Wednesday, November 27, 2013


It looks as if I haven't updated this in 7 weeks (my last post was at 13 weeks). My drafts would tell you otherwise as I have a few posts just hanging in the wings. Mostly those posts were not making sense. Maybe at some point I will go self edit and make them usable, but until then here is the halfway point update.

1. Who will our little one be? 
I admit I was adamant about not finding out the gender at first. There were so many friends of friends and friends that had either lost a baby late in pregnancy or had birth issues. It changed my heart in wanting to know. I told Jimmy that if the pregnancy is the only time I have with this specific child, I want to know who is in there. So we went ahead and found out! According to our ultrasound tech (who has never predicted wrong) we are going to be the happy parents of a little girl!! We swore all the way up until the goo was on my belly that we were destined to have a little boy first. I secretly and not so secretly wanted a girl, but I had felt like it was a boy for the most part. As soon as they said girl the first statement that came out of my mouth was, "oh drama!!" Now, I have decided that I will not speak "drama" over my little girl but, I do know with girls comes more of the dramatics. I can go on and on about how happy I am to be the momma of a little girl. I think its more about the relationship we will have than anything.

2. What's in a name? Ellis Jules
As soon as I found out it was a girl, I was determined to settle on a name. It was important to me to know my little girl by name. So while Jimmy wasn't exactly on the same pace as I was in making the final decision of names, he met me where I was. We had an amazing boy name picked out that we will tuck away for later use. The list of names I had have been the same list I made at least 2-3 years back. There were a few names that I was completely sold on, until I started thinking of them with my married last name. But, Ellis was the name I fell the most in love with. Ellis Island is a favorite of mine. I love US history and I love what Ellis Island stands for. It was a welcome center for foreigners. Part of my prayer for Ellis is that she be a world changer with a big welcoming spirit. Ellis also means "the Lord is my God." I pray continually that Ellis will choose the Lord (Jesus Christ) as her God. The middle name was very important to me. The first name could be a fun name that had its own character. The middle name had to be a family name or a name of meaning. Jules is where my heart settled after realizing naming her Ellis Grey would be a social nightmare. Apparently I don't watch Greys Anatomy to know who Ellis Grey was. Thank you friends and instagram hashtag searches.

Jules is derived from Julie. Probably my freshman year of college I met this lady randomly while working in the nursery. I knew I recognized her as an Alum who spoke at my college. I also knew, I wanted to know her! My college had a program for local Alumni families to adopt college kids for Sunday lunch, holidays, a place to go etc. I ended up with an amazing family with lots of kids who loved soccer. By Homecoming of the next year, I was speaking at a Lunch where somehow I got seated at the table with the President of Evangel (my college), some city official of Springfield,Mo and Julie was sitting right next to me. Here I was, nervous and going over my index cards of what I would say. She leaned over and asked, "Sooo what would you do if I just took your cards and threw them away?" After that, I made sure to say hi to her whenever I saw her. Well fast forward to my Junior and Senior year... I ended up at her house almost every Sunday during college. And they have become family! If there was one lady out there I want Ellis Jules to be like, Julie is one of them!

3. What am I reading?
Ok. So my reading may or may not open up a can of worms. My goal in reading is to capture the essence and principals behind the methods to apply to my family as I see fit. So while I have read portions of the book, I am not committed to their entire premise or practices! I am a researcher. I love reading blogs, books and articles about many different ideas. What I have been told I am good at is the digestion of information. Some how I can read something and apply it to situations. I also have a ridiculous memory. So in reading these books, I hope to find application for Ellis' unique personality.

To Train Up a Child- I read this back when I wasn't pregnant. I have yet to open it again since I have not a great taste in my mouth from the authors other books and methods. I did like the concepts they have, regarding parenting, and have seen both good and bad fruit come from this book.

Baby Wise- I read this whole thing and love the idea of it. We shall see come next year when Ellis is here what principals I apply.

Hypno Babies- I was skeptical at first of the whole hypnosis audiobook kind of thing. I have come to the realization that I definitely have more fears and anxieties than I thought I did. The whole positive affirmations of pregnancy has helped me so much with removing negativity. I have definitely come to believe that your thoughts become words and actions. I love believing that this is a healthy, normal pregnancy that will result in a healthy, easy birth. I also love the ability to block out naysayers and skeptics.

The Bradley Method- We will start this class with our doula come January/February.

Grace Based Parenting- I want to start reading this

Growing Kids God's Way- I want to start reading this

4. How am I feeling? 
I feel like that is the question I get the most. First trimester I was grumpy a lot. I feel like I can be more chipper these days than the first trimester. I blame the grumpiness on feeling nausea all day long, consistently having headaches and my the aches and pains with growing. The 2nd trimester, I feel like I can finally stay up way past my normal 7pm bedtime that first tri had me doing. I feel great. At 20 weeks I can happily say I love it. Sometimes I forget I am pregnant, then I look down and see the bulging belly happening before my eyes. Lately, I have been eating oranges a lot. Like I can't get enough citrus fruits. I also can't seem to drink enough milk. I HATED milk when I was a kid and even as an adult (unless its in cereal or flavored). So this entire pregnancy, even first trimester, milk has been my feel good drink. I also am very very grateful that I got a fetal doppler. I love listening to Ellis' heart beat whenever I feel like I just want to hear her. I think she is pretty mellow right now. Her heart rate has been consistently 135-145 every time I listen. I have felt her movements and its totally weird. Sometimes I doubt it is her. But I am just trusting that whatever I am feeling is totally amazing!

Monday, October 7, 2013


Let's talk awkward. This photo is just as awkward for me as it might be for you. There's only one time in life where a "belly" is celebrated on a woman. I mean, where a "belly" is considered a photo worthy moment. This week we hit the 13 week mark. That's a giant milestone for me given my past few pregnancies. Any time I post something to the internet world, I hold my breath and get a wee bit anxious. I am thankful for a sweet momma that I took newborn pictures for. She gave me a fetal doppler. At first I was very against me becoming somewhat hooked to the fetal doppler, but now that I own one I am hooked. Its just the most comforting thing for me to hear our baby's heart beating. Its always a long 4 weeks in between appointments, so the doppler is great. 

So 13 weeks... yes I believe I will carry high, as my belly button is on the high side and my torso is on the short side. For those who care about symptoms, I have constant heartburn/acid reflux. Super thankful for Papaya Enzyme that has helped with that. And I have all day nausea. Otherwise, wanting to pass out everyday by 4pm has been my everyday since finding out I was preggo.

We have decided to not find out the gender. I know, I know... how will we ever prepare for the baby? Well, since my favorite colors on newborn squishy babies are grey, white and navy, I think that about sums up the clothing and nursery issue. I admit, I am anti big bows, tutus & onsies with dogs/monkeys on my boy's butt. I figured I'll share a few of the things I impulse bought for our baby. 

Friday, September 27, 2013


I guess you can say it's "official". Well, social media official that I am indeed pregnant. It's crazy to think that making it social media official, makes its OFFICIAL. I mean, it was pretty darn official when I peed on a stick and literally a positive line jumped at me. But social media official is a whole new level of public knowledge. I was telling my husband the one thing that made me anxious about posting the announcement picture was the permission you grant to everyone. One thing's for sure, I don't anticipate being looked at in the face anymore. Its as though once it's public knowledge, people start talking to your belly ( I admit I am/was one of those). Wait until the belly is publicly large enough to warrant rubbing. I say all this to say, I am very very very excited to be pregnant. And I can (not) wait until the belly is large. I mean, I can wait.

So we can't wait to find out what baby is in my belly April 2014! Were guessing somewhere between April 12-19, either way, we got ourselves an Easter Baby!! Im praying for a healthy adorable baby & Jimmy is hoping for a boy. I just love baby clothes in gray, navy & other earth tones. Because, hey I wear those colors, so a baby girl can too I will say, BabyGap's spring clothes always seem to be my favorite behind fall.

There you have it! My good news and reason to blog again!

Items in the Picture: 

What to Expect When You're Expecting (Book) 
Toms Shoes (Giraffe print - discontinued)
"Baby" Onsie (Hello Apparel)
Baby Cardoza Notebook (May Designs- Custom Notebooks) 

Thursday, June 6, 2013


So in part of my free time I take pictures. Back in May I traveled to Connecticut to celebrate my good friend & former roommate's pregnancy. I loved being able to see her and her bump and of course take some pictures of her and Baby Laine. This little girl will be the cutest. Her parents are the coolest. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013


As a newish blogger, I know it's probably social media suicide to take a break so early in the launch. I will begin to post a bit more these next few weeks. I will try try try to reclaim Matron Mondays, Wednesday's Lists & at least one personal post a week.

I have started this post and deleted it many times. I guess it's because I didn't know how to come back after an extended hiatus. What does one say? I know what this one would say. Life has been busy, hard, interesting, fun & above all changing! Here's the biggest change to report today.

I have been working at May Designs for about 3 weeks now!

After 3 years at my last job, I felt like now is as good a time as any to chase crazy & fun dreams. If you had asked me a few months back if I thought I'd be where I am today, I would've said I don't know. Here's the deal. I love social media. Yay for finding fun jobs like this on instagram. I am now a designer with the most creative & fun girls in Houston! 

Friday, May 3, 2013


How many times do you hear the self-diagnosis of socially awkward? I went to a college full of kids who were indeed socially awkward. Most of them graduated at the top of their homeschool class. The majority of the friends I have today were home schooled. I wouldn't necessarily label them as socially awkward. What exactly is socially awkward? I swear I can be a bit awkward, and I went to a public high school in the suburbs!

By definition, awkward means lacking social graces or good manners. The synonyms of awkward are no kinder. Who wants to describe themselves as inept, clumsy, gawky, graceless, blundering or maldaroit?

I guess I would.

I keep describing myself as socially awkward, but maybe what I am trying to say is that I am not exactly the most subtle in conversations. I have this innate gift of being blatantly honest and direct to the point. It's only awkward when it gets to be too real too soon. You know those conversations...

This past week I caught myself watching MTV's show, AWKWARD. I got hooked. I have no clue what drew me into the show, but I know I probably should've shut it off. A few things I noticed in the show was the amount of honesty, sarcasm + comedy wrapped into the scenario.

I am not going to dig too deep into this show, but the one thing I took away from it was the main character Sadie. She was the mean girl of the show. The one that made people scared of what she might say. She used her harsh honesty to twist sarcasm into hurting others. My favorite line of hers is you're welcome. 

I realized that the reason I liked her was because I do this! And of course my loving husband was like... yes Ashley, sometimes you're Sadie.

He's right. I do say "You're Welcome" in a sassy way.

I was a bit convicted. As I should be!!!! No one likes a mean friend or wife.

I was at a women's breakfast last weekend and the topic of conversation was fear, insecurity & mean girls. We weren't talking about other girls being mean, but our selves. Why is it that during the entire 2 seasons of awkward I watched I laughed at almost all the mean things?

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only what is good for building up, as it fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

Here's a few things I have learned when it comes to using sarcasm:
1. Sarcasm is not a universal language.
2. Sarcasm can be awkward
3. Sarcasm can be hurtful.
4. Not everyone enjoys sarcasm.
5. See 1-4.

Don't get me wrong, I still use sarcasm on a daily basis. I try my hardest to be kind in my words. It's in those awkward situations where the humor of sarcasm really comes in handy. I have learned with some friends, sarcasm is best left outside. What I really need to work on is my satire.

Sarcasm is the use of irony (saying one thing while meaning another) or other rhetorical devices in a biting, hurtful way. There is a difference between sarcasm and satire, although they are related. Satire is the use of irony or ridicule to expose foolishness, but without the “bite” of sarcasm. Satire is gentler; sarcasm is more derisive and sneering.

Sometimes sarcasm can be awkward. Sometimes family situations are awkward. Even text messages that probably should've been sent to someone else are awkward. The one awkward situation I have control over, is what I say. When you use sarcasm, in a hurtful way-- its pretty darn awkward. 


I posted a playlist earlier this week. For those who know me in real life know that I am always listening to music. I have so many favorite bands, artists + collaborative albums. It's always hard to narrow it down to favorites. So here is a visual glimpse into my playlist closet. They are in no particular order. If I had to be held at gunpoint to choose a favorite album, it would be  Ben Rector's  Something Like This.  It's definitely my go to album when I don't know what to listen to. 

There are so many more albums I love. But these are my current ones I play the mess out of. I probably listen to the Brandi Carlisle & Les Miserables Soundtrack the most. Or sometimes I will find myself listening to music over at Serial Box. Those guys always have some spectacularly produced tracks. 

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