so weird and so honored

Saturday morning I found Little One standing in her room. Her pjs and diaper were on the floor. Her bed soaked.

Next up, breakfast and scrambling to find shin guards and the right jersey for my oldest’s soccer game.

Coop building.

More coop building.

Dinner at my grandpas. It was the 5 year anniversary of my grandma’s passing.

I instagrammed (that is technically a word now, right?) a photo of my Grandma’s poppies in bloom. Shortly after the photo posted, there was a comment that the latest issue of Parents magazine was out. The issue where my blog is featured. After baths and bedtimes and re-tucking kiddos in bed, I dove into the current SnapShop going on. Eventually, my workshop work was done and it was time to go to the grocery store for food for the Mother’s Day dinner at my house the next day.

It was after 10:00pm when I finally made it to the store. Got my groceries and my copy of Parents. There were a couple of other shoppers near the magazine aisle, so I snuck back to an empty aisle for a picture. I am pretty sure the video security person must have enjoyed watching me.

I am so honored and still in shock to have my blog featured among those listed as “6 blogs we can’t live without”. My blog won in the photography category. While it is an incredible honor it is also so weird. It is weird because I am just a mom that wakes up to a toddler without a diaper and a 9 year old that is late for his game because his shin guards are buried somewhere under all the laundry piles. I’m a mom at Walmart at 10pm just starting to plan for the family dinner I’m hosting the next day.Β  It is weird because it feels like someone glamorous or with an organized life should be featured…not me with my ball cap hair and sawdust still on my jeans. Nonetheless, for whatever reason you guys nominated and voted for this blog. It baffles me. Thank you for that. Thank you for encouraging me in what I do here. Thank you.

I showed the boys the magazine. My oldest said, “Woah, we won? That’s cool.”

My 7 year old looked and said, “WOW. Mom this is incredible! It is amazing! I can’t believe it!Β  Camo is famous!! Look at how little and cute she was”

Camo is his chicken.

Thank you to all those that nominated and voted for this blog. I’m humbled and grateful. Not to mention, you made my son’s year. He has a famous chicken!


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  • becky - you’re famous girl! congrats…that is beyond cool:))

  • Liene - Hooray! Indeed a blog a can not do without one day πŸ˜‰ Congrats from the Netherlands!

  • Elizabeth Geiger - Ashley, I have to say, you are one of the best blogs out their in my book as well. I am so thankful for your daily posts that take ordinary life and make it stunning. Not just beautiful, but stunning.

    I’m pregnant with our first little one and cannot wait to start capturing his life. You have inspired me to look at my days as extraordinary instead of just mundane. I appreciate your faith, raw honesty/emotion, and everything else that your blog is.

    Thank you for sharing with us and congratulations on your article! I’m going to have to go and pick up my own copy πŸ™‚

    Enjoy your day!

  • Andrea - Best.Blog.Ever. So happy and excited for you! This truly is an inspirational, real and honest blog that I look forward to catching up with every day. Yay for Camo being famous!

  • Reesa - That is so cool, I can say I knew you when, lol.

  • Kate - I concur 100%. I check your blog everyday.

    I love that you’re clearly a real mom, with regular experiences and realistic expectations, who chooses to see the beauty in the situations and surroundings of a normal life.

    You’re the best.
    Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

  • Kimberly Troth - So AWESOME!!! Your blog is the only one I come to daily! Your such a inspiration. THANK YOU!!

  • Necole @seriouslysassymama - How cool. How awesome it would be to be in a magazine. Congrats!

  • Pamela - You (and Camo) deserve it. I love your blog.

  • Carla Bayer - Congratulations! I love your blog!

  • Lori - How exciting! πŸ™‚
    I love that Camo was featured and it made his day.
    I also love that you keep it real. Keeping it real keeps us coming back. Enjoy your success.

  • Lynn M - Well deserved honor – I sure enjoy your blog! I really see Firecracker in you in your “supermarket selfie”. πŸ™‚

  • Sarah - Congratulations! So, so proud of you!

  • bea. - Congratulations! I’m not surprised at all. Your photos are gorgeous.

  • Daniela - congratulations also from austria (europe)! i love your blog – the photographs, your stories and of course your cute family! its really amazing what you do and its great to hear that it’s been honored πŸ™‚

  • Misty - HA! Camo looks super enthused! It’s like he’s saying “NBD, guys…I was born for this…whatevs” Anyway, thank you for what you do Ashley. You really are an amazing woman. I hope that God enables me to be half the mother you are πŸ™‚

  • Ann Voskamp@Holy Experience - Love, love, love.
    And you.
    Thank you — for the inspiration and the joy and the authenticity… for everything.

  • jeannettg - THIS.
    “it feels like someone glamorous or with an organized life should be featured…not me with my ball cap hair and sawdust still on my jeans.”
    This is why.
    Plus, your photos are pretty nice too.
    But really, it’s the REAL that won.

    And Camo. Clearly she’s a star.

  • Mary - congratulations!
    you ARE the bees knees, you know?
    we all love your blog and you.
    we love your realness and that you are just a lovely mom with a toddler who wets the bed and who’s laundry is MIA, too!
    real is good.
    you make things beautiful!

  • Debbie - Ashley – yes you are an amazing mom, and most defnitely an amazing photographer but without a doubt you are also an ordinary, real life mom and person. That is why we follow you and enjoy the way you look at life. Congratulations on this milestone, congratulations to Camo, and hugs to little one….

  • Laura - So so so cool and exciting and FUN! πŸ™‚ Yay for the famous chicken!! *heart*

  • Natalie, the Chickenblogger - Well deserved, in every way… especially for the real bits!
    And Camo looks good!

  • Rachel - Well done you, I read your blog with admiration and want to say, yes, you are a mummy doing all the normal mum things, and that alone is a hard hard job! Thanks for your pearls of wisdom, great photos and lots of humour xxx

  • barbara - Congratulations you fully deserve it!
    I am always in awe of you…. HOw do you do it? With all those kids? I’m barely making it through the day (and especially night) with one one and a half year old and another still in my belly!!?? Seriously, do you have some help around the house?? What is your secret??? (apart from shopping at 10pm?!!)

    Am so happy for you!!

  • Ari - What an awesome thing for you Ashley. And every time you mention God someone in this wide wide world is hearing the TRUTH. I love it and am proud of you. Keep it up!

  • Jacci - I cried! Ha ha. I’m such a SAP! πŸ™‚ but, really… I’m proud of you! The way you posted this… The realness and humility in your heart… The way The Lord is at work in you & through you. I’m thankful to Him for you! And thankful you have been open & available. I love love love seeing you published here!

  • Molly - I definitely agree!!!! Checking your blog is part of my morning routine…it is a great way to start my day. I found your blog a few years back when I was a little lost. We had spent the year before living apart and trying to move across the country to be back home with our family. It had been a hard 9 months apart and as we settled in as a family together…i was a bit lost…as a person, as a wife, as a mother. i guess i had spent those months trying so hard to keep things together that i had just sort fallen apart. your thoughts and stories helped me figure myself out to find myself again especially in my faith, as a wife and especially as a mother. i feel so blessed to be able to read your blog!! you rock!

  • Danielle - Congrats! That is amazing! I love your sons reaction! Kids are great!

  • Kimberlee Jost - Yay you!
    Yay family!
    Yay Camo!
    Congrats, Ashley.

  • Ginna - Your shock and humility is exactly why we love this blog. Your authenticity is what makes us coming back for more. Congrats! It could not be gifted to a better blogger (or a cuter chicken). πŸ™‚

  • Sarah (SophieBugsMom) - Yay! And to say that we knew you when…. LOL!

    You deserve all the accolades on your blog! Once somebody stops by, I am sure they put you on their reader!

    Hope that “win” comes with a hefty reward!! Somebody has to buy Camo’s new celebrity chicken feed!

  • Melissa - Of course you won! You see the beauty in the situation even when life gets chaotic. Your blog is hands-down my favorite blog. πŸ™‚

  • Debbie C - Congratulations Ashley! The honor is well deserved. πŸ˜€

  • Jenna - I think you being a “regular” mom with piles of laundry, lost shin guards, and wet beds are the exact reason you were nominated in the first place, and won in the end. It’s refreshing to know that there are people like you (and the rest of us) out there that are willing to put their lives on the internet for others to read about and enjoy, “Hollywood glamorous” or not. Keep it up!! We LOVE the blog!

  • nicole neesby - YAY! you deserve this girl!! i guess in reality none of us deserve anything, but somehow in God’s graciousness and love for his kids, he pours out blessings like this. you are being faithful to love your babies and to love Jesus and that shows. the world is watching and I know He is being glorified. big hugs to you my friend!! xo

  • Marcy - Well deserved. I mercilessly went through my blogroll. It’s down to three. You’re one of them. πŸ˜‰

  • Katie - So cool! I love that your kids were appropriately wowed by your feature. And by their chicken. πŸ™‚ But really, I do love your blog a lot a lot.

  • Haley - That IS what is so great about you, you are not a “famous Hollywood celebrity” that the world obsesses about you are a real woman, down to earth, doing every days things with grace and being honest about parenting and life and hard days and happy moments, being grateful always, it’s just simply refreshing!

  • Kenna S - Congrats! Your blog is one of the few that I follow regularly. So very happy for you!

  • Allie - “Cammo is FAMOUS!”
    Goodness I love that. Count on the kiddos to alter your perspective. The chicken? She’s famous.

  • the inadvertent farmer - Ashley it is precisely because you are not glamorous that we love you. If we wanted glitz and glamor we would got to ‘People Magazine’ but we come here for the real chaos of motherhood. You give us your own unique and beautiful spin on the lives we all are living. So congrats, you certainly are one of the blogs I cannot live without’! Kim

  • Jillian - Congratulations! You’re my favorite blog on my everyday read list- it’s cool to know other people feel the same way.

  • Kara M - So cool! Wish I had a famous chicken!! πŸ˜€

  • Erin - Congratulations Ashley! A well deserved honor. Three cheers for Camo, too πŸ™‚ (I had to giggle about the famous chicken–kids are so awesome!) God bless you all!

  • Emily O. - I would have to say, this is why you won! You are real and you put the real out there. Sure, people like to look at (seemingly) picture perfect lives on blogs, but even more people enjoy seeing the beauty in REAL life that you celebrate. Thanks for sharing with all of us!

  • tara - yay!!! clearly, we love to read your blog bc you are REAL and at walmart at 10 pm and have on a ball cap just like the rest of us! :]

  • Lynn - Congrats!! Love following your blog!!

  • bonnie - you deserve it. it is because of your ball cap hair and sawdust jeans and piles of laundry and REAL LIFE that we all love your blog so much. it is because of your honesty. it is because of your love for Jesus. thanks for sharing your life with us. you probably hear this all the time, but i wish i knew you in real life πŸ™‚ you are a great teacher/ leader. a teacher of photography, and diy projects, and raising kids who want to make a difference, and living a life that is honoring to your family and to God. It is really inspiring.

  • Kristin S - Ashley, all those things you listed…. that’s why we love your blog! You are real and normal and honest. Thank you.

  • Lauren - You’re a country girl rock star!

  • Jenni Ashcroft - I love the fact that you don’t see it wasn’t even a contest! Lol. Soo deserved!! You inspire me everyday, make me cry pretty much everyday:) and make me a better mom by giving me a different perspective. You also make me feel better about my own baseball cap and saw dust everywhere. Sometimes I feel like very few people get me and it is so comforting to know that someone out there does!:) lol congratulations!:)

  • meg duerksen - you are awesome. πŸ™‚

  • Amy Williams - You rock. And so awesome when unassuming people are given major props. Dance around the living room and enjoy it!

  • Victoria / Justice Pirate - awww famous Camo. . . coolest chicken ever.
    That would be really odd, and I think it is a definitely cool. Congratulations to you and your family and the other winners too! I honestly never read magazines. >.<

  • Moriah - I have read your blog every day for the past 3 years. I love it because you are a real mom, with kids in diapers and laundry piles. That’s what I love. You don’t know me, but I feel like we are friends and I am laugh and cry right along with you. Congrats to you! Go Camo!

  • Priscilla - Congrats!I’ve been reading your blog for sometime now and its the first thing I read in the morning! You have a wonderful family and you’re truly an inspiration… I look forward to my morning reads =)

  • Veronika - Dear Ashley,
    I really love your blog!!! I read it regularly since I have found it … but I have never commented before. Now itΒ΄s time to do it! I want to congratulate! You are so inspiring! Best wishes from The Czech Republic to you and your beautiful family! πŸ™‚

    Have a nice day!
    (sorry for my english πŸ™‚

  • Sara - I never comment on blogs, but I had to today. I read one of your blog posts on a different blog and I couldn’t stop reading… and reading… and reading. I immediately bookmarked your page and I visit everyday. I think what you don’t get is that we read you because your blog is amazing and because, well… you admit that you can’t find your shin guards. We can’t ever find ours either!
    Thank you for writing and for sharing your photos. Keep going!

  • Stoich91 - Haha…a famous chicken! Awesome! πŸ˜€

  • Heidi Jo the Artist - That’s awesome, congratulations! Love your blog too! Your photography is wonderful. πŸ™‚

  • vol25 - So well deserved! You keep it real for us momma’s, and your photography IS always top notch! πŸ™‚

  • Kassondra - I have been a loyal reader for the last like 4 years and I have to say I too can not live with out this blog!

  • Nicole - You won because you make us feel normal too! In the blog world, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by perfect pictures, perfect kids, perfect homes, parties, etc… But you’re honest, and real, and wear ball caps, & go shopping dirty. Like the rest of us! And so we feel like we’re not alone in all of our craziness! Thank you for sharing that so that us “normal” moms have a blog to read that’s safe & reminds us that we’re all just trying to do the best we can!

  • kristin - We’re all so proud of you, Ashley! Don’t change a thing! Well, except your decor… because that’s what you do. πŸ˜‰

  • Nicolle - Very well deserved. I love this blog and feel so connected with your family. Thank you for sharing.

  • emily anderson - that’s great. congratulations

  • Tamara - Congratulations!! What an honor for you. Well deserved!

  • Kiki - Congrats, Ashley! That’s awesome and you totally deserve that win and feature in Parents Magazine. Oh, and congrats for having a famous chicken, too! πŸ™‚

  • Alina K - I love this! Congrats on your achievement- you totally deserve it! & the chicken- well he just got lucky!!

  • susie - That’s exactlly why i like to read your blog, you seem to be a lot like me! baseball hat and jeans, toddlers and late kids! Makes me feel like i am not the only one in these days of raising kids. love the famous chicken!

  • rhonda - You deserve it. And i think your realness is one of the things that makes your blog so Great!

  • Melanie Potter - That is very awesome. Your work at home and the wonderful job of being a mom shows!! Congrats!!!

  • Sunshine - Ashley- Huge congratulations to your whole crew! It is clear the Lord is blessing your family… thank you for being a voice for truth and meaning… praying that some sweet things will come from people wandering over from the Parent’s article! You are planting many seeds….!

  • Reese - Very cool!

  • nancy - those of us who follow your blog aren’t shocked at ALL!
    thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with us!

  • Carrie // cue the confetti - Well deserved!!! What a platform God has given you to share, inspire, and encourage people.

  • Jo - Not surprised! Your blog is my favorite. Congrats to you.

  • Ahsamon - Congratulations, Ashley! You definitely deserve it! I’ve been reading your blog daily since I first found out about it from my friend about a year ago. I love it! Thank you for sharing!

  • Elizabeth Stewart - CONGRATULATIONS! You deserve it!

  • tracy a - Well…I’d say it is THE blog I can’t live without. Yours is the only one I read every day. Love seeing you and Chris, watching your brood grow up (the kids and the chickens), and of course, seeing all your swoon-worthy dΓ©cor. Remember when you lived in Hawaii and I came to your place for the first time? I remember commenting on how great you made that little place look. Not much has changed–except Oklahoma isn’t exactly Hawaii (and the 5 kids, of course)! Love you guys!

  • Kimberly Dial - Congratulations! Well deserved! πŸ™‚

  • Nell - Congratulations! I’m not at all surprised – yours is the blog I read always. I love it –
    thanks for sharing your ideas & thoughts & observations (& photos!) so beautifully. Nell, Melbourne Australia

  • Jenn E. - That is awesome! Congrats Ashley :). Although like everyone, I am not surprised :). Love your blog :).

  • Jenni - As so many others have said, the reasons you have stated…. that make you soo “normal” are the exact reasons you are featured! I love that you are normal and just like many of us, and relatable, but you are so encouraging and amazing also, I hope you never forget that!

  • Natalie - Congrats! We love you and you won bc of all the reasons why you are surprised you won! We like messy mixed with lots of love. And fabric and chickens. πŸ™‚ You are real.

  • Carrie Anne - I saw that and thought, “Awesome!” Congrats and the vote definitely got it right.

  • Rosalind - That is great! famous chicken, he he. Congrats too x

  • Ingela - Congratulations! IΒ΄m a reader from Sweden and I love yor blog for all the reasons you wrote about above πŸ™‚

  • Jennie Frake - Congrats Ashley! You deserve it! THAT’s why we all love you and your blog. because you are totally normal. Also, hurray for Camo! How exciting πŸ™‚

  • Natalie - Congratulations! You deserve the recognition! You are an awesome mom! As a mother of 5 myself I am in awe of all you do! Keep it up!!!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Go Camo Go!!!

  • elma - Congratulations!! I also check your blog every day!!

  • Erin Johnson - You live the gospel! I don’t know you at all, but I’ve been strangely attracted to your blog, your realness, transparency, grace…and the more I follow I am blown away with how familiar you are because we have Christ in common! You live the love of Jesus and people can’t help, but be drawn to it! Praise the Lord, exposure of your blog will bring more fame to His name!

  • Hannah - I never miss your blog, I love it so!

  • Cathy - Congrats, that has to be so exciting to be in print. .. Is Camo asking for royalties? or at least his own copy?

  • Olivia - I saw the title “6 blogs we can’t live without” on my parents magazine and immediately thought of yours. Then I flipped it open to see your beautiful section! I was not at all surprised! Congratulations and thank you, you inspire me every day!

  • jules - Sometime simplicity wrapped up in family normal IS beautiful… enjoy the honor! And toot your horn, or your son will for you!

  • the whyte house - LOL! Looks like you shot Camo’s good side, too. πŸ™‚ Congrats!

  • Holly - We love you for all of those things mentioned because you are just like the rest of us: a real mom! Your faith, perspective, and the way you celebrate every day life are some of the many things that inspire us and make us love you even more! Congratulations!

  • Debbie - Congrats! What an honor – and affirmation as I hope it propels you to keep on sharing your gifts with us! Rock on…. Shine on…

  • Megan - Beyond deserved πŸ™‚ Congrats! I love that your kids get to see you successful doing all of the things you love (being a Mom of course being the best one, I’m sure) πŸ™‚

  • katygirl - you look like your sister in the grocery store pic! and i’m really happy for you, friend. congrats.

  • liz - hi! congratulations on the mention in Parents Magazine. I actually just read my issue and came straight to your blog. Very lovely!

  • Alida - You deserve to be in that magazine! You always have such a positive attitude and you work God into your blog:) It keeps all of your readers looking on the good side of things. (You also take amazing photos!) Thank you so much for posting, it impacts so many people in such a good way:)

  • Brooke - Way to go Ash!!! So proud!!! Love you!!

  • Sierra - Congrats! I love your blog so much! The part about his famous chicken made me smile so big, that is super cute!

  • Staci - Thank you for showing us that you don’t have to be perfect to be extraordinary! You inspire me & give me comfort in knowing that I don’t have to be perfect either. I have a very full life & tend to focus on the imperfections instead of the miracles that come from them. Thank you!!!!

  • Michelle W - Never did I doubt that you’d be on this list. You’re kind of a big deal πŸ˜‰

  • Elisha Wooter - Congratulations!! What a wonderful honour for you Ashley Ann!! Your blog is amazing and I find it incredibly inspiring, real and positive. Thank you for your sharing here, you deserve to be published.

    Much love,

    Be richly blessed


    (love your gorgeous boy with his famous chicken!!)

  • Bee Girl - I am new here and loving everything I see and read…so, of course you won!!! Congratulations!!!

  • Nuria - Congrats! This is so cool, and your truly deserve it!!

  • Tamara - I stop reading blogs which seem somehow to perfect – i cant relate to them because they dont reflect what i think is real life. So your blog is just perfect because you’re honest and yet so inspiring – that makes me come back again and again and again.. Congrats, you deserve it!

  • Katie - I found your blog through Parents and I’m so glad I did. You are truly blessed with a beautiful heart and family. I stayed up way too late the other evening reading about your journey to adoption. Amazing. I will be praying for you and your family.

  • Nori - OMGosh… I love the big grin on your son’s face. Congratulations. I love your heart and all the good you do in your family’s lives and in the world. Thank you for sharing your lives and stories with us.