My friend Rachel posted a while back that she was now offering a Modern Patchwork e-course. I am not a quilter, but I come from generations of talented quilters. When I saw Rachel’s pictures for the class I was immediately drawn to the projects. Rachel has an ability to combine modern with vintage in such a beautiful way. Well, when I saw those first pictures one project stood out….a white quilt with just hints of color in the corners. It just looked like it belonged in my home. I logged into the class and started reading the tutorial on how to make it. It seemed like a project that non-sewer, non-quilter like me could tackle….if only I could find the time.

DenbowModernPatchwork

Around Christmas Rachel told me she had a little something she was sending my way. When the package arrived I think I might have gasped. In a box with a cute polaroid picture of one of her wreaths was THE QUILT!!!! I could not believe she sent it to me.Β  A quilt is a very special gift. It takes time, love and hard work to make one. When I thanked her she said when she was making it she just knew it was going to be for me. I still can’t believe it is in my home. It looks like it was made for my home….a perfect fit.

The whole family has been enjoying it while we stay warm inside with all the snow covering the ground.

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Littlest Brother and his sweet friend.

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My kids don’t always cooperate for pictures. My son does always cuddle with Legos.

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Thank you Rachel for such an amazing gift. Your beautiful quilt is very much loved in my home.

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On a side note, while writing this post and linking to Rachel I noticed she is doing a giveaway – 3 people will be winning access to her Modern Patchwork e-course. The giveaway ends tomorrow (sorry for the late notice). Go here to enter to win (those of you that got sewing machines for Christmas…this is great for starters)

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  • Alba - what a beautiful present!
    the picture of biggest brother is just him! you can see the outside and his noble inside!
    petonets,
    Alba

  • Allison - Love this quilt and love Rachel too!! She is such a sweet soul!!

  • elizabeth c. - i LOVE that quilt!!!! i have her blog page with it bookmarked….i hope to make one someday! she is amazing!

  • laurelbud - Beautiful pictures as ever. I love this quilt, so pretty.

  • amanda torres - I loved seeing your husband sacked out on the couch. If he’s anything like Steven he’s can sleep amidst all the little tornados my kids produce. I wish I had that superhuman ability!

  • stacie - What an amazingly thoughtful gift!

  • Mallory @ R. Simple Life - I love that quilt! Does she instruct anyone how to make it in her online class??? I’m heading over to her page πŸ™‚

    PS Ashley, I love your couch. Is it a daybed? Where did you get that?

  • Dawn - Love the quilt-in fact, I’m wishing I was snuggled up with it right now! πŸ™‚

  • meg duerksen - please send me some rainbow leggings in an adult large….ok….extra large.
    i need to match your baby girl!

    that quilt is really amazing.

    and so is rachel.

    and so are you.

    πŸ™‚

  • Mariah - What a nice friend! And I love the pics of your littlest man with his gal pal. My little boy’s best friends are two pretty little girls. Very sweet!

  • andy - how special
    i love quilts but no one in our family quilts
    we are looking to buy one for my son’s room though

  • Trish - fun

  • Tara - thanks for the tip! just entered the giveaway.

  • Laurie J - what a beautiful gift! haha–does your hubby know you snapped that pic and posted it?! πŸ˜‰

  • Elle - Such a generous gift and sweet quilt! It looks like your family is really enjoying it, too.

  • AshleyAnn - Laurie…he doesn’t read my blog very often…we’ll see how long it takes before he knows I posted it. He’ll probably be proud I am sharing his ability to nap despite 4 kids trapped inside the house with him.

  • Krista Lund - it is a very pretty quilt and would also get much love in this blanket loving house! off to enter the giveaway!

  • the whyte house - I saw it on rachel’s page, too, so when I saw it in your photos I knew where it came from!! πŸ™‚ I always love looking at her blog and the things that she sews together!

  • ashley jensen - I personally love simpler looking quilts over the super busy ones. This one is beatiful and looks so soft and fluffy! I have to tell you I absolutely love love love the round flowery chair in your living room. Boy would it go perfect in my living room and I have the perfect spot for it!

  • Annie - First of all LOVE THAT STINKIN QUILT!
    second: thanks for your sweet comment on my bloggy. πŸ™‚
    Third. I WANT THAT QUILT!
    and all your pillows…..lol
    love the pic of your son with his lego ship…
    πŸ™‚
    your a doll!

  • Danielle - what in the world. the quilt is perfection and the picture of your oldest with it makes me melt a little. and HUGE CONGRATS for the homies! you are brilliant!!

  • Lacy M. - Wow I thought you were talking directly to me when you said those who got a machine for Christmas!!! πŸ˜‰

  • Jenny B. - It really does look like it was made for your home. What a beautiful gift!

  • Gevay - It’s lovely!

  • Lori - how good is that??? you liked that quilt and wa-la! it shows up. amazing!!! love your pillows on your bed…looks like someone does more than I do when it snows…sew! I watched movies and organized. love the quilt. very special.

  • Cassie - I just saw that quilt this morning on their new website and thought about registering for the class JUST to make it! What a sweet, sweet gesture. There’s just nothing like a handmade, snuggly quilt.

  • mandie - Oooh! I SO hope I win a spot! πŸ˜‰

    That quilt really does look perfet in your home, and I just have to say that your littlest of littles just cracks me up in these photos! She is too cute!

  • racheldenbow - Wow, Ashley! THis was extra special to open up and read this morning! I appreciate your kindness and generosity so much and especially the fact that both of our husbands are expert nappers. It’s like a super power!

    You’re the nicest and I’m so happy everyone is enjoying that happy quilt. πŸ˜‰

  • Katie - I just wanted to thank you for the “sparkly” eye tip! I have had 4 kids in under 6 years (youngest is 7 months today). I take a lot of pics but I am not that great at it. I have had a ton more energy lately and have been caring about what the pics look like. I have been experimenting with natural light during the day. I have been taking lots of pics of things around our house that I like and bring me joy so I can remember them years from now. It is kind of therapeutic for me and a way that make my children even dearer to me. Thanks again for the tip for this beginner!!!!!! Love the blog!

  • Jessica P - I was on Rachel’s website just yesterday and noticed that very quilt. I love it. The only thing better than that quilt? A cute little Firecracker snuggled under it. She cracks me up.

  • Kristen Haufschild - Gorgeous!!!! I too am in awe of quilters.

  • Nicole - I knew I saw that quilt somewhere! It’s absolutely lovely!

  • Jeni - I’m guessing this is a case of it’s a small quilting world after all… Here is Film in the Fridge’s Flying Farfalle quilt:
    http://www.filminthefridge.com/2010/03/01/and-i-present-to-you-the-flying-farfalle-quilt/

    I think she has a tutorial on her blog too. Rachel’s version has totally inspired me to make one…I love her larger blocks and the fact that she tied it. How wonderful for it to appear at your house!

  • katie - That quilt is amazing! The gift of time and thought is definitely the best!

  • Betsy - Those photos convey such comfort and coziness and beauty. I almost teared up! Lovely. I’m in the midst of making my first quilt (out of beloved clothes scraps), but my machine is so small that I’m trying to do the quilting by hand. Pretty tedious. Sigh. Anyhow, your pillows are very inspiring, by the way. I want to try to make some pillows out of curtains and other scraps I have. Perhaps I’ll search your blog for pillow-making ideas . . . . Oh — and thanks for the “sparkly eyes” photography tips! πŸ™‚

  • Tracie - Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous quilt. It is so pretty!

  • Amy - Thank you for mentioning that a gifted quilt takes time and love! It really does! I’m a quilter and to make a quilt for someone is special. I sometimes wonder if people know exactly how much goes into it!
    Oh, and it does go perfectly with your home! I love it and your home looks like my style!

  • Erin Leigh - What a gift!!! warm & toasty, cozy, gorgeous…

  • Kristi - Your quilts make me so jealous! You have some of the most beautiful quilts around your home and they make for some beautiful backdrops in your pictures! My grandmother was a quilter and I would love to carry on one of her traditions!

  • Jen Helbert - my goodness what a wonderful quilt! and look at firecracker! that lil’ gals is just great.

  • able mabel - That quilt is adorable! It does match perfectly to your house!

  • Barbara Moses - Ashley, I am Melissa and Elizabeth Watts aunt… they have shared with me your many talents and I have successfully found your blog. What a precious testimony!! wow!! how inspiring you are. You have so much to share.. thank you for taking the time to share with others. A very special testimony and inspiration!! What a delight and will make your blog a part of my day!!! with appreciation and praise, Barbara Moses

  • Krystina - While I love the quilt, I’m more envious of the perfect complexions of all the children in these photos. If only the cold and wind were so nice to me…

  • jennie - the picture of your oldest son is BEAUTIFUL. It makes me tear up inside. LOVE IT

  • Casey - lucky you!! I am in love with that quilt, I really want to make one. I definitely do not have money to get myself that ecourse, so I’m really hoping I win!

  • hearttypat - the one with firecracker in a pink pj, that’s my favourite!

  • racheld - OH MY GOODNESS, where did you get that amazing chair in the first photo!!! (please tell me it’s somewhere where I can purchase on and it’s not a rare find!!!)

  • Trysha - Oh goodness that first photo is so sweet. πŸ™‚

  • Courtney - Hi– I’ve been playing around with the idea of getting a sewing machine for a while. After having merlot for dinner the other night, I ended up ordering one. Afer a few simple projects, I’m out of ideas. I’m definitely signing up for your friend’s e-course. Thank you so much for this post! You are inspirational even when you refer to someone else. πŸ™‚

  • Inspiring a Twin Quilt for Laelia’s bed | visual vocabulary - […] This quilt (above) has lots of prints, but then I think about how I’m very attracted to quilts that justs have solid color blocks. Then I remembered this quilt: via Ashely Ann Photography […]

  • Dog House Plans Discount - Nicely done explanation. I could not have carried out better myself!

HomiesBlog

Well I am not sure how it happened, but this crazy little blog was named The Best Kids Design Blog of 2011 over at Apartment Therapy! Really? Thank you all for your votes and support. It is funny how things happen that we never imagine. I truly enjoy writing this blog and I am surprised weekly by the posts that resonate with you all. Thank you for your comments. Thank you for your encouragement.

Thank you for reading.

There were 9 other finalists in my category…each are full of inspiration. I highly encourage checking them out:

The prize for winning is $50.00. Inspired by Young House Love, instead of spending that $50.00 on one more thing that I would enjoy, but don’t really need….I’m putting it towards something much bigger….because this blog isn’t really just about me…it is bigger. Did you know Chris and I have 5 kids….2 share the same birthday one year apart. They are both boys. One lives with us. The other lives with his parents in Africa. He is our ‘sponsored child’ through Compassion International. His birthday is quickly approaching and a $50.00 gift for his family is one that will last a lifetime. So, thank you for giving my oldest son such a great birthday present!

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  • Cat from Constant in Chaos - Way to go! Can’t wait to check out the other blogs, too. I love discovering cool new blogs! I just stubled upon yours and love it! xo, cat

  • Ashley H. - Yippy skippy!! Mega congrats, Ashley πŸ™‚ I ADORE your blog.

  • Katie - I consider myself to be a moderately creative person, but that creativity is limited to taking someone’s idea and tweaking it to fit my needs. For being a constant inspiration to me, and others too obviously, I thank you. A well deserved win! Congrats Ashley!!

  • Meadowlark - You did a good thing.

    (although I TOLD you firecracker’s hair was a winner!)
    πŸ˜‰
    I’m obsessed aren’t I!!!! πŸ™‚

  • Jenny B. - WOO-HOO!!! I think it’s quite awesome that Meg won last year and now you! You [both] so totally rock! πŸ˜€ It makes my heart happy to see a beautiful sister in Christ shining HIS light for all the world to see! ?

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh, Ashley. Congratulations! Your soul is truly beautiful.

  • Jenny B. - Ignore that question mark at the end of my comment… I was trying to type a heart, and apparently, it didn’t work! 😳

  • amac - Congratulations! What a wonderful way to use the money!!

  • Carrie rowe - Congrats! Well deserved πŸ™‚

  • Jenny Joy - YAY!!! Huge congrats! You’re so awesome. πŸ™‚

  • april's craft nest - congratulations! that is so awesome and well deserved! great way to spend your prize money too!

  • Michelle - congratulations, ashley! that’s awesome! i’m thankful for people who keep God first and make that evident in all they do.

  • Yanet - You give so selflessly. That’s why all the votes! Congrats. And Happy Birthday to ELDEST Brother!!

  • Khali - Congratulations! So well deserved. x

  • Kimberlee J. - Congratulations, Ashely. I love your idea about putting the money towards something for your Compassion child. Yay!

  • anabel - Yay!!! Congratulations! You have a wonderful blog. Your pictures are amazing and inspiring. I enjoy it very very much every day.

  • Ruth - Congratulations Ashley! You definitely deserve it. I read a lot of blogs but there are very few that I manage to make it to every single day & yours is the only one on my bookmark bar. Thanks for being awesome!

  • Stephanie F - Congratulations! It is a well deserved reward! This is my favorite blog.

  • whittakerwoman - I am slightly biased, but those other blogs had nothing on ya! H

  • Caitlin - Oh hey, the 2 I voted for won! πŸ™‚ Congrats. And that’s neat about your eldest.

  • Denise - Congratulations! So well deserved. Love your blog.

  • Melanie - Congratulations! I discovered your lovely blog through this competition – love it!
    Melanie (from Germany)

  • Elle - I discovered you through Ohdeedoh and am enjoying your sweet blog. And, happy birthday to your son! I’m so excited for him and his family.

  • Julie B - Yes Happy Birthday to Eldest (as another post called him) Brother. Another reason I think you deserved to win, your compassion!

  • Reidunn - Congratulations Ashley! It’s so nice to see the prize going to someone deserving it, at spending impressing well.

  • annie - congratulations and keep giving – that’s what it’s all about.

  • JΓΌrgen - Congratulations!
    This encourages me because today I took my new blog:
    http://wunderkammer-shop.blogspot.com/

  • giozi - Congratulations !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Kisses

  • Amnah - Woohoo, congratulations! Love that you’re gifting the money.

  • ruth@gracelaced - Congatulations, Ashley! Way to pass on the blessings…

  • twirlingbetty - HOORAY! That’s wonderful news and you THOROUGHLY deserve it. I am just delighted you won.

  • amy jupin - so well-deserved.
    so thoughtful of you too.
    what an awesome momma you are, ashley!

  • karen brown - you inspire me to be a better mom…your thoughtfulness, creativity & generosity!

    congrats ashley!

  • kickcan & conkers - Congratulations Ashley!

  • Helen + Bill + Mirys from Brazil - Ashley, you SOOOOOOOOO deserved it!!!

    Congrats from Brazil!!!!!!

    You rock!

    Mirys – http://www.diariodos3mosqueteiros.blogspot.com

  • Helen + Bill + Mirys from Brazil - You SOOOOOOOOO deserved it!!!

    Congratulations from Brazil!!!!!!

    You rock!

    Mirys – http://www.diariodos3mosqueteiros.blogspot.com
    And Bill and Helen, of course!

  • peggy - congratulations, well done!
    Nice post as well, thank you for including all finalists and such a nice story what you do with the money!
    Happy week!
    Love from Amsterdam

  • marie - I just found you from over at OhDeeDoH! Congrats, you’ve got a great site!

  • Alix - Oh wow….well first of all thank your for so generously posting everyone’s links! So kind of you. And I love your story of what you are doing with the prize money! How super duper lovely!!!

    Well deserved lady. You are a most happy new discovery for me, thanks to the Homies!
    xoxo

  • Caroline - Congrats! You totally deserve it!

  • Carissa - CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  • Fiona - Congratulations! (You got my vote and I usually don’t bother voting on these things.) What a great thing to do with your prize money.

  • heather - so happy you won. you absolutely are the best kids design blog! hooray!!

“Blizzard Twenty Eleven” that is what the news anchors are calling it. I laugh every time I hear it because it is said with an extra bit of drama and flair. Granted I’ve only seen snow like this in Oklahoma once before (that I remember). I know I can smile when I hear it because I am warm and safe. That isn’t true for so many. It’s hard not to think about that when I am nestled under a quilt with little ones. I’ve been given so much.

On the day of the blizzard I convinced my older two boys to go outside with me. I mean I can’t pass up a chance to document them in an Oklahoma blizzard despite how much I hate being cold.

The snow was blowing like crazy. I made a hole in the bottom of a plastic shopping bag to cover my camera.Β  It protected the camera, but it was so windy that a few times the bag blew in front of the lens. If you look at the bottom left corner of some of these pictures you will see it (white blurry spot).

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I think they lasted 3 minutes MAX. The snow was so deep they got it in their boots and were done. The beach towel is like a mean reminder of where I am not.
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Of course, after that we had hot chocolate. They always want to stir. They always make a mess.
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Lots of work getting in snow gear. 3 minutes of semi-fun. Hot chocolate. Mess from hot chocolate. Sometimes it feels like so much effort and work. Sometimes I can focus on that work and the mess. In those times I miss out on the obvious. We have SO MUCH SNOW. It could be another decade before my kids get to experience this again. So even if it is only 3 minutes and even if there is sticky hot chocolate all over the table….I got to be with my boys. Outside. In the “Blizzard Twenty Eleven”. I’ve been given so much.

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  • Rebecca - Try living like that EVERY. SINGLE. WINTER. DAY.

    We do. And so I bundle ’em up just to hear a giggle or two and then a wail when their demittened hands fall into the snow. I do it, all the while pining for the barefeet days of summer. Actually, the barefeet days of spring, summer AND fall. πŸ˜‰

    Though the snow makes for some awfully great lighting! πŸ™‚

  • amanda torres - I try to the kids outside everyday since this is so rare. The 20+ minutes it takes for me to bundle up solidifies the fact that I do not desire to live up North. However, we do have fun climbing the mountains, hunting for Polar Bears, and sliding back down the mountains.

  • Deb @ PaperTurtle - These photos are just so cute, Ashley. Great idea wrapping your camera to protect it from the snow!

    BTW, I wanted to let you know that my daughter and I were so inspired by a few of your recent posts that we used your ideas for party favors for our Valentine crop that we hosted last weekend. I gave you credit on my blog if you’d like to take a peek. Thanks so much for the inspiration! xo

    Original post with credit to you: http://paperturtle.blogspot.com/2011/01/cropeatcrafttalkcreatelaugh-afternoon.html

    Our favors on the tables the next day (our friends LOVED them!)http://paperturtle.blogspot.com/2011/01/of-all-my-scrapbook-embellishments.html

  • Jack - I feel guilty saying it, but it’s SO much easier to look at these photos of your boys having fun in the snow, than to get the girls all togged up for their 3 minutes of ‘fun’ and to clear up all the puddles of snow and hot chocolate residue! It’s lovely to look at, but I’m glad our snow seems to be gone until next year!

  • ashley jensen - I thought about you while bundling Kiera and I up to go help my husband shovel a little. It took me 20 minutes for just the 2 of us! She loves it and cried when we had to go in after 30 minutes! She is a tough one!

  • Krista Lund - i love your positivity and zest for life πŸ™‚ what a great way to start the morning.

  • Cassie - We got two feet of snow here in Chicago! My husband was one of the hundreds who was stranded on Lake Shore Drive for over 12 hours in the blizzard, so we had a little reminder of how grateful we are to have a warm place to live and plenty of food to eat. We tried to go outside for some pictures, too, but we made it about as long as you did!

  • Fairlight - We are planning to move to OK this year and I can honestly say that I’m kind of afraid of the winter. Being a southern girl the thought of negative windchills terrify me. How does a person even begin to keep warm in that?? πŸ™‚ Enjoy your cozy indoor days! Hot chocolate is always a good remedy.

  • Jen Helbert - i love the hype that the news makes. we didn’t have much snow, but we had a skating rink all over our city!

  • Seamingly Sarah - I live in upstate ny and grew up in vt, so I have a bit of a different perspective. I love to take my daughter outside at least once everyday (in fact it’s a requirement or I go stir crazy!). So maybe the snowpants, boots, coat, hat and mittens are just a regular thing for me and I don’t notice how long it takes. But nothing beats the great time she has outside. Sure she screams and cries sometimes, but then hollers in glee as she goes down a hill on her daddy’s back (again daddy, faster daddy)…well that makes it worth it.

  • mandi@herbanhomestead - MIne are out with daddy right now. I declared last night that my job today was to stay in and make warm things to eat. Banana bread in the oven, with cookies added next, a loaf of homemade bread, and some chili on the stove. Sounds like a good day to me!

    Messes…know what I love about messes? They can be cleaned. I remember as a child, I was always so scared to make a mess because of the inevitable sigh from my parents. When I was a teenager, I can remember it clearly, one day I was making something and trying so hard not to make a mess. And I thought…wait, if I make a mess, I’ll just clean it up. That allowed me so much freedom! This is my mantra for my kids too.

    Last thought- blizzard 2011. That makes me think of hurricane season down here in southeast Texas. Where they tell you to “hunker down”. Hahaha!!! We love that phrase!

    Stay warm!

  • Tracie - Oh Ashley, it is a ton of work, but they will remember it forever. We did the same thing to my mom when we were little and my kids do it to me now. I grumble and complain, but they love it and I love the coming back in and sitting in front of the fire with hot chocolate.

  • giozi - Your little boys are so handsome. Here in Madrid is really rare see snow, but last winter snowed just a bit. My family haven’t special clothes.

    How you do the white balance for these pictures? what lens did you use?

    Yesterday I was tryng your tip for bright eyes, about windows and light. I did this pictures if you let me share it. http://www.flickr.com/photos/giozi/5415569100/

  • Stephanie F - I watched the news last night for comedic entertainment. I find this storm more frustrating because I’m from MI and up there the roads would all be clear by now. It took me 3 days just to get out of my neighborhood. I’m less than a 1/4 mile from the main road. However our kids have been enjoying the snow. My 3 year old especially. Thankfully my mom has provided all the appropriate snow gear incase we come to visit in the winter. I got out yesterday and am feeling better. Less on the verge of crazy. I don’t do well being shut in.

  • Tonia - I love snow pictures! And I love the plastic bag over the camera idea! Perfect! I emailed you a link to a hilarious video of a meteorologist who freaked out over the storm… so funny! πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

  • Mariah - Funny! We have pretty similar blog posts. again. Isn’t surprising, I guess! Stay warm!

  • Lori - any types in taking pictures in the snow – i always have a hard time. i shot in av πŸ™‚

  • Brooke Leigh @ First Avenue - We haven’t seen a snowfall up north here in a few days, however, my backyard looks pretty similar to yours (except it’s untraveled since my son is so short it would bury him in one step!) I love how happy your kids look, despite how freezing they probably were. I actually never thought of using a bag over the camera – I’m huge into carrying around my mini towel to do the trick.

    I hope you & your family stay warm this weekend!

  • Pleasant Vonnoh - This is a such a great reminder. I’m in TN…we have had one snow this year (which was huge for us) and we are supposed to get a biggie this month. I dread it! Five kids…no real snow gear…MESSSSSS! But they do love it! Making memories, I need to remember that!

  • colleen - I live in Alabama so all we got was sleet, early school dismisal and late school start today. No snow fun.:( Have thought about those without heat often and prayed and thanked our sweet Lord for graciously granting our family a warm house with lots of blankets. Thanks for sharing your snow fun!

  • Danielle - I had my boys go also! Wish I had done the plastic bag on the camera! I used an umbrella…pretty sure my neighbors are scared of me now.

  • nancy boothe - This comment is coming from a granny…I think that in 30 years you will look at those pictures and barely remember all the hassle, and you will be so very, very glad you have this reminder of the spilled chocolate and the snow in the boots on a wet beach towel. So many things fade from memory, but these details will bring it all back and it will be close to you again. I don’t want those days back again, but what I’d give to have a few more details of when my three were little. To look at a photo and say, “Oh, my, I remember that jacket.”

    You indeed have been given much. And you indeed give so much back, every day to your family and everyone you come in contact with. You bless the world.

    Have a warm day today!

  • Jane - This is our winter…all winter, every year. Well, okay…some years it’s not so bad, but wrestling kids into snowsuits is a reality from November to April here. Ugh…I’m with you. Summer is so much better!

  • Jessamy - You are so lucky to experience seasons…not an option living in Southern California! Growing up, we would do things like this when visiting my Grandma’s house in Oregon and she would always say we were “Making Memories”. Looks like you did some wonderful memory making yesterday. Beautiful pictures, and thank you for sparking my own beautiful memories.

  • Natalie - I’m sorta surprised they had all that gear!

  • Martha - Your camera takes amazing pictures! Love all the shots. I’ve really enjoyed this “great blizzard” too. It’s rare to get this much snow in the South. πŸ™‚

  • Laurie J - oh, ashley I can SOOOO relate! yesterday my oldest and youngest son wanted to play outside. the oldest dressed himself and went out–by the time I dressed the younger one, the oldest was DONE and was so cold he refused to go back out. I took a plastic bin, filled it with snow and let my 3 yr old play with it on our back porch….I wasn’t about to freeze with him!

  • Bethany - i love how hot chocolate just adds a bit of happy to the day πŸ™‚

  • Katie - We’ve got lots of snow here, too. We don’t have any kids yet… but we’re the ones out playing in the snow, anyway πŸ™‚ Thanks for the photos… looks like the boys had fun!

  • sarah j - i love how intentional you are about stopping to enjoy being in the moment. we chant “live in the present” but it can be so hard to do! i know that doesn’t mean you do this perfectly every time, but just having a constant reminder to look at life from this perspective–looking at the seemingly mundane as a GIFT–is something i am very thankful for, ashley.

  • chantelle - ha so fun! I am glad you embraced the snow-a super example of how cool of a Mom you are :)I live the snowsuit thing EVERYDAY from October until April…(we had -40 weather-yup-you freeze exposed skin in under a minute this week. That is really fun with unloading the costco cart uggg, Saskatchewan…I am a snow locked sunlovin gal!
    Also loved the stylish camera bag! Look out etsy!

  • Anya - I live in a town that doesn’t get a lot of snow. In 1996 we had our big blizzard that left people “stuck” at home for days. A funny side effect of it was that we had a little baby boom that following September. It was really hard to keep up with the demand for day care, classes, etc for all kids born in ’96.

    See if you notice it happen where you are too πŸ™‚

  • the whyte house - lol. i did the bag thing last year and my photos were the same..but with a tan bag. haha. least the white blends in a little better. πŸ™‚

  • Emily B - First, I have to giggle because being from ND, we get blizzards like it’s our job. Today it was 35 degrees outside and my class asked if they could go outside without coats! Just Monday it was -37 so 35 seemed like a heat wave!

    Second, I JUST had a hot chocolate moment today. I made it for my class and three kids ended up spilling it. It makes a person not want to do anything fun, but then I take a breath and remind myself that my class is almost done with Elementary school (5th grade) and what if they never get to make hot chocolate in a class again?! It really keeps a person going to think like that.

    Thanks for all the inspiration!

  • Sarah at cocoBlog - Congrats about the Homies! I discovered you that way. You have a great blog and an adorable family!

  • Lisa - Love it!! I’ve been trying to get out with my girls, but they are only 2 & 3. It’s been in the single digits here in Central IL so I’ve been waiting for it to warm up. Snow dressing is a huge job, but they love the snow! Makes for some great memories!

  • selena@howaboutcookie - Hi there, I’m stopping in by way of ohdeedoh. Love your blog and will definitely visit often! We are still reeling from the snow here in Chicago, but I love the serenity and simplicity it brought.

  • Jaana - Congratulations on the Homies!

  • wonderland - Wonderful photo!!
    Have a nice day!

  • cheryl - We had a TON of snow, too!! (we live in Chicago) I was surprised at the little amount of time my kids actually played in all that snow . . . I wanted to stay out all day and play!
    I love your blog. πŸ™‚
    cheryl

  • Katie - I kinda have to laugh…we live in MN! I bring the kids to preschool and kindergarten in -10 degree mornings sometimes! But we are prepared for it and expect it unlike those who live more in the south! Blessings!

  • e l l a - Ashley! Do you know already that you’ve WON the HOMIES?!!!!!
    CONGRATULATIONS. You are AWESOME. You deserve it πŸ˜‰

  • Jenny - I used to use the plastic bag method to protect my camera, but then I found an old wind breaker at a thrift store, cut off the sleeve, and stuck my camera through it. The elastic at the wrist of the sleeve holds tight to the lens, so no more blowing around. I usually use a filter and hood to keep the glass spot free, too. I’ve used it in rain, snow, and at the beach. Works like a charm.

  • Kristen Duke Photography - that is a massive amount of snow! i just posted about our measly 1 inch, but that was pretty exciting down here in Texas!