Flickers and a Ditch Day

Wes kissig sawyer

Every morning I snuggle up close to my boys and whisper in their ear that I love them–at least a dozen times.  These sweet nothings are followed by kisses. Lots of them. Kisses until they push me away.  And while I watch my oldest wipe away the last of my kisses as he giggles from the deepest part of his belly, our eyes meet and I see the love I have for him reflecting back at me.

And I melt.
Every time.
Without fail.

But on some rare and special occasions,
when our eyes meet, I see something more.
I see a flicker.
And I know that for the briefest of seconds our souls were connecting in that moment…
The part of our souls that knew each other long before we even began the life we have today.
The part of our souls that made promises to each other.
Promises of unconditional love.
And snuggles.
And hand holding.
And kindness.

Because this is what I believe.
That we knew each other before this life.
That we’ve always been a family.
And nothing confirms this truth to me more than when I watch the love and admiration in my 6 month old’s eyes as he looks at his big brother.
He has known and loved his big brother for far longer than the 6 months he has been here.

And knowing this gives me perspective.
Helps me see the bigger picture.
Reminds me to count my blessings.
Enjoy the small moments.
And watch for those flickers


The other morning, after our kisses and snuggles and an overwhelming “flicker” moment,
I listened to my momma-gut and I gave our sweet little family a ditch day.
A day off from the world.

No school.
No chores.
No errands.
No “just a minutes”.

And on our ditch day we played hard, cozied up in blankets,
read books, built trains, played Candy Land,
and met our favorite friends and Grandma at the park for an afternoon of crazy shenanigans.

Ditch days can be good for the soul.



shopping cart

play food









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  • Reply
    January 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    looks like the perfect day

  • Reply
    lauren guess
    January 29, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    I feel like I have known both of my children for one thousand years. I can completely relate with this post! My 3 yr old knows EXACTLY what’s wrong with his 8 month old sister anytime she cries. It’s amazing. He helps me care for her and can anticipate her needs better than I can most times! It’s amazing!!!

  • Reply
    Wendy Orme
    January 29, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Another amazingly awesome post. You have a way of expressing, in great writing, things I’ve thought and can’t find the words to say.

  • Reply
    January 29, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    So sweet! And I completely agree. It makes me so happy to see loving families 🙂

  • Reply
    Karin - The F Girl
    January 29, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Oh boy. A ditch day. Sounds exactly like something we need around here. Thinking about taking one tomorrow.

    Love the photographs. And I so feel what you are saying about knowing each other before. I feel so blessed and honoured that these little ones chose me. It’s humbling and stirs a little happy bug in my stomach 🙂

  • Reply
    January 29, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Ditch days are the best! We try and have those once a week. Well I mean on the weekend. Ditch day on a week day every week would be a bit excessive.

  • Reply
    January 29, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Ditch days are the best! We try and have those once every weekend. Which may or may not count as a ditch day.

  • Reply
    January 29, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    oops sorry for the double post. The comments weren’t loading properly

  • Reply
    Haleigh Barrett
    January 29, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I swear, you and I have the same heart. We think and feel the same way. I love how you are able to put into words the things that I can’t. Thank you so much for blogging. For sharing your story. For sharing your heart. I love your blog and I love you! I am so grateful to have found you and to be a part of your life in some small way. Thank you thank you thank you! <3 Haleigh

  • Reply
    January 29, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    You always say what I’m thinking…like it gets a lil freaky sometimes…. but I’m so grateful for that because you write the elegant words that always seem to escape my mind come time to write them down. I too believe that my family and I were always meant for eachother. The love we share is amazing ..I don’t see many others in my position. Feeling the same as I do.. I am completely in love with my life and who I choose to share it with♥

  • Reply
    School Sparks Renee
    January 30, 2013 at 12:54 am

    What a beautiful blog. I love the way you write, Ashley. I feel like I know you and it’s just through reading your blogs. I know what you mean about “knowing longer than 6 months” when you talk about the way your older looks at his baby brother. I see that also when I observe my 6 year old grandson look at his new baby brother. Thanks for sharing this blog and bringing beautiful ideas into focus. Renee

  • Reply
    Jessica Lane
    January 30, 2013 at 1:37 am

    Ashley, I adore your blog – your family is so full of sweetness I just love to see their beautiful pics! I have two little girls – and love ditch days so very much. They are such an important way to get your family to reconnect!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Beautiful words. It’s amazing how little children inspire so much within us. What you wrote seemed to flow effortlessly right out of your soul inspired by your little ones. Great post!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    I have been absent from my blog reading for a long time- I didn’t know you had another little one! Your boys are so handsome!


  • Reply
    January 31, 2013 at 2:33 am

    Ditch days are the best!!!! I need to make more ditch days. Love seeing both my kiddos eye light up when I tell them it’s a free day and nothing on the books.
    Looks like you had a blast!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2013 at 3:29 am

    your kids are so lucky to have such a loving mama who appreciates ditch days! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 31, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Such a sweet post!!!

  • Reply
    March 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Looks like such a fun day. I have done a few of those myself. They remind us how special being a mom is. They remind us that we are responsible for these, in my case as well, two amazing humans that will be put out into the world alone one day. I want to make sure that I pass on as much love to them as I can so they can love their kids as much. Thank you for always sharing your world. I take such inspiration from you and enjoy everything you post.
    {Im currently catching up on a bunch of your posts as things in my house have been INSANE lately}

  • Reply
    March 21, 2020 at 10:50 am

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

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