a long weekend and yell in unison

I’m thankful for just being home…with nothing that HAS to be done. No appointments. Nothing on the calendar.

Just staying around the house and enjoying a slow pace.

I was ready for the extended weekend. I drank a lot of strawberry lemonade, laid on a quilt in the backyard and even got to start a book.

It was good to have nothing to do.

While I share some pictures of our weekend, I thought I’d share some photo settings for those interested.

ISO 100, 1/1600, f/2.8, 58mm……………..ISO 100, 1/1000, f/2.8, 24mm (the boys are blurry, but I still like it)

ISO 100, 1/800, f/2.8, 24mm


ISO 400, 1/200, f/2.8 70mm……………..ISO 400, 1/200, f/2.8 24mm


ISO 100, 1/1000, f/2.8 70mm……………..ISO 100, 1/1000, f/2.8 70mm


FireCracker taught Sweet P the correct way to hold a lightsaber ~ iPhone 4S photo


iPhone 4S photo


Such a picture of my girl: sparkly shoes and skinned up knees ~ ISO 100, 1/80, f/2.8 64mm


ISO 250, 1/100, f/2.8 70mm


ISO 100, 1/800, f/2.8 55mm


ISO 100, 1/800, f/2.8 35mm


These two have mastered the ‘party pic’ pose at a young age ~ iPhone 4S


My grandma holding her great granddaughter.

ISO 100, 1/640, f/2.8 68mm……………….iPhone 4S


ISO 100, 1/250, f/2.8 32mm


ISO 100, 1/640, f/2.8 51mm


Why a picture of my phone? Well, for 3 days it wasn’t attached to me and it felt good. The thing about weekends when you are in the middle of an adoption is that they are hard. A weekend means consecutive days when paperwork is not being processed because offices are closed. For at least the last 60 days my phone never leaves my pocket during weekday business hours. I don’t know when my agency will be calling to let us know we got our approval letter and you better believe I’m not missing that call. It is kind of like the end of pregnancy when you know you could go into labor at any time. I always had a “what if I go into labor at….” plan. Now I’m not waiting on contractions, I’m waiting for a phone call (and even after that it is 10+ weeks before I get to hold my baby). So, from the moment I wake up until the moment my agency closes – I’ve got my phone. When I check the mail, when I jump on the trampoline with kids, when I water flowers…it is always with me. I didn’t realize how heavy the weight of waiting felt until the past 3 days when my phone was not always in my pocket because I knew the call would not be coming.

It was nice to break free from my phone, but I’m ready for government offices to be back up and letters sent out. I’m ready to carry my phone all day again. I’m so overly beyond ready for the call. Maybe if we all scream “HURRY UP LOA” (letter of approval) really loud it will somehow show up at my agency’s doorstep.

Let’s try…One….Two….Three….“HURRY UP LOA!!!!!”


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  • Christy - Hurry Up LOA!
    Ok I tried

  • Sheila - HURRY UP LOA!!!!!!!!!!

  • Danielle - PLEASE HURRY UP LOA!!! All the way from Canada we are screaming it out loud!!! Our monkeys are LOVING the pictures you shared of your long weekend… especially the butterfly.

  • Andy - HURRY UP LOA!!!!!!!!!!!
    those are great pic. the girls look like they are having lots of fun. πŸ™‚

  • Molly - HURRY UP LOA!!! I can’t even imagine how the wait has been for you….every morning when I check your blog I think today will be the day. Keep your chin up!! God has a great plan:)

  • Aaren - Also screaming from Canada…

  • kari signe - HURRY UP LOA!!

  • Lori Kroh - Do I need to call someone???? “HURRY UP LOA”!!!! Seriously, all workers please go through your stacks of papers and find this application and process quickly please!!!! thanks – the management!!!! :0)

  • Kari - HURRY UP LOA!!!!!!!!

  • Molly @ mixedmolly - Hurry up L.O.A-yah! Hope it helps! Love this set. Praying the weight is lifted soon.

  • Amy - Hurry up LOA!!!!!
    Great pictures (as always) and your update at the end made me tear up – I’m glad you got a break from waiting, and I hope you don’t have to wait much longer!!

  • angela - Where did you get the awesome foam lightsabers? I have been looking for some like that!

  • Amber - Yes, hurry, hurry up!!! So hard to wait for something you want so desperately:(. Praying for you guys!!

  • AshleyAnn - Angela – I made them. I found the idea on pinterest. They are just foam pool noodles, cut in half with black & gray duct tape!

  • Brooke Leigh - First. PLEASE show up LOA. & make it quick! πŸ™‚ Second. THANK YOU. for posting the settings of pictures taken directly in the sun. I RUIN so many because it’s my biggest challenge – so, now I have settings to try & hopefully capture beautiful pictures this summer. Not terrible ones that I keep anyways because it’s the memory I want to keep. πŸ™‚

  • Amy - HURRY UP LOA!!! I loved everything about this post. Thanks for putting up a post of pure Summer and family and fun!

  • jody - hurry up LOA!!!

    hang in there. it WILL come!!!

    btw, where’d you get that fun pool?? need another one for my 4 boys!!!

  • Kimberly Troth - HURRY UP LOA!!! Praying you hear something soon!

  • Maredith - I love the picture of firecracker’s ‘sparkle shoes’ and skinned knees….I could duplicate the picture of my own 2.5 yo daughter. She demands to wear her sparkles daily and her knees are a constant disaster. πŸ™‚

  • Jess - Come on LOA!!! Baby girl needs to come home now!

  • angie webb - H U R R Y U P L O A!

  • Sarah W. - Hurry up LOA!!!

  • Pam K - Hurry up LOA!

  • N - Hurry up loa! Feels like the longest pregnancy ever, huh?

  • Taryn - I LOVE the picture of great grandma’s hands with your niece!

  • Cissi - Hurry up LOA, all the way from Sweden. Every day I open your blog I hope this will be LOA-day.

  • Suzanne - HURRY UP LOA!!!!!!

  • Agnieszka - Hurry up LOA!

  • Stephanie - My kids and I just yelled for you! I mean they are STILL yelling for you!

  • Nikki - Hurry up LOA!!

  • Joy - Scearming with you – HURRY UP LOA!!!!! Even so, come Lord Jesus.

  • Kara M - HURRY UP LOA! Should we yell in Chinese? I ventured to listen to Cindy Foote’s CD this weekend. “Bring our Children Home” always throws me into prayer for my friends waiting. So, prayed for your sweet little girl this weekend (I consider us blogging friends)! Advice: DON’T LISTEN to that song! You will only cry. We are not in waiting phase yet and I still cry.

  • Eva - Isn’t it fun to keep things low key? Just rolling with it. Lovely shots from your weekend.

    I do hope and pray your LOA hurries on up and shows its face. Enough already!

  • Emily @ Peck Life - Those girly swimsuits are adorable! I only have a boy to shop for. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing the photo settings! Thanks to snapshop, I shot in manual ALL WEEKEND and got some fair pictures! Still learning. πŸ™‚

  • able mabel - Her little Toms are so cute! What a fun weekend!

  • amanda - Oh, I SO understand! We are waiting for our dossier to be authenticated, so we can send it to China! I love holidays… and I was sure to thank our service men and women… but I was also thinking that there were three days where my paperwork was sitting on someone’s desk untouched. It will be end of next week before DTC… and the with the speed that China is going right now? Praying for LID by the end of June. Praying for your LOA, and praying for China to pick up the pace!!!

  • Mikki - lovely photos as always ashley! I really just wanted to say that your grandma has beautiful hands and nails! what is her secret?? Whatever it is, I will try it lol. random comment I know!

  • Anna - HURRY UP LOA!!!!! The picture of baby with great-grandma’s hands just melts my heart… Absolutely stunning.

  • heather - HURRY UP LOA!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jen - Hurry up LOA!!!!!!! Thank you for posting all your Memorial Day photos. It looks like we had a lot of similar activities going on. Your shots of the chalk and scraped knees are the reminder I need to capture details, and not just action.

  • Lynn - HURRY UP…..LOA !!!
    Hoping it comes very son for you and your family

  • Lynn - Oops…meant soon.
    Once again.. Hurry up LOA.

  • Laura Chavous - Sometimes long waits make the happy ending that much sweeter πŸ™‚

  • Heather - It will come…I know too well about carrying the phone around, staring at it, willing it to ring. It took three years for us to get our referral and 11 months of waiting to travel. Pure Torture!

  • Rose - Another Canadian here (near Niagara Falls) hoping your LOA is there tomorrow!

    Great photos. I really miss my Grandma now πŸ™‚

  • Jenny B - HURRY UP LOA!!

    What a fun get-together with your family! I love all the pictures. Several favorties in there… especially the one of Firecracker splashing the water at Sweet P and the butterfly one.

    When I read your post title, I thought, “Oh, no… four kids + yelling in unison… that can’t be pleasant.” Ha! πŸ™‚

    Does baby Z have a nickname yet?

  • nancy - good golly LOA, please come soon!

    And THAT’S IT! I’m coming over to your house next weekend! Looks like fun doing all that nothing!


  • Karen - Yelling from Australia! I’m sure that helped a lot haha!!! Hope that call comes through very quickly xxx

  • Sonnet Gal - Yelling from Texas for you!

    Also, please share what/how/when/where….(all those journalism words we know to answer! :)) do you store all your lovely pictures. And do your children ever complain about you taking pictures all the time. I know it is your career and gift; however, my kids ask for camera free weekends, and my daughter said all she wanted was for me to not take pictures when we are out of school this summer….sigh….

  • Dawn - From St. Louis….HURRY UP, LOA!!!!!!

  • Jules - Did you make that phone cover? Please share details.

    Loved to see the kids romping, the adults relaxing and great-grandma loving on her great-granddaughter.

  • AshleyAnn - Jules – here is a link to a diy post on my phone cover http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2011/10/31/diy-vintage-goodies-iphone-case/

  • Laura @Ms Smartie Pants - I can not wait to see your baby girl in these pictures! Again, Hurry UP LOA!!!!

  • HURRY UP LOA!!!!! - Screaming from Hong Kong, “HURRY UP LOA!”
    have been reading your blog for about a month, and i could totally feel how desperate you are in getting their call. wish you receive it soon!

    the pictures you took are so nice! i’m sure when your kid grow up, they would be very thankful for having these for memory!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Still yelling for you today!!!

  • Brooke - Isn’t the waiting just the hardest part, once you have seen their face?? I feel like I can’t commit to anything in the next two or three months because I could be in Africa …tough stuff. But to think this time next year, These moments will seem like no problem. We will only recall how God helped us weather the storm…we won’t remember the hurt, the anxiety for phone calls (mine is emails)…that is how we will find out..praying for you, and that letter to come quickly..

  • Vickie - Can I join your family? Pretty please?? You all always look like your really enjoying life and each other. It makes my heart warm.