To More of Life

It’s hard to know how to begin any post after so much time has passed. Not only has it been months since I’ve written here to you, it’s been nearly two months since I’ve written here at all. Your Momma has taken a little blogging hiatus, as I evaluate and reevaluate how exactly it is I want to spend the days I’ve been given. One thing I’ve decided is not to do anything just for the sake of doing it. I’ve spent too much time doing that and not enough of all of the other stuff that really makes me come alive.

Now here we are. Do I rush to fill in all of the days and weeks or months that have passed, or simply reflect on what is life, right now, this very moment – the beautiful whirlwind that it is for our little family these days. Really, the whirlwind that any given day with you is, because you have more life and passion and fire in your petite little body than I could hope to have in my pinky finger alone.

So much has changed, and I don’t mean just you, though goodness have you ever! I’ll admit, getting these images together, my heart ached at the sight of blue walls and a tiled bathroom and stretches of green grass. That was our home, baby girl. The space we brought you home to, gave you your first bath in, watched you discover the world just outside your door. The refinished hardwood floors on which you logged miles, first on your hands and knees and then your perfect little feet. It was where you lived the first year and a half of your life, the space I dreamed about you in, the place your Dadda and I were stretched to our limits and made only stronger. We’ve now been in the apartment for three months and in just another month, we’ll be in our brand new home.

You’ve taken the big move and life in our temporary home completely in stride, and that is one huge relief to my momma heart. I’ll admit, this place is almost always a wreck and I’m not being coy. The room that is our kitchen, dining room, living room, and office all in one space is basically an extension of your room and your “yard”. Try as I may, we just can’t make our downstairs neighbors happy because the fact of the matter is, you do not walk, you RUN (and climb and jump and never. sit. still). Okay, that last part isn’t true, as you have become quite the snuggle bug, asking to “suggle mommy” and pointing to our bed where we sit and watch an episode of one of your favorite friends’ shows. Gabba! Dora! Backa (Backyardigans)! Tommy (Thomas The Tank Engine)! Wo-wa (The Lorax)! Eh-mo (Sesame Street)! And admittedly, no thanks to your cousins while on vacation, your interest was piqued by that goofy yellow guy known around here as Sha-Ba-Ba (SpongeBob SquarePants). I just like to hear you say it, even though I can’t hardly stand the show.

Really, I like to hear you say anything, and you’re talking so much. I love hearing you piece together words in what could even pass as sentences, or sing bits of songs I had no idea you’d remember. One of my favorite things (as anyone who follows my Instagram knows) is to hear you “read”. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve discovered you paging through a book, on your chair, in the car, in the closet, babbling as you point to objects on the page and flip one after the other. We’ve started making full use of the library this summer, and it’s one of the saddest things to find you discover one of the books you’d grown attached to over the course of a couple of weeks was recently returned. Weeping and gnashing of teeth, indeed. But still, every set of new books and it’s all you can do to contain the joy. Elation. Euphoria. All of which are also induced by any chance you get to color, play with stickers, listen to music and dance or just be outside. If we could do each of those things all day long, I think you might be the happiest kid around.

You were made for adventure little one, and it seems sometimes that adventure was made for you. You had an absolute blast during our vacation in July at the beach with family. I mean, you took to the sun and water and sand like it was the most natural thing in the world. A bonafide beach baby, if I ever saw one, and we’ve been dreaming of taking you back ever since. It doesn’t look so much like its in the cards for us this year as we make all of the final plans and preparations for moving again, but we can certainly dream.

So here we are, in these busy but not too busy days, figuring out again and again everyday how to love and to parent you best. How to keep you safe (you little crib hopper you), how to keep you happy, how to help you understand direction and manage your emotions. How to prepare your heart for big and little changes, as simple as Momma heading out for an evening with friends or as complicated as learning another place we will call home. Where you can run and not run, where you can climb and not climb, what you can touch and not touch. And all the while encouraging in you those incredible characteristics we see taking shape.

You have taught me some of the most valuable lessons I could ever learn, my punky-boo. Somehow, you’ve managed to help me revisit bits of childhood I have often felt went away too quickly while helping me walk more and more into the woman I was made to be. A woman who is growing and changing right alongside the people she loves and the life she is living, opening her heart and her arms to more of life, including…

Kristine Neeley Pregnancy Announcement

…another little Neeley babe.

Beautiful Crayola chalk scripting by Molly Margaret of Esque Script (who also happens to be excellent at toddler-wrangling).
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August 30, 2013 - 3:50 pm

ASHLEY you’re so coy and so sneeky 🙂 beautiful post! you’re an inspiration friend!

August 30, 2013 - 6:17 pm

sandra indeed sneaky.
so exciting.
congrats. i love seeing all your photos on here and IG and can’t wait to watch the next wee grow.
love and prayers.

August 30, 2013 - 7:34 pm

kelsey goodness, I love that little girl!! <3

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