my life…

I’ve been getting a lot of the question, “So what is it like with a daughter now?”

Honestly, right now it is pretty much the same. She looks like her brothers and acts like a newborn…I still call her “he” and “him” at times. However, we have noticed some differences. She always sleeps with a hand on her face or chin – which just seems delicate and girly. So far though one of the biggest difference is that I can take pictures of her with flowers and fun vintage tablecloths – I wouldn’t have tried that with the boys. When I did Biggest Brother’s 5 year pictures he pointed out how cute the flower garden was and that it would make for “cute newborn baby sister” pictures. So here you go bud…(more with her eyes open later).

Well the post is titled “my life” and sitting around taking pictures of my new daughter among flowers isn’t really reflective of the true nature of my life.

So here you go – a better look at my life right now

I encourage creative dress: Super Underwear Man & Super Underwear Man Too

I encourage independence: Littlest Brother highjacked the 4 wheeler from his Big and Bigger Brothers

I encourage joint conflict resolution: Biting the beanbag to win the argument makes sense right?

I encourage sibling affection: His kisses = her hair gel

I encourage modesty: He saw the monkeys at the Zoo and decided to imitate

I encourage teamwork: The Brothers joined forces and chased me into the house…

which I left to go out the other door and defeat them with a waterhose. No mercy.

I encourage self expression: it often backfires

And now I am learning what life is like as a family of 6

And life is pretty amazing…messy, chaotic, beautiful, and lacking any moments of boredom


Tomorrow is a big day for something new…a first for my blog. So check back Tuesday morning for a little fun excitement

….hmmmmmm, what could it be?

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  • amanda torres - Very cute! Love the one of Rett. I sure do love me some baby booty crack!

  • Betsy - Ashley,

    First- Congrats on Breese- she is just beautiful! Second, are you really Superwoman with superhuman strength and endurance? How do you do it all-garden, cook, blog, run a business, make creative things with your boys AND look like you never had one child with that great figure of yours that is ALREADY back…do you sleep?

    Just kidding- you do amaze me though!

  • ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage & Junkologie - All of your children are beautiful! Love the photos and the stories!


  • Carrie Sowell - You crack me up! Life is for sure never dull with 4 kids!! You need to come over to the new house and turn our house into a fun zoo!!! Any nights free? Call me!

  • christina larsen - Looks like fun, thanks for sharing your life.

  • bopha - What a great picture of your family! You look great by the way.
    Love the underwear pics, those are classic.

  • kayl - my favorite part is the waterfight picture, where the little one has the squirt bottle in his mouth. freaking cute.

  • Brooke - I’ve commented on almost every post since Breese was born.. saying the same thing, I still just don’t know how you do it. Your kiddos are lucky to have such an awesome mommy!

  • Brenda Hillhouse - I just don’t understand how you can be so thin already! You have to have the cutest family. You are blessed.

  • lesley - I love the first one of Breese, I think I need a copy! Her little lips are so sweet! These are all so great, especially the underwear brothers!

  • Stephanie - I ADORE the pic of your family! You all are PRECIOUS!!! You are such an encouragement to me. I am setting a goal to not be in my jammies, boring, “hey go watch TV” Mom after this baby gets here. Thanks for sharing as always…

  • meg duerksen - man she is sweet!
    they all are.
    it looks like you are handling things well.
    if you need me to come down and hold the baby for a few (or 10) hours…just let me know!!

  • Liz - These are so cute!

  • amy stamm - I love the one that you wrote on!! How do you do that?? NEAT!
    the pic is PREFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jeannette Swan - I don’t know how you even get pictures of it all and have time to download them and post on the blog. I love it!!

  • Georgia Davis - Love it!

  • melissa stover - love the beautiful photographs of the baby outside. all of them are lovely though.

  • trish - gorgeous, gorgeous baby girl! LOVE the flower pics!

  • Rebekah Jean - Oh Ashley, your baby is so beautiful! I know you’ve probably heard that a million times, but it’s true! The photos you’ve been taking of her are brilliant. And Breese is such a lovely name! Congratulations! :)

  • Sophie - Such a beautiful family!

    And those new pictures of Breese in the flowers are so gorgeous!

  • Momofthe4 - I have been a well… stalker of your blog for sometime now (lol)! I am a total fan of your photography and creativeness! I too have 4 kiddos 3 older boys 11,9 & 7 and a 2 year old daughter. Thanks for sharing a little of your life on this blog I totally can relate. Your family is adorable and the newest addition oh so sweet! Enjoy this time I wish all mine were so little again!

  • Emily Beaty - I LOVE this post! Thanks for sharing… you have an awesome family. :)

  • Melissa - So, I’m a little behind on reading your blog, and I just came across this. I absolutely love this post. So CUTE, and such a great idea. My favorite is the one with the arrows, about your life with all 6.

Ways to Charm a Southern Girl


I was born and raised in the South. As much as I am aware of and have experienced other cultures (many of which I truly love and appreciate), I am at heart a Southern Girl. I may not have big hair or fry my food, but I appreciate my southern culture. One of my favorite magazines, Cottage Living, is now out of print and the company replaced my subscription with Southern Living. At the end of the July issue it has a humorous feature on “15 Ways to Charm Her (a southern girl)” by editor Amy Bickers. I was surprised by how many rang true with charming this Southern Girl….funny how most of them I didn’t realize were ‘southern things’.

Here are a few of my favorite:

1.  Stand up for a lady (this doesn’t just involve chairs)

2. Kill bugs

3. Hold doors open

4. Fix things or build stuff

5. Wear boots occasionally (Not the fancy, I-paid-$1.000-for-these kind. We’re talking about the slightly mud-crusted, I-could-have-just-come-in-from-the-field boots)

6. Take off your hat inside

7. Grill stuff

8. Call us (if you want to ask us out, don’t text and don’t email. Pick up the phone and use your voice)

9. Stand when we come back to the dinner

10. Pull out chairs

11. Don’t show up in a wrinkled, untucked shirt (Care about your appearance but not too much. Don’t smell better than we do. Don’t use mousse or gel. You shouldn’t look like you spend more time in front of the mirror than we do)

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  • Rachel - I love this! Kill bugs and build stuff totally resonate with me……

  • Stephanie @ A Fine House - I think these are justs marks of a true gentleman. My guy is born & raised in the Midwest, and still lives there. he passed this test and the only thing I couldn’t check off on the list was the cowboy hat (that’s definitely a southern thing). I love my Ohio guy!

  • Stephanie @ A Fine House - I meant to say “boots”, not “hat”.
    Either way he doesn’t wear either.

  • Heather - OMG – I read this same article and thought it was so funny and so true! I laughed when I saw it on here, b/c it obviously affected others the same way!

    LOVE your pics and your family is beautiful! Thanks for all the helpful hints all the time! I am constantly striving to get nicer, better pictures, and I look to your blog for inspiration and information. I have a long way to go. . but learning! :-)

DIY {alphabet books}

In an effort to curb boredom when stuck inside due to the heat, the older boys and I made little “ABC” drawing books. It is a super easy and simple idea. I cut 8.5×11 paper in half and folded the sheets into book pages. Each spread had a “big” letter and a “little” letter. C created stories for each letter…”Big D jumping off a diving board while little d went sailing on a boat”. H just circled every letter, but has enjoyed having his own alphabet book he can read by himself. The covers are just folded cardstock paper with stickers spelling out their names. They were so excited to read their books to their daddy when he arrived home….

E is so excited about coloring now…I love his little fingers holding these

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  • Paula Lyon - I am so glad I found your blog this morning! (Restyled Home’s blog featured your new nursery). I always get excited when I find a blog from someone here in Oklahoma and your blog does not disappoint. I am super excited to try the pallet “couch” in my 16yr. old son’s room, is it comfortable at all? When you go back to work I definatley want to book a session, I have so many ideas. Your family is beautiful and I love your baby’s name… so unique, I gave my girls unique names and spellings and told them that they would always make an impression! So nice to meet you.

  • keely steger - Beautiful. My son would love these. He goes through paper like there’s no tomorrow and it ends up all over the floor. I would love something lovely like this to keep it more contained. :)

  • christina larsen - You never cease to amaze me. You just had a baby and you are still creative. After each of my children’s birth, I was doing good to shower everyday; let alone be creative. YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!

  • Brooke - I was just about to tell you how much you rock but Christina beat me to it! But I agree… with only one I was also lucky to have just had a shower!

  • Kenna S - This is a fantastic idea. Owen will love making this book! Thanks for sharing your creativity with those of us who are creatively-challenged!

  • Melissa - This is a great idea for those loooooonnnng afternoons :) I think I may have to make these up today for my girls. You are a clever mommy. Thanks for sharing.

  • jill - Ashley- I loved this idea so much, we did this today! It was PERFECT activity! We sat and thought of things that started with each letter to draw together. We only got through the letter D, so will last us a while! Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  • Jolene - what a gorgeous idea!

  • Craft Project Roundup « Ad Astra per Aspera - [...] Alphabet Book (seeing a trend… inexpensive and kid-friendly. Little Lily needs to learn her ABCs!) [...]

  • A Summer Project Completed | Cupcakes and Commentary - [...] After we finished the project I found that another blog I read (Under the Sycamore Tree) had a DIY for alphabet books, so if you are looking for more ideas you can access it here! [...]

  • 50 Handmade Gift Ideas - [...] DIY Alphabet Books [...]

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