Fear < Dreams

fears and dreams

You know those daunting dreams that we fabricate at a young age when we are full of spunk, energy and a zest for life. The ones we usually let slide to the sideline when real life gets in the way and adult responsibilities take over.

Those dreams right there are what I finally decided I was going to chase. I think as we get older sometimes we being to settle and think those dreams are too far gone. We get married, have kids, buy the house… (Not always in that order) and we put those dreams on the sidelines so we can just make it through in this busy crazy life. Don’t worry I am not pointing fingers at anyone but myself!

I am first and always will be a Momma to my 3 very active and busy boys! They keep me going from before the sun comes up until well after it goes down. I also work full-time in long term healthcare. I have a side hustle to help bring in extra money here and there making invitations. I also, recently decided to go after one of my biggest dreams! I have always had a deep love for reading and writing. I do it for fun or just to get my thoughts out of my head and onto paper.

Well,  I decided that I should give it a go and try my hand at one of my dreams. I pushed my fear of rejection aside and just went for it. I wrote an article and sent it in to one of my favorite websites! Being a freelance writer is something I have always only dreamed of. That and writing a book. The book will come with time and I am sure 1,150 re-edits, but I will get it there one day if I have to self publish and sell them on the streets for $1.00 each just to get all the copies out of my house.

I waited and waited for what seemed like a small lifetime but I will never forget the day I got an email back about my submission. They liked it. They wanted to set up a time to call and talk to me about possible writing for them regularly.

“Wait, you liked it?” No critiques or Buts.

Nope. They just wanted me to write more!

I squealed out loud as I read that message and I have felt a huge weight lift off me ever since. It’s not a paying gig, it’s not the biggest site out there, but their message is something I believe in and love and I couldn’t be happier to be a contributor for their site. Seriously y ‘all, on cloud nine feeling so blessed! I am so thankful I didn’t let my fear of being denied keep me from submitting that article.

When we let fear get in our way we miss out on what God really has in store for us. We miss all the blessing he has meant for us because we get in our own heads and say “I can’t do that.” If you never try then you will never know. It won’t always be easy and sometimes you will have to fight through opposition. That is the crazy thing about dreams though. They are worth the fight and no one can fight for your dreams but you! So Fight! Dream Big, Work hard and Make your biggest dreams come true. Put in the hard work and see what comes from it. I can tell you this. The happiness alone that comes from chasing your dreams make it worth it!

If you want to see what is going on at The Grit and Grace project, then go check out my article there and I have more launching this month!

Dream Big,

Ashley

A letter to my first born son

baby clayton

7/8/2018

Clayton,

First of all, I hope you had a wonderful birthday today! We tried to make it special but also simple and sweet. An adventure will await us soon. It still seems absolutely impossible that you are now SEVEN! It is like we took a few nights sleep and you grew up before my eyes. You know I have often heard that there is just something special between a mama and her first born. Well baby boy that is so true. Let mama explain. See you are the very first one who made me a mom. You came into this world clinging to me and changed my life forever. In such a better way! You trusted me and our bond has always been unbreakable. Momma could always make it better. I won’t lie this still amazes me. I had NO idea what I was doing when we first laid eyes on each other. Heck, some days I still don’t. The great thing though is that we get to learn together. You taught me how to unconditionally love someone and man do you show me Grace Every. Single. Day. Clayton Eli, you are the kindest person I know. Your uncanny ability to love and except everyone makes my heart nearly explode. (In the best way possible) You are already turning into such an amazing little man. You are a care giver, love, gentle, responsible and always willing to help me out with anything I am doing. The way you care for your brothers now is building the strongest bond that will always hold strong between y’all. If there are just a few things I want to remind you today on your birthday is.

clayton collage

One, Never ever forget how much I love you and how special you are to me. Our bond and connection mean the world to me. The world that you and your brothers create is my everything and our bond sweet boy; OUR BOND is what started this adventure we are on.

Second,  Never let anyone let you believe anything but how wonderful you are. I don’t know a single person in this big huge world that is kinder than you my Gentle Giant and I hope you know God gave you that special gift for a reason so always remember to use it.

Lastly, Always remember to give yourself the same Grace that you show others. On bad days, on days you make bad choices (I WILL FIND OUT ABOUT EVERYTHING, so never lie to me) and on days that you don’t particular like yourself. We all have those days, they pass! Give yourself grace though baby boy because you deserve ever ounce of that!!

I still can’t look at your baby pictures without crying and each year when I go through all of the ones I have I will cry as the years go by. Heck, I am sobbing while I write this. Because no your not my “favorite” your brothers and you all have things that make you all my favorite, but you are different. What we have is different. You were the first to call me momma, hold my finger with all five of yours, nurse endless nights while I just stared at you. You help build me, help me grow and began molding me into the mom I am today before your brothers where ever a thought. Thank you for always being my biggest fan and you will  be my Superhero!

I love you to our Moon and Back with a Hug around the neck.

Happy Birthday Big Man

Love your momma

 

My top 8 things to do for “Me Time”

rise coffee

Let me just start by saying , I love my kids and my husband with all my heart. They are literally my whole world and my entire being, but sometimes I just want to be alone. I don’t want to be summoned 100 times in 2 minutes. I need to forget about all my responsibilities and I need a minimum of 30 minutes (more is a HUGE bonus) to just NOT be touched!

The main thing we as mama’s need to get over is feeling guilty when we want, need or take time to ourselves. Yes, we decided to have kids (or in some peoples case God gifted us with a wonderful Surprise.) Yes, I know I am blessed beyond measure. Yes, I know these moments are fleeting and I will miss the crazy yelling, fighting and chaos. I get it. I promise I do. Most of the time I love these moments and find the beauty of them. Other times I am just human and I lose my shit. I cry and even sob. These moments are when I know I need to take sometime for me and get the heck away from the house. By myself where no one calls me MOOOooooM!

 

I am thankful my husband loves me at my breaking points and recognizes when I need to get away. I am forever grateful for that. In return he gets to go fishing “almost” anytime he wants and I try to be as understanding even on my worse days. However, I am realistic and I know not everyone has the same kind of arrangements. I get it that we are all in different walks of life, work different schedules, are single moms, have husbands who work out of town.

Call in the forces sister! Find some amazing babysitters, (it’s worth the money to have some sanity), give grandma or whatever she is called now a days a call, call a sibling, best friend, neighbor, Sunday school friend. Who ever it is CALL THEM! Tell them it’s life or death. Make a schedule with your best friend and watch her kids for a day and then she can do the same for you. Just make it happen. YOU ARE IMPORTANT!

Here are some of my favorite things to do when I get time to indulge in myself. Guys sometimes all that means is 30 minutes, or a day, or a weekend! Take what you can get and make the best of it.

  1. Walk through a bookstore. I love finding used bookstores and just rummaging through the shelves. I am one of those quirky weird people who love the smell of books. ❤
  2. Find a coffee shop, ask the Barista to make a pretty latte, sit in silence and JUST BREATHE. AHHhhhhhhh
  3. Pack your favorite blanket (mine is an old quilt that I actually keep in my car), go to your favorite park, sit under a tree and read! Fresh air, Sunshine and a book does wonders for the soul.
  4. Find a yoga class and go to that shit as much as possible. I mean that in the most Zen way possible. Do it and then come back and thank me and tell me how wonderful it was!
  5. Look into your local art society and see when they have open art nights. Even if art isn’t “your thing” sometimes walking and looking at others peoples art in galleries can give you a new perspective. If you are like me and art is your thing. You can spend 20 minutes staring at a piece of work that speaks to you as you examine every feeling you may be feeling. (Told you I quirky, but it’s totally endearing I promise)
  6. RUN! Sweat. Walk Fast whatever works for you and your body. Get your heartrate up, burn those endorphins and take an amazzzing shower afterward.
  7. Walk through thrift stores. I love going and rummaging through other peoples junk and finding little treasures. It’s also quiet and can be very relaxing.
  8. Get in your car, drive to your closet “drive in”, get a soda or milkshake, and call your best friend, your momma, your sister or cousin. Call your person and vent. Then let them vent. Just getting away and having someone to talk to can leave you refreshed and ready to go back home and take on the world.

If you don’t take care of yourself then you won’t ever be able to be fully at your best for your husband and kids. Don’t ever let yourself feel guilty for doing things for you. We spend all of our time taking care of others. At home, at work, at school, where you volunteer and ALL of those things are wonderful. But just think of how much better they will be when you are fully charged and feeling your very best!

happy momma

Light and Love,

Ashley

 

 

I see you momma; you are not alone

I often wonder if anyone else’s kids are as wild as mine. Why when in a store does it always seem like my boys are the only ones driving their momma (or dad) absolutely insane? The truth is they aren’t the only ones but it is always going to stand out that way to me. Let me set up the “perfect” scenario.

“Boys we are going to quickly run into the store, DO NOT ask for anything! I am only grabbing a few things to make dinner!” *Enters Store* Mom, can we PLEAASE play this game? We will DIE if we can’t just play it one time! (Me under my breathe, “Curse the people who place the dumb machines at store entrances!!!”) No we are in a hurry lets go boys. Gets in the store. Has a 5 minute argument over which cart to use because the Car Cart is already gone. Finally, in the store headed to get items. Youngest begins screaming for silicone tongs. “WHY ME?!?!” Crisis one diverted only to make it less that 20 feet and middle son now has to poop so badly that his stomach will explode right then and there. I know this because he just yelled it out to everyone in isle 3. Which is wonderful; now everyone is really staring at us.

After a not so quick trip to the bathroom we are back on course. Grab the remainder of our items and make our way to the dreaded checkout line. People without kids may think why dreaded? This means you are almost done and out of the store. Well when you have kids this means saying NO 1025 time. This means trying to unload the cart onto the belt while running 25 diversions at the same time. Putting all the items back up that your kids are screaming for. Staring down “Judgey- Judy” who keeps looking at you like you need to get your kids under control and then dealing with “Rude mouth Ruby who thinks you shouldn’t have just popped your sons bottom. When all I want to do is pay and get out of these peoples path of judgement!

Here is the point y’all. If you have children then we have all been here. It’s awful and exhausting and why most every momma needs wine, or yoga, or therapy!

I love my darling boys so much. They are my life. But man can they cause me to snap quicker than anything else in this beautiful world and “Lose my Jesus!” SOOO I have an idea. What if instead of staring down that momma or mumbling what you would do, what if for just one moment we step into her shoes? Think about a time when you have been there. Smile at her and give her a word of encouragement.

I challenge you to tell her that this will pass quickly. Pat her on the back and remind her she isn’t alone. Tell her how amazing she is and that her beautiful children will appreciate all she does one day.

From one Momma to another I want you to know I am here for you. I am in this same phase of life where things are often more wild than calm. I lose my cool and scream more than I want to admit but I also love my boys big. I tell them that all the time. We cuddle, read and play hard. At the end of the day we tell each other how much we love one another. They talk about how amazing their day was, so despite the times I lost my cool they talk about all the awesome stuff we did. Guess what? They don’t even mention when I freaked out on them for not listening to me! The days may be long and the months short, we may be figuring this out one moment to the next, but you aren’t alone!

I am right here with you and together we will figure this all out together!

God Speed Momma,

Ashley

Our Crazy Life <3

 

You know looking back my life has turned out nothing like I thought it would. Let me just say right away, “Thank Goodness!” I imagined myself single. Living in some large city living it up being an interior designer. Drinking at all those glamorous parties and living for my work. Now if this is you then that is awesome because this would still be an amazing way to live! Just not the way I would want my life to be anymore.

 

I live for moments wrapped up and smothered in kisses from my boys. Sitting with my husband on the couch watching a movie and sharing a bowl of ice cream. Chasing my wild puppy around my house trying to get her back inside when she has slipped out before I can get her leash on her. These moments I now realize are what give me life. I live on the crazy chaos. The baseball games and late nights. The homemade cookies and sloppy kisses. Baiting the fishing lines for my boys and taking the fish off the line that they just reeling in. YES, you read that right. I touch the slimy worms and the fish! Never in a million years did I dream I would be a boy mom. But her I am a mom to three super busy boys and I am killing it! I mean most of the time. I still go Bat shit crazy on the regular and must pray for grace ALL the time. If I didn’t would I even be human? Lol

 

Here is the thing though. This messy life is just what God knew I needed. He knew I wasn’t made for the life I had made up in my mind so very long ago. He knew I needed wild, rambunctious and free-thinking. It has taken me a long time to realize or accept that God knew just what he was doing when he placed my husband in my life; and then placed these three amazing boys in my life with each personalities being created so they are so different and yet so much alike. How is it that we think we know what is best for us, but then we can be so wrong?

 

I am thankful I was wrong. It may not always be what I expect, but I am glad someone far wiser than myself seen something so wonderful in me that he chose this life for me. I look forward to sharing this crazy journey with you and hope you stick around and stay tuned. It’s always a wild ride. Make sure to hold on tight!

 

Love and Light,

Ashley