Thursday, July 19, 2012


Some random thoughts and updates for today :) It's summertime. And it's hot. And I am hugely pregnant with our sweet girl who will be here in a matter of weeks ;) And I am tired. 

I am trying to tie up loose ends around my home as well as with my shop. And am still working on a few more new journals here and there (because I don't have enough going on ;)). 

On adjusting to a new stage in life: I am trying to adjust to my little one (well, big one) being at kindergarten all day. Every day. He loves it. I love that he loves it. But there are moments when he'll say "I don't want to go everyday, I'm missing doing fun things with you and Joshua. Like playing in the sprinkler." (And, believe me, I want to tell him that I miss him so, so much during the day and that I wish he were still home with me and that I thought this day of him going off to kindergarten would never come. And that he'd be little forever.). I encourage him about how he is growing up into a wonderful young little man and that God loves him so much - and that he will continue to experience new things, discover new things, have accomplishments, make mistakes, have fun times and difficult times. I reassure him (trying not to get all teary) that we will still do fun things in the afternoon. Like playing in the sprinkler. And going to get ice cream as a family. Before dinner. :) And other fun things! 
On recording memories: I am constantly told that the days, months, and years fly by with little ones. And every single day I am made more aware of this. I try to remember and savor each and every moment - the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. I write things down. I try to capture them on my camera. And I remember why I create mini books. And I remember why I want to encourage and inspire others to keep mini books, albums, journals, or some other way of recording memories. There are so many things that happen and change over the days, weeks and years. I know that many memories will slip away as the time passes, but I do love to look back at what I do record. When I do, it is usually something that I had forgotten - a minute detail or a quote from my son. And it is wonderful to recall those things that had slipped out of my mind.

Days speed up as you get older, I am convinced. We love to look back through the mini albums I've made. I capture and record a lot of the good, but I also try to include the difficult (usually through a note tucked in an envelope and sealed with tape). I love to see how God has brought us through a trying time. And even when the plan isn't what I think it should be, He has been faithful to be there and to bring us through it and to grow us :)
Little ones. recording memories. blogging. etsy shop. how do you do it all? I have had friends as well as people from blogland email me asking me how I maintain my shop, my blog, and my home, all while having two little ones and being pregnant with our third. I quickly tell them "My blog is just a glimpse - a place where I post things that inspire me, the fun times in our little family and projects I am working on." (I've also talked briefly about balancing in my FAQ's - #14 and #15). I will say that I do most of my "work" (blog and shop) at night when my babies are in bed asleep. 

So, I spend a lot of my evening hours in my workspace (our babies go to bed at 7pm), while my hubby does work on his computer, or he'll pull over his big chair and read. It's fun to be together and chat and do what we each enjoy but still be together.
I also quickly tell them that at any given time, I may have two loads of laundry sitting by the washer. And two loads by the dryer that need to be put away (why is putting laundry away the hardest part!? Is it just me?! :)). And that the crumbs on the floor seem to multiply every 15 minutes. I think I could vacuum our whole downstairs every couple hours (I don't ;)) and fill up the vacuum canister. Every time ;) 
And sometimes, I just have to let things go, project-wise and blog-wise. I am great at having good intentions, but if you have been a close follower of my blog for awhile, you know that I have projects I've started and shared that kind of evaporate and disappear. Like Project Life. I LOVE the idea behind Project Life. I love it. I love looking at other's takes on it on blogs I visit. So many people have had such great success with it and I am SO excited they have their memories and life recorded that way. I invested a lot of money in the supplies for it. My hopes are to attempt it again next year. It just did not fit for me at this time and I had to let go of it.
And more recently, Card-a-Day. I actually only missed some of these. I just haven't caught up or shared here. Maybe soon? :) (During some of my random brainstorming, I contemplated doing a "mini album a month". But then quickly dismissed that idea to the back of my mind. Seriously. If I couldn't easily maintain a 10-minute card-a-day for 30 days, how would I keep a mini album a month? ;) I still love the idea of it, but can't go there right now ;))
Some shop and blog projects I am currently working on: 
+ I am almost finished re-doing and organizing my workspace. I had hoped to share it this week but it will probably be next week some time ;)
+ I started these minis for my shop several months ago and then completely forgot about them. So I pulled them back out and am working on them again. 
+ I am currently (slowly) working on Baby Journals. Paper has been cut. Envelopes and tags gathered. A couple more pages to add, fabric for swatches to be ordered. I hope to put these in the shop in the next several weeks. SO excited about the paper used in these. It took me finding several small online sources to obtain the papers (October Afternoon) because the line is discontinued (and seriously, not really anywhere to be found). So I think that makes it even more fun :)
+ Autumn and Christmas journals are in the very, very beginning stages. I have a lot of the decorative scrapbook paper (also discontinued lines!), but am working to collect other special papers to include. I am trying to be ahead with these since our little one will be here when I would normally start working on them ;)

Maybe I have too many irons in the fire shop-wise? Maybe not. That's how I roll. I get so excited about so many different things for my shop and like to bring them along all together (I won't talk about how I have ideas for a travel journal dancing around in my head ;)). It takes awhile, but I enjoy it.

So. All of this to say that I love to create. I love the gift of creativity. I love to record memories. I love to put journals together that others will use to record their memories. I love to make journals about my little (growing) family that I love and cherish so much. I love the moments with my hubby and little ones that become memories each day. I love to work at the balance between loving my family well and to have a creative outlet. I love that I have to remind myself that I need not stress over letting go of a project if I just can't do it. I love that I have friends that keep me accountable for keeping my family and home first. And that in the end, if my blog and shop are ever getting in the way of my family, then I need to re-evaluate. Immediately :)


  1. I loved reading what you said today, I know the feeling of being excited about starting projects, and then knowing that I just can't keep up with some of them, sometimes you just have to pick and choose what is most important at that time in your life. So thank you for your words and the great photos of all your creative supplies!

  2. Beautiful post. It is nice to see when bloggers talk about how everything is not perfect all of the time! Thank you for sharing this.

  3. Savouring moments is not always easy as their are so many of them. My eldest son was 20 yesterday but every year I focus on remembering just before he was born to his actual delivery into the world. I do the same for remembering my younger sons birth as well.

  4. This is a great post, Ashley. Thank you for sharing and reminding us that while life is not perfect, there are so many moments to cherish and be grateful for.

  5. You're tired cause your body is telling you to rest more. How many times will you be pregnant for your third child and have the time to enjoy your family? Your little ones will only be little once and as you said the time flies and the years pass.
    It happens so quickly while we're busy living life. Sounds like you're a pretty aware young woman, enjoy this very special time in your ife. You'll have alot of special times but they'll all be different as you mature, grow and your life goes on. Being a wife if very important also. You need to keep special times for your hubs so when the kids are gone you'll still have things to talk about, want to do together, that's another special time of your ilves.

  6. Ashley, this post is so wonderful to pause and read. It makes me wish we could sit down and chat in person.

    I hope your beach visit was beautiful. So deserved for a wonderful woman.