I forgot to take pictures of my food, boo so here’s one of Matt and I instead. 
We love to eat around our house, and what better time is there than the holidays. Here are some of my favorite dishes we had this past Christmas season.
This breakfast bake is delicious and so easy!! I made it for breakfast at one of our family Christmas celebrations. We also had it on Thanksgiving morning.
Gluten Free Apple Crisp

This dessert I made for a birthday party right after Christmas. I would probably of put a little less maple syrup in since it was sweet enough. 
Next up are several recipes from Laura Vitale. I am in love with everything she cooks, actually I’m kinda in love with her too haha. She is one of those beauties that does it all. She has so many You Tube channels it’s hard to keep track and was recently picked up by the Cooking Channel. 
Here are the Laura in the Kitchen recipes I made! 
Really good for company or a cold winter day. Let the chicken marinate in the spices as long as you can. 
These are amazing! Bad news is I overcooked them. Good news though an overcooked cinnamon roll is still a cinnamon roll and we ate them, ha! 
These are good all year long. Next up I’m going to try some lemon crinkles. 
 Happy Cooking!! 
xo 
Ash 

Have you ever felt nervous, excited, anxious and peaceful all at the same time?! I am exaggerating a bit 🙂 but still sharing our story and putting “our business out there” for everyone to read is a little nerve wracking. We were never ready to share our struggle until now and I am so thankful for God’s timing and guidance. 

I have to say I am so moved by my husbands transparency that he shared for this blog. We have had many ups and downs in our marriage like everyone does. The struggle to have children by far has been the most difficult thing we have faced. But I am so thankful that we faced it together and with God’s direction we are coming out the other side full of hope and a new fresh perspective. 
 
So here it is!

Her Story:
Our journey to parenthood has been a long and painful one. There are many reasons I haven’t wanted to share up until now. However my perspective has changed and now I can’t imagine not sharing. So here I go; my attempt at sharing our journey.

For years Matt and I have wanted children. We have celebrated with family and friends who have become pregnant, adopted and seemed to progress in their life while all the while we sat wondering why not us? It felt like God had forgotten us. While struggling with the inability (I hate the word infertility) to have kids I also happened to be working at a pregnancy center. I counseled women facing unplanned pregnancies, and helped with post abortion counseling. My heart broke as I saw women hurt by abortion and I was honored to rejoice with them to see a
mighty God heal their hurt and transform their sorrow into joy. It was rewarding to help others but at the same time very difficult to be constantly surrounded by pregnant women.
I don’t know why God used me to help minister to women facing the trauma and pain of abortion but as he has so clearly spoken to me “does the clay say to the potter what are you making” Isaiah 45:9. The idea of sharing our struggle seemed scary and weird…until now.

Within the last year, we have felt a stirring for something more to step out of our comfort zone, for direction and guidance on what to do with this desire to become parents. Then some pretty amazing things started to happen.

  •  I read Start by Jon Acuff (life changing, go buy it now)…
    I read it with the intention it would help my wedding planning business get off
    the ground, all the while it gave me a new fresh perspective on my desire to be
    a mom and for Matt and I to be parents.
  • I shared my story in front of a group of women at a
    retreat. I was terrified and scared and didn’t want to share but there was
    no getting out of this one. The topic of the retreat was sharing the beauty of
    your story and how God has worked in you. When I shared an amazing release
    happened.
  • A new message series at our church started called
    “Invisible”. This invisible series was all about being grateful and learning to have
    appreciation for the things we can’t see God doing.
  • Anchored Living, a new business inspired by our dream to
    become parents was created.

Matt and I now see God has been preparing us for adoption all this time. We love adoption, we have always wanted to adopt but thought it would come after we had our miracle and I had experienced pregnancy. You know, we would adopt after this perfect little baby came into our lives and after things went exactly like we had dreamed they would. Can anyone else relate to life not going how you imagined it?!
We never felt released before to adopt or go through infertility treatments. We continued to wait on God which was the hardest and most rewarding thing we have ever done while all the while God was waiting on us. He was waiting for our place of surrender to him. He has already begun to overwhelm us with guidance and provision since we have started the adoption process.

Our hope in sharing our stories is that it encourages you in the moments when you feel forgotten and discouraged because let me tell you I have been there and it stinks. Well, we are here to let you know God sees you, he hears you,
and loves you.

xo Ash
His story:

Ashley and I were married 11 years ago. Even when we were dating Ashley was very clear she wanted a large family. I wasn’t opposed to the idea of a large family but it was clear from the beginning she had already envisioned
trading in the Saleen Mustang for a mini-van even before we had returned from our honeymoon.

When you are married as young as we were you aren’t really thinking about growing a family right away. However, as 3, 4, and 5 years pass it starts to weigh on your mind. It was clear after spending half a decade married to the woman of my dreams that being a mother was one of the deepest and strongest desires of her heart. As a husband there isn’t anything you want more than to make your wife happy and give her everything she could ever want. It became
increasingly difficult to wrap my mind around the fact that I had not been able to give my wife the ONE thing she seemed to want more than anything else. This was a different thing to deal with… It wasn’t like a house, or a car, that I could work hard for and do whatever it took to provide. This was something that I seemingly had little or no control over and as a typical man who always wants to fix everything it was very humbling to come to the realization that this was something I couldn’t easily change. Being self-employed for the last 10 yearshas allowed Ashley and I to learn what it means to rely on the provision of God to continually meet our needs. We’ve been through both tough and plentiful times but through it all have been able to recognize God at work. However, waiting on God in the area of children proved much more difficult. Leading up to this point there were times where we felt alone or forgotten but of course God was busy at work even when it was invisible to us. This journey has been a great reminder that sometimes we can only see our present circumstances and we can’t easily see things from the big picture perspective. We are excited about the next chapter in this journey and look forward to sharing our experience with others.

Matt

 
 

Even though this post is way overdue I still wanted to share some highlights from our annual Ladies Christmas Coffee and Dessert night at Heritage Church.
 I went back to hosting a table after taking a break for a few years. I had so much fun with my table and didn’t realize how much I missed hosting.
Here’s the rundown of my table decor:
Runner- blanket scarf from target
Centerpiece- wood slices from camp.
Chargers- from goodwill painted with the chalkboard paint
Vintage water goblets also from the goodwill
Everyone at my table got this framed printable from
Jones Design Company 
Dessert Buffet

 

 

This chalkboard was a dresser mirror. I took the mirror out and Matt cut a piece of pre-chalked mdf to fit in the cutout.  Did you know that Home Depot sells sheets of chalkboard?! It is one of the best inventions ever!! He used some car clamps to hold the mirror in place. I love that guy!

 

 

 

Drink Buffet

Hope everyone had a great Christmas season!!

xo
Ash