Best Of live

Rough Start and Redemption

Much Love Illy poppy headbands

Much Love Illy poppy headbands

Headband c/o: Much Love Illy
Necklace c/o: Lisa Leonard Designs
Bangs for a day from here

We got off to a rough start today.
Wesley was up all night, awaking with fits of hysterical crying, sleep talking and walking. Even my perfect, angel baby Sawyer decided he needed to wake up to eat FOUR times last night. Needless to say, eyes were heavy and patience ran thin as we attempted to go through our morning routine nearly an hour behind schedule.

After spending all morning battling him to put on clothes, I got Wesley to school 30 minutes late. Being late is just about my least favorite way to start the day. Especially when it comes to Wesley—my sweet son who so depends on structure and routine to function at his best. And I hate sending him to school without the proper tools to equip him for his day.

On the way home I grabbed a Diet Pepsi (because I figured I deserved it).
I pulled into the driveway to see Ben bringing the trash cans to the curb with the same dazed expression on his face that I had. I got out of the car and walked into a home that resembled a battlefield.  Every couch cushion and pillow was on the floor, train tracks strewn about, and yesterdays dishes still in the sink (my pet peeve).

I sighed.

I wasn’t necessarily stressed.
Or even overwhelmed.
I think I was too tired for these emotions.
Rather, I sort of matter-of-factly looked around the room and resolved that this was how I would be spending my day.

Even when Ben walked in to kiss me goodbye, and I told him:
It feels like I spend every minute of my life cleaning this house.
Even when I said those words, it wasn’t in the way that I’m often guilty of…
It wasn’t in that back handed way, where I (not so) subtly make sure he knows just how much I do around here every day (I’m not proud of this, in case you were wondering). Nope, when I said these words today, it was more a statement of fact rather than a plea for validation.

And then he did something…
Something I should have expected from a husband with a heart like the one he has. Without giving any words in response, he put a soft smile on his face and he just started cleaning…putting cushions back on the couch, folding blankets, throwing away diapers.  His cleaning only lasted a few minutes before he needed to leave for work.  But his actions told me what he didn’t say with words. His actions reminded me that we are totally in this together.

While his help certainly softened my heart, I sighed again as he shut the door behind him and headed off to work. I decided I would tackle the dishes first, and I headed into the kitchen.  Before I had a chance to turn on the sink, I heard the front door unlock and open.  I looked over my shoulder to see Ben, standing there with his hand reached out.

Ben: Come on, let’s say a prayer together.

My heart fluttered.
This was just what I needed.
What WE needed.
And I loved him even more for knowing that.

We kneeled down, held hands and poured our hearts out to Heavenly Father.
We acknowledged and gave thanks for all the ways we were being blessed.
We addressed our specific trials and prayed for strength and peace.
We said Amen, and immediately I didn’t feel alone with my burdens anymore.
Not only because I shared them with Ben, but also because I know I have a Savior who bears my burdens, and redeems me of my shortcomings.
This prayer gave me the tools I needed to get my day back on track—to not let this day be wasted on negative thoughts and a bad attitude. With that prayer, I started my day over.

Ben left for work again and I turned on the Norah Jones station on Pandora, wrapped Sawyer to my chest and started unloading the dishwasher with a smile on my face and a weight lifted off my shoulders.

Try it.
Prayer, I mean.
Even if you’re not the praying type.
Even if you don’t believe in the same God I do, or any God for that matter.
Even if you’ve been disappointed in the past.
Try the form of prayer that works for you.
Maybe it’s meditation, or journal writing, or just a few moments of uninterrupted time to yourself and your thoughts.  Try using this time to reconnect with your partner, to get back on the same page, and start your morning with the tools needed to equip you for your day.

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  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 4:04 am

    This is my favorite post you’ve ever written. EVER. And that’s saying a lot because I always love everything you write!

  • Reply
    Aimee S.
    October 24, 2012 at 4:04 am

    This is such a beautiful post, Ashley. Thank you for the sweet reminder and for sharing your day with us–the trials and the triumphs! You are such a blessing!

    • Reply
      Aimee S.
      October 24, 2012 at 4:05 am

      Also, you look gorgeous in the pics! Love the bangs. 🙂

  • Reply
    Haleigh Barrett
    October 24, 2012 at 4:08 am

    I love this so much Ashley. Prayer is such a wonderful gift and knowing we have a Father in Heaven who listens is such a comfort. I’d love to hear your conversion story sometime! I’m a convert myself and plan on serving a mission soon. It’d be such a great strength to me and to others to hear your story. Thanks for sharing this sweet part of your day. I’m so happy for you that Ben is so thoughtful and intune with the Spirit.

    Prayers and blessings to your family <3

  • Reply
    Kelsey Arnett
    October 24, 2012 at 4:13 am

    This is a beautiful post! i often forget how much prayer helps- which is bad, but i also feel that sometimes i need to be praying every hour or maybe every five minutes (lol)

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 4:33 am

    Just what I needed to read tonight. That was my day too. We are never alone, eh?:)

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 4:59 am

    What a beautiful post. I actually cried a little bit reading it. You and your H are so sweet and I love that you work as a team.

  • Reply
    Olivia @ I am still learning
    October 24, 2012 at 5:04 am

    I need to remember this. My life is pretty much in the same position as yours lately. Newborn + a 4yr. old and learning how to balance 🙂

  • Reply
    Kerry @ Climaco Classroom
    October 24, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Beautiful. Perfect. Thank you for this reminder.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 5:56 am

    One of my favorite sayings is: When life gets too hard to stand… Kneel.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 6:06 am

    WOW! What a wonderful post. I am so glad I decided to read it before I went to bed. It is spoken from the heart and it’s a message I really needed today.

    I am an empty nester, so I don’t face some of the same things you do, but it was a very sad day in the ER where I work. I am missing my daughter who is in Afghanistan and then my son was in a horrific car accident this weekend. But, it’s time to get on my knees and PRAY! Something that I don’t do often enough.

    Thank you so much for this post. A beautiful way to end my day. Thanks for the gentle reminder of God’s love
    for us.

  • Reply
    Michelle Tanner
    October 24, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Guess I shouldn’t really be surprised that god led me to read this post at 2 am half asleep with a one week old newborn waking me every 20 min to nurse and his twin brother still in the NICU and just the chaos that is my life right now. Such an honest and beautifully raw post that I needed to be reminded of. Thank you Lord for using Ashley’s words to speak to me this evening.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 10:31 am

    ooooo, you are sooo cute!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    October 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Absolutely beautiful. Although please tell me that those pictures weren’t taken that very morning? Because I am leading the same life over here with three kiddos and I’m pretty sure it would take some major construction to get me looking like that! 😉

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    What a sweet moment. It’s amazing how these small moments mean the most and do the most for your soul!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    This is such an amazing post, thank you so much for sharing.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    It is amazing what a prayer can do. I often forget to do the simple things (like that) to help me with small or big problems.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Thanks for the prayer reminder. I woke up this morning to a kitchen full of messes myself. And I was thinking, “boy this is all I do all day…everyday.” Glad there’s somebody else like me! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Tears in my eyes reading this. Just what I needed to hear.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I’m not a very religious person, even though I grew up in a very Catholic-Italian household, but I totally understand the type of day/thought you had. My son is 7 weeks old (with colic and reflux to boot!), I have a toddler and I also have a 9 year old with behavioral disorders, so I get how important it is to have structure within the house, but not achieving it when you’re dead tired! My form of finding my center and calm is a relaxing bath and book after the kids go to bed. My baby was up a lot last night, too and very unhappy, so even though I still have dishes in the dishwasher and clothes needing to be folded, I am sitting here drinking my coffee and catching up on blogs, while the baby is sleeping, tot is watching Daniel Tiger and oldest is at school 🙂 Hang in there!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Thank you for the reminder to pray. These past few weeks have been difficult and I needed the reminder to rely more on prayer. Although I’m not a momma (yet) I feel like all of your posts speak right to my heart. I am grateful for loving Heavenly Father who knew what I needed to hear at the right time- your post. I agree with a previous commentor. I would LOVE to hear your conversion story. I have been a member of the church all my life but hearing about people’s conversion stories helps to strengthen my testimony. I have a feeling we would be good friends if we ever met.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Inspiring post, thanks for sharing <3

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    What a great post!!! Thanks for sharing!! Prayer is so key in everything..we often forget to pray when we need to most. I’m so guilty of this.

  • Reply
    Hannah Wetzel
    October 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    In July, my husband and I welcomed our third child. With a 3 year old, a two year old and a newborn life is pretty hectic, especially since my husband is active duty Marine Corps and is busy all the time. Throw in a calling from Church (we’re LDS too) and I’ve got more work than I can handle. Some days I really do feel like I spend each and every moment of my day cleaning and have little room for anything else. Thank you for sharing this and know that we’ve all been there are some of us are there every day. It’s definately refreshing for me to read that I am not the only one with little struggles like these. And prayer is beautiful…God bless you!

  • Reply
    Ilene @ Much Love, illy
    October 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    beautiful post! i do not know what i would do without prayer. it is such a privilege to go before the throne of God with our needs and even desires! p.s love these photos of you rocking some Much Love, illy swag – you look gorgeous! thank you!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    thank you for this! i feel the exact same way sometimes, and i know saying a simple prayer and putting it all out there helps so much. i just need to remember and do it more often.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    What a heartwarming post!! Such a sweet husband to help with the little time he can, and then help again to say a prayer! Such a simple answer to help us every day that we too often forget, I know I do anyway. Glad he was able to help turn your day around. Thanks for sharing and for the reminder!

  • Reply
    Michelle Eisele
    October 24, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Amazing post, and amazing advice. Thank you for sharing this today, it’s the kind of day I’m having and it’s nice to hear you’re not in it alone. Other’s moms have the same concerns, worries, and responsibilities. You are great! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    This post hit so very close to home. I needed to read this. I love your blog, thank you so much for sharing special moments like these. Feeling very uplifted and inspired.

  • Reply
    debbie Mollner
    October 24, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    YOU MAKE ME SO PROUD!!! I thank God every single day that he blessed me to have a niece like you. Love you soooooooo much Monkey Woman. Auntie Bubbie

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I have never once commented on a blog before, NEVER. But I feel that I need to say thank you! I just started reading your blog a few weeks ago and I love it! The way you write and tell your life story leaves me uplifted and more times then not leaves me with tears in my eyes. Thank you for giving me a little push through the day to keep going and realize that others are going through the same types of struggles as me. Your writing is beautiful and I love it! For that I say… Thanks!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    How blessed to have a partner in life who knows you so well. Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt story. It made my day!

  • Reply
    Wendy Orme
    October 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Well, now you’ve gone and made me cry! LOVE your blog. Hang in there.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing:) I needed this. My husband and I are expecting our first and I’m 5 days overdue. I’ve been miserable and have had migraines:( I know God only give us as much as we can handle , but I needed to read your post to give myself a little attitude adjustment 🙂

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    This post was so meaningful. I think its really amazing that you shared this experience with everyone. Stopping to pray is sometimes the best thing we can do. Thanks for always inspiring me 🙂

  • Reply
    Kim kirstiuk
    October 24, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    I absolutely reared up by this post because I’ve been hear many times before … A little prayer goes a long way – one day I hope to get my husband on board 🙂 Bless you and enjoy the rest of your day 🙂

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Thank you. Tears welled up as I read this – Just wanted I needed to be reminded of today.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Oh goodness what a perfect time for this post. Sometimes I need to be reminded to slow down and pray.
    P.S. No matter how it’s going with your “secret” right now, your hair looks gorgeous in these pictures!

  • Reply
    October 25, 2012 at 4:39 am

    this post is perfection, absolute perfection. thank you.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2012 at 5:55 am

    Such a wonderful reminder, I have been feeling this way often lately. I will try this.



  • Reply
    October 25, 2012 at 5:57 am

    I absolutely love this post! And I might need to know what bang color you have bc I’m pretty sure I would need the same one!! You’re adorbs!

  • Reply
    Misty Blue
    October 25, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Thank you so much for this post. I have referenced it in my blog post, as it inspired me to confess a secret and come “clean”!! haha. punny. Here’s to patience and motivation and turning days around for the better!

    check it out here if you have any time/desire to 🙂

  • Reply
    October 25, 2012 at 6:16 am

    Isn’t it amazing what power He has over us. My husband and I hold hands and pray each night before falling to sleep, thanking God for our day, even though it was a bad day. I believe the power in God. I love your blog.

  • Reply
    Nicole Gallaher
    October 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I believe this is one of your BEST posts. I cried from the emotion in it; the beauty in the relationship you have not only with your husband, but with your Heavenly Father. Thank you for always being transparent with us. I feel as if I know you personally, and I enjoy so much our “walks” through your life that we as your readers share with you.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! It was a perfect reminder that we aren’t ever completely alone 🙂

  • Reply
    October 25, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    What a wonderful and inspiring post! My first time here and sure enjoyed my visit. I will be back! Have a blessed day.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Wow. I needed that! Thank you.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2012 at 3:36 am

    I feel like this was one of your best posts yet, and I am so excited that you decided to share it with me….actually with all of us! I am only 21 years old and I do not have a family on my own, but I still connect with your story and the messages within them. You are such a genuine and beautiful human being, and you lift up my soul by posting such truth. So I guess in a word or two…thank-you.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2012 at 8:10 am

    As a new mom this really touched my heart. Thanks so much for sharing it and God bless!

  • Reply
    Stephanie Riley
    October 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I recently found your blog from a pin on Pinterest about curling your hair. I’m so glad I found you – I admire your vulnerability and authenticity SO MUCH! Where were you sharing your life when I was struggling with my own issues of insecurity and anxiety when my kids were the same ages as yours? (They are now 10 and 13…and life has evened out tremendously). Your words resonate so much with me, along with the leaning on Our Savior as the source of strength. Thank you for having the courage and taking the time to be such a source of inspiration.

  • Reply
    Hilary @ Lambieblog
    October 28, 2012 at 1:03 am

    I love the realness of your blog and beauty in your writing. I wish Ben could teach classes on perfect husband skills! There’s a lot of guys (girls too I suppose) out there missing that sensitivity chip. Praying for peace for your home. You’re a great mommy!

  • Reply
    Little Italy
    October 28, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    This made me cry. Maybe God knew I needed to read this right now. Because most days I come home exhausted, tired from pouring myself out for children who deserve it. But when I get home, I’m done. And completely overwhelmed. And I don’t even have kids of my own!
    I need to pray. Pray when I can’t find the words or the strength. Mind you, I’m terrible at it. I always feel like I never know what to say. But He does.
    Thank you thank you thank you for this beautiful reminder.

  • Reply
    October 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this post. I had a day just like this yesterday. I got home from work, walked in the door and just felt …. Depleted. Cole (my fella) asked me what I wanted for dinner as he played his noisy video game and in that moment all I could do was shake my hand at him and run down the hallway to hide in our bed. I needed to just disappear.
    But just as you said, I needed my own moment of prayer. Just a moment to reflect, relax and let the world around me just mellow out. Now I’m sure your prayer and mine are very different styles. But I love that its ok. And I respect you so much for saying this. With so many bloggers and honestly people for that matter, I feel we misunderstand. We are all essentially the same beings. We have the same needs but jut different variants on how to meet them. And I couldn’t love you more for your honesty about your difficult moment and your understanding in that we all need to just reflect, relax and ‘pray’.
    Thank you my friend. Xo.

  • Reply
    Jessica Williams
    November 1, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Hi Ashely, I know this is an older post but I saved it because right before I read this I had a friend post a scripture on Instagram and thought of it when I read this. It is Isaiah 40:11, “He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those are with the young.”

    I have a 5 1/2 month old and this really encouraged me, hope it does the same for you.

  • Reply
    Jessica Williams
    November 1, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Hi Ashley, I know this is an older post but I saved it because right before I read this I had a friend post a scripture on Instagram and thought of it when I read this. It is Isaiah 40:11, “He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those are with the young.”

    I have a 5 1/2 month old and this really encouraged me, hope it does the same for you.

  • Reply
    Amy @ Counting My Kisses
    November 9, 2012 at 5:40 am

    This post? I loved it. Such an amazing reminder that something so simple can be so beautiful, so unifying, so cleansing. I’ll carry this close to my heart for a long time~ it’s just the reminder that I needed today. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    March 19, 2013 at 4:27 am

    L.O.V.E exactly what I needed to read today 🙂

  • Reply
    January 9, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Great site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find high quality writing like yours these days.

    I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2014 at 6:27 am

    Ashley, What a wonderful post. I found your blog not too long ago as well as some other inspiring women out there with (mom/life) blogs and I was inspired to start my own. I read this post and feel like I was sitting on your couch, coffee in hand talking to a girlfriend. I can relate on so many levels, I have (3 yr old and 15 mos) two boys and I have truly enjoyed reading your experiences and know that I am not the only one that feels this way. Thank you so much for inspiring stories and sharing your faith in our Savior. Such an inspiration.

  • Reply
    September 6, 2014 at 4:41 am

    Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so
    I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m
    thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m
    still new to everything. Do you have any tips and hints for beginner blog writers?
    I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  • Reply
    Sarah N
    February 27, 2016 at 7:42 am

    I’m slow to discover your blog but I’m hooked now. I needed to read this today and several other posts of yours. Thank you for your honesty about life and everything in general.


    Mama needed this

  • Reply
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