Hello All!

Thank you for stopping by to read my last blog of the year. I haven’t blogged very much, but my end of the year blog is always the one that I get the most emotional about. Sitting down and putting my thoughts on “paper” gives me a quiet moment to truly reflect on the year that has gone by. As I started thinking about what I wanted to write, the song Auld Lang Syne popped into my head. It’s one of those songs that breaks my heart and fills me with happiness, just like the New Year.

2016 was the Year of  Change. Some changes were hard, some changes were necessary and some changes didn’t really happen. I started my fitness journey in January. After having Kenna it was difficult to shed those baby weight pounds, but I  dedicated my extra time to living a healthier lifestyle. I made good food choices (for the most part 😉 ) exercised in beast mode and even got a trainer! For 4 months he kicked my butt every session and ultimately got me feeling like my normal self again. A few months later I was introduced to Amanda aka The Punisher and got involved in her boot camp classes. I thought I was in good shape when I met her and how WRONG I was! Those first few classes I didn’t know if I was going to make it. FYI folks, don’t eat cottage cheese before an intense workout and you might need to take a break if you are doing push-ups until your arms give out and you kind of fall on your face in front of the entire gym. *I can laugh about it now*.

In February Chase had his first big BBQ competition. It was kind of a big deal for everyone involved and I loved getting to see the spark of a new tradition that will last for many years to come. May was the month of the big friends beach extravaganza. While everyone stayed up late and partied, I went to bed super early and read books (I know, really odd for me!). Parker turned 4! My baby is getting big and all she can talk about is going to school when she’s 5. She’s doing great in gymnastics and I couldn’t be a more prouder momma. In June my mom, sister and I went to Vegas and again, I wanted to go to bed by 6 PM. Is that what having two kids does to a woman?! Just let me sleep!

July was spent in San Diego with my BFF/BFF4Eva/Bestie and I don’t think another trip will ever be able to top it, but I truly welcome the challenge. In a strange turn of events, I think I slept a total of 5 hours that weekend. One of the most memorable trips of my life… hot yoga, beautiful weather and all the liquor in California. I can’t wait to go back in 2017! July 23 my good friends Megan and Anthony welcomed Jackson James into the world and he is seriously the sweetest little guy. August was spent hiding in the AC, but I was able to get out and do a 5k. That was the first time I ever ran a full 5k without stopping. It was also the first 5k I did by myself. It was me and thousands of other strangers running for different reasons. I loved it and can’t wait to do another one. Who knows, maybe I’ll run a half marathon or a full marathon in 2017. I’m just sick enough to do it! 😛

September was a hard month for us. It was a really hard month for me. We were so excited to celebrate Kenna turning one, but two weeks before her birthday party our sweet Lexi passed. The morning of her passing she was running around chasing the girls just like any other day. If I had only known our sweet Lexi would not make it past that day I would have loved on her a little more. It brings me comfort knowing she died doing what she loved, chasing her favorite little people around a house filled with love. Losing her after 8 years is hard. I knew I would cry and that I would hurt, but I was unprepared for the way my heart would suffer with each reminder she wasn’t there anymore *and I’m crying again — tissue break*

Okay, I’m okay… I swore we wouldn’t get a dog so soon, but in November we welcomed Sammy or as I like to call him, Samson Winifred. He’s a Lab Retriever mix and he’s a mess, but just what we needed. December has been spent with family, friends and everyone in between. This time of year always makes me realize how full my life is and how grateful I am to wake up every morning and hug my beautiful blue eyed babies.

My girls are getting big and I must admit that it’s been difficult to juggle all the day to day stuff and try and maintain any kind of photography business. We will see where things take me in 2017.

In a few hours 2016 will be a memory and 2017 will be full of potential, Auld Lang Syne, “days gone by”. I pray and hope that each person reading this has a beautiful 2017. Fill this new year with good memories, laugh as much as you can, smile more (I’m working on this one), and find the beauty in each day even if it’s a hard day. Happy New Year, may it be filled with HOPE, LOVE and HAPPINESS.

P.S. Sorry for no pictures. Much love to you all.

XO,

Ash