10-16zoo-1I know I talk about this a lot lately, but I am constantly astounded by how big my kids are now. To those of you with teenage and adult kids, my kids are still babies. However, I am in awe daily of the young people filling my home. They are so stinkin’ fun and SO EASY TO GO PLACES with now. It is a glorious season. When did this happen?

10-16zoo-2I think maybe in the previous season, it was more of a survival mode. I loved having tiny ones, but honestly a lot of the last 10 years is pretty fuzzy. Thankfully, I have a lot of pictures!

My nephew turns 1 today. In honor of his “last day of being zero” (according to my eldest daughter), we joined my sister and mom at the zoo yesterday. I watched my sister push her big ole’ stroller, which is basically like trying to drive a boat on land, and thought about all the years I pushed a stroller around the zoo.

Years and years. Kid upon kid piled onto a stroller meant for two. Timing the trip just right before meltdowns. Catching sippy cups thrown overboard. Leaving a trail of crackers behind us. Teaching animal names. Mimicking animal sounds. I loved trips to the zoo, but they were not a casual stroll.

As we walked around with my niece and nephew I watched my kids – the older cousins. I’m so thankful my sister has little ones. I’m relishing this season of casual strolls through the zoo with my kids, who are fully embracing their role as the big kids.

10-16zoo-310-16zoo-410-16zoo-5Lesley looks like she is one of my kids!10-16zoo-610-16zoo-7One prefers dresses and ‘fancy’. The other prefers her brothers’ old basketball shorts and ‘sporty.’
10-16zoo-810-16zoo-1010-16zoo-1210-16zoo-1310-16zoo-1510-16zoo-16Happy Birthday to the little 1 year old boy that has stolen his Aunt’s heart…and the hearts of all his big cousins.

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  • Jessie Dewey - Happy Birthday Sweet C! (he has a taco on his shirt…… thats the cutest/best thing I’ve ever seen)

  • Allison - I hear ya – i feel like I blinked and my kids are so BIG. My almost 14 year old is taller than me, my 9 year old seems to grow every night. BUT, I love it!! Cherished those little ones – but my BIG kids are more awesome than I ever thought they would be! Enjoy!

  • Angie - Are you aware of a sponsored post that shows up at the bottom of some of your posts? They refer to “Divorce HBO” Just seemed out of place for your blog….

  • AshleyAnn - Angie – YES! I keep seeing that pop up randomly and I can’t figure out the cause. I am trying to figure it out too. It is very frustrating.

  • Dana - Thanks for not freaking out when I introduced myself to you at the zoo playground! It felt like a cross between meeting a celebrity and seeing an old friend. Thanks again for being such an inspiration!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - They are so precious! I’m so thankful to watch as your beautiful family grows and thrives!

I busted out the walking sleeping bag this weekend. We held a garage sale at our house and it was COLD and drizzly. Bummer weather for being outside all morning. My kids do not understand that if it drops below 65, they need to add the layers. At least, that is my opinion.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetI think part of why I don’t care for fall or winter, aside from the cold, is most of the green disappears. I like green. A lot. I like green outside. Inside. On me. Near me. Green is color of spring and summer. Brown is the color of fall and, well, not fun stuff.

10-16green-1I think most of those pictures are on Instagram, but for those curious, I’ll share a few links. The green dress is one I got from Shabby Apple – it is on sale right now. The pockets and the color sold me.

The book is by my friend Shannan Martin. Her love for Jesus and others is fiercely beautiful. I’m so thankful she put to words her journey with Christ of being rescued from the life she always wanted.

Hammock is from Anthropologie. If you get one, hang it 1ft higher than you think you should. It stretches. When it stretches, it hangs on the ground and picks up all the dust. Go higher, you’ll thank me.

Pillows in the boys room are from Ikea.

Baskets are c/o All Across Africa. They are displayed in my living room. I’m still working on writing a post with our living room updates. I’ve got a few more wall holes to paint and patch. Details.

I’m guessing those are the pictures you might have questions about. If I missed one, just let me know. It is supposed to be in the 70s & 80s here this week. I wish it would stay that way all year. Chris and I lived in Hawaii for a year after college. People told us we’d miss the seasons since Oklahoma has 4 strong seasons. They were wrong. Hawaii was always warm and green.

Speaking of Hawaii…I need to go back.

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  • Jenn - love that dress. no in my size on line anymore
    green is my favorite color but autumn is my fave season. i love the changing of those greens to beautiful yellows, reds, purples and oranges. autumn almost makes me think that yellow if my favorite colors. i also love seeing the greens come back in spring. there is something beautiful in it all. 😉 but hawaii……yes. i love Hawaii. and want to go back so badly

  • Tiffany Nelson - I am with you on Spring and Summer, I don’t welcome Fall/Winter or PSL. And yes, more Hawaii this way too 🙂

  • Peg - I have two fun definitions. Jacket-What you wear when your mother is cold. Synonym-The word you use when you can’t spell the one you want.

  • Jenn - I love your couch! I’m curious, did you build it, buy it (if so where)? I like the exposed wooden frame. Your house is so uniquely decorated and looks so cozy and inviting.

  • Tamsin - I love reading your blog! I’ve been following you for a couple years. We are preparing to go on a trip in the spring and I just had a question about Lower antelope canyon. Where did you reserve your tour? Do you have to reserve in advance?

  • Byron - We are different, I think! I love green but only the color, not nature. Totally jonesin’ for FALL! Bring on some 50s and 60s temps! Love me some coat weather.

    And I hated Hawaii when I was there. Humidity bites. Just my opinion though.

  • Roxanne Blunier - I agree with you! Love green and all things summer!! Can I ask what color you painted that awesome green piece of furniture? (In the picture with your kids at the table) Is it a color I can purchase somewhere or a color you mixed up? I love it! Thanks!!

  • Kelly Krause - Hahaha. I am not comfortable until the temp drops to 65 or below! And all MN winter long the big boys/men of my house do not don a coat unless it is significantly below zero. Uffda, I guess we are hardy 🙂

  • Emily - We had to set a rule that if the temp is below 55 when it’s time to go to the bus stop, everyone must be in pants and not shorts. It was 36 this morning and I STILL had to tell my 4yr old to put on pants! Sigh.

    Also – I hear you on green. I think I’m about to add a whole bunch of Kelly Green to our house. Swoon.

  • Kiera Chambers - I live in Northern California…and Winter = Green here! Late June-November we are literally the “golden state!” Bring on the GREEN!

  • kimberly oyler - aloha from the land of green and ALWAYS HOT. seriously, i am sweating my buns off every minute of the day. its so so so hot and humid. please come visit!!

  • Seamingly Sarah - Those are lovely greens, but I think you have not seen the right kind of Fall yet. I live in New England (Upstate NY and raised in Northern VT). I live for Fall. The colors, the smell of the sun baking the leaves. Reds, yellows, oranges, paling greens. The crunch, the crisp. Everything seems more alive because everything is passing. It’s glorious. Come visit sometime and see it!

I wanted to take a day to introduce you to this month’s sponsors, share a little SnapShop update and let you know Haley S. won the Sseko Designs giveaway. Haley, you should have an email from Sseko.

Now let me introduce you to this fall’s sponsors!

cutetapeCute Tape

the shop for cute DIY paper craft and party craft supplies

Website | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram


bellaluluBellalulu Vintage

vintage . industrial . retro . primitive . antique

Shop | Instagram | Facebook |  Twitter


And a little SnapShop update – As much as I wish summer lasted all year, fall has arrived in most parts of the US. My friend Ann Bennett is sharing her tips and tricks for capturing fall sessions in a new SnapShop lesson.


In January, I combined my SnapShop: DSLR and SnapShop:Phone courses into one online photography website with new lessons added monthly. Instead of logging in at a certain time or only having couple weeks to access content, the new site is subscription based. As a subscriber you have access to all the content for as long as you keep your membership. The monthly membership costs less than a fancy latte.

Registration includes access to all SnapShop content (used by over 3000 students since 2009), including:

  • SnapShop DSLR Course (a $200 value)
  • SnapShop Phone Course (a $50 value)
  • Interviews & tips with leading photographers & bloggers
  • Course discussions
  • Additional lessons posted monthly by Ashley Ann and guests!

To register click here and use the code FALLPORTRAITS for $10 off your registration. Code expires 10.7.16.

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  • Emily Bartnikowski - 1st) I am very excited for this new course. My oldest son has a wiggly tooth and I want to get photos of that before it’s gone and I also want to get portraits of both of them with their lovies…Puppy and Kitty are basically family members at this point!

    2nd) my FB memories prompt this morning was your Embrace the Camera challenge from 3 years ago. I feel like the next seven days are perfect days to embrace that challenge again!

    Thank you so much!

  • melodie - Hey Ashley! Do you still offer sponsorship to the public? My etsy shop did last year and we were hoping to again this fall, but can’t find the link anywhere on your blog.