All posts by atlendsomelove

It’s a Mess Mommy 

“It’s a mess mommy…” I find myself waking up often in the middle of the night thinking about something I forgot to do yesterday. In fact this has become something of a habit for me. I remember people always telling me they couldn’t sleep at night and I could never relate. I used to sleep through the night. Now whether it’s a hungry baby, a thirsty toddler or the thoughts of yesterday’s mishaps I find myself AWAKE thinking about things I can’t change. Sure I can feed the baby, I can get us all some water but I can’t clean up the bath toys that are strewn all over the place. I can’t put the load of laundry I forgot to put in the dryer now because I may wake up all the babies and then Lord knows I might go insane. 

I’ve taught my little two year old very well. Ha! When she finds a mess on the floor somewhere, that she likely created a few minutes prior that she has seemingly forgotten about she will look at me and say, “Oh no Mommy! It’s a mess!” Or “Really Lola!” (Our poor dog) Now of course she does this in the cutest of toddler ways, in the cutest of toddler voices. Suddenly all the mess doesn’t matter anymore. Because in that moment I realize I’d miss all this if it weren’t here. I realize that no life is truly perfect even if you can wash all the dishes before you go to bed. Maybe I wouldn’t be awake again at 3am if all the dishes were washed but none the less… the moral of the story is “Let if go” Elsa… or Awesome as Ally says. (If your not the parent of a Frozen obsessed 2 year old, disregard.) 

There is so much freedom and wisdom found in the ability to let go of control. My favorite verse as of late. “Don’t worry about anything, pray about everything.” Phil 4:6-7 I find myself crazily quoting this as of late! Easier said than done right? 
…So if it’s 3 AM and you can’t sleep hats off to you my friends. We got this… ignore the mess a little for one more day and enjoy the good stuff, because life is short right and there won’t be dishes or laundry in Heaven … please Lord! Please! 

Minivans 

I have realized it can be very hard to be kind. I’ve also realized I have two personalities (well three if you count Peggy my alter ego who loves cake). There is Angry Ashley full force a coworker once lovingly gave me this title… and then there is Lend Some Love Ashley. 

Remember that movie with the emotions spinning around in the head? Yep, pretty sure the angry one grabs  the wheel and won’t let go from time to time. And for whatever reason Angry Ashley likes to visit like every single time I try to go to Wholefoods. The other day I was trying to walk into Whole Foods with the rest of my fellow hippies, calmly and quietly when a raging mini van driver decided they didn’t want to stop at the stop sign and they did not notice my existence. Sure fine when I’m alone, but not cool when I’m pushing my little babies in their stroller. So what do I do? Proceed to yell and throw up my hands, “You going to stop buddy?” The answer was no. Then I proceeded to yell, “Uhh Floridians!” 

Hahahaha! Yes, yes I did do this. When I look back it’s a bit comical. But at the moment I pictured ripping that person out of their van, making them stare at my child and apologize. I mean they were driving a mini van. They have kids right? Ok, ok you get it. Don’t worry that is not the point of this therapy session, um I mean blog. The point is that kindness is not always our first choice but it should be. It’s not always, well hardly ever it feels like, the easiest choice. But it’s the golden rule right? Do unto others …. Yada yada… Its like common sense, not so common right.

 I’ve come to realize people don’t know how to treat other people because they are rarely treated with respect. None the less I believe in treating everyone with love. I mean everyone. Even the mini van drivers. (No hard feelings,well some I’m still getting over years of minivan torment). If we really want people to treat us in a way that feels good to us, that makes us feel human too, we have to start doing the same. Why do we think it’s ok to call a waitress dumb because she doesn’t bring the butter the first time we asked? God forbid someone forget something at my pancake breakfast. 

Maybe if we would take a little more time to treat people like humans and less like our slaves we might get an equal amount of respect back. And if we don’t, still no one will die and the world will be just a little better, for now. Why don’t you try it today. Try to lend love instead of anger see how you feel at the end of the day… And if it’s horrible try again tomorrow. And I promise not to mentally attack any more mini van drivers…. Well at least for now. 

Happy New Year Peeps 


Sometimes life flys by right before your eyes, sometimes you try to take family pictures with a toddler and a 2 month old and tell yourself it will all work out perfectly and sometimes you eat ice cream for breakfast. 

Ok, ok maybe a little far fetched on the last one. Maybe not… let’s be real I’ve got a sweet tooth bigger than the iceberg that sunk the titanic. 

As this year comes to a close I want to do two things. I want to forgive my type A, extremely driven self for not accomplishing my 500 unrealistic goals like reading a million actual books or losing 20lbs. (Audible is my new best friend, since Ally thinks pages are fun to rip out). And secondly, I want to enjoy my family. Right now, where we are…no holds bar. Even though my almost two year old would rather cry because I refuse to let her sit inside the Tupperware I just washed, again. I want to smother her in kisses. Even though my once first born, sausage dog Lola is driving me nuts and won’t stop tinkling on the floor and even though there is still laundry in the dryer… (and on the table and in the closet) there are still dirty dishes in the sink, I didn’t finish cooking that appetizer I was supposed to make and I still have not showered today… TMI? Nah… 

I am going to do this one thing this new year, I am going to stop and thank God for my beautiful, imperfect family. For the many blessings we’ve had this year. For our new baby Audrey. Our beautiful new home, for a fridge full of food and closets full of clothes. But more importantly a heart so full I can’t explain it. Life’s not perfect but it’s far from rough. We are truly blessed to live in this country and to live in these days. 
Here’s to another year of fun! 

Bye Bye 2016 as our little Ally bear says !! 

Ball & Chain

It often seems these days when you hear someone speaking about marriage, you hear the worst. Often it’s complaints about a spouse’s inability to help out, their clinginess, their never ending nagging… yada yada… It’s very rare to hear a positive story about marriage it seems.

Now let’s be clear. I’ve been married 5 years, 6 in September, so I’ve got lets say a “white belt” in the marriage department. (That’s level 1 for all you non 90s karate kids out there) But I’d like to put it out there that marriage can be one of the most wonderful things in life, if we both are willing to work at it. So these are a few fun things I’ve learned about marriage in my few short years…

# 1 – Bacon

Sometimes my husband comes home lets say… less than happy, he’s had a bad day and I’ve had a long one too. Now, I’m not going to lie, there are the days where we just argue about nothing and annoy each other until we each go our separate ways for the evening… but the best nights include breakfast for dinner and welcoming home hugs and kisses. I’ve realized that Bacon makes everything better. Sorry vegans, but it’s true. I don’t know why but there is something about a hearty breakfast that just makes the day feel like it should have from the beginning. The point here, sometimes we just need to sit down and eat together and find comfort instead of coming home to a barrage of “to-dos” and disappointments. The dishes will get washed… eventually.

#2 – Tacos in the car

Once long ago, I ate taco bell, and I wanted to eat it in the car right after we bought it. No one likes a cold taco…however, my husband knows that lettuce will somehow find it’s way from that taco to the darkest crevice in the car… and he will be the only one to ever find it again. So, maybe just maybe, he will ask me to wait 5 minutes until we get home to eat. And, maybe just maybe, this will infuriate the hungry version of me. Though this might be the stupidest of stories and you may agree with me that tacos are more important than car cleanliness… sometimes, we have to do things we don’t like or agree with to make the other person happy at that moment. I have a choice to make, be rude and upset or simply wait 5 minutes and eat at home. This goes for a million other silly arguments we all have everyday…. I have to ask myself… is it really worth it to be right or get my way, after all I’m not a toddler anymore and the taco will survive the trip home.

#3 –  Christmas Cookies

When we first got married I wanted to spend all we had from our tiny monthly budget on Christmas presents, but instead I made Christmas Cookies for everyone, because truth be told it’s all we could really afford at the time. It hurt my pride a little…because I love buying things… anyway that’s not the story. On the way to our families house, I asked my husband something I’m sure I’ve said a million annoying times, not to drive like a maniac (his version is race car driver), please just this once. The cookies didn’t have a cover because I’d carefully decorated them and I didn’t want to ruin the icing. But of course, in order to avoid a looming death we had to swerve or who can even remember what happened, but those stupid cookies, they ended up on my dress… and my husband heard the life or death speech of a century. In the moment I thought Christmas had been ruined because the cookies looked like starfish instead of stars and they were surely not snowman anymore… if I was honest I would have realized that, before they were smooshed… Anyways, I’ve learned that in marriage, it is so easy to nag each other, to look at all the ugly things we don’t like and turn an already not good situation into something much much worse simply by how I choose to react.

Here’s the truth about life, it’s not always the prettiest. But, we can turn something ugly into much less ugly if we just don’t act like a brat all the time. It’s so much easier to be selfish or mean to one another because we can all be annoying sometimes. It’s much harder to say, “that’s ok baby, don’t worry about it.” And move one when all you really want is to make them feel as bad as you do at the moment.

And that’s it. Love is a choice, and an action. Loving someone especially your spouse more than you love yourself is going to be the hardest choice of your life, until its the easiest. Marriage can be your ball and chain or it can be one of the most wonderful things of your life. It’s obviously not always perfect, but it’s just how you want to see it and what your’e willing to put into it… just like everything else in life, right?

So all in all, just buy the bacon.

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The Holidays

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I can’t believe it Thanksgiving already! Christmas is right around the corner. These times are filled with memories of my Grandparents driving up from Ft. Lauderdale to see us in Clewiston on Christmas Day. We would wait outside at the end of the driveway watching the road with delight. We knew our Grandparents would come with a car full of beautifully wrapped gifts to place under the tree. We knew they were all for us. Every year we enjoyed time together with family full of food, gifts and the regular shenanigans.

I can’t help but think of all those who don’t have someone. Be it that their family is in another state and its just too costly this year to make it out. Or maybe their family just isn’t here anymore. What do we do? How can we love them? The holidays are a beautiful time, but they can also be a painful memory of loss or lack.

Lend Some Love starts with us. Let’s make this year different. Let’s look for ways to be love for our friends, our neighbors or the man you see every week on the street corner. Invite someone to be a part of your crazy holiday, buy someone something thoughtful… maybe just pay for someone’s coffee. Let’s look for ways to be what we all want, a kind hearted friend.

 

 

Mozambique

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I’ve known Mario for many years. In fact I remember the first time he came to my house. I could hardly understand half of what he was saying and he had the craziest long and curly hair. Flash forwad 10 years and here we are. He is working hard trying to accomplish a dream. See Mario loves the world, the whole world. A tad dramatic, you say… it couldn’t be more true. If you know Mario, you know he will do anything to see someone’s life better off. On many occasions he has helped me carry my groceries to my car after I’ve told him no… I am the last person to ask for help… ironic right! Mario spends countless hours donating his time to the church and will do anything for his friends.

Check out his page here.

https://www.gofundme.com/kf7qdngc

 

 

Living it Out

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Love in action. Meet “La Chinta” and Calvin Roberson. Two go getters. They make it happen. They spend their lives giving back. Every month they go to downtown Miami with cars full of food and gifts for the homeless. They meet so many people with every visit. They sit and listen to their stories, the lives, their hearts. They give love to the unseen.

If you want to be of aid, give donations or learn more about their cause, message Calvin or La Chinita here.

https://www.facebook.com/calvin.roberson.77?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/CHIIKIE?pnref=story

Living it Out – Part 1

Growing up in a small town can be quite challenging. For starters everyone knows who you are, everyone knows your parents, everyone knows your name and most likely where you live. When I was younger, I must admit, I thought this was a bad thing. I thought that I would never be able to get away from my past and if I would never be able to do anything “bad” because so and so would tell my parents. Now that I am older and wiser, so I think… I realize the beauty of a small town.

Everyone knows your name, everyone knows your family and they appreciate you. Not only that but they are kind, they take you home from soccer practice when you need a ride. They will feed you dinner when your mom has to work late and they will take you to your doctor’s appointment if your car breaks down.

What ever happened to the good neighbor? Why am I scared of the person walking past me on the side walk? When did community become a thing of the past? When I moved to Pembroke Pines at the age of 16, I learned rather quickly that if I wanted to make friends, I was going to have to do it myself. I could not sit around waiting for someone to be nice to me and hope we would be friends. I just had to do it. I learned that being kind to someone else, being a friend to someone else was my choice, first. It’t not someone else’s responsibility to know my name and appreciate me, it is mine to know them and appreciate them.

Lend Some Love is a social movement. It’s all about kindness. Rooted in my upbringing of a small town girl. Lend Some Love, is something we can all do. We can be kind to our grocers, kind to our waiters, kind to those on the street who cut us off! Even when we rather curse them out. What is the purpose of Lend Some Love? The purpose is to notice every man, not just those we deem worthy of our fleeting attention.

I propose we Lend Love on a daily basis to all we meet, even though it can be extremely hard. We can be kind first, and hope that others will do the same and lend more love to those they meet on a daily basis.

My proposal for this project, is to engage in daily interactions with people and go out of our way to be kind. Then I’d like to create some type of literature, like a tiny heart that says, “Lend Love” with a web link on the back. My proposal with the web page, would be a blog sharing stories of kindness or even pics of people catching others doing good deeds. The goal of this project is to spread kindness, something we so rarely see anymore. If we can keep on paying it forward and lending love, one person at a time, we will eventually make a dent in this overly busy generation.

I believe that engaging people in kindness is a wonderful cause. If we can stop and think, “Hey, I wouldn’t like if someone did that to me,” instead of just lashing out at people in anger or annoyance we could truly make daily life better. I for one have been the angry Irate person on the other end of the line and truth be told life is so much easier when I can relax and laugh it off instead of being rude for no reason.

So I propose we Lend Love and help others to do the same.

Scars

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As of late I’ve noticed a more emotional side of myself to be appearing. Some would probably say I’m a little more angry than usual vs emotional. ; ) We will just blame that on pregnancy hormones. Aldo will probably say I’m both… but we won’t ask him. Haha… Anyways, I don’t know if it is part of the preparation for being a mother or what it is… but lately I’ve noticed myself being more protective of people and how they treat themselves especially how they talk about themselves.

Lately, more of the women in my life have been my target… I guess I can relate being that I am one. It seems that we women carry things with us. Many good things… many other things too. We carry the weight of our past, the weight of what will become of our futures. We carry the words people have said about us, the words people have said to us. We carry our fears…our denials… our set backs… our disappointments… things that have hurt us… people who have hurt us…. and those that have left us. We can wear them in our attitude towards ourselves, in our attitude towards others. We cover them up sometimes, we do our best to put on a smile knowing all the while we are hurting.

Why do we carry this baggage like it’s not worth letting go of. We hold on so tight to what cannot be undone. How can we be free of the things that hold us back. How can we be free of our fears. Scars are not really meant to be beautiful. They do however serve a purpose. They remind you of what has come and gone. They remind you that you were once cut open and hurt. BUT scars are meant to heal. The only way they start bleeding again is if we ourselves induce the pain. I’ll say it again, scars are meant to heal.

So, where do we go from here?

We look in the mirror with the strength we are sometimes afraid to face or simply tired of maintaining. We muster up some more… We believe in ourselves. Maybe shed a few tears… or take down a pint of gelato. #guilty… We have to forget about what others have said about us. We learn to love the beauty of our story, even the ugly parts. We have to get off the couch and stop sulking. There are only so many re-runs we can watch after all. We have to learn to forgive, we leave the baggage behind. We all know how easy it is to say. Harder to do. One day at a time makes everyday better.

AND we can’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s much easier to bandage a wound with a nurse near by. Just saying.

One day I’ll write out my story. I can’t say how thankful I am for all I’ve experienced. Good, bad and ugly. Thank God for helping me face the mirror everyday and face my scars. I find strength in knowing that I can cast my cares on one who always cares for me.

Psalm 100:5 The Message (MSG)

5 For God is sheer beauty,

    all-generous in love,

    loyal always and ever.