Summer Ramblings

I completely failed to write a single ramblings post this summer, so I’m just going to catch up in one big summer overview post.  And for the purposes of this blog post, September is totally still summer.


There are five kids in Adams family and his sister, Meredith, is the youngest and only girl. This year she graduated high school and was valedictorian. Can I just say that time flies? When Adam and I started dating she was six and now she is graduating in no time at all. It makes me 1) feel old and 2) realize that my boys will be graduating high school before I know it too. Anyway, Meredith is an amazing young woman and we all are super proud of her.


Now she’s moving away to attend college…at the beach. That sounds terrible doesn’t it? I’m not jealous at all. Nope.

Okay, it sounds amazing.

A few days after Meredith’s graduation we headed down to South Padre Island. It has become a yearly tradition that Adam’s Mom and Stepdad rent a beach house for a week each summer and invite the whole family. I think it’s a fantastic tradition :) The first year we went I had a sick baby and was pregnant, last year I had a toddler and a breastfeeding baby, and this year no one had claim to my body other than myself. So I did things. I spent a day fishing in the bay, Adam and I got out on our own, I even went to get massages with my sister-in-laws. It was a great time and the boys love the beach.

South Padre 2013

Here is a fun video clip of Elijah and his uncle Chase. Oh to be three again.

And here are some from our fishing trip…I’m the one sporting superior amounts of sun protection.

South Padre fishing 2013

When we got back from the beach my boys were still in digging mode, and since we had no sand my flower beds and front porch paid the price…


While we were at the beach Adam and I celebrated our nine year wedding anniversary. I feel like I should write some gushy stuff to prove how much I love and appreciate him, but seeing as how it’s October the moment has kinda passed. Next year…a decade of marriage deserves some gush for sure.

OH! I almost forgot the best thing that happened at the beach. Adams youngest brother Chase and his girlfriend Erin got engaged! Yay!



We spent the fourth of July with family, and I’m happy to say that they boys fully enjoyed the fireworks. Last year Levi was too young to care and Elijah was pretty unsure of them…not the case this year. Elijah was quite confident ..”gimme the lighter Dad, I can do it…go sit in your chair and watch.” Don’t worry, we didn’t obey.

July 4th 2013

I don’t think any big events really happened in July, mostly we just enjoyed lazy summer days and lots of water activities.

The boys enjoyed swimming in our pool…


and lounging around in the hot tub…


We took trips to the river…


…and did other lazy summer things.

July 2013W


The first week in August I attended the Haven conference in Atlanta. It’s a blog conference especially for DIY bloggers and it was kinda a big deal for me, for two reasons.

1) Before Haven I had never met another blogger in real life.

2) Before Haven I had never left my boys for more than a few hours to run errands.

I was really excited to undo both of these things. I’ve been blogging for about 2.5 years and I was pumped to spend a few days with other creative women that totally understand this blogging thing and all that goes along with it. I also really needed a some adult time away from my kids/responsibilities. I love being a mom and all, but I was trilled to leave my offspring behind. Sometimes a girl just needs a few days off …normal jobs get weekends, you know?

I roomed with my friend (that I’d never actually met) Kelly from View Along the Way. She is just as amazing and hilarious in real life as she is on her blog. Before I left Adam was a bit concerned…”So you’re going to meet up with a bunch of internet strangers an a far away city? That doesn’t really seem safe. What if Kelly isn’t who she says she is. What if she isn’t even a woman?” I’m happy to report that DIY bloggers are actually who they say they are, and Kelly is a woman. Not that I was worried. I took a total of two pictures the entire time, but here are a bunch that I stole from other bloggers…

Me and Kelly


Cocktail party the first night

(LindsayJesse, KristinSherry, Me, Anneke, KatieKelly)


Jen from Girl in the Garage

Jen & Ashley

Jessi @ Practically Functional, Laura Beth @ A Step In The Journey, Gwen @ The Bold Abode, Melissa @ The Happier Homemaker, Jacque @ The DIY Village,Jocie @ OPC The Better Half, Courtenay @ Creek Line House, Me, and Kelly @ View Along The Way

the girls

There was plenty of delicious food that I didn’t have to prepare…

Haven food

On Friday night Ryobi threw an awesome party.


So awesome, in fact, that the next day my legs were sore and I had blisters on my feet.

Ryobi Haven party

(Evidently hands up and mouth open is just how I party.)

When I flew home on Sunday Adam and the boys met me at baggage claim. Adam brought a beautiful bouquet of flowers, which he handed to me and said “please never leave again.”  HA.

At the end of August my friend Kate and her husband John came to stay with us for a few days. They are great friends that we met while in the Army and living in New York (they have since lived in Belgium and Alabama, and are in the process of moving to Alaska). John and Kate have five kids five and under, and while that sounds crazy to have seven young kids in our little house, it was great. Kate’s kids are incredibly well-behaved and my boys loved having playmates. I’d show you some pictures, but Levi wouldn’t leave his clothes on so I only have one that’s appropriate…


Aren’t they just adorable all lined up watching Diego?


The big news for September is that the boys started Mothers Day Out, they go two mornings a week.  All summer I was so excited for “school” to start, I was pumped to use my two mornings a week to finish projects and write posts. I was going to become super blogger with all my kid free office hours. Well, I wrote three posts in all of September, the fewest I’ve ever written. Somehow having time to myself made me LESS productive and LESS motivated. That’s okay though, cause I’m really enjoying it. And my boys love school, even though Elijah has a hard time with drop off. He likes to cling and cry and riddle me with guilt before I leave, but he does great after that and never wants to leave when I go to pick him up.

Here they are on the first day of school…

first day of pre-school 913

first day high five

Then I tried (and failed) to get a great pic on the second day of school…

Second day

and the third day of school…

third day

Then I gave up trying to get a great first day of school pic and decided that imperfect real life pics are just as good. Also, I just realized that Elijah wore the same shirt on his first and second day of school. Whoops.

Just look how smart they’re becoming… (sorry about the weird watermark)

And that, my friends, is our entire summer slimmed down into one post. I’m already excited to write my October ramblings post, we have some big things coming up this month (no, I’m not pregnant!).

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  1. Love the summer ramblings! I’m glad that Haven was great. We lived in Texas for nine years and I miss mother’s day out! (They don’t have it here in Utah. Preschool is about two hours and it stinks!)

    An aside: I want to give you some feedback that you can do whatever you want with. I really, really like your blog. I just love to see people’s projects and what they are working on. I really, really miss other blogs that have gone from feeling genuine to trying hard to be all that and do all the things that bloggers do. An occasional giveaway, link party, sponsored post, whatever, I can handle it, but I love the projects and would much rather have sporadic (substantial) posts than have things feel like people are trying to promote or digging for something to publish. Love it just the way it is and was hoping Haven didn’t make you feel like you need to become someone else’s blog. Okay, end of feedback. :)

    1. Two hours? That’s not enough time to do much of anything. Bummer! My boys go for six hours and I still feel rushed.

      Thank you for your feedback. I always appreciate feedback, good or bad. Haven was great, I took from it what I wanted and left the rest. I don’t plan on ever changing the way I blog (at least not on the front end) and don’t believe in forcing posts…people can tell. If you like sporadic substantial posts then I’m your girl :) I do have some sponsored posts planned, but I am extremely picky about the ones I accept. It has to be a product I love and I must be able to use it in a project post and not sound like a commercial. I would love to just not do them at all, but truth be told they pay really well. Like really well. I love that you love my blog the way it is, that takes the pressure off. I know I don’t post frequently but I can’t create great content everyday. Nor would I want to, that sounds miserable (not that some bloggers don’t pull it off.) Anyway, thank you!

  2. Ashley, WOW! looks like you had a wonderfully amazing Summer! Love the kids swimming pool and hot tub lol! and you are a girl who knows how to Party! Your boys are truly adorable as usual, thanks for sharing! Missed your ramblings but can totaly understand the delay.

    1. Haha, they loved playing in that ice chest! If only we had a bigger one, that one was a little tight for two kids. I remember swimming in a horse as a kid and thinking it was great :)

  3. So nice to see your summer; like catching up with an old friend’s life. :) If I keep blogging, I’d love to go to the next Haven or maybe the one after that. It sounds great to connect with other bloggers and let my hair down a little while. Haha. :) Is it very pricey to attend?

    1. You should go! It’s medium pricey (but it’s all a business expense!). The ticket was $200 I think, the room was $150 a night (which you can split up to four ways) and then airfare (unless you’re close enough to drive).

      1. Thank you for the information! I live in Hawai’i, so I unfortunately can not drive over without suffering unbelievable loss of life and limb. Hah. Then again, the plane ticket might be $800-$1000, so maybe I need to DIY a canoe and … maybe not. :)

  4. Awesome ramblings post! I LOVE the pool, and I think the very first picture of the boys on the first day of school is pretty close to perfect. They are adorable! I also loved how Levi surprised you with the alphabet song. Such bright little things!

    1. P.S. I’m in agreement with the above commenter about your blog. I’m always pleased to see a post in my inbox, partly because every day is too often, but mostly because the quality is high since you wait till the spirit moves you. :)


    2. Yeah, that first first day picture is definitely the best. I just wish Elijah was looking at the camera. Oh well! Levi is stinkin adorable, I just want to snuggle and kiss him all day. He learns a ton (like his ABC’s) just from having an older brother. I was watching an old video of Elijah at his age and the kid was just learning to say cracker (ca-ca). Levi speaks in full sentences (that only Adam and I can understand, haha). Elijah is a great teacher.

      1. How old is Levi, again? The triplets I look after turned two yesterday. Their words are just exploding these days. I keep thinking my kids talked way sooner, but I suspect my memory is a little biased. ;)

        Oh, and I also LOVE the pic of Levi in his water wings. Adorable!!

        1. Levi will be two at the end of the month. I think he’s a little ahead speech-wise, but I also know that Elijah was way behind. Actually, Levis not really ahead…he’s right on par with the girls his age :)

  5. I agree with Sarah as well. :) This way it’s like waiting for the “next book” to come out. Those little guys are so adorable! Love the looong brown T-shirt on Levi!! Looks like you had a great, well deserved getaway.

    1. Next book, haha. Sometimes it feels like that when I sit down to write a post.

      That long brown shirt is one of those shorts onsie things, it instantly looks about a year younger when I put him in them. Which I like, and Adam says he looks ridiculous. Ridiculously cute, I say :)

  6. Two things 1) The high-fiving picture on the first day of school is precious! 2) I see a resemblance in Levi and my newest nephew (who is almost 1 now). I don’t know what it is. You can see pictures of him on my facebook. Love your rambling posts! Feels like we’re catching up in real life, haha.

    1. I see the resemblance too! I think it’s because they have adorable round faces and a stinkload of dark hair. Oh, and they’re both going to be ladykillers when they grow up :)

  7. that is really weird/funny that you roomed with Kelly from a View Along the Way at the conference… I only subscribe to 4 total blogs on my email (even though I look at tons of DIY blogs), and I only just added the most recent 2 of them a couple weeks ago – – which is yours…and V0iew Along The Way!! The reason I subscribed to these 2, is that you both have a great sense of humor, and I thought it would be fun to get an unexpected laugh in my inbox now and then… but you never post anything anymore, so whatever! Just kidding! just thought I would share a random rambling comment.
    p.s. that 1st day of school photo melts my heart!

    1. What a coincidence! Two great choices if I may say so myself :) Kelly’s posts are hilarious and you can always depend on her to post at least a couple times a week. And I completely admit that I have been suffering through a bad case of blog/project burnout. I’m not good about filler posts either, so if I don’t have a completed project, you don’t hear from me. Do you read The Handmade Home? You should try that one out if you haven’t, she blogs daily and is super funny and honest, plus has some of the best DIY projects out there.

  8. Hi Ashley, I love your blog, It looks real and normal. I like that your kids, their clothes, toys all look real. There are way too many blog out there with kids all dressed up, house looks like from magazine photos. Keep it up Girl!!!

  9. Love love loved this post and so glad I remembered to come visit today. So sorry I really suck lately as a blogger friend. i will step up my game! :) Also, the kids are growing up at warp speed. They will be 25 next year, right? And I’m so envious of your hot tub. I’ve always wanted a hot tub. Glad you have more time for yourself these days, and I totally understand how it’s difficult to churn out the posts. Keep on doin’ whatcha doin’….you’re great at it. Loved seeing your Haven experience….so wish I could have been there with you & K! I would have definitely been dancing along side you with my hands up…it’s just how I roll, too. Anyways, xo.

  10. Hi Ashley! It was great meeting you at Haven, and I feel honored to be mentioned in your Haven ramblings. :) It’s funny because my husband had the EXACT same warnings for me before I left. “Is your roommate really a woman?!” LOL. Oh and I’m anxiously awaiting the day when I can send my boys to preschool a couple mornings each week… This mama would love some more “free” time! (I’m still trying to find a place who will possibly accept them mid-year… fingers crossed!)

  11. I love your posts! I am a single mom of two Laila is 4 and Caden is 3 (365 days apart). I adopted them both and thought I knew what I was getting into — WRONG!!! Anyway, the honesty of your blog is making it my new favorite! Things like the pictures of “real life”, as you put it, and like Elijah wearing the same shirt to school two days in a row remind me that I am not crazy — just a mother of two small children trying to stay ahead of the game. Thanks for sharing with us!

  12. I love your posts! I am a single mom of two. Laila is 4 and Caden is 3 (365 days apart). I adopted them both and thought I knew what I was getting into — WRONG!!! Anyway, the honesty of your blog is making it my new favorite! Things like the pictures of “real life”, as you put it, and like Elijah wearing the same shirt to school two days in a row remind me that I am not crazy — just a mother of two small children trying to stay ahead of the game. Thanks for sharing with us!

  13. Ok, I’m a new-ish reader and still working my way through your posts from the beginning. So you may do this already, or have already answered this question- but where do you shop for your clothes…not the paint and project covered clothes (haha!- I already have plenty of those kind of clothes!), all that other pretty stuff you wear! You looked fabulous at that conference! I especially liked the black and white dress and your blue shorts!

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