building a name

Once a year we take our “crazy pictures”. They fill the stairwell in our house. We’ve done it for 5 years now, though I think 3 of the 5 years have yet to make it to frames. The goal is to add 4-5 each year until I run of out space. I’ve wanted to hang them all a bit differently and now that we are remodeling the stairs, it was a perfect time to take them all down. These are usually some of my favorite pictures each year. They just reflect us. To keep them consistent year after year, I always turn them black and white. This year I played with RadLab and like the affect. Though, I will probably keep them just b&w when I hang them. We take these in front of a white wall, automatic mode, wide angle lens, window on one side and flash bouncing off the ceiling.

These make me smile. They remind me what is important in life. There is a lot of drama that happens online. I’ve been able to avoid most of it, but I read about it all the time. Ideas being copied, nasty comments, plagiarism, people just out to cause hurt, the race to be the ‘first’, site rankings, giveaways, and just a lot of very strong opinions being shared without consideration to the reality that real people write blogs. There is also another side to the online community…a beautiful, inspiring, giving side. That side of it is what keeps me blogging.

My blog has evolved for sure. I have sponsors now. My crafting supplies have grown tremendously from great companies sending me products. I have a facebook page for a blog. I’ve had opportunities placed before me that would not have happened without this blog. I’ve met absolutely incredible women online. I’ve been encouraged and cheered on by readers in good times and difficult times. I cherish this gift of blogging.

However, I have no desire to build a name for myself. I don’t need to be known as a great crafter or diy-er. I don’t need my projects to be pinned 1,000 times on Pinterest. Recently I stepped down from my contributor role at Design Aglow because there was just too much on my plate. If I wanted to build a name for myself in the photography world, that decision would make no sense. But I don’t want to build a name for myself in the photog industry. I don’t have a desire to build a name for myself in the blogging world either. If I woke up tomorrow and felt God leading me to walk away from this blog – I would. Without hesitation. (don’t worry, that is not the case)

The one place I do want to build a name for myself, so to speak, is inside the walls of my home….among the 5 people I share it with. I’ve got 4 little ones calling me “Mommy”…that is a name I want to work on building. If anyone thinks I am awesome…I want it to be my family.  I’ll take their construction paper flowers with jedi lightsabers over any online ranking. I want to rank high with them. I’ve only got a handful of years to do this role right. I don’t get a second chance. When they graduate, I won’t be given an option for a ‘do-over’. This go-around is all I got.  When the day closes…and computers are shutting down…they are the ones wrapping little arms around my neck and giving me ‘one more’ kiss goodnight.

“Mommy”…it is a name worth building.

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  • - ironically, i just pinned it ;o)

  • Carrie - You have a way of capturing life just right! Beautifully said – and beautiful family pictures – such a cute idea! It’s clear you have your priorities straight!

  • katie - I like these. They are a good reminder to keep it real. Sometimes our “formal” family shoots come out like this. I should just frame them and feel better about it. :)

  • Angie Penrose - love your post! just what i needed to read today :)

  • Jodified: The personal blog of Jodie Allen - [...] I was reading one of my favorite blogs and ended up pinning something from her page. THIS just totally and completely inspired me! I knew I wouldn’t get around to family photos this [...]

  • sherri - ADORABLE!

  • The Prairie Hen - Dear Ashley Ann,
    This is my favorite post EVER… you TOTALLY nailed my thoughts of late about my own blog. It’s so easy to get caught up in ambition and pride of “place”… but that doesn’t have a darn thing to do with how much our children love us or feel about us! The “mom” thing is SO much more important!!!

    The Prairie Hen in NE

  • elizabeth - EVERYTHING in this post is SPOT on what i needed to hear today!!
    the crazy pictures {as i all too often take myself too seriously}
    and the loving reminder of the highest calling in the world, MOMMY.
    the moments slip through our hands…what a breathe of fresh air you are & the truth you proclaim.

  • Kristin - Beautifully said…and words I definitely needed to hear. Thanks for the reminder. :)

  • jen - Beautiful.

  • Ashley - Ashley, thank you for such a great reminder. And what precious pictures- completely priceless.

  • Katie Founds - You are doing the name “mommy” proud.

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