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Beautiful Chaos

Let’s start by saying this is a very transparent look at the life within our four walls. Some people have asked what it is like to juggle being a “stay at home mom” per say, a photographer, and a wife. We will just say I am the ringleader of my own circus. A circus that I have grown to love over the years, but not one that does not take constant work to run slightly smooth.


Just a little backstory: if you read my bio you know I married my husband back in 2011, then five short years later we started a family. Oh, then we continued to add on and on to where we are today.

Three kids, two dogs, a fish (we could not leave out George), and a husband help me fill this home. A home we have created, a home that is comfortable, a home that is “messy”, a home that we love. That’s right my home is messy most days, between homeschooling my oldest two to feeding a baby there are just not enough hours in the day for me to pick everything up. Oh, and I run a photography business. We do embrace the mess, but there are some days I may lose my mind in the clutter. Would I change anything? Probably not! Why? Because this is where we are right now. Three kids five and under making memories in our home is not something I can take back. I have learned to not let it control me and to embrace the moment. Clutter will come and go, right now it is here, and toys are there. One day I will wish for these sweet days back.


Photography is my escape; it is what I needed at one of my most vulnerable times. A time when I was searching for more, something for me. Our second child was not the easiest baby, he didn’t sleep and maybe still doesn’t well. His birth was traumatic for me, and I do know it could have been way worse. I kept a lot of those feelings inside for along time, our family embraced so many changes the first year of his life and I felt as the “lead act” I should hold it all together. When the storm settled, I found myself again, found myself needing something for me. Photography was it, I jumped in headfirst and never looked back. I am not sure that I can even call it “work” since I enjoy it so much and it has really changed our lives for the better.


Let’s talk about the chaos! My days usually start about 5:30am and end around 10pm, but a mom’s job is never truly done. The mornings are filled with figuring out breakfast and homeschooling. Lunch sneaks up on us most days and then it is “quiet time,” which is a loose term in our house. This is a two-hour gap where my five- and three-year-old may nap. A time that I try to fit all my photography work in. Maybe tackle some laundry, by that I mean pile it up more or move it from the washer to the dryer. Clean the dishes from the last two meals, maybe go to the bathroom “alone.” When 3:00pm hits I have better gathered myself enough to sustain the next two hours before dad is home. This mean my A game is needed to entertain and keep kids alive until backup is here.


Oh and the “D” word or “Dinner” these days is usually something simple and thrown together. Frozen chicken and corndogs are our jam, we should probably own stock in them. Bedtime really can’t come soon enough, 7:30pm is what we shoot for. This gives me a little time to pass off the baby and “work” again. Then it is my time to relax, or whatever that looks like. All to start the beautiful chaos over again the following day.


I am not here to be perfect, I am no Mary Poppins; all my ducks are not in a row. In fact most days I am searching for my ducks. The floors are sticky, dishes are piled, and laundry may get folded next week. This is real this is imperfect, but this is life. I am here trying, trying to make things run smooth. But I am here to say if any of the above text speaks to you and your chaos, you are my people.


Ashley


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