The CMAs are tomorrow…so those of you that aren’t fans only have to endure my country music posts 2 more times. Along the same lines as yesterday I’m writing some lyrics to accompany a few shots from some times I’ve spent with my friends and their kiddos lately. A little LeAnn Womack wonderfulness with you…

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder


You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger1109friends-1

May you never take one single breath for granted

1109friends-5God forbid love ever leave you empty handed


I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean


Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens


Promise me you’ll give faith a fighting chance


And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance1109friends-7

I hope you dance (my boy…he usually prefers dancing with my friend Jenn’s strobe light)1109friends-11

So tomorrow’s post will be a country music lyric game…get ready. I don’t want Rachel and I to be the only ones playing!

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  • Kari - You are so stinkin’ creative! I love these country music posts and can’t wait for tomorrow’s post.

  • christina larsen - Not sure if I’ll play tomorrow, since I don’t do country; but I’ll at least check it out. I am glad you are enjoying your countdown. :)

  • Courtney Connelly - Ash, this post sure made me tear up this morning. Thanks for sharing more of your obsession with country music, makes me smile each time because it is so you!

  • Jill R - These posts are fun! I LOVE the picture of E walking in the leaves with the adorable little girl. So precious.

  • karen brown - My husband danced with his mom to that song at our wedding. Love it!

  • Trinity - I LOVE your country music posts! I wouldn’t mind seeing a new one of those every day! Can’t wait for the game tomorrow!

  • Rachel - So sweet. Keep the country music posts coming!

  • Mandy B - Do you think next time maybe you could post a pic of Jenn and her strobe light?

  • AshleyAnn - Great idea Mandy…Jenn doesn’t read the blog so she’d never know!

  • Courtney Connelly - Jenn and her strobe light, now that would be a great post!

  • Erin Fowler - I’ve experienced Jenn and the strobe light, it’s definitely blog worthy…

  • Georgia Davis - She’s gone country! You know I love it. Don’t worry me and my cowboy never miss the CMA’s.

  • the inadvertent farmer - I think you should do a weekly post with country music lyrics…they rock…or do see do! Those little ones holding hands brought tears to my eyes, too stinking cute!

  • Suzette - I love both songs you have picked! Beautiful photos!!

  • Becky @ Farmgirl Paints - Can I just say your blog is gorgeous. Love love love it!! So glad I found you from Whatever:) A true talent!

What you ask is a couple of days away? The CMA Awards! In honor Wednesday’s show I am doing an ode to country music post…well kind of. I realize that after reading that sentence there are a few for sure responses:

1. My good friends rolling their eyes thinking, “Is she really doing a post on country music?”

2. Excitement from all you other country fans

3. “Country music? She likes country music?”

4. “Country music? I thought she loved Jesus.”

Thank you Trace Adkins for a great song…


I’d invite you all over to join me for a CMA watch party, but I have an aversion to large crowds and I am guessing there aren’t that many of you that would want to come!

For those wondering, these were taken at Redbud Valley.  Last time I was there I was a senior in high school and I went with two friends…Kevin and Judson. I was the yearbook editor and they were the photography editors. We went out in an attempt for them to teach me to shoot my film camera on manual instead of automatic. It was a very frustrating experience and I got about 2 pictures that weren’t completely black. However, trying to hike with a baby in a sling while also taking pictures was about just as hard.

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  • Shannon Phillips - Yes! I LOVE you for this post Ashley! Unlike you, I am normally a cryer so, this one brought tears to my eyes. I know, I’m a sap. Thanks for the country music post. It was one of my favorite posts of yours. ;)

  • christina larsen - So where is Redbud Valley? I have only lived in OK for 2 yrs. My family would love to go there, it looks amazing.

  • Rachel C - Hooray for country music! Looking at your picturees along with Trace’s lyrics …. GULP. I am bursting out in song right now….Nothin’ better than a little chicken fried and a big green tractor. BTW — did you know that Taylor Swift is dating “Jacob” from the Twilight series? Yeah, that’s right…I like country music AND vampire books. :)

  • AshleyAnn - Here’s a link to info on Redbud Valley

  • Meagan - Awww, such a sweet song, and so true! I didn’t know you were friends with Judson! I should have known that though, duh! I’ve known Judson for a long time—we grew up together at church! He’s such a sweetie pie/goofball!

  • Jennifer Williams - This was an incredible post! More people might like country music if they would listen to the words and realize how much it can relate to your life.

  • amanda torres - Not a huge country music fan anymore, but it still plays in the car sometimes. I’m so glad you are super stoked about this event! Very cute post.

  • Susan - LOVE that song! LOVED the pix!

  • Trina - i love your last photo with you and your gang in single file

  • christina larsen - Thanks Ashley, I had been to the Oxley Nature Center; I didn’t realize they were the same thing. Oh well, thanks for the help.

  • bopha - Wow, loved that post. This is going in my top 10 Ashley blog moments.

  • Ashley - Ashley – Thank you for this post. I don’t have kids but this sure brought tears to my eyes. I like to imagine we all go through life with a personal soundtrack playing and I can see you hiking carrying a baby snapping pictures of all the brothers and dad AND I think this is the appropriate song for that. Great post!

  • meg duerksen - i was singing it loud while reading this amazing post!
    love country music. :)

    we have tim mcgraw, taylor swift & brad paisley all coming this winter to wichita. i hope we get to one of those.
    tim mcgraw preferably.
    i wouldn’t normally watch the CMA’s but maybe this year i will. :)

  • PamperingBeki - So precious!! That’s a really good song.

    The one that chokes me up every time, though, is Let Them Be Little. I bawl like a baby when it’s on.

  • the inadvertent farmer - OK…wiping a tear away. Love that song, country music melts me every time. I have on ‘two wooden crosses’ as I type. I’m off to get a really big hanky.

    I will certainly at least have it one…not sure I’ll actually sit down to watch but will be listening for my faves!

  • Jill R - We are looking forward to the CMA’s as well! I love this Trace Adkins song. I sang it to both of my boys as newborns in the rocking chair at 2 am on many nights…..okay, maybe more singing it to myself as a reminder that this to shall pass and I will be able to sleep again, someday…..

  • Jen B. - Could you possibly do a teaching here on shooting in manual mode in low light situations? Thank you!!! I’ve been practicing, but I just can’t figure this one out.

  • Rebekah Jean - Awesome post. Great song…and I love the way you depicted it with your pictures! It’s a great message…sometimes we just need to slow down and take in life a little more! :)

  • Alba - I’m not really into country music, but I’ll make a search to find out what are you talking about. Amazing pictures, as always, the last two are wonderful, a little foot there, these small hands, the pack,… Thank you for postins things like this, it makes my office mornings better.

Post Update 11.13.09

It seems like I am quickly losing the battle with my email inbox…I overlooked a couple of the girl’s emails from the last SnapShop. Here are a couple more student pictures…


Thanks for your comments yesterday…I really am not a crier…especially over something so trivial….it is usually over Johnson & Johnson commercials:)

Well it has taken me a bit, but I am finally posting some of the pictures from those that attended the last SnapShop (not everyone sent me some). Keep in mind these great ladies came shooting on automatic and at the end of the day I forced them to only shoot on manual for this practice session. That outdoor session is pretty fast-paced and they were dodging 10 other ladies…the fact they got anything in focus makes me proud….but they did so much more than that. Check out how great their pictures turned out!



I did want to share a link to a post Valerie wrote on her SnapShop experience. SnapShops aren’t meant to be a dig in the books technical photography class, but more a practical class to learn how to get the most out of your investment in a dslr….and to capture the beauty of your everyday life. Thanks Valerie for the super sweet words!

Over the course of the last few months a few SnapShop attendees have started photography businesses of their own.

Check out their websites! (If I am missing someone, please let me know!)

Revolutions Per Minute – This talented gal already had quite the foundation before coming (still wondering why why she came!)…she could really teach me a lot!

Jenny Collier Photography

Andrea Jett Photography

From Moments to Memories Photography by Serena Lowe

MNix Photography by Megan Nix

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  • Beth - Have you ever given thought to doing a class or even just a post on the business of photography? Where to start, etc…

  • Andrea Jett - Thanks Ashley! The biggest things you taught me were Godly passion and confidence! And I am forever grateful.

  • Trinity - Ashley…you must feel like a proud mother with all of her little snap shop children doing it on their own! The pictures are great girls and the websites are awesome! Here is a comment I got from someone the other day…”your pictures are great…I love how they tell a story and capture who the person is, not a pose.” I thought, oh Ashley would be proud! Thanks again for using your talents and investing in other people. I don’t just learn lessons on photography from you, but on life…how you treat others, teach your kids, and invest your talents in others. Thanks!

  • amanda torres - Great shots. I love to look at those kids. B-E-A-U-tiful.

  • Melissa - Ashley, Did you get my pics? I sent them either Sunday or Monday this week . . .

  • Julie W - Ashley, ditto…I sent my pics on Friday, 10/30. Just don’t want you to think I blew you off! Let me know if you would like me to forward the email.

  • Jill Curry - Ditto… I sent my pics on Oct. 28th. No big deal, just wanted you to know in case something weird is up with e-mail. :)

  • Valerie - Thanks for the mention on your blog! Makes me feel like a superstar, haha, since I am a big fan of yours. And I’m so glad my comments made you smile!