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  • Ashley

New Year, New Decade, New Look

Hello everyone! Let me start by saying I know it has been a LONG time since we have shared any news on here. I was considering just letting the blog go since it was our adoption blog, but after serious consideration and discussion with Vince, we decided to make this more of a lifestyle blog. So we will still share updates of our girl, but we will also be chatting about life in general and whatever else pops into our heads. So here's to hoping you all stick around for this new year, new decade, and new look!

As for an update on life, things have been going well. Everly is growing quickly and is rambling and talking up a storm. We were a little concerned with her speaking at first since it took her a while to really start communicating well, but every child develops at their own pace, and we have learned that this spunky girl will do EVERYTHING in her own time. And you know what? That is okay by us. At least we know that if her personality stays this strong, she will never be a follower. And isn't that what every parent wants? We hope and pray she will be the strong, independent, intelligent leader that will one day move mountains. As for now, she will be three years old in May. Where does the time go? How can that even be? How has it been three years since we felt deep fear and sadness that it still wasn't our time to parent and that our Stormy boy was withering away right before our eyes? It is so bittersweet. We love watching her grow and bloom, but hate how quickly it flies by. Today, Everly is still our social butterfly who loves to stop and dance even with the absence of music, splash in puddles, boss her fur sister around (and to be honest, the rest of us), and play with any child she comes into contact with. She loves ice-cream, but also loves broccoli, rice, pasta, and mac n cheese. Everly is truly the love of our lives and a complete joy to be around.

In other news, for those who do not follow us on Instagram or Facebook, I have officially finished the rough draft of our adoption memoir. I am saving up money now from a little bow shop I started last spring about this time so that I can have it edited. Then we will try to get it published traditionally, and if that does not work, we will be publishing it independently ourselves. In fact, we may decide on that route anyway. Either way, our goal is to have it in our hands before the end of 2020. And I am freaking excited! I am also equally terrified, nervous, anxious, happy, proud, and every other emotion a person could possibly feel. It is raw, you guys; I mean raw and honest and completely real. I hold nothing back, and sometimes that has me so incredibly nervous. I know putting myself and our thoughts and struggles out there for everyone to read opens us up to scrutiny. That is hard and scary, but at the same time it is freeing. There is a big part of me that feels that if one person reads our story and gets one thing out of it that helps them, then it is all worth it. Hopefully many will enjoy it, but if not, that is okay too. I am just excited to say I will have accomplished a goal that I have had for myself since I was twelve years old.

So it's March. Spring is in the air and that makes me so happy. Unfortunately, for most of the world, COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on our lives. I am in day seven as I write this of social distancing and for someone who frequently runs errands or goes out to eat, this is a struggle. I am trying to take care of myself mentally and physically. When I feel like the walls are closing in, I jog or workout. I am drinking my water and practicing daily gratitude, and that is helping tremendously. (By the way, all these tips are fairly well-known, but Rachel and Dave Hollis have been lifesavers for me this week. If you are living under and rock and do not yet know who they are, find them and read and listen to EVERYTHING! They are so amazing and motivational.) Anyway, when I feel trapped or scared and sad about being shut up in the house, I then begin to realize how entitled I am. We are being asked to shelter in place in the comfort of our own homes with access to food at grocery stores (maybe not toilet paper though), with our families, while watching Netflix all day and night. How awful! Maybe it's all about perspective. That is what is getting me through without going completely crazy with worry and fear and confinement. Well, that along with a cute, sassy toddler and plenty of snacks. ;)

I'll be back later this week to discuss other ways to spend your time while social distancing. Please stay indoors as much as possible and let's get this virus wiped out soon so that when summer is here, we can enjoy it. Until next time...enjoy spending more time with your loved ones. And of course, here are some pics of our last 10 months since updating. Enjoy!

Summer was spent eating ice-cream, playing in sand and water, eating popsicles, playing with sidewalk chalk, going to the zoo and aquarium, spending time with the horses and family, going to festivals, taking trips to the library, and so much more.

Fall and Christmas are our favorite times of the year though! Pumpkin patches, Halloween, leaves, carving pumpkins, apple orchards, and so much more. And Christmas has snow, and gingerbread houses, Christmas trees, movie and music, decorating cookies, and Christmas morning, and the list goes on.

And now that spring is arriving, here are a few more random pics of the last couple months!

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