Last year I made a phone case with Uncommon. It had held up good, but with heavy wear and tear, some of the image started rubbing off of it. I was also just ready for something new.  Here is how I made my case, maybe it will spark some ideas for how you can make your own.

Step 1: Pull out stuff you like. I had a quilted pillow top I found from a local flea market that I just love the colors and patterns. I knew that is what I wanted my base to be, the rest is just supplies for adding layers.

Step 2: Layer the items (or not). I made lots of different ‘designs’ and used my dslr to photograph each one. When you photograph the design, make sure you leave lots of room for cropping and wrapping around the sides of the case. Here are two of my final photos I used:

Step 3: Upload your designs to getuncommon.com and follow the instructions. Once uploaded you will see how the design fits on the case. You may want to re-shoot the photo if it doesn’t fit quite right. Then finalize and place your order.

Just a little heads up – I’ve made a few cases now (some for me and some for others), I do think the reds tend to come out over-saturated. So, just be aware of that if you have red in your design. Also the clarity is not as good as the original photo, so if you are looking for an exact copy of your photo you might be surprised to see some detail lost. I’ve always been happy with my cases, but I wanted to point that out so no one was surprised. In the shot below, I think you can see the brightness of the reds and the lost detail on the pom poms.

My oldest daughter tells me each day, “Mommy, I love your new case. It’s so beautiful.” – makes me smile each time.

While I was planning on working on a new case to replace my old, I got an email from Uncommon about submitting a few designs and joining their affiliate program. All that means is if you want to buy one of the cases I designed, you can and I would get an affiliate commission. Or you can design your own! Here is the Uncommon widget that links to my other designs (the one that looks different is my case from last year).


So that is fun and funny to me…I have iPhone cases. I designed them for me, but maybe there is another person in the world that like vintage fabric and pom poms for their phone case!

Uncommon sent me two sample cases and I only need one for my phone, so I have one of the Dottie designs for an iPhone 4s to give away.

Here are the giveaway details:

1 iPhone 4s case (Dottie design)

The giveaway is now closed.

The winner was Jenni (jenni@ama…)! Jenni, look for an email from me!

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  • Betsy - Love this so much! I would love to enter the giveaway. Thanks!

  • Ashley E - Adorable cases! Entering the giveaway!

  • Gale - I was just looking for the old post about your phone cover over the weekend!! I’d decided I finally wanted to make one – but I’d rather win one that you designed! :) Firecracker is right – your cover IS beautiful!!!

    Thanks for the chance to win – praying hard for your family right now, which is much more important than a case for me :)

  • Gale - I just happen to have an iPhone 4 and would love a case designed by you. BEAUTIFUL.

  • Marcie - These are so fun and colorful!! I’d love to spruce up my plain ol’ phone! Thanks for the chance :)

  • Suzanne M - I am entering to win the 4s case! Love the design!

  • Ellen S - Have loved following your blog for over a year now and feeling a little guilty that my first comment is to enter a giveaway for an iPhone case! I’ll contribute something more significant next time :)

  • LeeH - I love vintage fabric and pompoms, please enter me in this giveaway.

  • Jillian - You have many gifts from the Lord, but your creativity is absolutely inspiring! I would love to enter your contest. I recently upgraded to an iphone5, but my 11 year old dd inherited my old iphone (as a touch) and her favorite colors happen to be blue and green. Thank you for offering this give away!
    p.s. We LOVE your blog and have cried and laughed right along with you on your adoption journey. Your family is precious!

  • hila yosef - i love your blog and al the crafts that you do. it always seems so easy for you. i would love to enter the giveaway!

  • Katie Wolinski - Totally entering this contest!!! Too cute!!!

  • Becky M - I’m getting my first iphone in a week! Perfect timing! Hear’s to keeping my fingers crossed :) p.s. I read your blog daily but never comment. I love your beautiful family :)

  • Ann Marie - I would love to win a case from you! Love these designs!

  • Julie - Entering this! I hope I win, they are SO sweet and if I don’t I am ordering for sure!

  • Molly - Love your blog! Love your ideas! Always inspiring! Entering the giveaway!

  • Carrie B - My sister just got her iPhone 4s last week! This would be the perfect thing for her! She has 5 kids so she NEEDS a case to keep her phone safe and cute! :) LOVE LOVE LOVE

  • Beth Gillem - Love it! Thank you for sharing!

  • Lindsey B - Yay, how fun! I would love to enter your giveaway and win one of your beautiful cases ;)

  • Elizabeth - So adorbs! Would LOVE to win!

  • Brady - My wife would love this! So cute! Sign me up!

  • Amanda - Entering! :) Love them all and would love to win one! :)

  • Caroline - Sign me up! I NEED this :) if i don’t win i will have to order one!

  • Janine - Me too! I am entering too! I love your blog and I adore these designs! They make me happy! Happy Birthday little one! Happy 4th of July!

  • Melody - Count me in! Love your design.

  • Nelli - Hi, I’m entering the giveaway. I don’t own an IPhone myself but my sister does and I would love to give it to her since she has a birthday coming up also, it would make a perfect present :)

  • Joey Hoffman - My case is in need of serious replacing!! Love your designs!!

  • Mary A - My daughter has an iphone and she has many had many health issues in her life that she faces with such grace I am in awe. She would love to have one of these beautiful covers for her phone.

  • Carrie - Love it! Please enter me.

  • Steph t - Love it!!
    I’m in desperate need of a new case too!
    Perfect timing if I win!
    I just think your creative heart is such a gift from Jesus!

  • Allison - I’m entering to win this adorable case! Love!!!

  • Darcie - I’m still rockin’ the iPhone 4. :-) I love the custom case idea!

  • Kate - I also love vintage fabric and would totally flaunt my love on my phone case if I had the chance!

  • Hannah - Entering the give a way! I love those cases!

  • Kim - Would love the case, entering the give away.

  • Bindi - Is this a world giveaway coz Aussie readers love you and I love vintage sheets! Glad you are adding more of ‘you’ into everyday life. One sure-fire-way to smile more!

  • Melissa Cole - I love this and want one!

  • Nicole Ahrens - I’d love one of these awesome cases!!

  • Sara M - These are so pretty and would be a great refreshing change from my tough Otter Box (boring). Thank you for posting such a cute idea!

  • Christy f - Very cute!

  • Jessie - I’d love to enter your giveaway and win! Love your blog and design style!

  • Susanna - These are cute! I never even thought of making my own cases :)
    I’d love to enter your give away!

  • Amy @ Paint Wine Repeat - How fun! Entering the giveaway!

  • Alyssa - Too cute! I’d like to enter the givewaway. :) I have an iPhone 4S and definitely need to give this a try!

  • natalie - girl! you know i love a good doily!! & my current case might just be the ugliest thing ever. i’d love to win one of yours, lady!! :)

  • Ruxi - They are adorable! I want to order one since I have an iphone 5. The links are not working. =(

  • Angela Russom - I’m entering the give away for the beautiful iPhone 4S case.

    ? THANK YOU ?

  • Jessica - The colors and patterns are perfect!

  • heidi e. - I love that you find beauty in the simple things. Sign me up!

  • Crystal - These are sweet! I would love to win one of your designs, you talented Mama!!

  • Sarah - Wow! Thanks :)

  • Ashley Dice - Love all things vintage! This is no exception…entering the giveaway!!!!

  • Tess @ Daily Ups & Pounds - Must have the Eloise case for my SIL who is a huge fan of yours – and whose daughter’s name is Eloise! :) <3

  • Candace Evans - WOULD Love to win an iphone case designed by you!! they are super cute!

  • Julie - I’m entering!!!

  • Amy - Thank you so much for the chance to win one of you super cute iphone cases! I LOVE them!!!

  • Kimberlee Jost - I want one!
    :)

  • Rachel - Love the case! Entering the give away.

  • Chelse - Omigosh! How fun!

  • Michelle - My daughter’s name is Eloise and I love that case! Perhaps if I don’t win your giveaway, I’ll buy the Eloise. Love you, Ashley! I’ve been a follower for years and I don’t miss a post. God bless you and your family!

  • Kelly - These are beautiful! I’d like to enter the giveaway!

  • RachelC - Wow! So fun. A movie quote from Zoolander immediately comes to mind, “[Ashley], [s]he’s so hot right now, [Ashley].”

  • Avenlea - They are so unique!! I am entering the giveaway!

  • Aimee Gaston - Ooh, I’d love to win this case!

  • Natalie - Entering the giveaway….beautiful cases Ashley!

  • Jenny B. - Love it! I love their names, too. Thanks for the chance to win! :)

  • Jess Musumarra - the designs are so pretty, would love to win one! Thanks!
    Jess

  • Sarah K - Very Cool….entering the drawing.

  • Kristie - I’d love a new phone case. Beautiful work!

  • Deb @ PaperTurtle - Oh how fun! I would love to win a phone case designed by you. :)

  • Kaela - Super cute! Enter me!

  • Mindy Hale - So cute!!! I’d love to win :)

  • Allison Cummings - These are amazing!!

  • Anna Vollmer - I’d have a tough time choosing between Eloise and Mabel…but in reality I’m entering this with the intention of giving it to my sister if I win, so I’d let her choose. She does great with these kinds of cases where as I require an otterbox defender (I’m kind of clumsy and drop my phone a lot!), but man do I wish I could have a “pretty” case!

  • Sam Lanier - Please enter me! What a lovely idea!

  • Thuy - So cute Ashley! I hope I win! ;)

  • Erin A - How cool! I’d love an Ashley Ann phone case!

  • Lauren Atkins - I want to enter. That case is super cute!

  • stacey - entering! and as always, YOU ROCK! xo

  • tracy - I would love to win one of your phone cases. They are beautiful!!! :)

  • Julie G - I was just thinking how I would love a new case! And this one is beautiful! I’d love to win it :)

  • tracy - I would love to win one of your phone cases. They are beautiful!!! :) I just hope you don’t make so much in phone case commissions that you retire from your FANTASTIC blog!!! ;)

  • Kaia Mogen - Love love love!

  • Aj - How could someone not enter this giveaway? This idea is awesome! Your creativity continues to amaze me. Thank you for the offer.

  • Kim - I’m entering! So pretty :)

  • Jen - I love the cases! I’m entering the giveaway and hoping to win.

  • C. Jane - Beautiful! Love your style…would love to enter the give away. Thank you :)

  • Sara - I myself don’t have an iPhone… but my sister does. She’s the mom of three boys (4 and under), her husband’s the pastor of their church and she’s working through school all at the same time. She doesn’t often get pretty things like this — and I’d love to gift it to her because I’m not sure how she manages it all.

  • Carrie Z - Love it! Please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks

  • Nina - Love.Entering the giveaway

  • Rhiannon Fountain - These are so cute. I plan on making some of my own. I have an iPhone 5 but would love to give this to my sister! Definitely ENTERING THE CONTEST!!

  • Hollie - I would like to enter the giveaway! These are to die for!

  • Sandy - I’m entering the giveaway and would be honored to have one of your designed cases!!!

  • Alliree - Love the pom poms! Please enter me in the giveaway! Thank you!

  • Kelly - I just got an iPhone this last weekend and looked up your tutorial from last year on how to make a case! Pretty awesome we can now but your designs!

  • Steph Rausch - Very cute. Would love to win!

  • Nancy N. - You are so talented!! I have a daughter that loves all things Ashley Ann and I know she would love this!!! Thank you for your generosity.

  • Kara - PICK ME! I love it!

  • Nikki - My case has been looking pretty shabby lately. Love the vintage fabric designs!

  • Claire - How well do the cases hold up as far as protecting the phone? Are they just back cases or do they have a lip on the front of the phone? I’m ALWAYS looking for cute AND protective cases. (Not like otter box or steel trap cases, just more than a flimsy back cover) THANKS!

  • April - I want pom poms on my iphone case!! Pick me, pick me!!

  • christine - What a fun case! I love it. Please enter me in the giveaway.

  • Jenna - Entering the giveaway. I remember your phone case post last year and absolutely loved the design you came up with. Loving this year’s just as much! If I don’t win, I think I might have to be making a purchase :)

  • Steph - Ooooo fun! They are so cute, consider me entered in the running!

  • Chrisin - Love the cases! I’d love to win :)

  • Alyssa Paul - I’m entering the giveaway! I love your style!

  • Miranda - How wonderfully timed this post is for me. Just got an iPhone 5 yesterday and in need of a case. All the cases in store are so bland and boring. THIS would be Perfect!
    Thank you!

  • carrie - Would love to win your giveaway! Adorable!

  • Natalie Anthony - Would love to win a pompom iphone case!

  • natalie - oooh! I would love to win an ashley ann iphone case :)

  • Cassi - Oh that is funny, I never read how you made your case last year, I must have just looked at the picture, I thought you glue those items on your case and I wondered how they stayed on :)LOL ~ entering the giveaway

  • Jody - I love these! In fact, before I got to the end of your post I thought “I wish I could just buy hers!” Entering giveaway, but either way, I will own one of these! Thank you!

  • victoria g - aw, how fun for you! they are totally cute!!! :) please enter me! (perhaps i’ll finally get an iphone… haha!)

  • Felicia - I love your cases! I have a 4s

  • Cathy - I love the look of this iPhone case! I would love one and am entering the giveaway :)

  • Cindy - Too fun! I need a new case to help liven up my summer. Thanks for the idea.

  • lauren - Ooooo i’d love to be entered into the giveaway! lovely jubely!!

  • Cecilia - I love your design and I really need a new case so I would like to enter the giveaway.

  • Kristen - Please enter me in the contest! I truly hate the case I have on my phone and need a fresh new one!

  • Katiekate - These are adorable! I’m entering to win :)

  • Diana - entering! lovely designs, sweet family

  • Crystal - I am entering the giveaway. I love your iPhone case designs!!!

  • mandi@herbanhomestead - These are super cute! Mine is getting pretty worn out too- I would love to sport an Ashley case!
    PS: I love how you think it’s funny that you designed an iPhone case for people! I really like that about you- your humble spirit. You my friend, are golden!

  • Kristen - Love these designs! Entering to win!

  • Tara - I’d love to enter the giveaway! thank you! :)

  • devon - i would love to win!

  • Meagan - Yay for a new iPhone case!

  • Maegan Crews - love the last design!

  • Celeste - I think those cases are very very cute! I’d like to be entered into the giveaway.

    Thanks!

  • Heather B - So cute! I would love to win!

  • Emma - When I was reading your post I decided that I would head over to uncommon.com and design my own case. I was thinking about making mine look similar to yours but now I could win one that looks like yours which would be much better!

  • anne c - thanks for the giveaway! please enter me in! :)

  • Kate H - Adorable! I love all of the eye candy you come up with! I would LOVE to win this!

  • Sherry - These are adorable! Would love to enter the giveaway!

  • Stephanie - Love your designs – amazing how photography lends itself to be applied anywhere! Entering to win the Dottie design, thanks!

  • nadine - I was just looking for a new phone case! Yours look amazing and I would love one!!

  • Nicole - I’m entering the giveaway!
    I’ve never commented on here, but I read your blog daily & love what you have to share! Your family & life are so beautiful! You’re most definitely blessed!

  • Carolina - Would love to win! Beautiful case : )

  • kimberly oyler - oooooooo. my sister would love this! i’m entering the giveaway!

  • Madi Hugie - Your cases are darling! I adore your style and that vintage look!

  • Allison - Please enter me in the phone case giveaway!!

  • Erin J - My case is currently being held together by a little glue! I would love a new beautiful case!

  • Debbie G - I love this! It’s so pretty and unique. Thanks for such a cool giveaway.

  • Bridgett - These cases remind me of my great grandmothers unfinished quilting squares I have hanging in our family room! How special! Great giveaway, and fabulous designs! xo

  • Laura Wood - I would love a new case and this one is super cute!

  • Selina Kelly - I would love to win your adorable iPhone case. Thanks.

  • Kate - LOVE these cases! would love to have one!

  • Katie @ Cardigan Way - Oooo…I adore those! LOVE the Eloise case. Beautiful!

  • Jenni - Who wouldn’t want an Ashley Ann case?!?! ????Luckily I have a 4s! Entering.

  • Lauren - Love your blog! Been following since Firecracker was a wee one! Would love to win one of your cases. And I’ll probably just buy one anyway :)

  • Tiffany - I love the cases, and would love to have one that was designed by you! Beautiful work! Thanks for such a beautiful blog that brightens up any morning. I always leave feeling inspired, refreshed and ready to love on my littles.

  • Megan - I’m entering the give away :D the cases are all so cute!

  • Savannah - I love each design! One for me, please!

  • Vicente - Would be great to win the iPhone case. Love all of your creativity. Thanks.

  • Meghan - I’m entering for my sis- she would love this case. It’s really cute Ashley!

  • Margo - I’ve been wanting a new case – this one would be fabulous!!

  • Bethany Stewart - I would love to enter the giveaway…these designs are beautiful Mrs. Ashley! And your blog (and beautiful family) never fail to make me smile :)

  • Mary Ann - Very pretty! I would love to enter to win!

  • Carla Lane - Love these cases! Would love to be in the drawing for the free case giveaway! Thanks!

  • Susan Allen - The Dottie case was my favorite! I would love to enter the giveaway.

  • Kristine - Entering Contest: This would be lovely for my new iphone 4s. :)

  • Holly Hughes - Entering the giveaway! Although if I don’t win I’m definitely ordering the Eloise case…they are all so charming!

  • Elissa - So fun! Count me as entered! Thank you!

  • Shannon - I’m entering! I love my uncommon case, I ordered a Katie Daisy one awhile back and I never take it off. But…I have dropped it so many times(and my kids!) that the corners are cracked and the back is scratched. I refuse to take it off until I have another one I love equally as much!

  • Amy - I love Dottie! Would love to win her. :)

  • Mallory - Of course I’m entering…those are all so amazing! Your talent is inspirational.

  • Amy - Such a great case! Love it!

  • Jenni - Who wouldn’t want an Ashley Ann case?!?! ????Luckily I have a 4s! Entering.

  • Jody Carr - This case would make my phone so happy! Especially since the current case is so ragged! Enter me please!

  • Barbara Pendergraff - Ashley! Love love love the cases. I still have a 4S and would proudly rock that case!! You and Lesley are amazingly creative!! God has blessed you in so many ways. I’ll be waiting for the email to say I won the case!! :)

  • Melissa - Entering your giveaway! Love how your designs turned out. Thanks Ashley Ann!

  • Alice H - I really need to make my own case. Are they hard cases? I like using an Otterbox or Casemate because my phone gets dropped often. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • mindy t - Would LOVE to have this case!

  • Trista - They are beautiful

  • Georgia - i would love to win the phone case! just got my first iphone! hope this is open to the uk too?

  • Amanda Kay - Hello Ashley!
    I’m not surprised one bit that your designs were asked to be featured…your sense of taste is so whimsical and joyful!
    Thank you for not only being a creator but also sharing that creativity with all of us out here. Love, Amanda
    p.s. sure I’ll be entered :)

  • Michelle D'Andrea - I would LOVE to win a custom Ashley Ann case! Love your blog!!!

  • Emily - Beautiful! I’d love to win!

  • Abby - Love these! This has inspired me to take some photos of an antique quilt I just scored at an auction to create my own case! That is, if I don’t win one of your awesome ones! I want to enter this giveaway! Thanks!

  • Amy Renea - Would love to win it – THANK YOU!

  • georgette - these really are beautiful. would love to win one to bring some sunshine in my life:)

  • Anna - I’ll probably end up buying one through Uncommon, but thought I’d enter anyway!

  • Amanda Wimberley - Love this case!! Love to win!!

  • Monica - Hi Ashley, It is a pretty case. I love your creativity. I have done a few of your projects and I like how they look in my house. :). By the way Happy Birthday for your Little One!

  • Urska - This would be a perfect gift for a friend of mine who LOVES your designs. Thank you.

  • Jessica - I’d love enter…the case is great!

  • Misty - Great designs – the Dottle is my favorite one! I’d love to enter to win it :)

  • Megan Marino - I am entering for your adorable iPhone $ case giveaway. Thanks!!

  • Sara - This case is so cute! I would love it!

  • Tamara - Entering the iPhone case giveaway!

  • Jen Gough - Love your designs…would be thrilled to win! Thanks!!!!

  • Caroline - I am entering, and would love to win!

  • Penny - I’ve been reading your blog for a while and always come away feeling blessed after reading about your beautiful life with your enchanting littles.

  • Katie - Love the case– I’d love to win it!

  • Kim - These are all so cute! Thanks for sharing the idea and the extra case. :-)

  • Emily - Entering the giveaway! These are beautiful! Thank you for sharing you creativity!

  • darc - so cute! i could buy a new case every week! so count me in!!
    thank you!!

  • Amy - I love the cases, would like to enter. Thank you!

  • Kellee - Love your blog and my iphone!! I want to enter!

  • Diane - Would love to win a case you designed, everything you do is so cute!!

  • Annette - Love the cases…never thought of making my own, but i sure will try if I don’t win one of yours!!!

  • Mary Lemon - I’m entering your giveaway. I just got an iPhone 4S and I’ve been planning on making a case ever since I saw your post last year. Awesome idea!

  • Rebecca Kucsan - These are the cutest! Entering the giveaway!

  • Amanda Davis - Love this!! Would love to win it, it’s beautiful!!

  • Brenda - I am about to get my first iPhone, would love to win this cute case!

  • Juice - I’ve been searching for a new 4s case for a while now. Mine is on it’s last legs. I’d LOVE to have this beautiful design.

  • Ginny Hornsby - I love vintage fabric and Pom poms:) I would like to enter your give away please.

  • Alli - Would love to win!

  • Christine Frandsen - Love them all! please enter me for the giveaway!

  • aimee h - Your so sweet to offer this away….so Im entering!

  • shatcher - Would love to enter the giveaway!!

  • stephanie - Entering your giveaway. I made one of these for my sister with a photo of my nephew. She loved it!

  • Lauren B - Entering the giveaway! Love the way your creativity and compassion penetrate the walls of your home. The Lord has inspired so much beauty through your hands and heart!

  • Beth - Too cute! I’d love to enter the giveaway :)

  • Sarah K - I love your designs! They are so bright and cheery, and FireCracker is right, they are beautiful! I am entering the giveaway!

  • Alex - Love the design! It´s so beautiful!!! Thank you!

  • Lissa - So fun! Entering giveaway.

  • Lauren Smalley - Definitely entering the giveaway…adorable cases!

  • Wendy - I love vintage fabric and pom poms and I’m in need of a new case for my phone!

  • Jessica Scott - Love your blog! I read every post, love your style, your family and the things that you make! I would love to win this case for my phone, I think they are all super cute!

  • Amanda - Love your site – the highlight of my day!

  • Andrea - Definitely entering this giveaway! Those are DARLING!!!

  • Jessica - How sweet, I’d love to give these as gifts! Love your designs! Very cool that Uncommon wants to feature you!

  • Allie - Love them, and I want to enter your giveaway! Thank you!!! :)

  • Christina G - I have to agree with Firecracker, your case is beautiful!! I would absolutely love to win one.

  • Rita D. - These are super cute! I’d love to win one.

  • Chandra - Thank you! Thank you! I have been looking for a new phone case and this post was just in time. Entering the giveaway.

  • Emily W - I would love to win. My last case (and phone) sadly accidentally fell into a very dirty public restroom toilet. I have since gotten a new phone but no case yet!

  • Mallory - I’d love to win this. It’s awesome.

  • Danielle B - I love these! Would love to win!

  • Crystal - I would love the Dottie case!! Also I love your blog.

  • Nichole Young - Hi Ashley, pick me pick me pick me! ;) Did you get to name them? Oops, maybe you’ve answered this already in your comments section. The names go perfect with the designs….love em ;)

  • Carroll Lane - love this getaway! i need a new cover. thank you!

  • Crystal - Here’s my entry. I would love a new case. Thanks!

  • Melanie S. - I would love to have your Dottie case design on my phone! You are definitely not the only person who likes pom-poms on their phone case. :)

  • Cathy - Just too cute!! I would love to win!

  • heidi hatcher - super cute! how fun for you!!

  • merideth a - how fun!! and i love it! yes please for entering the giveaway.

  • Sarah cooper - Love readin your blog, beautiful cases…would love to win one!

  • Jamie - Entering to win the iPhone case! Love it- so cute!

  • Shannon - I am entering the giveaway! I love love love those designs.

  • Christine - They are so cute and I am in need of a new cover!

  • Angelica - Beautiful case :) I would love to be entered in the drawing.
    Thanks!

  • Jasmine - This is too cute! Love this idea!

  • Jasmine - …oh and I would love to be entered into the giveaway!

  • Kari M - I am entering the giveaway. If I don’t win I will probably purchase one. Love the vintage fabric look!!! I love your blog!!

  • Sarah Trexler - Count me in! Such pretty colors!

  • Jordann - You are so creative! Thanks for the tutorial. I’m entering the giveaway!

  • Deneen - Entering the contest!! Love your blog, photography, instagram, and following your DIY, simple, crazy life!! You are an awesome women!

  • Breezy - I love them all!!!

  • Ruth Lee - I love your designs! Would love to be in the giveaway. Thanks!

  • sarahem - I love the Eloise print!

  • Hannah Flowers - I would love to have one of those covers! They are beautiful!

  • Deborah - Entering giveaway! Thanks for sharing your pretty designs with the rest of us!

  • Amanda white - Entering the giveaway!! I love them all

  • Amanda C. - These cases are so cute! You’re so darn creative. :)

  • BridgSteffen - This case is just beautiful. I would love it!

  • Regina - What a great idea, and lovely designs!! I would love to enter the giveaway, thank you very much!

  • Tessa - I love that quilt pillow top fabric! I’d love to win a phone case!

  • Deborah - I’d love to win! My current case is falling apart and this one is super cute!

  • Crystal - How fun! I would love one of your cases!

  • Frances - I am definitely entering the giveaway! And I love your designs, they’re gorgeous!

  • Karissa Mundt - You have such a great sense of creativity! Things I would never think to put together to photograph and use as a phone case just look amazing-I. WANT.PLEASE! Simply fabulous! :D

  • Shayna White - this is me entering the giveaway…fingers crossed :)

  • janet @ ordinary mom - Funny! I was JUST browsing and dreaming on uncommon today, looking at the iPhone cases while frowning at my clear cheap blue one. I would love to be a winner of one of your awesome cases. Keeping my fingers crossed! :)

  • Dorice - Thank you for the giveaway!!

  • Melissa - My case just broke last week and I adore these designs!!!!! Enter me!! :-)

  • Anna Marie - Awesome! Thanks for the opportunity. You did a great job!

  • jenn b - I love your style and would love a new case!

  • Kathie M - Just leaving a comment to enter the giveaway! What a wonderful little adventure! I love your vintage fabric so that would be amazing!! :D

  • Krista - So cute and what a great idea :) my phone would be very happy to wear that case!

  • Laura - Because I love your blog and I need a new iPhone case…win, win!!!

  • Jamie - Love the cases!! Enter me in the contest, please!

  • Kelly Holmquist - these are soooo cute! i am entering the giveaway! xo.

  • Anne - What an awesome opportunity! Especially as the Dottie design is my favorite. Thank you for the chance! Entering the giveaway.

  • Ashley Burke - the phone case is lovely. would love to win it. everything you put your hands to is inspiring. thanks for the chance.

  • Libby - Such a neat idea! Would love to win!

  • Jen Zimmerman - I would love one of these cute phone cases!

  • Sara Cartwright - Entering to win one of those adorable phone cases you created!! It would seriously never come off my phone if I won!!

  • Jenny - I would love to win the Dottie iPhone 4s case! Love your blog and style. :)

  • Ruth - Pretty! Please enter me!

  • Kate Pogorelec - Love it! Entering, would love any of these, they are super cool!

  • Marissa Ramsland - I would love to win the 4s case!

  • Amber - Love all of the designs!!! I have been looking for a fun new phone case.

  • Kaylan McCord - These are super cute! I hope I win:)

  • Nicolle - Pretty case!

  • Alisha Bellene Huff - I want to enter the contest! My I
    phone is currently coverless thanks to my 3 year old :)

  • Sidney Claire - I’d love to win a Dottie phone case! I’d like to enter the contest!

  • Meg - please through me in your giveaway!!!!
    love your blog!!

  • Melissa - my favorite is the Dottie one! I hope I win!

  • Taralynn Dixon - Beautiful! I love hearing life’s fun and the silly ways things just work out :) Hope I win :)

  • Linda - So pretty. Love your designs. Might have to order one if I don’t win the giveaway.

  • Kendra House - I’d love to have the dottie phone case! It’s adorable! I’d like to enter the giveaway!

  • Jenna - I am entering the giveaway! I have been on the hunt for a new phone case and I would LOVE this one! :)

  • Jade - Yes please!

  • Amy - I’d love to win this cute phone case! Thank you!!

  • sammi jo - i would love to get one of these :) so super cute!

  • Jessica J. - I love your vintage cases so I’m entering :)

  • Kendra Martin - Hoping to win the iPhone case! If not, I’ll just have to buy one! :)

  • Amy Manning - I just love the Dottie. Hope I win!

  • Lisa Reed - I admire your creativity, would love to carry your case!

  • Jessica Trueblood - Perfect timing! My case just broke and Dottie is my nickname (my middle name is Dorothy). I’d love to enter the giveaway. Thanks for the chance!

    On a separate note, I’ve been thinking about Little One and your family a lot and am sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers your way.

  • Tarah - You are very inspiring, love your design!!!

  • Kelli - What a sweet case! I love the colors and textures. Very pretty:)

  • Jane - oh how lovely! gosh you have an amazing eye, I could try and try and never come up with something so simple yet so lovely!

  • Catherine - Gak! I would love one of these!!! I am in the market as my case has developed a crack. It must be fate… ;)

  • Jen - I would LOVE to win your Dottie case… ABSOLUTELY adorable….

  • Danielle Albini - I’m entering the giveaway! Anything you design is simply gorgeous!!

  • Katherine - I had no idea you could make your own case. Thanks for sharing!

  • Karen - Im entering! Thank you!

  • Mindy Book - JUST IN LOVE WITH THIS CASE !

  • Anna Smith - Hope you don’t mind shipping to New Zealand because I’m really hoping I win this! My case has a big crack in it but I haven’t replaced it because I haven’t found one I liked, that is until now…. ABSOLUTELY love your design. x

  • Tricia D - I would love to win your case!
    It’s very cute.

  • serina - Enter me!

  • Holly B - I would looooove one of your cases!! I’m in!!

  • Judy Korepta - Entering to win…love the fun design!

  • jennifer - entering

  • Elizabeth Nelson - I have the hardest time finding cute iPhone 4 cases and would be thrilled to win this – it is so my style!

  • Stephanie - I was just about to order another one. I would LOVE for it to be designed by YOU! :)) Thanks Ash!

  • Kathleen - I’d like to enter for the giveaway!

  • michelle m - Love these cases!!!!!!! Thanks for offering your extra!

  • xeina - yay for giveaways. i am entering yours :)

  • Jordan - What a great giveaway! Enter me, please :)

  • Zoe Bulick - I am entering the giveaway.

    Also LOVE your blog. You’re on my bookmark bar, and getting a daily dose of Under the Sycomore brightens my day. :)

  • Abbie Swartzentruber - This is soooo super cute – would love to win this for my phone!! Thanks for the chance:)!!

  • Robin - Oh, I would love that! Please enter me! Thanks Ashley :-)

  • Maria AhMu - Thank you for sharing! I love the vintage fabric. Count me in!

  • Stephanie - Awesome. Please enter me also.

  • Michele - Love your designs! I could try to recreate something similar, but I know I’d be disappointed. :)

  • Pamelotta - What an adorable case! I would love to have an original Ashley Ann!

  • Diana Rodriguez - Would love to win it!

  • Katie - I’d love one of your cases, I hope I win!

  • Abbey - Such cute cases!

  • Cailan - It Is very beautiful :)

  • Amy - so cute! entering the giveaway!

  • Loralee - Love vintage fabric and lace…I have entered this giveaway

  • Megan A - I’m entering the giveaway because my cover just broke and this would be perfect! Also I LOVE reading your blog!

  • Abigail Carpenter - Entering the giveaway

  • Sarah Williams - I would like to enter the giveaway! I love to see your crafting and making. I wish so much I made the time to be so creative and joyful in decorating. Thank you or sharing your awesomeness!!

  • becky dunnell - Just another amazingly cool crafty item here! I would adore winning the iPhone case!

  • Cheryl B - Love reading your blog and would love to have one of the iphone cases!

  • autumn - This would be a fun case to win.

  • Rachelle - Pease may I enter:) seriously I want to know what you eat and what coffee you drink to have all the energy that you do in order to do all that you do!

  • Heike - Those cases are beautiful! I’d love to win one!

  • Aimee Swift - I’d love to enter!

  • Jessica c - Your cases are beautiful! I would love to win one! :)

  • Kristin S - How fun!

    You don’t need to enter me. I’m just commenting. As much as I’d LOVE one of your designs (I mean, love!), I just got a Katie Daisy cover from uncommon a few months ago and am really pleased.

    Hopefully your designs will still be there the next time I need a fresh case!

  • Alina K - I love the Dottie case! Adorable!

  • Kayla - LOVE these cases!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Kee Hee – that would be sooo cool! :)

  • Tiffany - I would LOVE to enter the giveaway! That phone case is gorgeous!

  • Kelsey - So gorgeous! I love them! Hope I win! :)

  • misti d - love them all. your so creative :)
    -blessings

  • Tamy - Love the phone cases! What a great giveaway. Count me in! Thank you!

  • Michele - Cute! I would love to win!

  • Marit - I’d like to enter, please! Thank you!

  • Lindsey - Such fun cases! I’d love to win one…thank you!

  • jennifer - love your website! love the phone case! i want to win one! :)

  • Zoryana - I LOVE that case! Please enter me in the giveaway.

  • K K - I’m entering your fun contest! :) love love your blog! Your little one could be my little Chinese sister!

  • Kari - Entering your giveaway… Thanks for the opportunity! They are really cute!!

  • Elizabeth Felter - Oh! Yes, please. I LOVE the red and Pom poms!

  • Shaun - Beautiful cases….I’m in!

  • Shaun - Beautiful designs…I’m in!

  • Grace - All the way from Australia, am i eligible to enter this giveaway?
    :)

  • kate - I love these! of course I’m entering the give away -much love kx

  • Patti - These cases are very cute. I hope I win. Thank you for sharing…

  • Heidi S. - I would love to be entered into this giveaway. Your designs are beautiful as always.

  • Leila - Very cute! Pretty much the only “designed” cover I would consider :) (Mine is black.)

  • christie - entering!

  • Laura Dale - Please enter me in giveaway!

  • nicoleigh - These are cute! You’ve inspired me to attempt to remake my own cover. Or, maybe I will win one of yours. :)

  • Megan - Hi Ashley! LOVE your blog!! Your creativity inspires me and your kids are just gorgeous! Love the iPhone cases! I’m entering the giveaway – hope you have a lovely 4th of July holiday weekend! :0)

  • Jane machin - Entering giveaway for case! Praying for little one surgery.

  • Rebecca - So gorgeous and unique, I am entering the giveaway :)

  • sarah - oooo! Love this…and your blog. always. Good luck this coming week. Thoughts and prayers to you, your family, and of course Little One.

  • Jen - I’d love to win!! I had a cute phone case, dropped it and broke it. I was still content to use my ratty broken case and then my hubs threw it away and stuck one of his old black cases on here. I guess it’s safe but now it looks like a boy phone and its impossible to find at the bottom of a diaper bag! I need this!

  • Heather - It was just yesterday that I looked at my ugly case that is falling apart and decided I must find a new one. Your design is adorable and definitely eye-catching. I am entering your giveaway.

  • Whitney - Entering!

  • Virginia Bibler - Entering giveaway! :)

  • Faith - Please enter me in the giveaway..I love your finished case..too cute!!

  • Shanalea - I need a new case and would love it.

  • Megan - I would love to be entered in this contest! These are amazing!!!!

  • Christen Krumm - I have forever loved your iPhone case!! They are so rad!!

    xo,
    Christen
    ChristenKrumm.com

  • Megan T - I’m entering and definately keeping my fingers crossed!! From one vintage heart to another…..this is the best phone case ever!

  • Jessica - If I had a fraction of your creativity and sense of style I’d be doing good! :). Would live to win the case…I’m in need one one.

  • Norma B - I’m entering the giveaway! I love the Iphone Case

  • Sheena - I’m entering the giveaway. I love your phone cases!

  • Becky F - Love the cases! Enter me in the giveaway, please.

  • Rena - I love that you design your own cases and now they offer them! I would love to win one!

  • bev olfert - I love your blog and I LOVE the new phone cases. Please enter me in the draw :) thanks, Bev

  • Amy - Adorable! Would love to enter the contest!

  • Melissa Kroeker - How adorable! I’ve been shopping for a cute and different case for a long time. What a great giveaway. Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Kaela - So lovely!

  • Kaela - So lovely! Would love one!

  • Tracy - Please enter me in the giveaway!

  • Ellie - Id love a new case! Please enter me in the contest :)

  • Janet - Love the cases, you’re so creative. Entering the giveaway

  • Kara M - So pretty! Pretty cool that people will be walking around with your design. I would like to enter the giveaway! :D

  • Eileen Pandolfo - I’m in love with these cases! So excited to enter the giveaway!!

  • Tracy VH - Enter me in the giveaway please!

  • Emma - I would love to win this! In love with them!

  • Crystal - Entering! Would LOVE to win this!

  • Brittany W. - So clever! It’s a great way to give yourself a little smile throughout the day.

    I’d love to win, but if not, I’ll definitely consider purchasing one of these. :)

  • Jenna - This is me, entering! What a cool idea!

  • Heather - When you made your first iphone cover, I thought it was the most genious idea ever! So personalized. But I gotta say I love the Mabel one even more! Please enter me for the giveaway.

  • Ahsamon - LOVE your designs! Thanks for offering a giveaway! :)

  • Danielle - You are so talented and creative! I definitely want to enter this giveaway! Thank you for the opportunity! :)

  • Lexi - would love a chance to win this for my iPhone! my cheetah case needs to take a break and something more summery needs to go on; ;)

  • Erika - I would LOVE to get one of your cases!

  • Becky - I’m entering the contest! Thanks!!

  • Loan - So Cute!! Hope I win!

  • Loan - Please considered me entered! Thanks!

  • Sarah Stroll - Oh I love that case!!

  • Alex - I am entering the phone case contest.

  • Cristin L - Super cute! Entering!

  • Ellie - Cute!

  • Jenny - always LOVE your style…so naturally I love these cases!
    would love to win this! :)

  • Paige Rodriguez - Would love it! You did a great job with the designs!

  • Priscilla - Please add me to the drawing… my phone needs some TLC!

  • Abby - So cute! Thanks for the chance!

  • Jennifer T - I’m entering the giveaway!

  • Cindi - Entering!!! Love all the cases.

  • Elaine - Sitting in the recovery room waiting for my daughter to wake up from a successful heart procedure. Would love to win the iPhone case. Sending prayers your way for your daughters upcoming surgery.

  • Shannon Ng - Such fun cases! I would love an update.

  • Channing Howard - I am entering to WIN!!!!

  • Erin C. - Love these! I never knew you could do this!

  • Sarah Allison - I’d love to win this!! :)

  • Meg - You are so talented, of course people want your iPhone cover!

  • Kiley - I’ve never seen a prettier case… :) thank you!

  • Pam - I am entering the giveaway! I love these!

  • Leah Ann Clark - Love your cases! I would love to put one on my iPhone! So summery and dreamy!!!

  • Kimberly Dial - Wow! How awesome is that? Pretty awesome! Photographer, designer … what else is in store for you Ashley? I’d say “Lots!” :)

  • Friday Finds | From China Village - [...] your own iPhone [...]

  • Erin - Thank you for continuing to share your world with us! And thank you for the beautiful case designs – LOVE! Happy 4th!

  • Christine - So sweat :-)

  • elizabeth H - i LOVE your case!! vintage fabric, doilies & pom poms are “a few of my favorite things”! i’m definitely getting one of yours!

  • tracy a - I’ve been away for a while…watching little one’s progress from instagram because that is easier. I am so glad to have come back to this post…I just love that you have iphone cases named after little old ladies. makes my heart smile. one day, when I have an iphone (don’t even have a cell phone at all now), i’ll be glad to sport one of these! tomorrow our homestudy is finalized. can’t believe that phase one is over…moving into a waiting period now and would love to chat some about making decisions during this process. let me know what would work for you (like your life isn’t crazy enough to have me asking for air time!). say hi to chris for me!!

  • brooke - Hey friend! I have been absent from blogs and life for a while :) Just curious: does this case hold up to a old of dropping? :) I get concerned about that…because my current one is awesome. I drop it (or my two sons drop it) all the time and it is fine. Just wanted to check. Thanks!!

  • Stacy - Love the Eloise case! Thanks for sharing.

  • AshleyAnn - Brooke – I drop mine a lot and it hasn’t broken. However, they aren’t nearly as drop proof as LifeProof cases or Otter boxes. So it you drop several times a day, I’d probably stick with what you have.

  • McLain - These are beautiful! I just ordered one! Thank you for sharing your pretty designs!!

  • Nell - Hi Ashley! Just wanted to let you know I ordered one of these cases back in the fall and have LOVED it. Happy phone! I just got upgraded to the iphone 5s so I’m having to get a new case. Sad that I won’t be using your design anymore! But you’ve inspired me to create one of my own. I just created and ordered a case with getuncommon with a picture I took of an old quilt that my mom made in 1968. I love it! Thank you for the inspiration!

This weekend we celebrated Little One turning two.

Last year we threw a big party in her honor, this year I wanted just a simple little gathering in the backyard.

I made a few fabric chandeliers inspired by Sarah’s…mine were rough versions because I had three kids wanting to help make them! Everything else was just decorations we already had on hand. I crave simplicity right now.

Little One opted out of all the cookies I baked…smoothie for the birthday girl.

We put a little bit of her Pappy’s homemade ice cream in a bowl for her after her smoothie, sang Happy Birthday, and let her think about trying some…

It wasn’t a bite, but a lick off the spoon counts around here. My friend Shannon snapped a family photo for me. I love it. So true to life. My crew.

Before the party, I took a few birthday pictures of my girl. She has recently become quite enamored with one of my old cameras. Thankfully, it is a cute little camera so it worked for pictures – kept her happy and I got to get some pictures. My mom made her dress (FireCracker in it two years ago) and her headband is from My Little Dear on etsy.

The teepee is c/o Playhaven – it is usually upstairs in the studio, but we bring it outside a lot right now for shade. It fits all my kids!

“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” ~ Psalm 40:3

Before we were matched with our daughter, I prayed that verse everyday. I prayed that God would put a new song in my child. A song of healing and restoration. The day we got the email with her information, the subject of the email had her name…which began with Song. I was praying God would create a new song in her, little did I know her actual name would be Song! We kept Song as her middle name. She is our Song. Watching her completely transform over the last 10 months has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. She has transformed our family. She has given us a new song.

There is so much joy having her home this year. Last year we had a huge birthday party for her. It was a way to make it through the weekend being so far from her. This year her big sister woke her up singing “Happy Birthday”. Her brothers gave her all kinds of special treatment. The day was filled with laughter, twirling and singing. It was filled with love and overflowing hearts. And more gratitude than words can contain. It was a beautiful, glorious day.  My daughter in my arms, on her birthday. The Best.

In the celebrating, there was also sadness. A birthday is the day you celebrate when someone was born. We sure celebrate the birth of our daughter, but I also feel great sadness for the loss that is part of her birthday. I feel loss for her mom that heard her very first cries. I feel loss for that broken relationship. I feel loss for the questions and struggles my daughter might face. I feel loss that I didn’t get to see what she looked like as a newborn or know little things like how much she weighed.

And yet, I’ve learned over the last year that some of the most beautiful parts of life are tapestry woven with pain and joy and grace. Some would say that in acknowledging  the sadness, you take away from the joy or gratitude for the gifts in front of you.  I think the presence of pain or sadness does not negate the joy or gratitude. Sometimes it is that pain that heightens the senses to the joys. I love how God does that…how sometimes healing comes through the hurt.

This weekend I celebrated the birth of my youngest daughter.

I celebrated the woman that gave her life and the ability to sing.

I celebrated that I get to spend a lifetime helping her find her song.

 

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  • Carrie - Happy Birthday Little One…I’m sure her life will be filled with happiness, security and just a little bit of craziness! I just have to say too how much I love the cape that Firecracker is rocking!!

  • kelsey arrowood - so gorgeous. the last paragraph. beautifully written. God is so good! and your little girl is so blessed to have you as her momma!

  • Kelli - I love this post for so many reasons! Happy birthday, Little One! What a blessing she has brought to so many. For me, she is a beautiful reminder of God’s faithfulness and provision. You are right, times of hurt are so difficult, but the joy that comes in the healing is sweet indeed. Praise the Lord!

    I love the family pic!

  • RachelC - Beautiful girl. Beautiful story. Beautiful song. Love everything about this post…especially that pic of Firecracker hugging Little One’s face. Such tenderness.

  • Lyn - Beautiful.

  • Jenni - Some would say that in acknowledging the sadness, you take away from the joy or gratitude for the gifts in front of you. I think the presence of pain or sadness does not negate the joy or gratitude. Sometimes it is that pain that heightens the senses to the joys.

    Okay, I have spent a lifetime trying to describe this and you just bust it out like nothing on a Monday! lol. I have also spent out 5 solid minutes trying to describe in detail how much I love this! Still, no words. I have realized through the years reading your blog that I will never get my hands to type how much I love the things that you post. They mean more to me then you know. This little bit above is going on the refrigerator, and a copy for my wallet! Lol (Seriously:))

  • Jenni - Oh and the most important! Happy Birthday Little One! I remember that birthday post last year. It’s so hard to believe that she is sitting there rocking pony tails. Beautiful pictures:)

  • Sarah - Goosebumps as I read your reflections of her birth….So wonderful to see how far she’s come! Praise be to God!

  • kimberly oyler - “And yet, I’ve learned over the last year that some of the most beautiful parts of life are tapestry woven with pain and joy and grace.”

    that is the very best thing you have ever typed. happy birthday to your sweet girl.

  • Lisa Efaw - Thank you! Beautifully spoken. Happy Birthday wishes and kisses.

  • Celia - Oh goodness…. I’m sobbing. I just love this. Happy Birthday sweet girl. May the Lord continue to bless her and her special family!!

  • Bethany - Happy Birthday, Little One… what a wonderfully bit step, licking that spoon for your birthday! Wise child to start with homemade ice cream! And let me just say, Firecracker was made to be a big sister… you can just see it in every fiber of her being when she’s with her little sister. (It reminds me of my two girls!) Love it!

  • Sara W - Love your thoughts on pain and joy. Beautiful post! Happy Birthday Little One.

  • Julie - Just simply beautiful. Your words to your emotions is breathtaking. Thank you.
    Adore the sweet decorations!

  • Jacci - Oh, Ashley! I can SEE her growth. I can SEE, even from a distance and even through the mediums of your blog and photography, the love, the joy, the healing, the restoration, the trust, the security. I’ve told you before that I believe the Lord purposed to bring me and many others to pray for all these things for LO in a way I can’t explain. All I know is I sat in my family room late one night praying and weeping my heart out for this little girl days before you met her… and I believe He used those prayers for her, for you, but also for me. To change ME. I cannot thank you enough for being open… for sharing your Song with us! With me. A million congratulations, and squealy Happy Birthdays, and hugs. Praise be to God. Praise be to His Name!

  • Jacci - I wrote a typical long-winded comment and the Internets ate it!!!

    I praise God – it is HIS work and it really is marvelous in our eyes. A million congratulations, a million squealy Happy Birthdays, and a million hugs!!! What a glorious answer to prayer ALL of it is. I cannot thank you enough for sharing your sweet Song with us. With me. You have blessed me beyond measure. Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday, Little One!!!! <3

  • Annie Page - Happy Birthday Little One! She is truly a little doll. I think acknowledging the pain is a good thing, it’s just when you linger on it you steal joy. We’ll be bring our daughter home from Ethiopia soon, I anticipate lots of joy and lots of pain. Since she’s older she’ll be able to share with us when she’s ready her world prior to adoption and I am grateful that I can take her hand and guide her forward in life when her mother and father could not. It is bittersweet and heartbreaking, but I am grateful that God has given us the opportunity to do it. Little one will have struggles, but she could not ask for more love or support – from you and your family. She will most definitely find her song!

  • sarah - Such a beautiful post. Happy Birthday Little One!

  • Sherly - Happy birthday beautiful girl! God bless you and may He continue to use you in tremendous ways! Hugs & kisses, from shanghai.

  • Alice H - Happy Birthday to Little One!! She is beautiful inside and out.

  • andy - Happt birthday. What sweet pictures

  • Victoria / Justice Pirate - Song is a beautiful middle name! Lovely! May God’s love and grace always be the song from her lips! Happy birthday to her!

  • Nicolle - Happy birthday, Little One! You are so precious and so loved.

  • Kerri K. - This is beautiful!

  • Lori - What a beautiful post. Happy Birthday Little One!!

  • Kimberly Troth - Beautiful! Happy 2nd Birthday Little One :)

  • Lynn - Happy Birthday Little One……A special day for the entire family!!!

  • erin - beautiful, touching post. Happy Birthday LIttle One!!

  • Jillian - When I first started reading your blog you had first adopted Little One. It is incredible how much she has grown in such a short time! Happy Birthday to that beautiful girl!

  • Denise - Happy birthday to your precious Little Song! You bless us all as you share these windows into your life, both pain and joy as you so beautifully wrote about here.

  • Sandi - We are a product of our experiences and what we make of them. We can choose to dwell on joyful moments or the depths of sorrow. Taking a step back to see how it is all woven together in our life is something we all should do to regain our perspective. Thanks for the reminder. You said it so well. God bless your tender heart! ; )

  • Dawn Ritchie - Happy Birthday Little One.

  • Jackie - Beautiful!! I think simple parties at home are the best! Thank you for sharing.

  • Brandi - I can’t remember how I came upon your blog in the first place. All I know is that from the very first time I read it, I was hooked. Your words, your pictures, your style, your honesty, your family, your view on life….it touches me every single time I read it. That last paragraph – thank you for putting into words what sometimes I can only feel and not express. Although pain is hard, I know God uses it for his glory. Thank you for laying out such a beautiful picture of that. And happy birthday to Little One…from experience, summer birthdays are the best ;)

  • Amanda - Happy Birthday, Little One! May God continue to bless you and keep you safe. Hugs and kisses, sweet baby girl. =)

  • Ashley - Happy birthday! So happy you are able to celebrate this birthday with her. Cheers to many more!

  • Seamingly Sarah - Amen to that!

  • Kiki - Happy Birthday, Little One! I have loved watching you grow and cannot wait to see what this year has to bring for you and your family. Thanks again Ashley for sharing your family stories with us! :)

  • mc - Feliz cumpleannos pequennita! Sigue cantando tu cancion

  • sylvie la GB - Happy Birthday, beautiful little one !
    Gorgeous post !!
    Sylvie, and Iris, born in VietNam, both in France

  • Kara M - PRECIOUS!! Love the pictures. Love your words on pain, suffering, joy and gratitude!!

  • Maureen - My 21 year old son just came by, glanced at the computer screen and said, “Oh my gosh, is that Little One? She’s beautiful!” We’ve journeyed as a family through your journey as we’ve navigated our own. Your family has been assimilated, but only in the best of ways. My fave picture is Little One licking the spoon and the look on Chris’ face. Oh my, what a Dad he is! It’s lovely how true blessings are never one way but flow all around. Your entire family looks saturated.

  • Karen - Our little Lucy is from China as well. I love following your blog. We had decided on her name 4 years before we brought her home. When we got our referral call, we found out that her name in Chinese was pronounced ‘Lu-chee’. I just had to share, since you had a similar experience with your little ones name. God is good! Happy birthday to your precious girl.

  • Lisa - So beautifully written! Bless your sweet girl on her second birthday! This post brought tears of joy…while you were celebrating Little One’s second, we were celebrating a dossier finally on it’s way to China!

  • Ashley E. - Hi Ashley,

    My little one is biased against all vegetables (I don’t even know how that happens). Your blog has me thinking that a smoothie might be the way to sneak them into her diet.

    Have any recipes that are toddler approved!?

    Thanks,
    Another Ashley

  • Abi - What a gracious and lovely person you are.

  • Dana at Happy Little Lovelies - With a huge lump in my throat and tears in my eyes….happy, happy birthday to your beautiful Song. I just know that He loves singing over her.

  • Avenlea - Thanks for sharing her middle name! Happy Birthday, Little One!

  • Abby - Beautiful as usual, Ashley! Thank you so much for sharing this. I love Little One in her pigtails!!

  • Rachelle - Happy Birthday Little one:)

  • Marla - This is so beautiful. Your words and your story are truly an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing. We have gone through quite a journey with our little girl and my heart screams yes with that last paragraph. May God continue to bless your sweet family.

  • Lindsay - I just wanted to let you know I was blessed by this post. Today is our little man’s fourth birthday. He is still in China. We are waiting as The Lord has called, but today has been a little tougher than the rest. I am looking forward to one year from now. It will be wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

  • Ali - Being a busy mom, I don’t expect a response but I just felt compelled to write something.

    I’m a single, late 20s female and since I was a child, I felt that eventually I would adopt. Now that I’m about to embark on going back to school to get my Master’s to become a Nurse-Midwife, I feel that I’m almost in that place where it would be time to start the process.

    You sharing your journey, tough moments and joyous ones on the path to getting Little One home has been inspiring. Your sharing all of this has opened me up to adopting a child with a cleft lip/palate. It wasn’t something I ever imagined I could handle but you have shown me that those struggles are just a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things.

    Thank you for sharing this with the world. You inspire more than you now.

  • Gina - I love how God puts families together in a way that man never could. Happy Birthday Little One!!! That is a great family photo!!

  • Mariko - Happy Birthday Litte One! I love daddy’s expression on all of the photos when she gives her ice cream to him – I can just see how strong their bond is and how much he enjoys being with his daughter! Ashley, you are my inspiration – thank you very much for sharing your precious journey with us.

  • Kimberly Dial - I couldn’t agree more Ashley. I too think that the pain heightens our sense of the joyous, the miraculous … such a lovely post. I’ve loved that you have shared your family’s journey to and with your sweet “Song”. As it often the case, I write thru tears … have you ever thought of writing a novel? ;) Happy birthday Little One!

  • rio guinn - Happy birthday little one!!!awesome kid!!!You are so loved by the whole world…you are so beautiful everyday!!!

  • Jill - You have such a way of putting emotion into words! I lost my mom to cancer last year while I was 5 months pregnant with twins. When my 4 year old was born life was easy and blissful and no one talked much about cancer. I worried I wouldnt experience the same joy with the twins since they were born smack dab into my grief, but you are so right. Pain has an acute way of making sweet things that much sweeter. I now appreciate life two-fold, for me and my mom. All of your little ones are charming, will pray for continued healing for little love as your family faces upcoming procedures.

  • Jenny - Happy Birthday Little One!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Happy Birthday, Little One! Ashley – I am so happy for you that can give her a big birthday hug!

  • Annie - Love reading your blog. Especially posts like this. Adoption is such a beautiful thing, and specifically YOUR family’s story is so very beautiful. My roommates have gotten used to coming home to find me staring at a computer screen bawling… 99% of the time it’s because I’m reading an adoption blog. (Especially when families finally get to take their adoptive children home – good grief!!) I hope to adopt too one day… but I’ve gotta get the husband thing figured out first. ;) (minor details, haha) Until then, I’m enjoying living vicariously through you! Thanks for blogging.

  • Nina von Butterzart - Dear little Song,

    since last August I read your mummys Blog and I’m really happy to see you grown up. How fast live run!
    All my best wishes, full of joy, happyiness and health for you from far, far away!

    Nina

  • Jennifer - What BEAUTIFUL pictures of Little One! She is such a darling little girl. Happy birthday to your little Song. :)

  • MJ - What if trials of this life, are His mercies in disguise? (Laura Story)

    Praising The Lord for this Song in your heart…

  • Jenny B. - Beautiful. The party decorations, her cute little pony tail, your words… Whenever I hear that song that says “joy comes in the morning,” I always see the word as “mourning” instead of “morning.” I think both are true. :) Happy (belated) birthday, Little One!

  • amber - Thank you for sharing her & your journey with us. It is just beautiful & keeps growing more. And Happy Birthday to your Little One:)!!

  • Chantel - She is so adorable! Thanks for sharing her birthday with us, so glad you could spend it with her this year.

  • Susan Morris - What a blessing to see these pictures & hear your “mother’s heart”! I bless your spirits to partner with the Holy Spirit of the One True God to bring God’s design to your spirits, souls & bodies over this next year! Love you guys!

  • Cindy Steffan - Such a sweet sweet post Ashley!

  • Katherine - Beautiful photos of a beautiful girl on a beautiful day. Thanks for sharing.

  • Stephanie - I just love how your husband is looking at her when she puts the spoon to her mouth. He looks so proud and like such a dad. I love it. Happy Birthday to her! I love how God works too…praying that verse over her and then it being part of her name. So like our God to plan out those details!

  • Cheri - That is so beautiful! You made me cry. I love it! Your family is so big and beautiful! I would love to have a family that big that also included adoptions but I don’t think I am strong enough for it. God bless your beautiful heart and beautiful Song! You have given her a reason to sing!

  • Kathleen - happy birthday little one! it is a very good post mama. it made my heart ache in a good way! May God bless you and your family more.

  • Vincentia - Hi Ashley..I just found your blog and started to read just 1 month ago.
    All these time, I just read your part “our adoption journey”. It’s just like found my favorite book, cannot put it down till I read it all
    You touched my heart with your long long way to get your little one home..then it surprises me a lot when I click “Home” and found this post about your little one’s 2nd Birthday,tears running down my cheeks..Ohhh…She’s veryy beautiful little girl, 2 years old already.. May God Bless you and whole Family..Thank you for sharing your story..

    Regards,
    Vincentia
    Jakarta- Indonesia

  • Meg - Hey Ashley!

    I tried to find a better way to contact you but I wanted to ask permission/let you know that I used some of your beautiful words about your daughters birthday in my son’s birthday post. I linked back to you. But PLEASE let me know if you’d rather I not do that and I will remove it immediately. I completely understand. Your words said exactly what I feel on our kid’s birthdays, so thank you for articulating your feelings!

  • Tami - Worded so well! Love how you explained that pain can heighten our senses to the joys in life! I’m with you on that 100%. Thank you!

  • simone - i just found you and your blog on pinterest, i think i’ve been about one hour and just can’t get enough of your beautiful family, stories, miracle of your little one, just can’t get enough…that is exactly the way i think too…i agree with every word you type, reading through your stories and just admiring how wonderful God is, how he has wonderful purposes for us, if we let Him do His work in us and through us…i will be checking constantly now your blog…something interesting, i couldn’t stop crying, while reading your blog, i would jump from subject to subject, thinking ok this one doesn’t look “heavy” i don’t think i will cry…the interesting part is…it was not a cry of pain, or feeling bad for you or the family(you how sometimes we feel like that), no…i can’t really explain…i believe it was the Holy Spirit touching me though your words/pics…hope he continues doing to all people that reads…touch our heart and put His desire!!!! I’vebeen praying for your little one, while looking at her gorgeous pictures!!! May God, Our Lord and Savior bless your family with a lot of health, love, peace, continue leading you and your husband in this wonderful mission called “parenting”!!! God bless you all*_* xoxo simone

  • elizabeth H - BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL girls!
    “Blessing upon blessing to you Little One.
    May the Father continue to reveal His overwhelming pleasure in you”
    xoxo Ashley … my prayers are w. you!

  • tracy a - ok…crying! you have a way with words friend. so glad you get to celebrate fullness this year. Praise our good God!

  • Heather - Ashley, you are simply amazing.

  • Holly - what a beautiful testimony of how good our God is and clever too! Love the verse and her name is Song. I agree, walking in life with sadness and joy, grief and thankfulness, enables healing and brings us closer to the Father. Thank you for your words!

  • misty - I am, once again, trying to catch up on all of my favorite blogs. On 7/6 a good friend of mine got married & she asked me to photograph it {which is crazy because I have NEVER ever photographed a wedding & am just learning, but she trusted me…} The preacher was Larze {?} spell? So while everyone was getting ready, he was introducing himself to everyone & he asked if I have a blog. {yes, a itty bitty only family reads it blog} & he said, Have you heard of Under The Sycamore? {OHMYGOSHHAVEIEVERHEARDOFIT?AREYOUCRAZY?ITSMYFAVEEEE!} is what I wanted to say, but I said, yes… :) He said you’re great friends with his wife. :) Anyway, I just though, what a small world. So glad to hear surgery for your sweet girl went well. prayers for her being sent your way! <3

  • AshleyAnn - Misty – that is awesome. Lars is an incredible guy with a great family. I’ve known his wife since 9th grade. Small world indeed!

About a month ago, I posted this picture on Instgram (underthesycamore) with the caption, “Thankful: how the things that exhaust me the most are the things, if given the chance, I’d never change.” This photo summed up how I was feeling that day. There were kids literally climbing and jumping on everything. And, yet, I wouldn’t change a thing. Even Little One (don’t worry I quickly grabbed her after this shot) is always climbing on something. I wouldn’t change a thing.

When I posted it on IG, there was a comment about how it was surprising that I let FireCracker jump from table to table. The comment was in no way mean or ugly – it was just a kind, honest thought regarding the picture. That comment made me think about my girl. Jumping across a 12inch gap between tables is nothing for FireCracker.

There are many moments she is so incredibly girlie – like protecting a box of rollie pollies or twirling in the living room before church.

But in all her twirly, girly stuff…she is also a little girl with three big brothers that has a whole lot of fire and spunk in her bones. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone make mud look so cute. She’s been a FireCracker since the day she was born.

So, it brings me back to the whole jumping from table to table. The girl likes to jump. Off everything.

This summer she learned to flip from her daddy’s arms. She did it about 3 times and then was flipping off the diving board. We’ve had a few family front flip contests off the diving board. I’m the only person that can beat her. I plan to hold onto the title as long as possible….which may not be too many more summers.

So when I think about all her jumping and flipping and thrill seeking – I’m okay with it. I probably encourage it more than her grandparents would like. Of course, I provide boundaries and keep her safe, but I love that she embraces trying new things.  She loves an adventure. She wants to go higher. Jump farther. Dive deeper. Spin faster. She’s my adventure loving girl….I have no idea where she gets it from.

For those that are wondering about that plane picture, you can click here to read that old post.

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  • Kathryn - It’s harder and harder for children to find ways to safely test what they can do. We’re all so conditioned to rush in. I posted a picture of my son climbing a batting cage and people freaked out. We did it all the time as kids. Although it was really hard for me to watch :)

  • Leila - I’m a grandma and I love seeing kids jump from picnic tables :) I bet hers do too. She makes it look good!

  • Jacci - Perfect :) I agree with the commenter before me. The general freak out factor seems to be pretty significant these days for just about anything fun :) Firecracker is awesome.

  • Carrie - It’s so great seeing kids just bring kids…my favourite memories involve falling out of trees and having mud fights with my big brother…and I was an absolute klutz so was always hurting myself…my family NEVER stopped me!!

  • Denise~ - I have an adventure loving little girl too, I’ve been following her around for 28 years now trying to keep her safe…I’ve had some of the best times of my life joining in on her adventures. I’m so thankful to have her in my life, she’s taught me more about fun than anyone else, I wouldn’t change a thing!!

  • Tiffany - I love this post. My daughter is the same way, and even though many times I have to hold my breath as she’s doing what she’s doing, I have to remember I did the same things as a child. I love the two airplane pictures in the end!

  • Pamela - Thankfully my mom encouraged us to jump. I hope I am doing the same.

  • Alice H - Let kids be kids!! That’s my motto. We can’t keep them safe forever. Yes, like you said, they do need boundaries. But they need to live life without fear. They need to be adventurous. Good job in letting her live life!!

  • Ellen - I have a 3 1/2 year old “firecracker” who is always trying to climb the highest point she can find. At 2, she broke her femur leaping off a table for the sheer joy of it. I try to balance as you do… hers is not my personality nor the personality of my oldest, but this girl i one of the most delightful people I have ever met.

    I try to teach her wisdom, not fear. It can be hard for Mama sometimes, but I think we have to let our kids being who we are they are created to be, just teaching them how to handle their personalities in a wise way. I’m sure my girl and yours are going to do great things, especially if they are given space to fly.

  • Amanda Torres - I thought I was reading a post about my girl! She is so girly. Dresses, Barbies, dolls, princesses, make-up, she loves it all. However, if there is a pile of dirt she is the first one to run to it. This year at swim lessons she and her cousin were begging the teacher to let them jump off the high dive. She is a thrill seeker. Nothing is too high and she thinks she is invincible. I love all those qualities about her.

  • Shannon - When I was growing up we were allowed to climb trees, jump off things, and my best friend and I often walked through the woods behind my house alone, and swam in the creek on the other side. We were fine. But if I let my kids climb a tree or jump off things, or even go out the backyard alone someone makes me feel like I’m being a bad mom. I think it’s great your daughter is adventurous and even better that you let her be.

  • Allison - That post made me smile. especially the last two pictures!

  • Eva - You’re a great mom to encourage her in her thrill seeking. It took me until my adult years to push myself in this direction. Now I have two little girls who bring me along for the ride.

    I could not believe my ears today when my newest little dumpling was squealing with delight as we pounded the big waves of the South China Sea in a dinky little tourist boat.

  • Kimberly Troth - She is her Mommy’s FireCrackers :) One of my favorite post on your blog was your 30th Birthday!! How cool!

  • Sharon @ Discovering Blog - It’s so fantastic that you can celebrate her for who she is, not who others might expect her to be.

  • Beth Ann - Love it! One of my sons (he’s 5) and one of my daughters (she’s 2) are adventure seekers and so many people cringe when they see them climb, jump, swing or what have you. I always comment that I feel like it is my job as their mother to allow them to do what they are destin to do, but encourage them to think it through so they can do it as safely as possible, thinking not only of themselves, but other ‘innocents’ around them, I.e. “if I jump off this will I be landing on another kid or on soft ground or concrete around me”.

  • Brandi - Had the biggest cheeseball smile after reading this post that just sat on my face for a good minute.

    My 2 year old is the same way. This morning before VBS, he wanted to jump down 3 stairs, I hesitated at first but then said “YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS!!” …he stuck the landing and I couldn’t of been more proud of him! Life is trial and error, baby. Gotta let their spirits sour! ?

  • Emily - Oh, those plane pictures are so perfect.

  • rachael vuu - I have 3 girls, 6 4 and 2, and my youngest is the same way! She has been climbing since she could pull herself up and is constantly testing the limits! For the most part, I let her explore her boundaries, though occasionally she gives me a good scare…. I love reading your posts. Beautiful photography and kids and stories. Thank you!

  • Nicole C - The photo of her jumping with the tube around her reminds me of the movie Superstar. Don’t know why, but it makes me smile!

  • Laura@Ms Smartie Pants - My daughter is the youngest with three older brothers, she has nerve and adventure 10 times what I have ever had! She is the only one of my 3 kids that I had to put her mattress on the floor at 1 year because she climbed out of her bed and dislocated her shoulder. She is beautiful and girly and loves pink, always has but for 2 years wore a spiderman costume for Halloween and pretty much everyday after for a few months. She just turned 19, let me tell you how that spirit has translated as an adult. She is leaving for India in a couple of weeks, she plans to be a missionary and stay there for a few years at some point. She told me when she was very young, I have places to go, I won’t be home like your boys and she has meant it! There isn’t anything she won’t try! I don’t mean to say she is careless, she is not, I wish I had her wisdom and commitment when I was her age in relationships. Goodness, I could go on, she just makes me beam with pride and I wonder where she has gotten this and I am so grateful to God above that I have been able to watch her grow!

  • Jenni - My daughter is the exact same way and every time someone mentions her fearlessness I mention her two older brothers that she is trying to keep up with! She is a fierce ninja turtle (in a pink tutu:)) and I adore the balance:).

  • Emily - Girls like her grow up to be women who change the world (like their mothers.) :-D

  • Susan - I have a grown daughter who was a climber/jumper. Twelve inches is not very much. I say let her jump!

  • Laura - I wonder if that comment would have been made if one of the boys were jumping across the table! I think sometimes we let ourselves think that girls are delicate and break easier than boys when in all actuality they are pretty equal at young ages. I’m glad you encourage her to jump,spin,run faster!

  • Moriah - I love it! I have a few daredevils in my crew too. My husband says I let them get “to the edge of danger.” I just smile and remind him that I am being careful too. What a great post, like mother like daughter!

  • Ellie - You need to put that girl in gymnastics! I was just like Firecracker as a little bit. I was put in gymnastics at 4 and loved it! I did gymnastics for 9 years!

  • Hannah - I love it!

    My good friends have a little boy and when he was 3 he jumped off the edge of the couch thinking he would take off flying. He belly flopped onto the floor and didn’t cry because he was hurt – he cried because that was the moment he realized he couldn’t fly. All your pics of Firecracker jumping reminded me of that story (which I think it adorable) so I thought I’d share. :)

  • Catherine - I was lucky enough to grow up in a small town and on a farm with parent’s and grandparent’s that pretty much let us free range. We used to climb HUGE trees from a fairly young age, rode our bikes all over town, had to cross the major highway through town to get to a park and all those sorts of things. I am so glad I had that upbringing because I think it taught me valuable skills. I am resourceful and have a confidence in myself to do most things. My husband had the opposite upbringing so we have this constant to’ing and fro’ing about what our kids are allowed to do. He has loosened up considerably but I dread his mother coming to visit for all the gasping and running next to the children to make sure they don’t get hurt. I applaud you for letting Firecracker jump! You are doing a wonderful thing for your kids.

  • AshleyAnn - Ellie – she is in gymnastics…I was a gymnast too :)

  • haverlee - Oh, Ashley. Seriously. This tugged hard on my heartstrings. I have a hard time connecting with moms a lot because so many of them comment constantly on how they can’t believe I let my boys do such and such. We are cut from the same cloth. I read your 30th bday post and my heart literally started beating faster. That is my biggest dream too!! The few times in my life I’ve seen a biplane doing tricks, I wish so badly I was in there!! That and hang-gliding. My 30th bday is already passed but maybe I’ll start dropping bigger hints to my hubby ;) We were raised with a dad who constantly told us, “Tricks are for kids”. I also want you to know that you are a huge inspiration and influence in my life right now. We live in a regular neighborhood but my desire to get on a couple of acres is growing stronger by the day. That, and adopting a baby girl ;) Sorry for leaving a book. Sometimes I just can’t edit my thoughts!! And one last thing, it made my day when you commented on my blog last week. Thank you for your kind words!!

  • Stoich91 - All gymnasts are firecrackers from day one. :D

  • Laura Sudderth - Firecracker is the spitting image of you that is for sure! Love your blog and thank you for sharing.

  • Amanda Ciskowski Madl - She reminds me of you and Leslie all rolled into 1 :)
    She definitely comes by that adventure seeking naturally. :)

  • AshleyAnn - Haverlee – thank you :) I’m with you on hang gliding…I want to do that on an island somewhere. I don’t think hang-gliding in Oklahoma would have quite the stunning thrill! Thank you for your sweet encouragement!

  • Jamie - I also have a thrill seeking daughter. She has loved jumping, climbing, roller coasters & thrill rides since she could walk. She’s now 11 & will ride & jump a 1500lb horse like she’s just on a leisurely stroll. It has given her a quiet & humble confidence. It has also taught me that she owns her faith & her relationship with Christ. We were recently in New Zealand & she bungee jumped off a 140ft bridge. I asked her if she was scared & she said “nope, I had prayer & God on my side”. Her younger brother has Down syndrome & her confidence has been a huge motivator for him to try new things just to keep up with her. Firecracker’s confidence may also be a great motivator for Little One. Siblings can be the greatest teachers & encouragers.

  • Birdy& Bambi - We love the photos!

    And we wish you a beautiful weekend:
    http://lasagnolove.blogspot.de/2013/06/have-wonderful-weekend_28.html

    Love,
    Birdy& Bambi

  • Haley - I love this! I hope my daughter (currently 8 weeks old) becomes a thrill seeker like Firecracker.

  • Jenni - My comment on IG, was just out of pure inspiration!!(though i have been told i can be too direct).I am so challenged by the way you let your kids be who God made them to be. I am thankful that it lead you to reflection on your sweet FC;).

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I so remember that post! I remember thinking what a brave and fun adventurer you are!

  • tara pollard pakosta - I have 5 big brothers and I was pretty adventurous growing up, but that changed once I got to adulthood! I am so cautious now!!!
    love her spunk!

    tara

  • Tessa - What fun! Can she swim? My daughter’s her age and cannot swim, but she starts lessons next week. I’ve seen several pictures that make me think Firecracker must be a fairly strong swimmer.

  • AshleyAnn - Tessa – she is a really good swimmer. She started swimming underwater to us when she was 11 months old. None of her siblings have been like that…she just took to the water immediately.

  • Quenby Sheree - I love that little green dress she’s wearing! Too precious

  • Julia - Love this. she is appropriately nicknamed for sure.

  • Kristin S - Yes!

    One of my favorite things about your blog is watching you encourage your kids to soar. It helps that you live on land and not in a subdivision. But so many kids live in a protected bubble world these days of no dirt, no gardens, no bumps and scrapes, no adventure. It’s part of life! Yields adults willing to take risks. Healthy risks.

    I love that FireCracker LOVES to leap!

  • Maclaine - I cheered for my daughter (2nd child with 4 brothers) when in 8th grade she decided to play football. My daughter is not built like a lineman. She’s built like a girl and she wasn’t content to only kick and punt (which she did perfectly like the soccer player she is) – she also played running back and safety like a rockstar. Everyone was afraid she would get hurt but I knew it was her now or never chance since she would be too small to play her freshman year. We knew she was one of a kind before that year but having a chance to take a risk like that (a risk that might have resulted in failure, or rejection or yes, injury) lit a fire in her. This girl really believes she can do anything she sets her heart to – and she is.

    I think your Firecracker and my Kate are cut from the same cloth :) She’s so fortunate to have a mommy who will let her soar!

    I had to share these with you. This one http://imgur.com/DzVKQGp,xKzsVbz#0 my daughter is the one in the M helmet surrounded by a sea of the other team (who don’t know she’s a girl). She runs the ball another 80ish yards for a touchdown. And http://imgur.com/DzVKQGp,xKzsVbz#1 is the year that all my kids were football players :)

  • Ann - Love love love your blog. Made me cry with joy, made me laugh, made me smile. Thank you for sharing.

  • Bernie - Yeah, yeah. Just you wait.I have a daughter who has jumped out of airplane and rides on the back of her hubby’s motorcycle. My son flies single engine airplanes. ….I pray, a LOT!

  • Kimberlee Jost - Uh, her mom, the gymnast?
    :)

  • dee - I am getting such a kick out of Little One’s band-aid phase! My daughter (also from China) loved them at that age.

  • dana - Let kids be kids! I posted a pic of my kids jumping on our trampoline
    (We don’t have the enclosure) and people freaked out! A 13 and 10 year old. Lol
    I want kids who play outside, get dirty, and not scaredy cats! People miss out on so much fun and joy out of fear???? go climb a tree, play in a creek, use a chair as a ladder, jump from the porch steps. Geesh! That’s why the good Lord made band aids and Mommies to kiss boo boos:)

  • Shelly - I kind of love this. As a parent myself and preschool director, I worry about the lack of recess at schools or children in front of the tv too much at home. Children are thrill seekers and when you allow them to take risks, they’re minds, bodies, souls get what they need. They are more likely to have confidence, be focused, and behave because of it! Nice job, Mama!

  • Ashley - I’m sure it’s hard to make sure her boundaries keep her safe, but let her explore and be adventurous. Kudos to you for finding that balance.

  • Heidi Jo the Artist - I’ve got an adventure seeking girl here too! Even more so than her older brother. She has a couple of scars already that required stitches!! But surprisingly, those happened on less daring moments. Loved reading about your 30th birthday gift from your husband. What an awesome surprise! I went up a couple of times with one of my husband’s good friends and it was amazing! A fun adrenaline rush! Would love to do it again someday. :)

  • Jenny B. - She’s amazing! My youngest is about the same age, and he wouldn’t dare jump off a diving board. :)

  • Jenna - Ashley Ann, I always love your photography but this post is fantastic. Those photos of Firecracker are so accurate, detailed, and crisp. I adore the photo of her jumping into the pool with her tutu swimsuit, and the inter-tube one even more so. Thanks for sharing!

  • Emma - My 4 yr old girl jumps off of everything too. She is fearless! Her 6 yr old brother watches in awe. I love it! Go Firecracker! :)