SnapShopLogo1I’ve been getting A LOT of emails lately asking about the next round of SnapShops. “Yes” I do plan on doing several next year. They won’t start up until the spring and I won’t be setting dates until probably February sometime. I plan on doing them in the spring, summer and fall. If you are interested and want a heads up on dates before I post them on the blog, send me an email at ashley at ashleyannphotography {dot} com

Just a reminder: Google Reader is not picking up my blog…so don’t subscribe there!

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  • kelly dunn - I would love to attend one of your workshops. Please email me and let me know the dates when available. Love,love your blog! Kelly Dunn

Well I would like to introduce you to my ‘online best friend’ – at least that is what my husband calls her. I talk to him about her as if we go way back, when in fact we only know each other via emails and blogs (that will be changing soon)! From the first day I read Meg’s blog “whatever” I was hooked. She drew me in with her beautiful pictures and then hooked me with the way she finds beauty in the everyday.  Her blog is one of the few I check EVERYDAY. I have a feeling those of you that aren’t already followers will now be adding another blog to your favorites. And just a heads up – plan a good chunk of time for your first visit. I asked her if I could share a few of her pictures to give you a bit of a tease…

Lovely everything…her gorgeous oldest daughter (she has 5 kids) and their awesome dog.meg-1

Um, yes. She has killer design taste. That is what a craft room is supposed to look like. You can see more of the guest room on Apartment Therapy.img_9422

Last year she posted so many great Christmas gift ideas. I am hoping her busy photography schedule won’t keep her from posting more this year!6a00d8341c469c53ef010536859aa2970c-640wi

I love every one of these pictures. Love them. Love the life and moments captures so perfectly. Don’t love the frog. I want to be in their family.6a00d8341c469c53ef01156fb49b1d970b-640wi

Her infamous Rainbow Cake. Here is my version.6a00d8341c469c53ef01156fa980df970c-640wi

They took a family trip to the U2 concert. I wanted to meet up with her there, baby kept us from going. Bummer.6a00d8341c469c53ef0120a5f62465970b-640wi

They also go to Demo Derbies as a family. You know how much my family loves mud and cars…and loud crashing. Perfect.6a00d8341c469c53ef00e5527fa6108833-500wi

Peonies. Enough said.6a00d8341c469c53ef00e552948e248834-500wi

Her girls could hang with my boys anytime. She’s got some great puddle jumpers.6a00d8341c469c53ef00e55387328b8834-500wi

And after a long day with 5 kids, she gets to relax in this fabulous bathroom.6a00d8341c469c53ef00e553c719c18834-500wi

Another thing we have in common is a love for getting our kids involved in Samaritan’s Purse Christmas Shoeboxes. Fun Fun Fun.6a00d8341c469c53ef0120a66cbd4e970b-300wi

Meg, thanks for so beautifully capturing your world and inspiring the rest of us to relish the day to day. Your blog brightens my day.

Now go on over and visit Whatever….just make sure you still come back here from time to time!

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  • Jeannette Swan - I think I have come across her before…I don’t follow many blogs just because of time, so I’m not sure where I saw it?? It probably was “My Charming Kids”. Thank you for sharing, I will add it to my short list of blogs to enjoy!

  • Jill J - I know what you mean about the friend thing. I was telling one of my “real” friends something that I saw on Meg’s blog and I was like, “My friend did… I mean, a person that writes a blog that I saw one time…” HA!
    Actually, I don’t know how either of you do it. I have a blog that I keep for my friends and family and am constantly feel brain drained. I really enjoy visiting yours (and hers) because it seems you never run out of content… Interesting content!

  • Christina - I will have to add her to my list; as if I don’t have enough to do in my day, but that’s okay! :) She does have some amazing ideas.

  • pamela - your blog is my “whatever”! but…. i do remember seeing her room on apartment therapy and loving it! thanks for sharing, you’ve made her a favorite of mine already : )

  • Katie H. - Oh WoW…Demo derbys?! I thought I was the only person who went to those. In fact the cars in the pic look VERY familiar. hmm…that’s scary that I even made such a comment about recognizing cars from a derby! ;)

  • ashlee - wow…her pictures are beautiful!! I LOVE the arrangement over the bed! i need to do that somewhere in my house!!

  • Sophie - I LOVE Meg’s blog! I actually found your site on a link from hers I think. (:

    Your blog, her blog and Karen Russell’s blog are the only ones I check every day.

  • Trinity - Ashley, now you know how I feel……visiting your blog EVERY day and wishing I could be part of your family!

  • Tess S. - love meg’s blog. i spent a good 3 days worth of nap times pouring over her pictures and getting inspired.

  • Shelly - Neither you nor Meg know it but you two are MY two bestest friends… ha ha… my husband thinks it is a little nuts how excited we women get over blogs. I definately blog stalk the two of you… you are both my favoritist (as my youngest would say)and you brighten each of my days!

  • CHRISTY HENDERSON - I am a huge fan Meg’s too!! I look for a post from her everyday!
    She’s Awesome!!

  • Jaimie - meg’s blog is one that i check ALL the time. i love her and her photos. like you, i want to be in her family. i hope you get to meet her soon!

  • purejoy - i second that. i want to be adopted. i want my life to be in living color like that!
    and i have a ton of best friends on line. the hubster thinks i’m crazier that crazy. so i just don’t talk about them. i think we’ll have to be friends too.

  • Kelly - I LOVE LOVE LOVE her blog! It’s also on the top of my “must check everyday” list! She’s so fun!

  • Jill R - I agree with Jill J. I have found myself telling someone about someting I read on Meg’s blog and not knowing quite how to describe how I know her….or actually, don’t know her at all. I love that post she did a long time ago about making the cupcakes for school….makes me laugh just thinking about it.

  • susie whyte - meg sent her readers over to visit you today. :) my husband hears all about meg, so he knows what your hubby is talking about. we live in neighboring cities, but haven’t met yet. i think he wants to meet her as much as i do! my life would be so dull without her colorful blog. i love it!!
    i will have to come back over to see you again. your rotating photo header is gorgeous!!!!

  • Tempest - I adore her blog! I have been a follower for a while now.

  • Brooke - Well, I can tell you I am equally obsessed with Meg’s blog. You are bookmarked right next to her :) I tell my husband stories about her and her family. Seriously? Is that normal? Do you see me talking about her? Meg? Like we’re friends or something… And at least you have a super cute blog. Mine is not there yet!! But, that being said, thanks for sharing. Hope to hear the story of you meeting..soon :)

  • patti - i agree 100% with what you said about megan! i don’t know either one of you, but am so thankful that you both add so much joy to my day with your gorgeous photos and honest doses of reality. i like that she posts about the struggles and still finds a way to turn it positive.

  • robyn - just hopped over from Whatever. I’m a photog, too, and will be back to look around as soon as i finish recovering what i just lost in lightroom. bleh.

    but, pretty blog. hi. i look forward to playing :)

    oooh, fyi- if oyu haven’t heard, there’s this thing called Help-portrait worldwide this saturday. i’m shooting in milwaukee. you might want to check out your area (i haven’t figured out where you are yet). but it’s big, and growing. a really neat project giving love and dignity to human beings who can’t afford photog work.

    anyhoo, hi.
    and, shalom.
    r

  • Kara - Ha ha…I laughed at what your husband says. I think my boyfriend gets tired of hearing “Well, Ashley says…”

  • Becky @ Farmgirl Paints - Her house makes me want to weep…it’s so perfect. I feel the exact same way about Meg. She was the reason I started my own blog. I just love her and have a huge blog crush…nuf said:) Thanks for sharing her with the world. Now I’m off to check out your super cute blog:)

  • Kate - I completely agree!

    I follow her blog (and yours!) daily :)

    Two out of Nine of my daily doses… I love you guys. You lift me up.

  • Candace - Her’s is my favorite blog. I even said so on my blog. Ha! It is in the post where I talk about finding your blog and how much I love it. Can I post about your blog? (since I kind of already did.)

    Fabulous stuff – both of you ladies.

  • casey - my husband thanks you for posting this I used one of her recipes tonight and it was amazing! i will recommend cresent chicken to everyone! Now I will never get off the computer between your blog and now hers I guess I’m officially and cyber stalker

  • Lisa Johnson - I am so thankful for creative, inspiring people out there who are willing to open their homes and amazing ideas to the rest of us through blogs. You and Meg are both tops on my list :)

  • Heidi Jo the Artist - Love Meg’s blog! Her blog is in the top three that I read everyday, might have to make yours the 4th!! Lots of great photos and that is a must for me, love photography!

  • H-Mama - Love Meg’s blog! Yours is pretty cute too! ;)

  • Laura Phelps - Meg changed my view of the everyday.
    Whatever should be on everybody’s to do list, everyday.

  • the wild raspberry - i love to go there to see her amazing photography and creativity.
    she has inspired me to get a new camera for christmas!
    happy holidays~~
    chasity

  • Emma - Thank you for sharing this site! I love it!

  • DreamgirlLisa - I love Meg’s blog too, and same for me, the only one I actually check everyday. I’ve made the infamous Rainbow cake twice now, once in a cake, and once cupcakes. They were the hit of the party both times.

  • melissa stover - i love her blog. i’m a lurker, just like i am on yours.

It was the Friday before Mother’s Day – 4 1/2 years ago. I was 12 weeks pregnant with our second child and we were so excited to visit the doctor. We were looking forward to seeing the baby moving all over again and couldn’t wait to hear that fast heartbeat again. We sat down in the exam room with smiles on our faces and the doctor began the ultrasound. Quickly I knew something was wrong. The baby wasn’t moving and there was no heartbeat to hear. We left the office numb and I spent Mother’s Day knowing the little one inside had passed.

Fast forward several months and I found myself crippled with fear and unable to fully rejoice in the baby I was now 8 weeks pregnant with. The fear immoblized me. A bit reluctantly I attended a women’s conference with friends and during that weekend made the decision to walk in faith and trust my God with the pregnancy – whatever the outcome would be. I had made the decision to begin sharing the news of the pregnancy with friends and family. As we began the trip home, my body began to show signs of a possible miscarriage again. I chose to trust my very trustworthy God and not be consumed by fear. Not to return to that place I had been in, but to be grateful for the child I was carrying – regardless of whether or not the pregnancy would end in a safe, healthy delivery.

Fast forward 4 years later and I found myself at a women’s conference again (my first one since that one I just mentioned). This time as I walked in the doors I was quickly reminded of that place of fear, but more than that I was filled with overwhelming gratitude. That little one I was so crippled by fear over losing now is a vibrant part of our family…and he has a little brother and a little sister. The outcome of that story could have been much different, but it wouldn’t have changed the trustworthiness of my God.

My boy.

12.09fear

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  • Trinity - Thanks Ashley for using your experiences, both joyful and difficult to honor the Lord and point others to Him!

  • Christina - Thanks for your transparency. And BTW, your kids are too cute!!!

  • Rachel - Thank you God for your relentless love, your deep-rooted joy, and your miraculous peace. You know who we are and what we need. Oh, that we might know that too.

  • ashlee - I have been in that place 5 different times, and out of those 5 i got to keep 2 of those sweet babies, Lucas and Mercy. My Father got to keep the others:) and even though it was so very hard to let go, He is the same yesterday, today and forever…He loves me no matter what!

  • meg duerksen - i think almost every woman i know has a story like this. it’s so hard to go through…but such a growing time too.
    love your honesty. :)
    you are truly blessed.

  • Christian T - Thank you for sharing your story… A very similar thing happened to me. In fact, I think our boys have the same birthday – April 13th. Thank God for my boy… I love him so much and know God has a plan for our family.

  • a pocket full of posies - Thank you so much for sharing your sweet heart…and giving our Father the glory! What a Blessing! It is so hard to loose something you love so much…but resting in the knowledge that they are waiting for us with our Heavenly Father and we will meet again helps heal a bit of the broken heart.
    Many Blessings!
    Jill

  • Allison - You are so right! What a sweet boy to be grateful for :)

  • Shanalea - You are so right. My first pregnancy (which occured after a month of being married) was unsettling, but I learned to deal with it and then miscarried. The fear of each pregnancy after that one has been very real. I remember not wanting to let people know because of that, but each time God has been faithful. Both #1 son and #2 son came with no surprises. Then to have a birth of my #3 son to be so traumatic. I had to go back to trusting that God was faithful. I am happy to say that #4 son was very uneventful and wonderful. God is good.

  • Melissa - A great reminder to us that our God is Faithfull! your family and beautiful:) you are truly blessed

  • Jaimie - he looks like quite the little character. : )

  • Lacy - I love the pictures.

    And… this post made me cry in a I-resonate-with-you kind of way.

    A good kind of way.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • juneypie - i am thankful that i have never been in that place of fear and grief, our good Lord knows that that’s one burden that i cannot carry. all my sisters-in-law had miscarriages though, and i see in their eyes the fear of going through that again when they fall pregnant the second time.

    my prayer group leader once said that we should all tell everyone about our pregnancies as soon as we know about it, and should embrace the happiness that comes with it. if there will be a miscarriage, at least for everyday that the baby was inside in your womb, it knows that it was wanted.

    i always share that with all the pregnant women i meet. life is such a wonderful gift. and with Christmas, the life of Christ is OUR gift from Him above. Merry Christmas!

  • Sunshine Burns - I’m a new reader but have been encouraged and challenged by your creativity! It is a blessing to connect with someone I’ve never met and it’s so neat to see how the Lord is using your passions for business and giving you a voice to proclaim His faithfulness in your life! He give and takes away- my heart will chose to say- Blessed be Your name!

  • the inadvertent farmer - I miscarried on Mother’s Day 4 years ago..I know have a 2.5 year old boy that I am thankful for every single day. Yes we need to remember that God has a plan for our lives and a reason for everything that happens, even if we don’t know what it is right now. Thanks for sharing, you little guy is darling! Kim

  • Jeannette Swan - Thank you for sharing. I understand completely! There is something special about the baby that follows a miscarriage, I often think about how Noble and Corban would not be exactly who they are if they hadn’t followed a miscarriage. Your heart always has a place for those babies that were lost, but is also so joyful for the sweet lives that followed!! God is good to restore!!

  • Amanda - I love your Blog, your Photography and how you share your love and trust in the Lord. Thank you for being such an insperation to me. You have a beautiful family!

  • shelby rice - I just stumbled upon your site. Your work is absolutely inspiring, and I thought it was fun you are also from the Tulsa area! As a newlywed, I have recently been thinking about beginning the baby process and found your post inspiring. I (like I am sure many other women) have always feared miscarriage, and was inspired by your trust in the Lord. You are right- He is faithful and trustworthy, even when we experience pain. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jessica Butler - Ashley,

    How do you make your pictures “glow?” Is it simply natural light and camera settings or is it a photoshop feature?

  • heidi - this post is something i needed very much.
    thank you.

  • Lesley - Thanks for posting this Ashley. I read it the first day you put it up – at work, in tears. Every time I come back to leave a comment, I get all teary again and just leave. Today, I skipped reading it, knowing what it said, and just wanted to tell you thank you for sharing, it was much needed for me.

  • Caitlin - I wanted to say thank you for your posts. I’m reading this years after you posted, but I’m 7 weeks pregnant after having my first pregnancy end in a miscarriage 7 months ago. I’m right there. Fighting my fear, and trusting that the Lord has control over this baby too. And I will trust that whatever His plan is, it’s perfect. It’s hard to love this tiny thing growing in me fully, knowing my heart may be broken again, but just seeing the photo you posted of your healthy boy reminds me to have happy hope. Thanks for your heart for God. I love reading your posts & seeing that through your words. :)

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