Best Of live

The Memory Makers















Insanely awesome purse c/o Better Life Bags
I got to pick my own fabric!


Sawyers mocassins c/o Freshly Picked.
Our fun, awesome shirts are all c/o The Printed Palette.
Use the discount code: LMM15 for 15% OFF at the Printed Palette.
Their “born to be wild” shirts are next on my list.

I like memories.
I think they’re important.

As Ben and I lay in bed at night,
in those sacred moments before we fall asleep,
when the house is quiet, our minds are settling down and our thoughts become the most authentic…
In those moments I always ask Ben what he remembers most about special times in his childhood.

Some of his stories have us laughing all night long.
Some are so tender that they bring tears to my eyes.
Most I’ve already heard a thousand times before–but I listen again, just as intently,
because  I know it’s important to keep those memories alive.
And then, even if he doesn’t ask, I tell him my stories.
The one’s about my childhood treehouse,
my pet chicken,
my first pocket knife,
the nights I camped out on the trampoline,
and the fateful Christmas Eve that the REAL Santa Claus came to visit me in the middle of the night.

When I was 6 years old, some boy at school told me that Santa wasn’t real.
I was crushed.
I remember coming home from school, not sad…but angry.
Angry that I had been fooled by those I loved.
I asked my Mom why she hadn’t told me the truth.

Mom: But I have been telling you the truth honey. He is real to me.

Then she put her hand on my little heart and gave me a big hug.
I walked away a bit more comforted but not convinced.
That December 24th, I went to bed knowing that Christmas would never be the same again.
And I was right.

Just as I fell into the deepest of sleeps, I was woken up to the sound of jingle bells jangling.
I opened my eyes to see the outline of a tall, jolly man standing in my bedroom doorway.
And then he spoke: Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas Ashley!

He dashed off through the hallway and down the stairs.
And that was it.

Until I woke up the next morning,
found his large white glove that he had dropped on the stairs
and read the letter he wrote just to 6 year old me.

I never stopped believing after his visit.
That day could have so easily turned into a different kind of memory.
A memory of dreams fading before their time–of innocence lost.
But instead, some very special memory makers changed the narrative.
And gave me a different story to tell. A story of hope born and faith living on.

Every time I finish telling Ben my Christmas Story, I immediately place my hands on both of his cheeks and make him promise me that we will be superstar memory makers for our children.

That even in the simplest of ways, we will recreate my Christmas Story in their precious moments.
That we will teach them to see the magic in everyday life.
It’s important for them to see us enjoying the things they love.
Like sticky, smelly, hot and dusty Spring Carnivals that we never would have considered visiting before their arrival into our lives.
All it takes is one look at their shining faces and the feel of their tiny fingers intertwined with mine…
and suddenly sitting in a puddle of a melted snow cone while I wait for our turn on the bumpy train ride is the only place in this world that I want to be.

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  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm


  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    That’s the cutest baby I’ve ever seen! Wow! I agree with your words completely. There’s nothing more special than having a few magic memories to replay when times get hard. I hope I can be as good of as a mom as you are 🙂

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Beautiful family!!! Have to know how you get the waves in your hair?? Gorgeous is it natural??

    • Reply
      Ashley Stock
      April 2, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      That’s my “go to bed with damp hair in 4 braids” look 🙂 These kiddos don’t let me blow dry my hair anymore 🙂

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    I just tried using the Printed Palette coupon and it says it’s not valid 🙁

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks Ashley for sharing… I do the same with my husband as he tells me his childhood stories over and over again but its always like the first time because it’s so fascinating to hear how his childhood was like. Hope you have an amazing day love. xo. ani

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Love reading your blog! Where did you get your hat? I’ve been looking for one like that for a while, you look as beautiful as ever!

    • Reply
      Ashley Stock
      April 2, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      I just got it from Anthro–and I LOVE it! It’s going to be my Summer go-to hat. And even though it was from antrho it was only $38.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    April 2, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    This literally brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for reminding me to make these memories with my boys

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Such an adorable family! If I may ask what size t-shirt are you wearing? I want to get one too, but not sure how they run in size.


    • Reply
      Ashley Stock
      April 2, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      I am wearing a small and it is form fitting. i would be comfortable in a medium as well. 🙂

      • Reply
        April 3, 2013 at 5:50 pm


  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Where, oh where, did you get your shoes? Hat? Sweater? You are beyond beautiful with such great style. I love you and your blog!!!

    • Reply
      Ashley Stock
      April 2, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      You are too sweet! I got the shoes at some random little discount store two summers ago. The hat is from Anthro this season and the sweater is from Forever 21 three years ago. 🙂

      • Reply
        April 3, 2013 at 12:21 am

        Aww thanks!!! You’re wonderful 🙂

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Your kids are adorable. And baby Sawyer’s smile could make anyone’s day!!! Love your blog. Thanks for being a bright spot in my day. PS. Where are your awesome sandals from????? I’m in love!

    • Reply
      Ashley Stock
      April 2, 2013 at 9:05 pm

      Thanks Melissa! I got my sandals a while back at some random discount store. I haven’t been able to find them online anywhere. 🙁

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Loved your tee so much I went to buy one, however the coupon code doesn’t work. Help!?!

    • Reply
      Ashley Stock
      April 2, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      hi Sabrina, so sorry about that! the coupon works if you purchase from her etsy shop here:

      • Reply
        April 4, 2013 at 6:29 pm

        Wow, your really read the comments! Always wondered if bloggers did that. Anyhow thanks for the info on your cute tee. Ordering mine right now!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    $60 for baby mocassins?!?……I don’t think so. Cute, but crazy price for baby shoes. Hope you got them for free! Love your style though!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Beautiful pictures! Love your sweater!

  • Reply
    Erica @ Acire Adventures
    April 2, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    So sweet. I love the effect they have on us parents (and other family) too. Like you said, sitting in melted snow cone is suddenly fun. My partner came home from visiting family in another city yesterday and told me a funny story that this reminds me of. He was driving with his father and our son in the car and wanted to take the long way to his father’s house. His dad said no way, because there are huge ice ruts that can get you stuck or damage your care that way. My partner went anyways and sure enough he got stuck. His dad was disgusted and started telling him in so many words. All the while our four year old was in the back seat. Finally my partner stayed in his seat while his dad got out to push. They got the car unstuck and when he got back in the car my four year old exclaimed, “Wow! That was so cool, Grandpa! You are so strong, you saved us!” Suddenly the grumpy father became a delighted grandfather. Our son not only made the situation into a cute memory, but totally turned around everyone’s mood. 🙂

  • Reply
    Melissa @ Fit 'n' Well Mommy
    April 2, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    I love this! It is SO true! After having my son, I see the world so differently. I love seeing him discover the world and get excited over the littlest things, like watching a pill bug curl up and roll over on the sidewalk. It has taught me to slow down and truly appreciate what is most important in life…my family. I cherish all of our moments together, and I couldn’t imagine my life any other way!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Motherhood has completely changed me too!! I have a life today, that I never knew I wanted, and I love it.



  • Reply
    April 3, 2013 at 12:13 am

    Loved this post! It brought tears to my eyes and I’m not even a mommy yet. You have such a way with words and your boys are absolutely adorable! I want to be superstar memory makers for my future children.. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Greta @ Project Momma
    April 3, 2013 at 12:27 am

    I love the way that you write. Thanks for sharing your heart for your kids with us. It’s inspiring…

  • Reply
    April 3, 2013 at 2:40 am

    Such cute shirts. I am tempted to buy some in pink for my little ladies….


  • Reply
    April 3, 2013 at 2:44 am

    PS- You inspired me and I did something I love in front of my girls today. It was grat and I’m going to make it a point to do this more often. Thanks for the inspiration!

    PPS- My parents got me with Santa, too:)


  • Reply
    cassaundra hull
    April 3, 2013 at 6:47 am

    love this post ashley. i too am a memory making freak! i want to capture and store every moment. every. stinking. one. i am so inspired by the way “santa” turned that around. i can’t just merely capture the memories or plan the memories i need to be able to keep the authenticity of them alive. love love this!
    oh and always, should we talk about your outfit? get out! dying over the bag and sandals.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    It looks like you had a fun, relaxing day. This makes me think my family and I need to make it a point to have more of those days-making memories!

    P.S. Could you please tell me where you got your jeans? love em!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Ashley, I have been following your blog for 3 weeks and I already feel like we are besties! (weird, I know) This entry seriously brought tears to my eyes. I love your Christmas memory and hope to instill the same magic in my baby girl’s life 🙂

  • Reply
    April 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    your boys are seriously two of the most adorable little boys i have ever seen (in photos and in real life ;)) that hair on sawyer!!!! amazing.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Well said, as always Ashley. Love the daddy kisses pictures too! You never know what they’ll remember, it will likely be the littlest thing you never thought they noticed.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    This line up of photos and the color scheme are so gorgeous!
    I love the part about “even if he doesn’t ask me” haha

  • Reply
    annie andersen
    April 4, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Those shirts! I love them! Thanks for the coupon code! Sawyer is so handsome.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Spates
    April 13, 2013 at 4:22 am

    Hi Ashley! You sure have a beautiful family and a beautiful heart. Your boys are adorable. Where did you get the boys neon yellow shorts and pants? Love them!! Thank you for sharing your life and loves with all of us. Have a blessed day!!

  • Reply
    Reina Johnson
    June 7, 2013 at 6:11 am

    Wonderful blog! Love how you style your boys, totally my sons look too! If you don’t mind me asking where you got your little one’s neon pants and shorts? Stinkin cute!

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