ashleegadd Velcro baby. 4d

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ashleegadd Second lunch. 4d

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ashleegadd I haven't been a great mom this week. Sometimes it feels like I've got this work/life/motherhood thing down and other times it feels like I'm being buried alive. But Fridays are for us. Friday mornings are slow and lazy and it's the one day of the week that I give myself permission not to work during nap time. Fridays are my reset. The day I take a breath. The day I forgive myself and ask my kids to forgive me too. Fridays are for fresh air, and strawberry stains, and adventures, and sunshine. And leftover pizza for lunch. Inhale. Exhale. Gratitude. 4d

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ashleegadd California 4d

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ashleegadd Souvenir of choice: handmade shoes, always. 1w

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ashleegadd There is nothing quite like being greeted at the airport by your almost 4 year-old screaming "MOMMY!!!!!!" so loud that everyone on the escalator turns around to stare at you. Oh it's good to be home. 1w

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ashleegadd Antigua is full of pretty walls, doors, and plants. Basically an Instagram husband's worst nightmare. #guatemala 1w

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ashleegadd Guatemala: not afraid of color 1w

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ashleegadd That pretty morning light. 1w

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ashleegadd Happy Earth Day from Antigua 🌎 2w

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ashleegadd After years of online friendship, what a joy it is to hug @michelleackerperez in real life and swap stories over fruit smoothies. 2w

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ashleegadd Home away from home. 2w

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ashleegadd Today we visited a CarePoint in the rural village of Monjas, Guatemala. A man named Marcello has started a feeding program there and provides two meals per week for the local children, with hopes of increasing the meals to three by May, and five meals per week by the end of 2016. I wish I could describe Marcello in greater detail but the only way I can think to describe him is to say that his faith is the kind that moves mountains. After the feeding service today, we played with the kids for a while but my favorite thing was watching the MOTHERS get excited about the coloring pages. It caught me off guard to see them so eager to grab crayons and markers and make something beautiful. I sat at the table next to a mom nursing her five week-old baby with one hand and holding a marker in the other. She looked content and inspired, and as I watched her simultaneously make art and nurse her baby, I kept thinking I had never seen anything so beautiful. 2w

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ashleegadd The rooms at this hotel are $22/night. Now I might REALLY have to come back for a writing retreat.... 2w

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ashleegadd One day David noticed a swarm of bees, and instead of running away from them (what most people would do?), he just saw an opportunity. He immediately built a few boxes around the property and started catching the swarms. Because when God sends you bees, you make honey. 2w
  •   aliciatoday Loving and living vicariously through your storytelling. Can't wait to hear more about your inspiring trip! @ashleegadd 2w

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ashleegadd How you know a project is truly sustainable: all of the animal waste is used for fertilizer Also, their shower water and laundry water is filtered and then used on the avocado trees. That probably doesn't sound very impressive but the avocado trees sit at the bottom of a huge hill and the labor to set up that irrigation must have been intense. It was "just a little idea" David thought of one day. He is committed to the idea that nothing is wasted. 2w

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ashleegadd These 500 chickens provide 435 eggs a day (!!). Today we toured a fully sustainable school and orphanage. They grow all their own food and sell avocados, mushrooms, eggs, and honey to pay for their operating costs. The kids are learning more than just reading and writing; they're learning the value of hard work and stewardship, how to take care of their property and agriculture. David, the CarePoint leader, strives to take the kids "from crib to career" - all with a crazy amount of love and passion for their future success (seriously, you should have seen this guy.....love radiated from his body like sunbeams). This project was funded for a number of years by one church in Virginia through @childrens.hopechest. Children's HopeChest uses a community-to-community model for their partnerships, which are long-term and based on relationships. One community in the U.S./Canada partners with one community in a developed country, which leads to lives being transformed on both sides. I saw this in action today and it was truly inspiring. 2w

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ashleegadd So much to say, not enough space to say it. For now I will just say this.....there is a great deal of hope here, and Guatemalan hospitality is unmatched. 2w
  •   mandersmunoz My husband and I live in Santa Rosa. It's about an hour south of Guatemala City. Where are you? 2w
  •   ashleegadd @mandersmunoz Awesome! We are staying in Guatemala City. The group leaves tomorrow but I'm meeting up with @michelleackerperez to tour Antigua for one extra day/night! 2w
  •   mandersmunoz @ashleegadd have a great time! Antigua is beautiful! 2w
  •   michelleackerperez @mandersmunoz hi! I think I saw your comment on one of my posts?! If you're ever in Antigua let me know, I know it's just far enough from Santa Rosa to be a WHOLE day thing. @ashleegadd see you tomoooorrow! 2w

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ashleegadd I met @unexpectedmel at a writing conference in 2013. And by "met" I mean I fell in love with her at the open mic night and then awkwardly stalked her on social media until she had no choice but to talk to me. In 2014 I recruited her for Coffee + Crumbs and in 2015 we became real (albeit Internet) friends.
Last fall I started planning a writing retreat in Guatemala, which promptly fell apart when none of my writer friends could actually go. Exactly four weeks later, Melanie invited me to Guatemala on a different trip (of all the places.....?) and I was reminded that I don't believe in coincidences. Spending this week hugging her in real life and learning more about @childrens.hopechest with a small team of storytellers and advocates. Looking forward to sharing what we learn this week from local Guatemalan leaders who are sharing the gospel and transforming lives. Would love your prayers while we're here!
2w
  •   xiogseliga 2 of my favorite writers!! This is so neat! 2w
  •   michelleackerperez @ashleegadd so glad we get to officially "meet" 🌎 in my country of all places 2w
  •   spillingoverblog Oh this tugs at my heart! (In my heart of hearts, what you're doing is what I see God asking me to do one day... Combining my writing, my nursing skills, and love of those in need.) Looking forward to hearing abt your journey. Safe travels. Prayers for all. 2w
  •   laurawifler Just caught up on all your trip post. Looks amazing! Have an amazing time, Guatemala is one of my favorite places. I hope you come back inspired, encouraged and refreshed! 2w

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