at almost-28.

At almost-28, I’ve officially spent a decade chasing after the magic in the small things.

I know that I can bake better than I cook; that I’m prone to song obsession (of the moment, Come with Me Now); and that standing under a white-bright snow sky, marveling upward at the flakes, brings my entire world to a slow, peaceful stop.

At almost-28, I’m married to the man I fell in love with more than half my life ago.

I work with words every single day and come home every single night to a house covered in pictures & memories & quotes that high-five my spirit.
I love the Faces fiercely, and never moreso than in those moments when I wake up to find both of them—usually Ella in the crook of my knees, and Emerson as close to my chest as she can possibly get without being inside—tucked into bed with us.

I never want to lose the sense of awe & wonder that comes from simply being in a library, surrounded by book smells & millions of printed pages I haven’t read yet;
I never want to be too old for $5 tucked inside a birthday card from grandma.

At almost-28, I’m still learning how to balance—
primarily, my immense joy and energy for taking care of & loving people up. I’m still learning to balance that with the ability to turn those powers inward and apply that same immense love and care to myself, too.
I’m still learning how to cook.
I’m still working on patience.

I know that being on stage, warmed by those bright lights, breathes a special kind of air into my lungs.
I like dancing in bars on Saturday nights, screaming the lyrics to “Don’t Stop Believing” and making a beautiful fool of myself.
I live for the spontaneous decisions that turn into precious memories.

I believe that even the really dark, really bad parts of my life are still worth celebrating, because I walked away afterward and was still standing in spite of them.
I walked away from each dark part with lessons and experience; I learned rough, ugly truths that I never would’ve been able to learn any other way.
I believe that we go through really, really horrible things because it’s our responsibility to share our stories with each other & use them for good & let them become little pillars to hold each other up when our structures get thrown around.

At almost-28, I love gratitude and raw chocolate-chip cookie dough.
I never, ever change the station when “Stairway to Heaven” or “Wish You Were Here” comes on, and I love the way sunlight looks on our hardwood floors.

I believe in good grammar, good manners, and quotes so good they make your eyes tear up.
I could write an entire book dedicated to nothing but the reasons I head-over-heels adore that handsome husband of mine. I also love Easter candy and books with beautiful covers, and garage-sale Saturday mornings followed by brunch, and when fortune cookie fortunes ring so true it’s as though they were divinely chosen just for me to find.

I try to live my life by two mottos:

&

Today, I am almost 28.

Awash in optimism and uplifted by joy.
In awe of everything behind me and excited by everything ahead of me.
Not without my faults, but willing to own up to ’em, work on them, and in the process, make myself better in order to rise above them.

Birthdays aren’t just about where you are now; they’re also about where you’ve been, WHO you’ve been, where you’re going from here, and who you’ll evolve into along the way.

28 is going to be full of magic—
and at almost-28, that’s something I know that for sure.

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About ashley!

in love, obnoxiously happy, and up to a lot of awesome.
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5 Responses to at almost-28.

  1. Ashley says:

    Beautifully inspiring, as always!

  2. MeMsMarcie says:

    How lovely you are, my dear.

  3. Linda says:

    Perfectly said! Just like you are! Absolutely love your words and how you make everyone feel! Happy 28th!

  4. Chantel says:

    Happy birthday, Ashley! You’re still full of the same wonder and giddiness you had years ago. Twenty-eight is a good year; so much wonder and giddiness to come!

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