Best Of love

In an Instant


In an instant.
That’s how life goes when you become a parent.

One instant you’re laying in bed with your husband,
your toddler sleeping soundly in between you both,
you glance over, your eyes meet, he gives a half smile
and you know exactly what his half smile and sparkling eyes are saying in that moment,
because you feel the same way: There’s no where I’d rather be right now.

A mere instant later, your baby awakens from his deep sleep with hysterical cries and high pitched screaming. You don’t worry, because this unexplainable occurrence happens nearly every night.  You just murmur at the unfortunate timing as your husband scoops up the baby in an attempt to soothe his sobs.

Thirty minutes, an empty bottle and diaper change later and the tender moment of earlier has passed. The movie you were going to throw in and stay up late to watch while cuddling is suddenly forgotten. Because the thirty minutes you spent calming your child reminded you just how tired you really are.

So you give a quick peck on the cheek, crawl onto your own side of the bed and fall asleep…in an instant.  And then you wake up, and you do it all over again. and again. and again.

Until you wake up one day, and say to yourself: That’s enough. It’s time to try harder.
Because even if you marry your soul mate, and have a love story that could be a box office hit,
marriage still takes work. And marriage with children takes added effort.
And patience. And kindness. And forgiveness.
And acknowledgment of the little things you do for one another.
And love–sweet, unconditional love.

And as much as you wish every day could feel like that first date,
with the fluttering in your tummy as your fingertips grazed for the first time,
and the almost painful explosion you felt in your heart every time he stole a glance at you from across the room… You’ve learned that you have to work for that. Earn it. Re-create it.
Because you’re living in real life now. And in real life there are bills, and deadlines, and little humans to raise.

Real life can be tiring.
And there’s something about being tired that makes you forget to be kind.
Until you remember…they’re tired too.
Because you’re in this together.
Real life will only get in the way of your love story if you let it.
Don’t let it.



Dear Benny,
you make me a better person.
you make me happy.
you make me me.
and i think you are perfect.
i love you with every ounce of my heart.
love, Lee

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  • Reply
    Mandi @Mandibeingcrafty
    September 24, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Thanks for this! It actually does hit really close to home right now. Sometimes I feel my husband and I are just going through the motions of the day. We both need to remember why we fell in love and got married. Thanks Ashley you are truly the best!

    • Reply
      September 25, 2011 at 8:49 pm

      I couldn’t agree more. Loved this post, it touched my heart, and made me remember. xoxo

  • Reply
    September 24, 2011 at 8:28 am

    This is perfectly written & so true for all marriages with children!

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    Salena Lee @ A Little Piece of Me
    September 24, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I can totally relate. Thanks for sharing this. I recently posted something about my marriage and this is totally what I needed to hear. Totally my family except 3 little ones screaming and crammed between us on our bed. 🙂

    • Reply
      September 24, 2011 at 10:40 am

      there isn’t a night when at least one of our four isn’t in our bed. it definitely makes “alone’ time difficult to come by! but someday, too soon, those little ones won’t want to snuggle with us, and so i won’t wish it to hurry!

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    katie boatright
    September 24, 2011 at 11:09 am

    I love it, sometimes when you have been married for a while and have a child you forget those times where he stole your heart. I need reminders every now and then. You have a beautiful family. Thanks for the post.

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    September 24, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Cute,sweet, and to the point! Sometimes we all need a reminder!

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    September 24, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I was one of the lucky ones to watch you two fall/grow in love. There can be perfection in the way two people fit together and you kids have it. I’m sure that the addition of Mr. W has only magnified how amazing you two are for eachother.

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    September 24, 2011 at 11:43 am

    You have no idea how much I needed this right now! I’ve been wondering where the excitement of getting to know each other and falling in love went. My husband and I are both extremely stubborn people, and now we have a baby too, and we need to learn to work at it a little more, because it’s all worth it! Hope you have a wonderful day!

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    September 24, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Thanks for the reminder. To true.

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    September 24, 2011 at 11:47 am

    beautiful post! thanks for the reminder! Marriage is a lot of work but totally worth it!

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    September 24, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Amen! I think we do get too comfortable in our routines and forget that we have to work at things. Thanks for the post. Have a great weekend!

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    September 24, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Oh my goodness, you are just so great with words 🙂

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    September 24, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Beautifully written!

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    September 24, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I needed this today too. Thanks so much.

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    September 24, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    this brought tears to my eyes-thanks for the reminder-it’s so true

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    Jen Frias
    September 24, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    This is why I read your blog, I can always relate to you!! Being a new mommy myself, my hubby and I go through the same thing every night. I am a stay at home mommy. Reading your blog always puts a smile on my face. You inspired me to start my own blog. Thank you!!! Keep doing what you are doing!! Xoxo

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    September 24, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    So precious. I like to hear things like that…where others realize anything worth having is worth working for. I feel that way about my husband and am so blessed he allowed me into his life… 🙂

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    whatever DeeDee Wants
    September 24, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    An instant is right! I have been thinking about this a lot lately.
    Sometimes I find myself so wrapped up in taking care of my son that I forget about showing my love to my husband. I need to stop and think about my husband more!

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    September 24, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    This is a beautiful post. A great reminder to all of us. Thank you for sharing.

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    casey wiegand
    September 24, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    you could have written that from our bedroom, LOVE this post of course! LOVE YOU- I get to hug you TOMORROWWWWWWWWW

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    September 24, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Can I just say, I am in Love with this post! Awesomeness!

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    September 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    My heart just melted over this post. Adorable.

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    September 24, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I love this one!! So true. Thanks 🙂

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    September 24, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Ahhhh… What a great post! Nothing to add… just thank you.

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    September 24, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Such a great post!!! I love it! Thank you! Absolutely love the bob marly quote!!

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    September 24, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Beautifully written!

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    Amanda M.
    September 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    That was so perfectly beautiful and real, LMM.

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    September 24, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Way to put it into words! Sounds like a journal entry I wrote around the time I was ready to be pregnant with Lola 🙂
    It is always true though, and don’t you just love the beauty that is in the depth of your love knowing that you both totally get it? Can you imagine if one person was out of touch and didn’t get why things had changed? It is such a blessing to have good husbands who are totally present and who you can feel the love from even when you aren’t as deserving 🙂 That’s how I feel anyway 🙂
    ps sorry W is sick! and forgot to tell you the other night your hair looked amazing!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    you say things so eloquently. I completely agree. IT’s such an incredible blessing to be married to a great man 🙂 you two are adorable!

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    Laura @ Laura's Crafty Life
    September 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    This is so sweet and so true!

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    Erin Carr
    September 24, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Thank you for posting this. Gosh, either we must be all going through the same things in life (because you always post things that I need to hear at that moment), or you really just know what I personally need to hear! Haha! Seriously, I love reading your blog. And today….I really needed this. Thank you Ashley!

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    September 24, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    So I’m not the first to say this, but that’s definitely where WE are coming from right now. With a 2 yr old boy, and a girl on the way, this is our life too.
    Thanks for putting it in such a nice way. This is seriously our talks we have. 🙂

    ps, the pumpkin choc chips cookies with icing, oh my heavens! Made some and have been giving them away as to not gain 1,000 pounds. 😉

  • Reply
    September 24, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    any relationship definitely takes work and we’re realizing this as he’s deployed overseas and we’re talking about marriage when he comes home. it’s not always easy but it will be worth it. if you give everything you’ve got to making it work, it can only turn out beautiful.

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    September 24, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    this was absolutely beautiful! 🙂

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    Kathy Martin
    September 24, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks for the post. It’s very well written and having been married now for 19 years to my guy, and raising our child who has autism, I can truly relate to the work that a relationship is! It’s so important to make time for ourselves, to reconnect as a couple. 🙂

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    Colleen Pierre
    September 24, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    This is a beautiful post! Marriage is so effortless before kids because there’s very little to get in its way. After kids, everything gets in its way and the effort begins. I married my husband for so many reasons that I constantly remind myself of. Kids can wedge their way into every aspect of us, but the important thing is to always remember why you married him in the first place. Thanks for sharing this and for making me think way more than I wanted to this Saturday afternoon! Enjoy the weekend-

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    September 24, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    This was the sweetest thing! Loved every word.

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    September 24, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    i love this. and thank you for being open and honest. and for not just putting up a “perfect life” front on your blog. it is truly inspiring. and i needed to hear this today.

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    Jenny Lynn
    September 24, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    It seem as though you have been a fly on my wall watching my family and I. Everything in this post hits so close to home. It made me cry, it made me think, it made me act in a better manner towards my husband. Thank you for sharing. It makes me feel better that it isn’t just me.

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    September 25, 2011 at 12:09 am

    I’m reading this in my daughter’s hospital room with my twin ten month old girls (one of the babies just had heart open heart surgery). Let me tell you, this is exactly what I needed to hear. Marriage is a relationship that should always be nurtured, especially in times like these. Thank you for the reminder and the heart felt post.

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    September 25, 2011 at 2:25 am

    This hits so close to home and is just what I needed at the moment. I will probably be referencing the Bob Marley quote a lot when I need reassurance. Thanks!!!

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    Lauren Gross
    September 25, 2011 at 4:36 am

    You nailed it!

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    September 25, 2011 at 7:08 am

    This part is so true and yet so easy to forget:

    Real life can be tiring.
    And there’s something about being tired that makes you forget to be kind.
    Until you remember…they’re tired too.

    Thanks for the reminder. Very nicely written and very relevant to me life.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks for posting this… it is exactly what I needed to hear. It is funny because just this morning my hubs and I were talking about how much we both miss the times when we were dating and how exciting it was and now with two littles it is hard to find the excitement and you forget the way the butterflies once felt. I know this is so cheesy, but sometimes I watch those cheesy movies or tv shows just because I love watching people fall in love and have crushes on each other because it helps me remember. Just a thought, you should write a blog about how you remember those times and what you do to keep it alive?!

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    September 26, 2011 at 12:55 am

    love love love this post! so great

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    Mrs Sparks
    September 26, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Wow. Beautifully written. And I love the images at the bottom. Amazing.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    How perfect is this. Sounds like my night and my life. Driving my toddler around the town at 2 am to get her back to sleep being grumpy…having my honey say “you’ll miss this someday”…. You said it just right. Thank you for your insight.

  • Reply
    ana {bluebirdkisses}
    September 26, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    So soooo true!

    I have been thinking though, I think I like this calmer more secure love better than the racing heartbeat and butterflies. Sometimes I think those were caused by not knowing exactly what the future would hold…maybe not being 100% sure if the love was being reciprocated. But now I know. I know we are a team. I know we are in love. I know we are commited to one another, so there is a calm, secure love…and I secretly kind of love it!

    But it does take effort…every day, marriage takes effort and making sure to not take it for grated.

    I loved this post.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I hear you 100%!!!

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    September 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I post on this topic often…more of a reminder to myself than anything…because I never in a million years believed this amazing man I chased and finally married after 15 years would ever be taken for granted but he is more than he isn’t. I never thought we would neglect to kiss each other good night but we do. I gripe and complain far more than I should and hug way less…but when I look at him my heart still flutters…his simple smell makes me weak…and yet by the time we get the boys to bed, the house picked up and sit on the couch with our laptops we are spent. And I find that it is possible to miss him even when I am sitting right next to him.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Wow, I think everyone needed this post! They always say how much work a baby is but they never tell you how much work your marriage will need after having that baby! What once used to be just us looking out for each other turned into us spilling all of our time into surviving parenthood. It’s so easy to let life and exhaustion get in the way of what started it all. It should be a priority to have couple time everyday, whether it be just sitting and holding hands or hanging out and just having an alone, adult conversation and not about the kid or a 2 minute hug… whatever works, just do it. We are living by this now because we have let so much time get in between us. I love my husband even more for trying so hard and it’s an inspiration to me to try harder and to sometimes put us first.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    My mom said the 1 thing she wished she had done with her marriage to my dad was date nights, something they verrrry rarely did. It would be 1 night a week, just the 2 of them (poor me!) talking about all things NON me! My fiance and I are already practicing and have been the last 2 years, even single monday 🙂

  • Reply
    emily anderson
    September 26, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    i had to chuckle at this comment:
    “and you know exactly what his half smile and sparkling eyes are saying in that moment”

    yes, mr. anderson’s eyes and half smile are always saying “let’s make out!” especially in those moments.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Very beautifully written and so true! Marriage is a lot of work itself throw in a baby or two and its a battlefield. Since we do not have a family close to us we wait to either have my parents visit us or we fly to Seattle so we can have time alone.

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    September 27, 2011 at 12:42 am

    Thank you for this sweet post, Ashley. It’s so, SO true.

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    September 27, 2011 at 4:37 am

    Just to quote everyone else- “this really hits home!”. I can’t explain how amazing it is to hear that I am not the only one. Thank you so much for the reminder! 🙂

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    Anna @ The Guiltless Life
    September 27, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    I think this is probably true for all marriages and relationships, period. Not even just romantic relationships, though definitely those. Sometimes with work, career, jobs, kids, pets, situations, travelling, anything – you can be tired, stressed and the inner crank can come out and you are a nightmare to be around but remembering the other person can make a big difference, and being gentle with each other in those moments can make any friendship or relationship suddenly improve. Thanks for the post!

  • Reply
    September 27, 2011 at 6:33 pm


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    September 27, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Thank you for this post! You said it so well and it is so true. Thanks for reminding me of what’s important and to really work better at it…=)

  • Reply
    Aileen Billdt ~ Lil' Buckaroo Designs
    September 28, 2011 at 8:20 am

    OMgoodness Ashley! See….this is just another reason why I love you! You could have been talking about what happens every night with us too! The glance, the moment interrupted by the crying, the 30 min later with an emply ‘ba-ba” and changed diaper and now two tired parents who dose off with the little guy in between us instead of continuing with the plan of some snuggle time on the couch. Oh……and the truth you speak about needing to work harder! It’s our 13th wedding anniversary this weekend and I hate to say that we haven’t given it much thought as far as plans. Reading this has reminded me that it IS important for us to take time out for us. I will be making some arrangements tomorrow so that we can have an “US” weekend and go back to our own box office hit love story! Thank you!!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Like so many of the previous posters have said: thank you for the reminder, such a relate-able topic

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    Jennifer J
    September 29, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Thank you for this eloquent reminder. I need to re read this every day.:) We have been married for 7 years and now have 2 little ones and every day is important to make the most of your little family and make sure your hubby knows how much you love him. Thank you. Love your blog!

  • Reply
    September 29, 2011 at 2:02 am

    hi there. just found you in the blog world…your blog is very lovely and this post is awesome. its so nice to know that you’re not alone. That other women/mama’s have these same moments. It is also refreshing to hear words of encouragement to work for your marriage. to value your marriage. thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    November 10, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Well said. Marriage requires falling in love over & over again. No matter how busy life might get, even the moments we have to take care our of little ones … are so worth it, because that is the virtue of being parents together. Although you might of wanted to stay up late with your husband, there is always going to be more time to spend some quality time alone, even if one night is changed in a tiny instance by our little ones, it’s okay, because your marriage & your little ones are worth it all.

  • Reply
    On Being a Better Wife - - Little Miss Momma
    September 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    […] little things are the most important. Because they add up to the big things. Ben has mastered the art of the […]

  • Reply
    October 16, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    What a wonderful post. I loved it. And yes, a marriage with children takes a lot more work. I am figuring that out quickly with my first baby only 6 months old. I just began reading your blog a couple weeks ago, and am loving it! I have needed a new book to read, but haven’t found anything good. I’m so glad I found your blog. I love reading your love story! So fun. I have around 20 or so journals from high school and up, and totally can relate to needing to write out thoughts. Thanks for your blog, I love it!

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    A mush for your love story
    March 4, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    could you and your family be any cuter?! With so many marriages that fall apart around me… yours encourages me and gives me hope!

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    November 9, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Such beauty written on a page. And now I feel guilty for reading this at 9:14pm while my toddler is fast asleep and my husband is on the couch across the room. It’s been time, to make time, for a long time. We just celebrated our 8th anniversary during a VERY busy stage in our lives…but our marriage is most important.

    Thanks for the sweet reminder to be just that.

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    November 26, 2014 at 6:35 am

    I had the most loveliest chills as I read this, for my husband and I are right here in this exact moment with our second little boy. It is a perfect and messy time and you convey the love so wonderfully. You write beautifully and I’m so happy I’ve found your blog.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2020 at 11:44 am

    Perhaps because of Herve Leger Replica how we show our pieces, or just the assumed way of Herve Leger,

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