12 years

M for Married.

12 years. This weekend we celebrated 12 years of marriage. We both have to think hard to remember how many years we’ve been married. I like that. He’s my best friend. He knows me better than anyone else – all my faults, all quirks, all my dreams. He is compassionate, gracious, and the man I dream about. And I am thankful to spend my days by his side. I hope and pray I get the gift of being by his side for many, many decades.

We had dinner over the weekend at my parent’s house to celebrate our anniversary and my grandpa’s birthday. My dad grilled enough chicken and ribs to feed an army. My army. Wahoo. While the meat was cooking, I impulsively decided to show my oldest daughter my wedding dress. It was just hanging in my old closet and had never been cleaned, so getting it out wasn’t a big deal. That led to her trying it on, which led to my sister getting hers out for her oldest daughter. The inside lighting was terrible, so we carried the girls outside and plopped them in the grass. Lesley’s dress was all tulle. Mine was a simple A-line. The tulle made the pictures extra fun.

Cutie little girls.

I wish I had my dslr with me when we did these, but the iPhone worked. We’ll just have to take them again with my ‘good camera’! Whenever FireCracker looks at these she says, “Mommy, that is when I got married!” Needless to say, she loved putting on my dress.

This weekend I also decided to wrap a metal bed frame in fabric. I got the frame off Craigslist. It was black. Then I spray painted it yellow. Then I decided it needed something more, so I wrapped it in fabric. Chris just shook his head once he saw me wrapping it in fabric after I spent a day painting it yellow. I’ll post more on it later this week, I need to take some pictures of it not with my phone.

You can see it ‘in progress’ here…fabric on some of it and yellow on other parts. And a little boy who has replaced carrying Lightning McQueen for a football. It’s true – they grow fast.

Wrapping was a bit of a task. I took lots of breaks and the girls thought it was fun to wrap me in fabric. They’d cover my eyes and then jump on the bed because I couldn’t see them. They make me laugh. Here is a glimpse of the bed…it is upstairs in our ‘studio/homeschoolroom/craftroom/guestroom’.

We start school today. Trying a bunch of new stuff and I am a bit overwhelmed with it. If you see me today, feel free to hand me an iced coffee or sweet tea. I’ll totally take it. Or I might go lay on the studio floor and let the girls cover me in fabric while I avoid reality. Or not. Off to school…

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  • Jenny L. - It was my anniversary weekend too – 34 years. I have been following your blog for a long time now and I have always thought that Chris is very special. He seems like such a decent human being. I have also loved watching little one respond to him.

  • Sarah Wolfe - Us too! We’re starting school today. I’m a little in denial myself. Congrats on 12 years!

  • Karen Davis - If you come down here to OKC, I’ll treat you to a yummy coffee!!!

  • Meagan - Ahhhhh! im starting my very first day of homeschool today and I am terrified!!

  • Lyn - Congrats on 12 years!. 20 days to go for us. I had to be reminded how long we have been married. Hope this year another blessing.

  • amber - Congrats on 12 years:)! That’s so, so great. The bed looks awesome…I saw it on instagram & showed my husband. I think he saw my wheels turning;). And homeschooling…have fun! Homeschool moms are rockstars in my book.

  • Izzy - Fun post… I just saw your wedding picture post a while ago actually. I love photo of the girls in your dresses! And when they tried to wrap you in fabric, that just makes me laugh!

  • angie - Happy anniversary! Also, that bed.. love! All that color amongst a sea of white…. just so so beautiful!

  • Crystal Prychidko - Ahhh first day of school!! Our second year of homeschool officially starts next Monday, but today starts review! Have fun with it!! I love it and I’m excited for this year!! @Meagan don’t be nervous!!! Or terrified!!! Homeschooling is AWESOME!!!! Good luck ladies!!! I look forward to seeing your homeschooling adventures Ashley!!!!

  • Becky Pitcher - I know this probably seems a strange place to post this, but your post was just so sweet- especially the line about wanting to spend more decades with your husband- but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka, the Mormons) teach that marriages can last forever- and that if you’re married in the right place and with the right authority, you and your family can be together for eternity, even little girls who didn’t come from your own womb but are yours nonetheless. 😉
    It’s the best and most beautiful doctrine of the atonement of Christ, in my opinion. He didnt just die so that we can live again, but that we can live again with our families. Look it up. I think you’ll like it.

  • Roganne - Congratulations on 12 years of marriage! That is awesome!!! Love the fabric covered bed, so cool :). My daughter is about to get her big girl bed and we are going with some washi tape stripes since I loved your last one so much. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Amy @Fig Milkshakes - It’s a lovely post, and I very much congratulate you on being married 12 years!!!! No small feat.


    Hm…maybe I missed a post…checking….now.

  • Kimberly Locke - We’re doing school too, and re-read two of my favorite picture books, “Stick” and “Violet the Pilot” by Steve Breen. Hit the library for some inspiration!

  • Shelly Cunningham - Thank you. Thank you for saying that you start school today and are overwhelmed by that thought! I am starting (first timer) with my twins today, and I am a little bit freaking out!!! Glad to know I’m not alone.
    Also, your sister and I have the same wedding dress! Fun!
    Happy Anniversary. You two have created a beautiful family!

  • Nichole Young - You should hold onto to those photos to display at Firecracker and/or her cousin’s weddings (or bridal showers!) they will love them 🙂 Your phone took great pics!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Have a GREAT first day of school!

  • cailan - Please, please share some of what you’re doing school-wise this year! We started today as well and I have similar aged children – would love some ideas!

  • Debbie C - Ashley, congrats on 12 years of marriage! I can’t believe 2 years have gone by since you showed us those gorgeous 10-year anniversary pics you took. Also, love the bedframe.

  • kimberly oyler - yay homeschooling!

  • Kristin S - Your dresses look awfully similar. I love that!

    Fun post and happy anniversary!

  • Amy K. - Totally copying you for my guest room bed!! I might even paint it yellow before I wrap it up! Also, I had a dream the other night that we met… I was all, “Hey, Ashley,” on the outside, but even in my dream I was internally hyperventilating to be meeting you. =)

  • Shan - Enjoy homeschooling. I schooled my girls at home for 5 yrs and LOVED every minute of it.

  • sherri ernst - That bed is FABULOUS!!!!!!! PURE BRILLIANCE!! I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of those in this land of blogging!

  • Eva - Happy Anniversary!!! 12 years? Did your parents really let you marry when you were 16? 😉

    Yours and Leslie’s dresses remind me of mine and my sisters- yours is like my sisters, and mine is like Leslie’s with the tulle. Too funny.

    I hope and pray your school year goes well. We start early in Florida- been at it for a month now. We have a lot of new hurdles to jump over this year, as we have added more “non-participatory” students to the “class” and added lots more P.E. I hope you get your groove on soon. Have a great year!

  • stacey - good luck girl! we’ve been going for a month now {homeschool that is, ha!} and i still feel as if i can’t catch my breath. but you’re super woman, i think. you’ll post every day and craft like crazy and homeschool your kids and be like, “what? that’s normal right?” and we’ll be all like, “no. no, it’s not.” …and i mean all that in the best way. you rock. 🙂 have fun tomorrow! xo

  • ashley - happy anniversary! you guys are truly an inspiration!

  • Kiley - I love the fabric wrap! It looks amazing and fun!

    Hope you had a fabulous first day!!!

    Here’s hoping a new email address might allow me to comment… 🙂

  • kiley - oh my gosh! did my comment really just show up and stick?!?!?!

    i didn’t put the link to my blog or my usual email…hmmm…

    will this comment show up???!!! it’ll be so fun to comment again if it does work!!! 🙂

  • emily hope - congrats on 12 years! we’re at 13, and I always thank the Lord that our wedding was in the year 2000 … it helps forgetful me to instantly know how long I’ve been married 😉 also, we started our homeschool year yesterday … our 8th year. I’m always still nervous. and in need of coffee. but the kids said it was “the best day ever” so that made it pretty much worth it.

  • Katie J - Love the bed!

  • Charity G. - Congratulations on 12 years! That is so many types of wonderful. The pictures of the girls in your dresses are adorable. I don’t have any girls to do photos like that but it is such a fun idea. Knowing I’m not the only one who’s wedding dress is simply hanging in their closet at their parent’s house makes me feel better.

  • tasha roe - you two are the cutest! happy anniversary!
    and the girls playing in the dresses….so precious!

  • NanaBeast - Bless you for homeschooling your children.

    I was not able to so with my three and I regret that. However, both my grandsons were homeschooled until they reached 6th grade. My daughter finished homeschooling her two boys this spring. She planned, taught (and sometimes fought,) went on field trips, performed experiments, read out loud, drove to and from weekly music and fencing lessons, directed, corrected, tested, consoled, encouraged, screamed and laughed – the whole homeschool experience – for eight straight years. And boy, does it make a HUGE difference in the lives of those boys! She just sent the youngest off to his first day of sixth grade at public school yesterday. It has been an incredible commitment. Especially considering other obstacles I won’t enumerate here.

    I want to encourage you. Be real with you. And encourage you again – both you and Chris. I am so happy you have Christ and his strength (you need it!) to see you all through this journey together! Blessing on the schooling year for you all.

  • Chantel - Congratulations on 12 years!!
    Also, I just love those wedding dress shots -I never even got my wedding dress cleaned so I should really pull it out of the bag and put it on my daughter for a few photos!

  • Jacci - Happy Anniversary, again! <3

    8 years into this homeschooling gig, I still evade responsibility some days. Those are great museum or nature days! 😉