WARNING: This post may cause a strong urge to have a baby.

I love to watch her wake up. Baby yawns kill me.1009day-1

Big Brother likes to join her on the bed in the mornings. On this morning he relayed the story of my plane ride. I am now just as cool if not cooler than Indiana Jones in regards to adventure. It’s was fun to listen to how proud he was of me and how much watching me fly impacted him.1009day-2

Hanging out with her brothers in the morning…1009day-3

Nap time…and outfit #2.1009day-4

Nap time on the bed didn’t last long, she prefers that I hold her in the wrap. So we did a little crafting together.1009day-5

Enjoying a little afternoon lego play with Big Brother

1009day-9

Crying…and being comforted by tender hearted Big Brother1009day-10

Going for a walk…Littlest Brother pointing out her body parts. “mouth. nose. hair.”1009day-11

Back at home and enjoying the window view while sporting her ElleBow (see the link at the bottom of the page)…I love the handmade flower. (outfit #3)1009day-6

Getting a little mid-afternoon cuddle from Littlest Brother. Leg Warmers – my FAVORITE girl accessory.

I love how cute AND practical they are….and her chubby thighs are just too much in them!1009day-7

Falling asleep while I was trying to get some new pictures of her. Already bored with the camera.1009day-8

Finishing up the day in outfit #4 -Ā  a dress made by my friend Lauren. She is shocked that I don’t enjoy washing all the clothes she spits up on or drools all over.1009day-12

I told her when she is bigger she has to do her own laundry.1009day-13

Her days are so different from Biggest Brother’s when he was a baby. Have I mentioned I love having a ‘big’ family? My cup overflows…so does my washing machine, dishwasher and trash cans:)

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  • Alba - I’m done with two little boys, but she is so cute. I would love to have a baby girl, but … there are so many “but” that I can not think about it. All the pictures are as fantastic as always, but the one with Big Brother is so tender!

  • Emily Beaty - She is SO cute and has already grown SO much! I love her accessories – the headband, leg warmers, hat… adorable. I also love how her brothers interact with her!

  • lesley - love this post! I really like the one where she’s big eyed with her mouth open and the leg warmers are so cute!!

  • amanda torres - Love the post! She is SO adorable and so thankful for you. Families are one of God’s greatest gifts to us.

  • Miranda - I love this post! It does make me want a baby, but that already existed before I looked at you blog. Little baby girls are SO sweet! I agree having a big family is awesome!!

  • meg duerksen - watching a birth…then a friend telling me of her shocking surprise pregnancy…now you post this. not cool. my womb can’t take it. my poor husband can’t listen to me whine about it anymore. we can’t have anymore. but that doesn’t stop me from wanting it really bad.
    she is doll.
    love the legwarmers. :)

  • christina larsen - Absolutely precious.

  • Meagan - Can totally relate…to it all…We love our leg warmers too! They are the cutest!!!

  • Heather - Love this post! And I love all the snuggle time with her big brothers :)

  • Lisa - Everytime I see her I get that 2nd baby urge!!! Loving this blog post. What a life :-) Thank you for the ElleBows link – I just adore that picture.

  • Shanalea - I am always amazed by how fast my washer and dishwasher fill up. I take one day off and poof 3 loads appear. I will say though I would rather have a full washer and a full house rather than an empty one.

  • ashlee - oh my she is a doll!!!

  • steph anne - Aww. You have beautiful kids! Are you planning on having more kids?

  • Juliann Brenner - You’re right – these pics do make me want to have another (would be #4)…but then there are the NIGHTS, which make that first year so hard for me….

  • Jill R - That IS the life! I would love for someone to dress me in cute outfits all day and have 3 adorable boys at my beck and call!

  • Jeannette Swan - It doesn’t take much to make me want another one!!! Well, except the thought of more laundry than I have now – yikes! My washer and dryer never stop, it’s a wonder they don’t over heat.
    She is beautiful!

  • Amnah - Oh my goodness… too cute!

  • carrie - Her lips are so kissable!!!!!

  • the inadvertent farmer - As a mom of 4 boys and 1 princess I must say those photos made my heart melt…Enjoy! Kim

  • Lauren Roberts - I love her in her dress! So sweet!

  • Lisa Johnson - oh my. This may just be my favorite post ever. What a sweetie!

  • kerry - i love the framed picture of the different sized shoes!
    so much love from the brothers to little sister, simply heart melting:D

  • Melissa - what a doll and YES it makes me what to have another, but not the hubby!

  • Kara - Love the airplane picture! They will love that pic some day!

  • Jolie - oh stop with all the gorgeousness…you know, you aren’t helping the baby fever around here, any!!! She just looks utterly divine!

  • jennifer - Love your blog and LOVE your photography!!!

    WHERE did you get the sling that you have your little one in??? Is it a moby wrap or like a moby wrap??? How do you like it??

    I have a 4 month old son, who is starting to prefer being held and I need something like that!!!!

    Thanks SO much!!
    Jennifer

  • Mandy Metcalf - Oh my goodness she is such a doll! Such a photogenic little girl! Your family is beautiful! :)

  • AshleyAnn - Jennifer…it is from Etsy, seller name is “Loveyduds”. I think it is a lot like a moby wrap…I love it, but now that she is getting bigger I might start trying a simple sling.

  • Amber Dearman - I love these pics!! My favorite is the one in the chair with the orange stocking cap and the leg warmers…darling!!!

  • Trina - Love it. Pls tell me where the legwarmers are from – fantastic! my daughter needs some!

  • AshleyAnn - Trina, the legwarmers are from Target. I think they were about $2.99!

  • Ellie - I love little firecracker. Even then she hinted on her spicey personality. I know that it has been a long while but do you remember where you found those lil’ leg warmers? I just love them. They are favorite baby girl accessory too!

For this post I went back to the year Biggest Brother was born to pull out just some simple candids of me with the kids. I purposely chose pictures that aren’t “great” photographs…just run of the mill shots. Most are of Biggest and Big Brother….I lost track of time looking at old pics. In fact the only one with Littlest Brother is the second on the top row, the only one with my daughter is the third on the bottom row. It is amazing how many of Big Brother look like Littlest Brother (like under the “mommy” circle)
1009mom

Last week I mentioned I was speaking to a group of women in Glenpool…I also mentioned that I was excited about a project they were working on. Well, I had a great time with those ladies. They were gracious and hopefully they enjoyed what I shared – I am in no way a speaker. I think I did a lot of rambling. The project they are working on is called “She Left Proof”. Here is a brief summary from the flickr group dedicated to this…it is well worth your time to read it. The below is written by Emilie Ahren:

“Many scrapbookers knew Aleida Franklin. She was a wonderful wife and mother and a brilliant artist. I didn’t know Aleida personally, but she taught me something I will never forget.

She emailed me last year to tell me she loved my blog and to ask if I liked my short hair-cut. This lead to a series of emails which eventually led me to remark that I really loved how often she posted pictures of herself with her children on her blog. And she replied to me, “Have you ever seen a photograph of your own mother and thought to yourself how fat she looked? Or how she wasn’t wearing make-up? Or wasn’t dressed in a glamorous outfit?” Of course my answer was no.

She then responded with saying that she made it a goal to take a picture of herself with her children at least once every month. And that to use excuses about how we look, as women, is ridiculous, since our children will never care what we looked like, but only that we had physical evidence of the bond between mother and child.

Aleida tragically and unexpectedly passed away in an auto accident in September of 2008, leaving 2 small children and a grieving husband. After she passed I thought of how those children must feel to have those precious photographs. I have made it my personal goal to follow her wise suggestion and I try to take photos of myself with my children….double chins, make-up free, bed-head and all.

I invite Mothers everywhere to take Aleida’s Challenge. To photograph yourself with your children each and every month. And to post them here so that we can see Aleida’s legacy unfolding.”

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Powerful. I love looking back at pictures of my mom – especially her LONG 70s hair. What a great challenge this is to moms (and dads) – to get over how we look in pictures and capture ourselves with our kids. So grab your camera, a tripod, a friend or a spouse and capture yourself with those important to you!

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  • Courtney Connelly - Ash,
    I checked your blog first thing when I got to work this morning. Thank you for the post, it was a reminder that I really needed today. -Court

  • Trinity - Great reminder….I love looking at pictures of me and my mother…you can see her love for me in her eyes and the way she holds me…..good reminder to leave that for my girls! Thanks! Good way to start out the day…being appreciative of what the Lord has given to me!

  • Jamie - Wow. Thank you for sharing this. I tend to think that my kids would be embarrassed of me years down the road when they look at pics of us bc I rarely have on anything but comfy mom clothes and no makeup; I don’t want them to think I never looked “pretty” so I just avoid the camera altogether and wait for a day that I am a little fixed up — and that never happens. BUT this post has really changed my life. You are so, so right. I absolutely have to start making a point to get in pics with my babies no matter what. I feel like crying now over so much wasted time. This has been a total eye-opener. Thanks for sharing.

  • griswold fun - That’s powerful! I don’t have kids but totally agree… I am emailing your page to my friends who do have kids already!

  • meg duerksen - oh i totally crying.
    it’s so true….my mom always says “i look awful” in every picture of us together and i have never thought that when i see them. she just looks like my mom!

    this is powerful!!!

  • Rachel - Great post! Something I definitely needed to hear.

  • Jill R - Thank you so much for this post. Wiping away tears….

  • bopha - What a great post. Thank you for helping us to take great pictures but for reminding us of why we should do it.

  • ashlee - you did a great job!! i am so in love with this challenge, i know i will be so grateful i did this not only for my kids but for myself as well. I have also decided to do it with pictures of my husband and i:)

  • Alba - thanks for the post! it makes me think about how fragile life is. i’ll also email this post to my friends.

  • Jill J - This was touching to read yesterday. And SO TRUE! Thanks for this. I gave myself an assignment of getting into pictures with my kids this weekend. I just love reading your blog… So inspirational and beautiful.

  • stephanie - that’s such a sad story! thanks for sharing- i’m going to make it a point to take more pics of me with her, even though i usually look horrible!!

  • Kenna S - What a precious reminder and tribute. Thanks for sharing.

  • Tammy - Beautiful. I just joined.

  • julie - Thank you Ashley. This is so real. So true. I have maybe ten total pictures of my girls and I. Out of the thousands on my computer. That is not okay. It will change.
    P.S. you are super adorable in all of your pics!

  • Alison R - Wow! What a beautiful post. I am new to your blog and just checking it out. I have to leave a comment on this though. You have just inspired me. I click pictures of my children as often as possible but cannot say that I have very many of me with them. I am going to have to remedy that situation. Thank you so much! I love your blog already and your pics are amazing!

  • Lori McDonough - Thank you for this. I am soooooo going to share this on my blog with my readers. I have never ever thought of it this way, but am now completely inspired by it. I love my mom and cherish every picture of her and I together. I owe it to my kids to do this.

  • sara - this is such a touching story. thank you for sharing it. i have been avoiding getting in any pictures & started changing my ways today! thank you for sharing this.

  • Meredith - Thank you so much for sharing this story and your challenge. I accept! There IS a big hole in my photo journals….one that I’ve accidentally put there. I keep forgetting to include myself in the family photos. Thanks for the reminder.

  • jen@odbt - This is why I post weekly in a “where’s mom” photo challenge. I don’t have any pics of my mom in my childhood and I can’t remember what she looked like back then.

  • Clickin Moms Memebership Special | TidyMom - [...] signed up for a year! While we’re talking photography and mom’s…….PLEASE go read this post and be inspired to include yourself in your pictures with your kids! We as mom’s just [...]

  • Kristi - Thank you for posting this, I am often telling other mothers these things but you never find me in photos with my children because I am embarrassed of the amount of weight I have gained. I would love to post this story on my site if you wouldn’t mind?
    Thanks again,
    ~Kristi

  • In front of the lens » Amy Jester Photography - [...] blog Under the Sycamore and I have always admired how often the she getsĀ herselfĀ into the photos. This post explains WHY she does it and this post is a good inspiration for HOW everyone from the mom with an [...]

  • Kendra - Wow. This is incredibly powerful. I have been playing around with my new camera since Christmas and have yet to really get into the pictures, and those are just with friends. Now that I’m pregnant with my first, I will always think of this post which has moved me to tears… Thank you, hormones. I’m so glad I read this now before it was too late! :) I absolutely love your blog and your photo tips & tricks! Thank you!

  • cynthia - What a story and reminder!! On a mission to include myself no matter what. Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Andi - SO INSPIRING! And so painfully true! I hope you don’t mind that I’m sharing this with my loved ones and my clients! Thank YOU for sharing it with me!

  • Marcy Laber - I’m teary eyed looking at these wonderful pictures…I take tons of funny pictures with my kids too..but I like some of your ideas in these pictures. You think you only have 1 chance at a childhood and then you have kids and you get to do it all over again!

  • Candace - I’m usually the one behind the camera and when I go back to look at the pics I’m not in any of them. Well that all changes today. I have to allow myself to hand my camera over to my husband to take pictures with me in it, regardless of my messy hair and no makeup. Thanks for posting this! It has opened my eyes in more ways than one.

  • The Happiness Report #7 - Food, Friends, Kids & Photography | Dine and Dish - [...] I’m in 2 pictures in this post and put more on the Dine & Dish Facebook page. Inspired by a couple of things, I’ve decided to try to “get in the shot” more often. There are so few [...]

  • Rachel - Amazing… and inspirational. Thank you.

  • A Powerful Reminder {Aleida’s Challenge} » jenny marrs photography {the blog} - [...] tonight concerning taking pictures WITH our kids. It is beautifully titled, “She Left Proof.Ā Aleida’s Challenge“. Ā The brief summary below is written by Emilie [...]

  • part of the story… » the finding of me… - [...] these images later. Not even a question about that. But that all changed when Renee mentioned a blog post about Aleida. And how she made the decision to start being in more photos with her kids. No matter [...]

  • Making time for your memories | Photography By Mel - [...] (this time marketing – I have no idea how I got to Ashley’s blog!) I stumbled into Ashley Ann’s Photography Blog the post will direct you to the story, which is too similar. And happens all too [...]

  • Moms photo challengeBecoming you - [...] in the shot and She left proof @ Ashley Ann [...]

  • Maureen - On the other side, we lost our 26 year old daughter 6 months ago and oh am I sorry I didnt give up the camera more and cared less how I looked. Now when a camera comes out I hug my boys and smile.

  • we went to the beach - [...] recently read this postĀ and was challenged to get in more pictures with my family, to leave some evidence behind that i [...]

  • She Left Proof | Jumping Daisy - [...] friend posted this on Facebook today, and it struck me, as I am sure it strikes a lot of other women. Just this [...]

  • She Left Proof Challenge » Christine Martin Photography - [...] After reading the “She left proof” photo challenge my sister posted on facebook, I decided to join in and take a photo of me and one of my kids as often as possible. Here’s a couple of my favorites so far and I’m also re-posting the link to the blog with the moving story about how the challenge started. (I also included a shot of the boys with the hubby, I wanted them to also have photos of them with their papa.) It’s been fun trying to snatch photos here and there with the boys, I’m getting pretty good at using the camera timer and running into the frame! http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2009/10/22/she-left-proof-aleidas-challenge/ [...]

  • Mommy & Me Mama Say What?! | Mama Say What?! - [...] few years ago I stumbled across this article, She Left Proof {Aleidaā€™s Challenge}, and totally resonated with it. I realized at that moment that I was guilty of taking hundreds of [...]

  • » Kate Eschbach - […] I recently read this post by Ashley Ann: […]

  • Mothers everywhere want their children to give peas a chance. | crumbsoffthetable - […] passed I thought of how those children must feel to have those precious photographs.ā€ From this blog.Ā  It literally makes me mist up every month when I make sure I take a picture with my mini-ions. I […]

I saw this photo a while back on One Pretty Thing and knew I wanted to make several for our house. You can find the tutorial here. I love how simple it is. So I had a great plan to take the boys to the park and use child labor to gather tons of acorns. I bribed them by saying we were going to go feed the ducks…which we did.acornwreath1009leaves-1

After feeding the ducks I handed them 2 pails and got them excited to fill them with as many acorns as we could find. Turns out the acorns were still hanging from the branches, so I came up with Plan B on the spot. We gathered leaves….1009leaves-2

Of course you can’t gather leaves without running and diving in them too…1009leaves-3

Or without flipping into them….1009leaves-4

Or without getting major grass stains on 1 of your 2 pairs of school pants…1009leaves-5

Later that night I set out the leaves, glue and a big sheet of paper to make our version of ABC cards I saw on Martha Stewart.1009leaves-6

Biggest Brother loves to read and write, so this was perfect for him.1009leaves-7

His dad won with the best design…a cricket. Biggest Brother took his paper to school the next day to show his teacher. He thought it was super fun…this is a great indoor activity to pass time in the horrible frigid below 60 weather….I still plan on making that wreath.1009leaves-8

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  • Kari - What a neat idea!!

  • Jeannette Swan - Wonderful stuff!! I love the wreath, I had my boys collect acorns so I could use them in vases for decoration, but the wreath would be amazing. The leaf stuff is great too. Last year, Camden had to create something like that for school with leaves, ours was a turkey…it turned out good, but was a lot of work. And, as for the grass stains, I understand that too, when it got cool, I realized Camden only had one pair of school pants that fit and yesterday they came home covered in grass stains. We are going shopping tonight for more, I can’t keep washing them every night!!

  • the inadvertent farmer - We’re in the middle of doing a leaf alphabet also…gotta love Martha! The acorn wreath is wonderful. But I must say it is the pictures of your kiddos that made me smile. Enjoy this season with your little ones! Kim

  • Lisa - so fun! I can’t tell you how much I miss having little ones. You are doing such a great job soaking up the moments with your children. They grow up too fast! Thankfully, my teenagers still enjoy jumping into leaf piles =)

  • PamperingBeki - Those wreaths are so cute!
    I saw one the other day made of candy corn and loved it too.

    Ashley, will you email me? I have a question (not photography related) and the contact link at the top isn’t working for me.

    Thanks! :)

  • Holly - Just beware that often (maybe always?) acorns have little worms in them. We learned that the hard way after gathering them at the park and bringing them home last fall. It was gross.

  • dana - VERY cool (and fun) idea. I may have to try this!
    btw, your blog is one my new favorites. I subscribe to a lot of “photography blogs” but yours falls in a category beyond that. Not only are you photos amazing and beautiful to look at…but you also showcase cool craft ideas, funny humor, and you blog about your every day life (instead of only posting photo sessions with clients, etc).
    I really love it when a post from your blog pops up on my Google Reader! Thanks for sharing!
    - dana

  • Å krabalica » Nedeljne zanimljivosti 3 - [...] Ashley Ann Photography i igre sa liÅ”?em. [...]

  • Tobia - Okay, I just stumbled here from across the wide web and found a few great ideas and a great blog. Keep up the good work. Love the Leaf alphabet idea. May have to try some soon with my little critters at home :) Thanks and cheers to fun at home and great photos to document it! Tobia

  • leaf project failure and or fiber « EYE OF TOBIA PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG - [...] in our extremities. I found this project posted on a blog I really enjoy about a DIY craft for a Leaf Alphabet based on an idea from Martha Stewart’s site found here: So I thought to myself- I can [...]

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