took me to Phantom of the Opera.  Sure winner, right?  I honestly couldn’t pinpoint anything that bugged me about him.  But there was just something missing.  The time I spent with him felt almost hollow.  I was willing to keep spending time with him to see if anything changed, but he moved away for school and that ended it.  When he got a girlfriend, I was surprised at what I felt–nothing.  I really didn’t care one way or the other.  Sometimes there’s no real reason why it isn’t.  It simply isn’t. 

There were others guys who had crushes on me at one point that I didn’t learn about until way after the fact.  I was pretty oblivious to those things.  I would just be talking to a guy who would mention it suddenly, and I’d feel slightly guilty as I thought to myself, “Oh…I hadn’t even considered you a possibility.”  Some people you just never think of as anything more than a friend.  Others were mutual, fleeting crushes that never really lead to anything.  Not even so much as a date.  I remember one guy I went out with once and it was kind of like when you rescue a dog– they just adore you after that.  But I just wasn’t interested in him and didn’t even have a desire for a second date.  I felt really bad when I had to tell him, but I knew it would just be harder if I put things off.

There was another with whom I fell fast and hard for, but looking back, it was based on such trivial things.  We did have a lot in common, but it was things don’t matter in the long run when it comes to having a deep, lasting relationship. I hardly knew him but I built up this glorified idea of him in my mind.  Once I actually got to know him better, I slowly realized I disliked his personality, he was dishonest with me, I didn’t find him attractive, and we had different opinions on a lot of critical issues. The idea in my mind wasn’t who he really was.  But even then it was hard to let go because I was so attached to the illusion and kept thinking perhaps it could become reality.  It didn’t.  Moving away from that relationship was probably one of the best things I could have done in my life and I’m grateful for the wake-up call.  Then there was another guy who I had a great rapport with and we engaged in many intellectual discussions.  For some time, I lived for my conversations with him.  We entertained feelings for each other for awhile but in the end I was pretty sure neither of us would make the other happy and we would do better moving on and not holding each other back.  He disagreed and was upset with me when I said we could never work, but I was firm about it.  We always got into arguments, and neither of us would have been able to make the compromises necessary for a relationship because we felt too strongly about the things we disagreed on.  I haven’t kept tabs on him over the years, but I hope he found happiness and that he has forgiven me.

And then there is my husband.  My high-school sweetheart who became my world.  I liked him from the very first day I met him freshman year.  The more I got to know him, the more I liked him.  However I was painfully shy and it took awhile for us to become close.  We were more like acquaintances than friends and never saw each other outside of school.  Finally, junior year I realized that if I didn’t try to develop the friendship, senior year would come and go and I’d likely never see him again.  I grit my teeth past my shyness and asked him for his email address, which I thought was a huge step.  Soon I was inviting him to hang out with my friends and I. It didn’t take long after that for us to go on our first date.  I was over the moon and just thought he was the most wonderful thing in the world.  By senior year, we were dating, in whatever, silly sense of the word that meant in our youthful minds. 

By the end of senior year, he dumped me.  Whoops!  And I have to give him a hard time about the fact that it was done over email.  He still gets really embarrassed about that, but I have long forgiven him and just find it funny now.  It was just one of many signs that both of us were too immature for a relationship at that time.  We kept in touch a little, but not much.  He served a mission for our church and I wrote to him once.  I didn’t know until later on how much that single letter meant to him.  I feel bad that I didn’t write to him more, but I honestly had no idea that it mattered to him that much, and didn’t want to seem like the stalker-ex.  A few months after he got home, he messaged me out of the blue one day.  At the time I was going to school 3 hours away.  We started talking more from a distance, and he finally asked me if I wanted to go out next time I was in town.  I shrugged and said whatever, already determined that it wasn’t going to go anywhere.           

What I didn’t expect was how much I enjoyed myself on that date.  There was one point in the evening where we were talking and he touched my hand and I lost my train of thought.  Needless to say I was really confused when I got home. I had thought I was over him.  He was history!  But there was clearly still something there.  On our next date, I had so much fun.  I couldn’t remember the last time I had had that much fun on a date, or when I had laughed so much.  At the time we went on our first date, he was semi-dating someone else.  It was a long-distance relationship and they had both agreed to date other people and explore their options.  But he said after that second date with me, he knew he was going to have to break it off with the other girl. He did, and we started to see each other more and more, and I found that when I wasn’t with him, I missed him.  I felt restless. 

I don’t remember exactly when marriage started coming up in our conversations.  It just happened naturally.  I didn’t feel shocked or surprised by it. I don’t know if I had one slap-in-the-face moment where I knew I was “in love” (although there is one special experience I might write about some other time),  but simply at some point it went from thinking I could live with him to thinking I couldn’t live without him.  I couldn’t envision the future without him as part of it and I just knew he was the one I wanted to share my life with.  There was no anxiety, which was a weird thing for me because I tend to be a worrier.

As I think of wedding plans, I’m amazed at how smoothly things went.  We had set the wedding date 4 months from the time we were engaged, which most people said wasn’t enough time to plan a wedding.  But everything clicked into place.  When we went to book a reception hall, the ONE date open that month was our wedding date.  Same thing with the photographer.  Everything I bought for the wedding was on sale, and I wasn’t even searching the sales racks.  It just so happened that the things I picked out were on sale. There were countless other little things that I can’t even remember now.  Wedding plans obviously aren’t the most important part of the marriage, but it was like the universe was saying, “Yes, this is supposed to happen.” 

4 years ago today, I married him, and I have never looked back.  I felt so calm and happy on the morning of my wedding!  Marriage, of course, is work.  There will always be ups and downs.  But I can’t think of anyone I would rather share it with.  Happy Anniversary to my sweetheart, my best friend in the whole world!

If The Jeans Fit (Or Not)

In general, I think shopping for clothes is fun.  I love to deal hunt and it’s nice to have something new to wear.  However, there is one type of clothing that I absolutely hate shopping for:  Pants.  My body type is not ideal for pants fitting.  You know how people talk about that magic pair of jeans they found that fits them to a T and makes them look amazing?  I haven’t found those yet.  I have to go with whatever manages to cover my short legs, large butt and thighs and big hips without leaving a huge gap at my waist.  I’m cursed blessed with a beautiful pear shape.  Apparently the fashion industry doesn’t believe pears wear pants.  Especially not short pears.   

Usually what happens when I go pants shopping is this:  My optimistic self exclaims, “Today’s the day!  If I have to try on every pair of jeans in the store, I will find one that fits perfectly!”  20 pairs of non-fitting jeans later, my self-esteem has plummeted and I’m ready to explode the fitting room mirror.  This last time was particularly discouraging.  3 years ago when I switched from an active photography job to an office job, I didn’t think about changing my eating habits or replacing the activity I was losing, so weight gain naturally followed.  I have been exercising on and off, but recently decided I need to get more serious about dropping those pounds.  For the past 3 months I have been exercising daily, watching my portion sizes, and trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, as well as less fattening foods in general.  The numbers on the scale haven’t moved much, and a few times they have even moved in the wrong direction (WHY!?).  Now, I’m realistic.  I didn’t expect 20  pounds to just fall off of me and I know I could still do better in terms of exercise and eating habits.  However, with the changes I have made, I expected at least some small progress by now, especially when I keep seeing, “If you do this, you should lose about a pound a week.”  Well, I’m doing everything it says to do and I can tell you I haven’t lost the predicted 12 pounds.  I haven’t even lost one.  I was already feeling pretty discouraged about that before the jeans shopping, but after attempting to squeeze into several pairs I was feeling like a cow and about ready to cry.

I was hoping to find something new, but eventually decided to just reach for the same brand and style I got last time since those had fit decently.  I grabbed the size I bought last time and headed to the fitting room again.  Much to my dismay, I just couldn’t quite get the zipper up all the way.  I despairingly asked my husband if he could grab me a size up, wondering how it was possible for me to have outgrown a size despite all the efforts I had been making.  “Good enough…” I grumbled as I tried on the larger size, and we bought the jeans and went home with myself feeling significantly worse about my body. 

And then a surprising thing happened.  When I checked the tag on my old jeans, I found I had been mistaken about the size.  The ones I just bought were actually the same size as my old ones.  I realized that I had ALMOST fit into a size smaller.  Ok, I realize that after 3 months of exercise and improved eating, ALMOST losing a size isn’t much to brag about.  But considering I thought I had somehow gained a size, this made me feel a lot better.  I just have to keep doing what I’m doing and push myself even harder.  Maybe someday when I go to try on jeans I’ll leave with a smile. 

Media Censorship…kinda scary, right?

You know what scares me?  Media censorship.

I think back several years ago when there was an article online about a family whose baby died after being left in the car.  We happened to know this family, and we knew how utterly devastated they were.  However, in the comments on the article, it was full of things like, “I’ll bet they did it on purpose!” and “What idiots.”  No sympathy.  No compassion. I thought to myself, “Really?  Nobody is offering support to these people?”  So I popped on to comment in their defense, asking people to show some sensitivity in their time of loss, and vouching for the fact that it was definitely not done on purpose.  Much to my surprise, my comment was deleted.  I thought it must have been a technical glitch, so I tried again on another computer.  Same thing happened.  The news source was intentionally trying to make it appear that these people were nothing but hated, and that they were under suspicion for purposefully killing their child.  Despicable, in my opinion.

The Mormon church has also gotten a lot of media attention as of late.  Comments on any article mentioning the church inevitably become overloaded with anti-Mormon dialogue. An article I read recently was open for comments for about an hour.  Then, it was closed for commenting and the majority of comments speaking positively of Mormons or defending the church were removed.  Is this right?  What kind of society have we become?  Whenever I read any news online and see that the comments seem to be one-sided, I take them with a grain of salt and recognize that they probably only APPEAR to be one-sided, because that’s what that particular news outlet wants you to see.  People are being manipulated, and many of them probably don’t even know it.  To quote the movie “The Prestige,”  are you watching closely?

It’s for this reason that I don’t reject/delete blog comments, even if I disagree. If someone comments on my blog and says something I don’t like, I prefer to discuss it rather than pretend their words don’t exist. (Though I might have to delete if someone was being particularly vulgar or obscene!)  In my opinion, deleting a comment because you don’t like what’s being said is pretty childish. It’s the same as saying, “No!  You’re not allowed to disagree or question me.  My words are more valid than yours!”  What’s the point of even allowing comments if you’re only going to allow the ones that validate you?  Is it just there for a personal ego boost?  I feel like people need to start using banners that say, “Anyone who disagrees with me will be deleted” or “I only want to hear what you say if you’re praising me.”  I know many bloggers out there have a minimal censorship policy, and to you I say thank you. 

Do any of you have a censorship story to share?  I’m curious if anyone else has had something happen like the first experience I mentioned.

Confessions of a My Little Pony Fan

I have something to confess.  I watch My Little Pony.  Regularly.  And I enjoy it. 

A lot of people find it really strange for an adult to watch a children’s cartoon.  But I ask, what makes a show “for adults?”  Sex?  Violence?  Drama?  Sometimes I’m in the mood for something more intense, like House or The Walking Dead.  And of course, I love my Burn Notice.  :)  However, every now and then, I just want to watch something happy.  It’s so hard to find lighthearted shows on adult television, and when there are, they are often accompanied by a barrage of crude humor.  Sometimes I just want to watch something sweet and innocent.

I’m a very empathetic person, and this sometimes makes it difficult to watch movies and TV.  For example, the other day I was watching Property Brothers on HGTV, and there was a father with his wife and two daughters.  You could tell he loved them so much and wanted to give them the world, but they just walked all over him and took him for granted.  This made me so sad!  I just wanted to tell his family to stop being so rude to him, because if he wasn’t working his butt off for them they wouldn’t even have what they had.  So, as a person who feels sorry for people watching HGTV, you can see how it might be hard for me to handle prime time shows sometimes.  I stopped watching Glee because it seemed like when they weren’t having sex or talking about sex, they were being mean to someone.

So I really don’t think it should be a crime for adults to tune into children’s cartoons sometimes.  My Little Pony teaches about friendship and being kind to others.  Isn’t that a good lesson for everyone, not just kids?  Aside from that, the show actually DOES cater to an adult audience much of the time.  I don’t mean inappropriate jokes, but things like references to I Love Lucy or Indiana Jones.  Those things go over most kid’s heads, but they sure are entertaining for adults.  Many of the themes are also more complex than what you see on the typical children’s show. 

Say what you will, but I have no intention of breaking my pony watching habit.  As adults, we have the power to choose what we fill our lives with, and that includes what messages we take in from TV.  If I choose to support love and friendship over sex and violence, that’s my right.  Rock on, everypony!  ;-)


              Evidence of my long time pony fandom.


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