Lilypie - First Birthday

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Compassion & Grace


As a parent we take care of our kids, feed them clothe them, buy them things to entertain them. We are constantly trying to keep our children safe, making sure they don’t eat rat poison or touch fire. Sometimes though we might make poor parenting decision or turn our back for a second, most of the time those instances are met with a bump or bruise or maybe a burn. But on a rare occasion tragedy strikes, your child is eaten by an alligator, climbs into a gorilla pit, or accidentally gets locked in the car in the heat of summer just looking for his favorite toy. In the “connected” world we live in news like this doesn’t take long to reach the entire world… and the entire world has an opinion on it. What they would have done or wouldn’t have done, how much better of a parent they are, or even though they don’t have kids they’d “never let that happen”. Here’s the truth folks… you don’t know. Unless you’ve been in there, unless it’s happened to you, you don’t know and shaming the parents publicly does nothing to help the situation. Are some instances preventable? Absolutely. Are some instances neglect? Sure. Does it make it any less tragic if it happened to a family from the run down side of town with 4 or more kids living on government assistance or to a white collar family with 2.5 kids and a big house in a gated neighborhood? No, it doesn’t matter who it happens to. When a child is injured in an accident, preventable or not, it’s still tragic and for the most part the parents who have lost hat child are hurting and depending on the circumstances probably feeling a whole lot of guilt. So here is what I propose, instead of publically shaming these parents for accidents how about we show them compassion. Now I’m not talking about the abusers, or the ones that leave their children alone for hours upon hours while they go out to get drunk or high. I’m talking about loving parents to whom the unimaginable just happened, their child just died, maybe it was because they weren’t paying attention for a moment or maybe it was because they made a bad judgment call or maybe just maybe that child is strong willed and wanted to do something they were told they couldn’t do and got away from their parent. Kids are freakishly fast! I pray every day Sawyer doesn’t get away from me walking out of the house and run into the street. Accidents happen and it’s not our place to judge others. We should pray for them and hope that out of tragedy can come forgiveness and that they know that by grace they are saved.  

 

Ashley

 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Dear Grandma

Dear Grandma,

I thought about calling you today and then remembered I can't... I've been thinking about you a lot  these last few days, the last few weeks actually. I wish I'd called you last week when I had the chance, I  remember picking up the phone to call you but something distracted me... probably that super cute little boy you were over the moon about. Since I can't talk to you on the phone here's what I wanted to tell you.

I love you, Sawyer is growing so fast his check up was yesterday and he's finally moving up the growth charts!! His birthday party was a huge success, I really wish you could have been there, I would have come get you but I was so busy setting up for the party. I was going to show you pictures from the party next time I came to see you, I also have pictures of Sawyer for you, they're from his one year photo shoot. This one is my favorite...


Today I scrubbed my shower, I thought about taking before and after photos but I'm too embarrassed to let anyone see how dirty it was... It now sparkles! I was just thinking about the time we made the humming bird cake for my birthday. You didn't like the taste of the coconut in the bag from the store, you were convinced that they changed it and it was different, so we bought a real coconut and we tried to peel it or shell it or whatever it's called. Well you were using a knife and it slipped and got you in the hand, you were bleeding and tending to your wound and I was trying to help you... but I saw the blood and the next thing I knew I was sitting in the chair with my head between my knees and you were bringing me a cool rag for my head... yup I almost passed out and while you were the hurt one you still were tending to me! That's just the way you were, you always put others before yourself. I miss you Grandma. Today while cleaning I found a letter you'd written to me back in May, you were always thinking of others. I know that none of us would be where we are without your constant prayers.


I know that when Chance and I were struggling with infertility you were praying just as hard as we were for a baby... and when we finally found out we were pregnant we stopped by to tell you in person, I'd never seen you so happy! Except when you got to meet him for the first time.

 

 I regret not getting more photos of the two of you... I didn't really ever think about it when we were there... I'm sorry about that. I miss you so much. I know that someday I'll see you again but its hard right now. I'm going to take comfort knowing that you are with Jesus and no longer in pain. I love you grandma and I'll talk to you soon! 


Love,
Ashley















Saturday, October 3, 2015

Birthday Celebrations

Well... we've made it a year!! Our little miracle baby, whom we never thought we would have, is here and is a happy, healthy, spunky, a bit cantankerous, strong willed, loving little boy!! We took vacation time this week to be home with him and celebrate his special day. On Thursday, his actual birthday, we took him to the Zoo in Springfield and he had a great time! He was a little afraid of the giraffes but who wouldn't be when you're a tiny guy and  staring up at a giant giraffe!! He also didn't care for the pushy goats in the petting zoo. We decided to forego the stroller and use the wagon he loved it but it was a little too much freedom for him as he kept trying to stand up in it. Here are some pics from our zoo day!

Lunch at Lamberts
 
An elephant!!!!

I love Sawyer's face in this one!!
 
 
Riding in the wagon like a big boy!!!
 
Man the Zoo sure wears a fella out!! 

On Saturday we celebrated his birthday with a party, close friends and family all came out and it was a great time!! Here are some pictures...

Matching shirts! 

Opening gifts!

Cupcakes!!

Football theme! 
 
  Eating cake! 

Sawyer and his friends!!

We had a fantastic week celebrating our little guy! I can't wait to see what the next 12 months have in store for us!! 

Ashley  

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Mommy Thoughts

We've all done it, said what kind of mom we'd be, what we would and wouldn't do when we had kids. I was 'that' woman, the one that saw a kid screaming in the mall and thought 'my kid won't act like that'... Well yes he did, just yesterday in fact. I was the one that saw a mom be too 'lazy' to breastfeed and was giving her baby formula... (Insert audible gasp here)... My son drinks formula because I don't make enough breast milk. I was the one that saw a woman nursing in public and thought 'Can't she cover up?' I despise using a cover and my son hates it. I was the lady that said "my kid won't sleep with me, he'll be in his own bed from day one", he's 9 months and his crib is used for his clean clothes I've yet to put away! 

Being a mom is hard it's non stop worrying and second guessing, it's googling at 1 am why your kid is running  a fever when he was perfectly fine just 5 hours earlier. It's constant guilt when you drop him off to his daily caregivers, it's trying your hardest to make it through your work day so you can rush home to love on and just be with him for the 2 hours before he has to go to bed. It's crying in the closet while trying to pump, at work, what little milk your body produces just so that he has some breast milk. But it's also rewarding... seeing him crawl for the first time, or pull himself up on the coffee table. It's the look of pure joy he gets when he sees you after a long work day, it's the moment when you give him a pickle and he actually likes it. It's waking up in the morning to smiles and cuddles, when he's nursing for those 30 minutes that are just ours, me and him. That's the highlight of my day. 

Motherhood is hard, you are making the decisions that will shape the life of this child the lord has entrusted to you. It's trying to be a good wife and mother at the same time. Or, if your a single mom, trying to fulfill the role of both mommy and daddy. Motherhood is a club, a secret society if you will, we all have our child or children's best interest in mind, we make decisions based on what best for our child. What's best for my son might not be what's best for yours. I gave my kid a French fry yesterday... And I'm not sorry, he loved it! We have to stick together and be supportive of one another, we can't make another mommy feel like a failure just because she doesn't or is not able to raise her child like 'we' think she should. 

Mom shaming... That's the word that is being used these days. Anytime we see another mom doing something we don't agree with we cast judgment. Just today I did it, at Walmart I saw a mom with her baby who looked just a little older than mine with no shirt on, and I judged her. How do I know that he didn't get food or milk on his shirt and she didn't have a spare but still needed to run in to Walmart, it happens! One day I might be in that situation and I sure hope I don't get judged. Here is my resolution, I'm going to try not to judge other moms from here on out. My opinion is my own and I won't push it on others unless it's asked for. I challenge you all to do the same. 

Thanks for reading. 

Ashley











Saturday, June 13, 2015

On My Mind... Off My Chest

Last week someone made a comment to me that was hurtful and untrue, this post is about my feelings on the subject.

Today I visited my grandmother, she is almost 80 and I have not been a very good granddaughter as I haven't visited her very much since Sawyer has been born, maybe 4 times, and I've passed her house many more times than that. Life gets busy, which is not a valid excuse, in fact there are no valid excuses. I dropped the ball and for that I am truly sorry. I will be making a valiant effort in the future, I owe that to her, especially since she's old and not able to travel far. I also visited my mom, memaw and pawpaw, they get along a little better than grandma and grandpa but are also a little younger than they are. When Chance and I got engaged (6 years ago tomorrow) we decided we would move to Berryville because at the time his dad was battling cancer and we felt that our presence here was more needed than with my family in NWA, so we moved. All my family was only an hour away at the time and we said we would make an effort to visit at least once a month, we were generally able to do that at first. Since then we've become youth leaders in our church, committee members for our local Relay for Life, on top of both of us working 40+ hours a week, and oh yeah... we had a baby!! So yes, life got busy. Our once a month commitment turned into every other month, on top of the family we needed to visit we also left some great friends over there whom we also longed to see and catch up with. Visiting everyone in one day was not an option, so therefore we had to split up our time. It was easy when it was just us to take off after work on a Friday night and take the dogs or leave them with Chance's parents. Not so easy anymore. Then some of the family moved, it actually made it easier to see them since they were now closer to us and on our way home.

Fast forward to present day. Family has moved again, some far away and have come back, some a little further away than before. What's great about technology these days is that I can text photos and videos to Sawyer's grandparents so that they feel involved and since they don't get to see him everyday. Since I've moved here I've heard so many times that I don't visit enough. This isn't anything new but I honestly do try. It's hard. Having a baby makes it harder. It's a constant battle knowing that we only have this much time and this many people we have to try to see.

Here's what I don't understand, why is it only on us to make sure that we see my family. Why are we expected to be the ones to travel to NWA every time. It is the same distance from here to there as it is from there to here. An effort should be made by all parties involved. Friends and family. I am tired, on weekends I want to be selfish and cuddle my baby and hang out at home and clean my house or watch TV with my husband. Catch up on chores around the house that have fallen behind during the week or even for months because we have been gone on weekends visiting.

I try. I believe that God sees my efforts and knows my heart, He knows that if we aren't able to make something or aren't able to visit at a moments notice it's not because we don't want to its because we can't. I admit that we can do a better job splitting our time however we can all do a better job of seeing to it that the relationships stay strong. I have an aunt that lives in Tulsa and growing up they would come visit us and we would go visit them... it's what families do. We weren't reliant on one person or the other to make sure we saw each other we both put in the effort.

I miss my family and friends terribly, but I'm no longer going to be the only one to make an effort to see them, or to see to it that he has a relationship with them. I'm also letting go of what everyone else thinks.

This isn't the first time I've been the "selfish" one or the "inconsiderate" one or the "ungrateful" one. I guess those are just my titles in this family. It doesn't matter that no one ever calls, texts, or comes to see me it only seems to matter that I don't do all those things... Now that I'm here on my blog I really don't want to list out everything I "don't" do... I'm tired of defending myself.  So I'm washing my hands of it. I'm letting it go, the hurtful words that were said the things I may have said in anger. I'm truly sorry for anything I may have said or done to offend but I'm doing the best I can. I'm ending this post so that I don't say anything else that can be taken out of context or that can be twisted around.

Sawyer is starting to wake up so I've got to go tend to him. Good night friends.

Ashley