Littlest Brother is a great sleeper…wonderful sleeper…he is also a fan of using a pacifier to go to sleep. This was the week we said “goodbye” to the pacifier. The night we took it away he cried and cried and cried…my heart broke for him. He is too young understand the reason it is gone or why I would take it away. For him all he knows is that someone he loves and trusted took away something that he loves and something that provides him great comfort. As I sat downstairs listening to his cries and each time I went in to kiss and comfort his tear stained cheeks, my heart just broke. After about an hour the room was silent and he was peacefully sleeping. It made me think of all the times in my own life that I don’t have answers for the “why’s?”. I am so grateful that despite my tears and my crying out in the midst of not understanding circumstances around me that I can rest peacefully knowing I have a Heavenly Father that knows the answers to my “why’s?” and He loves me – more than my mind could ever comprehend – He loves me.

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  • sheridan - Oh no fun no fun no fun!!! Those 60 minutes I’m sure couldn’t go fast enough. Hopefully tonight will be better.

  • Lauren Roberts - I’m so glad we’ve passed those days days. Stay strong Mommy!

  • carrie - Motherhood isn’t easy!!!

  • Sarah (CJ's Mom) - All that understanding from a pacifier…The way God provides understanding blows my mind. Whys? Never easy.. I just know that God is good. All the time.. Hang in there Momma you’re going great!

  • Shannon Phillips - It is so amazing how the Lord teaches us through our children. Your story reminds me of a song that I love so much called “How he loves us.”

  • bopha - i think it’s even more heartbreaking when you know that if you just gave it back he would stop crying. stay strong (i never did), we kept ours until just a few months ago.

  • Beth - I love this post! You said it so right!! I fortunetly didn’t have to do the pacifier thing! Hang in there!

  • amanda - I’m not sure if your writing moved me more or the pacifiers laying on that specific page of the book. The words…”and this to shall pass” come to mind. Stay strong mama!

  • Natasha Perryman - Ashley,
    I so enjoy checking in on you and your beautiful family!
    Thank you for sharing this story as my prayer this morning was to understand how much God loves me. He does know the answers to our whys and does love us so much- what a great illustration of that.
    Avi Joy was up to 4 hours the first night w/o passy, so I do understand, but within 3 days she was perfectly fine without it.
    Blessings and congrat’s on baby girl,
    Natasha

  • Jeannette Swan - What a great analogy. I know the pain of taking away a paci – not a fun parenting time! Now I have to figure out how to take away a thumb!

The boys enjoyed the snow for about 5 minutes, but it was a good 5 minutes! As much as I like these pictures, I am still wishing for warm weather.

This better be the end of the cold (though a maternity swimsuit doesn’t make me long for the pool).

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Photo Tip: Shooting in overcast snow is very similar to shooting in daylight…lots of light reflected from EVERYWHERE

Manual Shooters: these were all shot at 85mm, f/2.5, ISO 100, 1/500

Automatic Shooters: try the “P” mode and dial the ISO number down to 100…give it a try

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  • Jeannette Swan - My pictures look nothing like this!! These are awesome as usual.

  • Lesley - These are so good Ashley, thanks for the tips!

  • Erin Jones - Thank you for including your camera settings! I love being able to see the settings you use vs the ones I have chosen! Your pictures turned out great!

  • bopha - thanks for the settings, i took some and they were blindingly white and i couldn’t see snowflakes well.

  • Melissa - Look at those colors popping… awesome!

  • Mirys - Can I just say… THESE PHOTOS ARE SPETACULAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Congrats!
    Best snow photos ever!!!

    Mirys

    PS: girl, you are definetilly an inspiration. I HAVE TO get back to my photografer experiences with my friends and family… Thank you so much! I didnt take any picture after my husband died… I just couldnt do it! I didnt see reasons for keep on clicking. Now I see! Thanks!!!

So a little bit back Amanda asked in the comment section for some maternity pics of me….problem is I prefer being BEHIND the camera, so I didn’t have any. That and you aren’t about to get me to wrap gauze around my bare belly in front of a camera. I decided to take advantage of the beautiful snow and get a few pregnant shots. Chris deserves an award for dealing with me when it comes to me being in front of the camera. I got all the settings where I wanted and was SO PICKY about angles…poor guy. I played with the post-processing a little more than normal. If you know me well, these will probably make you laugh – my attempt at a “model” serious face:)If my neighbors didn’t already think I was crazy, I am sure they do now after seeing me in a tank top in the snow…..

This one is my favorite, it is totally out of focus – but I love the mood of it. Guess pics don’t have to be sharply in focus afterall…

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  • Heather Stauffer - You are so cute! You seriously look how I can only dream of looking pregnant, much less 6 months pregnant! You need to display these, you really are just GAWWWWGEOUS! :)

  • Ang - Wow, Ash. These are great. Your favorite is my favorite, too. It looks like it could be a post card found in an antique shop.

  • Lauren Roberts - You are so beautiful!

  • melanie - Love the model serious face:) Great job, Chris!

  • Serena - I totally love them! I love the look of them.

  • Shannon Phillips - You are a doll! The first and second shots are my favs.

  • Courtney Connelly - Really beautiful!

  • Lesley - Ashley these are so fun. For someone that hates the cold, I’m quite surprised you volunteered to get out there in a tank top! The second one is my favorite, very vintage.

  • bopha - Very cool, love the snow pics! The serious is good but I love the 3rd one down, it just reminds me more of you. You are a super cute preggo!

  • Jenn - Ash – You are such a cute, tiny thing. I LOVE these!! Who would ever guess that you are pregnant with #4. These pictures are amazing and have such a cool feel. Way to go, Chris.

  • amanda - You are so cute!!!!!!!! I love teh 2nd pic…and I CANNOT believe how great you look for your fourth pregnancy. You look like it’s your first. Everything is tight and in place. I can’t say the same for my second pregnancy.

  • meg duerksen - your favorite is my favorite.
    :)

  • Jeannette Swan - Wow – I know how much you love the cold weather so this is amazing that you got out in the snow in a tank top. These are absolutely amazing – you are beautiful!

  • carrie - Adorable!

  • Samantha - Six months… and she’s number 4? Ashley, I’m so jealous! :) You look fabulous and nice work Chris!

  • sheridan - You look so good! I’ve always thought the serious model look looks great on others…just never thought it worked with me. I love your creative ideas…who would have thought tank top, hat and snow would make such a great picture-thank you for sharing all your ideas!

  • maggie mckenney - Hi Ashley! I just got on your blog…congratulations on being pregnant & so happy for you that is is a girl! You look great & seem to be doing wonderful work sharing your talent thru teaching. I love the blurred shot as well..it’s beautiful. (don’t rule out the guaze shot…you can always call me..he he)
    Keep up the great work & stay healthy. :)

  • Kirsten Hilsheimer - just beautiful ashley – you look amazing!