I'm back! It's been a while since I've posted, but things have been crazy for our little family! The best kind of crazy. For most of July, Todd's whole family was in town, and we spent most of our spare time up at Grandma Hawl and Grandpa Bill's house. I can't even recall (nor do I have the desire to because it's totally overwhelming to recap everything haha) all the fun days and nights we all had together while everyone was in town, but it was wonderful. I truly love my in-laws. I've said before and I'll say it a million times over, but I really lucked out with such a great crew. The pictures above are from one of the last nights before people were leaving town, and I went around and snapped some shots.
I specifically remember one of my favorite things that night was watching Todd play baseball with his nephews. It gave me major flashbacks to growing up. My dad would always play sports with us in the backyard. My favorite was football. He would draw plays on the football itself or just on our chests, and I always listened so carefully, ready to nail the play. I looked up my dad so much in those moments. I remember smiling from ear to ear with such excitement when it was my turn to go out for a pass. I remember throwing the baseball with my dad too. I always loved that even though I was a girl, he would still do "boyish" things with me. I was all about proving that I could do things just as well as the boys could if not better. Ha! But all of those memories came flooding back when I saw Todd playing with his nephews. I know Todd will be such an amazing dad to our kids, and I can't wait for the days of football, baseball, and basketball in the backyard, teaching them all the ropes. Geez la weez, just talking about it is getting me all choked up.
I've been thinking a lot lately about creating memories for my children. About creating a home that is safe and warm and full of love. Todd and I went to California this past week for a little getaway before school started (lots more on that in posts to come!), and my sister-in-law said at one point in a conversation, that it's important to find out what your values are, what's really important to you and really focus on that. It was one of those moments for me where I found myself "amening" and nodding my head profusely. This concept of getting back to the basics. The basics of who you are, what you believe in, and the values that you hold near and dear to your heart. Eliminating waste in your life. Eliminating things that are of no worth. Making your days meaningful. Living intentionally. But be careful...making your days meaningful doesn't mean jam-packing them with activities and to-do lists galore. Making your days meaningful means finding what makes you happy and fulfilled. It means loving and truly enjoying the people around you that you love. It means creating a safe place for your kids. And when I say "safe" place, I mean a place where they are always loved. Where they can "take risks" so to speak and learn from their own mistakes with your loving guidance. Where they can be themselves. Because unfortunately they live in a world that tells them they are not good enough. And that's just not true. Making your day meaningful means to cultivate an environment that your kids can be themselves. A place where their confidence is built and nurtured. But even if your not a mom. If your single, divorced, a co-worker, a friend, or whatever you may be...this nurturing environment can be within yourself! Create an environment within yourself that is accepting and allows the people around you to feel safe and loved when they're in your presence. Be the person that cultivates "safe" relationships. Relationships where confidence is encouraged and nurtured through love and truly caring for the other person's well-being.
Having said all this though, I hope you don't think I'm discounting the days that bottom-line really just stink. The days where you're so down in the dumps that the thought of even trying to lift someone else's spirits is seemingly impossible. The days where your outward thinking is non-existent, and it's really all you can do to get yourself through the day. I get those days. I understand those days oh so well. And if it's one of those days, I pray you can find some hope in that you're not the only one feeling the way you're feeling. And that tomorrow does come. Geez it sounds so cheesy writing that out, but how true is it!? Tomorrow does come, and there will always be the chance for a clean slate and a new start.
This post kind of took itself in a direction I didn't plan on it going, but that's really what this blog is for me sometimes...helps me navigate my own thoughts!
Thanks for all the support and love! Y'all da best. Have a great weekend!
XO, Ashton Tilton