Tyisms | L-O-F


Ty:  What does "o-f" spell?
Me:  O-f spells "of".
Ty (after a moment of thought):  So L-o-f spells Love?
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.

Be Careful Little Mouth


I was going through some incomplete blogs on here and weeding out ones that I needed to get rid of when I found one that I'd started two months ago after being in a public place with a woman who loudly complained and griped into her cell phone--unaware of who was around her that may or may not know her--where the entire store could hear her discussing her personal situation and verbal attacks against whomever she was speaking with.

She repeatedly spewed venomous comments and toxic remarks to whoever she was talking to about how terrible this other person was for something that seemed, to me, a minor offense, if any offense at all.

For the 10 minutes that I was in that store, that is all that this lady (loudly) did on her cell phone.

And I found that, though I didn't know her at all, I thought very low of this woman for her behavior and her lack of discretion in airing her personal affairs to an entire store without second thought to what she was saying or who all might overhear her in this very public place.

And then it made me think of how much we all say without thinking of it.

How we assume that our personal conversations on our cell phones are private and just between us and the other party, while we speak aloud in public about whatever we choose.

And then my mind took a slight detour from that train of thought to the simple thought of words and their power.

And I started writing, but I never posted it because it seems that every day there's a situation where someone--anyone--uses words unwisely and I didn't want anyone to feel that I was talking about them or referring to them.

So I censored myself.

Which I hate doing.

I should be able to be me--completely and 100% me.

But I did it nonetheless because I didn't want hurt feelings or insult arising where none was meant. It was simply an incident that made me revisit a topic that I've learned to feel very differently about. But if I wait for a day where no one’s said anything that they’ll ever regret…well then, when do we discuss our words if there’s never a time when it won’t hit home with someone?

Words are powerful, detrimental, and destructive.

If they're used improperly, that is.

They're also uplifting, guiding, and healing if they're used right.

The thing that they always are--no matter how you use them--is irreversible.

Seven years ago my Daddy said it best in a way that truly shows the power of your words.

He likened words to a bullet.

When you pull the trigger on a gun you're letting a destructive force loose.

The instant that trigger is pulled you can't take it back.

You can't stop that bullet before it finds its target.

You can't change the damage that it causes.

Bullets wound.

They tear, they destroy, they sometimes kill.

Do you not think words aren't just as destructive?

Sure, no one's ever been talked to death but haven't you ever heard a word or a sentence or a phrase--even a lack of words--that hurt you more than any physical punch could?

What you say you can't take back. You can try. You can apologize. You can cry and beg for forgiveness. And sooner or later, the bullet wound will heal and it will leave a scar. And sooner or later, if you're lucky, your words will be forgotten, but that feeling of pain that they caused--that feeling of insecurity or heartache or disappointment--that one takes longer to vanish. That one takes longer to heal.

Because it's easy to forget words. Words are so quick and fleeting and the second they're said they're gone. Which is why we don't give them as much thought as we should. Words vanish the second they leave the tongue and often-times the only one that remembers them doesn’t include the one that spoke them.

But the feelings they cause don't vanish so quickly. If ever.

Why is it that we, as adults, teach our kids to mind their manners, mind their words, and mind their business but then we, ourselves, turn around and ignore these basic rules of socializing.

We forget the Golden Rules.

"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you".

In other words, I have no right to speak to someone in a way that I would not tolerate them speaking to me. And vice versa. I will not tolerate someone speaking to me in a way that I would never dream of speaking to them.

Or for anyone who grew up with a sibling, you rolled your eyes many times at this one, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

My how quiet we'd be if we remembered that one throughout our adult lives!

If we only lived the words and instructions we feed to our children.

If only we lived that precious little song that we teach our kids but never consider ourselves.

"Be careful little mouth what you say!"
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.

There's Only Grace


I'm a faithful listener to KLove, however, my time away on our honeymoon left me feeling like I hadn't listened to KLove in forever.

When I turned my favorite station back on there were so many new songs that I hadn't heard before we'd gotten married.  My two favorite right now are "You Are More" by Tenth Avenue North and "Only Grace" by Matthew West.

And how cleansing that they came out when they did.

Because both songs are about God's forgiveness and our ability to step past our old selves--through Christ--and into a new life free from our old sins.

Because I've felt, for years, that though I've been personally forgiven by God, my sins had still not been forgiven by so many--including myself.

My pregnancy and early years as a single mother were both laced with so much gossip and judgment from others that it was hard not to feel like it would be a permanent part of my life.

There was a lot of talk around my town--initially--about my pregnancy because I never publicly disclosed who my son's father was.  For the people who knew me and loved me, they really didn't care.  It didn't change their feelings for me.

People who didn't know me and really didn't care about me, though, were quite the opposite.  I had people stop me in public places and work themselves around to that one particular question.  And when they didn't get the information they wanted, some of them got very self-righteous about it.  A few of them even insisting it was their right to know, as if I were public property.

So it's been hard to completely separate myself from those feelings that I repeatedly felt for so long.  It's been difficult to feel completely and 100% accepted.  And it's sometimes been a struggle to remind myself that my sins are between me and my God.  Unless I've sinned against a person in particular, I don't feel like I should have to worry about when they'll forgive me for a sin that really was none of their business in the first place.

So when these songs started getting played on the air, it was cleansing.

From the chorus of "You are More";

You are more than the choices that you've made
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes, 
You are more than the problems you create, 
You've been remade.


To Matthew West's "Only Grace", which really reached inside of me in a very personal way;

There is no guilt here
There is no shame
No pointing fingers
There is no blame.
What happened yesterday has disappeared
The dirt has washed away 
And now it's clear

There's only grace
There's only love
There's only mercy, and beleive me it's enough.
Your sins are gone
Without a trace
And there's nothing left now
There's only grace.

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.

Quoticisms | Four Things


Four things you can't recover:
  The stone...after the throw,
  The word...after it's said,
  The occasion...after it's missed,
  The time...after it's 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.

Multiple Personalities


Who knew that changing a name could be so complicated?

You just assume that when you're told that it's just a matter of changing it with the Social Security Administration and then notifying everyone you owe money to or handle money with that maybe it's as simple as it sounds.

And it would be if I weren't changing my middle name.

But that pesky middle name keeps confounding EVERYONE!

So for now, I have three different identities.

The one that I was born with.

The one that I'm changing to.

And the in-between one that pretty much everyone but Facebook and Capital One have me listed as.

Who knew a simple change could be so much work!
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.

Chasing Rabbits


After four years as a single mom, my time on my own made me want and expect certain things in a guy.

Kindness being among the top of them.

Kindness in how he treated me and kindness for how he treated my child.  Which is why I never really had a "waiting period" before I let a guy meet Ty.  It was more or less part of the screening process in seeing which direction a guy would go from the "Potential List".

When Jason and I started talking the first time, in January of 2009, I spoke freely of Ty in our conversations and no hindrances were put up on his part.  When March rolled around and things were no more between us, it wasn't anything to do with Ty or conflicts between us or whatnot.  It wasn't the right thing at the right time.

Simple enough.

Sometimes life works that way.

No one ever really has a perfect love story.  But I love ours nonetheless.

In July, when we picked back up in talking to each other, we were both reserved...not sure where this was going or even where we wanted it to go.

But the Butterflies were there.

My goodness were the Butterflies there!

And they brought along their friends Giddiness, Excitement, and Guarded Reservation.

And I spent an equal amount of time with all four.

Every time my phone went off with a text message Butterflies, Giddiness and Excitement rushed over to see what he was saying while Guarded Reservation stood nearby with his hand on Ty's shoulder.

Jason was so perfectly what I needed in every way that the only thing holding me back was how he would connect with Ty.  On one hand, I wanted to introduce him to Ty, see how he'd do and write him off from there....because I just knew that it would be my luck that--though he seemed like the guy who would really try--I just didn't expect them to click.  Such was my luck and I was preparing myself for the disappointment that I'd come to expect over the previous few years.

Nothing could be truly perfect, right?

Except when everything is right.  It's really, really right.

And though I waited several months before we planned a day together, the three of us.  When the time came there was that introductory moment where Ty's unsure and shy and trying to hide behind me, but Jason drew him out and the little boy in him came out to play with the little boy of mine.

And it was sealed from there.

There was no turning back for me.

We spent the day together playing mini-golf and riding go-carts and going up on the mountain and we had such a wonderful time together.  And it was exactly what I needed and more.

So much more.

Because the very next day we were faced with our first trial.  And a big one.

Though, thankfully, one that was by no fault of our own.  Thankfully the guilty party was one that played no role in our relationship at all.  

And we overcame it.  We came out of it with a new understanding of where we were going in our relationship and the level of commitment we were each bringing into it. 

Each and every step along the way has been just like that.

Every obstacle has been a step up to a bigger and better level in our relationship.

The few hard moments we've had have been instances that have refined us, that have made us better, and that prepare us for the next difficulties we'll face together.
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.

Tyisms | Crows


Ty:  "A crow!  He's looking to steal something."

Wonder where he got this bias against crows!
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.

In the beginning....


In the beginning there was one.

Me.

And I was blissfully ignorant in the common stupidity of youth.

And then, surprise!!  There was two!

Me and Ty.

And Mama had to grow up.

At least a little.

Cause what's the fun of having a kid if you can't still occasionally act like one, too?

Days came and went and it was only ever us two.

And we had fun and we did just fine on our own.

Except Mama would get lonely sometimes.

And disappointed.

Because the only guys she ever met or talked to weren't the kinds of guys that she could see herself happy with.

Much less sharing her life and her son with.

So more time went by.

And by....

And by....

And by....

And she started to think that pigs would fly before she ever met a man she could share her heart and soul and life with.

Not to mention her son.

To pass all her spare time that she gained by not having a social life, she spent her evenings with her family or her boy or wasting her life away on the Internet.

Which she has now fully and completely discovered thanks to StumbleUpon, but that's another story for another time.

While "stumbling", one night she came across a pretty, sparkly and shiny webpage and, like a raccoon, she was drawn in.  She started clicking through pages until she was brought to this one page at this one moment and this one thought clicked into her mind, as if it were all meant to be.

"I'm wearing that ring down the aisle on my wedding day, because when I find a man worth marrying pigs will have flown!"

Thus my love for Fern began.

A year or two later this blog began.

I toyed with different title ideas.  I'd gone through various phases on my private blog and MySpace blog.  I went from being Lost In Thought to a Small Town Celebrity and feeling Once Bitten, Twice Shy.  But it was time to move on from my jaded and bitter phases.  It was time to be more optimistic and hopeful.

Cause even if pigs never flew, I could still have a Happily Ever Now, right?

So I took the idea of the adorable pig ring and the thought of pigs flying and decided that I'd have my Fairy Tale, whether it met Disney's standards or not.

And it didn't.

Cause I prefer to break the mold.

Like I said, there's no fun in perfection.

It's when things get messy and silly that you really start to have the best fun.

So I chose what some people call "fantasy".  The idea that great and wonderful things can happen in spite of horrendous odds and the good guy gets what they deserve...as well as the bad guys.

I chose to believe in Happily Ever After.

I chose to be a little girl again and believe in Fairy Tales.

And thus began my journey to from the tower that imprisoned me to the arms of my handsome and wonderful Knight in Shining Armor.


For More on my story with Fern, check out these previous blogs:
Up In The Air
Pigs With Wings
This Little Piggy Came Home
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.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love


Let the wedding blogs begin!

Whew!

We're finally home and still nowhere near settled or unpacked or put away but we'll get around to that.  Life's meant to be enjoyed so we're fitting in the things we enjoy and dealing with the things we don't (like laundry, dishes, and housework) as we need to.

So, of course the only place to start these blogs is at the beginning.

Alllllll the way back to the beginning!

The good, the bad, and the funny.

Because that's what life is.  It's a mess and it's unpredictable and sometimes it's grand and wonderful and sometimes it's the disappointing and bitter difficulties that make those grand and wonderful times all the more majestic when you get the opportunity to savor them.

Life's not perfect.  If it were, I wouldn't have my little prince, Ty, that I love and enjoy so much.  And I wouldn't have my perfect Knight, Jason, that's everything I ever wanted.  Because a perfect life wouldn't have 'uh-ohs' or second chances.  A perfect life would be unequivocally and over-predictably oh-so.....boring.

So, from the top!  My not-so-"perfect" love stories (one for each half of my heart) that brought me to my absolutely perfect-for-me Happy Ending!

Stay tuned, the series will begin--by request--with Fern and how the pigasus became my self-proclaimed trademark for my adventure from life as a single mom to our adventure through dating and in to our new excitement in becoming a happy and wonderfully complete little family.
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.