Over the last few weeks, I have been trying to learn more about the video function of my camera. When I say ‘learn more’…it is more like learn anything other than just hit record! My friend Amy has been giving me a few pointers, but really I am just playing and experimenting right now. Over the weekend, the boys were all busy playing with friends. The girls wanted to do something fun too, so we made a Girl Band video. They are always up for singing and playing guitar, so it was an easy way for me to practice with video. Maybe one day I’ll get the video edited, but for now here are a few pics from our recording. We decorated the wall to make it more fun.

ISO 320, 1/200, f/2.8

1.15dance-01ISO 200, 1/200, f/2.81.15dance-02ISO 320, 1/160, f/2.81.15dance-03ISO 320, 1/200, f/2.8 both1.15dance-04This will be the cover for her first album. ISO 320, 1/200, f/2.81.15dance-06ISO 320, 1/160, f/2.81.15dance-07ISO 320, 1/200, f/2.81.15dance-08ISO 320, 1/200, f/2.81.15dance-09

I foresee more music videos in our future. If I ever get it all figured out on the editing and posting end, I’ll share one.

If you have any favorite video tips, classes, websites, etc…I would love to hear them!

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  • Diana - I absolutely love your gorgeous photography and gorgeous family and look forward to your blog posts everyday

  • cindy - ho hints, but i can share a video i did of my son on april fools day a few years ago….



  • Tiffany - Great pics, what song? Music is good for the soul, helps when u need a mood changer too.

  • Katie Moody - I just started teaching Video Editing this year, and I totally love it. That would be the most fun footage ever to work with.

    What program(s) do you have for editing?

  • Debbie - Adorable!!! Priceless photos….gorgeous photos. Great backdrop!

  • Cindy McAllister - Very cute photos. Did you make the pillow that says “Our House is a Very Very Very Fine House?”

  • suzy - What a great idea! My boys go on so many adventures together, and I try to find fun things for my daughter and I to do, but this might be good to do together!

  • christina larsen - Oh my goodness! That is too cute!

  • Susan - Firecracker and the Bottle Rocket! Beautiful fun!

  • Carrie // cue the confetti - Stop. This is too cute!!!!!

  • Marilyn - How do you get the photos off the video? And then can you edit them too?

  • elizabeth - i have fond memories of making music videos with my sister back in the day. thanks for posting this as a reminder. great pics, beautiful girls!

  • Diana - I love that Little One is using a Guitar Hero guitar. =)

  • Kristen - So good how God works. I started following (and loving) your blog before you adopted and would read about the surgeries and food struggles. At the time I enjoyed the glimpse into your life and now I find myself referring back to those posts often for encouragement. We began fostering in July and our little one has severe oral aversion and eating is a daily roller coaster and adventure. Just wanted to say thank you for being open and honest. I didn’t know then how much I would one day be able to relate.

  • bek - I have been trying to figure out the video functions on my camera as well! I always have a hard time getting it to stay in focus. I’ll be very interesting in hearing any tips you hear or end up having! you’re the best!

  • danielle - Adorable! My husband is always encouraging me to shoot more video. I am still in the learning phase though so I am not much help :)

  • Jack - Oh those are amazing photos! Can’t wait to see the music videos. Have your girls discovered the ‘Video Star’ app yet? My two spend hours making their own music videos with it. (Although it would totally defeat the purpose of you getting more practice with your video cam.)

  • Jack - Oh and Xanthe Berkeley’s Creating Time Capsules class is excellent: http://www.xantheberkeley.com/creating-time-capsules/

  • Jenni - Ashley, I love that you are trying to video component on your camera! I have been playing with mine for a while and love the picture you can get from it (although focusing can be tricky sometimes) I have made the majority of our last 2 Christmas videos with a dslr.

  • AshleyAnn - Kristen – oral aversions are so hard to walk through daily sometimes…hang in there!!

  • AshleyAnn - Marilyn – these were actual pictures. The girls can sing and dance for A LONG TIME. I got video and then switched over to get some pictures too.

  • AshleyAnn - Cindy – it is by http://www.passivejuicemotel.com/

  • AshleyAnn - Katie – I haven’t got that far! iMovie for now!

  • AshleyAnn - Tiffany – usually it is ones that make up…changes often :)

  • AshleyAnn - Thanks Jack – that class looks so good, I’m going to look into it more!

  • Laura - I’m hoping to shoot more video this year too — if you find fantastic beginner tips, tell us! :) Your photos are AMAZING. Love these two! And the backdrop!!!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I can’t wait to see a video! :)

  • meg duerksen - the one picture where Older is pointing to Younger i said to myself “Take it away Sister” :) Ha ha ha
    this is pretty rad.
    and so are you.
    and you are kind of mean to not post a video of any noise at all.
    because i KNOW this was a loud awesome jam session.
    we don’t care about editing. just sound.

    and on the third to last one is where she smashes her guitar on stage like all famous rock stars.

  • Debbie C - This is awesome. Firecracker has her Rock Star faces down! Girl must practice a lot. ;D

  • Susan - Wondering if you wouldn’t mind providing the name of the person who designed your blog? I need a major redo.

  • Jen - I need to her the vocals accompanying these super cute photos! Love Firecracker’s hair.

  • Emily - I love this! So fabulous :-)

  • Allison - one of your best posts (and set of photos) ever!

  • Stephanie - Cutest Girl Band ever! They totally ROCK! … and so do your photos! This post put a big smile on my face. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kara M - I think this is your most delightful post ever! So sweet!

  • AshleyAnn - Kara – love that quote! Thanks for sharing it!

Singing. Jumping. Twirling.

Repeat. All day. Everyday.

50mm, ISO 1000, 1/400, f/2.8

jump1.15-0150mm, ISO 1000, 1/320, f/2.8jump1.15-0250mm, ISO 1000, 1/400, f/2.8jump1.15-0350mm, ISO 1000, 1/320, f/2.8jump1.15-0450mm, ISO 1000, 1/320, f/2.8jump1.15-0550mm, ISO 1000, 1/320, f/2.8jump1.15-0650mm, ISO 1000, 1/320, f/2.8jump1.15-0750mm, ISO 1000, 1/320, f/2.8jump1.15-0850mm, ISO 1000, 1/320, f/2.8jump1.15-0950mm, ISO 1000, 1/320, f/2.8jump1.15-10

I took this photo series in December. Last week she got a new short little bob haircut. She’d been asking for a few months for short hair. I delayed, waiting to see if she would change her mind. She stayed the course. As the stylist cut and hair fell to the ground, my girl just giggled. She giggled the whole way through the haircut. With a big, sweet grin she said, “I told you it would look beautiful.” And it does. It fits her, just like her wild spinning hair.

Same day. Iphone shots. In the first photo, the girls were painting each other and trying to determine eye color.


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  • Jenny B. - Adorable! I think it looks a little like Lesley’s haircut, which I LOVE! :)

  • Debbie - I love her new haircut. She looks adorable.

  • Dawn Ritchie - My oldest daughter (she turned 5 in November) likes to look over my shoulder when I read your blog and loves your daughters.

    She said to tell Firecracker that “she loves her and wants to marry her when they grow up.” She digs the new haircut. :)

  • Lakmali - She is adorable!!!!!!!!! what a cutie!!!!! <3

  • Cathy - It looks great! short hair spins and flies just as well as long…maybe even more because its like its weightless :) I LOVE the spinning jumping shots!! I have a feeling my daughter will be just like that, Although I am too afraid to let her jump on the bed like that…shes only two and gets a little crazy, when she is older though, she will LOVE it!!!

  • Allison - I love the short hair – so CUTE. But I love her confidence even more!

  • suzy - What a cutie and so full of life! You are right, and so is she! That haircut fits her perfectly! Very Spunky!

  • christina larsen - such cuties!

  • Laura - So cute! Aside from the adorable new hairdo… :) Do you happen to remember where is the “Our House” pillow is from? Love it!

  • Susan - Indeed, it is a beautiful haircut on a lovely little girl. Firecracker is growing up!
    Happy New Year to the Campbell crew!

  • Bek Ryder - she’s so beautiful. Love her hair cut, tho i can imagine why you’d be hesitant to let her cut it! It does look super cute tho!

  • christina - This girl makes me smile :) Such a beautiful soul!

  • Jelena - Great photos, but I have a question about your settings- was the first one really f2.8? It’s just that with f2.8 at my 50mm Nikon lens it would make way more blurry foreground/background so I was curious.

  • Diana - She sure is something special.

  • AshleyAnn - Jelena – Yes, I just double checked to be sure. If were closer to her, more would be blurry.

  • sherri - A couple of precious girls you have there!

  • Juli - Oh. my. word. That haircut…she’s adorable! She AND her new haircut are, indeed, beautiful.

  • Sarah - Her hair is DARLING!!!

  • Zulejka - She’s adorable! Bob looks great on her, I love how confident she is and I’m so happy for her – that her mother listens to her wishes;)

  • Avenlea - She looks like Lesley!! It is such a cute haircut :)

  • Amber - Oh Firecracker! I do LOVE your haircut! Tres Oooo La LA! : ) So sweet!

  • Juli - Ashley, would you pretty please share where the “Very fine house” pillow is from? I have Googled & searched Etsy to no avail. I love that song. I saw them in concert w/ my hubby when we were dating 20+ yrs ago! Please share. I love it!

  • AshleyAnn - Juli – it is from http://www.passivejuicemotel.com/

  • Jelena - Thanks Ashley! I am à newbie with manual settings… I might just have to take your online course!

  • Juli - Yippee! Thank you so much! Now I know how I’m going to spend my birthday money. ;)

  • rhonda - soooooo cute!!! She seems like such a spit fire of a little girl! Love it!


The last two weeks we moved slow around here. I didn’t mean to take off two weeks from this blog. I tried to write a few posts regarding Christmas and New Years and I just could not find the words. I love Christmas. As a Christian, it is the time of year we choose to celebrate the birth of Jesus and it is PARTY time around my house. And we relished in the fun of celebrating. Yet, my heart was so heavy this season. So many of my dear, dear friends walked through the holidays bearing heavy loads. This Christmas would be the first many of my friends celebrated after tragic losses of loved ones, marriages, and relationships.

I knew if my closest friends were facing difficult Christmas ‘firsts’, so many of you would be too. Posts about crafts or decorating or even traditions just didn’t feel right. Some bloggers know the perfect words to say for things like that. I just couldn’t find the words. Instead, I stayed quiet. I prayed for my friends. Prayed for those of you that were just hoping to make it past New Years.

Here we are, on the other side of Christmas. The other side of 2014. For some, there is so much joy in a starting a new year. For others, watching 2014 slip is heart breaking. But, here we are in 2015. For my friends that didn’t know how they would make it through the holidays, I say – you did it. One day at a time. One moment at a time. You did it. Keep going – I’m cheering for you.

Today was a fresh start. So was yesterday. So will tomorrow be. A new year on a calendar doesn’t mark our only chance for a fresh beginning. I am so thankful for that. Goodness knows I need a fresh start more than once a year!

I didn’t get my camera out as much this Christmas for pictures. I tried taking more video. We spent our Christmas with extended family. We don’t get to see Chris’ side of the family nearly often enough. Anytime we can all be together, we are grateful for it. Though we missed one of his sisters and her family, we took advantage of several days away with the rest. Lots of indoor pool swimming.

My boys & one of their cousins || My youngest son when his dad told him he is almost fast enough to beat his brothers at swimming races. || A little shark swimming past. || Returned home to snow.


We came home from the warm indoor pool to a covering of snow.  More celebrating with my family and then we ushered in a new year. This is the first time our entire family stayed up to ring in the new year. And EVERYONE slept in the next morning. Glorious. We are in a stage of life that my kids will actually sleep in – this is new and wonderful. New phase. New year. New day.

Welcome 2015.

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  • Melanie - Ashley,
    I totally get your point and I hope that you never ever feel under pressure to write posts about decorating etc. when your heart is heavy with other, tragic things. I know that blogging may be a business but you should be free to take a break when you need it.
    Happy New Year to you!

    Greetings from Germany,

  • Allison - Welcome back and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and your beautiful family!

  • Alie - Happy New Year!
    What a gracious Spirit you have. I enjoy peeking into your busy home through your blog, and I appreciate the time you take to share it with the world. I have laughed and sighed along with you since I found you a few years ago, and each post is like a breath of fresh air. I second Melanie’s comment. My wish for you is that you don’t feel pressure to ‘perform’. When posts are photo heavy, or not. Text heavy, or not. I read and enjoy them all.
    Thank you again for sharing.

  • Erica Baker - Love your perspective. Here’s to a new year!

    I bet your iphone video footage is great. The creativity and perspective in your iphone photos always inspire and impress me. My husband and I use the video functions on our iphones a lot. It’s so much fun. We ended up making a ‘year in review’ video with the clips from last year. I thought you might like to see it. I am sure you could make a great one with your creative eye for 2015. I’d love to see it :)

    Here it is: http://bakerstellstories.com/memories/

    (not a shameless plug for my blog, just honestly thought you’d be interested, promise.)

    Happy New Years Campbell’s!

  • Paige E - As one of those getting through a tough “first” holiday, I thank you for the prayers and thoughts. I’m also looking forward to lots of fresh starts and a new perspective. I will be fighting to keep my joy with everything I’ve got while saying good bye to guilt and insecurity daily. They are really awful friends. Happy New Starts to you and your precious family!

  • Jenn - Happy New Year. i have missed you blog posts but totally understand where you are coming from. glad you are back. great pictures and fun

  • Ujjaini - Lovely post! Wish you a very Happy New Year!


  • Emily - Happy New Year!

  • Ashleigh Blatt - You hit the nail on the head. Every time.
    I go your site for feel good and inspiration. I get that and got that this past season. And I appreciate your being so honest today. I appreciate the prayers too – if you’ll add me to your list too.
    My dad passed at the end of Oct. One night he was there and then the next day he is gone. So very gone. Just like that. I used to love the holidays. Everyone of them. But this season, I just couldn’t bare it.
    I appreciate seeing pics of first snows and swimming with sharks… it’s a good reminder to watch for our moments here. It was a healthy reminder when all you want to do is cry. That’s my truth.
    And everyday through pictures or post, you help.
    Thank you so very much.

  • Kara M - Nicely put! I haven’t been through nearly what others have, but I found the facebook “year in review” posts hard. We had a great end of the year, but there was a lot of sorrow in 2014.

  • janet @ the ordinary life of jannybean - Thank you for this gracious post.

    I also was travelling a hard holiday season this year having lost my best friend of 35 years. It made a much quieter and slower Christmas.

    But you are right. I survived, even though I wasn’t sure how. And each day is a day back to a new normal.

    Sometimes the silence is as much as a gift as the words.


  • AshleyAnn - Thank you Melanie!

  • AshleyAnn - Alie – thank you for your encouraging and kind words today!

  • AshleyAnn - Happy New Starts to you too Erica…those are awful friends. I’m cheering you on as you tell them goodbye!

  • AshleyAnn - Ashleigh – I am so very sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine the road you have been on, or how difficult this time is for you. Aching for you and praying that through the tears you are able to see glimpses of beauty around you.

  • AshleyAnn - Janet – enduring friendships are rare and such a tremendous gift. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. 35 years – that is a beautifully long time to do life with a best friend. Thank you for encouraging me even in your time of ache.

  • AshleyAnn - Kara – I found those Year in Reviews hard too and I didn’t even watch any! I am so excited for your family and all that 2015 holds. Congratulations on entering parenthood!!

  • debbie - Just beautiful. Often there seems to be some divine synchronicity with your words. Your words are a gift… Can’t wait to see how 2015 unfolds!

  • Laura@Ms Smartie Pants - How very thoughtful of you to consider your friends during this time. I lost my husband 2 years ago and you honestly feel like you want the world to stop, you don’t understand how people can still be moving, living. Now with social media it makes it even worse, you see all the happiness and it reminds you of what you don’t have, what you won’t ever have again, it’s hard. I love your words “I’m cheering for you” I’ve learned so much about how to be there for someone after such a loss, words matter, those words would be helpful! Thanks and blessings to your family, I feel privileged to be able to follow along!