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Aug

Play. Nap. Repeat.

My dear Remington... he is the sweetest. I am pretty sure he thinks Greyson is his and I am totally okay with that. He keeps his eye on Greyson all day and takes his job very seriously. He follows me from room to room with Greyson as the baby eats, naps, and plays. Being an older brother is an exhausting job, but somebody has to do it! :) And oh how I love watching them play together. Thats right, play together. When did Greyson get old enough to PLAY!? He reaches out for Remington whenever they sit together and Remington licks Greyson's toes whenever he gets the chance. Then there are waves of giggling and smiles. It's like an adorable Hallmark card that has come to life! 
 
Oh how I just adore these two. With Remington sleeping on a pile of laundry fresh out of the dryer and Greyson taking a nap next to me, I am so grateful for the small beautiful moments that fill my days.

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Aug

These Past Few Days

Dear These Past Few Days, 
 
I'm not gunna lie, you've been rough. With a sick baby and doctor appointments galore, These Past Few Days you have been one for the record book. However, you must know though that these next few days are going to continued to be filled with unplugging and resting. With tissues, soft blankets, and snuggles. With Mickey Mouse on TV and our favorite stuffed animal bunny. These Past Few Days you aren't going to get the best of us and we are on the mend.  
 
These Past Few Days, I am glad you are behind us and you won't be missed. Yes, I said it. #sorryimnotsorry 
 
: ) Ashley

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Jul

I Don't Want To Be Super Mom

It's his favorite new toy. And best part? It was free. Yup, Greyson has discovered his toes and must reach out and grab them almost constantly. And let me tell you, they are entertainment for at least 15 minutes straight. Spending time just watching him play with his toes and photographing all his cute faces makes me so very happy. 
 
As Greyson is getting older.... Wait. Before I go on, I have to mention I find it slightly humorous saying "as he is getting older" or "now that he is older" since he is only 4.5 months old. LOL But boy are there so many changes in the first year of life! Anyway, I digress. As Greyson is getting older he needs and wants more. More attention, more playtime, more time awake, more of me. And as he needs more, it's been a challenge to find more time in the day to accomplish everything else from running the business, photo shoots, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, and so on. He sleeps a lot less during the day now and is NOT entertained by watching me answer emails and editing (surprise surprise, i know!). For the past few months I have been juggling everything the best I can, but decided finally to admit something to myself: I needed help. I feel so completely blessed and am so very grateful to be a full time business owner and a full time stay at home mom. But, truth be told, I can't be great at both at the same time with no help during the day while Chris is at work. I have been hustling big time, waking up at 5am and not going to bed until 11pm, working before Greyson wakes up and after he goes to bed. And for those of you who know me, this girl needs her sleep. And at least 8 hours of it!?  
 
I don't want to be "Super Mom." I don't want to be the kind of super mom that strives for perfection and doing it all, but nothing with intention. I don't want to be a Super Mom because I have way too many things juggling in the air and I am barely getting by with keeping things going. I don't want to glorifying "busy." At the end of the day, I want to be an AWESOME mom, the BEST mom to Greyson I can be. I want to be a GREAT business owner and photographer, but not at the sacrifice of my family or to the level of service to my clients. I want to be present and intentional in whatever I am doing. End of story. 
 
So, I have been making some changes. One of which is now using Pea Pod to have our groceries delivered now and then straight to the house! (how did I not do this sooner?!) I also started making dinners and freezing them on Sundays when Chris is home watching the little guy to save time during the week. But the biggest thing is we recently hired a babysitter to watch Greyson at the house so I can be in my office with the door shut a few mornings a week with no distractions. And boy what a difference it has made. I have been so much more productive when in my office and can truly enjoy down time with Greyson, not think about all I have on my To Do list. I think deep down inside I felt like I should be Super Mom and should juggle everything. I am not one to ask for help and can get stuck in my ways, but these changes have made me a better mom and business owner already. It has freed up my schedule more and has provided a new routine that helps me do all I need to. Now I can truly enjoy watching Greyson play with his toes for an extra hour without the distraction of thinking about ALL I have do get done or constantly multi tasking. The changes and help have given me the freedom to be more present. 
 
So I challenge you to ask yourself what change, however small or simple, can you make to be a better you? A better photographer, a better employee, a better wife, a better dad, a better friend? What adjustment can you make in your daily routine to be more PRESENT and INTENTIONAL? Maybe it means getting up a little earlier to get ready for work so you can sit down and eat breakfast with your kids before heading out the door. Maybe it's waiting to do the dishes until the next morning instead of when your friends are over for dinner so you can have more great conversation with them. Maybe it's taking on less projects next month so you can focus and give more of yourself to the ones you currently have. Whatever it might be, maybe you just need a little reminder like I did that change is needed and can be good... That being super means truly living and soaking in the present.

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Jul

A Great Love

This past weekend was Greyson's baby dedication at our church and it has been a day Chris and I have been looking forward to since he was born. After the special ceremony our families celebrated with a poolside BBQ. And yes I did make the watermelon, feta, mint salad I posted about last week - it was a huge hit! :)  
 
Days before the BBQ, I did what has become a daily event for me - I wrote a list of things to remember to bring. The first thing at the top of the list, don't laugh, was my camera. I know, you are probably thinking why would I need to remind myself to bring THAT of all things! But to be honest, I am behind my lens for other people's celebrations so much I often forget to bring it with me to our own celebrations! :) And I am so glad I didn't forget it because of moments like these. All four of Greyson's living great grandparents were there and what a blessing it was. To see this generation holding our son was an incredible thing to witness and capture. Chris' grandpa on the left is 93 years old and my grandpa on the right is 91 and a half. Yes, he always makes sure to include the half. Because, in his words, every month counts when your his age. And this weekend was the first time these two great grandpas had met. Shortly after I took these photos, the two agreed to celebrate their 100 birthdays together and make sure they get their faces on Smuckers jelly jars. And then they shook on it. Literally. It was the sweetest moment. And right then and there I made a promise to myself to bring my camera with me to our family get togethers all the time so that I can have precious photos like these to remember their gentle but great love for Greyson and life.  
 
Little Greyson was all tuckered out from the day... clearly. :)

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Jul

Summer Salad

I WISH I could take credit for this yummy salad recipe, but alas it is the creation of Paula Deen. However, I feel that it is my duty to pass it along because it is just that delicious! My friend and fellow Photog Sarah made this watermelon, feta, mint salad at our Shoot & Share Photographer annual summer BBQ a few weeks ago and it was a huge hit! I am making it this weekend for a family BBQ we are having and will not correct anyone who things I made it up myself. Just saying. :) Best part is there is no cooking involved, so I am pretty sure I can't mess it up. Right?! Enjoy! :) 
 
Have a fabulous weekend filled will all things amazing! Like this salad... LOL #yourewelcome 
 
PS Don't judge it by the horrible picture - it taste way better then it looks in this photo! :)

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