Monday, October 14, 2013


I got to spend a day at Hee Haw farms with some of my most favorite girls. Anyone can agree that anything that comes out of a two year old's mouth makes you smile/laugh. I loved listening to everything they had to say. Their words so simple yet so whimsically charming. Spending time with my two sisters and their kids was such a perfect break from my usual routinized life.

This is my nephew Easton - one of the happiest babies you will ever meet. He was born with a tumor on his face - luckily, theres no threat towards his health. It's slowly but surely disappearing! Hes my chubby lil' guy and i love him to pieces.


Wanting: to go to Italy through BYU's study abroad program. Italy has been my dream since i can remember! I just have to figure out how to plant a tree that grows money or become a hollywood star to afford it. 

Loving: CHEESE! Funny moment: whenever it's someones birthday dinner, we go around the table talking about the individual and their wonderful qualities. Well, it was my talented sister-in-law's birthday. I meant to compliment her on her domestic skills because she can make cheese but instead I said, "I think it's really cool how you make your own milk for people." Anyways, I want to learn how to make my own cheese! I think that would be wonderful!

Planning: a trip toVegas for my first business convention! My dad started a company called Avisae and i can't wait to be apart of it. I am SO thrilled! It's exciting to get involved with a great company at my age!

Feeling: happy as ever!

Searching: for my darn keys. I lost them last Thursday in my apartment somewhere. Why is it whenever i tell someone i lose something they always say, "Have you checked under your bed?" - Yes. I searched the microwave, the dishwasher, I pulled the stove and fridge out, and even searched inside my flour bag. I think I would've thought to check under my bed. But thank you for your sincere concern.

Wanting: a DSLR camera. gasp! As much as I LOVE film... well... I just want a non-film camera. 
Dear Santa, on a scale from 1 to DSLR-amazing, Ive been DSLR-amazing this year. 

I hope you all have a fantastic day:)

Sincerely, Ashlyn

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


I sat on my bed with my feet hanging off the side and looked out my window pondering my life and where I've come. My eyes shifted from the window to gaze at my two hands that rested on my lap. I lifted my hands up and placed my palms together seeing the differences in shape and size. Tears immediately began to swell up in my eyes as i looked upon the very hand that God had specially created for me. 

I was born with symbrachydachtyly. It is a condition in which a child is born with missing (or small) fingers. The causes are unknown. 

But I know

I had a milestone experience some years ago in the drama-stages of junior high. I wanted to be apart of the "popular" group: to dress and look as beautiful as the popular people did. I wanted to be normal. One day, i sat on the gymnasium floor stretching as my P.E. teacher called out role for attendance. After she finished with role she announced our new groups for a certain sport. My name was called along with 4 other girls. I stood up to join their group when i noticed they were huddled in a circle and loudly talking about me. "We don't want her in our group. She's deformed. She will make us lose!" They glanced at me and ran off to get their gear. I stood there with my hand hiding in my shirt feeling more alone than i could imagine possible.

As soon as i walked through the door to my home, i ran to my bedroom and buried my weeping face into my pillows. "God... oh God. Why me?" I was so vulnerable to the discouraging thoughts Satan had to offer because i allowed them to enter my mind. I was confused, heartbroken, alone, devastated, frustrated, and ultimately sad. After three hours of crying and feeling alone, i felt something peaceful enter into my head saying, "get on your knees." My heart pounded and burned with anticipation. I immediately got on my knees and began to weep. Through my stutter, i said "Dear God... I need you." In that very instant, i felt love, compassion, peace, and my burdens made light. 

This life is not about being perfect. It's about allowing God to perfect us in our shortcomings. It's about using the atonement to repent of our imperfections. It's about growing closer to our loving Savior so that one day, we can be like Him. In times of heartbreak, sorrow, and trouble we must not forget that the Lord IS there watching over you. I know that trials come into our life for a reason - I am so grateful to have a loving Savior who was willing to take on the pains and imperfections that we all face so that we can feel the divine love that Christ has to offer. Times are hard and trials are prevalent - but the love and compassion that the Savior has for you will never dim. Follow and turn to Christ and you will find answers to your questions, peace to your discomfort, happiness amongst the darkness, and blessings continuously poured into your life.

I might not have a perfect body, but i do have Heavenly Father who loves me - and that is enough

Sincerely, Ashlyn

"Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come" (D&C 68:6).

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


you punched me. i punch you. now we are even. 

you broke my heart. i will break your heart. now we are even. 

you ate my food. i eat your food. now we are even. 

We all have someone in our life that has mistreated us in one way or another. The easy road: get even. The difficult road: move on and forgive.

If i were in a classroom setting and the teacher asked, "By the raise of hands, how many of you have wanted to 'get even' with someone else or actually attempted to do this?" My hand would be shyly in the air. If the teacher then asked, "With those with their hands in the air, how many of you gained a greater happiness from doing so?" My hand would be as low as it could possibly go. President Hinckley, an LDS prophet, once said: "There is no happiness in living for the day when you can 'get even.'"

I remember when I was a little child, my older brother was being the older brother - he was teasing me. I was so frustrated. I wanted him to see my frustrations and hurt. How could he possibly see this if i simply moved on and forgave him? So i went into his room and cut off his gerbil's tales. Guys, relax, i was only a child. I promise i don't kill things anymore.

Getting even might seem thrilling and satisfying at first, but in the long run, it will only make you weaker and more hurt. I believe the hardest thing about forgiveness is the quietness of it all. How will the other person learn? How will they possibly know that they hurt me if i don't stress their emotions back? There is a power far greater than i can comprehend included in the verb: forgive. It takes courage, strength, and a dedicated mindset to have forgiveness become part of our hearts.  From over the years and past experiences, i have a testimony of the peace and comfort that comes with forgiveness. Nothing worthwhile was ever meant to be easy - and i can promise you that peace is so very worth the difficult path of forgiveness.  

President Hinckley continues to say," Let us bind up the wounds - oh, the many wounds that have been caused by cutting words, by stubbornly cultivated grievances, by scheming plans to 'get even' with those who may have wronged us. We all have a little of this spirit of revenge in us. Fortunately we all have the power to rise above it, if we will 'clothe ourselves] with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace' (D&C 88:125).
'To err is human; to forgive, divine.' (Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, 2:1711). There is no peace in harboring old grudges. There is no peace in reflecting on the pains of old wounds. There is a peace in  repentance and forgivness. This is the sweet peace of Christ, who said, 'Blessed are the peace makers; for they shall be called the children of God' (Matt. 5:9).

Forgiving is hard. Getting even is easy.
What price are you willing to pay to gain the sweet happiness that forgiveness brings?

Sincerely, Ashlyn