Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Emerald Isle

Ok, by my calendar it has been nearly 5 months since our wonderful honeymoon in Ireland. Also, by those same calculations, it has been entirely far too long since we have updated. So, on to an update about Ireland.

There are almost no words for how beautiful the Emerald Isle is. When we left Fort Worth the weather was a hot and muggy 90-95 degrees. When we stepped onto Irish soil, the weather was a brisk and wonderful 55-65 degrees. I (Ashley) immediately felt right at home.
We gathered our bags and made our way to the rental car counter where we received our economy- size Volkswagen Polo. The first day of our adventure felt a bit like a movie, "Just Married" to be exact. We piled into our mini-car; Austin at the wheel and me as his fearless navigator. I got out our tourist map to study and Austin got acquanted with his surroundings. Ireland drives on the opposite side of the road than America. It was familiar to me, since that is how it is in Zambia. Our hotel in Dublin was supposedly close to the airport and the guy at the rental counter had full confidence in us that we could find it without any problems. FOUR hours and 15 roundabouts later we finally pull into the parkling lot of our hotel after an intensely stressful jaunt around downtown Dublin. We were exhausted, frustrated, and hungry, and feeling anxious about how the rest of the trip would turn out.
I am glad to say the rest of our trip picked up. We spent the first few days in Dublin and then made our way to the west. We spent one night in Galway (where they are famous for their hookers) and then caught a ferry that took us to Inish Mor, which is part of the beautiful Aran Islands. Inish Mor was our favorite thing about Ireland! Only 800 residents live there year round. It is a bit secluded and absolutely gorgeous. Nothing but green grass, miles of rock walls, sheep, cows, beehive huts (once home to monks) and an awesome real-life fort called Dun Aengus. We stayed in a nearly 200 year old bed and breakfast called the Kilmurvey House. The owners of the Kilmurvey house just added on, so we got to experience the luxury of the new guest accomodations and the ambiance of the historical landmark. While on Inish Mor, we walked and explored and relaxed...perfect! Our hosts at the Kilmurvey house were so hospitable (and had Irish accents so thick that it took me several seconds to process what they said). One night we did not realize that the local eatery (the pub down the road) was closed and that the guesthouse itself was not serving dinner. It was about 8:30pm and we were pretty hungry since we just returned from a 3 hour exploration walk in the cold. Our gracious host took pity on
us and went back into the kitchen to prepare us a delicious meal of Irish brown bread, locally produced cheese and ham, homemade scones, and hot tea. It was the best meal we had the whole week (well, except for maybe the lobster thermidore I had two days earlier)!!!
After Inish Mor, we headed back to Dublin to wrap up our trip with a visit to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells and then a stop off at Nude (nude is owned by Bono's brother). Can you imagine all the puns that we amused ourselves with about Nude??!!?!
Another highlight of visiting Ireland was being mistaken for a local. One day I was in a shop looking for a wool hat and a lady from Georgia turned to ask my advice about what color hat she should get for her daughter-in-law. When I told her I liked the blue one she laughed and asked me where I was from because she thought I was Irish. I even fooled the shopkeeper! I guess I give myself away when I open my mouth.
So, overall, the Perry's give Ireland two thumbs up and highly recommend you visit someday!

All smiles at DFW waiting on our plane.

We used every bit of room in that car with all our luggage.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Don't give up on us!!

Yesterday Austin and I celebrated our 3 month wedding anniversary!! Yippee! And with that we celebrated 3 months of life without internet! It actually has not been bad....except for the fact that I think we have been forgotten about in the blog world because of our lack of posting. The only time we are able to use the internet is on campus (or if I am at Meg's on Wednesday nights for "So you think you can dance.") I will say that it has been nice to be unplugged and not have the laptop permanently glued to my lap.
On another note, we have FINALLY moved in and decorated our living room!! This causes much excitement to well up deep within me because I now feel like we have a home. Maybe inspiration will hit and I will take some pics for your viewing pleasure.
This is it for now because they are kicking us out of the library.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

From the bottom of our hearts....

Here we are waiting to board the plane at DFW. Newlyweds for about 44 hours...

Apologies first...
To any and all that check this blog, let me first say that I am sorry I left you high and dry for all this time. Life got exceptionally busy and is only now starting to calm down. Also, since Austin and I are poor, broke seminary students living on love, we do not yet have the internet at our apartment. Actually, the biggest reason we do not have the internet yet is because we have not gotten around to it yet. This post is coming to you from the Comfort Inn in Hot Springs, Arkansas. We are here for Nathan and Stacy's wedding (Austin's younger brother). God Bless free wireless internet!

I am sure many of you have seen pictures of our wedding on other blogs. But if not, or if you want to see more, go to . From there, scroll down the list and look for "howard/perry wedding" and the password is "howard". Now, you can have countless hours of viewing pleasure.

The wedding went great and it was truly a wonderful day! We went to Ireland for the honeymoon and can we say AMAZING!
Since returning back to Ft. Worth, we have been keeping busy with work. Since getting married, the most exciting thing going on with us is the wedding we will be attending tonight.
I will say, however, that I have some amazing friends and family. If it would not have been for their help, I do not know what I would have done. There are too many people to thank. Everyone truly went above and beyond and I am grateful! Also, if you go over to the Bufkin's blog, you will have the chance to see a cinematic treat! My BFF-in-law, Justin, put together a video montage for Austin and I as a wedding gift. When that guy says he is going to do something, he does it and does it RIGHT!!! Let's just say that our mother's have watched it like everyday since the wedding and cry everytime! Also, Meg Sanks is a jewel and wedding coordinator extraordinaire! She worked her tail off for me!! And believe me, Meg, it did not go unnoticed! It was also nice to have my own personal assistant. Deanna came in for the wedding and was there for my every beck and call. I swear it was like that girl could read my mind and did things for me before I even had a chance to ask. And, obviously without my parents, and all my mother's creative ideas, I do not know what I would have done. I could go on and on about how each person contributed to make May 20 special for me, but this is not an acceptance speech for my Academy Award, so I will end here.

Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy. (Now, I hope this post will satisfy all those who have been saying nasty things about us for not posting.That includes you, Marisa!)

I will save honeymoon stories and pictures for another post.

Stacy, Nathan, Austin (before he got his hair chopped), and Ashley at Amanda's graduation in May.

Monday, May 01, 2006


Currently I am on page 3 of a 15-20 page systematic theology research paper that is due Wednesday by 4pm.
I would currently rather.....
*pluck out every hair on my body with tweezers
*Be on my honeymoon in Ireland
*Be riding some of the fun rides at Six Flags
*Be studying for a final on Wednesday
* take a nap
*Finish packing up my house to move out on Thursday
*watch tv
*go to the movies
*take a shower

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Recent pictures

We thought since some of you haven't seen us in a while, we'd give you some recent pictures to help with your input on the previous post. Just keep these in mind when you reply to Ashley's post asking for wedding advice. Here is Austin and his current hair and Ashley's nose.

Friday, March 17, 2006


So, I have a new addiction.

Over the years I have browsed through the millions of items for auction online but I have never seriously thought about buying anything....until about a month ago. A little bit ago I discovered that I needed a new computer cord for my laptop. Since my computer is three years old, it is considered obsolete by Dell standards and therefore they have quit making the cord for my computer. So what is a girl to do....that is right, Ebay to the rescue.
Well, I ordered the computer cord and it arrived at my home a few days later. I know that it is a used cord but it looks like it had been super-glued in one place because it is suspiciously shiny. So I sent an email to the seller informing them of my shiny cord and I never heard back from them. After a few weeks of no-answer I decided it was time to leave some feedback on the seller (For anyone who is new to ebay like I am, feedback is apparently something taken very seriously by the ebay community. It is their way of rating buyers and sellers and keeping track of sellers you can trust. And remember this was my first time to ever do this). So I give the transaction and seller a negative rating and listed that my reasoning for doing so was failure of the seller to answer my email.
The next afternoon I am sitting on my couch enjoying spring break and wasting time looking at blogs when my cell phone rings. It was a number I did not recognize and instead of screening it I decided to answer. When the voice on the other end started speaking I could almost hear the bottle-cap glasses and pocket protector. It was the seller of my computer cord. He was calling in response to the negative feedback I had left him the night before. He was telling me how he had sent me an email immediately after I had sent him one and blah, blah, blah. He even resent it to me while we were on the phone. Apparently the original one got lost in cyber-space. So after a painfully awkward phone call that lasted about ten minutes we decided to mutually withdraw the negative feedback....and now all is well. And I also learned that nerds love ebay.

So, back to the addiction. After finding my computer cord on there, I started looking up other items that I am in need of and am finding it difficult to find in stores (and finding them at a lower price!). Just yesterday I won something for the wedding from there that is at least $70 in stores. I was so happy that I found it on ebay and won it for half the retail price. And currently, I am keeping my eye on some pottery barn sheets that go with our new bedding that are being discontinued at pottery barn.
I think I like ebay because it combines two of my favorite things: shopping and sitting on the couch!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Tag!! You're It!!!!!

Since no one took the hint from Austin's post, I take it upon myself to TAG people in hopes of geting some response in filling out the survey. Austin was so proud of the questions that he made up himself, and he was also excited to see what the other responses (your responses) would be.
So, I am tagging the following people to answer the questions in the previous post:

1. The Bufkin's
2. The Michael Sanks family ( I do not know what the proper plural for "Sanks" is)
3. Jason Herrington, aka Melissa's stalker
4. Melissa, the stalkee
5. Kristin and Bradley....or at least one of you!

Ok, I think that should suffice for now.....
And some names might be added to the list in the near furture....

(I am posting b/c I am procrastinating. My mom will be here in about 5 hours and I still do not have a clean room!!! I have until my class at 2pm to get it clean. Here I go......)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Useful Info about Austin and Ashley

I (Austin) still don't know how I feel about some of this blog stuff. For example, "blog" words like "tagged" just seem a little, um, let's say cheesy (not my first word choice). The idea is ok, that you ask your friend to fill out some kind of survey and pass it on and they're fun to do and (sometimes) fun to read, but they are what they are.
I was reading one of these "you've been tagged" posts recently and I thought Ashley and I could answer some similar questions. And maybe we'll ask some of you to answer the same ones. And maybe we won't. And if we do, feel free to not do it(as far as I am concerned, Ashley does not share this opinion). Whatever you want.
I won't tell you whose answers are in red and whose are in blue. You'll be able to figure it out pretty quickly. Where the answers happen to be the same, it is purely accidental, we answered these separately. Pay close attention, these facts may come in very handy one day if you are playing Trivial Pursuit:Austin and Ashley edition.
For anyone interested, some random likes and dislikes (in fours) of Austin and Ashley:

Four favorite television shows: Pardon the Interruption (PTI), Jeopardy, Allie McBeal (surprised you didn’t I?), and Spring of Trivia (a Japanese show), Alias, Rachael Ray – 30 minute meals, Friends, American Idol
Four recent books I have read (and finished!): Beowulf, Grendal, Under the Black Flag (about pirates!), and Trouble is my Business (Raymond Chandler); The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Peas and Thank You (Veggie Tales), The Five Love Languages, The latest Ashley Stockingdale book (Kristen Billerbeck)
Four cities I would like to return to (for vacation): Kobe, Japan; Assisi, Italy; New Braunsfel, Texas; Edisto Beach, South Carolina; New York; Istanbul; Washington, D.C.; Astoria, Oregon
Four cities I would like to visit for the first time (for vacation): Casablanca, Morocco; Seattle, Washington; Singapore; Lusaka, Zambia; Cape Town, South Africa; Paris, France; Las Vegas, Nevada; Sydney, Australia
Four dream jobs: Novelist, Pro Football Player, Music Critic, Travel guide writer; Superspy, Socialite, TV Talk Show Host, Rock Star
Four favorite Garth Brooks songs: You Move Me, What She’s Doing Now, Learning to Live Again, Much too Young . . .; Callin’ Baton Rouge, Two of a Kind, Wrapped up in You, Ain’t Going Down ‘Til the Sun Comes Up
Four favorite Beatles songs: Michelle, Here Comes the Sun, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, Hey Bulldog!; Yellow Submarine, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Hey Jude, Can’t Buy Me Love
Four favorite sports teams: Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs and Techsters (all sports), St. Louis Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Georgia Tech Yellowjackets; Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and Techsters, Dallas Mavericks, Texas Rangers, William and Mary Swimming
Four scariest animals: Killer Whales, Foxes, Hyenas, Pelicans (but only the "fighting" ones); Snakes, Hippos, Lions, Putsi Flies
Four websites I view often:, Louisiana Tech Bulldog Barks and Bytes, ESPN, yahoomail; google, gmail, friend’s blogs, theknot
Four foods I love: fried okra, sandwiches, okonomiaki, chicken and dumplings; fondue, chocolate, cheese, Thanksgiving dinner
Four of my favorite works of art: Ashley, The Old Guitarist, M.C. Esher’s Waterfall, Himeji Castle; Starry Night, The Sistine Chapel Ceiling, Victoria Falls, Cafe at Night
Four dead people I’d like to have dinner with: Both Grandfathers, Marco Polo, the apostle John; My Grandma, the apostle John, Thomas Jefferson, David Livingston
Four favorite hymns: Amazing Grace, Come Thou Fount, Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee, Be Thou My Vision; It Is Well, Joyful, Joyful, How Great Thou Art, Holy, Holy, Holy
Four favorite flowers: Cherry Blossom, Climbing Rose, Dogwoods, Dandelions; Tulips, Stargazer Lily, Gerber Daises, Daffodils
Four movies I could watch all the time: The Princess Bride, The Seven Samurai, The Last of the Mohicans, License to Drive; Sweet Home Alabama, Just Married, The Last of the Mohicans, The Sandlot

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Still on cloud nine!

Ok, if you read my last post completely then you know I promised pictures of the long awaited ring! Seriously, it was an ordeal to get a picture of it. For some reason, everytime I tried to take a picture of it, it would now show it was invisible or it would just look like some bright spot in the picture. Well, here it is for your viewing pleasure and also, for the story of the engagement go to our wedding website listed under my links on the right.......

Austin designed this ring all by himself (which is a great story that you should get him to tell you someday)! All that I had ever really told him was I liked antique-looking.
So you might be wondering about the side stones.....they are tanzanite. Don't go to Google just yet, I will tell you about them.....Tanzanites are only found in Tanzania and are blue-ish/purple-ish in color. Also, apparently, they are a super soft stone and pretty fragile (I know, I can hear the gasps now as you think about my gracefulness). A long time ago I happened to mention to Austin in passing that when I was in Zambia, many of the missionary ladies I knew had Tanzanite jewelry and I thought it was a pretty stone. That boy pays attention!!!
I LOVE the band on this ring. The filigree that Dale the jeweler did is amazing!! I told Austin I wanted to bake him (Dale) some cookies to thank him because he did such a good job.
This is a picture of us soon after we got engaged on Christmas Eve. The picture is great and all but I mainly wanted to post it so I could show you what I cropped out of the bottom left corner of the picture............
I think all the excitement just wore him out!!!!
(This is Austin's dad!)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Me and Alexander

Have you ever read the children's book
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?
If you have read Amber's blog lately, then you have read how she thinks bad days come in multiples. I must say that I agree with her. It seems that for the past two weeks things just don't go my way. It has truly been a series of unfortunate events. I will spare you all the details of my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days because I am not looking for a pity party. It got so bad there for a while that I told Austin I would not blame him if he wanted to rethink marrying me. But alas, he is so GREAT and DREAMY...he says that I can not get rid of him that easy.
So in other procrastinating news....
It seems as if I only update when I am putting off school work (hence this post). My, how my posts have changed over the last three years. I went from updating frequently and writing about how cool Africa is to seldom posting and writing about how school stinks. Wow.
And maybe I don't post as often these days because the whole blog thing is not that new to me. Yes, that is right, I have been a blogger for over 3 years now.....I was a blogspot user when you had to PAY a monthly fee to be a about incentive to post.
In any case, I am glad so many of you have finally seen the way of the blogger and decided to follow it. But before I end, let me give credit where credit is due. I would have never become a cool blogger user if it had not been for my friend Kari Masson (Borders). You should read her stuff, you will think she is cool too!
*Next post to come: THE RING!!!!!!!!!!!
(Can you tell that I learned how to link words to websites!!!)

Monday, January 30, 2006

It looks like maybe I have been living in Texas too long! Here is a picture of me (Austin) and Ashley plowing a field. As you can tell by the amount of rust on the tractor, it took us a long time. The tractor was new when we started. Big field.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Saturday, January 07, 2006

What is that noise in the distance??

Ok, so from reading the comments of my previous post, I am gathering that many of my fans out there have put two and two together and know I have some BIG news to share (and it seems that most already know the news). Well, for those of you left in the dark and sitting on the edge of your seat, here it is......I made all A's and a B+ this past semester!!!!!! Oh yeah, and I am engaged!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOO HOOO!!!!!

On Christmas Eve, Austin and I were in Heber Springs, Arkansas (where my parents live). We were spending the day with my family until that night when we would drive an hour south to Little Rock to spend the night with his parents. The day was normal (well, as normal as normal can be around the Howard house). Earlier that day my sis, my bro, and Austin and I made a last minute Wal-mart run to pick up a couple more gifts and some groceries for Paula Jean. While at Wal-Mart I mentioned to Austin that when we got back to the house that my dad wanted me to wrap some presents for him and Austin quickly asked me to do the same for him....and I lovingly granted him his request.

Turns out that sneaky Austin used the time that I was wrapping presents to ask my dad if he could marry me. That story is pretty humurous, especially if you know ol' Buddy at all. Let's just say that Austin caught my dad completely off guard!

So now it is about 5pm and we leave my parent's house. I am currently under the impression that we are headed to a cute part of Little Rock called the Rivermarket. It is pretty and runs along the river and it has some shops and restaurants. For weeks he had been saying that he wanted us to go there on Christmas Eve to have some time for ourselves (like a mini-date) and without our families (hey, that sounded great to me!). He had also been saying for a couple of days that he wanted to pick up his sister another present from there. So naive Ashley fell right into his plan!

Now it is 6pm on Christmas Eve and we are driving through the Rivermarket in pouring rain!!!! Of course all the shops are closed and neither one of us are about to get out of the car. So, Austin keeps on driving and finally comes to stop in a parking lot in a shopping center. In the center of the shopping center there is a large covered area that is like an amphitheater and it has some fountains around it. Austins informs me that due to the rain this is where we are going to have our mini-date. I am still clueless to what is about to go down.

We make it under the covered area and Austin begins his speech immediately. Unfortunately for him I had no idea how important what he was saying was and I kept interrupting him by saying, "Awww, thanks!" and "I love you, too!". I was also interrupting him by kissing him everytime he said something sweet. Even to this point I didn't realize what he was doing! Then he took my hands and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was in complete shock!!! My first words to him were, "Are you kidding me!!!!!" After a couple seconds of uncontrolable laughter I said yes!

Can we say worn out! This whole break has been non-stop busy! We were gone from Ft. Worth for nearly two weeks and I do not think I spent more than two consecutive nights in one bed. Not to mention that I was sick the entire time! We traveled all over while we were gone. And this post would have made it out sooner if it weren't for the fact that Arkansas does not have internet! Well, at least our parents don't.

So now my life consists of fielding wedding questions from our mothers and looking through my Martha Stewart magazine and wedding planner! For anyone wondering, the wedding will be May 20, 2006 at First Baptist Sherwood, Arkansas at 4pm. So, mark your calendars and save the date!!!! Also, beware....I will soon be tracking you down for your address!

And pictures will be coming soon, too!!! We have tried to take pictures of the ring, but they do not turn out well because it is so sparkly!!! What a terrible problem!