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Trying Something New

March 27, 2011

DoubleShot Matt: Well this is kind of neat.

DoubleShot Matt: I guess we should tell the people kind of what is going on here.

doubleshot.ashley: That’s all you considering it’s your idea!

doubleshot.ashley: Also hi everyone :)

DoubleShot Matt: Basically, we thought that having a pre-written, proofread blog entry was cool, but pretty ordinary.

DoubleShot Matt: We think it might be a little more entertaining for you guys to be a little more involved, kind of “in” the conversation.

DoubleShot Matt: We’ll give it a try a few times, if it doesn’t work, oh well. We’ll go back to the old DSoT.

DoubleShot Matt: But that being said, WE’RE BACK!

doubleshot.ashley: And y’all know Matt. “Ordinary” things just don’t cut it. You’re talking to the guy who is currently living off of pepperoni tortilla sandwiches.

doubleshot.ashley: Although for the record I did miss you guys.

DoubleShot Matt: See? You’re getting the hang of it.

DoubleShot Matt: I’m thinking we might make this particular style of writing a once a week deal.

DoubleShot Matt: We probably won’t be able to blog at the same feverish pace we used to. Maybe 3 times a week nowadays?

doubleshot.ashley: Sure. Y’all would enjoy reading about healthcare economics and medical Spanish, right? Maybe my honors thesis which I officially defend in less than a month?

DoubleShot Matt: Speaking of which, it’s been a while since we’ve updated everyone on what’s going on. Ash is set to graduate in May, myself in August. Mostly right now it’s trying to find jobs and just graduate.

doubleshot.ashley: And get off of medical school wait lists…

doubleshot.ashley: Or find a job myself…

doubleshot.ashley: Oh and lets not forget this whole “wedding planning” business.

DoubleShot Matt: Ah yes. On that note, we just got back from an incredible experience, our pre-marriage counseling.

DoubleShot Matt: It was a pretty cool day. Even though Ash and I know a lot about each other, I think in just those 7 or so hours, we became even closer.

doubleshot.ashley: I would agree. I think I went in there kind of sad about having to give up my Saturday. Especially the whole not getting to sleep in part. I haven’t gotten to sleep in on the weekend for the past few weeks. For good reasons of course – my bridal shower, a friend’s wedding, etc. But I really REALLY like sleep.

doubleshot.ashley: But the counseling was absolutely wonderful in the end.

DoubleShot Matt: Well I mean it was wonderful at the beginning too…

 

The snack Matt and I shared. On Health.com, I read you should have LOTS of colors in your meals. I'm sure colorful goldfish and "special" dark chocolate were exactly what they meant.

doubleshot.ashley: I don’t think I knew we needed that in preparation for our marriage, but we really did.

doubleshot.ashley: In case you’re wondering, here were our basic topics for the day:

doubleshot.ashley: “When Grace is on the Table” – Basically trying to understand what sins or other obstacles could come between you and your partner. On the flip side, we talked about how grace is always present in the relationship and even practiced praying for/with our respective partners (for the record, we were one of five engaged couples along with two mentor couples).

DoubleShot Matt: The idea of accepting somebody completely, knowing what their faults are is a pretty cool thing.

doubleshot.ashley: “Why Roles Matter” – The respective roles of men vs. women in a Christian marriage. The women and men separated for awhile so they could discuss those different roles and what the greatest struggles might be in fulfilling those roles.

doubleshot.ashley: “Seeking First to Understand” – How to assert what you want in a relationship while also actively listening to your partner. In this one we had to list reasons why we wanted to marry the other person and things we felt that we were bringing to the marriage.

DoubleShot Matt: THIS was my favorite part of the day. Ash and I know how compatible we are. We know that we complement each other where one lacks. But even after reading our lists, the couple observing us said that it was apparent how well we meet each other’s needs. I’m a softy, I know.

doubleshot.ashley: “From Me to We” – A very useful segment on financial management and planning for the couple.

doubleshot.ashley: Important one for us (as people just getting out of college): “Delay self-gratification.” Matt and I know things will have to be tighter once we get married, but as they say, “You can have it all – just not all at once.”

doubleshot.ashley: “Time Together” – A fun session on how to continue dating your spouse even after marriage. We figured out things we enjoy doing together, things each of us would like to pursue as a couple, and what some possible dates could be in the future.

DoubleShot Matt: I mean I started dating her at the beginning, I don’t really plan to stop…

doubleshot.ashley: And then the last one was “Spiritual Practices” – We mostly went over some Bible verses and what their meanings were. The underlying message was to continue our spiritual formation as a couple.

doubleshot.ashley: So despite the lack of extra sleep and the fact we were stuck in one room for seven hours, I had a GREAT time.

DoubleShot Matt: Did you mention the cookies?

doubleshot.ashley: Yes, those chocolate coffee caramel cookies may have helped matters just a little.

doubleshot.ashley: I won’t say how many (that’s between me, God, and my bathroom scale), but lets just say I had a “few.”

DoubleShot Matt: 6. We both had 6.

DoubleShot Matt: Each.

doubleshot.ashley: Traitor!

DoubleShot Matt: AND NO I DON’T FEEL BAD ABOUT IT.

doubleshot.ashley: Do you feel bad about then eating two burgers for dinner? That’s right. I went there.

doubleshot.ashley: On top of our fun day of pre-marriage discussions, we then went to my house for wedding invitation stuffing PLUS wedding music discussion. Sensing a theme to the day?

doubleshot.ashley: In addition to helping with the invitations, my family kindly made burgers and veggies. Okay. They weren’t really for “us.” They were for my aunt and uncle for building a vegetable garden in our backyard earlier that afternoon. But Matt and I make the most of our opportunities and made sure to rush home after the seminar.

doubleshot.ashley: And yes, when it comes to food we take advantage of all opportunities possible! We’re the people going to free pancake day at IHOP, Tribute Day  at Starbucks, etc. But you’re supposed to be like that in college, right?

 

Elly also takes advantage of all food opportunities that come her way.

DoubleShot Matt: Speaking of which, I have a massive amount of stuff to do for tomorrow’s school day. Time to call it quits. Hope you enjoyed the new style. Let us know what you think!

Love and Three Day Weekends

September 5, 2010

Ash -

Good evening everyone. For some reason I felt like doing a late night post. Hope y’all have been enjoying the long weekend. I know I am. In fact, here are some reasons why I wish every weekend could be Labor Day weekend.

1. There is an extra day off from school! And you know what a 3 day weekend means? Only a 4 day school week! Woah. How about them math skills?

2. Elly got to meet her Aunt Pepper, Uncle Hershey, and Uncle Buddy for the first time. As the oldest of the three (about ten years), Pepper is highly offended we’d bring yet ANOTHER dog into her life. But Elly’s uncles are thrilled to step into their role as “babysitters.” They just wish she’d stop trying to nibble on their tails, legs, ears, and dignity.

We uncles need to be near the baby at all times.

3. In addition to giving Elly a basket filled with treats and toys, my parents (a.k.a. the dog experts) are teaching her that chewing on the family’s limbs (and hair in my case) is not okay. I’m filling out their sainthood applications as we speak.

Bite toy. Not people!

4. A much needed night out with friends. In the past two weeks, my schedule has become classes, teach, clean apartment, homework, sleep, repeat. It was great to break out of that rut and celebrate Lindsay’s 22nd birthday. Plus who doesn’t love wine and cake balls?

5. In addition to celebrating her birthday, Lindsay took us to visit her newborn nephew. Oh my goodness. He’s take your breath away beautiful. I cannot wait to read Jansen stories on Chelsea’s blog (Roots and Rings).

Awww. PS that's Matt's arm. Did you know he managed to get by almost 22 years without holding a baby?

6. Down here in Texas, summer will fight tooth and nail to stick around for at least the next month. But we had our first hint of fall this weekend! Can’t you smell it in the air? Friday’s drive home was in the 80’s. Gorgeous! I love summer. I really do. But now that’s school started, I’m tired of sweating buckets in between classes. Also my purse zipper heating up to the point of burning me while I wait for the trolley is getting super annoying.

7. Speaking of fall, I went on a “shoe date” with my parents…. look what I bought!

Lets just say good thing I have two jobs.

8. Also after weeks of anxiously waiting and watching my newsfeed fill up with people talking about their first medical school interviews, I’ve finally gotten my own! I’m scheduled to interview next Friday with one of the Texas schools. I’m nervous but really excited. Last hurdle before acceptances!

9. Chocolate chip bread. Enough said.

10. Naps. In theory I have time for naps during the school week. And yet it never seems to work out that way. After church and running errands with my mom, I actually had time for a short nap before dinner. I want to hug naps and never let go.

What’s that, Mr. Face the Music? The weekend is almost over??? But I don’t want to go back to school! Oh sure. Blah blah blah. Something about appreciating things more because they’re fleeting. Whatever. I am counting down until the next three day weekend. Only another month and a half to go. In the meantime, happy Labor Day everyone.

Thursday Thoughts

September 2, 2010

Ashley -

Good morning everyone… well sort of. There’s a big storm brewing outside my window. Makes the morning feel a little less “good.” Especially when you have to go out into that rain for classes. Plus your puppy hates the rain (even though I tried to put an umbrella over her, she still made a wild sprint back to the apartment door). But hey at least I’m finally writing posts again!

So what has been going on since the last post I wrote a thousand years ago? Well you heard about our new addition here at the Double Shot:

Elly really does love her Mr. Bear.

We also made our last trip of the summer to Sin City. If only I could have recorded our mad dash to Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE.. Let me put it this way. 15 minutes until the show. 25-30 minute walk. Taxi line a mile long. Over 100 degrees outside. Running in a little black summer dress. We made it with time to spare. I guess the people who couldn’t afford a show that night got lucky.

Prior in the day we picked up the tickets. Good thing we got pictures then.

We got back around midnight on Sunday and made the drive to Waco. When I told that to my teacher the next morning, her response was, “Wellllll you must be a senior!” That’s right. I am a senior. Woop! Last year of college! How did we get here so fast?

Classes are going fairly well. I’m taking biochemistry, aerobic running (yuck), philosophy and medicine, classical mythology (my teacher is hilarious not to mention looks/sounds like Matthew McConaughey), cross cultural health communications, and a couple of thesis hours. Add that to my job where I attend an honors freshman biology class every MWF and hold review sessions Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Busy semester, indeed.

Speaking of busy school years, I can’t believe my baby sister is a senior in high school. She’ll be applying to colleges soon?!?! She’s getting her own “little sister?” (Our high school does a “fish week.” A senior is paired with a freshman. The freshman doesn’t know who her senior is until the end of the week. In the meantime the senior leaves gifts according to the themed days – such as baby or beach day. At the end of the week there is a freshmen parade where the seniors dress up their fish – members of the Breakfast Club, the goldfish snacks, Tetris pieces, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, etc. Plus a school dance).

We dressed our girls up as sushi.

I can’t wait to go home this weekend to hear about how her school year is going. Plus our friend (and one of my bridesmaids) Lindsay is turning 22! Lots of fun ahead. I love long weekends. And today’s good/awesome/hugely wonderful news? Chelsea at Roots and Rings (and Lindsay’s older sister) had her baby today! Her new facebook status: “Jansen made his arrival at 1:37am! He weighs 7lbs. 14oz. and is 20″ and SO stinking cute!” Congratulations again, Chelsea and Stephen!

Sighhhhhhh. I guess I’ve put it off long enough. It’s still raining, and there’s still classes… Have a great Thursday everyone!

DoubleShot of Texas + 1

August 29, 2010

Matt -

I can only think of a couple of reasons why it would be acceptable to leave you readers in the dust over the past week and a half or so.

  1. Somebody directly related to DoubleShot looses all 10 fingers in a horrific knuckle cracking accident.
  2. An anonymous donor gives $10,000,000 for DoubleShot to be shut down for fear of complete blog-market domination.
  3. Worldwide internet provider screwup.
  4. School starting.
  5. Adding a member to our young family.

Before you go completely bonkers and start whispering to your office buddies about the new scandal at Baylor, check out these pictures of our new baby girl, Elly Belle Wilson (we decided changing her last name from Brenstein to Wilson next summer might confuse her puppy sense of identity).

Oh hai Mom!

That’s right! Our newest blogger here at DoubleShot is Elly Belle! We decided that if we were going to raise a puppy, now was the time. With medical school and a new job looming this time next year, we couldn’t take care of a brand new puppy also. But with a year under our belt it won’t be a problem.

The day we came back to Waco, we made the ever-dangerous trip to the Waco Humane Society. It was automatic. Well, I mean for us. Poor Elly was so scared of everything she could only cuddle and shiver. Because she was so young, we couldn’t officially adopt her. So for the past couple of weeks, we’ve been “fostering” her until we made a “final” decision.

How could this POSSIBLY need two weeks to decide on?

To make sure we weren’t pressuring each other into a certain decision, it went unsaid for the first week. But shortly after that, we knew we both wanted to go sign those adoption papers as soon as we could. And we did. The moment we take Elly in for her shots and surgery next week, she’s officially ours!

She is in deep love with my duffel bag when it is filled with socks and undershirts. She climbs up and passes out on contact.

You will be getting tons of updates about our new addition, as well as more posting in general. Now that our school year has started and we have a week of handling our schedule under our belt, we will be able to find a lot more time to let you guys into our daily lives. Until the next time, here are some more pictures of Elly!

She loves Mr. Bear. Clearly she was meant to belong to the Baylor Bear family.

Her new room. She is adapting well to crating.

Catching Up on My Mail

August 19, 2010

Ash -

Dear Blogging World,

I am sorry for the disappearing act yesterday. I promise we made it to Waco safely. It’s just crazy settling back in for the senior year! Books to pick up. Allergy injections to drop off. Freshmen to stare at (and silently curse at for taking all the parking). By the time I realized we hadn’t blogged, I was curled up with my pesto tortellini, zucchini, a glass of wine, and a movie. I still love y’all though!

Welcome to your senior year, Ashley :)

***********************

To: Target

From: Your Adoring Customer

Oh Target. You are a true friend. A $10 office lamp? Yes please. 4 chip bag clips for a $1? Sure those could be useful. 20 hangers for $2? Just what I needed! A $1 box of pretzel stick bags? Yum. I love these back to school sales so much. Although thank goodness I went shopping before the students “officially” move in today. I remember those times…. pretty sure my family made 2 or 3 trips to Target that first weekend. And that’s not even including any trips to Walmart or Bed Bath & Beyond. So glad I’ll be in Vegas instead.

***********************

Memo: This Afternoon

Remember to stop watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and leave your cereal companion to go to work! You are supposed to help train the new SI (Supplemental Instruction) leaders*. Remind them that it’s okay to be nervous. There will be students that hold up their newspapers or listen to their music while you are trying to teach. There will be students that think and will let you know that SI is not worth their time. That’s okay. Because you are helping someone. Mostly likely multiple someones. Often half if not a full letter grade higher kind of help. The statistics have already proven it!

*If your school doesn’t have a SI program, it’s “facilitated review sessions.” Essentially a group tutoring program (free for the students). “Leaders” already took the class and did well. They are then paid to attend the class again, get to know the students, and hold bi-weekly study sessions. For example, I mostly work with new honors freshmen in biology 1.

***********************

Dear Pioneer Woman,

Your new photography assignment is a good one. The theme? Love (click me!). You’re really choosing some great pictures to post. I can’t wait to see who you select as the winner. Maybe I should convince my mother to submit one of hers?

************************

Attn: College Apartment

I would really appreciate it if you wouldn’t get so dusty while I’m gone. It’s not good for my allergies. Plus I’ve already spent hours trying to whip you in shape…. you’re still winning.  But give me a couple more days and we’ll see about that. However, I love having the extra bedroom this year. It’s going to be wonderful to have my own office (rather than studying on the comfy bed where I somehow always seem to get sleepy). That is all.

My old high school desk that we hauled up here. Boy did it need a good dusting.

***********************

This post was short and sweet. Just like the shower I need to go take. But have a great Thursday everyone. Matt should be dropping in to leave a message this afternoon. Be back for Quick Takes tomorrow!

Texas Tuesday (24)

August 17, 2010

Ash -

Good morning y’all. Welcome to our beloved Texas Tuesday. Doesn’t the logo say it all?

Thanks to WordPress and their handy scheduled posting option, you guys still get your DSoT today even though we’ll be on the road throughout the morning. On the road to where? Waco, Texas. Or Wacko as the students like to call it – about as close as we could get to the “Keep Austin Weird.”

Sadly we weren’t sent any Texas Tuesday questions this week, and apparently I packed up the creative side of my brain along with the other thousand and one things I’m taking with me. Everything from my new Texas flavored rain boots to a big wooden study desk.

But we’re still in Texas, and this is still Tuesday. Plus I have a question for y’all… where on earth did summer go? Yesterday I was praying to pass my organic chemistry lab final, and today I have less than a week until classes start. My senior year??? Actually I think it might’ve been worse to watch my baby sister start her senior year of high school yesterday.

I’m not sure I’m ready. But I am sure I don’t have a choice in the matter.

Don’t worry I’m not saying goodbye to summer just yet. There’s still a few more fun things up our sleeves before next week. But I suppose by heading back to Waco we both metaphorically and literally start the goodbye hugs (which if you’re at a relative’s house can take almost as long as the visit itself).

In the meantime, enjoy some pictures of the guys trying to skimboard at the beach this weekend. Clearly these were taken before Matt transformed into the “albino leopard.”

Seemingly confused by the beach they've been enjoying for the past few hours. Sooooooo. Who wants to go first?

Whoops. Ryan choosing to jump rather than risk falling. And this was before they knew they were on camera. Such boys.

But then he gets the hang of it!

So does Matt.... I think.

For story telling purposes, Mary Kate and I told Blaine to pretend to fall. I'm glad he isn't going into an acting career.

Anyway wish us safe travels! We’ll be back tomorrow hopefully with nothing too dramatic to report. Until then have a great Tuesday everyone.

Grand Prize

August 16, 2010

Matt -

Even a decently uneventful trip to the beach can really do bad things to you. Apply sunscreen every hour? Start with this:

Like milk.

End up with this:

Notice the extremely well defined pectorals. Those don't come drawn easy.

This is the exact pattern of my sunburn. Why sun, why? People are calling me “The Albino Leopard”. But my skin came out nicely compared to my truck. It pulled out one of those corny “I’ve got sand in places I didn’t even know I had” lines. Sand everywhere, the smell of salt water, it was time to finally clean out all the junk accumulated over the past summer months and get it ready to make the journey back to Central Texas.

A couple of weeks ago Ash took me to one of those upper scale carwash places. For $20 or $30, they will wash, vacuum and Armor-All (a plastic and wood protectorant) the entire vehicle. Not terrible when you consider how miserable it would be to do it yourself in the Houston heat.

So I pull up, “order” my car wash package and leave my car with the attendants. (Sidenote: Am I paranoid for feeling nervous about leaving my truck, even for just a few minutes, under the control of complete strangers?) I walk inside, pay, make myself a cup of coffee and plop myself down on the uber-comfy couch. (This place is like a car-washing palace.)

I wasn’t sitting down for 3 seconds before she was in front of me.

“Would you like to buy a raffle ticket?”

Her face looked similar to Tiger Woods responding to a press question about his recent “troubles at home”.

“Um….what is it for?” I was just trying to buy time. I had no idea what had struck. The raffle was for a competitive cheer gym. Ok, fair enough.

“Well, what can I win?”

Nothing could have prepared me for her response. NOTHING.

“Well, the uh, the…uh…thegrandprizeisliposuction but you can change…”

I snapped on the inside. Luckily I stopped myself from cussing in front of a 10 year old girl and her mother. “You have got to be shi…LIPOsuction?”

“You can change your prize to the 2nd prize which is an Apple iPad.”

Oh that makes it better. Psh. I’ve got to get more info on this. The mom looked like one of the “pressure” moms you hear about on Oprah. Not that anybody watches Oprah. I certainly don’t.

I had a $5 in my hand, and coincidentally, that’s all I needed to enter the giveaway of my lovehandle’s nightmare. I was still in disbelief. I felt I had to buy a ticket to be able to talk to the girl and the mom without being shunned as just another person who passed them up.

After filling out the card, paying the money and hearing the rest of the info, I struck up a conversation asking in more detail what the organization was.

I won’t go into great detail, as the conversation itself was about 10 mintues long, but I’ll give you the most controversial (out of context) quotes I remember:

“Well (the liposuction) seemed like a really applicable gift”

“Yeah (my daughter) used to do competitive dance, but we’re focused on cheer now”

“Dance was fun. I wish I had time for it.” – the daughter

Just those few lines really, to be frank, made me mad. This was a classic case of a mother (who also informed me she was a cheerleader in high school) that was forcing her daughter to partake in an activity that she clearly wasn’t passionate about (the girl didn’t smile at any time, except when she briefly mentioned dance).

This started me thinking. My parents were the bomb. Any sport I wanted to try, I could. Soccer, baseball (but only up to the last year of machine pitch…kid pitch scared the daylights out of me), basketball, golf, and even a couple of karate lessons. I eventually found the sport I loved and then went on from there. Turns out even the AM sports radio stations were talking about this as well. 21 year old professional golfer, Rory McIlroy didn’t start playing golf until he was 15. Oh and by the way, he just placed 2nd yesterday in the PGA Championship.

Some parents are looking for the scholarship or the big house that comes after a rookie contract is signed. And it makes me very very sad. I figure if you let the kid find his or her passion on their own, they will work so hard at it because of their own desire to that it will pay off exponentially in the end. And not in liposuction.

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