On My Second Mother's Day...

 

I'm a big puddle of tears. 

Being a mother is a dream come true and has exceeded any expectation I ever had. It's the gift that keeps on giving because literally every day, when I look into London's big brown eyes or hear her sweet little giggle, I am reminded of God's grace. I'm reminded that God has entrusted her to me for this time on Earth...His precious jewel and treasure. What an overwhelmingly beautiful image that is. I say "overwhelmingly beautiful" because I often feel incapable and insufficient as a mom. How could I possibly be "enough" or have what it takes to be everything she deserves?

As I sit here with tears coming down my face, I think of my own mother and what she is to me. How she used to sit on the edge of my bed and sing to me in the dead of night because I was scared. Or when she would greet me after school with snacks and always with a smile. She would laugh with me, and she would cry with me too. She taught us about Jesus and that at the end of the day, when all is said and done, "God is bigger than all of it." Most importantly, she was PRESENT; for every event big or small...for every victory and every loss. When I think of her and how she epitomizes the word "mother," my heart can rest because I know that I have had the best teacher. 

Almost two years ago, I became a mommy for the first time; I love London desperately. The wild part about it all is that somehow, the depth of my love for her grows more and more each day. I pray that she will always know and feel the love of her parents, and most importantly, the love of our Savior. Even on days when I feel like I don't have what it takes, I am reminded that LOVE is enough.

Mamas - We are all in this together! Tackling this whole "motherhood" thing is the hardest job in the world and we are doing the best we can. Our children will always remember the way we made them feel so love them, cherish them, and tell them how special they are. 

I hope everyone has the most perfect Mother's Day...thank you for coming along on this journey with me!

xx, Ashley

5 Ways To Explain "Mom Life" + Cute Mama Gear for Mother's Day...

Happy Monday! 

Here's a fun little "mommy" post for you, with Mother's Day right around the corner :) There are so many things that I expected motherhood to be, and while it's exceeded my expectations in more ways than one ... there are definitely ups and downs. Today, I'm sharing a few ways to explain what "mom life" really means...plus below you can find some last minute gift ideas for the mama's in your life! The shirts are adorable, and the mugs ... come on, every mama needs a mug :) Enjoy loves!

1. Emotional. SO MANY EMOTIONS and feelings! Ha! I cried yesterday because London will be two in just a few months. I can't handle how fast the time goes by...and it makes my heart hurt. I want to bottle this age up and keep her here forever! It's also emotional because HELLO toddler :) She's discovering her independence and finding her voice which is exciting, but also an overwhelming time for her...trying to deal with all of the feelings that come with that! 

2. Rollercoaster. One second we're singing Disney songs together and the next she's rolling around on the ground because she decided she actually DOESN'T want me to sing with her. We're happy and we're sad. We're happy then we're mad. I mean....there really is NO consistency. Nowadays its difficult to determine what could set her off. Thankfully, these tantrum moments are just that ... moments. She is easily distracted (for now), however, I'm not sure how long the distraction technique will work. I know we've got a super determined and strong-willed little girl, which I love, it just makes it a little bit daunting to think about the "threenager" year that I hear so much about! Eeek! 

3. Melt downs. Still learning how to manage these as they come, but "mom life" nowadays definitely includes them! I absolutely LOVE being a stay at home mom...and being here for every moment (good or bad), but that doesn't mean it's not mentally exhausting or difficult. By the end of the day I try to reflect on how I can deal with certain situations better and it's a work in progress. Finding patience and understanding when my sweet baby is rolling on the floor screaming for no reason is definitely something I'm trying to improve on :)

4. Laughter. No matter how many melt downs or tough moments we have in a day, we are never short on laughs. She is a little rascal who will do anything to garner a laugh from me :) I love watching her personality come out - she's a little spitfire! 

5. JOY. There's literally NO ONE else I would rather hang out with than Lolo (and her daddy of course). She is so much fun to explore and learn with...and even though she has her moments, the laughter + love that she brings to my life is more than I could even imagine. She's articulate, curious, sassy, strong and gosh, she's funny. She's given life a deeper purpose, and I'm so happy I get to be her mom.

 

xx, Ashley 

 

 

Fit Friday: TeamBurn30

BEFORE: With my workout partner for the day + fellow mama of 2, Nadia!

BEFORE: With my workout partner for the day + fellow mama of 2, Nadia!

AFTER: We did it! Dripping with sweat, and ready for a nap!

AFTER: We did it! Dripping with sweat, and ready for a nap!

This month has been CRAZY which has meant a lot of squeezing in workouts whenever I can. Between London's schedule, spending close to three weeks in Maine, and the 90+ degree weather, I was searching for some extra motivation!

I used to workout at least 1.5 hours, 5 times a week and while staying fit and healthy is still a priority, it's just not feasible to maintain that at this point in my life. Mom life is a constant balancing act + when you're working around two naps and a grazing baby who eats 5 meals a day...it leaves you little time for yourself! If I can get 30-45 minutes ... I'm happy! With that said, when I found out that Healthworks was offering Team Training and particularly, TeamBurn; a 30-minute workout that includes high-intensity cardio intervals for a total body workout, I was SOLD. I brought my headphones so I could plug into this mic-pack thingy (yes, that's the technical term) where I could here the instructor Claudia and music at the same time. It was awesome to block out everything else that was happening in the gym and just focus! 

The workout was done solely on the treadmill + it was intense! After a brief warm-up and stretch, we started right in with 9, 30- second sprints and a short rest (VERY short rest) in between. We moved on to hills, where we alternated between different inclines and kept a brisk walking pace. Claudia was super engaged with us the whole time + I felt like I totally pushed myself way harder than I would have if I had been working out on my own. I loved feeling the sort of "team" atmosphere and sweating it out together! (Trust me, you'll definitely SWEAT if you do this workout :) *If you're interested in trying a TeamBurn session...click here for more info! 

If you'd like to try a workout similar to this, here's what you can do:

Warm-up: 2 minutes, brisk walk

Stretch: 5 minutes

Sprints: 30 seconds, Rest: 15 seconds x 10

Hill Climb: Brisk Walk (whatever you feel comfortable) 

Incline: 5.0 for 2 minutes // 7.0 for 1 minute // 10.0 for 1 minute // 12.0 for 1 minute // 5.0 for 2 minutes 

Cool Down: Walk: 5 minutes 

Grateful Memorial Day...

 

 

I hope you all recognize and acknowledge the incredible freedoms that we are granted every day because of the people who went before us and who are presently defending us. I am so grateful to be able to live freely, love freely, and watch my daughter grow up in a secure place. I love this photo that my friend and amazing photographer took in the Boston Common ... it epitomizes the word "freedom." I hope you all had an amazing weekend ... Stay tuned for lots of photos from our weekend in Northern Maine! 

xx,

Ashley