I have always been the type that doesn’t “settle in”. I am usually learning a new skill or taking on a new challenge. I guess it’s in my blood. I grew up with a family of entrepreneurs and leaders. My grandpa started a printing business 30 years ago that him and my dad run to this day and my mom owns a business that creates apparel for other businesses. My parents also helped plant a church in 2015. I was raised in an athletic family as well. I have two brothers who were usually the best athletes on their teams. One even got drafted in the MLB by the Texas Rangers. On top of coming from a family of entrepreneurs and athletes, I was also raised a Christian. I know that I am not a perfect person, but my faith in Christ challenges me daily to never settle and to never be “lukewarm”.
As you can see from the picture above (the tall one), growing up I never blended in . I was tall, awkward, and stood out like a sore thumb. I had braces, a bad taste in hair product, and I wore socks with my sandals like it was my job. I wasn’t the most popular girl, but I did have friends. I was a very shy person who was okay with doing things my own way.
As I grew older, I started to realize that I didn’t need to be like everyone else and fit into a certain mold. It was okay with having different hobbies and interests. Because I was tall, I was pushed and pushed to play basketball or volleyball – I HATED it. I then tore my ACL and that was that… What I really loved and still love is running. I ran track in college and I still am a runner today. I have ran multiple half-marathons and hope to run a marathon someday. Outside of fitness, I enjoy fashion, photography, DIY projects (you can thank Joanna Gaines for that) , traveling, and cooking. I starting gardening a couple of years ago, lets just say I don’t have a green thumb, but I still enjoy learning and making my garden better each year. You are probably thinking, how can someone enjoy all of that at once. Can’t she pick just one thing and stick with it?? It isn’t that I specifically enjoyed doing each of these things, it was because I enjoyed learning how to do them. It was a new obstacle to overcome, a new skill to learn, a new challenge. It was a thrill to not know what was going to happen once I started. I had all of these interests and great ideas, but no outlet for them – that’s where starting a lifestyle blog came in.
I’ve always loved sharing my ideas and finds whenever I traveled and explored. I have this rule with a friend of mine where we never eat at the same restaurant twice. It forced us to try new places and venture out. Whenever I would travel to a new town, I would follow this hidden rule. There are three things I find: the nearest coffee shop, some sort of outdoor running trail, and a restaurant with outdoor seating or live music. I am such a sucker for the “experience”. I have found many hidden treasures with a honey latte in my hand and each treasure has its own story. My hope is that I can now share these finds with you on this blog so that you can have those memories just like I do.
What made me decide to start a blog may come as a surprise. Most of you may don’t know that I am a business teacher at the high school I graduated from. I will leave my career journey for another post for another day, but I LOVE teaching to teenagers. ( *GASP* ) They challenge me and truly hold me accountable for my actions. I teach multiple business classes throughout the day and I began finding myself saying on a regular basis how much I would like to “create” something one day. I didn’t realize how much I would say this until a few of my students pulled me aside after class to tell me how much they think I should follow my passions. I laughed at first because I knew teaching was my calling. I didn’t think I could do both at the same time. However, time after time my students would hold me accountable to this passion. That’s when the lightbulb moment happened to start my own lifestyle blog. Things started falling into place. I got asked to model for a local boutique which helped me learn to photograph and the backside of running a business. It also gave me the confidence I never knew I had. A couple of my friends who were pursuing blogging came into my life and gave me the confidence and the hope that this could be a reality for me. I started to do a few collaborations with other business. The path was clear to me.
This journey of starting my own blog has been a freeing experience. My entire life I was never the most popular girl and I always seem to be behind the scenes. I never had the confidence to do something for myself and be confident in my own choices. This past year has been a major turning point for that. Beyond the consistent reminder from my high school students, I also was challenged in other personal ways as well that brought me closer to God’s Word and challenged me to fully surrendering my fears to Him. I was challenged in all areas of my life. During this time I started to journal. (My latest journal is in the picture above) I wrote down all of my fears, worries, celebrations, and praises! Putting my thoughts on paper was an outlet for me. I never was a writer and my grammar is terrible. I probably have made a few typos on this post already, BUT it was the challenge of learning and doing something that my body would normally reject was freeing. My hope to you is that my blog will lift you and give you the confidence to pursue your own passions and dreams because“you are fearfully and wonderfully made.”
2 thoughts on “Against the Grain”
I am so proud of you Ashley!!!! You have a GREAT future ahead of you. Love you very much!!! 😘😘😘
Love you grandma!!! So very much!