July iPhone download 

There is some kind of magic in the air when you are with your loved ones watching fireworks in all your patriotic gear, laughing and making memories. We had the greatest week with family and friends and I don’t want to forget Poppy’s first 4th of July… even though she slept through all the fireworks. 

Another random thought.. I watched THIS last night and I feel like everyone should watch it. Brenè Brown is so inspiring. She says what I’m thinking but can’t put into words. It’s all about shame and vulnerability. So much love friends hope you all had an awesome Independence Day!! 

Monsters are real

Monsters are real, and they live in the darkness and the trials of our life. They are in the pain and the sadness of not being able to get pregnant; they are in the gut wrench of a rocky marriage, they are in the lies and betrayal of your best friend and husband. They are the gossip you can’t escape and the rejection that no one wants to talk to you about.

I know my name has been in your mouth and I know what you must be thinking, I’ve thought the same things before. Why would she stay? She must not know. But guess what? You don’t know what we have been through and you know what else? You think you know what you would do in a situation until those cards have been dealt to you.

You think you know, but you have no idea.

Ya know what’s also real about monsters is that they aren’t really real. They only exist if we give them power. And I’m taking back my power.

It’s ok to sit in the darkness; actually it’s a part of life. I’ve been there for quite awhile, and I know it pretty well. There will always be darkness, and we will always have to sit there, it’s part of the healing process. But the best part about the darkness is the light and joy that proceeds. It’s crutial that we find that light.

For some people the light means leaving, sometimes that’s the better choice for all parties. But for me, that hasn’t felt right. I chose a harder choice… staying. Staying takes extreme courage and vulnerability. It also takes work, a lot of work that has to come from both partners. I have watched Paul throughout this process and if you know him…. you know, he is an entirely different person …and for the better. And I can say our marriage is better than it’s ever been.. ever! (Not that it’s anyone’s business)

Life is freaking hard, and I’ve been dealt quite the hand. But every tear and every pain is eased when I look into my Poppy’s eyes. She is the light at the end of my tunnel and the gift in the darkness. I will never be able to explain the weight that was lifted and healed the day she was born.

We will teach her to rise strong, to speak her truth and never be afraid of the power that she holds. But to also be kind and loving and to spread her joy to everyone she meets. We will teach her about the darkness and that one day she will experience it, but that she will always come out stronger than she has ever been. Like my grandpa always said “be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove.”

The darkness is how we grow as humans. What would we be if we never experienced trials? Stepford wives? …Not me. We all go through them whether or not we decide to share them. I have felt the strongest urge for a long time that I needed to share my experience, but not everyone needs to. Your darkness is your journey. How you choose to experience it and express it is a very personal choice.

We typically only share the happy moments of our lives on social media, it’s our highlight reel. But it’s not our real, reel and that’s ok. We don’t need to share every last detail, but we have to remember that everyone is going through something whether we know about it or not, and my hope through all of this is that we can be a little kinder with our words, a little more forgiving and a lot less judgemental. We are all in this life together, and it can be a lot easier if we are on the same side.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. You don’t have to sit in the darkness forever. And believe it or not there are people out there who have gone through a similar situation as you… you are not alone in this.

“We are the authors of our lives, and we write our own daring endings, we craft love from heartbreak, compassion from shame, Grace from disappointment, courage from failure. Showing up is our power, story is our way home, truth is our song, we are the brave and brokenhearted we are rising strong.” -Brene Brown
And from my girl Beyoncé “Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me. Forgiveness is the final act of love”

My choice is love, love for myself, love for my baby, love for my husband and family. There is nothing weak about love.


DRESSSHOESHAT (similar) POPPYS ROMPERPHOTOGRAPHY

woman’s day

It was recently international women’s day and it’s had me thinking about all the amazing women in my life and what makes them amazing. I really feel so blessed to be surrounded by incredible powerful women number one being my mother. I look at her life and how she got to the place she is, she has foraged through some serious trials and made it out not only alive but flourishing. She has so gracefully become the most intuitive and powerful woman I have ever known. I look at her example and think so much about how I need to be that for Poppy, this world is only getting crazier and I think as women we need to stand together and rise. We are the most powerful beings and the future is in our hands ” If you want to change the world, go home and love your children” We are literally raising the next generation. Quite frankly we all go through shit, but it’s how we rise from that dark place and show up in the world continuing to show love and strength that makes us stronger and even more powerful. I am so proud to be a woman, I don’t always get everything right but it’s the continual process of bettering yourself that matters. Sending so much love to all you amazing woman out there.

on a lighter note, I am LOVING this new ruffle trend. I fell head over heels for this tunic the second I spotted it I knew it had to be mine! I have a feeling It’s going to be on major rotation in my closet this summer. I hope you are all enjoying this amazing weather! we have been outside just soaking up the sun. Spring is so close I can almost taste it!!

 

 

Cardigan  , Shoes , Tunic / Dress , Watch , Jeans , Necklace , Earrings

Makeup by @alexa_harris_makeup

Photography TresaMartindale.com

 

XOX- ASH

11 weeks postpartum

After having Poppy I took a good break from modeling and shooting. But I’ve got the itch back and it feels good to get some creative juices flowing. It’s also been so fun to start fitting into my normal clothes again (not perfectly by any means) I felt like I was pregnant the whole year last year and it’s been so nice to get out and go shopping after all this time. With spring coming I’ve been trying to clean out my closet and replace things I don’t wear as much with transitional pieces that I can wear now and into summer. I’m loving this top from asos, such a great layering piece. I will say if you order this shirt size up, I got a small and I have to have help getting it off haha it makes for a good laugh every time. Poppy is 11 weeks today and growing so fast! I can’t believe how big she has gotten it’s a love-hate situation, but she is getting the hang of sleeping and we are getting into more of a routine which has been so amazing. Happy Thursday friends thanks for following along! ps this jacket is on sale! check it out!

  Jeans , Top , Shoes , Coat , Hat (similar)

Sunday thoughts and Baby moon love 

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise, we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them” – Thomas Merton

This quote couldn’t be more true to me, I know In the past I haven’t been perfect at this but if I have learned anything the past few years it’s been to love unconditionally. Sometimes I can get caught up in what I think our life should look like and then I have to remind myself that I love our life because it is imperfect. We do have trials, but I have grown so much from those trials and without them I would still be living in my 19-year-old juvenile mind. Trials suck, but they get us to the good place. I hit six years of marriage yesterday and our story is a wild one. I can’t wait to keep building chapters and creating memories with this kid.

We went to Hawaii on our babymoon and I created a little video of memories. I am no pro at editing or filming for that matter so don’t judge! I just wanted to be able to have something to remember our baby moon and also being pregnant. Happy Sunday! Go give your loved ones a big fat kiss, this is the month of love after all.

 

 

Poppy Rae Birth Story

The night of December 14th Paul and I went to our favorite dinner for our last date as a single couple. We talked about this new chapter we were about to embark on and reminisced about the past five years, all the trials we have overcome and all the fun things we got to do.

I was a week past my due date and I felt like I would be pregnant forever. We made it to the hospital around 7 pm after our delicious dinner and I wasn’t dilated at all, no contractions and 0% effaced. We checked in and met our nurse, I will never forget how amazing she was with us ( Kimmy at American fork hospital if you can request her DO IT!!) . She inserted the first Cytotec around 7:30 pm. She checked me again at midnight and I was 80% effaced and dilated to a 2+ so she decided to start me. They did the Pitocin and epidural around 12:30, I remember feeling so many feelings but mostly really anxious. This was it, this was the moment I had dreamed of for so long, the moment of meeting my baby was only hours away and I was so nervous. Around 4:00 am she checked me again and I was a 6+ and dilating fast, right after she checked me my water broke and she told me we would start pushing within the hour.

We called my friend Beth with fielding Films and she was a saint to rush to the hospital at 4 am ( I felt so bad ). I started feeling a ton of pressure but I wouldn’t let Kimmy check me again till Beth was there (I was determined to have this moment captured) Beth arrived right as I was starting to push, I pushed for about 25 minutes. It was amazing to have Paul, my mom and mother in law all there supporting me through the delivery, they were so supportive and cheering me on the whole time. My doctor finally arrived and one push later Poppy was here.

They put her right on my chest and I couldn’t control myself, I was an emotional wreck! She was so perfect and seeing her for the first time was so surreal! She was instantly calm and I knew she knew who I was. I was so emotional the whole time just staring into her beautiful eyes. It was truly a magical experience! I have never felt so close to heaven then I did in that moment, I got to hold her on my chest for a good hour and the bond we shared was indescribable my little human was in my arms. I prayed for her for five years, I prayed that she would come when the time was right and I prayed that she would feel comfort as she entered into this world and left her great grandmas behind. I knew she was being prepared for this time and this moment. It couldn’t have gone more perfect and she couldn’t have been more perfect.

Becoming a mom has been the most powerful experience for me. I have never felt stronger and more empowered as a woman then I did creating life and becoming a mother. To me, this is what life is all about. I look back and I am extremely grateful for what we want through to get her here. It made our marriage stronger and our love for her so precious. She has brought a light and love into our lives that I could never have imagined. Her presence is the sweetest most delicious gift and waking up to her sweet face every day is the highlight of my life.

Huge Thank you to Fielding Films and Tresa Martindale Photography for capturing this moment for us.

 

Gender Reveal video

I finally got around to putting together this video, we had everyone guess what they thought we were having and then filmed the reveal. I am so happy we did this, It was such a fun day with our loved ones and I can’t wait to show baby girl all the people who came to celebrate!  on another note, we are five days past my due date and it has been such a mind game. I am just trying to stay positive and grateful that she is healthy. We are SO anxious though and so ready to smooch her little cheeks! We go in to the hospital Wednesday night to be induced! CANT WAIT!! see you soon baby girl.

 

a new beginning

As we get closer to baby girls arrival, I can’t help but reflect on what our lives have looked like up to this point. The journey that got us here was rough and nothing like I would have ever imagined but I feel like it was preparing us for this bigger miracle that we are about to experience. Baby girl has no idea the enormity of her being, she is bringing so much togetherness and love into this world and her debut has been the most anticipated event in all my life. As the big day gets closer and closer I can’t help but get more and more nervous, I have heard so many birth stories and had so many sleepless nights wondering about how our experience will go. Then the thought of seeing her face and hearing her cry, moments I have dreamed about for so long. I seriously tear up thinking about it (If you don’t already know I’m a huge baby full of emotions and pregnancy just enhances it all, poor paul!). Then all the sudden she is ours forever. It’s all just amazing and terrifying and I can’t wait.

Other than having one million emotions I have been feeling great! no cramping or any signs of her coming early so we will see how long that lasts. I’ll be 37 weeks on Thursday and I am just praying she stays in there till thanksgiving! I still have a long list of things to do before her arrival! my amazing photographer who also happens to be my mother took these a couple weeks ago and they are so special to me, they are so much more to me then maternity pictures. They are a new beginning, everything that we have overcome and everything that is about to be. These images give me hope for our future, whatever it may look like. We are about to embark on the greatest adventure of our lives and I couldn’t be more terrified, but mostly excited and READY! let’s do this.

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Dress 

Photography 

My five minute everyday makeup look


I have had so many questions about what foundation I use so I thought I would make a post out of it. I really don’t like to wear a lot of makeup and I like to make it as easy and as quick as possible for when I am on the go. I went to Sephora about a year ago and got samples of several different foundations so I could take them home and decide what I liked the most. I had been in a major rut and everything I was using made me breakout, I finally found one that I ended up loving. I would highly recommend heading to Sephora if you are in a makeup rut.

This look is my everyday simple on the go makeup look, the very basics! I add different blush and eyeshadow depending on what my outfit is or if we are going out, but honestly for the most part, my day to day doesn’t change too much

I’ll start with my face, my two favorite products are NARS Concealer in Vanilla and Urban Decay Naked Foundation I start with my concealer under my eyes and then finish with my foundation and use THIS foundation brush. It’s a little on the expensive side but it’s totally worth it. I have used it for a year and it is still in amazing shape and it applies my foundation so well.


Then I use THIS bronzer and THIS blush to add dimension and color to my face.

For my eyebrows I have been using NYX eyebrow cake powder  I like it but I have also been wanting to try the Anastasia Brow wiz  pencil.


To finish it off I love this NYX matte lip color in Abu Dabi, I definitely mix up my lip color depending on my mood or outfit.

I am also obsessed with THIS pixie eyeshadow pallet in copper peach, it has the best neutral colors.


and that’s it! I am no pro makeup artist at all, but I have had my makeup done several times and had several different products used on my face and these are a collection of my favorites. Thanks for stopping by!!  if you have any questions I would love to answer them!!

22 week bumpdate

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1. Dress   c/o 2. Hat (Similar) 3. Backpack (similar) 4. Shoes (Anniversary Sale) 5. Watch 6. Lip

This pregnancy has FLOWN by and I’m honestly starting to feel stressed about being ready for this little peanut to come. Mostly because I haven’t bought one single thing! But I will say I am loving every second of being pregnant! (even though first trimester I was hugging the toilet the whole time) Seeing how much this baby grows each week blows my mind. Feeling her movements get stronger each day is the best feeling in the world and everything that I had always dreamed of. It scares me how fast time is going but I’m loving every second. I have been waiting to “Pop” and this week I finally feel like I’m out of the awkward fat/ baggy clothes stage.

I have modeled for Lilac Clothing in the past and they always put a fake belly in, so i was ecstatic to be able to wear their clothes and ACTUALLY be pregnant! This dress is so flattering and comfortable, I have a feeling it will be on repeat for the next 4 months. Also loving these shoes I got from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. Cheers to 22 weeks! My next chore is to figure out the nursery! (insert sweaty faced emoji)