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Cupcakes n Crunches

Life Lately: A Picture Post

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in Family Fun | 1 comment

Happy Friday! I’ve been enjoying putting together these little ‘Life Lately’ posts the last few weeks and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them! Feel free to share things from your life lately that you’re loving in the comments below. ūüôā

My Diva…

Diva

He said the sun was burning his eyes, so I gave him my sunglasses to wear. I think he wears them better than me!

My mini me…

My Mini Me

My putt putt dream team…

Putt Putt

My favorite girls…

My Girls

My aquarium squad…

Squad

My mom and I could not stop laughing at this photo because of the way Andi Rose is sitting! I guess I need to teach my child how to sit like a lady. And Atlas’ ice-cream stained shirt…and my untucked and wrinkled shirt…#hotmessexpress – but we had so much fun at the Georgia aquarium!

My jam…

My Jam

I looove this song and Dave knows how much I love this song, so every time we ride in his car together, he will have it playing when I get in the car. Isn’t that so sweet? If you haven’t heard this song, check it out – it is seriously the cutest!

My share bears…

Share Bears

My book…

Art of hearing Heartbeats

This book! Gah! My neighbor recommended The Art of Hearing Heartbeats¬†to me (she is an avid reader) and she said it was the best love story she’s ever read and you guys! It is SO SO good. I just started it, but the writing is so beautiful and I can already tell that it is going to be one of those books that just stays with me and will most likely leave me in a puddle of my own tears. But I love that sort of thing. If you’re looking for a summer read, I would check it out. Like I said, I haven’t finished it, but I’m loving it so far.

My workout…

My WorkoutI got to try Orange Theory last week with my sister and it was so great! It was 1 hour of interval training that included time on the treadmill, rowing machine, TRX and free weights and it got my heart rate pumping and my muscles burning. If you ever have a chance to check out Orange Theory, I recommend it!

My happiest memory from the week…

My Happy Memory

I loved watching Atlas laugh his head off with his cousin, Pierce. I remember when Pierce was Atlas’ age and I think it is just the sweetest thing in the world to watch those 2 interact.

My treat…

NSale

Oh, ya’ll! That Anniversary Sale got me good this year. (Insert that emoji of the monkey covering its eyes here. Or you could also use the emoji of the money flying away. Both would suffice). The sale goes live for the public today (only cardholders could shop it last week) and I definitely recommend checking it out if your fall wardrobe needs an update. I thought about doing an entire post about my favorite buys from the sale, but wasn’t sure if anybody would be interested in that? The (super) short list of my faves includes…

  • This t-shirt (its funny because I’m not a happy camper – I need AC)
  • These Nikes (obsessed with the floral pattern)
  • This leather jacket (even prettier in person & so comfy & I think it will be so stinkin’ cute with black pants or white pants and riding boots or ankle boots…seriously the possibilities are endless)¬†‚Üź That comment is more for Dave who is probably reading this and thinking, “WHY did you buy another jacket?!” I need that dang monkey emoji again.
  • This amazing beauty buy (I swear by this stuff)

If you want to know more of my faves from the sale, comment below and I’ll try to put together a post that will publish Saturday or Sunday. I’ll have to hurry though because stuff sells out fast during the #nsale.

Next week I’m doing a mini-series on CnC that will include some fun little giveaways, so be sure to pop in on Monday to see what it is all about and enter for a chance to win a few of my favorite things. It was supposed to publish this week, but unfortunately we had a rough week so I postponed it, but I appreciate your support and look forward to¬†chatting with you all next week.

Chic in Camo

Posted by on Jul 21, 2016 in Fashion | 0 comments

When we found out we were moving to Georgia, I joked to Dave that I was going to buy a bunch of camo gear. I’ve never been hunting a day in my life, but growing up in the south meant I had a lot of friends who loved hunting and they sported camo all.the.time. God bless it.

Well, it turns out I wasn’t joking about buying camo stuff because shortly after we moved, I found this camo t-shirt on Amazon and ordered it (in camo green). Ya’ll I love this shirt a little too much. Obviously, I love a comfy t-shirt because hello! Motherhood! But I think this shirt can be slightly dressed up for a fun look.

How_To_Wear_Camo

I do have to be slightly strategic in how I wear it though so it doesn’t look totally…what’s the word I’m looking for…redneck? I hope that isn’t offensive. But you know what I mean, right girls?

I think the key to rocking camo and still looking cute and chic is to dress it up. Like, I almost always wear this shirt with white pants or white shorts to brighten it up (because I’m obviously not really trying to blend in and hide from the deer). I also like pairing it with a big statement necklace and feminine jewelry to glam it up. Oh, and I think wearing camo with some cuter shoes and chic sunglasses¬†works too.

Camo

My necklace is here and I wear it all the time. I’m a sucker for all things monogrammed and I love how big this necklace is. My shoes are by Jessica Simpson (last year) and¬†they are without a doubt, my most comfortable wedges. I have a few other espadrilles that are admittedly cuter, but I find myself always reaching for these because they are just more comfortable and I’m all about comfort since I’m usually carrying a baby and a diaper bag while also chasing a toddler.

Perseverance in Suffering

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Serious Stuff | 3 comments

This post has been swirling around in my mind for quite some time, but I’ve been reluctant to write it. Earlier in the year, I did an 8 month in-depth study on the book of Revelation. The Bible study concluded in May, just in time for summer break, but 2 months later I still find myself thinking of the lessons taught during the course. One lesson in particular stood out to me and it was on the topic of perseverance in suffering.

I think this specific topic on suffering has stayed fresh in my mind because this year our family has watched a lot of people we love suffer. In the last year, we’ve had a friend bury a spouse, a friend bury her father, other friends who have buried children and friends who have had their world flipped upside down due to divorce. I tend to gravitate to the positive things in life and I’m an optimist by nature, but there are times when I can’t help but feel like I’m surrounded by so much suffering and my heart breaks for those I love and I think it is a natural response to ask God, “Where are you in that situation?”

Part of the reason I feel hesitant to write about this topic is because I haven’t actually suffered to the level I’ve watched some of my dearest friends and family suffer. I watched my husband say goodbye to his sweet Gram almost a year ago, and I felt like his heart broke in an almost tangible way. Then, this week I watched his heart break all over again when his uncle passed away¬†suddenly. We were on vacation in Florida when we found out Dave’s uncle was in the hospital. I prayed that God would just allow Dave to make it home to Pennsylvania to say a proper goodbye to the man who helped raise him. We pulled the plug on all our plans for the remainder of our vacation, booked Dave the earliest flight we could find and I¬†prayed that time would be on his side. Unfortunately, Dave¬†got the phone call that his uncle had already died while he was on the airplane. It is agonizing to watch the man I love so much hurt so bad as he prepares to do life without the 2 people¬†who have been his rock and sounding board since he was a young boy. In his time of suffering, I find myself feeling so helpless because I don’t know how to ease his pain and I’m left with a lot of questions, that will most likely never be answered.

We all know the story of how God parted the Red Sea so Moses could lead the Israelites safely across on dry land…but what happens when God doesn’t part the waters? What happens when you don’t make it home in time to say goodbye? What happens when the unthinkable happens? What happens when the miracle you were hoping for just doesn’t happen?

Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

This verse is comforting to me, but it is also very telling. God is basically promising that we will, in fact, walk through the waters and the fire. As in, He won’t be parting them for us every time. Hard times and suffering are unavoidable for us all. It isn’t ‘if’ troubles find us, it is ‘when’ troubles find us and your troubles will most likely look different than mine. But He also promises to be with us and I’ve personally struggled with wondering, “Is that enough?” If God took away the people I love the most and never offered me so much as ¬†a cold drink of water for the rest of my life on this earth, would His presence still be enough for me? I want to quickly and emphatically answer “Yes!” from where I’m standing right now…but then I put myself in the shoes of the mother who took her family to Disney World, only to have her son attacked and killed by an alligator during their vacation. I can’t actually fathom the severe suffering that poor mother is walking through and even from a distance, my heart breaks for her and I can’t help but wonder…”Is Jesus enough to get somebody through something like that?”

My Bible study challenged me to trust that God is always at work – to trust His bigger purposes in the present pain. ¬†The notes I received from that Bible study stated, “Just as storms and drought force the roots of a tree to grow deep into the earth, times of suffering and calamity in our lives draw our roots deep into God Himself…In times of severe suffering, God calls His people to know and believe He is enough. Sometimes all God is calling us to do is trust Him in the pain and with the pain. Even if we never understand what God is doing, He is worthy of our trust.”¬†

I just love that. He is worthy of my trust…because of all the good He has already done; Because of the suffering He endured on the cross. He’s earned my trust, even when current situations leave me with a hurting heart and unanswered questions. I certainly don’t think we can simplify the cause of suffering down to the notion that God allows it solely so we would draw closer to Him – I personally can’t imagine God allowing certain tragedies to happen for that reason alone. But perhaps I shouldn’t get so wrapped up in questions like, “Why would you allow that, God?” or “Where are you that situation?” and instead I should train my heart to simply trust that He is there and He is good.

David said in Psalms 119:50, “My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.”¬†

And Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”¬†

If you’re reading this in the middle of your own suffering, I’m praying that God faithfully guides you through the pain, one step at a time. I don’t know why you’re hurting and I do know I probably lack the words needed to ease your pain, but I truly believe that God sees and He cares.

Before I sign off, I just want to share this song with you by Lauren Daigle. It is called You Alone and we sing it in church sometimes and it always moves me to tears. The lyrics are just so so good. Download it on I-tunes!

Beach Babes

Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 in Family Fun | 5 comments

I’m going through the few photos I managed to take during our trip to Florida and I’m thinking it is so crazy how fast life can change. We were having fun at the beach one day and then less than 48 hours later, we got the news that Dave’s uncle wasn’t doing well and we were scrambling to get Dave on the first possible flight to Pennsylvania. We quickly went from vacation mode to the harsh reality that Dave lost his uncle, mentor and friend.

This week is a hard one for our family, but I still wanted to share some of these photos from our trip to the beach because it was Andi’s first time seeing the ocean.

Beach_Baby

She absolutely loved running around and chasing all the birds. She wasn’t wild about the water, but she enjoyed eating the sand.

Beach_Baby2

Atlas brought his golf clubs since golfing is his current favorite pastime.

Beach_Golf

Beach_Boy

Atlas loved riding the waves until he fell off his board. Then he was over it and back to hitting golf balls off the sand. (They were rubber golf balls so they wouldn’t hurt if they accidentally hit someone.)

Hands down, Atlas’ favorite part of our trip has been hanging with his cousin, Pierce.

Beach_Boys

Pierce is older than Atlas, but he plays so well with him and I’m pretty sure he is Atlas’ favorite person. There is nothing better than listening to Atlas play and giggle with his cousins. I just love how close they are and how much fun they have together!

Florida_Fun

I’m so thankful for the time we had in Florida and the friends and family we got to see, even if it was too short. This week I’m especially appreciative of any memories¬†I get to make with those I love and hold dear to my heart.

This One’s for Big Dave

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Serious Stuff | 2 comments

Early this morning we found out my husband’s uncle passed away. We were rushing to get Dave to the airport so he could catch an early flight to Pennsylvania in hopes of being with his uncle one last time, but unfortunately we were just too late. Dave is still in route to Pennsylvania to go be with his mom, but our hearts are broken that Dave didn’t have one last chance to say goodbye to his uncle – the man who he is named after and the man who he has always said was like a dad to him.

Uncle Dave was in a car accident years ago that left him paralyzed from the neck down, but for over a decade he beat all the odds and he proved that he could still be the life of the party, even from his wheelchair.

Uncle Dave

I’m so thankful for Uncle Dave and the investment he made into my husband and for how he welcomed me into his home and into his family. I’m so thankful that he got to meet our children and I’m so grateful that even though our hearts our hurting, he is no longer sitting in that wheelchair that he hated so much.

BD,

I hope you are climbing the highest mountains and hiking through the prettiest places now that you’re done with that wheelchair forever. I used to think Atlas got his dare devil genes from you, but it is becoming more apparent that Andi Rose is the one that likes to live life on the edge. I hope you’ll take on a new role as her¬†guardian angel (she’s going to need all the help she can get).¬†Cook forest won’t be the same without you and neither will our family. Thank you for the special part you played in raising the man who is now raising my children. I’m forever grateful.¬†

Give Gram a big hug for me. 

Love, Ashley

**

There was a special series of posts that were scheduled to publish this week on CnC that included some super fun giveaways, but in light of our family’s recent events I think I will postpone that series for a few days. The kids and I are in Florida (we’ve been on vacation) and we are trying to coordinate our travel plans to get back home without Dave so our schedule is a little out of sorts but I’ll try to pop back in this week, if possible. Thanks for your understanding, support and prayers.

 

My Life Lately: A Picture Post

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Family Fun | 6 comments

Happy Friday, friends! I’m typing this post up super late and I’m super tired, so I’m keeping this short and letting the pictures do (most of) the talking. ūüôā

My treat…

My_Treat

My running buddy… (Oh! Did anybody see the Vizsla on the cover of last month’s Runners World Magazine? You know I was a little too excited when I saw that, right?)

My_Running_Partner

My summer uniform… #dressesforthewin

My_Summer_Uniform

My late night snack… (I’ve tried these and the cookie dough flavor – Both are on point!)

Late_Night_Snack

My jam… (this is my current favorite song to run to)

My_Jam

My shopping partner…(He begged to try that romper on after I tried it on – I was DYING)

My_Shopping_Partner

My adrenaline junkie…

My_Adrenaline_Junkie

My squad…

My_Squad

I hope you all have a great weekend! There’s a fun little series coming to CnC soon, so be sure to check back next week! ūüôā