Small Wonders

toddler pumpkin carving

toddler pumpkin carving

toddler pumpkin carving

toddler pumpkin carving

toddler pumpkin carving

toddler pumpkin carving

You grow up and you forget.
The wonder. The joy. The awe.
Found in the simplest moments.
Like cutting open a giant pumpkin and exploring the slimy insides.
Then you have kids, and you’re given the beautiful gift of reliving these priceless moments through the wonder in their eyes.
And I can honestly tell you…that it’s even better the second time around.
It’s even better witnessing their joy,
watching them squeeze their fingers in the mud for the very first time,
being there when they take their first bite of birthday cake,
and holding your arms out when they take that first plunge into the pool without floaties.
Because you’ve forgotten, and they’re reminding you every day.

This morning I spent an hour nose to nose with my precious baby Sawyer.
My baby who now giggles, and smiles and recognizes the sound of his Momma’s voice.
We sat there, in the silence, breathing each other in.
Intertwining our fingers, giving slobbery kisses, relishing the quiet.
My heart literally aches with love when he gives that smile I know is reserved only for me.
Even at such a young age, his eyes tell me how special I am to him.
And the wonder I see reflecting back at me,
reminds me of my purpose,
reminds me to be better.

It was one of those days…
The kind filled with tender moments.
Moments of gratitude to the point of tears.
It began when I read this, and then it only escalated from there.
One of those days where your heart is a bit softer,
your voice a bit quieter, and your soul opens up.
Making you extra vulnerable.

Today I was vulnerable.
Today I loved with every ounce of my heart.
And something being a parent has taught me…
is that loving with your whole heart hurts.
Because it means you have more to care about,
more to worry about,
more to protect,
and ultimately…more to lose.

It’s a battle I fight every day.
The one where I work to banish fear from my mind.
The one where I work to appreciate the moment,
rather than focus on how quickly it’s passing me by.

Ben came home from work, and his words captured the stirring in my soul perfectly.
He took one look at Sawyer, smiling and cooing in his tiny bath tub in the sink, and he said:

Gosh, I miss this already and it’s happening right now. 

Sometimes our emotions and feelings are difficult to harness when we become a parent.  That’s what happens when you love someone so much it hurts.  They consume your thoughts.  Their dreams become your dreams. And you begin striving to live your life in such a way that you hope will make them proud.

Today when I looked into Sawyers eyes,
during the hour when my time belonged only to him…
I looked at him and I thought about the kind of Mom I want to be—for him and for Wesley.
Because, lets face it, I’ve only had this position for 3 years and the job description is changing daily. I’m still becoming who they need me to be, and chances are, I’ll never completely get there.

But this I know for sure…
I know I want to be the kind of Mom who:
Loves completely,
speaks kindly,
say’s sorry
and gives without expecting in return.

I know I’ll make mistakes.
Every day.
Day one of becoming a Mom, and my expectations of perfection went flying out the window.
Now on day 1,202, I’m just hoping to be good enough.

I’m just hoping to be the kind of Mom that enters their hearts and takes up permanent residence of even some small corner long after they’ve left home to start a family of their own. I want them to love with their whole hearts, to give without expectation, to transform their weaknesses into strengths and ultimately…I want their kindness to be my legacy.

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  • Reply
    Summer @ Made By Munchie's Mama
    October 23, 2012 at 6:20 am

    This was really beautifully written Ashley! I can relate to every single word.

  • Reply
    Tara Fulps
    October 23, 2012 at 6:51 am

    I just love you.
    So much.

  • Reply
    October 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Oh my, your posts make me cry. Every time.

  • Reply
    Kelli G.
    October 23, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I love how you can capture the feelings of so many women so easily…your words are perfection. I love what Ben said; I feel that way every day.

  • Reply
    October 23, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Ashley, I don’t even have kids yet and your last 2 posts have been in credible!! Yesterday was the best article I’ve ever read…to teach your children kindess and to be brave enough to do so. And today ending with you want your legacy to be their kindness…so beautiful. Thanks for sharing! You are a beautiful writer 🙂

  • Reply
    October 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    wow i so needed this. beautiful. what a wonderful mom you are!

  • Reply
    October 23, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    It is so true. All of it. I vividly remember being twelve or thirteen (18? 22?) and thinking that there was no freaking way I would ever get more out of the holidays with kids. There was no way that playing Santa would ever be as great as having Santa come to me. That making costumes would be as fun as wearing them to collect massive amounts of candy. Ok, that last one isn’t nearly as fun for me. The making it part. Glue guns hurt. BUT….being in control of the massive amounts of candy will be pretty sweet.

    I have never, ever been more excited for the Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas season. It is incredibly fulfilling. And I’m with you, I feel nauseous at the idea of it being over and my boys are only 2 and 0. And yes, I make so many mistakes! But those really aren’t what thye’ll remember. Unless they have that freaky memory thing going on, in which case, dang.

  • Reply
    October 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    I’m a first-time momma with a two-month old, and just lately I’ve been able to articulate how motherhood makes me feel: vulnerable. Your words perfectly encapsulate the emotional rollercoaster I’ve been on since my babe arrived. I can’t contain my love for my babe, and that love exhilarates and terrifies me. Because you’re right, I have so much more to lose now. The days of my babe’s infancy fly by, and I do my best to take in every smile and coo, but somehow I feel like I can’t take in enough. I’m drowning in love and can’t catch my breath. My heart is full to capacity and ever expanding, a growth that is painfully wonderful.

    I share your hope as a mother. I want to love wholly and completely, to leave a legacy that lives on through my perfect little boy.

  • Reply
    steph anne
    October 23, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    You have a beautiful family! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 3:01 am

    I read your blog everyday……3 words… are AMAZING! I don’t even know you and I feel like you’re my good friend. You never fail to touch my heart. I have 2 little girls of my own and everything you say always seems to relate to my life. You make me want to become a better wife and mother, and to that I say a big fat thank you from the bottom of my heart! I hope one day to meet your cute self : )

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 3:27 am

    your words are so beautiful, momma!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Beautifully said!!

  • Reply
    Haleigh Barrett
    October 24, 2012 at 4:14 am

    We are so alike it scares me. You write what’s in my own heart and mind. It makes me wish I could just sit with you in person and talk to you about it all, knowing you understand. You’re amazing. Thank you for this. I honestly just love you!

  • Reply
    October 30, 2012 at 2:03 am

    i. cried.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    November 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    So true. It’s so hard to literally watch the moments escaping before our eyes. I love the ages my kids are right now, I wish I could keep them that way forever.

  • Reply
    November 10, 2012 at 7:23 am

    I read your blogs and for some reason it gives me peace and hope. I am a stay at home mom of a 4 year old little boy who when I look at him growing up so fast before me it brings tears to my eyes, I am also a mother to two beautiful seven month old twin girls. Your blog has helped me to take life slower and to appreciate my life so much more. There are days when I feel so overwhelmed and exhausted. I am not going to lie there are times when I feel I have absolutely no time for myself and I feel I should be doing more with my life and for this reason I push things aside like when I should be doing more with my son or cuddling more with my girls but instead I look for things to please myself , like I need to clean the house instead or I need to wash clothes, etc etc. but when I read your blog posts I snap back to reality and it helps me to take a better look at what is in front of me , my children, the ones who need me. It helps me to appreciate more what I have which are three very beautiful, healthy children and a loving husband. I just want to say thank you for being an inspiration in my life, even though we have never met and you never even knew I existed but just know that your words are beautiful and you have really helped me in so many ways!!

  • Reply
    March 22, 2020 at 10:50 am

    So we love to add movement Beer Costume with these bands that emulate fringe,

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