Guess what….I photoshopped my ‘Ashley can’t look at a camera’ headshot on a graphic my friend Ruth posted…GL_Motherhood_Series

Really, I can’t look at the camera because I am distracted by Joy Prouty’s floral crown. My face totally says, “I want a fun crown like Joy!”

Okay, I didn’t Photoshop myself on there, but every time I look at it that is what I think. In my head I also start singing, “One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t make sense.” Oh hey super cool ladies, want to come hang out at my house someday with me?

In all seriousness, my dear friend Ruth Simons of Gracelaced is doing a series on motherhood this week. She interviewed 5 moms on the topic of motherhood. I’m not sure how I made the list, but I’m sure grateful she asked. As part of the series, I submitted a Bible verse that is meaningful to me in regards to motherhood, along with my favorite flowers and colors…and Ruth did her thing…

ACampbellGracelaced-02It came out so perfect! If you line up all the prints in her Mother’s Day collection I feel like anyone could have guessed which one is mine. We are a homeschooling family, which means my kids are around me a lot! Not only do they hear nearly every word I speak, they pick up on all my unspoken thoughts and feelings (the meditations of my heart). I want my words to bring life to my kids. Often what comes out of my mouth is the overflow of my mind and my heart. When I consider what I want my kids to hear and see in me – I want it to be those things that are pleasing to God. If the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart are pleasing to God, well, they will also be the types of things I want my kids to hear and pick up from me. The second part of the verse reminds me that God is my Rock and my Redeemer. I do not stand on the shifting sand of culture, the tide of opinions of others, or lies I might be tempted to believe about myself. My aim is not be to please others, but the One who is my Rock and Redeemer.

Today Ruth is sharing my full interview on her blog- there is a bit about what surprised me about motherhood, what routines help me thrive and my advice to new moms.

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The sale will run until Sunday, April 30th. Use the code MOTHERSDAY20 to get 20% off all items in the GraceLaced Shoppe. All orders that include an item from the Mother’s Day Collection will receive a free “Strength and Dignity” 5×7 print, limit one per order.

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  • Sarah A - This was a great interview. At the risk of sounding like a total groupie (um, because I am, haha), I am so thankful for your blog and specifically for your encouraging words to mothers. I’ve been reading your blog for 4-5 years now, and watching your family grow and seeing the way you love and parent your kids has been such a blessing to me. It’s helped me to see the extraordinary moments in my ordinary days, and to seek ways to incorporate into our NOW who and what I want for them THEN. Just this morning I took time out from my “need to” task of folding laundry to hide around the corner and take a video of my littlest doing one of her favorite things: spinning while she listens to her Sofia the First CD with a princess dress on. In that moment, I thought of your blog and your encouragement to see my kids and to enjoy them for who they are. Every stage is better than the last – kids really are so fun!

  • Georgia Davis - Oh my goodness girl. That is your head next to Sally Clarkson’s. Her book “mission to motherhood” was a game changer for me. Very Awesome!

  • windie d - Thank you for sharing this – not only for your insight, but now I have mother’s day gifts ordered!

  • Ruth Simons - Your interview is a treasure to me, and I’m so grateful to have it on my blog…but even more so is your friendship. Praying for you as you go on your adventure, and can’t wait to see all that the Lord does in and through the Campbells.

  • Cynthia - NEVER a dull reading!!! Your interview brought tears of joy!!! You’re on the right path…continue SHINING!!!! Thanks for sharing!!! I ALWAYS look forward to your posts!! HUGZ 🙂

A week from today we are boarding a plane to live in China for a couple months. There are a million things I should be doing, but they feel a little pointless until a few days before we leave. For instance packing…can’t really do that until the weekend arrives. We can’t pack up our clothes, we kind of need those. I also need to deep clean my house…also pointless because we are living here. I do have on my ‘to do’ list to write a blog post this week with more details about what we will be doing in China and why we are going.

Until then…lets take a moment to appreciate this ridiculously cute 5 year old in her great grandma’s hat and her sister’s ‘fashion’ glasses…

5.24.17-15.24.17-25.24.17-3She came running down the stairs looking like that. I said, “You know I am going to have to take your picture.”

“I know,” she said as I grabbed my camera.

Now, let’s take a moment to appreciate the wonderful world of pre-teen and teenage boys. I was inside working on my computer (hint, hint…big giveaway week happening on the ole’ blog next week!) when I heard laughter coming from outside the window.
5.24.17-45.24.17-5Their current obsession is the iMovie app…so many movies being made at my house now. These boys are so much fun. They are endlessly funny and creative. They surprise me every day with their randomness and genius wit. When my kids were younger I would often laugh AT them (not in a bad way, but in a ‘toddlers do the funniest things’ way). This age I still laugh AT them, but I also get to laugh WITH them. I can’t wait to explore China with them!

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  • Carrie - She is adorable!! And all your littles are getting bigger. 🙂 Love your son’s tshirt and their boyish shenanigans. They are all a treasure. Best wishes for packing and traveling mercies. 🙂

  • Mrs. T - I love Corbett’s shirt. What an amazing opportunity for your family to travel. Can’t wait to hear more about your trip.

  • Kasey White - I love that you get to go to China for so long! We loved taking our sons with us when we went to China to adopt their brother. Exploring China with them as a family of five will always be one of my favorite things ever! Going for two months would be amazing! Enjoy! And I can’t wait to enjoy your photos and posts!

  • Byron - Tell the boys to get a picture of someone taped to the Great Wall!

    Your youngest is following in the fashionista footsteps of her older sister! Too cute!

    I expect the family is way excited for the trip! I don’t understand the need to clean the house before you go….

  • Daise - Your kids are amazing, and I love Corbett’s t-shirt.
    Have a good trip you all!

  • Tammy - I just want everyone to remember I predicted her becoming a super model awhile back. :o)

Over the last few years I have received several emails asking for suggestions related to where to eat in Tulsa and what to do. As a lifelong Tulsa area native, I figured I need some Tulsa posts on my Travel page and my mind usually goes blank when I try to respond to those emails! So, starting with this post I am going to highlight my favorite parts of Tulsa. Granted…I’m leaving the country in a week, so I’ll have to pick up more Tulsa tours in the fall.

Spring and fall are ideal hiking seasons in Oklahoma. The summer gets really REALLY hot and it just isn’t as fun, at least to me, to hike in the middle of summer. Surprisingly, there are quite a few beautiful hikes in the Tulsa metro area. One of our favorites is Turkey Mountain.

I will note that it is not a mountain…it is about the closest thing Tulsa has to a mountain. If you are from Colorado, you might call it Turkey Hill. Back to my main point – Turkey Mountain is a Tulsa treasure.

TurkeyMountain-01Turkey Mountain is an Urban Wilderness Area. It consists of numerous trails, 2 ponds, rocks and paths over 300-acres of undeveloped land. It is a local favorite for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. It is also dog-friendly (but you must keep dogs on a leash).

The east trails take you towards the Arkansas River with beautiful views of Tulsa.

TurkeyMountain-12We can and do spend hours when we visit. It is easy to get lost, figuratively and literally, among the trees and trails. I usually pack a backpack with snacks (fruit, nuts, trail mix and CLIF Kid bars are our favorites) and water bottles – don’t forget your water!TurkeyMountain-05TurkeyMountain-10TurkeyMountain-09TurkeyMountain-11TurkeyMountain-07TurkeyMountain-06The kids’ backpacks have a built-in safety whistle. I have a love/hate relationship with that feature. 
TurkeyMountain-04TurkeyMountain-03TurkeyMountain-02TurkeyMountain-14TurkeyMountain-13Six years ago, Chris and I participated in The Warrior Dash held on Turkey Mountain. It was back when we were in the trenches of adoption paperwork and I was physically, emotionally and mentally barely hanging on. I’d like to try that race again!

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For the last couple years, we’ve started Thanksgiving Day with our Crossfit 51 friends at Turkey Mountain chasing a couple trainers dressed as a turkeys and doing a group workout. It has become one of my new favorite family traditions.

In short, Turkey Mountain is a quick escape when you want to get out in nature, but don’t have time to make a long drive. Within a mile of retail and restaurants and right off a major highway, it has easy access and is close enough to town to make it a short or long visit. It is always clean and you’ll be hard pressed to find someone unfriendly on the trails. If you do, just smile and wave anyway.

My tips if it is your first visit to Turkey Mountain:

  • There are bathrooms near the south parking lot. If you have kids, I’d be sure to stop there first.
  • There is a trail map at the south entrance. It might be handy to snap a picture of it before you set out on your hike.
  • My phone GPS usually works on the trails and we’ve had to use it a few times.
  • If you are hiking, be mindful of the mountain bikers and give them room.
  • Pack snacks and water – well, this is always my tip if you have kids with you!
  • There are often fantastic events (runs, hikes, races, etc.) on Turkey Mountain, be sure to check out the Turkey Mountain event page.
  • There are open areas for hammocks, slack lines and a small playground that mimics landmarks like Delicate Arch.
  • We typically visit during the week and it is rarely crowded. If you are visiting on a weekend, you might need to try more than one parking lot to find a space.
  • If you have really small kids, here are my tips for hiking with little ones.

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  • Dorice - Could I ask where the kids backpacks are from? (Even though I may regret asking once all our kids are blowing the whistle nonstop 😉

  • Kim B. - Oh I’m going to enjoy these Tulsa pieces so much! I’ve been gone for so long and don’t have good ideas about where to go now when I go home!! I love this.

  • AshleyAnn - Dorice – they are kid packs from Rei

  • Jenn - great post
    so fun
    love hiking
    and are you holding a donut in that family picture from thanksgiving? 😉 that is just awesome

  • Byron - Turkey Mountain is a lot of fun! I’ll add that there are roughly 42 miles of trails (as I recall) winding all around the area. Also, there is a hiking group for all ages that meets at the entrance every Saturday morning at 9am.

    Warrior Dash this year is May 6. We’ll miss you!