Back on my Feet Again


I'm alive!!!

♫ Hallelujah! ♫

I have a cough that's helping to exorcise all the lung boogers from my body and I have some sleep to catch up on. I stopped taking my darvocet because one single pill was acting more like 6 espresso shots or speed or crack or something (my experience with the latter two being nil, but I work in a jail, so I'm basing that off the experiences of others with the substances). But the unexpected side effect lead me to believe that I could clean my whole house, do dishes, laundry, and heck...even mop the floors on Wednesday when I should have been passed out in bed letting my body recover.

But other than that.....

My boy is leaving me today.

My family is going to Oklahoma to see a cousin get married and my parents offered to take Ty with them so he can see Grandma Real (my grandma) and so I could get some rest over the weekend and finish recouperating.

We're only going to be apart till Sunday. So I'm telling myself it's only one day, really, since I got to see him this morning and will hopefully be well enough to snuggle the heck out of him on Sunday.

So to get by I had my mom take a quick picture of me and my boy so I can stare wistfully at it all weekend long while I'm missing him.



And I snapped several pictures of him on the ride over to their house to drop him and his bags off before work. I just snapped away and pretended I didn't realize he was being silly.





And just one last parting shot of Ty riding one of his new bikes (He has a new one at our house and a new one at their house, now)



For those of you waiting on the announcement of who won the Rolled Canvas print from the giveaway last wednesday....stay tuned. I'm still waiting on an email from uPrinting.com but as soon as I give it I'll post with the winner and try to get in touch with them to let them know how to claim their prize!
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

My Life via Twitter


I still want to get the Camp Recap out in written word while it's still fresh enough in my mind to do so, but I can't seem to stay conscious enough to actually do it (Darvocet....need I say anything more?).

So, I decided to cheat, and I'm sure all of you will forgive me given my current state-of-being.

Since basically all I could do last week was Twitter via text message, and again, since I've been sick, that's been about the best I could do even here from home at some points. So I decided I'd just put those here and let them tell the story for me.

My little boy is SO excited to be going to church camp! Too cute!!
7:23 AM Jul 20th from txt

Forgot my pillows on my dining room table in Fordyce...to Wal Mart we go!
11:55 AM Jul 20th from txt

In Mena with the youth kids, about to grab some grub before being condemned to camp food for a week.
12:25 PM Jul 20th from txt

Headed back to The Bogg. Song of the day: Friday on my Mind. Wish us luck!
1:43 PM Jul 20th from txt

Driving into a storm. Yay that I packed the umbrellas. Boo that we're in the van and they're in the cabin.
1:57 PM Jul 20th from txt

Ty got a hole in one!!
3:02 PM Jul 20th from txt

Crud! Sat my heels out to wear with my dress and forgot in a hurry and wore my flip flops! Classy!
6:56 PM Jul 20th from txt

Climbing a mountain. The boy is trying to convince me to let him tee tee somewhere.
5:28 PM Jul 21st from txt

Everyone told me to bring snacks. I assumed because of bad food, not tiny servings.
5:30 PM Jul 21st from txt

Woo hoo! Standing on one leg with right pinkie toe on touched to left ear but I have cell service! Hurray!
9:26 PM Jul 21st from txt

Teenage crushes and drama.....gosh I don't miss those days!
10:01 PM Jul 21st from txt

Absolutely entertaining round of 'would you rather' at late night tonight!!
10:39 PM Jul 21st from txt

Ty turned his nose up at the Bogg Breakfast Burrito. Don't blame him. I wouldn't have eaten it if I weren't used to jail food.
8:24 AM Jul 22nd from txt

Skinny girl isn't satisfied with lunch. Either I eat too much or they serve too little. 5 more meals til freedom.
12:15 PM Jul 22nd from txt

Headed to Mena for a Wal Mart run. Dare I hope for real food while there...?
3:58 PM Jul 22nd from txt

Eating McDonald's. Heaven! I might even almost get full!
5:15 PM Jul 22nd from txt

Quote of the day: "Wouldn't that cow be a choking hazard?"
6:02 PM Jul 22nd from txt

Wow. Convo in girls cabin spawns topic of what type of underwear Jesus wore. Never saw that one coming...
6:59 PM Jul 22nd from txt

The whole camp singing the national anthem. Awesome.
11:05 PM Jul 22nd from txt

Incredible message this morning! All ten toes stepped on in a good way. God said GO!
11:02 AM Jul 23rd from txt

Wow...the bogg has WiFi. Hooked up to find 156 new messages in my inbox and 330 blogs in my Google Reader.
1:41 PM Jul 23rd from web

@beechgrovembc (my pastor, who was at the camp, too) We have 2 connections with only 2 bars of service. It's not reliable, but better than nothing!
3:30 PM Jul 23rd from txt

Ty and I are heading up the mountain!
3:35 PM Jul 23rd from txt

Aargh! Got to the top of the mountain and my camera battery dies!! Just my luck!!
3:55 PM Jul 23rd from txt

The kid is a champion, he makes it up the mountain and then runs, dead out for about 400 yards!!
4:02 PM Jul 23rd from txt

Bad news...we might be a little off of the trail....but we're not alone...which is how we got lost...
4:39 PM Jul 23rd from txt

Longest mountain hike ever. Will never follow teenagers again.....
5:14 PM Jul 23rd from txt

Back from our adventure. Scratches everywhere. Off to enjoy worship services.
7:06 PM Jul 23rd from txt

Getting the bags packed and ready for the trip home tomorrow morning!
9:22 PM Jul 23rd from txt

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!!
7:47 AM Jul 24th from txt

Rockin out on the church bus to Queen's 'Somebody to Love'. The kids are unimpressed with my life's theme song.
9:49 AM Jul 24th from txt

Home Sweet Home!!! Ty came in and instantly turned on his Thomas the Train movie! Guess I know what he missed most!
11:24 AM Jul 24th from web

And now the twitters documenting my less-than-lovely adventures with Viral Bronchitis.

Uh oh....itchy throat, watery eyes, headache, cough, and mild fever...ewwww. Please don't let me end up with the crud!
3:42 PM Jul 26th from web

feels terrible. achy all over and chills. Please let this be gone by morning....
5:35 PM Jul 26th from web

Hard night last night. Barely slept. Going to the Dr. today as all symptoms have only gotten worse. Boo.
7:45 AM Jul 27th from web

Sitting in the waiting room at the Dr's office. Wishing I could curl into a ball and go to sleep.
12:22 PM Jul 27th from txt

Two hours in the waiting room. I could be sleeping and getting some of the rest I lost last night.
12:38 PM Jul 27th from txt

Almost 3 hours later and I'm finally in an exam room waiting for the Dr.
1:24 PM Jul 27th from txt

Ewww....they just swabbed my nose.
2:19 PM Jul 27th from txt

Flu swab was negative, x-rays looked good. Viral bronchitis. Antibiotics and pain meds.
3:01 PM Jul 27th from txt

Darvocet-1, Ashley-0.
8:19 PM Jul 27th from txt

(really long gap in time here due to unconsciousness caused by Darvocet)

Really craving brownies but don't know if I can fight off the pain meds long enough to bake some....
about 14 hours ago from txt

still feeling pretty bad, but starting to feel a little better than I was.
about 12 hours ago from web

just got a phone call from my Little Man. He's the sweetest thing EVER!!
about 12 hours ago from web

Ewwww. Gross. That was the weirdest, nastiest lung booger I've ever coughed up.
about 2 hours ago from txt

Scale of 1 to 10: Today is a 6 (compared to yesterday's 2, that's great!) Hoping to be well enough to return to work tomorrow.
11 minutes ago from web

So that brings me back to where I am now.

And I feel so very blessed. I have had an outpouring of prayers, thoughts, concerns, well-wishes, just....everything. And it's come from everywhere. The Blogosphere, the Twittersphere, my local community. There have been so many people and so many messages that even if the medicine weren't making me feel better, all this love and compassion could surely be healing in itself.

So thank you. To all of you.

Your simple thoughts, messages, and prayers have touched me so very deeply and I'm grateful for each and every one of you.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

I'm conscious now.


I went to the doctor yester.....wait....Monday. I have no clue what day it is today.
Oh, my computer says it's Tuesday.
So yesterday. I went to the doctor yesterday.
He checked me over, listened to me breathe, sat and listened to me explain all my symptoms, asked questions, asked about The Boy and The Family.
That's why I love my doctor.
He's not only good and thorough but he listens to me and he cares about his patients. How many doctors take the time to remember your whole family, your boss, where you work, and some of your hobbies? I'm guessing not many.
So he checked me over and sent me to get a flu swab and chest x-rays.
Flu swab came back negative.
Chest x-rays looked good.
So no flu (of any type) and no pneumonia.
After getting the results he came and sat down with me and told me what antibiotic he was going to give me and that, even though I have viral bronchitis, he was prescribing an antibiotic anyway because it would help with the chest congestion and just in case I had some tick fever going on it would help knock that out.
He offered me a pain killer because I'm extremely achy all over and can't sit still for too long because my whole body hurts. I requested something mild, not too powerful.
So he wrote my prescriptions and told me I should feel much better within 48 hours but if I'm not, I need to come back and we'll do a blood test and go from there.
So, I came home, got my prescriptions filled ($7.32 in prescriptions, you can't beat that!), and went to sleep. My parents picked Ty up from daycare for me and then brought him by after I woke up.
Then this morning, Mama picked Ty up and took him to daycare for me. My sister brought me egg-drop soup for lunch and made me some homemade chicken noodle soup for supper. She took Ty home with her from daycare, even though she's not feeling well herself right now.
To say the least, my family has been nothing short of amazing right now. This is the sickest I've been in a long time but they're making it so much easier to deal with through all the love, care, and help they've given me.
I've taken a total of 5 baths today because that's the quickest and easiest way to get relief from the body aches. I just got out of the 5th one a bit ago and feel much better than I've felt all day (though still far from recovered, unfortunately). My aches are probably 2/3 of what they were. I'm actually a little warm right now instead of freezing, like I've done all day (course, my thermostat is set to 80, so that's probably why I'm warm)
My fever has ranged from 99 to almost 103. It's currently back at 99.
My chest is uber congested and my cough sounds like that of a life-long smoker. And because my throat is constrained my voice is a little squeaky and hoarse. Thought my throat doesn't hurt (Thank goodness!!)
Ty's at my parents house tonight. They offered to let me stay there, too, but to be honest I'm not sure I could make it up the stairs right now (I had to switch the prescription lids over to where they weren't childproof because I was almost too weak to open them earlier). I also just want my bed. I'm having a hard time getting and staying comfortable so I really want my bed.
I have some brownies in the oven. That just sounded soooo good. So I'm treating myself.
I think that's about all in the news of my world. I'm still alive, and currently conscious. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day, too.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Not what I had planned


Sorry, you guys, I'd planned to have at least something up and posted by now, but I'm sick.

The cough and chest congestion, the fever, the alternating sweats and chills, the all over body aches (EXTREME body aches, my toes even hurt). I just kinda feel like feces wrapped all up in a package and served cold....no wait....hot, no cold.

You get the picture.

I'm going to the Dr. today.

Ty stayed the night at my parents last night.

Just in case.

Will let you know more when I find out.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Wrong Turn Ahead


Written yesterday at the camp before the wireless pooped out on me.
So......

Interesting story.

Ty and I climbed a mountain.

Walked up it, actually.

So we go up this mountain, with ease, might I add.

We get to the top where Ty runs for about 400 yards nonstop (except the few brief face-falls when he tripped over rocks, but he'd just pick himself right up and continue on running).

So we're at the top of the mountain when my camera died.

And my spare battery was in the cabin, in my purse.

I should have turned around then and gone back to the cabin.

But Ty wanted to follow the teenagers that had climbed the mountain in front of us.

So we followed them (he thought there would be treasure at the top of the mountain).

And we're going down these trails that are nice, gentle slopes which turn into moderately steep, rocky slopes. Not the kind of rock you can get a footing on, either. Loose rock. The kind that gives way and leaves you on your tushie.

Fortunately, Ty and I were possibly the only ones who didn't experience that first-hand.

We had caught up with the teens and basically merged with them at this point, so they grabbed on to Ty's other hand, giving him a double cushion to hold him up if he lost his footing.

Fortunately, this was unnecessary in the end and only resulted in sweaty hands.

After the steep, rocky slopes the land leveled out into smooth, grassy trails at an easy incline. And then the trail (to me) stopped. However, two boys said they'd been down it before. One had taken one trail and the other had taken the other trail and both had made it safely back.

So they picked a trail and Ty and I followed.

Here, too, I should have turned back and gone back to the cabin, even though it meant climbing the mountain all over again.

Instead, we followed the teens into a wooded "trail" that eventually ended. Of course, it didn't immediately appear it had ended, it just looked as though thorns and stickers had grown up in patches between it and another slightly visible trail.

After about five of these trails I recommended backtracking and going back to the trails. They were, after all, five teenagers and I had my four-year old boy to worry about. Carrying him through a briar-patch wasn't on my list of things to do.

At this point we realized there was no backtracking. There was only "go in the general direction of the camp". (Which I got huffy with the boys several times for disregarding).

Finally, after about 30 minutes I laid down the Mama tone.

"Get back here, now! Camp is THAT WAY (pointing in opposite direction), we will go THAT WAY."

"But I found another trail!"

"Yes, I'm sure you did. And it leads to another briar patch! This way!"

About this time we sent out text messages to various individuals asking them to ring the camp bell so we could confirm that I was in fact right. Actually, we worded it that we wanted to get ourselves oriented.

So, we finally headed in that direction.
And everyone seems to have panicked except us. The girls started getting panicked phone calls. We were assuring everyone that we were close (close enough to hear voices and yelling from the games) but we just had to find a way through all the briars.

Finally we made it to the power lines (at this point I'm carrying Ty to keep him out of the thorns) and from there we walked down them to the camp.

Where the camp "Ranger/Medic" met us and scolded us for going up that trail.

At that point I didn't care enough to tell him that we didn't go up THAT trail, it just happened to be the one we found to come back down.

We're back in the cabins now.

My legs and arms are laced with scratches. I have a gash in the palm of my right hand and it almost looks like a smiley face cut into the back of that same hand.

But, Ty's been begging me to walk up the mountain.

And by golly, we walked up the mountain!

More adventures to come when I get back in town and get a chance to write them out.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

My First Giveaway: Online Poster Printing


Alright, guys and girls....I saved this specifically for this week, when I'll be out on an adventure and snapping a million-and-one pictures of me and my boy having a blast, since this is the closest thing I'll get to a vacation this year...

Photographs are one of the many thing that my family values. Having two professional photographers in the family (my mom and sister), it's easy to see how memories can be captured and maintained through visual art and photography, which is why I take about 1,000 pictures a month (I am not kidding....and that's in a normal month that doesn't include birthdays, holidays, or special adventures). I love pictures and I love being surrounded by pictures I love. However, when you're looking at the cost of a good-quality picture and a nice-quality frame to go with it, things can get pretty pricey.

Which is why I was excited to see that Online Poster Printing has offered me and one of my readers a free 16x20 rolled canvas print of an image of their choice.

So what picture would I love to have on my wall?


This is my boy. It's him in every way. I can't see this picture without all the warm-fuzzy feelings just washing over me.

I can look at this picture and go right back to the time and place it was taken. It was at a local festival. The air was warm and smelled wonderfully of funnel-cakes and cotton candy. There was music in the background and laughter everywhere. I can almost feel the night breeze that necessitated a light jacket.

I love this face.

I love this boy.

I love this picture.

And I'll love seeing it hanging on my wall.

And guess what? You, too, can have a great picture of your own choice on your wall.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog describing the summer picture you would love to see printed and hanging in your home.

Want some extra entries? You could:
  • Follow my blog
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Grab my Blog Badge
  • Go read some more entries on my blog. You'll get one additional entry for each relevant comment you leave. Leave "OPP Comment" at the end of each comment so I'll know to count it.
  • Use that retweet button at the top right of this blog and let others know about this awesome giveaway!
That's it! Simple as that!

But, before you take off there are a few things you should know.

The giveaway winners will be announced on Friday, July 31st. There will be an email sent out to winners to with a coupon code for the free canvas and directions on how to order your image, so be sure to include your email address with at least one of your entries!

Disclaimers:Giveaway is open to US/CAN residents. Shipping of prizes is not included and must be paid by winner. Online Poster Printing reserves the right not to print obscene or offensive materials.
All designs submitted in the form of a giveaway may be used by Online Poster Printing for online marketing and promotional uses. The designs will be used solely as examples and will not be printed or commercially distributed.
About Online Poster Printing:
Online Poster Printing specializes in printing high-quality posters using premium materials. We offer a money back guarantee on all our products, such as photo canvas prints, vinyl banners, wall stickers, and rolled or mounted poster prints.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

By the time you read this....


By the time you read this, I'll be gone.

A full week away from computers, the Internet, and the blogosphere.....

Give me a second.....I'm getting woozy just thinking about it.

So, while you're reading this in your cool, comfy offices or homes, I'll probably be covered in a thick sweat. Partially because I'm spoiled to my a/c and partially because of my withdrawals from the conveniences of life.

Where am I?

Church camp.

I've signed up as a sponsor for our youth group at my church who want to go to camp.

Here's where I am.

And while I'm thinking this is going to be a really, really good thing....I'm still kinda nervous because of the extra expense and the being away from work (because I have this ego that makes me think everything's going to fall to pieces without me) and I'm worried about how much fun Ty will have when, it turns out, no one his age will be going.....there's just a list that could go on and on. I'll forget to pack something or I won't take enough money or something.

But I'm not letting that bother me because I'm a big girl, and if I forget something, I'll either make due without it or I'll go buy whatever it is so I can get by.

But I'm a woman and thus I'm a worrier.

But I'm also a Christian, and I'm also an optimist, and I'm also determined that this is what I need to be doing and what I'm meant to do. Too many obstacles have sprung up to try to prevent me from going to camp and experiencing whatever lays before me. Some would see that as a reason to stay home, to give up, to bow out, or to concede. Not me, I'm stubborn.

So I'm packing my bags, grabbing my camera (cause that really is the one thing I just absolutely can not do without), and Ty and I are off on an adventure.

And by the time you read this....I'll be gone.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Make a Mistake With Me


Ahhhh....I have a million things to be doing right now, but instead I'm sitting down at the computer because my feet have raised their voice and began shouting obscenities at me.

Therefore I must appease them, and the rest of my body, which is apparently upset with me, too.

Mistake #1: Thinking that the shoes I wore to my Jr. Prom ten years ago would be comfortable enough to spend the day in as they were already broken in. Even though they've collected dust for two plus years.... However, four inch heels feel like ten inch heels when you spend almost six hours in them. No matter how broken in they are, they're going to hurt like the dickens after a while.

Mistake #2: Thinking I didn't have enough boobs to require wearing a tank under my low-cut dress. Sure, it kept me cooler because the dress has a shirred waist on it that's quite....insulating, but the extra energy used in keeping my boobs tucked in the dress probably made me hotter than I probably would have been if I'd have just covered my little goose-bumps up in the first place.

Mistake #3: Going to a wedding when I'm still dealing with the Single Woman Blues. Because it's just a giant boost to the ol' self-esteem to see a hundred couples that are several years younger than you that have already tied the knot and found their happily ever after. I imagine it's the equivalent of a woman who's been trying to conceive for several years going to yet another baby shower for a woman who either accidentally or easily got pregnant.

Mistake #4: Not drinking a hot cuppa Joe this morning. I've been rockin' a headache since about 10 am this morning (for the record, it's almost 8 pm and it's just now letting up because I caved and had a couple cups of coffee after the last three doses of Tylenol have failed to even act like they were going to help me.)

Mistake #5: Similar to mistake #4, except that I only had one bacon and tomato sandwich to last me all day long. Once I finally got to eat, by golly, I wanted to just open my mouth and inhale in everything in sight.

Mistake #6: Seeing a guy I'd love to date but have no chemistry with at a wedding. And his awesome parents were there too (who will be awesome in-laws for a girl someday). And he was in a tux. And I'd love to date him. But there's no chemistry there. Oh, and we're kinda in this awkward point in our friendship because of it. So it was all the more awkward by the fact that he's there, at a wedding, in a tux and I'd love to date him. But I have no chemistry with him. Boo.

Mistake #6: Sitting down. Cause now I don't want to get up and do the whole laundry/house cleaning/packing thing.

But I gotta.

Ciao.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

For once I can agree


I don't normally stay up with the times as far as news is concerned. It's a fault of mine. But Yahoo home page had a feature story on Emma Watson and the Harry Potter movies that made me stay around.

Talk about priorities, eh?

But because of that article, I hung around to see about the suicide bombings in Indonesia and I almost was interested enough to click and learn how to peel a banana like a monkey, but instead I caught glimpse of a thumbnail picture of Obama and thought "Great.....what's he up to this time." And then I saw he had addressed a NAACP group and thought "Oh joy, reverse racism.....let's see how bad it is this time." Because normally that's all I ever see come from group meetings designated solely for one race, creed, or orientation. Sure, there will be some pride and community there, but mostly it's stones being cast at those who are unlike them.

But today, I can actually agree with Mr. Obama, and not because of the audience his comments were directed at (because I know many people of varied colors who need to hear the same message), but because of the message itself.

Mr. Obama encouraged his audience to take on a new mindset, to challenge themselves and encourage the youth to aspire to be more than celebritiy sports athletes or musicians, to reach for greater and better things than dependence on government programs.
"We need a new mindset, a new set of attitudes -- because one of the most durable and destructive legacies of discrimination is the way that we have internalized a sense of limitation; how so many in our community have come to expect so little of ourselves," he said.
I don't see where discrimination plays into any of this, though. If I dislike someone, it's not for their color or their clothes or their car or things like that, when I dislike someone it's most often because of their character and the type of person they are. Such as a liar or a thief or a cheater. Yes, I dislike those people no matter what shape, size, or color they are.

That's where the problem lies for me.

But back to the message, because it was a relatively good one.

Mr. Obama said that he didn't want today's youth aspiring to be on tomorrow's sports fields, movies, television shows, or tabloids; he wanted them to be in labs and schools and hospitals and places where they can do good things and make a difference for the good of themselves, others, and our nation.

He credited his mother for his success and his current status and position in life, stating that she took no lip, no attitude, and no excuses. She loved him and because she loved him, she wouldn't accept less than what she knew he could do.

This is a great message to be getting out there.

I was just yesterday talking about our local school systems here and the issues with the kids and the lack of discipline and how the teachers can't be expected to control or teach them when the parents themselves don't enforce respect for themselves or others in the kids. They take nothing and no one seriously because they were never taught the respect anything or anyone.

It all starts at home.

We, as parents, are doing one of the most important jobs there is. And even us single parents. If there's another good message that can be taken from this man for whom I did not vote, it's the fact that Single Moms can do a dang good job, too, when we put our hearts, our heads, and our whole commitment into it.

Mr. Obama was right. Our children need to be encouraged to reach for the stars, they need to be encouraged to want great and wonderful things, even if it seems impossible. The ladies over at Looking Glass Lane will tell you, sometimes the only limits of possibility are the ones you, yourself, put there.

Encourage your children. Teach your children. Love your children.

The only way the future can be better than the present is if we teach the future to be better than the present.

The best way to do this?

By example.


The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.
-Arthur C. Clark
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Living My Love Song


Everyone I know is in love.

Of the blogs I read, half are married and half of those remaining are in fabulous, wonderful relationships where it looks like they could quite possibly have finally met The One.

And I'm happy for them.

I'm jealous that I haven't found that same type of love, but not in an "I'm going to stop reading you because I'm jealous" kind of way, but in a "That's awesome, I want that, too." kind of way. Especially for all my Single Mamas and PaPas out there who are feeling warm fuzzies because, for us, it's a little bit harder than for non-parent singles out there who don't have to worry about schedules and child-care and the issue of how close you let someone get to your child and how soon.

I really am happy for them. Because if it can happen to them, it can happen to me. So their stories give me hope and a reason to keep on believing.

But in the meantime, I still feel like I'm living out a Love Song.

I found a love I didn't know existed.

Almost five years ago I was on a plane over the Atlantic praying, "God, if it's okay with you.....maybe this time next year I could have a family of my own....or be on my way to a family of my own at least."

Because I was headed to the City of Love with two couples and I was all by myself.

Which brings Celine Dion's voice to mind and sends me, mentally, into song.

By that time the next year.....guess what....?

I had an almost 3 month old baby.

Sure, my family didn't happen the way I'd thought it would when I said that prayer, but it happened nonetheless. And that prayer was only the beginning of this love song.

I may not have a man in my life that I'd planned to have. But I do have a little man in my life that I am so very blessed to have.

He makes my heart swell with pride and happiness and utter joy. He has opened my eyes to a whole new world and has opened my heart to a whole new love.

So while I might not be experiencing the love and relationship that so many others are, I'm still living a love song. And I still have full faith that there I'll get to live another one somewhere down the road, too.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Betty Taylor's Kitchen


I know that most of my readers here aren't from around my area, but that's okay. I still want to share this blog with you because.....well, the place I want to talk about is pretty awesome.

We recently had a little restaurant open up on Main Street here in Fordyce called Betty Taylor's Kitchen.
When I first saw the signs that something was going to be put into the empty building, I had no clue what it would be. It was this catchy little black and white sign with a diagram of a cow on it that shows the different beef cuts. Kinda like the one to the right, except I don't like this one as well as I like theirs.

So I wondered if it was going to be a butcher shop or an all-beef restaurant or what.

And then it opened. And I noticed twitters about this new place.










So when my mom called me one Saturday morning for some girl time over lunch at this new restaurant, I didn't hesitate!

Off we went and I was so very pleasantly surprised the instant I walked in! The whole experience was so unique and creative, which isn't something we're exactly used to here in Small Town, USA.

We walked in and sat down and I just couldn't keep my seat. There was too much neat stuff to look at. Most of the decorations are older items. Lunchboxes that take you back to childhood. Old ice-cream boxes that our parents were probably all too familiar with in their childhood. The light covers in some areas are made out of tin cans from old household products. It was so creative and so clever and so interesting.









The drinks they serve are all made with cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. Not that there's anything wrong with HFCS, in my opinion, but the cokes are unique and add to the experience and separate the restaurant from others, which is a great thing!

And their menu, which appears small at first, is by no means limited. At first glance you think it's just only a burger and fry kind of joint. Same song, second verse, right? But then you see the difference. Sure, they offer a hamburger and cheeseburgers, but they also have a sandwich called The Buffalo Soldier.

Uh-maz-ing.

Of course, I--being ignorant of many aspects of our American Heritage--had to ask where the name came from and how they got the idea for the sandwich. Tommy, a member of the very sweet family that runs Betty's Kitchen (named after his grandmother Betty), explained to me that they just kind of threw the sandwich together and were looking for a name that gestured towards the barbecue sauce they made for it, but also had a symbol of toughness and their heritage.

The Buffalo Soldier came to Tommy's mind.

Now, for my Canadian readers, please know that American's aren't only ignorant of your culture and history, we're ignorant of our own, as well. I didn't know what a Buffalo Soldier was. I thought maybe it was an American Indian or something because Indians are what comes to mind when I think of buffalo (I'm from Indian country originally, too) Tommy educated me that a Buffalo Soldier was an African American soldier that fought in the Civil War.

These men fought for my country and my freedom and here I'd never taken the time to learn about them, their sacrifice, their nobility or their loyalty to our country, theirs and mine.

And thus my experience with Betty Taylor's kitchen became even more fascinating. Good food, a touch of history, and interesting design....it's an all around win for me.

But let's go back to the food.

The Buffalo Solider is the only sandwich I've had down there yet. Although I've heard the hamburger and cheeseburger are excellent, too. But I enjoy the Buffalo
so much I don't yet want to try anything else. The standout ingredients of this sandwich, for me, are the barbecue sauce, the onion ring, and the cucumber slices. And as far as sides....I can't decide which I like better, the garlic fries dipped in ketchup or the sweet potato fries dipped in a buttermilk ranch dressing that's made there at the restaurant.

The restaurant is also eco-minded, which is a new thing in this area. Our county doesn't even offer paper recycling. Seriously. I looked into getting a recycling bin here at work for all the paper that we throw away and guess what? No go. I am not kidding you. We are not up with the times in so many aspects, especially where things come to going green and being eco-friendly. But Betty's is. Their menus are printed on 100% recycled paper. They have a recycling station set up in the restaurant for recyclables, and from what I can tell from observation, they have put effort into being energy efficient as well.

The thing I love, hands down, the most about Betty's is the family that runs it. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Moms, Dads, and the kids. That's how we roll in my family, and that's clearly how Miss Betty's family works, too. I not only like that, but I respect it immensely and am glad to see a family working together with non-stop smiles.
I expect great things from this place. I really do. So if you're in town or find yourself in this neck of the woods, drop by 103 S. Main Street and experience Betty Taylor's Kitchen for yourself!
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Bathtime Bliss


I know I've promised blogs on other things, which I assure you will happen this week, but I just had to start the morning by telling you such silly cuteness as this.

I woke him up and got him scurried into the bathtub. I turned around and started fixing my hair only to look in the mirror and see his eyes flutter shut.

"Are you sleeping?"

And within 5 seconds I had the answer to my question when he started snoring.

Too cute.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

The Blame Game


I cranked my computer up this morning for my daily checking of messages, comments, email, and breaking-news. This, of course, includes Twitter as I discover more breaking news on there than I do any of the other tabs that load with my morning coffee.

One thing that catches my eye is a tweet by @singleparentdad.

There was a recent drowning in Oklahoma that affected a family-member of mine, so out of curiosity I click on the link and read the story.

My heart goes out to the family....I can not even begin to imagine how much my heart would break to lose my sweet little boy (any mom knows they can call up tears just even thinking about thinking about such a thing!)

Ty disappeared for about a minute at church the other night. He was in the front of the church climbing on the sign and I went 20 feet away, still in sight of him, to get something out of my car. When I looked back up to where he was, all the other children were there except Ty.

Of course, I first check the highway in front of the church to make sure he's not wandered that direction and I look down both sides of the church, calling for him and asking others if they'd seen him. I go inside the front of the church and back out again. At the point I start to really panic he comes into the church foyer through the sanctuary and my fear melts.

Sixty seconds of fear. I didn't even have time (thankfully) for it to build up into a full-blown teary panic. But it was long enough to know my life is forever changed because of him and that I could never begin to imagine life without him.

And these parents have lost their precious child for forever.

But I agree with the judge.

Their child's death was not the fault of the park that they took their holiday at. Losing Ty was not the church's fault. I should have either made him walk to the car with me or I should have put him in the direct care of someone old enough to watch him for that 10 seconds I was gone.

Ultimately it comes down to our responsibility as parents and I agree with the judge that it's not fair, nor is it right, to try to put the blame elsewhere simply because #1--there's comfort in being able to blame someone other than yourself, and #2--there's monetary compensation in being able to blame someone else.

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Adults who accept responsibility--be it for a job or a child or a vehicle or a relationship--and then shirk it off and blame someone else when things go awry. If we accept responsibility in the first place, we need to maintain it in the end.

It may not be easy, it may make things uncomfortable or painful....but it is the respectable thing to do.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

All-In-One


There is just so much to cover from the weekend that I just don't know where to start!!
And I know that, no matter how I try to condense it, the only way to properly tell the stories, is to overwhelm you all with pictures!
You don't mind, right?
Cause after-all, pictures=cuteness (cause many of them are of my boy!)
Let me start with more VBS pictures, cause I loved these.
On Thursday we ended the day on the playground with the Pre-K kids.

Now, moving on to Ty's birthday party! Which went off rather well!!
Okay, now the way my family tells stories is to start with the important stuff first.
The food.

 





And from there......we go to the games. Pin the tail on the Lion and Feed the Hippo.
And then presents.  Lots and lots of presents, actually. Though I'll just show a few!
 
After the presents, everyone donned their animal masks and prepared for the pinata!









And finally......a few smiling faces to end with.
 
Coming soon......
Betty Taylor's Kitchen (an amazing new food place in Fordyce)
Museum of Discovery (and our family adventure on Sunday)
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.