Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thankful (kid3)

I doubt that I can fully express my adoration for my third baby, my second son. When I was pregnant I didn't care if he was a boy or a girl, I was just excited to cuddle a little tiny baby again. He was born a big ol' healthy boy! He was absolutely perfect. By the time he came along, I had already experienced birth, boys and girls, I felt at peace with the fact that babies are absolutely not born skin colored. I didn't have the same concerns. My Kid3 was an easy baby, a breeze of a toddler and for the most part an easy teen. Sometimes lately when I am still I have a wave of fear rush over me that something will happen to him. He's always been the quiet sensible one of the kids. He's the one who rolls with the punches, doesn't over react and although he caught our yard on fire one fall he's been a breeze to raise so far.

When I am busy and running like crazy he's always somewhere in the background waiting for me to slow down. When Im quiet and calm he's there. I often have to remind myself to stop and be quiet and enjoy him. I am so thankful for him in more ways than I could even know. As I count my blessings he is one of the big ones. He will always be my baby, I call him "the baby" and no matter how big he grows, he'll always be my mama's boy.

Be still and be thankful

Monday, December 3, 2012

Thankful (kid2)

There is no way to put my emotions into words over my first little precious baby girl. Right now is an emotional time between her and I. She has flown the coop… moved on… and as a mother I had no idea how hard that would be. I had dreams of her growing up, going off to college, visiting her… I knew I'd miss her but I had no idea how much.

With Kid1, I wanted a girl so bad I could barely stand it. When I got pregnant with Kid2, Mr. Be and I decided to not find out her gender. We were SO patient, I would never be able to do it now. I was scared, I had decided that I only knew how to raise boys and I was sure that I was totally unprepared for a girl.

I WAS RIGHT. I don't think there is a way to prepare for a daughter. Yes, yes, we had the pink nightgowns, rosy blankets and clothes out the wazoo, but it turns out that raising a daughter is WAY more than looking cute and combing long golden locks.

Just about every decision I've made since having a daughter, I have wondered how it would affect her. How will it affect her if I wear makeup every single day? Will she feel like God didn't make me pretty enough? What about my weight (which I am terrible at), if I complain about my weight every single day and still do nothing (which I do) will she mirror my failing body image? What about words? Will I use the wrong words at everything I say and will she use them as she grows? What about advice? Will I be able to advise her properly? The answer to all of the above questions is no. I now know that I will guide her in all the wrong ways, say things I shouldn't and she will repeat them, feel fat and pass it on and give her a love of all things makeup.

I don't think there is a proper way to prepare for having a daughter but I do know this. Be still. Be still and listen to God, he will guide you and if you will be still enough to listen you will do a far better job that I could ever dream of. I wasn't still enough to listen.

I can't imagine a day without her, she is my rock, my friend, my beautiful first daughter. I wouldn't change a single thing about her, as she grows and learns that all my advice is bunk she'll turn out great!

Be still and be thankful.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thankful (kid1)

I know I have written these words or many like them before, the words about becoming a mother, the words about seeing my first child for the first time, holding him, and feeling his warmth. His first breath, his first cry, his first kick that he didn't meet my womb. He was stunning to me and as you may know he took my last breath as a non mother away. The second I saw him, I took a deep breath and little did I know my world was forever changed.

I wish I could go back in time and seize that moment, remember it better, pay closer attention. I was overwhelmed, he wasn't the color I thought he should be, he felt heavy on my weary chest… I watched him and he watched me, we stared at each other and I had no idea how my life would change. I couldn't know that my world would come crashing down over and over and how I would beg God to help me be a better mother, person and wife just for him. I wouldn't be able to wrap my mind around the worry, hurt and terror that is raising a child.

I love him. I feel like I've loved him forever and ever. I couldn't have known that I would feel that way. He has given me so much love, so many firsts, so many lessons. There isn't a way to thank him for being mine but I'd give my life for him.

Be still and be thankful.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

thankful (Mr B.)

I am thankful for my husband and I haven't said it enough. It's hard to say when you're not paying attention what it is that your thankful for. Mr. B. and I have been married for many many years but not always together in our hearts. I am positive that we took each other for granted at least a thousand and half times over the years. We have been separated by time, miles and heart aches. I know that I am thankful for him, I know that I am, but it has taken me many years to get here. I got still and got thankful.

Be Still and be thankful.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Be still… (for L)

I was going crazy last year. I thought I had all the knowledge in the world, I thought I had it all figured out. Last year my world came crashing down via my own hands, heart and soul. I reached and begged for advice from anyone who would listen and I received the most amazing advice over and over. Sometimes I listened, sometimes I didn't. Sometimes I turned and ran another direction because I was so scared. Sometimes I ran towards great advice. My whole world rested in a low valley and it was a hard pill to swallow. I was in love with ideas and my mind was in the clouds. I have come to the brilliant resolution that I know N.O.T.H.I.N.G. And you know what? Im okay with it. I don't want all the answers.

I reached out to someone very dear to me and she told me to "BE STILL". At first this made no sense to me… Be still? How could I "be still" when my life was whirling away? I couldn't stop. I couldn't stop begging, moving, running, doing, searching, crying… and all of a sudden, I was still. I stopped looking, I stopped searching, I stopped running, I stopped asking and I closed my eyes. I remember the moment. I was standing in the shower, I closed my eyes and I was still. I stood there and let the warm water run over me and I was still. I stood there, just me and for the first time in so long I had a wave of peace over me. I let my tears fall, I let my hurts go, I let the promises that I couldn't keep wash down the drain… I was still.

I don't have any advice, I don't have any ideas, I don't know whats best for anyone but I know that if you'll "BE STILL", there is peace. It's peace like a river, peace like leaves whistling through the trees on a cool quiet day. There is peace inside of you, I can promise you this.

I work to "BE STILL" on a daily basis. I'm not always successful. One day at a time, one minute at a time, one second at a time I remind myself to "BE STILL".

Psalms 46:10

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Halloween fairy and secrets...

Hello candy lovers, can we all agree that as adults we're excited to see our kids get LOADS of candy on Halloween mostly because we are going to sneak into their buckets and eat it ourselves? I love candy, Im not going to lie to you… Hi, Im Ashley and I steal my kids Halloween candy.

While raising Kids 1, 2 and 3 my policy was as follows-

1. dress up
2. knock on doors, get free candy
3. eat whatever you can stomach while trick-or-treating
4. the following day after school eat until your sick
5. the end

Now that I am raising a little girl with a sensitive stomach I can see why lots of parents only allow their babies to eat a certain amount per day. Kid4 is in love with candy like I am and she WILL eat till she's sick, like REALLY sick.

In comes the Halloween fairy. This is a WIN WIN for all of us. Kid4 choses 10 pieces of candy and she leaves the rest out for the Halloween fairy. When she wakes up, the fairy has left her a toy that she really wanted in exchange for her candy.


Does she voluntarily do this?
Yes and no. She asks if she can keep her candy. She often says no thanks, she'd rather have the candy. I say no and in the morning she is THRILLED with her new toy. It works every time and we're both happy.

The moral of the story? I get her candy. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

 My wonderful witch!

My ravishing darling candy collectors! 

My lovely ladybug!

My Beauties had a fun Halloween. 
How was yours? 

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Today I was looking into the big beautiful blue eyes of my Kid5 and thinking how my dear friend H. would have loved her so much. Kid5 is spunky, funny and full of life. H. helped me so much when I had Kid1, he was challenging to get to sleep and she taught me to rub his little face and every so often rub over an eye and eventually those little eyes will stay closed. She was so gentle with her babies and I loved that about her. When I was at wits end wondering how to get my baby to sleep she gently taught me to be soft and kind. She was soft and kind in everything she did. She never spoke to me harshly, she was truly my friend and truly wanted me to be safe and happy. I loved her and her death shook me like I had never been shaken before. Kid5 is named after her and today when I was leaned over her crib gently rubbing her face I couldn't help but to think of how H. would have loved her and how gently she would have rocked her in her arms. It's been so many years since H. has been gone that I don't think of her as often as I used to, but it's days like these that I miss her deeply. 

Rest in Peace my H. you will never be forgotten. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's a hard knock life

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ha Ha Ha!


Friday, October 12, 2012

my sugar

Sugar and spice and everything nice.
THATS what little girls are made of.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

my angel

James 1:17 
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hey there Abe, can I get your address …

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

A few weeks ago Kid4 and I learned all about the Civil War… How fascinating! Im just in total Awe at the history of the United States! What a country we live in! 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

love you forever

"...A mother held her new baby and very slowly rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she held him, she sang:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be…"

Have you read this book? I use to read this book to Kid1 all the time. It was given to me at his baby shower, TWENTY long and short years ago. When he was little I thought "how could I ever not like him?" As he grew, I soon realized that it is EASY to dislike the choices that a child makes, but also EASY to always love the child. I LOVE this child, he IS my baby. I haven't always liked his choices but I have always LOVED him. 

It's a good book. I highly suggest it. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

my happy girl

If your happy and you know it, clap your hands.
If your happy and you know it, clap your hands. 
If your happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it. 
If your happy and you know it, clap your hands.

This girl is pure happiness to our hearts. 

Dear Kid5, 
we are happy to be blessed by you, and we KNOW it!
I love you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

First day of school for Kid4

Kid4 had a wonderful first day! I am so happy because often the first day of school is really hard on her. This year we are doing a classical education program and she only goes to school twice a week and home schools the rest of the week. It's a wonderful balance for her and I. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

She's gettin' a education folks!

See this little tiny girl? The one in the picture above? The little one with a backpack and a jacket? Can you see the little tiny girlie pie with blonde hair and ponytails? Do you see her little scared face? Can you see her little pink dress? Wait… wait a minute… are we looking at the same girl? Does this college girl look at all like my little tiny Kid2? Well, she might not to YOU, but she does to me. This first day of college girl looks just like my little tiny second child, the one who was responsible for inducting me into the "I have a daughter" hall of fame. 

I can't believe she's a college girl now. She loves it, she loves every bit of it, thank goodness. So big, so so big… 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Summer stories- the ER diaries

Poor baby. She has had pneumonia for WEEKS… I took her in the first time and it was just teething, I felt so silly! This was not my first baby, shouldn't I know what teething looks like by now? Then we found ourselves in the ER again and I was positive that she must have an ear infection… nope. They said she must have gas and a fever from teething… It must be me, I must be totally overreacting! We went a third time because I was just sure that this time it was an ear infection… no fever but she was so so fussy. Strike three, she's fine, of course! At this point, I am left to really doubt my parenting judgments… ONE MORE time I take her because this time she has 103 temperature and I go in knowing that I am going to push them to really look harder… … she had pneumonia all along. I felt so sad for her and had to remind myself that I need to trust my judgment as a mom. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Summer stories- little faces

Let me tell you something about this little gorgeous girl!

She got an extra helping or two of personality when she was created!

She makes me laugh every single day!

This little beauty is a gift in every sense of the word.

I am honored to be able to raise her. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Summer stories- Zzzzzzzz


A condition characterized by an extreme tendency to fall asleep whenever in relaxing surroundings.

This little beauty is being tested for narcolepsy. We have more tests to do and it will probably take months but I have to admit, she does sleep ANYWHERE! Isn't she the cutest?!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Summer stories- the tattoo diaries :/

LAST summer my son (kid1) texted me while I was out on a lovely dinner date and said "I got a tattoo" and I replied, "you better be kidding" as I was no longer hungry. The conversation via text was much longer, as you can imagine, than those two texts and I have since wondered why it bothered me so much. Was it the lack of control? Was it that he was growing up? Was it that it's permanent and he's so young…? What if he changes his mind? I'm not like adamantly against tattoo's, Mr. B. has some, but this was my baby boy.

I can tell you that I didn't ask to see it, when I did actually see it, I didn't look closely, I wasn't thrilled to say the least. I never thought much about it, I just knew I didn't like it. Let me give you a few facts about his first tattoo.

1. he got it on a whim
2. he got it in someone's BATHROOM
3. it's a Harry Potter tattoo (enough said)
4. He didn't have a job and was relying on me for money
5. He was living at home and didn't ask my permission

THIS summer, my son (kid1) got several tattoo's and this time I really wanted to look deeply into how I really felt about this. First, I didn't really know what to say, how to feel or how I should react. I just knew that I didn't react well last summer and things are different so I needed to act accordingly.

Here are a few facts about this summers tattoo's

1. He had them drawn out and saved for them
2. He was at a professional and reputable tattoo establishment
3. It WASN'T a Harry Potter tattoo
4. He has a full time job and pays for his own entertainment and bills
5. He doesn't live at home anymore, and doesn't need to ask my permission

These facts made the tattoo's this summer easier on my mind, but there had to be more. Why, why was this easier? After some very serious thought about it, here's what I think: my son is my baby, he'll always be my baby, even when he's all grown. I have spent 20 years (so far) protecting him in a thousand ways. I have put sunscreen on him to protect his skin, he's worn shoes, coats, hats to protect him, he's taken medicine, eaten healthy and worn a seat belt… obviously this is a very short list of things. I have worked so hard to protect him and its strange to let go, to say "okay, your body is yours to do with what you want"…. and hope for the best. Is a tattoo a terrible thing? Not at all! Can it be a shocking thing to a mom? Yes, certainly it can. It's a change, it's a statement, its permanent! Is he still the same good hearted kid who will always be my little boy? Absolutely!

Raising kids is hard, having them grow up and enter the real world is hard. Life isn't always easy, I want to try as hard as I can to step back and not judge my kids decisions. I want to step back and remember to look past their appearances and attitudes and remember their hearts are good and they will always be my babies.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Summer stories- road trips

This HOT HOT summer we made many trips down south to see Bat Girl. We saw lots of neat things on the way but this is my favorite. This great giant pig is in South Georgia at a cool little store. The girls were thrilled to see it and I was thrilled to see a clean bathroom! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Summer stories- boot camp graduation

I have to admit, it was weird to see him after so long. I wasn't nervous to see him, but I was nervous to see the new things about him. I don't know what I was even thinking because a clean closet, a made bed and clean clothes is just nothing to be nervous about. He looked great, He felt confident and I was so proud. Congrats my boy, you accomplished yet another great thing!

The best thing about the whole trip? 
Having ALL my babies together again!
I love it when we're all together!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Summer stories- a lovely gift

These lucky girls were the proud recipients of a new swing set this summer, thanks to Bat Girl! They have loved it. One of the most important things for Kid4 to do is swing. It sort of resets her, grounds her, unscrambles her. When she is feeling frustrated or crazy, she heads over to our sweet neighbors to swing. It's so nice to have a swing set in our own yard so I can watch her more closely. Obviously Kid5 loves it too, just look at that face! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Summer stories- VBS

 This Summer I was in charge of crafts at VBS and let me tell you what I planned and planned and PLANNED but at the last minute I changed it all and ended up loving it! We did this cross string art for ages 1st through high school and they loved it! 

We made camel masks and they were a big hit.

We did a service project and the kids sewed these washcloths and put a toothbrush, toothpaste and soap in the pockets for homeless people and to donate to shelters. ALL the kids enjoyed sewing, I was really surprised. 

They made tye dye shirts with alcohol and sharpies and they came out GREAT!

We also painted crushed cans to recycle and delivered them to the nursing home to hang on doors and cupboards. All in all VBS was a big hit and we all LOVED IT!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Sunday

Today, Mr. B. and I decided to re-do our room. It's time, and we have had a really hard few years and need to take a little time and give a little love to our room. We used only things we already had and this whole project was free. I am so happy with it… what do you think?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

still gone

Oni boy, you will never be forgotten. 

Tears In Heaven lyrics
Songwriters: Clapton, Eric Patrick; Jennings, Will;

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?

I must be strong
And carry on
'Cause I know I don't belong
Here in heaven

Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven?
Would you help me stand
If I saw you in heaven?

I'll find my way
Through night and day
'Cause I know I just can't stay
Here in heaven

Time can bring you down
Time can bend your knees
Time can break your heart
Have you begging please
Begging please

Beyond the door
There's peace, I'm sure
And I know there'll be no more
Tears in heaven

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?

I must be strong
And carry on
'Cause I know I don't belong
Here in heaven

'Cause I know I don't belong
Here in heaven

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A year ago today


SERIOUS car accident. FEAR. RELIEF. 

A day I would rather not repeat.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Happy Birthday Kid1

Dear BABY boy,

Today at 6:15 am YOU were born.

It was a Wednesday and I had been in the hospital for a few days already because I was dehydrated. Tuesday night the Dr. started the pitocin and the rest is history.

I can't believe you are TWENTY…

I love you more than I could ever say, in fact so much that I honestly can't say.

I am all mixed up with feelings, sad that you've grown so quickly, sick that I can't be with on this day and in awe of your awesomness…

I love you so much my very first baby.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

time time time

Last night Mr. B said to me, "Do you realize that Kid1 is going to be turning TWENTY?" I laughed a little to myself because, OH, I realized! I have been agonizing over it for weeks now.  My baby, my BABY is going to turn TWENTY. I know I always say, "It just seems like yesterday…" but it does. I can still see myself pregnant with him, I can still remember the feeling of panic setting in when I realized he was actually going to come OUT of my body. I can still hear his little cry and feel his little soft hands. I can still see his little puffy face and dark blue eyes. I don't think I'll ever stop wondering how it all goes so fast, it just does...

                                                              this was 5 years ago...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I would say...



MY kid went to school with a totally bad attitude.

SEE this beautiful first day of school picture I got of him?

NO? You don't see it?


Thats because I didn't get one.

The FIRST year EVER that I haven't gotten a picture of the first day of school.

NO OFFENSE but I don't really like 16 year old boys… :(


UNhappy first day of school. I hope it's uneventful. (and by "uneventful", I mean I hope I don't get a call from the office saying "come get your bad kid")


Friday, July 13, 2012

my water babies

Were on a little mini-vaca in Alabama… I know, I know, your shocked! Mr. B. took a couple of days off (well, he worked from Bat Girls) and this evening we all went to the water park. WHAT a great little place! Kid5 detests the water but warmed up pretty quickly, especially because she loves Dusty and he was IN the water too! It wasn't an over all success though because she threw up twice :( Once on Bat Girl and once on her daddy- LUCKY ME! She is a barfer when she teethes. 

My beautiful Kid4 LOVES to be in the water and had a blast. After about an hour she decided she had enough and we cuddled until Mr. B. and Dusty were finished playing. We all had a great time, but we always do. Together is our favorite place to be!

P.S. Are the girls swimsuits to DIE for our what? I LOVE little girls in modest swim suits! I get their suits from Gymboree every year because they usually have modest and darling suits to chose from! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Green Smoothie palooza!

It's no secret that Bat Girl doesn't like her picture published. But….
 Just to prove that she does in fact pose for the actual photograph, I left her glasses in. 
Isn't she the cutest person EVER?! 

Bat Girl and I went to see the Green Smoothie girl… IN PERSON! She was wonderful. She was truly genuine and really informative. We learned a lot and are excited to start drinking MORE green smoothies…. (Bat Girl drinks one every day, I am more or less a green smoothie loser) 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Raw hide to the tune of tomatoes!

Boiling, boiling, boiling
keep those tomatoes boiling
boiling, boiling, boiling

sweat and tears and stirring
though the nights a blurring
keep those tomatoes boiling

All the things Im missin'
Feet up, TV, kissin'
are waiting at the end of the night….

wash em', cut em
boil em', scoop em
blend em, jar em'