Thursday Jargon: Curmudgeonly

    I like words; and I like them a lot.  I really believe growing my vocabulary is an important undertaking in my life.  I recently had a conversation with my cousin in which she used the word "curmudgeonly." She was telling this awesome story and bam she just through that word out there! (She has quite an incredible vocabulary and I'm always amazed by here!)  Now, I don't about you, but in that very moment I definitely was taken back.  I had no idea what the word meant.  Now of course I went along with it for a bit; until she used it again!  I sort of figured it out within its context of course, but it lead me to really look it up and understand it more.  I mean come on, don't you want to use this in a sentence at some point today? So here is the meaning:

Curmudgeon: a bad-tempered, difficult, cantankerous person.

    After learning this new words definition, I can tell you that I could definitely describe  myself as a curmudgeon from time to time.     I am sure there are people in your life that you could describe as a curmudgeon I just don't know if I have the guts to say the word.  But switching gears a bit to something a little deeper.  When I looked up the word instead of thinking of other people that can be like this, I thought of myself.  At times I can be difficult, and have an ill temper.  Those are the times in my life when I let my own emotions get the best of me, life caves in and overwhelms and I lose my bearings.  For me, this is when I am not balanced in life.  Can anyone relate?  I thrive on a schedule and being disciplined; I think most people are like this.  When I am meditating on scripture and really being true about where I am in life and my relationships is where I find balance and joy.  Being a curmudgeonous (is that a word?) person is not who I ever want to be.  With balance and discipline I can strive to be happy and have true joy that pushes through the mundane times and allow Jesus to use me to be that shining light to others.


Taste Bud Explosion: Fig + Goat Cheese Pizza

      This past weekend my sister introduced me to an incredible, healthy, tasty pizza that literally blew my mind. We made fig, goat cheese, prosciutto, arugula pizza.  Goat cheese is so good and wow does it have a powerful flavor!  We had such a great time buying the ingredients and assembling it all. It was super fast and took less time than most other dinner meals I make.  I kept telling my sis I felt like I should be sitting in some gourmet restaurant.

Here for pizza directions


Monday Mama Montage Vol. 1

Greetings lovelies :)

       Can I just say that I love Mondays. Mondays are just so full of hope.  Hope for the week ahead, hope that I will grow in love, hope that there is grace and new mercies, hope that I can be inspired and refreshed.  Mondays are going to be a time where I become present with where I am in motherhood and the joys and trials that come along with that. And what better way to become present with my emotions and thoughts than sitting with hot grande caramel macchiato from SB and peering out into the beautiful pink painted sky. (Got a little caught in the moment there...)

       So...Riley Mae is coming up on O-N-E, which has sent me into what I like to call, well reminiscing/watching videos of Riley as a little babe, and getting all sappy over her. Yeah. Whatever that is called, I am doing it. :) Its crazy to me though that literally we made it through a year.  The very task/occupation/motherhood thing/the very job I didn't think that I would survive, I did.  Okay okay you other moms out there I know it is only a year, but I am proud and I am thankful.  Thankful that I can look back a photos and see my baby girl's growth, and thankful that she is a healthy baby who is developing well and that I love being home with her.  Let me say that again.  I love being home with her.

     Join me for a minute or two while I take you on a quick journey through the reasons why I can even say that I love being a SAHM. (Stay-at-home-mom) It just sounds so cool and official. Now I have heard time and time again that there is really never a right time to have children, and  I realize that purely getting pregnant is a blessing from the Lord but I must say that I Ashley Marie Collins was not ready.  I say that proudly because this is my story, the good and the bad emotions that have come from my story I think have helped others and will help others in the future.  

I was not a prepared Mama.  

        What I mean by that is Riley was more or less a little present from Jesus. I refuse to say surprise because come on people I was in between BC's. Ha!  Okay so that played a huge role in my unpreparedness. Mentally I was getting ready to finish prerequisites for Physician Assistant school.  I had dreams ya'll!   A baby was not in my five year plan. 10 year plan maybe, but not five.  I was pretty distraught for awhile in the first part of pregnancy and yes it took a whole lot of soul searching, prayer and meditation to really find happiness and contentment. 


         I literally thought I was pretty darn mature for my age but I will tell you I had such a selfish mindset  and I quickly learned through pregnancy and now having a babe that I am now on a different maturity level.  I feel like Riley matured me faster than anything I have ever experienced because I was giving life to a tiny human.  Growing a person and preparing for raising her!  I was learning to give up certain foods, activities and thoughts all for the greater good of this little human that was a gift from Jesus.  Immaturity: "Behavior that is appropriate to someone younger." Yes to this definition!

The Battle of The Mind//Body out of Whack!

         I was very much hormonally messed up after Riley arrived, but I wouldn't blame all of my crazy on just physiology.  I was still grieving a lot of things that I truly felt like I was giving up for this little tiny person.  And yes for sure there are things that I have given up, but I wouldn't even word it like that anymore...cue: maturity. haha. But seriously maturity. Examples:   Going home early from dinner because my little babe is tired, forgoing invites because Riley is sick, not going out on late night spur of the moment motorcycle ride with my husband. These thoughts and many other thoughts like them big and small were plaguing my mind in the beginning.  I felt so overwhelmed that everything had changed, I had given up so much and was battling a lot in my mind.  I was so focused on myself and this huge life change that it took some time to really feel connected to Riley.  I loved her, don't get me wrong!  I birthed that kid all natural and cried when her little tiny self came out into this world, but dang has this been the hardest transition of life!  This bundle has given me life! I brought life into the world and she breathed life in me.  I stuck through the hard times, the sleepless nights, the crying and grieving of this huge change and yet God met me in that.  God met me in my mind and ministered to me.  The darkness did not last and Riley's smiles and perfect healthy body brought me to my knees so many times for my selfish immature thoughts.  At times this still feels shameful and so embarrassing and wrong to even share the utter selfishness of my beginning-of-motherhood experience, but it wouldn't have made the NOW feel as sweet.  I am so thankful for those dark times in my mind where literally I felt the immaturity being ripped from the depths of me.  Woah.  But seriously this is my story, this is what I have learned, I wouldn't change it because I love what is has done to me.  I love what I have learned and how I have changed.  The very change I feared so much has allowed me to experience a love that still brings tears to my eyes. A love I now experience everyday. My beautiful baby girl who I adore so much, my love, my flesh and blood.  THAT is why I love staying at home and THAT is where I am in Motherhood right now.


When your Heart is Broken.

  I have thought a lot about this issue in the past, but never really just sat down and researched it: Adoption.  I recently got together with a friend who is in the process of adoption, and it is a process.  I was able to hear her heart and begin to understand the 'whys' behind it all.  There is such a need for this in life whether internationally or local.
  So, this started a little research binge over the last couple days that has not only opened my eyes to this huge need, but has broken my heart. I am not even close to knowing all there is to know, but the fact that there is a California adoption website where you can literally look at profiles of kiddos that are available and waiting to be adopted, broke me.   There are currently 58,000 kids in foster care in California.  I haven't even looked at statistics in other states, nor have I ventured into the international world.  I just looked in my own backyard.
   Since having Riley a lot has changed. Not to sound cliche or anything.  There have been events, even in her short one year of life that have thrown me for a curve ball.  I had a conversation earlier today with my sister about all of this and we totally agreed that biological or not, parenthood will be a challenge, a risk, a life change.  My own flesh and blood could turn away from Christ at any given moment, fall ill with a fatal disease, or move away to another country.  I do not know any of those outcomes and will not, that is part of the risk.
  What I do know is that Riley needs support, love and security.  Those are all basic human needs, a child that I birthed or not, that is what I want to give.  I am not sure at this point where this will take me, but I think when we are a willing people, the Lord uses that and blesses us.  I have been given much in my life and I have made it a personal goal of mine to not let those things spoil or grow stagnant.  Maybe this is an opening door to something bigger and so beyond me that the Lord is pointing me to. I am going to continue to research and learn and hope that God will do what He will and that I would be willing and available to His calling.


Silly faces and Drew Withdrawals

My little love

      Sometimes you just have be silly and you know this girl is all about that!  But on a more serious note we were really trying to distract ourselves from our Drew withdrawals. We are having a little ladies week while my husband has a little man trip before he starts school and gets even busier.  My man works so hard for us and I am glad that he was able to get away and spend time with some awesome men.  And I am excited to be able to paint our nails, go shopping and have girl talk...or you know the baby equivalent to that-chewing on kitchen set fake fruit. Duh :) haha! But seriously I am excited for this week, hanging out with my little babe, having play dates, and learning how to be at peace while he is away.