Life Lately

Hey hey! Every other Monday we spend a little time catching you guys up on what’s been going on in each of our lives.

Ashley –

Hey Hey! Gosh – I feel like we have done SO MUCH over the past two weeks. We’ve had holidays and birthdays and parties which were all filled with so much happiness and love – and then we had some grief and sadness in the form of some loved ones passing away. It’s just really been a whirl wind!

Me with my Pawpaw MANY years ago. Don’t I look just like my Sophie??

Let’s do the heavy stuff first though? My paternal grandfather, aka Pawpaw, passed away on March 29th. It was a very unexpected thing, and I expounded upon my thoughts here in this post.  His funeral was this past Friday, April 6. While we were riding to the VA Cemetery for his final services, my Mom got a call that her father, aka Papa, had passed away that morning. I mean. It was incredibly emotional. And just all so unexpected. Death is a part of life, but it’s never easy to see your loved ones leave.

Balancing at the park. 🙂

Some light things? We had a fabulous Easter that was filled with celebrations of life and family and multiple Easter Egg Hunts. Cooper even had an Easter Parade that his PreK 4 Class put on for the rest of the school. The kids each wore an ‘Easter Hat’ that their parents made. It was super cute. 🙂

Easter Parade!
Egg Hunt at Beauvoir in Biloxi, MS
Painting Easter Eggs for the Bunny

Coop was on Spring Break this last first week in April, and I stayed home with him Monday – Wednesday (well BOTH kids…lol). We had a lot of fun. We made several park trips. Cooper went to the doctor for his big boy 5 yr old check up that included shots 🙁 , we went to the beach on Tuesday, and Coop even had his first sleep over with Aunt Grace on Tuesday night.

Egg Hunt at Grammy and Ppop’s

Then along with my Pawpaw’s funeral being on Friday – we had a jam packed weekend. The following Saturday, I ran around all morning getting together last minute stuff together for Coop’s Bday party that Sunday. Saturday night we went to my Aunt’s engagement party. And then Sunday was Cooper’s Party at the Mullethop Trampoline Park.

Bed Head at the Beach 🙂

Then Sunday night it was back to reality with getting things together for the upcoming Monday filled with work and school. 🙂

 

Rhonda –

I can’t even adequately describe the insanity of the last couple of weeks.  God bless.  For starters, I have been sick the entire time.  So that’s awesome.  I got well for literally like 2 days then started feeling awful again.

Easter was a lot of fun though.  The day before was supposed to be Claudia’s fourth birthday party, but we were all too sick to have people over.  So we celebrated her with some cupcakes and a couple of gifts, then let the fun spill into Easter.  I made a huge feast and Stuart and I hid eggs for the kids.  I can’t believe how much fun we all even when things are just kept low-key.

I launched my boutique a week ago and that has kept me extremely busy, as you can imagine!

When we finally had her birthday party, we all had the best time.  We got to know some of our neighbors and hang out with our usual besties too.  I am so thankful for friends you never want to leave.

We watched a lot of sunsets and did a lot of porch front sitting.

Twelve Years

It has been 12 years (TWELVE!) since I became a mother…. since I became a better person.

Nicholas Grant came into my life at a time that I was completely rudderless.  I had a new boyfriend and was living in a haze of cocktails and late nights at work.  When I became pregnant, I instantly knew and was scared but excited to become a mother.  I never expected to be a single mom but it was the greatest learning adventure of my life.  My ex-husband entered my life before Nick turned one, so my single mom life was short but important.  It taught me how to be self-sufficient, the importance of letting your village help you, how self-care is so vital.

I was not prepared for all that motherhood would bring to me – both good and bad- but I couldn’t have asked for a better child to make me a mama.

Nicholas Grant didn’t sleep through the night until he was three, has ADHD and sensory issues, is the pickiest eater on earth, never wanted to give up a bottle, had awful reflux as a baby, and is such an extreme introvert that I wonder how he is my child.  He really set me up to know how to deal with parenting problems.

He has taught me so much, among those being grace, patience, and unconditional love.  I can’t think of a better way to be taught life lessons than for a small child to literally hurl them at you.

Happy Birthday to my nerdy little hermit!  Your mama loves you beyond!

 

Happy Birthday Baby Sister

Whew! So today was a whirlwind. Today was Easter Sunday … Rhonda’s BFF’s bday AND it’s my baby sister’s birthday! Every year I usually do a sappy FaceBook post about her, but this year Rhonda and I have this fantastic blog so DUH I’m going to write a whole sappy BLOG post for Grace.

Grace is my little sister. Today she turns twenty-seven. I can’t believe that. I still remember the day my parents told me that they were going to give me a little sister. I pretty much was under the impression that she was for me. 😉 But yeah. We weren’t the best of friends from the beginning. I actually once tried to get my parents to let me sleep in the laundry room in an effort to move out of our shared room. Yup. I was prepared to put a mattress on top of the washer and dryer. Thankfully, we moved past all that drama,  😉 and now I consider her my closest friend – as well as the best sister a girl could ask for.

She’s pretty much an amazing person. I admire the way that she stands up for what she believes in and just doesn’t give a fuck about what other people think. She is incredibly caring and considerate, but she knows how to tell you like it is when necessary.

Grace is an incredible aunt to my babies. I can say without a doubt that she loves them just as much as I do. They adore her. They ask for her. They get excited to see her. They miss her when life gets busy and we can’t hang out as much as normal. She is active and involved in their lives by choice. All of that. That speaks volumes for the kind of woman that she is.

I am also so so proud of the things she’s accomplished personally and professionally. She is currently living and breathing a successful relationship and marriage that had the odds stacked against it when it comes to whether or not it would survive the distance and work that they had to put into it. (And also shout out to her hubby…because I know a marriage won’t work unless BOTH people involved put the work in) She is a FSR at one of our local banks – and she’s just doing an amazing job. She started out as a teller and has quickly worked her way up.

I’m pretty sure that it’s not very often that you can find a true best friend in your sister. I know people say that. I’m not just saying it. I’m so grateful to have her in my life. To call her my confidant and to know that she feels the same way about me. I always knew I wanted to name my child after her…in some form or fashion. I didn’t get to do that with Coop, BUT Sophie Grace got her aunt’s name. Both my children’s middle names are significant and family related. I love that. I love that you can transfer all the memories you associate with a person to their name and pass that on to someone else. There’s absolutely no other woman’s name that I’d want my daughter to carry than my awe-inspiring little sister.

So, Aunt Grace – we love you. We think you are the bee’s knees. We are so happy that we got to spend the day with you…and we hope that it was all that you wanted. Here’s to twenty-seven and beyond!

 

 

Week In Review: Ashley

Hey guys! And so another week has passed us by…and we here we are again – To share the thrilling details of exactly WHAT me and my crew have been up to… 🙂

Wednesday was my off day…and we got into all kinds of fun…and had a few too many crying/tantrum moments. Wednesday was also the Baby Daddy’s birthday soo the kids and I set out to get him a few treats.

This is Cooper trying to negotiate why his dad needs these bubble gloves. In reality, he wanted them for himself. After much crying, whining, and convincing, I was able to get Cooper to pick out an appropriate Star Wars themed toy for his dad. Of course he also wanted a toy for himself – I reminded him how he’d just had a birthday. Coop pleaded “Please can it just keep going???” lol

We also went to WalMart for a few essentials/non essentials. 😉 Sophie needed a new big girl car seat, and we just also needed some food for the house. After we dropped off all of our purchases at home, we headed to the trampoline park. I’d wanted to do a beach day but the weather was threatening with rain for most of the day. SO to the trampoline park we went. The kids were tired so it was a short and sweet visit. And yes. No pictures. Did it actually happen though?? 😉 haha It did.  I DID snap some videos. So – if you aren’t following us on all forms of our social media…you should definitely get on that!

Speaking of social media outlets…while the kids napped that afternoon, I unboxed and swatched my most recent Ulta order that came in that day. I’m for sure going to do a follow up blog post where I talk about my first impressions and how those have stayed or evolved over several times of trying these products.

Friday night, I dropped my entire wine bottle just mere minutes after coming home with it. :(:(:(:(:( It was ok though – Shaun bought more AND my kitchen floor got a nice unexpected and thorough cleaning as a result. 🙂

Saturday was just a lot of chilling. We hung out at my parent’s house. My dad started putting up the pool and filling it with water. The kids LOVED that. The water was sooo cold but they played in it for a while. Especially Sophie. She was in heaven. Aunt Grace came over after work and hung with us. And of course Uncle Shane was there 🙂

Oh! and Saturday morning I did another unboxing/swatching on our snapchat. That time it was of a little colourpop order that I’d gotten Friday night.

I will also be talking about these products in a future blog post follow up. 🙂 The left arm are swatches from an eye shadow palette (Blow Me Away) and the right are swatches from a blush/highlight palette (Double Play).

On Sunday we decided to spend a little time outside and hit up a local nature trail: The Tuxachanie National Recreation Trail The trail is 12 miles long – but we only did two miles because: kids. AND to go the complete 12 mile round trip you’d definitely need an entire day that started early in the morning planned out. There is supposed to be an abandoned WWII POW camp at the end of it – so I for sure would like to check it out in it’s entirety one day. 🙂

So yeah, that was our week/weekend. 🙂 Thanks for coming by and seeing what we were up to! What did you guys do last week?

Melodramatic Birthday Post – Ashley

You guys – it’s Spring. I always say this time of year (March to the beginning of May) is like another Christmas season. There are sooo many birthdays and then throw in Mother’s Day to end the whole shabang. So I’m here to finally talk about my little birthday that occurred last week…and do some rambling….hope you’re all in on this one.  😉

Ok, so… let’s talk about 32. My birthday was last week. Last Tuesday – at 10pm I officially turned thirty-two years old. Honestly, I haven’t even given the number much thought. Yeah, I definitely feel like I’ve reached the point where I wouldn’t mind being able to stop time for a little while. You know – stay young longer. I’ve noticed differences in my body and mindset due to aging. Generally though – I’m at peace with my age. So, why am I here blabbing on and one about it? Well I did want to take some time to reflect. Think about where I’ve been … and where I want to be. I’ve always been the type of person that lived more in the future. I always look forward to where I’m going, what type of person I’ll be in ‘x’ amount of months or years… And overall, I’m really happy with where I am now. In this 32 year old life of mine. 😉

I made the comment the other day that I really wish I knew as much about taking care of my body and had the confidence in myself that I do now when I was younger. I am and always have been a super quiet and shy person. I think I’ve mentioned before how I’m socially awkward…not just in person. Ask Rhonda. It even takes a lot for me to interact virtually…. BUT I’ve come such a long way. My highschool and twenty something self didn’t think much of herself much less take any extra time to take care of her mind and body.

Weight was always an issue that I struggled with. The size of my body was something that always made me feel inferior, not attractive, not worth getting to know. I think it is so great now that there are plus sized super models or just plus sized celebrities and public figures who are letting it be known that size does not determine beauty of self worth. I try to flood my social media timelines with women like this. Women who are larger than average, and who are so so confident in themselves. I try to make a conscious effort to compliment my children – not just on their physical appearance. I try to say things like “ Oh my god…you are sooooo cute… and such a sweet baby.” I encourage my son to interact with other children. When he approaches other kids at the park and they don’t want to play with him. Of course, he comes running back to me. I tell him, “That’s ok. Find someone else to play with.” I try to teach him and demonstrate to him that rejection stings but we can move on from that. I want my daughter to be confident in her body and not afraid to wear whatever she wants. I want my son to be confident in his body and to not be afraid to wear whatever the hell he wants. I don’t want them to doubt themselves. I don’t want them to be afraid to make new friends or approach new people – because they worry about the reaction they will receive.  Because I lived that way for so long. I still struggle with that. I’m working on it. And I’ll keep working on it. 😉

Over the past 3 years I’ve made major changes in the way I eat and think about food. I lost a ton of weight….gained some back during and after being pregnant with Sophie…and am now back – less those extra pounds. Rhonda introduced me to the NSNG (No Sugar No Grains) Lifestyle that was coined, preached, and demonstrated by Vinnie Tortorich. Eating clean. Cutting out the majority of the sugar and grains in my diet. Those things have made me a physically and mentally healthier person. I know that it has made me a better mom. When you cut the crap out from  your diet, you don’t have to worry so much about the amount that you eat. You don’t have to restrict yourself to teeny tiny meals in the hopes of losing a few pounds. AND you don’t just lose weight. You gain healthier hair, nails, skin, mental clarity, energy, and on and on and on. Something else really important that I gained? Confidence in myself. Confidence in my body. Confidence that does not hinge on someone else’s opinion of me. Confidence that is due to my new opinion of myself.

I can look back … ten … or even fifteen years ago – and where I am now? That’s not where I thought I’d be. But you know, I’m ok with that. I had this disillusioned idea of what I thought life should look like at 32. And for a long time – those aspirations and goals that I set when I was a teenager – the fact that I hadn’t gotten to or reached those goals used to really haunt me. It used to make me feel … like I hadn’t accomplished anything   at all. Which is complete crap. I’ve accomplished a lot. Because listen. It’s ok to change your path. It’s ok to quit something that no longer holds any meaning for you. It’s ok to change your mind. I am a better person now. I’m not perfect. I still have a lot of work to do. BUT I am thankful the place I am at. 🙂 For me, feeling accomplished is no longer about marking off big achievements or reaching momentous goals. It’s not about having a list of things that I can say “LOOK at all the things I’ve checked off!!”. For me I try to feel accomplished in my every day. I look to my future with anticipation and excitement for things to come; however, I relish the here and now. I focus on the people in my life. I think about what can I do in the next few minutes to make something happen. I want to “Be here, now.” I don’t want to look back and think…. I wish I would have enjoyed that moment more…while it was happening.

I think 32 is going to be great. I don’t wake up with any dread of what I may face that day. My family is healthy and happy…and so am I. I really like my daytime job, and I am so happy to have this little blog space that I get to share with my best friend. I am so grateful that each of you come by to check in on us…see what we have to say. 🙂 I’m excited for our future, but I’m loving this. This right here. This moment. :):)

Week In Review: Ashley

Soooo, let’s see… WHAT did we do this past week? Pretty much a lot of the same actually. Lol So! How about I just flood you with some pictures, and I’ll add in just a few words here and there? Sound good? Great! Let’s get to it!

What’s this?? Oh that’s just me cooking. And drinking wine. Did you know that wine makes any mundane task sooo much better? 😉 Why did I document my cooking? Well..I hate doing it. I avoid doing it at all costs. However, I decided I need to get better about cooking a home cooked meal for my babies at least four nights a week (one of those nights being left over night). So anyway, that’s me on one of those nights. Cooking it up like a boss. hahahaha

Some before bedtime playing with the babies. Sophie has been obsessed with wearing Cooper’s fireman costume, from last Halloween.

More playtime in the kids’ room. Wednesday we went to the trampoline park again. No pictures this time. I know. Bad blogger. What can I say? I was living in the moment. 🙂

I’m not sure which night this was. But again, more floor time play time.

Just look at that angel sleeping, with mom’s lipstick stain on her head. Why are sleeping kids/babies so stinking cute??? You work so hard to get them to sleep, then you just want to freaking stare at them while they do it. Even though you have a million other things to do.

When I got home Saturday evening – I had this beauty waiting on me! I spent a lot of time on Sunday pouring over it…marking things I was interested in.

Speaking of Sunday – that day we celebrated my brother’s (Shane) twenty-fourth birthday! I can’t believe it. His birthday kicks off a couple months of celebration. Spring was a popular time for births in our family. Mine is next – Then Cooper – Then Cooper’s Dad – Then Cooper’s MawMaw (his dad’s mom) – Then my sister’s. MY MawMaw’s birthday was also in April (the 4th actually), but she passed away a couple of years ago now. So yeah, LOTS of birthdays ahead of us. Cooper helped blow out Shane’s candles. Thanks to him we all had some birthday cake with a side of Cooper spit. LOL

And that’s about it folks. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed reading! What were you guys up to this past week and weekend? Hope y’all have an amazing week!