A little explanation as to why things have been quiet over here since January. I've been juggling morning sickness, L+L, and my job here in Dakar. It's been a little stressful and that is an understatement however we are beyond thrilled to bring this new little life into the world. It's funny how even planned pregnancies flip your life upside down. Like many other moms, I completely forgot the woes of the 1st trimester and I thought oh this will be "old hat" and I'll go on like nothing has changed! Boy was I wrong. I think this time around I am even more exhausted and my sensitivity to smells makes being in Dakar a little difficult. But I got through it all (even though at times I was sure I was going to die!). Living here is always a roller coaster of emotions/frustrations and since becoming pregnant those feelings have only intensified for me. The little annoyances that I could brush aside really began to eat away at me and make me miserable. Mostly this had to do with food choices! I am going to eat the biggest tub of cottage cheese when I land in the big ol' USA next week! In fact, I'm headed home to Oklahoma to stay until I have the baby. This was a decision that I wrestled with for a good month. Cried many tears. Felt defeated because I didn't want to stay in Dakar. I felt like a horrible person taking our two other babies away from my husband that long as he would have to stay behind until around the time I give birth. I even prayed and I came away with what I knew was right in my heart: I needed my family. I needed my friends. I needed to push a reset button and regroup. I am a chronic overachiever. I was pushing the limits before I got pregnant, trying to do it all. I never seem to know when to say enough is enough. I continue to overfill my proverbial plate until I'm crying and having a nervous breakdown. I've realized over the last 3 months what is truly important to me and what is not. Life is all about doing what matters. So I am going back to Oklahoma where I can focus on getting back on track. Spend more time with my babies, my grandmother, my mom and dad, my friends. Make new goals for L+L and learn lessons from this year. I will miss my hubby so much it is going to hurt and there will be days I wish I could go back to Dakar so he could fill a little kick or talk to the little bebe but we know how to make a marriage work despite the distance. It's not a perfect situation but I'm content that it is the right decision. We could never have had the baby in Dakar and we knew that. I could have stayed longer but with the rainy season approaching and the threat of malaria increasing for my own sanity, and my need for cottage cheese, we both decided it's best I go home now. Life is never perfect right? But it is beautiful. Au Revoir Dakar!

p.s. Our entire anniversary shoot will be up on Heart Love Weddings in June! So very excited!



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  1. Posted by Steph | bubblerock on Monday, April 1st, 2013
    So very excited for you guys... There is little else to say other than CONGRATS and enjoy the ride xo
  2. Posted by jacin on Monday, April 1st, 2013
    so happy for you and yes, you're doing what's best for you and only you and your hub know what that truly means!! safe travels back to OK!!
  3. Posted by Naomi on Monday, April 1st, 2013
    I think you are one of the most selfless person I know. You are, Ashley. I can only imagine how hard it was to say goodbye to your husband but you both are doing it for all the right reasons. I'm praying for a healthy baby and a speedy family reunion!! XO
  4. Posted by Lauren on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
    Congratulations!! Hope you're feeling a bit better! xx
  5. Posted by Katie O'Keefe on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
    Hope you're feeling better! Would love to grab coffee with you if you happen to be in Tulsa soon. :)
  6. Posted by Anna @ IHOD on Saturday, April 6th, 2013
    Ashley, so happy to hear you will be surrounded by your family and friends. It takes courage to accept the reality of being overwhelmed sometimes. Its hard as women to face the fact we can't do it all. I can imagine there is so much peace now that you have made the decision. If our children only knew the sacrifices we make them, right?? ;) I guess it wouldn't be so rewarding if there wasn't cost involved. That is what I have to tell myself when there are days I am over this whole pregnancy thing! So happy for you. Many congrats! x, Anna
  7. Posted by Kate@MagnoliaRouge on Monday, April 15th, 2013
    I've been meaning to send you congrats for ages now and this page has been sitting open on my browser since you wrote this post... so here is my VERY belated CONGRATULATIONS!!! So happy for you and wish you the very best! Enjoy being at home for the next few months! xo