Monday, March 5, 2012

{Think Outside the Blog} Family Ever After

Welcome to a new series! I've asked a few of Ashley's favorite bloggers to join me in supporting her while she takes some time off, after recently experiencing the loss of a sibling. So we're taking over for the next couple weeks. Be sure to stop by each morning, you'll get to check in with some of the internet's most adored bloggers, and find out what makes them think outside the blog. We love you Ashley, and send you all our love!

I am kicking off the series today. I'm Rachel, from Family Ever After.

What makes me think outside the blog?
Well, my blog is definitely a part of who I am these days. It makes me think, work hard, create, challenge myself, accomplish things that are important to me. But there is more to me than what you find on my blog. Here are a couple of those things:
Good People...
I am very blessed to live in a place where there are so many good people. People who reach out, uplift, serve, listen, and do good things. They inspire me every day to do more. Ashley is one of those incredible friends who would do anything for anyone. She's kind, caring, and sincere. I am a better person because I know her. This is us (pictured with another friend) on an adventure to Ikea last fall.

My husband...
most definitely. He is my motivation and reason for everything I do. He makes me want to be a better person. He shows patience, honesty, kindness, and compassion in everything he does. He works so hard, and is grounded in principles and values. I've known him since we were 12, we went through high school and college together. We now have 3 children. We've been through a lot together, and I love him more with every passing day.

all of my family and my husband's family. I love being with them, I am always so filled with love and joy when our families get together. It is such a blessing to have such amazing people in my life, and to know that we will always be there for each other.

I love being in nature. I walk my daughter to school as often as I can, just so we can be outside. I dream of one day having 10 or more acres to raise my family on. I want chickens and pigs, and a huge garden. I love hiking, camping, laying under the stars, snow, oh! there are so many pretty pictures I could share. Yet I chose this one of me hanging upside down in a tree.

in the physical sense. I'm so grateful to have a healthy body that I can push and condition and challenge. I feel like a new person every time I exercise. I eat healthier when I am active. I sometimes feel inspired to run, and I absolutely love clogging :)

My Dad served in the army until I was 11 years old. I lived on 4 different army posts growing up. You can bet that there will always be a place in my heart, that brings me to tears each and every time I thing of the brave folks serving our country to ensure our freedom. You can read more of my feelings here.

I was a novice gardener last year. It was a turning point in my life. It made me want to be healthier, spend less, be more self sufficient, and it was just a special bonding experience for our whole family. I am already making plans for my garden this year. I loved all the new recipes and healthy food that we grew for ourselves. I shared a few tips here.

Country Music...
it's just who I am, what I love.
You know that feeling when there's an amazing song on the radio, and you are running late and in the parking lot, but you just can't bare to turn off the radio until the song is over, making you even later? 
Yeah, that's me.
I'm a sucker for a good country song, a beautiful voice, and an inspiring message.
Some of my best ideas come to me when I'm listening to country music.
Watch this, just feel it!
Oh, and clogging to this... concentrating on nothing but your steps, sounds and rythym, there's no better feeling!

At the end of the day...
there are SO many more things that inspire me. A good movie, (Th Blind Side, Pearl Harbor, Dances with Wolves, The Bourne series, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Blue Crush are my favorites), a good book (French Women Don't Get Fat, In Defense of Food, The Help are a few faves), a good political debate, a creative project. But what really matters most to me is this... 

God. My family. Faith.
If I didn't have those things in my life, it would feel very empty. I am grateful to know who I am, where I came from, to make and keep promises to God, to read and ponder spiritual things. I'm a religious person, and I'm so grateful for the things I know. I believe in eternal families. I believe in forgiveness. I believe that God loves all of his children. I believe that we must work hard in the life to do the right things so we can return to live with God someday. This all ties in to the tasks I do every day, and bring meaning and purpose to what I do. There is inspiration to be found everywhere. I do my best to let myself be inspired, so that I might be able to pass on a good feeling or a good deed to someone else. Thanks for taking a moment to read!


  1. Oh Ashley, I am so incredibly sorry to hear about your loss. I can't even imagine the pain you feel at this time. I hope that through all of this you will feel the love from those who care for you. I pray that comfort will be sent your way as well. I am thinking of you & hope you know what an amazing person I think you are. We all adore you.

    And thanks to Rachel for being such a great friend to help out during this time. Such a wonderful series to have here.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss ashley! You are in my prayers, hoping you feel some comfort.

  3. I love this "introduction" and your videos! You are an amazing woman and are very blessed!!! Thank you for sharing.

  4. The said I agree with, also can say what, can only say that god loves you
    five finger shoes


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I honestly love reading every single one! If you have a question you would like answered- be sure to include your email so that I can get back to you!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!
xoxo, Ashley