I really love this picture of him. He’s not looking at me. He’s not smiling. He’s not moving. He’s just sitting…staring off…serious…handsome.
1.12.11-01It reflects a side of him that is sometimes hard to capture with my camera. He’s my oldest. Not one day have I ever missed the days when he was a baby. Not for one day do I wish I could go back and relive that time. Not because he was a rough baby. He wasn’t. I just think that if you really live in the present, you don’t miss it when it becomes the past in regards to loved ones that are still with you. I love seeing who he is becoming. I remember and cherish the days he used to lay swaddled in my arms and fall asleep. As fond as those memories are…I don’t want to go back in time. I want today with him. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Today.

I was almost so distracted by his younger siblings that I nearly missed what he said as he slipped something in my pocket on the school playground.Β  “Will you hold this? I got it from the Treasure Box today.” And he ran off to play. I stuck my hand in my pocket to pull out a little cardboard box with funny little snowmen on it.

I knew the minute I saw it that the puzzle was not for him, but for his youngest brother. He had earned a reward at school and instead of using it on himself he picked out a little puzzle for his brother. I asked him about it and he responded, “I knew he liked it, so I got it for him.”

Simple as that.

His little brother did like it. It was a thoughtful and generous gift.

“I knew he’d like it, so I got it for him.”

He is a normal 6 year old who can be selfish and fights with his brothers. I often wonder if he is getting anything I am trying to teach him. I’m grateful for a little Treasure Box puzzle that reminded me that he is listening when I don’t realize. He is watching. He is learning. He is getting it. Somewhere along the way my oldest has learned generosity and thinking of others before himself…and if I wasn’t paying attention I would have missed noticing.

“I knew he’d like it, so I got it for him.” Simple as that.

Makes me wonder what do I know that someone in my life would like…and what is keeping me from doing it or giving it?

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  • andy - that is so sweet
    thanks for sharing your son’s heart

  • jessica h - πŸ™‚ such a great reminder to live in the moment, especially with my kiddos. I will be sure to do that today!! thanks.

  • sarah - I read your post and because of the beautiful gesture of your son’s, today I will give something to someone just because I thought they would like it. What a sweet brother! I love the lessons we learn from children.

  • Lindsay - So Sweet. What a great big brother!

  • Erin Lee - Ahh!! I love this entry : ) What a testimony to the joy of giving and the patience of an amazing mama to notice <3. I love how the simplicity of children releases powerful revelation!! And Littlest brother is so smart when I was his age I ate puzzle pieces not solved them! Great post!!

  • amanda torres - The heart of a kid is so amazing. When I hear stories like this it makes me think of God’s love for us. Thanks for sharing!

  • Danielle - seriously. the sweetest thing.

  • Sarah Frost - such a sweet, sweet thing….out of the mouths of babes

  • Ana - This post got me to tears…not tears of sadness but tears of joy…educate a child is a very complex task and as they do not come with instructions for us to follow, we got to always use our intuition and we can only hope that in the end everything will work out … small demonstrations like this are the proof that you are in the right way and doing an excelent job… Congratulations.
    Love your post….Love your blog…

  • dawn - raising boys is an extra challenge since you are raising future husbands and fathers.

    he is well on his way.

  • Diana - Photos, feeling, beautiful words …

  • Fee - This lightened up my day :)!

  • Sadie - Precious. Love when your children think of others. Makes you feel like you are doing something right. Well done Ashley! Your family is precious! I really appreciate your words when it comes to living in today!

    (Oh and we have that same puzzle, and I thought it was a pain to put together! Maybe it’s just me, but some pieces looked like they went together, but they didn’t! HAHA!)

  • Allison - I got chills and tears in my eyes as I read this post! I pray my boys grow up like this too….always thinking, loving, and caring for others!!!!

  • danielle - Oh goodness, now I am crying again from reading one of your posts. Our second child did this in SK. They had a reading sheet and once filled they were able to choose a prize. Well he came home with an orange plastic necklace for his little sister. It hit me then, like hit you recently that yes, they do listen to our teachings and follow our examples… I melted that day with all the love I felt. πŸ™‚ Wonderful wonderful story and images… thank-you for sharing such a special moment.

  • Ranee - one of my favorite posts…thanks!

  • annie - I think you nailed it – enjoying the present. I love my kids, but I love who they are becoming. I’ve cherished the milestones – but I wouldn’t go back. I love now. I love the person my almost nine year old is becoming. I love his heart and his compassion. He and his 6 year old brother and almost four year old sister are all so different in so many wonderful ways. I think it’s healthy to live in the now – I’ve never been one to wish I could go back to college or high school or my twenties or whatever. I appreciate the time and move on. Kudos to living in your moment!

  • Debbie - I love the picture of Biggest Brother. I think I recognize the spot for the photo. Is it Behind the coffee shop near the shore of Kialua Beach? I was there this past June to visit my nephew, we spent alot of time there. I loved the Birds at the Coffee Shop. Small World!

  • Debbie - Was the shot of biggest brother taken at the Kialua Coffee shop?

  • Debbie - Sorry for the double post. I thought my computer was acting up, I got an error message after the first one. Have a great week, I am wishing I was at Kialua Beach right now. I have been snow bound in NC for 3 days now. Starting to get Cabin Fever!

  • lindsey - Ashley – I love your blog! And this is the sweetest post. I feel the same way about my 14 month old. People are always saying “she’s so big! don’t you wish she was tiny again?” and I tell people no, because I really love knowing her right now.

  • Andrea - I couldn’t hold back the tears. I think recording this story and your amazing photos will always be a treasure.

  • Kristin - Thanks for sharing. I think all of your giving to others is making a profound effect on your children to be always mindful of those around them – so nice to see siblings love each other like this.

  • ashley jensen - Dang I love moments like that. Helps me not doubt myself in parenting on those not so great days.

  • Lori - seriously , made me cry. thanks for a glimpse of wisdom, insight and a big dose of live in the present.

  • Jen Helbert - this was truly beautiful, ashley. well done.

  • Amanda - perfect. πŸ™‚

  • Tess S - incredible

  • Caroline - awwwrrr. that makes my heart melt. he’s such a sweet boy!
    His siblings are so fortunate to have him as their biggest brother! πŸ™‚

  • LeAnne - What a sweetheart! I’ve got a smile and tears at the same time. It really gets me when the little ones do something like that. There are no other intentions behind the giving, just simply to make someone else happy. Others should take note. If a six year old gets it, why don’t most adults? Thanks for sharing that moment with us!

  • anne c - this made me tear up….so sweet. you are doing a great job ashley…and thanks for sharing this!

  • Nori-R - Truly beautiful and moving. Brings tears to my eyes and must make you very proud. What fine men you’re sculpting.

  • amber - Thanks for sharing posts like this. It’s so nice to come here & be reminded of real matters. I love what you said about not wanting to go back with him. That you just want to live in the now. I’ve been working on that…it’s good to be reminded:).

  • emily anderson - we have some good kids.


  • giozi - I Think that this is one of your most beautiful post. It was really tender.
    I miss the past. I would like to have my chubby as baby again, because the first month when I have my boy was hard to her, and I feel guilty.
    Then you said, your boy is learning about you tell him.
    My chubby only fight with her little brother πŸ™
    I told you this before and I tell you again. You have a BEAUTIFUL FAMILIY.
    God bless you Ahsley. πŸ™‚

  • giozi - Me again. I forgot. I love the picture where you little boy has the puzzle over his nose πŸ™‚

  • Noel & Ben - Thanks for sharing, Ashley. He is a very sweet boy. Very often, we concern how much our children have learnt intellectually. However, most important of all is what kind of person he will be. I hope my son Caleb will be kind and loving too.

  • gina - Beautiful.

  • Krista Lund - love this post. reminds me that i need to pay closer attention and jot it down.

  • Melanie - Beautiful…tears coming from my eyes. Love the point about ” I just think that if you really live in the present, you don’t miss it when it becomes the past in regards to loved ones that are still with you.” Cherishing the time with my 3 and 8 year old is so important!!

  • Gevay - So beautiful. Those are the moments to remember in the not so wonderful moments!

  • ria - Sweet. I love it when my girls think of each other, it warms my heart. It makes me feel like I have accomplished SOMETHING. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hannah Bunker - That is absolutely precious.

  • Justine - what a sweet post, it got me emotional and i don’t have have kids!

  • Heather - what a wonderful big brother! love this post and his generous heart.

  • Shelley - This is my favorite post yet!

  • Liene - Wow, beautiful!

  • CharlaL - Love,Love, Love this!

  • caro - i’m crying, i hope my oldest boy be like your oldest.
    Thanks for sharing

  • Brooke - oh wow. i teared up on that one. what a sweet, sweet gesture from one brother to another.

  • Natalie - What a great heart on that kid’s sleeve! Thanks for sharing this post…worried about how my eldest is going to transition to being the oldest of 3…wondering if I’ll have enough love to go around because I already feel spread pretty thin. I appreciate your mothering/perspective!

  • Cassie - Precious. Simply precious. Makes me want to give my kiddos more siblings to love on. xx

  • kristi - LOVE this! That is what this life is all about. Great job, mom! Keep up the good work!

  • Denise - I don’t know him, but I want to! What a special young man. I hope you continue to recognize the simple things!

  • Heather - i want to be like him. simple as that. πŸ™‚

  • Moriah - Ok, this definitely hit me this morning (as I sit here crying). Yes, they are listening and learning, a great reminder to listen for the little details. Thank you

  • Rebecca - Sounds like you’re doing really great work bring up your kids. Your son will be quite the gentleman some day. I know you are very proud.

  • Alice H - I cried. What a sweet brother. I love seeing tender moments between my 3 kids that make me realize that I am doing something right. And that no matter how much they fight, they will always have each other.
    Love the picture of him sitting and focused on his thoughts.

  • Cherish Stockdale - That is so awesome! So nice to see little reminders that we are doing good as mothers! Love this!

  • Heidi Stukenberg - LOVE this post! I have followed you for years and you always hit me where it hurts (in a good way!). Sometimes it’s easy to live in the past with my girls instead of pouncing on today’s opportunities. I needed this today!

  • Joyce - Your children are so beautiful. Mine are grown, I want my babies back. Sigh.

  • Tina Smith - Thank you for making me cry :o) Simply beautiful…..

  • Melissa Perea - Beautiful post. Brought me to tears. Your life is utterly sweet.

  • Carrie Rosalind - Aww…so, so sweet. What a good older brother!

  • Heather - aww that is just so sweet.. it kinda made me a little teary eyed. what a great big brother!

  • Brittaney - This made my heart smile.

  • Courtney - totally made me cry…wow…
    oh, this parenting thing. it’s HARD on our hearts!

  • Dacia - Ok I’m all choked up. Drugged and in pain from wisdom teeth extraction… and now sniffling. But because this post was so sweet, like so many others of yours! Thank you for sharing.

  • Kirra Sue - what a sweet, sweet story. loved it. thanks for the challenge & encouragement.

  • Abigail - GREAT post…great reminder! I’ve been struggling with loving this time so much and wondering how the days ahead could ever be better, you gave me some super perspective today! Thanks!

  • Ang - Ah! I am sitting here with tears in my eyes after reading this! So needed this today. We are in the throws of potty training and I’m feeling worn out, exhausted, and disheartened.(The potty training is not going badly, I’m just in a funk.) Anyway, thanks for sharing. Loved this!

  • Krystina - Thank you for this post. It is officially one of my favorites. This was such a pure and simple moment.

  • Elisabeth - Thanks for sharing this sweet story. We’re iced in here in Atlanta now, and my boys are both climbing the walls and constantly at each other due to their cabin fever. This post was a good reminder to look for the little ways that they are loving each other, rather than blowing my top!

  • Jennifer - you make me want to cry. so sweet. thanks for sharing.

  • Megan - Brought tears to my eyes! Absolutley precious. And how I appreciate your insight on living in the present! Thanks for a beautiful post.

  • Shannon - That is so sweet, and I love how you live in the moment.

    My oldest is 8 and I often wonder about him too, but he thinks about his brother and sister all the time. They all do, not so much baby girl but she’s still little yet. I loved when they did Santa’s workshop at school because even though I wrote down that they had to get their siblings something, the boys took the time to really pick out a present that they knew the kids would like. Sometimes I don’t even do that, and I feel bad. Sometimes if it’s too noisy/messy/big/ugly I don’t get it and choose something they would still like, but that I like also. I need to stop that and just let them be kids. Although I might wait until one of them actually starts to help me clean up after them all!

  • Kim - I.LOVE.THIS.

    so much, so true… as a mom whose oldest is in her first year of college, a whole new dimension, but peel the outline from your story and lay it on mine, and it fits as well. Enjoy each of these moments and look forward to the ones ahead! Sooner than you know, you will be admiring a piece of art you helped God in making, priceless…

  • Jenny B. - MAN! I am all choked up now.

  • Leanne - what a sweetheart..

  • Katie - so sweet Ashley – love this post!

  • Georgia - your joy will continue…it is so wonderful to see your children (child in my case) grow up and turn into what God created them to be…sounds like he is well on his way

  • Maria - beautiful.

  • twirling betty - This moved me to tears. One of the things I treasure most is the relationship that is developing between my two little girls – a close and thoughtful bond of a kind I never had with my sibling. Like all kids they fight and act selfishly (unlike their totally perfect in every way mother, ahem) but more often than not they’re loyal supporters of the other. And your little fellow’s thoughtfulness towards his brother is heart-achingly sweet and kind. Pass me the tissues please!

  • Brooke Leigh - holy crap. this post is touching, seriously. I hope I’m as good at teaching my kids the values that you have successfully taught yours.

  • Denise - Thank you for sharing.

  • Carissa Miller - I cried not once, but twice. Sigh. I needed to hear that about living in the present. I am crying daily right now because little momma starts pre-K next year. I need to live in the present and not wish for the past.

  • jessica b - So cool. Wish you had a “Love it” button… simple as that πŸ˜‰ tee hee. Again, such a touching example of the kind of childlike love I wish to be reminded of more often. Thanks πŸ™‚

  • katherine - For the first 3 months of my eldest daughter’s life I listened as many people said to me “make sure you don’t miss a thing…they grow up so fast”. I started to really worry that I couldn’t remember every little moment. Until I decided that I liked the stage she was at. And I liked the next stage she fell into. And I began to look forward to seeing her grow and develop in stature and in character. I didn’t miss the past because I was enjoying each day and anticipating the years to come. It’s a great, fun way to live! Well done to you for smiling at the future and to your son for making the future a little sweeter with his kindness!

  • Just what I needed, but not what I deserved. |Just Us - […] then I read this. I realized how there are a lot of times that I’m not listening to the good stuff. The loud […]

  • nori - i don’t think i’m pms-ing, but i totally cried when i read this.

    ashley, i love how you capture the most incredible moments with your children.

    there is so much beauty in every day… thank you for seeing it, reminding us of it, and writing and illustrating it in your uniquely beautiful way!

  • Amber - What a beautiful post! I feel like you wrote this specifically for me since I’m having a hard time with my youngest growing older so quickly. Thanks for the reminder about living for today.

  • libby - this post makes my heart very happy. what precious kids you have. you’re doing a great job momma!

  • Deborah - What a very sweet post. Your little guys are indeed handsome, and what precious little hearts. thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

  • Lacy M. - I just love, love your blog. I love looking at your pictures especially. I’m wondering if you use any kind of photoshop on your pictures before you post them??

  • trauma « Smalltown Lovin - […] this really moved me today! […]

  • ~abi~ - just beautiful! what a sweet guy. πŸ™‚

  • Kat - Wow, the same thing happened with me at Christmas time. My In-Laws took my three boys shopping and gave them each some money to spend on themselves. My two 6 year olds did just that, however my sweet, sweet 11 year old came home with a gift wrapped up for me for Christmas. It turned out he had bought me some turkish delight, which I absolutely love, but I did not know that he knew that. I was so touched. The gift to me was not the turkish delight, but the unselfish act of spending his money on me and not himself. I was very touched by this and still get emotional when I think about it. Having 3 boys is crazy at times and you wonder if you are getting through to them. These little gestures helps reassure you that you’re on the right path… and I think my hubby was secretly jealous too!!!!! PS – Hello from Australia.

  • Ann - So often your posts are so delightful that my heart feels like it could burst and a tear comes to my eye. thank you so much for these moments. Ann

  • Debs - its such an amazing moment when our children do that one small thing that means the most, touches the most and shows the most…the precious thing is….they don’t realise the impact on what they have done.

    i have a 6 yr old son who is just that way. innocent. loving. smart. funny yet he can be brattish at times towards his 14 yr old sister!!

  • Rachel - What a wonderful little boy! My daughter, who is 6 as well, did something similar last month. She won a little game from a prize box at school and her brother loved it. The next day she was able to pick something else and instead of choosing a new prize she picked the same game to give to her brother. I was proud of her for thinking about him πŸ™‚

  • Jenn from The Mustard Seed Blog - oh, I just love this! It’s moments like this in teaching that keep me going, too. A moment where I see that through all of the teenage-ness, they do get it!

  • Brooke Whitis - At the end of the day, that is the joy in parenting….right? The character of your children! Good job, Momma.

  • Jodi - What an incredible story. Precious.

  • Amanda S. - Why am I CRYING? Ah, the life with boys. The simplest gesture of kindness towards one another makes me weep.

  • Janmary, N Ireland - New to your blog, but delighted to “find” you.

    I love how precious this is, and in the busy-ness of life this sweet gesture could have easily been overlooked. But he wasn’t doing it to get praise, he was just doing it for love πŸ™‚

  • hearttypat - this post makes me cry!!

  • eva - congratulations for the great work your doing: raising your family and blog.

  • Mallorey - That was a very sweet thing for him to do. Very touching to read that.
    I bet you are very proud.

I remember when we bought our very first highchair. I was beyond excited thinking about when the day would arrive that our coming boy would sit in it. The first time we used it we had the video camera and point & shoot ready to go. It was an exciting moment.

It didn’t take long for me to realize all those little spindles were a pain to clean. A few months later my mother-in-law gave us a brand new Eddie Bauer highchair…that was easy to clean. For nearly 7 years it has been in my kitchen. Day after day after day I have cleaned it, swept under it and ran to rescue babies trying to crawl out of it.

The newness and excitement wore off several years ago. Now it is just bulky with food in crevices for who knows how long.

My 18 month old is a climber…as in she will scale the side of the highchair to get in and out…dangerous. So for the sake of getting that big thing out of my kitchen finally her safety – we said ‘goodbye’ to the highchair. It got deep cleaned for the first time in 7 years. The fabric cover that was only used a couple of times was returned. It now has a new, happy home with a new mom. It feels loved again. It hasn’t felt love from me in a long time. Can you believe it cleaned up so well after so many years and so many kids?!

For those concerned about how FireCracker eats….she stands up at the table just like her 2 year old brother. Yes, I know there are special chairs for this kind of stuff…we are good this way.

And a little room update: I am painting the subfloor because it will become our actual floor. One day we’ll probably cover it with hardwoods, but for now I am experimenting with something. The base coat is porch paint (concrete gray, not white). I’ll share more specifics on the flooring later. My allergies convinced Chris to part with carpet under his toes when he wakes up. I’ve never been more happy to be allergic to cats (previous owner had them).

It is going to take me a long time to finish my room because I just have too much help.

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  • Corey Moortgat - Yeah, we abandonded the high chair after our first child- took up too much room on the floor and was always gross! My next two were in bouncy seats for the first couple months, then moved directly into the booster chairs with trays at the big table. It’s worked out great- they’re still pretty gross with food in the crevaces, but at least they don’t take up extra space on the floor!

    I’ve been keeping my eye out for some of those vintage school desks/chairs- love the look of them in your house!

  • Shannon - Thanks for the paint info! I may consider that with my bedroom. We want to do the wood floor that we just put in our diningroom and will continue through the rest of the living areas in here too, but our room is 12×26 and we have a limited budget.

    I have a nice wood highchair that my daughter only uses when we have too many extra guests and there’s no room for her in a chair. Any other time she uses an ugly old plastic booster that was handed down to us that is 2 different bright blues. I just bought some spray paint for plastic in a very neutral color so it doesn’t stand out so much. I will enjoy the day the highchairs can leave, but the wood one will stay close by. I am the oldest of 5 kids and a couple of my siblings just started having kids, and they visit a lot. I also plan to pull it out in the future when I have grandkids!

  • Loren - I’m sure you hear this all the time.
    But your babies… are adorable.

  • amanda torres - You state the truth about high chairs!

  • Jen Helbert - i just have to say, that all your babies are just darlin’.

  • Katie - This is the first time I am commenting! I just wanted to say we have a 2 year old who stands up to eat too! He was out of the high chair by 1 year old because he was always standing up in it. I too have 4 kids close together. So my third born who stands is no big deal you know?! I am just happy he is so capable!

  • Yanet - Ha! We have a little monkey in our family too so I had to take the highchair out of the kitchen. However, I couldn’t part with it. I took off the cover and the tray, painted it a bunch of bright colors and distressed it. It’s now a fun accent piece in the living room. It does get moved around a lot.

    I love the photos of all the kids in it. Precious!

    Yanet of 3 Sun Kissed Boys

  • andy - boys II men

  • Brooke Whitis - I am dreading the big, bulky highchairs that will occupy my home. But, I guess knowing who will go IN these highchairs will make it worthwhile πŸ™‚ So, by you getting rid of the highchair, are you signaling that you are done adding to the family? hahaha πŸ™‚

  • Sadie - I am ready to get rid of our highchair for the same reasons! Randy could probably just stand as well! Love the photos of your kids in the chair though! What great memories!

  • Miss chris - Love so much about this. The often overlooked high chair, visible in so many shots for years… Boys2men….the school chairs. My littlest and your firecracker would have a ball climbing everything. And the floor?! You are so ambitious. So good, but so ambitious! Best of luck. xoxo

  • Melissa - We have that same highchair. It’s on our fourth child now. I’ll be a little sad to see ours go but cannot wait for more space at the table ;)Thank you for sharing!

  • Ruth - You are brave to give it up so soon! I would LOVE to say goodbye to ours but I still need something to lock my 19 month down. She’s a climber too, so that is beginning to become a problem. I love that you used Boys II Men lyrics. Hilarious.

  • danielle - Oh yes, the freedom of NO MORE HIGHCHAIR! I was very glad to see ours leave after our fourth no longer required it. For someone who had a lot of difficulty having children and wanting those baby items in our home so badly for so long it was strange to me that I began yearning for those items to leave! lol.

  • Sarah - I bet that is a freeing feeling! Congrats. I love your blog so much that I am currently reading it sans pictures… hope to see those kiddo’s faces appear back on the blog soon πŸ˜‰

  • bekki - I am excited to see how you will finish off the floor in your room. We can not afford to replace our carpets with wood and my son has allergies that make carpet a bad choice. I have been thinking of doing this same thing but am having a time convincing my husband! Hopefully when I show him the photos of yours he’ll be convinced.

  • Nicole - What a great life the high chair served while with your family. My sister has that same chair, and she loves it. She too took off the cloth cover. But it is so much nicer than the plastic chairs/covers that hide food in different creases, and eventually crack and rip.
    Good luck finishing up your room!

  • karen brown - i painted our subfloors in the kids’ playroom for the same reason…gross hot pink shag carpet and a tight budget. we used three coats of porch and floor paint and it turned out awesome! can’t wait to see the bedroom!

  • Mary - It is nice to know I am not the only one with a 2 year old that LOVES to stand on her chair when she eats! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  • Sheila - Just last week I set up my very first high chair. It’s exciting times, but I am rapidly realising what you (and all these comments) mean about taking up lots of space. And I’m afraid mine is very plastic and not photo-worthy at all! Luckily, the Lil Guy is very photo-worthy πŸ™‚
    And… today he napped in his cot for the first time since newborn, so I got some me-time to catch up on all your blog posts I’ve not been able to read. I missed my daily fix…

  • Erin - First a post that involves Umbros now Boys II Men lyrics…are we feeling a little nostalgic?!

  • Andrea - We had this same high chair and I loved it at first but I couldn’t wait to get rid of it! We never used the cover after the first time it had baby food smeared all over it! Yours looks really good now, mine never did look that clean…

  • racheldenbow - I was just plotting how to get rid of our Eddie Bauer high chair this morning. It’s just so big! R isn’t big enough to stand on her own chair so we may have to seek out an IKEA option. πŸ˜‰

  • lauren - we have my husband’s highchair from when he was a baby… it begs me everyday for a makeover!! πŸ™‚ i can not WAIT to see the floor! πŸ™‚

  • MGF - Hello to new stuff………
    Goodbye to old stuff

  • julianna richman - If someone didn’t know those were boyz to men lyrics- then they have business being here. Classic. Loved it. You are talented and funny? Don’t ever stop.

  • Nickki - Love, love, love the baby toes shot!!

  • Lisa~ - I’ve done lots of painted floors. It’s a fabulous idea when you need to transition from carpet to wood. You’ll love it! Lisa~

    P.S. I never used a high chair with my kids…like you said, can’t get them clean. Ick!

  • Heather - piper and firecracker sounds like two peas in a pod! my girl is the same. sometimes i think she might actually scale the wall. πŸ˜‰

    we used gray porch paint in our house (dining/family rooms) and i LOVE it! we used a base coat of nasty smelling primer and then a couple of coats of the porch paint and it’s held up like a charm.
    which is saying something if you knew how much furniture i’ve dragged across it. πŸ™‚

  • Leanne - we got rid of our highchair when we finally moved out of tiny apartments where we could have more than 2 chairs! We use a booster seat, which can buckle in my little climbers, and it fits right at the table on an existing chair. love it.

  • Veronica - I love your high chair story, and the pic of your daughter standing up at the table. What a classic! Thanks for the chuckle!!!

  • Kristy C - Boyz II Men — Awesome!

  • Kristin S - My word your helpers are adorable.

  • Lisa - Seriously, how do you really manage to do all this re-decorating while you have all the kids around? I have 5 wee ones and dream of getting some furniture sanded and painted and a quilt for our bed sewn. It just falls to the wayside, bc well, there’s so many other things to do. And you always are taking time to play and be with your kids? How does this work in your home? Seriously? what does a “DIY Home Week” look like? πŸ™‚ You’re a rock star mama!

  • Kelly - Thanks for explaining the floor. You said you were painting the subfloor, as if another was going over it. I really like the way it looks!
    I’m surprised someone as creative as you doesn’t have a plan – to paint a checkerboard or something on it!

  • Kat - Needless to say with twins I was very happy when we finally got rid of our two highchairs …

  • Carolyn - oh my! the highchair cuteness is almost unbearable!
    Can’t wait to see the room makeover.

  • nori - those pictures are A-mazing!!!

  • Neva - I’m so glad to finally meet someone else whose kids stand on chairs at the table! Mine have all done it – the 9 year old still forgets himself occassionally and pops up on the chair. He had to sit on the floor a couple times last year to break the habit. Our youngest (3) loves to wait until his Dad has finished, climb in his lap, tip his food onto the big plate, and eat from there. Only the youngest can get away with tricks like that!

  • Nicole Ridella - This post made me laugh – I too have an 18 month old climber and while she doesn’t scale the high chair (yet) she does scale the television stand where she leaves little hand prints all over her daddy’s big screen tv. πŸ™‚

  • Lory - Do you plan on more children?

  • Getty Images Representative Philippines - The pictures are nice. The baby are very charming. Good shots here.

  • a standard in my kitchen for years : : standardy - […] Adres URL: a standard in my kitchen for years […]

****You can find the 2012 version, by clicking here****

Recently my husband needed a small gift to pass out to small group leaders at our church. Last year they did plastic footballs with logos on them. I made a few negative comments about the footballs and his response to me was instead of complaining I should come up with something better. Thank you Chris, point taken.

He needed something inexpensive and over 250 of them. The theme he was working with was regarding making the most of the time we’ve been given. I created a little daily calendar/notepad. The idea is simple: write down the best part of your day…each day. At the end of the day when I reflect on what was the best of my day, it is usually not “I answered all the emails in my inbox” or something of that nature. It usually involves still moments cuddling on the couch with a child or something related to relationships in my life.

(For sake of cuteness, I wrapped mine with ribbon, baker’s twine, paper doilies, fabric tape, & repurposed coffee sleeve)

The intention was for these to go to adults, but I wanted to my older two boys (4 & 6) to have one. I’ve started doing it with them at night. I want them to learn to think through how they spend their time each day and to continue to practice gratitude. As a mom, it has been good for me to hear each day was stood out to them as the best. It prompts them to share with me things they don’t always on their own.

I didn’t get the notepads made until after January started (it does drive me a bit crazy not to have the full month, but I am getting over it). The first day my boys did it they wrote “I love to play outside with Kennedi.” and “Getting to go to Target and get a slushie with Nana.”

I look forward to reading over their “bests” at the end of the year…and making sure I repeat their “bests” throughout this year.

I wanted to make the pdf files available for you to download to make your own. I wish I had done this before Christmas…they would have been great Christmas gifts. I’m pretty sure I’ll be on the ball with this for Christmas 2011. If you are like me and it bothers you that you can’t start this on January 1st…just make stuff up πŸ™‚

Because of recent server issues I am hosting the pdf file on Google Docs. Once you click on the link to open the file in Google Docs, you will need to select “File” on the top left of the screen and then “download original”. Enjoy!

Download Here


1. Print the 4 sheets onto white cardstock

2. Cut out each month (there is a faint grid background to help you see where to cut)

3. Punch a hole in the top corner

4. Combine using a small ring

5. Wrap cutely if giving as a gift

UPDATE: Despite my attempts to double check dates, I missed January 31st on the notepad. I apologize that you will have to write that date in. Next time I attempt a download I’ll have someone else double check it!


And it totally unrelated news…my bedroom subflooring is getting painted. Don’t be jealous my 1990s Umbros.


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  • Shannon Phillips - Oh swoon! I love it!!! Thank you so much for sharing your download with all of us. We will be taking advantage of that for sure. I think it is so important to focus on the beautiful gifts that the Lord has given us.
    I can’t wait to see what you do with your floors.

  • Suzette Mahoney - Thank you! This is an adorable idea!

  • Deb @ PaperTurtle - Oh what a great idea! How wonderful to teach your children (and encourage adults) to take a few minutes to reflect on the blessings of the day. And your design is just adorable. Thanks for the free download! xo

  • amanda torres - Really cool idea. When I was a teacher, we would play High/Low at the end of the day. The kids would each share their high and low moment of the day. It was a great insight to what truly impacted their day.

    Now onto the real important part of my comment. You’ve got some really nice legs in those Umbro shorts. Must be from years and years of gymnastics. Too bad my legs didn’t hold onto that ‘gymnast’ shape. They kinda took on the cottage cheese shape instead. Don’t be jealous!

  • Anna Marie - How sweet of you to share with us! And seeing that floor being painting is super exciting to me for some reason.

  • Kristina - awesome…thanks for the download!

  • Amy Holgersen - Perfectly perfect, as always.

    Why is it that I am not you neighbor?! Boo.


  • emily anderson - your floor! chris finally gave in and is letting you paint it white? i remember you saying he wasn’t too fond of the idea πŸ™‚

  • Kelsey - LOVE the download. Starting this today! Thanks so much for all your DIY ideas πŸ™‚

  • tiffani - such a thoughtful idea/gift! I can’t wait to record my girls gratitudes at night onto that cute pad now! Thanks for the gift:)

  • Tess S - great gift idea! so genuine!

  • Kristin - Love the download. Thank you! We talk about the best and worst of our day around the dinner table, and I’ve been wanting to keep a record of them. This makes it so cute and fun. Can’t wait to see your room come together!

  • gina - Umbros. Awesome. I AM jealous. Thanks for sharing the project. You have had a hand in encouraging our family to be more grateful on a daily basis. Also, we did your stocking idea last week when putting away our Christmas stuff. Excited to open them up next year and see what all has happened!

  • Sarah S - Oh my goodness! I LOVE this! I had thought about making your cute perpetual calendar, but this is much easier (and still super cute!).

  • Tess S - this is so wonderful! what a beautiful gift idea. i love gifts that encourage happiness.

  • Jen - Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to see what you do with your bedroom! I just love your style…

  • ashley jensen - Haha!! I just knew you were going to paint it!

  • maria - ashley this is so great thank you so much printing them off now!!!!

  • Lori - Love my little calendar…have already put down my best thing for the day…from yesterdays…it bothers me too that I didn’t have this since Jan. 1. I will make mine up as well. Perfect Polly would like me!!! (I think she is a card from Old Maid???)
    can’t wait to see the bedroom!!!!

  • Gevay - Can I just say you, you and your 90’s Umbros rock!

  • mrs.magoo - I love this. Thank you. What a great idea…

  • Jeannette - When I got mine, I said to myself…”looks like Ashley!” I love the idea of the kids having one. With a new baby coming, I thought it would be great to have one to make a note each day about the baby!! Thanks for being so awesome!

  • Lauren Klouda - What a beautiful idea. No matter how you decorate it… keeping track of the good moments of each day can make us grateful people. Love it!

  • mandi - YES!!! The 1990’s Umbros- making a comeback : )! I played soccer, so I was the queen of these.

    I really like your best of days idea. I like to do this too- in journal form. But I like the ease of this- and it’s cute! Thanks for the download!

    Something else I like to do- that I think you’ll appreciate- is to write a journal to my children. When something happens- a little thing, like a flower picked and brought to me, a funny pronunciation of a word- or a big thing, like a lost tooth- I like to jot it down in their journal. I’ve been doing this since they were both born. I love these little journals. I look back over them and see how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time. Something else I like to add is bits of parenting advice. Like when my eldest finally became potty trained, I jotted down what worked for her. I can’t wait to give them their journals one day when they become parents. Here is a link from my blog on it if interested (please excuse the fact that it is pictureless!) :


    One thing I hope to do in the near future, once my Moonpie is a bit more proficient in her writing, is to start writing a journal back and forth to one another. I can’t wait to have our own little secrets and love letters shared back and forth!

  • Julie - Thanks for sharing! I cannot wait to do this! How great to do it with my kids too. And yes I will probably make stuff up, or write something silly in the first days of January.

  • Krista Lund - thank you for this sweet (and easy!) gift idea. you rock!

  • The Prairie Hen - Dear Craft-Ashley,
    I ADORE this idea… it works SO perfectly with my blogging challenge for this year!!! YOu must have read my mind!

    I’m doing Monthly love lists on my blog… just a little tidbit of a moment I loved for each day of the month — to be posted on the 1st Monday of each month…

    I was using sticky notes to keep track of my thoughts… but I’m happy to say that I have printed a new “best of my days” journal on lovely golden textured carstock for myself and one in each of my two older children’s favorite colors Blue for my six yr old daughter and “cream” for my four year old son…

    It’s his fave because, “Papa (my dad) puts cream in his coffee, an I love Papa!”

    Love and thanks,
    Raimie @ The Prairie Hen

  • giozi - It is a good idea, simple, nice, pretty, and cheap πŸ˜‰

  • meg duerksen - girl you have great legs!!!

    those are the coolest notebooks!
    i really love that.
    if i can figure out to download and print them…….
    i will do it.
    my three youngest would love it as much as i do.
    maybe i could even get craig to do it?!!
    i can dream.

  • caro - love, love, love your diy and love too the paints floor.

  • Laurie J - umbros are still cool, girl!

  • Liz R. - LOVE the best of my days idea… we just painted the subfloor in our dining room… what a HUGE difference it made. I’m sure yours will be even more amazing!

  • Chris Campbell - Meg, I agree. She has got some great legs! I also have to say I am always game for a little crazyness in the house whether it is with some painted floors or having our bedroom in our living room!!! It makes for some great wrestling with the kids! You know they love it.

  • Kate - Love your blog, the first one I’ve ever properly followed. You seem like a down-to-earth, making the most out of everyday kind of person (with photography skills I only aspire to!) – so this project seems spot on. Unfortunately I live within the great firewall of China and google aren’t their favourite people so the link is blocked but I reckon I can try and knock this up myself! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • trish - GREAT idea! i will for sure be doing this for my boys!!

  • Christy - L to the O to the L! My sister harassed me till I threw my umbros away! That snob.

  • Jen - Ashley I LOVE this… Thank you!

  • Lori - Love the list idea, thanks for sharing!

    PS. Great legs! πŸ™‚

  • Kelly - It’s really funny that you posted this. We do “best part/worst part” with our boys every night at dinner. Everyone shares the very best thing and the very worst things about their days. Most of the time, they have a really hard time coming up with a worst thing. It usually ends up being something like, “I only got to play video games for 10 minutes” and really if that’s the worst of it then that’s great! Sometimes it’s a real, bigger problem which is also totally great because then we can work through it together and we know what’s going on in their little heads. All of that to say, when you posted the last DIY journal thingy, the one featured on the Today Show, I thought it would be perfect to use for recording our best part/worst part. I have all the stuff to make it, I just haven’t done it yet. It’s on the list for this week! πŸ™‚ And I think the Umbros are awesome!

  • Aimee W. - Thank you so much for this fantastic download! I’m doing a gift exchange with a friend of mine and I was looking for the perfect gift for her and her soon to be fiance! This is just perfect!

  • Lindsey - Ashley – I recently found your blog off of a friends craft blog. I love your photography and projects! hope you don’t mind having another person stalk your life πŸ™‚ I’m so excited to try some of these crafts! I’m also getting more into photography so I love watching your photo style!

  • jessica h - how great! thanks!! I had begun 2011 writing down a short statement of “gratitude” from each day to remind myself how much I have to be thankful for (inspired by your journal DIY)….but I just didn’t have anywhere cute to keep my statements–now I do πŸ™‚ We also do this verbally with our boys at the dinner table; it would be neat to write theirs down for them too until they can write it down all cute-sy for themselves like your two big guys! oh, and the painting job looks so fun…is it gray? that will look nice…I LOVE painting!!! even moreso in comfy old school shorts, ha ha πŸ™‚

  • Jessica Egg - What a great idea! I’ll be making these tonight when the kids fall asleep πŸ™‚

  • amber - I would totally make up stuff just to fill in that calendar.
    Can’t wait to see the bedroom…so exciting:)!
    Thanks for sharing these…I think Christmas 2011 is just about right!!

  • christina larsen - LOVE this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Trinity - Ashley, I just printed the notebook and now I have to cut it…I am going to give them to our AWANA kids….great idea! LOVE it!!!

  • Courtney Henson - Ummmm…and just so you know – totally not jealous of the umbros but totally jealous of those legs! Love this little favorite moment list! You may just inspire me to go out and get some more printer ink so I can print these! Thanks for sharing!

  • Nicole - I love this idea!! Thanks for sharing it!

  • Erin - Dear Ashley,
    I have been reading your blog for a while now and finally felt compelled to write and tell you how grateful I am that you share bits of yourself with the rest of us in such a positive way. I will be printing this list off for myself! I look forward to reading your blog each day–keep coming with the inspiration. May God bless you for spreading the Christ-light to all those who read your work.

    All the best to you and your family!

    P.S. What kind of paint are you using and how did you prep? How is the paint holding up in your other painted floors? We have some painted floors that are starting to look like a hot mess and any tips would be greatly appreciated!

  • Brooke Whitis - LOVE this idea!! I have a book of gratitude where I write down things I’m thankful for, but this is a great idea, especially for kids. I would even love to do it with my class at school!

    PS. I love the umbros. I probably used to have 100 pair. I remember all of them, but sadly, they are spending their time at the local goodwill.

    PPS. I have two carpeted bedrooms left in my home, and I believe before the end of this year, it is very possible they will be stripped and painted as well. Love that you have the guts to do this….one question (that you don’t have to respond to now..) about Baby sister’s room….

    How did you make the transition from room to hallway look natural, since the transition is from white floor to dark hardwood, or white floor to carpet? Just a question because my transition would be white floors to dark hardwood in the hallway.


  • Cottage Gal - Thank you for sharing this awesome idea! I’m going to start mine today πŸ™‚ Each year my sister has a hard time coming up with a cute gift idea for her employees that won’t break the bank – I’ve already passed this idea long to her – I think it will be perfect!

  • ashlee - I love that you are painting your subfloor. I CANNOT wait to see the finished product! I am totally doing the gratitude journal with my kids and myself. What a great idea and a great keepsake!

  • Kenna - This is a great idea! Thank you so much for posting this. I am also excited to see the progress of your room – I’m moving into a new house and will be decorating soon.

  • Paola - Hello! I am a big fan of your blog and I love all your projects. I just want to ask you about your photography wall. How you did it? Do you use something special so you pictures do not get ruin?

  • Holly - Just jealous that you can still fit in your 1990’s shorts!

  • Cottage Gal - Just wanted to let you know that I linked back to this post on my blog!

  • Rachel - No offense to the footballs but this blows them out of the water. Wow! Love, love, love, I’ll be linking.

  • georgia - Reading the word Umbros makes me laugh.

  • Andrea - Love this idea!

    You are so creative, it amazes me!

    Thanks for the download, I can’t wait to make this!

  • laura - this is BRILLIANT. and ADORABLE. and i love it. thank you so much for sharing! i am going to try to get my six year old on board with this each night!

  • Andrea Jett - Thank you for the download! Feel free to post freebies like that anytime you want! πŸ˜‰ So blessed by your creativity!

  • laura - what are you using to paint the floors? laytex? a special pain? anything going on top to protect it? i would luuuuuuuuuv to know:).

  • Jess - Love the notebooks…what a great gift idea! I can’t wait to see the “after” pictures of your bedroom. How exciting to see the floors painted white. I love white. Maybe someday I can talk my husband into letting me do that in our bedrooms. It would be a miracle…he loves carpet under his toes! πŸ™‚

  • Carolyn - I love the notepads – especially the doily and ribbon version! Such a great idea to do with kids.

  • Kristin S - I’m impressed you can fit in the Umbros!

  • Mariela - Ashley Ann, you’re so talented with your hands… i wish i could be more like you.. you’re very creative. Congratulations on your b-e-a-utiful family! I also love your pictures, they look great. Thank you for sharing your tips!! Keep it up, super mum! XOXO from Argentina!

  • eheddings - Great, thoughtful idea! Thank you, Ashley. Any chance that you will make a copy that says 2012? Not a high priority, I am sure. But it is never to early to start planning for next year.

  • Shannon - Great idea, thanks! And can I ask about the floor? It looks great, can you share the best paint, ect to use for that? Thanks!

  • ashley wise - OMG! these are so dang cute! Thank you SO much! I am over about 70 women in my church and next sunday I am totally going to give these to them! I love them so much! Keep up the good work and thanks again for sharing this with all your readers!

  • kim - My family does a “gratitude box”. It sits out on a counter in the kitchen every day along with a supply of little note sized papers /pens. Throughout the day we can write down things we’re grateful for – be it a favor someone did for you, or just whatever your little heart felt thankful for that day. We read them every night at dinner. I’ve found it’s really helpful in letting people feel appreciated for things you may not think to say thank you for.

  • Kelly - Why paint the subfloor?

    Anyway, I LOVE your ideas. I keep coming back to see what you post. Thanks for sharing so generously
    YES that would bug me to start now in January.
    This would be great to do with / for my students!


  • Melissa McClure - I love this Ashley! I wanted to make your index card journal calendar but can NOT get around to doing it. This download I just print off will let me make it and start it tonight! AND I’m going to do this with Lily Faye (I’ll do the writing of course). πŸ™‚ Also, LOVE the 90’s umbros. I have 2 black pairs myself; paint splatters and holes included. πŸ™‚

  • Chelle - i adore the concept and the design!!! thank you for sharing them as well as the file…can’t wait to make mine!!

    p.s. i will totally be making up the beginning of Jan!!!

  • tasha roe - love this idea.
    love that you are painting your floor. i’m trying to convince the hubster to let us do that on the second floor – reclaimed wood painted white….swoon.

  • Sharry Sullivan - Thank you for jump starting my tomorrow!

  • MGF - You crack me up with your umbros

  • Stacey - I miss my 1990’s Umbros!

    Super cute gift idea!

  • Felicia - I love this! I can’t wait to do it w/my 7 yr. old. We have been doing best & worst since he could talk.

    I am so making for a couple of my coworkers. It is will help reflect the good & less focus on the not as good.

    BTW – love the Design Sponge journal. I was a little late making it, but able to make up the few days that I missed.

  • Chelsea - I love this. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will be printing it off and starting tomorrow. On another note, I actually am kind of envious of your umbros. I’d forgotten all about them, and now I am kind of nostalgic for my old pair. They were comfy…

  • Susie - You’re adorable. I love this daily positive at the end of the day- I think I’ll look forward to it all day long πŸ™‚ Thanks, Ashley!

  • Jenny - I have been doing this every night with my son as part of his tuck-in routine for two years. I just never thought of writing it down. However if there is one thing we do consistently (my son is adamant about it), it’s asking him to tell me the favorite part of his day.

  • anneke - I love this idea, I’m trying to make some. Today is a great start-day too: it’s 11-1-11 (for the Europeans) or for you Americans: 01-11-11…

  • Laura - Love this! I’m going to print it out now. And I will “back date” for the last 10 days. I think I can remember/make stuff up for all 10. πŸ™‚

  • Moni - Dear Ashley! I love your idea!
    And I love your blog & your photos!
    Greetings from Germany!

  • Candice Forte - Someday I think it would be fun to have a photojournalistic view of your whole day wake until sleep (if you even do that sleeping thing, which I doubt). How does one with 4 children and 2 who are not school age be so productive? You maybe can start teaching a time management and “how to interact with your kids and still love on them while being productive” seminar!

  • “The Best of My Days” « ….it's what we do - […] saw this idea over on AshleyAnn’s blog and I may just have to copy it. While I probably won’t make a cute little notebook like […]

  • Ginny - I’m printing these for my kids. My oldest tends to always be unhappy, so I am always telling her she needs to write something positive down every day. Now there is no excuse πŸ™‚

    I love the line about bothering you it didn’t start on the 1st, I was thinking the same thing myself, lol.

  • Reidunn - Love that your husband comments on your legs through your blog!
    Looking forward to see how your bedroom floor turns out.

  • Emily F - What a neat idea! I can’t wait to use these!

    Can’t wait to see the finished floors look like!

  • Julie Call - Thank you so much for sharing the download! I already ask each one of my children what the best part of their day was as I tuck them in. I am going to make one for each of them (and myself of course:o). This is also a great Valentine’s gift idea for friends and family! Thanks so much!

  • Karen - The timing on this was perfect. I downloaded these yesterday for my daughter’s Girl Scout troop. I had them scrapbooking yesterday so I made these and handed them out to all of them after as another fun memory idea. They love them and my daughter back filled them in. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Franna Larsen - OH MY GOSH!!!! LOVE this idea…I can NOT wait to print these up and give them out! THANK YOU!

  • Anndee - I love this. Thank you!!!

  • Melissa Christensen - Love this idea!! But January has 31 days in it and the sheets only have 30 listed. I wouldn’t worry about it but it’s my Birthday!! I’m sure that would count as a BEST for the day! LOL

  • Francine - Thank you! This will be the perfect addition to my night pages journaling habit.

  • Sherry - What a great idea! Would it be possible for you to post a set for 2012 in the next few months so that we can assemble gifts for next year? Thank you for sharing with us!

  • Tweets that mention diy {the best of my days notepad- 2011} Β» ashleyannphotography.com -- Topsy.com - […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Trigger Memory , Nicola Noble and Courtney Christensen. Courtney Christensen said: I'm totally making these: http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2011/01/10/diy-the-best-of-my-days-notepad-2011/ […]

  • Ashley - Thank you Thank you Thank you! Especially for attaching the google doc. I am so excited to use this as a way to hold on to some great memories. Also, I’m a teacher and I’d love to make these as gifts for my students (or help them make some).

  • Getty Image Office Philippines - Great notepads, how creative. Thanks for sharing the procedure on how to make creative notepads.

  • Jen B - Hi! I’m new to your blog and just had to say how much I LOVE this idea! What a simple but effective way to focus on the positive. I sure could use more of that in my life. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  • Stuff I read this week in cyperspace β€” A Familiar Path - […] The Best of Days notepad by Ashleyann. I didn’t print one of these, but I started writing down one sentence from each day in my calendar that I wanted to remember. I love it. […]

  • Freebie: Daily Journaling Notepad · Scrapbooking | CraftGossip.com - […] simple daily journaling pad is meant to help you record the best part of each day for this year. Created by AshleyAnn over at Under the Sycamore Tree. This could make great […]

  • Julie - These are SO cute!!! Thanks so much for sharing! Think there’s anyway to make 2012 available so I can start on Christmas gifts for next year?? πŸ™‚ Just trying to stay true to my New Years Resolutions…staying organized (i.e. not waiting until the last minute to make Christmas gifts!).

  • Ashley Ann Notepad of Gratitude at Hey Little Birdie | Shopping Blog - […] Ann is one of my cherished daily blog reads. Earlier this month, she posted a DIY notepad that is true gift. The idea is simple – before bedtime, write down your favorite moment from […]

  • The Best of My Days « burlapandtwine - […] the second craft of the week with my friend Swan. We’d read about a great journaling idea here for capturing the best parts of each day and decided to replicate it for […]

  • Syndi - Love it! I copied your idea and worked mine in MS Word; I wanted an 5.5×8 page (two per legal size page) for my daughter (7y/o, 2nd grd) so she could have a little more space. I think it’s a great idea for her to jot down the little things that make her happy and be able to revisit them years from now. Her first entry: “Somebody peed in the hall! Awesome, right?!” …Not exactly what I had in mind πŸ™‚

  • patty - love this! visiting from miss melissa at familiar path… and um, surely you played soccer if you are in umbras, no? πŸ™‚

  • Next week roundup | False Dandelions - […] The best of my days notepad Since one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to be more optimistic, this notebook might be a valuable exercise for me. […]

  • Robin Gibson - THIS is an AMAZING idea, and LOVE LOVE LOVE how your made your book! THANKS for sharing! I am going to make one in the am, when I have some more time!
    LOVE IT!

  • Rebecca - Pure Awesomeness! Thanks for the download and thanks to Kolette Hall for sharing the link to your blog on her blog!

  • Angie F - LOVE that I can do this with my girls!! YEAH!!! Thanks so much! I’m here from Kolette’s blog.

  • Mary Ann - Thank you for the great best of my days download!

  • Cheri - Love this concept – thanks for sharing. I linked back to you over on my blog!

  • DIY – the best of my days notepad idea « 7 line photography - […] can create your own monthly pads or DOWNLOAD the FREE Design from Ashely Ann Photography. […]

  • Audre - Thank you so much for this! I totally LOVE it. Is there a way to change the year to 2012? I want to get an early start on Christmas gifts! Thanks again!!

  • Amy - I love this idea. I want to use it for teacher gifts for this year, but I need to know if there is a way to change Jan-May from 2011 to 2012. The sooner you let me know the better…we start school in one week and I need to make 70 of these by then. Thanks!

  • Sue - Hi Ashley, I have recently found your blog and I LOVE your crafts! Any chance you will post a 2012 google doc for this? I would love to make this for my moms group ladies for christmas (I know, I am waaaay ahead) and I was hoping you might be able to tweak the doc! Thanks so much!

  • Adriane - Hi, I just found your blog (it’s 10/2/11) and saw this. WOW! I want to do this for 2012! Will you be making one for the new year??? Thanks!

  • Aimee - I LOVE this project! What a meaningful keepsake! I would really like to have this for 2012. Before I try to recreate the wheel, are you going to make one for 2012?

  • Aimee - Are you going to post a 2012 edition? I love this! What a blessing

  • Leah - Any chance you will be making one for 2012. I would love to make these for my friends for Christmas. I’m in 7th grade and I love to craft. Thank you, Leah

  • Cloud9 Design - thank you so much!! this is such a wonderful idea!!! πŸ™‚


  • Mai Vacheresse - Keep it Undemanding, Laid-back to Follow and be Enormously CONSISTENT.

  • DIY-mas « The Wordy Thirties - […] of My Days Notebook – from Ashley Ann (includes downloadable […]

  • Tina - This is so adorable!! and nicely done!!! Awesome idea πŸ™‚

  • Louise - The download for the 2012 edition doesn’t work πŸ™
    creative idea!

  • Tara - Just discovered your site and I love it. Thank you for posting the best-of-my-days notepad download. I just tried the link for the 2012 version and it didn’t work. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  • Best of My Days « Karla M Curry - […] decorated hers with recycled cardboard coffee sleeves, doilies and colorful ribbon and yarn in her 2011 version.Β  I didn’t have all of these thingsΒ butΒ I did findΒ some of what I learnedΒ is upholstery […]

  • The Best of My Days {January} β€” Sacred Mundane - […] For Christmas a friend gave me a beautiful and unique hand-made gift: The Best of My Days. Twelve simple pages, labeled for each month, with long and narrow and numbered space for each day. Just enough room to write a few words for each day of the year — the best of my days. I hung it right above my kitchen sink, where I can see it all the time. And this simple exercise, of reflecting each day on one simple joy, has been a delightfulΒ and unexpected part of my 2012. I love the Week’s end with thanksΒ and will continue to do it, but thought at month’s end it’d be fun to just share the best of my days.Β (Make your own!) […]

  • Summer Valentine - I love this idea and would like to make it for teacher gifts. I cannot seem to change it to 2013. Any suggestions?


  • Stephanie - I know this is an old post but I’ve had it stored in my memory bank as a great little gift idea for our church staff. I was wondering how you made it? I looked at your download in hopes I could just change the year but I couldn’t figure out how!?! Of course I can just wing it πŸ™‚ and create my own, but yours is soooo cute. If you have a chance in your crazy busy life these days can you tell me how you created yours? Our staff party isn’t until Jan. 4th so I have a week to get it done. Thanks a bunch!

  • AshleyAnn - Stephanie – Here is a link to the 2013 one http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2012/10/08/diy-best-of-my-days-calendar-2013/

  • 2012 Best of My Days Notepad {free download} » ashleyannphotography.com - […] year I shared a little notepad for jotting down one thing that stood out as the best thing from that day. I use these with my […]

  • Today's Housewife : It’s beginning to sound a bit like…. - […] share the gratitude and stickΒ the best of my days notepadΒ in their […]