Monday, July 20, 2015

Oh pregnancy...

You know we choose it, despite what we may encounter along the way, we choose to bring beautiful children to this world. 

I'm going to be real, pregnancy for me sucks. It's not beautiful or glamorous. I definitely don't glow and I certainly don't get by without hiccups, but yet the reward is so great. 

Contemplating on my pregnancy this round had me in sort of a humorous laugh. I find myself saying things like "the 10 kidney stone I passed was manageable" or " at least I didn't have SPD this round!" Or "well I've only gone into preterm labor 5 times and had over twelve shots of could be worse." 

Then this week happened. On Sunday I fell pretty hard chasing Austin at church. It put me into some serious contractions so I went in. After fully laboring 8 hours they sent me home at a 4+. At this point I realized I've had just about enough of this emotional roller coaster. I was done. So all day today I rested, and then of course half way through the day, bleeding. Turns out I have a kidney stone and a UTI. 

At this point all I want is a little normalcy. I want to enjoy pregnancy like many people, but forgive me if I don't. Forgive me if I seem a little hesitant and negative to do it all over again. Forgive me if I look a little TO forward to being induced.

What gets me through is knowing God has a plan, and he knows my suffering. Only he can truly understand what emotional and physical roller coaster I have been on, and I pray that if I am to have another kid, he can also erase the pain I've been holding onto these past two pregnancies. 

I'm just blessed to have so much support and good people for those nights I had to go in, and needed someone to take me or to watch Austin. Thank you all!  

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Oh Austin...

The best way to record memories is to write them down. Since typing is so much faster, why not add it to the neglected blog.

Austin, what a boy you have become. You are one happy, wild, free spirited little human. You keep me on my toes more than I could ever imagine. I want to write down a little bit about yourself, so in the future you can know exactly what kind of kid you were, at least from your Mother and Father's eyes.

Let's start with how great of a sleeper you are. You literally sleep 12-13 hours at night! When you wake up you play in your bed with all your stuffed animals (mainly "Ellie") and I actually have to bribe you to get out. I always ask you if you want to see outside, and immediately you jump up and say "see bike, see pink car" (these are things the neighbors leave outside). You are at your sweetest point in the morning, I love my mornings with you. You love banana's and juice, and "maulk" (bless your heart one day you will say milk the right way!) You are also a huge lover of any fruit known to man kind.

You are a firecracker Austin. Everything you do, you do it 140% (or more haha). You put your whole energy and concentration into everything. You want to take everything apart just to see how it works. You love bikes. Every time you see a motorcycle, bicycle, or anything really with 2 wheels, you yell "BIKE, THATS COOL." You love the outdoors in general. You could live outside. Whenever it's time to come inside, you throw quite the tantrum. You yell, you scream and you say "go ousside" over and over until we finally distract you on something else. You love the pool and splash pad. Every day we pass it you go "pool mama, pool!" You are most definitely my child. One water baby to another. You also love planes. They pass over our house frequently and when you hear a plane you drop everything your doing, look up, and say "Pannneee."

Lets just briefly describe your love for Mickey. Every.Single.Day. 1000X a day we watch "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse." It's a good thing I love you so much, because I think I've seen it more than I watched Barney as a child.

Let's just talk about your mischievous side. You do not like the word no, or stop, or anything that stops you from being your free little spirited self. It's landed you in time out a time or two (or 100000) but believe it or not you actually stay in time out. Although you shoot us cute looks to get your way out of it. You're also an extremely fast runner. You can out run your 8.5 month pregnant mom any day. Unfortunately it's scared me to death a few times and I had to stop you from running in the street. You also love to throw things when you aren't supposed too. Namely my phone, and balls in the house, and toys when you don't get your way. You have one heck of an arm and I am sure it's going to serve you well in the future, but for now... It gets you in some trouble. When you get really frustrated, I mean really upset sometimes you hit me, but immediately after you look at me, put your head on my shoulder, and say "sowwy mama, la you mama."

Whenever your Dad or I get home or you haven't seen us for a few minutes you look at us with wide happy eyes, a big smile, and say in your sweetest voice ever "Hi mama, dada" It literally melts me and your Dad's hearts. You are a sensitive little spirit when it comes to your emotions. You are very gentle with other kids. You don't hit, or bite. You are great at sharing, and you love it when other kids come to play with you. If another kid is a little tough or doesn't want to share you back off and get quiet. You are guarded with your emotions, but you love with all you have.

You love bath time - like holy cow. Ever since you were little. You live for water. Every night at bed time you have to have "Ellie" ( you have to have her all the time actually) and your "Binky" you always want us to sing two songs. Twinkle Twinkle and I Am A Child of God. You love your turtle and glow worm that light up. For a little while you were terrified of the smoke detector, but luckily you don't think it's going to eat you anymore.

You truly are a special little boy. You light up my world. Although some days you wear us out, every bit of it is a blessing. I can't tell you how grateful I am that you are healthy, mobile, smart, and full of life. God has given me a true slice of heaven. Every day I see a part of my parents in you. You keep a piece of them with me always. I hope one day you get to know them, because you are so much like both of them.

I know I work a lot and I lose my patience with you sometimes, but know, always know you will ALWAYS be my baby. I will ALWAYS love you with everything I have, and I will always want you to be the person you are meant to be.

I also want you to know how much your Dad loves you. You're a lucky boy to have him as "dada." He is so present in your life and puts so much energy into you at the end of each day. He works very hard, but when he comes home his attention falls on you. He wants you to know that he will forever be a huge part of your life, your coach, your #1 fan. In the future, know when he may be hard on you sometimes, it's because he only wants the best for you. Know he will never push you to be anything but who you are. He is a good man, and I know you will follow in his footsteps.

We love you Austin. This is for you. This is for your future. Right now you may only be 2 years old, but that will change before I know it.

In a few short weeks you'll have a little brother, and I am so excited to watch how you change and grow with him.

Oh Austin, how I love you.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Learning to Live Without

November is birthday month for both of my parent's. My mama's is November 3rd (today) and my Dad's is November 29th. My Birthday lies right in-between on the 13th. 

Someone last night asked me if I struggle with the loss of my parents on Holidays. I answered him saying, almost exactly what the quote above says.

The most painful thing is living every day without the ability to have them living it with me. It's the moments I want to call them to talk about my day, something good that happened, or if I am hurting and just need my mom. I realized that its ok to hurt. It's okay if I am not always put together, it is okay to miss them, and I do. I miss them a lot.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Let It Go

This quote really fits the way I have felt since earlier this year. I was faced with some situations where it was really hard to have the desire to be forgiving and love my enemies. I found it especially difficult when this enemy was thought to be my friend. It can often times be hard to understand why a person would pretend to be ones friend, and put effort into something that they really had no desire to be apart of. I let myself carry this burden for a long time. I analyzed why they said the things they did about me and involved people who didn't even know me or had never talked to me. The people I shared this experience with, asked me "why haven't you confronted them?" "are you going to call them out?" "are you going to be nice to them?" I thought about all these questions quite a bit, and then after a few months I realized…"why am I dwelling on this at all?" I knew I would come in contact with this person multiple times a week, so what could I do to make the situation less burdensome. After lots of thought, and run in's with this particular person. I began to let it go. I stopped avoiding conversation, I stopped avoiding encounters. I stopped letting it hurt me. The truth is, I let it go. Now when I see them, I don't think about the hurt they caused, I think about how I can make things better between me and this person. I don't owe anyone an apology, but there is truth behind loving your enemy. It is possible, and once you learn to let the heavy burden go, and try to understand where that person is coming from, you heal. I may never understand the reasons why, but I don't need to. The only thing I need to understand is that person a little better. Sometimes if a thing weighs heavy on your heart, let it go. You'll thank yourself later. 

Ashley Renae

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Happiness is...your "real" self

My husband had me watch a documentary that was recommended to him by his sister Michelle. It is called "Finding Joe." I didn't want to watch this at first because it was 70 minutes out of my time that was too precious to give up. However, I'm grateful I stuck it out and watched the movie. 

This movie has really made me try to embrace my "real" self. In my difficult moments, and in my trials, I have tried to capture that small moment where I feel things that my "real" self feels. If you're wondering what I mean by "real" self. I mean that person that society doesn't tell what is right or wrong, that person who knows and believes they really can do anything they put their mind, effort, and energy too. The truth is, we rarely are our real selves. We get caught up in worldly standards, society standards and stereotypes for ourselves. 

I am not going to get into detail because that could make for a long blog, but I really suggest that everyone goes to iTunes and rents this movie. It's $5.00 and it's worth every penny. It's helped me realize what I thought brought me happiness really isn't what brings my real self and my subconscious happiness.

I captured a few moments that do make me happy, all the way down to the core.
Austin helping daddy fix a table!

Piggy back rides in the park

This boy and his elephant.
This boy makes me happier than anything possibly could.

This good looking man and the encredible father and husband he is.

A happy baby, after a good nap.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Happiness is...being grateful in our trials.

Ryan and I live really busy lives. Most days I try not to contemplate how busy our lives are, but somedays I can't help but feel exhausted from it.

I thought it was manageable being a full time Manager, Student, Wife & Mom, but I was CRAZY for thinking that. Even super woman can't handle all that without feeling exhausted! Not to mention throw a social life and spiritual life into that and I'm fried! 

I am not pleased with the circumstance I've got myself into, but I am grateful I am healthy, able, and determined enough to finish what I started. The talk given by Uchtdorf in General Conference really made me take a step back and see how I can be grateful in times of trials, distress, and hardship. I have been through quite a bit in the past 3 years, and I used to wonder when I would get a break. Taking a look back, I feel there was always a silver lining during my times of hardship. Always an upside. It's during those dark times that I tried to find any bit of goodness I could. I feel like being grateful during those times can heal you. 

I continue to tell myself, this isn't forever. Soon I can simply go to work and come home to my family. I'll have my degree and I'll have accomplished a task that has been a challenge since I began 7
Years ago. (Yes 7, I've had a lot happen inbetween). My husband and I can actually have time to workout, hike, camp, bike, enjoy life!

I am ready, so ready. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Happiness is...A Letter to My One Year Old


Today you turn One. I honestly cannot believe how the time has flown. I still remember the day I found out about you. You know, your Grandma Annie was the first to know, even before your dad! You won't get to meet her in this lifetime, but she loves you, and one day you will know her well.

Austin, I want to let you know how grateful I am for you. You truly are the light and joy in my life. Everyday I come home from work to you, you have your big toothy grin (by the way you have 8 teeth already!), and you clap your hands. You have no idea how much that means to me. Every time I drop you off before work, and you cry and cry because you are sad I am leaving, although it hurts, I am so glad you love me soooo much! You are growing up so fast, and sometimes I wish I could slow it down.

You have such a personality already. You are one of the happiest babies I have ever seen, and I am not just saying that because you are mine. Since the day you were born you rarely cried, and you still rarely cry. On the exception of when you are hungry and tired! You are strong as an ox. It amazes me how you can crawl up on the couch like you are a little rock climber just to reach the blinds. You are so smart. I watch you pick things up and examine them like you are trying to figure out how it works. (you get that from your dad and Papa Bill.) Your curiosity is intriguing. You love the pantry. When the door is open you crawl super fast to get inside, and take all your sippy cups out of the basket. You also love the remote, toilet, and toilet paper. You are determined, when you want something you find a way to get it, when you want to get somewhere you find a way to get there. (I take credit for that). You love love love food. If dad or I are eating, you MUST be eating also. There is no exceptions!

Most importantly Austin, you are YOU. I love YOU. I am grateful for YOU. You saved me! I don't know how I could have made it through certain things if I had not been pregnant with you. You truly took pain away from my heart and let joy and happiness fill it. You will do great things. You are strong and determined and will succeed at whatever your endeavors are in life. I hope to bring you up to know  your Heavenly Father, and that you can be a strong man of faith. I am so excited for the years to come, and I am so grateful God gave me you.

Your mama!