Seven Pieces of Advice to be Thankful for

Happy Thanksgiving week, friends!

Last year, I wrote a post featuring 15 Reasons to be Thankful for the Little Things — still one of my favorite posts to date. While I am still very thankful for most of those things — I must say, a lot has changed in a year!  A year of GROWTH was no joke — and in the spirit of changes, growth, and moving forward — I thought it would be appropriate to highlight pieces of advice that I couldn’t be more thankful for.  These words of wisdom have really pulled me through in the past few months, brought me up when I was feeling pretty low, and made me remember when I thought I had forgotten.

1.  “You can’t start a new chapter in your life, if you keep rereading the old ones.”

I’ve mentioned this before, and I’ll probably say it again before the year is complete — but damn!  When I set out for this year to be my year of GROWTH, I had no idea I would be growing THIS much!  The situations that have put me into a whirlwind this year have truly turned my life upside-down, right side up, sideways, and every which way in between. I’ve found myself taking three steps forward and four steps back, time and time again, much to my frustration.  When I went on my soul searching trip to New York in September, I came to this conclusion.  How in the hell am I going to fully move forward, fully start my new chapter (life), if I keep going back to the beginning of the last chapter?  Keep rereading the same story, keep diving deeper into the words and pages — keep trying to make sense of things, searching each line for an answer as to why the chapter has ended.  Instead, I just need to close the chapter, turn the page, keep reading on in the book of life to see what new adventures, new opportunities and experiences lie ahead.  Which leads into my next favorite piece of advice from this year…..

2. “I still love you.” “So love me.”  “I miss you.” “So miss me. Send me love and light every time you think of me, and drop it.” 

Probably one of my favorite parts of the movie (granted, the book was better, but c’mon..) “Eat, Pray, Love.”  It just makes sense and speaks to my soul.  Love me.  Miss me.  Send me love and light every time you think of me.. and then let it go.  We are the creators of our own suffering — We can love LOVE with our whole hearts, we can long for and miss those we care for, but at the end of the day, you are only in control of you and your person.  I can’t make you want to stay.  I can’t make you want to leave.  All I can do is send you love, light, and happy thoughts.  I can remember who we were, where we started, and see where this all ends up.  I can only be here, be present. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst — and then… drop it.

 

3. “Every day is another opportunity to turn it all around.”

I’ve mentioned this before in my Ashley:Reinvented post — and it still pushes me through each day. It coincides with another piece of advice I really enjoy: “There are always options.”  Because, friends… there ARE. I think people make shit way more complicated than it needs to be.  If you don’t like how something is, or how something is going — change it.  Life is too dang short to be miserable all the time — and honestly, this world is too damn beautiful for us to stop searching for rainbows.  Some may say I’m crazy, some may say I’m naive or bright-eyed, bushy-tailed — immature, inexperienced, too optimistic — I’d rather be all of those things than a wet blanket who is too close-minded to see that every moment is a gift, an opportunity, an experience, a fork in the road of life that could lead to possibility.  Which path are you taking?  Are you happy? “Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I fail, but everyday is a clean slate and a fresh opportunity.”

4. “QTIP — Quit Taking It Personal.” 

This has always been one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given — and I’m so thankful for it, although I find it difficult to adhere to sometimes.  I’m a typical type-A person — I take things to heart because I give a shit, and I want to be as perfect as possible.  I want to be the best. I hold myself to a very high standard of expectations, and when I fall short, or if someone doesn’t like it — it can destroy me.  Its a constant practice for me — to quit taking things personal. To relinquish the false control. At the end of the day, you can only “do you,” and everything else is garbage.  Imagine how much time you would have if you stopped worrying about what others were thinking/saying or quit taking things personal?

5. “Go on a date.. with YOURSELF.”

When going through a tough time, many people will advise you to “take time for yourself” or to “figure out what makes YOU happy.”  This concept is very simple to me, however, when you have spent so much of your life with another person — the thought of being “alone” or being “by yourself” is a little daunting. Over the past few months, I’ve found myself saying that I’m unsure of who I am, what I like, or what I want to do. So, in the spirit of “finding yourself,” I decided I would take try to be more cognizant of my time — and be sure to MAKE time for me.  We get so wrapped up in our “roles:” mother, daughter, sister, wife/ex-wife/girlfriend, friend, business owner, writer, grown-up — that sometimes we forget who we actually are.  Who am I? Well, I’m Ashley.  A-s-h-l-e-y. I like fresh flowers, folky music with amazing lyrics, long runs, and red balloons.  I like picnics, Mango Black Tea Lemonade, handwritten notes, and feeling with my whole heart — even if it hurts sometimes.  One of the best days I’ve had lately was spent just sitting by a lake. No muss, no fuss. Just enjoying a moment with.. me. Just me. Me, myself, I. Getting to know ME a little bit better. Taking MYSELF out on a date. Finding the “dolce far niente.” If you can’t enjoy a moment or go on a date with YOURSELF, who the hell else would want to do it with you?  At the end of the day, you are all you have, so you might as well enjoy yourself.

6. Additionally, “Make a playdate with your own kid.” 

A few weeks back, my girlfriend Angelica and I had a girly date — where we drank wine, ate cheese, and create vision boards.  It was SO therapeutic, and I will most likely write an entire post on this experience and the different things I put on my board.  I’ve felt like a lost, chaotic mess lately — creating this vision board and looking at it every morning really helps me put things into perspective and get back on the right path.

Ugh… so, let’s get real..

One of the biggest pieces on my board is a headline Angelica cut from a magazine and gave to me.  It read, “Go on a playdate with your own kid.”  Even typing that out makes my heart sink and I feel like crumbling into a million pieces.  This couldn’t speak more true to my current state in life.  I’ve become so… busy.  I’m working full-time, am a single mom, and I own a company that focuses on creating a village of moms who go on playdates with each other and encourage moms to do workouts with their children in tow.  Except, I’m the owner — the instructor..  and my baby goes to school all day so I can have time to do these workouts and playdates, so I can then finish workouts with these moms and rush to work, where I watch other children.  I wake up my daughter at 6:30AM, she’s in school from 7AM-6:45PM, I take her home, we do dinner/bath/story, and then she goes to bed.  And, then on the weekends, she is with her dad, so again I can work or get errands done during the day that I can’t get done throughout the week.  I know I’m doing all these things for her and our life together, but man.. I just want to have a playdate with my OWN kid. I want to just enjoy moments with her that aren’t rushed from place to place.  She’s growing up so fast — the last thing in the world I want is to blink and realize all these days I spent worrying about doing this and that, being there for everyone else — they don’t matter, because what really matters is Ella Grey, and enjoying every single second with her, and making each moment count. She’ll be big before I know it — she already is.

 

7. “The days are long, but the years are short.”

100%, friends. Ever find yourself saying things like “Dang, it’s ONLY 3PM? Jeez..” only to then find yourself saying, “Holy crap, it’s already the end of November? Where has the year gone?!” I’m noticing it more and more the older I get.  I remember growing up wishing my life away, saying things like, “Man, I can’t wait until I’m 16 and can drive!” Now, I’m closing in on 30 and I’m seriously starting to wonder where the hell the past few years went.  Putting it even more into perspective, think of where you were this time last year.  How are you different?  How are you the same?  Are you still thankful for the same things?  Did you add or subtract from that list?  It might seem cliche, it might be an overused adage that many people roll their eyes at, but guys.. it’s true.  Now is the time, the time is now.  We don’t know if we will be here tomorrow.  When you find yourself complaining that the day is taking so long, remember.. the days are long, but the years.. they are SO short.  There are no do overs and some things just aren’t going to happen. It is a little sad but you just have to embrace what is — and make the steps to change it, modify it, accept it, live it, love it.

My favorite author, Gretchen Rubin, wrote in her book “Happier at Home” this quote.. and it speaks to my soul: “I am living my real life, this is it. Now is now, and if I waited to be happier, waited to have fun, waited to do the things that I know I ought to do, I might never get the chance.”

 

What are some of the best pieces of advice you’ve ever received?  Anything that sticks out that has truly impacted your life, or made you look at things a little differently?  Drop me a comment below and let me know — I’d love to hear about it.

 

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!  I am, and will be, forever grateful for you.

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IRON-inspired and the birth of #IRONMOM

At the end of October, I was lucky enough to join Brian on his first IRONMAN 70.3 race.  It has always been a future goal of mine to one day be “fit enough” to compete in an IRONMAN, ideally doing a full 140.6.  I remember years and years ago watching footage from one of the races in Hawaii and being glued to the TV, cheering on these incredible athletes from a distance — so you can imagine my excitement when I got the opportunity to drive to Miami to cheer on one of my own!

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We arrived in Miami on Saturday, the day before the race, so we could go through bike check-in and packet pick-up.  When we pulled into the city, parked, and started walking our way to the IRONMAN Village — you could just feel the energy.  There were bikes everywhere — really REALLY nice road bikes I’m sure cost thousands of dollars.  Most of the people I saw had a mixture of nerves, determination, and excitement on their faces.  There was this… buzz.. it’s hard to describe or explain, but I can say it was contagious.  After about 5 minutes of looking around, I leaned over to Brian and said, “Ok, so.. what are the chances of me being able to actually jump into this race with you?!”  I was more than half serious — but given the fact I had ZERO training time, no bike with me, no gear, and c’mon, let’s be real.. I’d probably drown in the bay during the swim — I knew it just wasn’t possible.  At that moment, I pushed away my inner competitive (amateur) athlete and decided I was going to be the BEST FREAKING CHEERLEADER EVER.  Whatever B needed, whatever I could do — I was going to be at every transition, I was going to be consistently updating social to let our family and friends know how he was doing.  Team BA, all the way!

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After we checked in, parked the bike in the lot, browsed through some of the booths in the Village, we made our way back to the hotel, went for a swim, and then decided to head to South Beach for a “carbo-load” dinner — PASTA!  I’m sure I was an annoying little girl talking about her schoolyard crush when it came to that evening, everything was IRONMAN, IRONMAN, IRONMAN. Little did I know, my schoolyard crush was going to grow into a full blown “love at first sight” the next morning. But first, REST — and by rest, I mean Brian rested — I made use of the hotel gym and ran a good 5 miles on the treadmill and did some strength training.  Too much energy — and 5AM would hurt me if I didn’t get some training in to wear myself out.

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Oh, and 5AM — there you were!  It was early, but like a kid on Christmas morning, we were both PUMPED (although I think my cheerleader spirit kicked in a little too early.. I was literally jumping up and down with excitement). The “buzz” and energy we felt the day before was x100000000 that morning — everyone was in their swim gear, ready to jump in the water and swim 1.2 miles, then bike 56 miles, and finally run 13.1 miles.  As the announcers prepared everyone for the start, B and I sat by the water and watched the sunrise.

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And then, before we knew it..  B was off and in the water.

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img_0983I wanted to time it out perfectly — Brian and I are very analytical and time-oriented people.  We both discussed that in training, he was completing the swim in roughly 48 minutes or so, give or take.  I knew that around the 45 minute mark, I wanted to be near the transition area to catch him running by as he made his way out of thewater and running toward getting his bike. And I made it, able to cheer him on as he ran.  Cheerleader – 1. I knew it would pretty much take him 3-5 minutes to get all of his gear on and out the gate to start on the ride, so I ran (yes, RAN) all the way around the blocked area, climbed over and scaled some walls (kinda), and caught him just as he was clipping in.  Cheerleader – 2.  The bike was going to take longer than the swim (naturally), so I figured I had a good 4 hours to kill — so I jumped into the Village, shook some hands and kissed some babies — and had the birth of a brilliant idea, which I will get into a little later.

img_0993After about 4 hours I made my way down to the transition area where most people start their 13.1 mile run.  Running is my favorite, so watching these incredible people who just SWAM 1.2 miles and RODE 56 miles begin a half marathon — whoa. Talk about chills and goosebumps!  Talk about #FITSPIRATION.  And then, there he was.  Smiling. My heart fluttered. Cheerleader – 3. He said he got two flat tires on the ride, and ended up riding the last 5 miles on a flat.  Brutal!  But, he was feeling great and that smile… pretty phenomenal.  TOTALLY #IRONinspired.

Brian had huge goals for this race, but the biggest one was to finish in under 8 hours to have a qualifying time. I was anxiously waiting at the finish line for him, as I watched to clock tick closer and closer to 8 hours.  I started to worry a little — was he okay? Is he hurt? How will I know if he’s okay?  I was watching loved ones around me cheering their athletes on, and it was so amazing.  All of these people, all doing the same intense physical challenge — all of these cheerleaders, just like me, cheering them on.  So much pride, so much unity, so much energy.. it was infectious.  People were cheering, crying, hugging, loving, and were just so… happy.

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And then, there he was.

He swam, he cycled, he got two flat tires, he ran his little tail off, and somehow, someway — he finished in 7 hours 57 minutes.  I was so proud of him, like seriously brought tears to my eyes.  I couldn’t stop smiling. I just kept saying to him, “Whoa, dude! You just FINISHED 70.3 MILES, consecutively, of a freaking super intense challenge!!”  You are a rockstar.  You are an inspiration.  You.. are.. you are just incredible. I hope you know that. 🙂

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7 hours, 57 minutes — and this pretty freaking sweet medal.  He was tired, but not too tired to take me out to a burger place that evening (and for the record, I totally failed and got a vegetarian burger at a burger place.. what was I thinking? It wasn’t terrible, but damn — I should’ve decided to be a normal omnivore that night).  What’s even more sweet? The next morning, before driving home — B took me to a soulCYCLE class — because he knows how much I love it.  Cheerleaders get treats, too!

 

—————

I chatted with SO many people about IRONMAN while Brian was biking.  I was learning more and more — and started to have questions I never thought of before — why do you need a special bike for racing?  How many IRONMAN competitions are there? There are different levels of racing — even a kids race?!  If you were to travel to a race that isn’t in driving distance, is there a way to properly ship your bike?  WHOA, THEY MAKE SPECIAL CASES?!  How do you find out all of this stuff if you are just starting out?!

Light bulb.

I am no extreme athlete — I am competitive, but I compete not for placement but for fun.  Running is my favorite but I could be stronger, biking is super fun but I could be faster, and swimming — whoa, I need some serious help!  What I do know I am is… real.  And, I’m a work in progress, starting and made from scratch.  What if, I start to document my own journey as I become and IRON(wo)MAN and become an inspiration to those people who are sitting there doubting whether or not they could actually do this.  Be the example.  Set the example.  It’s what I preach everyday to my clients — and in the process continue to remind myself.

And so, #IRONMOM has been born.  I will be documenting my tri-training journey from the ground up.  Covering everything from proper gear to training days, from picking the right race to purchasing the right bike — I want you guys to be there with me from the start!  So, stay tuned, friends!  IRONMAN Fall 2017 will be here before we know it!

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Ashley and the Tale of the Red Balloon

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I got my first tattoo when I was a freshman in college. It was small — a tiny little star with rainbow stardust, on the side of my right ankle.  I was about a week into school, on my own, 3 hours away from my parents.  My first attempt at being a rebel.

A rebel.. one who gets a tiny star with rainbow stardust tattoo.

My second tattoo was the one that would change my life. And, it was completely random. Unplanned. Ironically enough, that’s what made it so magical.

I went with a group of friends who were going to get tattoos.  We spent about an hour in the parlor, looking around. Going back and forth on whether they were going to do it or not.  Eventually, both friends decided against getting one.

“What!?” I exclaimed. “We literally spent all this time here, and no one is getting a tattoo?!”

They shuffled their feet and mumbled under their breath, obviously still debating, but ultimately deciding it was best to wait before permanently marking their bodies.

“Well, I mean.. we’re here. So, maybe I’ll just get one.” I said, trying to act way more confident than I actually was.

“What? What would you even get?” My taller friend was attempting to call my bluff.

“I don’t know.. maybe I’ll just get a red balloon or something.”

“Why a red balloon?” asked my other shorter friend.

“Why not?”

30 minutes later, I walked out of the tattoo parlor with a fresh red balloon tattooed on my left calf. It was simple, a red balloon with a black string. No muss, no fuss. It didn’t need any.

There were a few days afterward where I secretly questioned why I got it. A red balloon? Of all the things to get tattooed, I chose a red balloon?! So strange.. At that point I didn’t have the same affinity for balloons as I do now. It had no meaning, no significance. It was really just a spur of the moment decision that would eventually mean everything to me.

The randomness, the “spur of the moment” decision, the “giving no fucks” attitude, the impulsivity.. that wasn’t really my style.  I’m known to be very type-A: a planner, a to-do list maker, a thinker, a high-expectations-of-yourself-and-everyone-else overachiever. The split moment impulse to get a red balloon tattoo was one of the more spontaneous things I had done in my life to that point — and I did it without much thought or contemplation. As the days, months, years passed since getting it — of all the tattoos I have, that one gives me the most joy.  It gives me life.

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The red balloon is such a great reminder for myself of important life lessons.

  • Sometimes the best parts of life are unplanned and unpredictable. And that’s okay!!
  • It’s all about the little things.  Take time to appreciate the little things, for one day you will wake up and realize all the little things were actually the big things that make life so wonderful.
  • When life throws challenges your way, pick yourself up and rise like a balloon.
  • Smile. Just smile.
  • Every little thing is gonna be alright.
  • When everyone else is finding joy in bursting your balloons, don’t let them. You are stronger than you think.
  • Fear can be two things: Fear Everything And Run — or — Face Everything And Rise.  Choose to rise.
  • You will rise by lifting others. So lift up with your whole heart and let them go.
  • “If one wants to rise like a hot air balloon, one must cut the wires and let go of the weight that hold back the true potential.”

As I’ve grown older, the balloon has become such a happiness boost for me. A muse. A hope.  I eventually added in the word “Hope” into the string of the balloon — again.. a reminder. Don’t lose your hope, don’t let it break — it can be fragile, it can get twisted, knotted, cut-off. Cherish it, and keep them high.

“Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.” — Winnie the Pooh.  Preach, Winnie. Preach.

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Friends, your life is like a balloon. If you never let yourself go, you will never know how high you can rise. Da Vinci said, “Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you long to return.” You’ve seen my descent, now watch my rising.

Ain’t nobody gonna burst my balloons anymore. I am in control of how high I rise. And the sky is limitless.

Fuck the haters, love the lovers, and rise above.

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Ashley: reinvented.

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Life has a funny way of teaching you things you never knew you needed to learn.

At the beginning of 2016, I chose a one word theme for the year — something to help keep me motivated, something to drive me and my decisions, something BIGGER than resolutions that are notorious for being broken time and time again.  I chose growth.  Growth.

Growth –  noun.

  • the process of growing.

Growing – verb

  • to become better or improved in some way

I’ve always been the type of person who had expectations of how my life would go, or plans on how it would all work out in the end.  By choosing the word “growth” this year, my expectations were that I would gain insight into different aspects of my life to live a little happier. I was seeking that “passion” in my career that everyone talks about when they say “living the dream” or “love what you do, you never work a day in your life.”  I was seeking that “drive” when it came to living a healthier lifestyle, becoming “fit” mentally, physically, emotionally. I was looking to find more sunshine and rainbows, even in the mundane “everyday” routinized activities we “have” to do. Talk less, smile more. Become a better “me” so I can be better in every other role I fill.
I had no idea how much “growing” I would actually have to do this year.

How much work I needed to do, not just in the areas I wrote above — but in areas I didn’t even know needed help.

Or did I know but refused to believe it? Or did I know but just was too blind to actually see it?  Was my heart confusing my head, or was my head telling my heart different things to protect it from getting broken?

Will I ever know?

Does it even matter now, at this point?

I’m not sure I believe in the adage “Everything happens for a reason.”  I believe that everything happens the way it is supposed to, whether there is a reason or not. I’m still trying to wrap my head (and heart) around the “not needing to understand reasons or lack of reasons” part, but I’m working on it.

Someone wise once told me, “Everyday is another opportunity to turn it all around.” I believe that. We have one life, one chance, one moment, one breath, one body, one mind, one soul. Now is the time, the time is now.

Remember. Stop crying in the corner of the kitchen. Pick up your pieces.  Dust off your shoulders.  Breathe in, slowly let it out.

Remember. Smile from your liver. Stop, Cancel Cancel. Everyday is another opportunity it turn it all around.

Remember. 10 miles, barefoot. Stronger than you think. Move forward. Look back, but only to enjoy the memories and then let them go.

Remember. 26 breaths per minute. Take another one. One foot in front of the other. One more mile ran. One more sad song. “How does it feel?”

Remember. “I’m not in love with you anymore, I’m in love with someone else.” “Eat. Workout. Clean yourself up.” Supernova. Everyday is another opportunity to turn it all around.

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mber. “Today is going to be a great day. The sun is shining, a few clouds in the sky. And today is going to be a great day.” “God, please help me.” Send me love and light, and drop it.

Remember. She’s looking to you. She deserves it. She is everything. She will learn from you how to get through the seemingly impossible. Find rainbows everyday.

Remember. “They will be lining up at your door.” Columbia. Afternoon movies and bookstores. Falling more in love with the city that never sleeps. Can’t start a new chapter when you keep rereading the old ones.

Remember. Prospect. Central. Try new things. Talk less, smile more. Move forward, with me. Everyday is another opportunity to turn it all around.

Remember. Just remember.

 

You’ve got this. Don’t you forget it.

Find rainbows everyday.  When you are living the best version of yourself, you inspire others to live the best versions of themselves. Love the person you’ve become because you fought to become her. Sometimes the negative things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the BEST things that will ever happen to us.

Growth.

Ashley: Reinvented.

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Quick Update!

Hi friends!

Whoa, it has been TOO LONG! Here’s a quick update of what has been going on in our world:

About a month ago, Ella turned 2.5.  It’s almost as if to the DAY she turned 2.5, she’s gone kinda crazy.  I never wanted to believe in the phrase “Terrible Twos” because — well, I mean, she’s adorable, how could she ever be TERRIBLE?  But, alas — I’m in a constant state of learning, and there have been several moments over the past few weeks that weren’t exactly… great. Sometimes the tantrums are short lived and easy to manage, but those other times… phew!

It also appears that Ella has now hit a sleep regression period that feels like it is slowly killing me.  We’ve been extremely lucky in her short life so far — she’s been an excellent sleeper!  I’ve always hated telling people that she started sleeping through the night after about 2 weeks of bringing her home — but it’s true.  Now, she won’t fall asleep unless you are laying with her.  After about 3 hours of sleep, she wakes up, and either comes to get me to lay with her in her bed, or crawls into our bed.  Some nights, this is completely okay, because she actually sleeps.  Other nights, its a toss-and-turn-all-night-pillow-fight that leaves both Raux and I feeling exhausted.  Lately, it feels like that latter is becoming the norm — and most days I feel like a walking zombie trying to push through until bedtime, so we can do this dance all over again.

Despite everything though, I must say that I’m grateful for this opportunity to grow through these challenges.  I know it may sound silly — but in reality, things could be much worse.  I know the world is big and she’s two, so these changes are just a natural progression of growing up for her — and I’m thankful that I get to be here to help her through it.  Plus, it’s a fantastic opportunity for me to progress in my own growth, and patience training. 😉

Other than our sleep struggles and attitude adjustments with Ella, we’ve just been pretty busy lately!  I’ve been consistently working out at least 5-6 times a week, and have been incorporating more runs into my regime for marathon training.  We also have added on two upcoming side projects — both are fitness related and super fun.  More details soon!

I’m hoping to balance out my crazy a little better in the next few weeks, and make more time for writing on here.  Ideally, I want to get back to posting 2-3 week — and I’m looking forward to sharing all the exciting happenings with you all soon as they continue to develop!

If you don’t follow me  on IG or FB — please do!  I’m constantly adding amazing pictures and fun stuff on those pages, moreso than on here. Let’s keep connected! 🙂

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

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A Love Letter (or, A Tale of Desperation from a Sleep Deprived Momma)

Oh, you.  I remember you.  So well, in fact.  You were like a dream — in fact, I embraced you with that notion in mind.  Dream.

You know how they say hindsight is 20/20?  I fear that when I had you in my life, I took you for granted.  I didn’t give you the appreciation you deserved.  You had been there, pretty much since the beginning.  When others were doubting they would ever see you again in those early weeks/months, I would stand back and say nothing.  A slight smile would curl at the end of my lips, because.. I was confident in US.  I knew all the work, the scheduling, the routines we had built were solid.  We were a team.  We made it work.  We MADE it.. 2.5 years of greatness.  I thought the hard times were behind us, and we had persevered with grace, dignity. We were unstoppable.

I didn’t tell you that enough.  I didn’t express my gratitude enough.  I didn’t remind you that you are beautiful. I didn’t let you know how much you meant to me.

I wasted time.  I piddled away valuable minutes, hours. Time that I will never get back.  Time that we could’ve spent together.

People warned me about this.  People said this could happen — but I refused to believe it.  People told me when you were there I needed to take advantage of every opportunity to be with you — but I didn’t.  I found other things to occupy my time — wasteful things.  Irrelevant things.  If I wasn’t with you, I could’ve been productive, at least.  But I wasn’t.

I fear things may never be the same. You are distant now.  You come and go, sporadically — sometimes you are here, sometimes you are gone.  Sometimes I force being with you, and it hurts — like I’m trying to hold on to something that wants to be let go.

I’m finding myself going to extremes to have you stay.  I bought new sheets — did you notice?  New pillow? New blanket?  It’s fun colors and super soft — I thought you would like it.  Did you see I upgraded us to a new BIGGER bed?  I thought that would be a welcome change compared to the squeaky crib mattress, or pile of pillows and blankets on the floor.  I’m sure it was hurting your back as much as it was hurting mine.  I did this all with you in mind.  I did this all for you.  For us.  So we could be together again — on a consistent, regular basis.  Like we used to be.

As much as it hurts, I understand that this is happening. I get it.  I mean, she’s growing up.  This is part of life — and I’m sure these past three weeks of missing you aren’t going to be the last ones we have for the next 18 years — or forever.

But, in case I forget to tell you.  In case I fail to mention.  In case we never see each other again —

I love you.  I miss you.  Please come back.  I promise I’ll be better, I’ll treat YOU better.

You. Complete. Me.

Longingly yours,

Ashley (aka the sleepless momma who is currently going through sleep regression with a cranky and tantrumy  2.5 year old –and is dog-tired and can’t help but focus on all that is lost — sleep.)

For reference: 🙂

Ella Grey with BagheeraTsum Tsum bedding

We’re back!

Ahh, friends!  We are back!

I spent a week trying to figure out how to transfer my sweet little blog from a .com to a .org hosting — and made a complete mess of things!  Can you believe it? 😉  However, finding the silver lining — I’ve learned so much more about how to run this page — and am excited for more changes in the near future.

Meanwhile, as this mess unfolded.. here are some pretty cool accomplishments our little family made in the past two weeks (with some pictures!):

  • We are in full force potty-training mode!  Because of this, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to keep clothes on this child — she wants to be naked ALL.THE.TIME.
  • I have two special projects I’m currently working on that are almost near completion — both are creatively based, which is SO awesome!  One of the projects was supposed to launch last weekend, but we ran into a few bumps along the way — technology 1, Ashley 0. I’m hoping for a June 1 launch for (at least) one of them.
  • My Granny turned 80 last week!  That is so incredible to me — and she’s my hero.
  • Ella went on her first slip-n-slide! She loved it — and so did we!

EGDadaslipslide

  • We are experiencing a bit of 2.5 year old sleep regression — that I’m learning is because of her two year old molars coming in.  Seems the little girls only wants to fall asleep with one of us in her room with her — and she sneaks into our bed in the middle of the night.  I’m still not 100% this is the best decision, but I’m enjoying the extra snuggles while I have them.
  • I failed Whole 30 this month — but I’m already starting to meal plan for June!  Plus, this month we tried out Hello Fresh, and holy-tasty-food!  I’ve been REALLY enjoying every meal I’ve made so far, and they are fairly healthy for you — bonus!
  • Ella’s language has been EXPLODING — she’s definitely made it to the “Mockingbird” stage. She’s growing up — which makes me so incredibly happy and sad at the same time.  Oh, and did I mention we visited her potential preschool — yeah. I cried.
  • We were super lucky to have a DATE NIGHT (well… it was more of an afternoon, but still!).  Raux and I went to see one of our friends in a show, then went to check out the new Town Center area of Disney Springs.  Even got to hang out with “Auntie K” and enjoy some delicious food and cocktails.  “MOM ON THE LOOSE!” Really, though — it was a blast.  And, we waited in line for 30 minutes for a cupcake, which was silly — but worth it! 🙂

I’m so happy to have the blog BACK up and running!  We are currently working on changing up the appearance, so look for some changes coming soon!

Happy Monday!