new blog address
6:54 PM | Author: Jolena
Hi everyone that reads my blog!  I decided to change my email address to my married name, which started a whole chain of events of changing everything I do with Google over to my new account.  As such, I've transferred my blog over to a new address, j-squaredonlife.blogspot.com, and that's the blog I'll be updating going forward.  I'd love it if you switched over with me.  
Honeymooning
5:58 PM | Author: Jolena
So Bill and I have decided that it's a really good thing that we got married, because together we've discovered we're quite lucky. I don't think I've won a single contest in my entire life, and neither has Bill. Since we got engaged, we've managed to get ourselves 3 trips and won a bunch of free stuff. In August we're going to San Diego for a couple days. The plane tickets and hotel are all paid for, plus a free dinner.

In May we're going to Cancun. We have a 2-night 3-day trip with hotel and all entertainment and food paid for. We have to buy the plane tickets, but that's what tax returns are for, right?

Oh, and we have a couple nights at a hotel paid for in Lake Tahoe if we want to do it sometime before August. As you can see, we're a little busy, so that might not happen, but that won't be the worst thing in the world.

What with all these great trips this year, and since Bill had to be back at work and school on Tuesday this week, we took just a couple days for our honeymoon and went up to Ogden for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. We planned to go snowboarding and possibly to to this indoor adventure center that has rock climbing, a surfing machine, and indoor sky diving, plus a snowshoeing trip, but once we were up there we ended up doing more relaxing than all the activities. Sunday we did get to go snowshoeing up Ogden Canyon. It was tons of fun. We found a little canyon to hike up and climbed up to the top of one of the sides. It was beautiful!


We would have gone snowboarding Monday, but it hasn't snowed for a few weeks, and I've never been snowboarding, so learning on ice just didn't sound like that much fun. Instead we went to a movie, Marley and Me, and wandered around old town Ogden.

We visited antique shops and cute furniture stores and that kind of thing. We found a cute little coffee shop to get hot chocolate at. On the way down to Provo stopped by IKEA to go shopping. I love that store! We didn't have as much time as we wanted, so we'll definitely be making a return trip sometimes soon.

Monday night we decided to invite all our family still in town to come over and watch us open our wedding gifts. It was so fun! My brother Mark and his family came and Tori and her family as well as my parents and sister Natasha that live here in town. I was glad I got to see them before they left, since I don't see them very often.

I have to say it was a perfect honeymoon. Not super long, but so relaxing and so fun and just what I wanted. As one of my college professors and dear friends told me, every vacation together is a honeymoon, so this was just the first of many in years to come. Next on the list: Cancun!!!
Wedding Bliss
5:02 PM | Author: Jolena

So I've been married for 5 days now, and let me tell you, being married is great! The wedding turned out so wonderful! I can't give enough thanks to mine and Bill's families for making sure everything was perfect.

And it sure took some effort. The reception was particularly troublesome. You'd think with all the churches in Utah county, it wouldn't be difficult to schedule one for a reception. Not so! My lovely visiting teacher pulled through for us and got us into her parent's building, which happens to be a stake center. We were scheduled for Saturday afternoon for our reception, but not any other times to decorate. We didn't realize that would be a problem until we found out that there was a youth basketball tournament that morning. No problem though, we'd just decorate the walls the night before and quickly move the stuff in between the sealing and the reception, right? No! Because since we weren't scheduled for Friday night to decorate, a singles dance got bumped up at the very last minute from a church down the road who had double-scheduled. There we were with our entire family at the church eating dinner, ready to decorate, and instead we had to leave everything and vacate the premises for the dance. I made a conscious choice not to be stressed about everything, and just enjoy all the events, so I did surprisingly fine, but Bill was stressed out of his mind. When he got to the church after a full day of school and work Friday, he had to eat and unwind without a billion people around before he could face everyone. Poor guy! I had the day off and had gone and gotten pampered with my sisters, mom, and sister/mother-in-law with manicures and pedicures, so I was as stress-free as you can get in the situation.

So my sister-in-law Hillary deserves an award for the best sister-in-law ever. She is studying interior design, and she took over all the reception plans and got it set up in between the 11am sealing and the 4pm reception. Way to go! She put fliers on all the doors of the guys in her ward and got a bunch of them to show up and decorate. It turned out beautiful! Nevermind that our centerpiece flowers froze in the fridge overnight and were black and limp when they arrived. They went and bought some roses and it was just beautiful.

Wedding day was amazing all around. The weather was beautiful. Warm and sunny (well, 40ish degrees. That's warm in Utah in January :) ) and just perfect. I got my hair done at 7:30 am and then headed up to the Salt Lake temple with my sister and niece. All of my siblings were there for the wedding, save for one who I saw two days before. I couldn't have asked for a better present than to have them all there, although the present they got us was really nice too. :) Bill and I sat and waited in the celestial room for probably half an hour instead of the few minutes we expected because we found out after that the girl getting sealed before us had forgotten her dress. Poor girl! So our sealing ended up being at 11:20 instead of 11am. It was wonderful. A family friend of Bill's parents sealed us and it was amazing, just like I knew it would be. My two best friends came with their husbands, plus some of my dear friends that still live here in Utah, and of course my family and Bill's. My grandparents were there, which was just great, and I was pleasantly surprised to have Bill's grandma come up all the way from Tempe, AZ to attend, as did several of my aunts and uncles.

Our photographer and videographer are a couple that we got connected to from one of my old roommates. They are amazing! They spent a couple hours with us taking pictures at the temple, and then came down to our reception just because they wanted to, as it wasn't a part of their contract. Thanks Nickell and Aaron!

After we finished taking pictures, we headed down to Provo for the reception. Just as we were passing Sandy I realized I had forgotten my bouquet at the temple. I was so sad! But my aunt and uncle came to the rescue and went up and picked them up and brought them down in time for me to have them for the last half our the reception. You are amazing Paul and Bonnie!

Like I said, the reception was wonderful. So many good friends and family came and it was just so fun to see them and do all the fun things like cut the cake and throw a bouquet and garter. Bill and I danced together and then I got to dance with my dad and with Bill's dad, who is already like another dad to me. I just love his family! I couldn't ask for better in-laws. They're fun and generous and so accepting of me and I just love them!

What a wonderful day! It was definitely everything I could have hoped and dreamed for my wedding, and the fact that I'm married to the most amazing guy in the world sure makes it even better!
I'm back from my blogging hiatus
9:57 AM | Author: Jolena
It's been a busy few weeks, seeing that the wedding is in 5 days!!!! I'm just a tad excited, if you can't tell. :) Lots has happened since we got back from Christmas in Las Vegas.

Bill and I moved into our new apartment. Well, we moved me and all our stuff in, and he sleeps at his brother's house a few blocks away, but only for one more week. Yay! It is so nice to have our own place! Married housing is a lot less hectic and crazy than single student housing, and I'm loving the change. Here's a picture of Bill in our living room this morning about to leave. He's going to love that I posted this. :)




Last night Bill and I, with the helpful mentoring of my super cute old roommate Becky, created a wedding cake out of a foam mold for our wedding on Saturday. So much fun! Since cakes run upwards of $300, we decided we'd do a fake cake and then have a little one to cut. We finished 2 of the three layers and it looks awesome! See for yourself.


It's going to have red and silver ribbon and flowers on it at the reception, so it'll be even better this weekend. Fun times!
Christmas in Vegas
9:26 PM | Author: Jolena
It's been a different Christmas this year for me. I've spent it with my soon-to-be in-laws who live in Henderson, NV. What a fun time it has been so far and we're not leaving until Saturday! I definitely missed my own family's traditions, but it's been great being with Bill's. I haven't taken a single picture while I've been here. Oops! I guess I'll have to get some from everyone else.

Anyway, the whole family managed to make it here, and we've just had such a fun time. The Ashmans believe no event is complete without copious amounts of food present, so let's just say I'm going to need to work out a whole lot in the next 19 days before mine and Bill's wedding. We've had a bunch of family parties with all the extended family that's around. Bill's grandpa's wife is Filipino, and one of her granddaughters graduated from college this year, so there was this HUGE party we attended for her at their house. So many Filipino people were there and they said the party lasted for 2 weeks. We only made it there for the last day, but it was so fun.

On Christmas Eve we went over to his aunt and uncle's house for the traditional Ashman family Pajama Party. Lots of food, lots of games, and lots of laughs abounded. Afterwards we headed back home to wrap every single present for Christmas. I'm used to my mom who has presents bought and wrapped sometimes in March, so this was quite the new experience for me. I have to admit I didn't help much with the wrapping, as I was feeling rather terrible from a cold that just won't seem to go away, but it was most entertaining to watch it happen. I'll help out the next time we're here. :)

Christmas morning was tons of fun. We opened lots of presents, includinga new sewing machine for me!!! My mother-in-law is amazing, that's all I have to say. Afterwards we ate a huge breakfast of crepes and then headed out to Valley of Fire to go hiking a little bit to work it off.

Bill's grandma just got home from her mission to Harrisburg, PA, so we headed down to Tempe, AZ the day after Christmas to welcome her home and help her move back into her place. It was fun to meet her and some more of Bill's family that lives down there. I discovered the craziest thing while I was down there. Bill's grandma lives probably 4 or 5 blocks away fromt he house my parents lived in the first few years of their marriage, before they moved to California. Bill and I took a walk over to see it while we were there. It was so cool. The didn't live in the same ward as his grandma, but just the next one over. What a crazy coincidence.

So now I'm back in Henderson and trying to get a bunch of things done before heading back to Utah in a few days. I'm going to make a white cape to wear at my wedding. It'll be the first project with my new sewing machine. Fun times! I really lucked out when it comes to inlaws. Mine are great. I'm glad I've gotten to spend Christmas with them. Next year we'll spend with my family, but after that we'll be back here again. Good times.
7:58 PM | Author: Jolena
So I have a little secret. I kind of like forwards and tags and things like that. Shhh! Don't tell anyone. :) Even though I'd much rather get a real email from a friend, sometimes I find their forwards rather amusing. It seems that the blogging world is finding its own way to send some forwards around. I like this list that I've seen on several blogs, so I thought I'd add it to mine. I agree with my friend, some of these things are now getting added to my list of things to do in my life.


The things I have done are in RED. You, TOO, can copy and paste and do your very own list on your very own blog!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (if a school one counts)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (friends only :) )
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
7 3. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
9 1. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

I think building a snow fort and paying for a stranger's meal in a restaurant are going to happen in the very near future. :)
What does your name stand for?
7:50 PM | Author: Jolena
My friend Alyssa posted this on her blog and I find it very entertaining. I put mine and Bill's name in it, and if I were him, he'd say mine is right and I say his is as well. Fun times! What does your name stand for?

J: makes people laugh
O: has one of the best personalities ever
L: easy to fall in love with
E: freakin beautiful eyes
N: can kick your butt
A: dead sexy

B: loves people
I: loves to laugh
L: easy to fall in love with
L: easy to fall in love with



A: Dead sexy
B: Loves people
C: Really easy to fall in love with
D: funny and sweet
E: Freakin Beautiful eyes
F: People wild and crazy adore you
G: Never let people tell you what to do
H: best smile
I : Loves to laugh
J: makes people laugh
K: Really silly
L: easy to fall in love w/
M: makes dating fun
N: Can kick your butt
O: Has one of the best personalities ever
P: Popular with all types of people
Q: A hypocrite
R: good bf/gf
S: Lives life for fun
T: loved by everybody
U: gets blamed for everything
V: Not judgmental
W: Very broad minded
X: Never let people tell you what to do
Z: Lives life for