When I took an Intro to Photography course my professor said one thing every photographer needs and will use ALL THE TIME is a tripod. I am a bad student. Once a year I drag my tripod out to get a family picture…the kind where I am running back and forth from behind the camera to my family and we wait for the flashing countdown. Captures what we look like, but that is about it. Chris and I have never had professional portraits (a couple of friends shot our wedding – and did an awesome job) and I wanted to capture our family before we added another girl. (Remember, back then I was having major issues with another girl coming into my family:)). So last March/April we had family portraits scheduled with my friend Shannon.  It was the day of and I was on my way to get my hair fixed and was trying to be positive despite it was raining so hard I could barely see to drive. Needless to say Shannon and I talked and canceled…and I even got my hair appt. rescheduled. Well round two comes along…RAIN AGAIN. We rescheduled. Round three…RAIN AGAIN. After that I was so fully pregnant I wasn’t up for doing it until after the baby arrived. So round four is scheduled for this Thursday…can you believe this????


I call it The Curse of the Unloved Tripod.

On a side note, I’ve gotten a lot of emails about my kitchen remodel. I have a few things to finish before I want to post pictures. One big question has been the new wall color…oddly enough it is called “Stillness”. I don’t remember the brand, I found it at Lowe’s in the section of tinted whites, but I had it mixed somewhere else. I’ll post more pictures of it all later. It really is an oxymoron that my kitchen is painted a color by that name:)

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  • Shannon Phillips - REALLY this is getting just silly! I am going to have a little talk with God and tell him we need to make some sort of deal about the next day we pick so that it doesn’t rain. I love you girl! It will happen sometime I promise!

  • Lacey McKay - Ha! That is crazy! But I believe it! I haven’t been very busy this fall, but I figure it’s a blessing in disguise because I would probably have to cancel a lot due to weather anyway.

  • Liz - Every other day this week is supposed to be beautiful! That is the kind of luck that I usually have! You never know because the weatherman aren’t always right so hopefully they will be wrong!

  • Lacey - Tremendous photos, I spent far too long looking at them!,

Now wasn’t that a great picture to start your Monday off with? I think things are finally back up and running correctly with my hosting company…so I will share some vacation pictures. I debated posting all these…I kept thinking of other blogs that would post this many and other blogs that would never post personal vacation pictures…and so on and so on. Don’t you hate getting caught in the comparison game? Maybe no one else ever struggle with it, but it is easy for me to get distracted by watching other people.  Wow…none of that relates to my vacation! Here’s some of my favorite pics anyways!

Baby sister in the wrap…this is the view I had 75% of our vacation.

Our vacation was in a little cabin on at a campground by the lake. During the summer the cabins and grounds are filled with kids and teenagers there for summer camp. Part of the summer camp experience is a ropes course. For my boys it was an Indiana Jones wonderland.

Yeah, it’s pretty nice to have boys…even when they have tree mold down the front of their shirts.

On the campgrounds they have an old plane held up in the air by metal stands. You can climb up inside and it kind of looks like you are flying. For you Lost fans…all I could think while I was inside was “I feel like Charlie. If I find any ceramic Mary statues I will know I am in trouble.” Chris told me that was morbid – espcially since Baby Sister was tied to me in the baby wrap.

Recently his sister was crying in the car. He leaned forward and said, “Please STOP. I don’t want to hear your whining anymore!”

He surely didn’t say that because he hears it several times a day…my kids never whine or pout.

So I attempted a picture of all 4…not happening so much.

Would be much better if their sister could at least sit verses lay in a blanket on the dock.

Welcome to the Gun Show.

Shirts are way overrated.

This is his ’9 months pregnant and my back is killing me’ pose. He learned that one from me.

We drove around the lake just to see what was there. We saw a sandy beach and I asked the boys if they wanted to get out…we had one towel (already dirty), no swimsuits, no change of clothes. Evidently I wasn’t thinking…sand + my boys = sand fights. It’s kind of like 2+2=4.

The girls stayed out of the fight. (I can say ‘girls’ how funny is that!)

It’s all fun and games until someone gets sand in their eyes.

The babies were cleaned, the big brothers had to use great self control to fight the urge to get Mommy and Littlest Brother sandy again.

Our vacation. It was a boy outdoor wonderland…dirty, rainy, muddy, rustic, messy. No cell phone coverage, no internet, no computers. I’d say it was a peaceful stay at a cabin by the lake, but I have 4 small children…it was a stay at a cabin by the lake:)And we loved it.

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  • Shannon Phillips - Ashley, I am so glad that you posted ALL of these! I get stuck in the comparing game all of the time. Why do we do that?

  • amanda torres - I’m so glad you went with the ‘you’ blog and posted your vacation pictures. Loved them all. I have to say I’m a little sucker for Littlest Bro’s tummy! I LOVE IT! Preggo pic cute. Also loved the pic of the boys standing up on the doc and baby sis laying there. Your boys faces say it all. Glad you had a great time.

  • Rachel - Great pics as usual!!! Question for you and your faithful blog followers out there…do you know of any good places to take engagement pictures in Oklahoma City?

  • christina larsen - I love the ’9mo pregnant pose’ that cracked me up. All great photos. Thanks for sharing. BTW, I don’t think you shared too many.

  • Aunt Sandy - I have to say my fav is the pic of all 4 and Breese’s tongue is out. Great pics and what a great family you have.

  • Meagan - Those are great pictures! I love the one of the boys on the tires! It looks like each one of them is in his own little world! Breese is just precious! Is your wrap a loveydud off of etsy?

  • AshleyAnn - Rachel…I am not familiar with OKC, but I would bet the Paseo district and just about anywhere downtown would be great spots for a session.

    Meagan…yep, it is a Loveydud. I had it for my youngest son and replaced the fabric on the front for my daughter. You won’t see that fabric in her store.

  • bopha - those are great pictures. love the one of “pregnant” rett!

  • Meagan - So, I guess you love it?! I’ve been looking at them since March and still haven’t bought one! I really want one, although techinically I don’t need one since I already have a sling and an AngelPack (which is also awesome!)! It just looks so comfy!

  • Sarah - My Monday is complete! My favorite picture is the one with all the kids and she’s sticking out her tongue. Too cute!

  • Mandy B - Tell Chris – one person’s “morbid” is another person’s “creative”…great pictures Ash!! I love seeing pretty blankets in with all the dirt!

  • Lisa - ok, these pictures are beyond fabulous!!! i love them!

  • heather - you live in oklahoma? you make it look so magical and enchanted!! help!! l just moved to norman from nyc and am dying, but thru your eyes this places looks transformed……….
    any tips on the okie life?

    thank you, your photography is brillant, and your family is gorgeous!

  • andy - love all of your vaca pics. they are so good
    love the one of little boy looking prego
    and that first pic……i think my son has the same one (is it yellow and from old navy) good deals
    the mud ones are great too

  • Kelly - Thanks for sharing! pregnant pose killed me SO cute, and loved the gun show.

  • the inadvertent farmer - Oh you just made my heart smile…

    My three big boys are now college age, luckily for me we had another batch so baby sister and brother are still home. Your pics reminded me of the pure energy three little boys can create, thanks so much! Kim

  • rachel - Looks like you had tons of fun! i love all of your pics…

  • Julia Leinen - this vacay pics are fabulous. I’m so glad you posted them. Thanks for sharing!

  • Grace - Your blog is my favorite. And I obsessively make my roommates look at the pictures of your adorable kids. They’re so cute!!

  • Jeannette Swan - I get stuck comparing my pictures with yours!! I love them all, I can’t imagine if I got even 1/4 of the shots you got, how happy I would be!! Always post whatever you want to, that is just what we want to see.

  • Amy - Your children are so gorgeous. Your family is so blessed!

  • Emily Beaty - How fun! I love the pregnant image… so funny! I love how you narrated the vacation, too. :)

Guess who really likes her mommy? We are out of the phase where I have to make tons of faces and noises to get one little smile…we are now in the phase where she can just lock eyes with me and that is enough for a smile. I love it. I LOVE IT.

There are still server/hosting issues I am dealing with…is anyone still getting error messages when emailing me?

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  • Amy - She is so gorgeous!!!

  • Lori Danelle - I adored that age! All you had to do was walk in the room and you’d get the biggest smile and laugh—like you were the most important person to her ever and she had been waiting her whole day for you to walk through that door—even if you’d only been gone 5 minutes!!!

    She’s absolutely stunning. :)

  • Shannon Phillips - She is a gem! She looks oh so snugly in these.

  • amanda torres - precious!

  • Casey - how sweet :)

  • christina larsen - Love baby smiles.

  • Mandy B - How is it that she keeps changing so much? She looks a lot like Corbett in that middle picture. She is so sweet!!

  • rachel denbow - What a beauty!