Nearly two years ago, give or take a month or two, I was baptized at the age of 28, alongside my 5-month-old daughter. It was a special day for me for many reasons. One, I was standing before our church alongside Nathan, and proclaiming that our daughter would be raised in a Christian home, honoring our Christian faith and proclaiming our love for Jesus among our Church family, and two, I declared publicly my love for Christ and made an outward statement that I believed in the power of God and that I accepted God into my heart and life. I was spiritually connected to God and my Church, more strongly than I had ever been in my life. I enjoyed Sunday mornings, I sought worship, learned from the sermon and walked away from service feeling revived and energetic.
It is summertime! Well not like officially, officially, that happens – June 21. In my mind though, it is summer and that happens when the temperatures decide to stay in the 70+ degree digits and the kids are out of school. Now, Lo is always out of school, so I live through my friend’s children.
And, while I pretend like Fall is my favorite season because I like the weather, tall brown boots and fall foods like hot cider and warm homemade soups, really deep down, I am a summer girl. I am pretty sure if things went my way, I would live poolside in a zone that stayed 70+ degree digits year round.
Our dear friends just recently had their first child. We were invited down to their home to spend some time with their week and a half-year-old little guy and to introduce him to our very ornery, can’t stop – won’t stop, two-year-old, Lo.
I was a nervous Nancy watching my daughter bounce from step to ground, fearful she was just a mere tumble away into the peaceful newborn’s bouncy seat, where he so quietly slept. As I watched this beautiful boy stretch and yawn and wrinkle his oh so tiny nose, I looked over at my rowdy, rambunctious daughter, “No, Logan, we do not lick the concrete,” I calmly announced as my daughter was on all fours on my friend’s patio, lapping up the hard surface. In that moment, I turned back to the newborn so peaceful and dependent and then back at my puppy, I mean daughter and thought well gee this is my motherhood.
Lately, I feel like I run around chasing my daughter saying “No!” Our dialogue with our child has totally shifted and now I just find myself and my husband speak and think nothing of our dialogue until a moment later when it hits me, “Did we just say that?”
So I started this list – Parents Say the Darndest Things – with our recent conversation at our friend’s house when I asked my daughter to stop licking the concrete, in mind.
Darndest Thing #1 – The same night as the concrete and moments later Lo ripped a leaf off our friend’s hedge bush that lined their patio and placed the leaf in her mouth, “Lo, stop eating their landscape.”
Darndest Thing #2 – After a quiet moment, my husband walked into our daughter’s bedroom and found her on the floor playing in a small travel bag I have packed which contains band-aids, thermometers, and an extra toothbrush. My dear husband yelled, “No, that was in your butt, get it out of your mouth.” Hmmm… I thought from our bedroom across the hall. Turns out Lo had placed the reserved anal thermometer in her mouth. Then Nathan asked me, “Right? This goes in her butt?” Holding the red and white thermometer in his hand in our doorway. “Yes, dear, that typically goes in her butt.”
Darndest Thing #3 – One morning while playing with chalk on the front sidewalk that leads to our house, “Logan, chalk is for sidewalks, not for faces.” She had bright blue dusty chalk painted on the tip of her nose and was holding the red and outlining her face as I caught her.
Darndest Thing #4 – I dressed Logan, I gave her a bottle, her blanket and set her on the couch with a TV show so I could water my annuals in our front yard. Nathan yelled, “Ashli, did you change, Lo?”
“Yeah, why?” I call back.
I turned around to see my daughter with her top on but completely naked from the waist down standing in the front door looking out at me. “Logan, no, we do not walk around pantless.”
“Yeah,” said Nathan scurrying her along. “And, we don’t stand at the front door when we do,” I heard Nathan say as they walked away. 😐
You know how they say kids say the darndest things, well clearly us parents do too. Just another day, another dollar (no – wait) and another moment in the life of parenthood. And, I cheers to you on that!
I know what you are thinking, “Ashli, we see you.” You are not fooling us with your NEVER penciled in eyebrows and Miss “I don’t wash my face” before bed look. I actually commented on another Blogger’s Instagram this weekend when she shared her favorite face mask and asked her readers what their favorites were. My reply, “the last face mask I wore was in the aisle of WalMart at Halloween, about 10 years ago.” Yeah, that’s me.
So when Hairstory asked me to participate in a 30-day hair challenge, I was that girl looking over my shoulder for the hot blonde with epic waves flowing as she tossed her head and locks from side to side. She wasn’t there. Instead, it was me. A young (I am young still, right?) Momma in desperate need of some beauty hacks and love.
What is HairStory?
Hairstory is a new brand of hair products. They produce four products that are “simple, straightforward, and deliver beautiful results.”
What is New Wash?
A hair cleanser that completely replaces shampoo and conditioner. “New Wash cleanses with a proprietary blend of essential oils and naturally derived saturated cleansers, which respect the body’s natural moisture barrier that detergent destroys.” It works on ALL types of hair versus hundreds of traditional, specialized shampoos – and transforms hair that has been ritually abused by detergent, styling, and bleach. It is paraben-, pthalate-, sulfate-free, and detergent free.
How does it work?
1) Wet your hair.
2) Coat all of your hair.
3) Massage your scalp.
4) Shower as usual.
5) Rinse, or as Hairstory tells you, squeegee your hair.
Hairstory sent me a free bottle and asked me to replace my shampoo, conditioner and all products for 30 days and share my journey.
Pre-Hairstory, my hair tends to be dry and a bit brittle. I do not dye my hair, so I have never had a lot of products in my hair. I have ombre’ed these locks about four or five times, but that is it. I have a bit of a wave that never dries too great but instead needs a nice style, due to my natural frizzies. I would consider myself low-maintenance (although my husband would total disagree). I use no after shower products, shutter, I know. And, a curling iron is my best friend whether I add wave or use the hot burning iron to straighten my hair.
But here is the real scoop – I am a busy Momma and I want easy – with a capital E, so EASY!
I took the #takeashowerwithus 30 Day Challenge and I have pros and cons. I noticed that during week one, my hair seemed greasier than usual but as the 30 days developed my hair did start to change.
- My hair was smooth, like ridiculously smooth. When I got out of the shower, I could comb my hair with my fingers and there were no tangles.
- My hair air dried better than ever! No more, weird “natural” frizz!
- Fewer products in the shower. No conditioner, just an all-in-one product.
- The scent! I adored the scent.
- Maybe I did something wrong but after one day my hair began to look greasy. While it did get better it never seemed to last more than a day or two and I use to be able to get three or even four days in without a hair wash.
- Cost is a bit high but if you really do the math like the other bloggers out there, eliminating the need to buy shampoo, conditioner and after shower products, well you may find, money saved.
Overall, I would give this 3.5 out of 5. Why? The greasy factor I experienced made me feel like I had to shower more and as a busy mom, I just have no time for that. The Pros though are super strong, and I feel the need to fully disclose that I do have well water and that may have impacted the product and my hair. Other bloggers rave about the fact that their need to wash their hair was cut down. I do however adore this product’s thought and mission. Providing a healthy, natural product is really important to me and I would very much be interested in continuing this product or experiencing others as part of their brand.
Thanks to Hairstory for partnering with me on this post!
It has been rainy every single day this weekend.
This post contains affiliated links. That means I may earn some money when you buy things.
I know Lo, I feel your pain. We are all cooped up inside because everything is wet, it is spitting rain on and off and the fog seems to settle in. I need you sunshine, I really need you.
I was half tempted to just pack up and head to the nearest ocean, and convince my hubby to detour at the nearest shopping outlets to ease my frustrated mind. Instead, realizing that reality is really just a dream, I located some of the best online sales for the Memorial Day weekend and will instead sip on my lemonade while indoors, in my pajamas and allow some retail therapy to make everything feel better.
It was a rough week for me personally. I was chatting with co-workers about work-life balance and how at the moment it is nonexistent for me. I am at a pivotal point in my life where I am asking myself every day what my priorities are and how those priorities stack out.
Being a Mom is a huge priority, but even more so a present Mom and in most cases, I feel like Lo is not getting the best of me. One of my co-workers shared a story and it really moved me. To tears actually, I tried to hold them back and turn my head so she would not see, but they came rushing down my already damp face.
She had a friend who was sharing with her that when she was talking to her now older teenager/young adult children, she told them how looking back on their childhood all she remembers doing was yelling at them and that made her so sad. But the amazing thing was her child oddly looked at her and said, “Mom, we never remember you yelling at us.”
The perception we have as a parent is just our take on how we are raising our children. We in most cases feel like we are never enough. The true test is how our children feel, which leads me to share This link. It kind of wraps up everything I am trying to say.
Our mothers shape us in so many ways. And, while as Moms, some days we feel exhausted and like failures, not giving our best or our all, our children often remind us that the motherhood magic spirals bright and strong around them, long after the toys lay quietly on the living room floor, and their childhood room remains neatly untouched and they are off in the world and a phone call away.
I thank these fellow children of Moms who shared their answer to the following question to help lift their Mom and all Moms. Happy Mother’s Day.
How has your mother shaped you?
“Through the years my mom has made many sacrifices to give me every opportunity that has led me to where I am today. She has always led by example. Her unconditional love and willingness to give have shown me how to be selfless. My mom has never set a goal she has not reached, she is determined and strong, something I have always admired about her. She is the glue that holds my family together and I know how lucky I am to have been raised by such an amazing woman.” – Jordin R.
“It’s hard to narrow it down to just a few things when I think about my Mom and what a strong influence she’s had on me. She is a well-respected psychologist who ran her own successful private practice for years, all while raising three girls on her own. Growing up, she taught my sisters and me that it is entirely possible to pursue a career but to show your family you love them. She somehow found time to make us delicious dinners and homemade birthday cakes (I love to throw dinner parties and make food for people I love because of her wonderful cooking). She worked so hard to give us so many opportunities – we went on countless camping trips and hikes, and all took dance classes, did things like tennis and art lessons. I think the latter was also instrumental – we not only grew up curious about how we could be creative and expressive on our own, but we watched our Mom pursue her talents in and around her crazy schedule. She makes absolutely beautiful quilts, makes the best homemade bread in the world and is one of the craftiest people I know. Over the past few years, she’s become a master beekeeper, something that is her greatest passion following retirement. Now that I’m older and have experienced some of the things that come with that, like starting over after a divorce, my Mom is my strongest supporter and lets me know I can do anything on my own, that it’s never too late to have the life you always wanted and deserve. That’s been an incredibly powerful thing to share with her. The long talks we’ve had over the past few years since I moved to DC to begin my life as a single person have been so special—she understands what I’ve been through and she can see what I’m becoming, if I keep believing in everything that makes me happy and realize how capable I am. This has really deepened our relationship and brought us closer in a way I didn’t realize was possible. I’m so thankful for her and love her so much.” – Becca B.
“It wasn’t until the last few years that I have truly realized just how much my mother has shaped me into who I am today. As a child who never went to daycare, or even had babysitters, my bond with my mother has always been strong. She has shown true selflessness and courage and always encouraged me to be who I want to be. I always go above and beyond to make someone feel special – something that is undeniably a trait I got from her. All of the best things about me – are because of her.” – Tracey C.
Ever since I entered this word (breech, by the way, and I apologize to her for that, often) I have known that my Mom was going to love me no matter what! Of course, I tried my best to be that perfect child, but mistakes and bad choices were made along the way. I think especially during my high school years, I did some things that didn’t necessarily make my Mom proud. My taste in certain boyfriends and my total disregard for academic achievement come to mind. Of course, my Mother let me know she did not agree with certain choices I had made, but never in a condescending or nasty way. And never did she utter the words, “I told you so,” when she could have so many times. She loved me at times when I didn’t exactly love myself.
I grew up thinking of my Mom as my Mom, but also as a teacher. When I was younger this meant getting to open her Valentine’s Day cards, having her around all summer long, and going to help her decorate her classroom every August. As I became older though, I really started to appreciate the gift that she had for reaching all students and making every one of them want to come into her classroom where they would be entertained, loved, and would actually learn a little in the meantime. She would work late every night planning entertaining lessons and activities that she felt her students deserved. She truly loved every minute she spent with her students. She always emphasized the importance of laughing with, talking to, and most importantly, listening to each student each day. She always said teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs out there, and I am so grateful that I believed her enough to discover this for myself.” – Kristi A.
“I love my, mom. She is the hardest working woman I know. She has always been there for me, helping me and making sure the decisions I make are always the right ones. I learned this right before taking the big step to move out. Every time I brought it up to her, she always would say, “Are you sure you can handle that?” She helped me develop into the man I am today because of this. She is also so caring towards her kids and others. Anytime I come home and something is emotionally troubling to me she always knows what to say. I appreciate that she makes sure to comfort me and help me through everything before I turn to leave. She has always been there to protect me. Thank you. I love you, forever and always.” – Turner M. (PS- That is my baby brother and he is the one in the black shirt behind my Mom).
Moms, you are powerful and resilient. You are lovely and beautiful. You make the lives of your children and their worlds go round. We are lucky to celebrate you.
I was 16 years old. It was a Tuesday night and I had just got done cheering at my high school’s soccer game. I was tan. My waist was much smaller back then. Heck, I did not have “hips.” My hair was in place with a perfect cheerleader bow high on my head. My lip gloss was on point. I smelled great – Ralph for Women by Ralph Lauren was my go to those days. My nails were painted, I smiled big and giggled with friends along the track. My biggest worry under those stadium lights was whether or not I could convince my mom, who sat with the other moms on a bleacher nearby, to let me go out with friends after the game on a school night. Such a heavy worry for a 16-year-old. And, because that was my biggest worry in life, there was not a gray hair on my head or a wrinkle on my smooth face. Yep, I was my best self then. And by self, I am being purely vain.VIEW STORY »
Mother’s Day is just a few short days away and while I am sitting here on my back deck ALONE, writing, sipping a cold brew and being dive-bombed by a bumble bee, I can’t help think, well the solitude is pretty nice, minus the bee.
I realize that at this very moment I sound like a real winner. Basking in the quiet and silence and alone time. Maybe that is why this damn bee keeps attacking me. In reality, I would actually be quite sad if my Mother’s Day gift was a day to myself. I thrive off of the quality time we make for our family. So, while the quiet at this very moment is lovely, I enjoy it more in its short term.
Now, I would be lying if I did not say that an hour extra to sleep in and a day of not worrying about what to make for meals, this Mother’s Day does sound delightful. I think if anything those two acts of kindness and love speak volumes. But for those looking for the perfect gift to wrap up in a box and give to the woman they love most in their life, well I have a few ideas for you.
It is no secret. I commute. I think I have shared and whined about it a few times on here. Nearly an hour each way, two hours per day, at least 10 hours per week. It is equivalent to traveling to my favorite beach in South Caroline, once a week. Eek! Let’s not even talk about the miles or wear that I put on my car each year. But hey that is what cars are for right? To drive.
When people find out I commute the number one response I hear is, “I bet you love the time to decompress and be alone?” Eh! Actually, I am quite the opposite. I am a pit of anxiety. So, on the way to work, I worry and stress about everything I must accomplish in the day, the meeting I am dreading or the obstacle I must face. On the way home, I create a custom list in my mind of my next phase of to-dos for the day. So, basically, the commute just adds to my worry and stress.VIEW STORY »
1) Ease – When you work full-time, add on a commute, allow time to pick-up Lo and get home, sometimes it is 6:30 pm or 7 pm before I am even standing in my kitchen. I actually enjoy cooking but I do not enjoy it when it feels like another chore on an already busy day.
2) Semi-Healthy – I know. I sound like a jerk. Semi-healthy? Really? Could not just go for the healthy? I am real, people. Real I tell you! Maybe I have not yet mastered my meal planning and maybe I have not studied up on nutrition enough, but for me, #1 and #3 matter so much. If that Mac’ N Cheese calls for whole milk, butter and cheese – I am doing it! I do though always opt for fresh over processed and really strive for veggies and color. So there. Give me some slack.
3) Delicious – Yep. Mac’ N Cheese! 🙂 Nathan and I enjoy food. We love to eat. We barely eat breakfast and lunch is always on the go or at a desk, so dinner is kind of special and homemade always tastes best.VIEW STORY »