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  Posted: Jul 5, 2012 6:06 AM
112
6 Valencia
Everett's first fourth of July! 🇺🇸 #latergram

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User Image ashleegadd Posted: Nov 14, 2017 2:23 AM (UTC)
letterfolk
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For a clean house, lit candles in the kitchen, a belly full of popcorn, the sound of rain, and mini pumpkins on the shelf. 💛 #yocgratitude #theseareafewofmyfavoritethings
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Nov 10, 2017 5:17 PM (UTC)
coffeeandcrumbs
thevillagemagazine
risenmotherhood
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Four years ago, I sat in a room with hundreds of women at a writing conference listening to @annvoskamp lay down some serious truth. You know when the Holy Spirit nudges you like HEY GIRL, LISTEN UP. It was one of *those* moments. I remember my heart beating faster when she looked out over the crowd and said, “It’s time we stop believing in the myth of scarcity and start partaking in the truth of abundance.”⠀

That day, in that room, I felt the sting of conviction. It was the moment I realized I had been living in a scarcity mindset for most of my twenties. Every time someone else received an opportunity, I thought there was one less chance for me. I constantly looked at what everyone else was doing, measuring my own success against theirs. I used other people’s accomplishments as a metric for my own gifts—and, as a result—I had convinced myself I had nothing worthy to bring to the table. ⠀

A scarcity mindset will do that to you. ⠀

Ann’s words sunk in my heart that weekend like an anchor, tethering me to a new truth: there is room for me. I begged the Lord to help me believe that. A few weeks later, He dropped the idea for Coffee + Crumbs in my heart. I’ve been running in my own lane ever since, and I can’t even begin to tell you the freedom I’ve found there.⠀

An abundance mindset will do that to you. ⠀

Ladies, hear this: There is room for you! Our Creator has designed a unique lane specifically for you, and nobody can take it away. The world will tell you that “success” is achieved by overcoming competition, but here’s more good news: there is NO COMPETITION IN THE KINGDOM. The sooner you learn that, the better. ⠀

Now let me tell you about some of my friends ... ⠀

@risenmotherhood has an amazing, powerful podcast that equips mothers to apply Gospel truths to their everyday life. @thevillagemagazine has created a gorgeous magazine, and hosts beautiful events all over the country connecting mothers in real life. I love them both, and think you will, too. Thank you, @laurawifler and @krystalmfesterly, for creating these phenomenal spaces for mothers. I love running alongside you. #getaftergrateful #followfriday
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Nov 7, 2017 8:32 PM (UTC)
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I am constantly asking myself:⠀

How do I create in this space, meaningfully?⠀
How do I consume in this space, meaningfully?⠀

The temptation is there, always, to create and consume more than we need to. We have all the power at our fingertips—the ability to frantically capture pictures and videos of anything and everything. Look at me! I’m drinking coffee! I’m walking outside! I blow-dried my hair! My kid is being cute! My house is clean! I’m at the gym!⠀

We could, quite literally, document ourselves all day long—our food, our drinks, our errands, our outfits, our hair, our workouts, our vacations, our children. We can pop our faces on the screen and share our thoughts about politics, motherhood, and everything in between. Nobody is stopping us. Nobody is really holding us accountable for what we share in this space. ⠀

These devices we carry around in our pockets can house thousands of images and videos at a time.⠀

They’re like digital cameras on speed.⠀

And I guess where I’m going with all of this is … aren’t you tired? I am. I feel like I’m living in a crowded amusement park, and every time I think I’ve carved out a little nook for myself, more people come inside shuffling against my body yelling about treats and roller coasters. I feel like I’m suffocating in a space that seems to thrive on more more more.⠀

// Blogged about my complicated feelings about social media. And yes, I fully realize the irony of then promoting this ... on social media. 😳 Link in profile nonetheless. How do you create and consume meaningfully in this space? I'd love to know your thoughts.
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Nov 6, 2017 3:09 PM (UTC)
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After I finished Whole30 a few months ago, I started getting up at 6am to write in the mornings. Pumped on adrenaline and confidence after going thirty days without sugar (or dairy, or bread, or alcohol), I was convinced I could do anything I set my mind to—including waking up before the sun.⠀

This quickly became my favorite habit, starting each day by candlelight in my quiet office. I wrote lots of things … lists, prayers, essays, e-mails to my kids. I consumed entire cups of hot coffee, a miracle in itself. After an hour or so, I’d greet the kids with a smile on my face, refreshed and ready to start the day. My tank was full. There is something to be said for consuming 200 milligrams of caffeine before seeing your children on any given morning.⠀

But then school started. And then soccer started.⠀

I fell off the bandwagon, is what I’m trying to say.⠀

It started slow, after a late night of soccer. I moved my alarm up to 6:15 thinking those fifteen extra minutes of sleep would buy me the rest I desperately craved. Then 6:15 became the new normal and when my husband left town for a week, I bumped my alarm up to 6:45 because the stomach bug was running through our house and do you know how exhausting it is to solo parent while also cleaning vomit out of the carpet? Very. ⠀

Once 6:45 became the new normal, it started to get cold, which made it even harder to get out of bed, which meant I started snoozing the alarm until 7. I needed to wait until the heater kicked on, obviously.⠀

I’ve been failing at writing in the mornings, is what I’m trying to say.⠀

But then Daylight Savings happened! Imagine that! An extra hour falling out of the sky—a fresh start, a chance to reset and re-dedicate myself to the morning pages. I’m all in today, back at it with my candles and coffee, grateful for new mercies in the morning, and a chance to start a life-giving habit, again, on this otherwise ordinary November day. #getaftergrateful #yocgratitude
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Nov 4, 2017 1:09 AM (UTC)
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For $5 flowers, a clean inbox, two boys quietly making a mess at the kitchen table, and our last soccer game of the season. #getaftergrateful #yocgratitude
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Nov 2, 2017 4:00 AM (UTC)
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I've been a real grinch about soccer this year ... I'm just gonna be honest about it. Yes, the uniforms are adorable and Everett lights up like a Christmas tree at every game, but the three-nights-per-week commitment has been a struggle for my heart. It's been a lot of rushed dinners, late bedtimes, and don't even ask me how many times I have screamed: "FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY WHERE ARE YOUR SOCCER SOCKS?!" ⠀

But tonight. Tonight! The parents played against the kids and it was—dare I say—a total blast? The first time I scored a goal, Everett ran over to me with his arms in the air screaming, "Mommy! I'm so proud of you!!!" He scored a few minutes later and I got to do the same for him. We ran around and laughed and cheered and it was pretty amazing to watch the progress these kids have made in only a few short months. ⠀

To be honest I don't know if I will ever *love* the chaos that accompanies soccer season. But I'm stopping tonight to thank God for a healthy boy with two strong legs that can run up and down a field with a smile stretched across his face. I'm thankful for my husband, who commutes to work 45 minutes each way and still signed up to be the assistant coach, because that's what his dad would have done. I'm thankful for the smell of grass, the purple painted sky, and the way the moon showed up to dance above the playground. ⠀

We've got one game left, and it's supposed to rain, but I'll be there with my boots on because I've got one more night to cheer for my boy this year and I'm not going to waste it complaining. Hold me to it. #getaftergrateful
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Nov 1, 2017 12:53 AM (UTC)
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No job is too big, no pup is too small. Paw Patrol ... is on a roll! Here we gooooooo 😍
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Oct 30, 2017 2:32 PM (UTC)
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Ran out to grab bagels for MOPS and came home to this. That’ll start your Monday. 💫#whenGodpaintsthesky #getaftergrateful
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Oct 22, 2017 5:10 PM (UTC)
katiemblackburn
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We talked and dreamed and laughed and took care of our faces. And then we worked and brainstormed and ordered popcorn from room service. Forget self-care, this was straight up soul-care. 💫 Until next time, @katiemblackburn 😘
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Oct 11, 2017 10:57 PM (UTC)
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I worked, I don’t even know, 30-something hours last week? I realize 30 hours is less than a full-time job, but when you swap your one afternoon of childcare to throw your kid a birthday party, and you cram 30 hours of work into early mornings and late nights and exactly four hours when both kids happen to be at school at the same time—it feels like a lot. Remind me to never again run a pledge drive when my social media manager is out of the country. 😳

Anyway. The point is: I spent a lot of time last week on my laptop and phone, much more than usual. Yesterday Everett and I were talking about Brett’s job, and I asked him if he knew what mommy’s job was. The funniest part wasn’t his answer but rather the way he looked at me. He squinted his eyes and grinned slyly, as if I had asked him a trick question. “YOUR job?” he asked in disbelief, as if the two words didn’t belong together. “Your job is … to take care of us?” It was more of a guess than an answer, which made me laugh. I felt a weird mixture of surprise and sadness and relief. For all the times I’ve talked to Everett about my work—including dance parties in the middle of the bookstore holding a copy of The Magic of Motherhood—apparently not very much of it is sinking in. But then the other part of me thought: what a relief. No matter how many hours I worked last week, no matter how many e-mails I answered from my phone ... when asked directly, my five-year-old still thinks my job is to take care of him. And he’s right. That IS my job. It’s not my whole job or my only job, but it’s certainly more holy and important work than anything else on my plate right now. What a gift to be reminded of that, on a day like today, after a week like last week. It’s easy to beat myself up for the hours logged on my laptop. It’s harder to look at myself in the mirror and simply see what my five-year-old sees: a mom who—for better and worse—wakes up every day and gets to take care of her kids. #getaftergrateful
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Oct 4, 2017 8:45 PM (UTC)
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Three years ago, I popped half a sleeping pill around 10pm because my braxton hicks wouldn't stop and I was tired. 😳 Bless my heart. Eight hours later, Carson Gadd made his grand debut a whole month before his due date. He's been keeping us on our toes ever since. He is still 0% on the growth chart, but all that really means is that I get to enjoy having a baby a bit longer. Happy birthday, sweet boy. I love being your mom 💛 #rememberthis
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Sep 19, 2017 2:34 PM (UTC)
gracelaced
candelles
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I took a picture of this cup of coffee to tell you the story behind the cup of coffee, which is this: every night before Brett goes to bed, he makes this for me. He fills the water to the line, puts four scoops of Peet’s Big Bang coffee in the filter, and sets the program to 5:50am so I can sit down to write at 6:00 with a fresh, steaming cup. We have a basic coffee maker, and it doesn't have a hot plate, which means by the time Brett gets his coffee an hour later, it's not as hot, not as fresh, not as good. He has never once complained. Sometimes, when we’ve gotten in an argument, I’ve wondered if he would stop making the coffee for me in an act of retaliation. But he never, ever has. As sure as the sun rises every morning, that coffee maker roars to life at 5:50am as a love letter from him to me. May I never take it for granted. #rememberthis #getaftergrateful
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Sep 11, 2017 9:47 PM (UTC)
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This kid. Forever and always holding onto me.
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Sep 11, 2017 3:32 PM (UTC)
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Nothing makes me feel like more of A Mom than taking two kids to the dentist solo at 7:30 a.m. on a Monday. On the plus side, look at that parking lot light. 💫
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Sep 10, 2017 9:56 PM (UTC)
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Why yes, our church *does* start at 10:45, and yes, one would imagine that we'd be able to get out the door with everyone's shoes on, but no. Not today. Special shoutout to Sunday school for taking my barefoot child, and also to the not one, not two, but THREE moms who smiled at me and said, "I've totally done that before!" 😳 (I used to keep emergency shoes in the car for occasions like this but the last time we showed up somewhere barefoot, he put them on and then brought them back into the house 🤦🏻‍♀️ Maybe I need two backups in the car? 🤔). Anyway. Happy Sunday from our half-dressed family to yours.
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Sep 1, 2017 8:36 PM (UTC)
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Today was the first time Everett has seen Caroline (his preschool crush) since June. Yesterday he told me he wanted to make her a card. I said okay. Then he drew a picture of them holding hands and asked how to spell "love you" 😳 I won't lie. I flinched. I suggested he write "I like you" instead but he stared at me with wide eyes, confident as all heck, and said, "No mommy! I LOVE HER." I asked what that meant and he said the first time he saw Caroline he thought in his head, I want to be her friend. 💛 So. I told him how to spell it. Who am I to tell the kid he can't love at age 5? Not pictured: the 34 first drafts of this exact same card, all with minor mistakes, including one stained with tears of frustration. "How emo," Caroline's mom said right before we died laughing over this card 😂 AND SO IT BEGINS. #firstlove #rememberthis
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Aug 10, 2017 4:01 PM (UTC)
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And just like that, off he goes. Snacks in his backpack and a heart on his hand to remind him that I love him. 💛 #rememberthis
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Aug 9, 2017 4:24 AM (UTC)
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It was past his bedtime, but I didn't care. I promised tonight would be the night. He held my hand all through the store and whispered, "Mommy, do you think they'll have Paw Patrol backpacks?" I smiled and told him I hoped so. When I plucked a matching thermos from the shelf, he gasped in awe. Five-year-olds, man ... they are easy to impress and it's my favorite thing about them. Kindergarten starts this week, and I am having Some Big Feelings. Wasn't he just born? Sitting in the bumbo smiling at me while I cooked spaghetti? I can't believe it. Look at him. Look at us. We did it. God, thank you for this day, for this moment, for this obnoxious Paw Patrol backpack, and for the smile on that boy's face. May I never forget what a privilege these five years at home have been. It truly feels like the end of an era. 💛😭
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Aug 3, 2017 7:35 PM (UTC)
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A few months ago, Brett and I witnessed a horrible car accident on the way to dinner. We waited with the elderly woman who had been hit for a little over an hour until help arrived. To us: it was nothing. To her: it was everything. Today I'm writing about car accidents, calling people on the actual phone, and what I'm learning about the unexpected gift of interruptions. Link in profile 💛
User Image ashleegadd Posted: Jul 28, 2017 3:51 PM (UTC)
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It was our 10 year wedding anniversary yesterday and after dinner, we got in a fight about nothing. That was actually the second fight-about-nothing this week, and I should have known something was off. It's amazing how a night can go from perfectly happy to sour in a matter of two hours.
In Nicaragua, we saw around 500 hermit crabs. As we walked along the beach and made thunder with our feet, some would bury themselves in the sand, while others simply hid in their shells. Hermit crabs do this when they feel vulnerable and exposed. They hide to protect themselves. People do this, too, I think, especially when they're grieving.
Brett's grandma passed away two weeks ago. We'll be at the mortuary this weekend, the same one where Brett saw his dad for the last time. It will not be easy. In the ten years that we've been married, navigating grief has been the hardest thing for us to do together. I have failed Brett in a lot of ways here, as recently as this week. Today I'm thanking the Lord for new mercies in the morning. And thanking Brett for always, eventually, coming out of the sand and making his way back to me.