a new normal

Sometimes in life, you look around and everything is so good… like soooo good. I’ve been there and thought.. “wait life is amazing right now.. whats going on?’ appreciate these moments for all they are worth because the next second you could be living your worst nightmare. Give your babies a little longer kisses and snuggle your loved one’s a little tighter. Remember every single good feeling you feel in these moments… the smell, the feeling, the energy.. take it all in. I find myself reliving my moments all the time.
Life is funny… When you’re in elementary, high school, college, you have this idea of how you think your life will go. mine went something like this..
Go to college, meet the man of my dreams.. marriage, babies life etc. pretty typical I guess. I never really gave any thought to the trials i would have to face in my life. If you would have told my young 19-year-old self I would be a widow with an 8-month-old at 26.. I would have laughed in your face and then told you how mean you were.
 I guess what I’m getting at is that life is just…life. It’s the most beautiful sunset on a tropical island holding your lovers hand and it’s also the ugliest most terrifying hurricane on the face of the planet.
 I’ll tell you… time has slowed waaayy down for me. It’s now been a month since the funeral and I can say nothing in my life is the same since the day Paul went missing on July 27th. Through this process, I’ve been forced to really look at myself. The ugliest parts I didn’t know existed and the most beautiful parts that I also didn’t know existed. They come to the table one by one and I feed them one by one.
 I know I have to find my new “normal” (I kinda hate that word) but I have to now create a new life for Poppy and I . That doesn’t necessarily have to be sad, its just new…and different. I know the old life will always be there and I will do everything in my power to make sure Poppy knows how beautiful our life was and who her father was. But this is a new chapter, a new beginning.
 One year ago Paul and I were in Hawaii on our babymoon. This was a very healing trip for us as a couple, We became closer then we had ever been. I couldn’t help but reminisce on some of these memories. We talked about what we thought poppy would look like and different parenting styles. We anxiously awaited this new chapter in our lives, we even talked about how Poppys arrival was actually volume two of our story and how amazing volume two was going to be. It’s looking a lot different then we thought but I know he is holding my hand as I continue volume two and raising our girl. I know he will be helping me all along the way. Wiping our tears and cheering us on. We miss you, we love you, we will never forget you Pauly.
 We can’t predict our future, we can’t foretell our trials and successes. So what do we do? Live the hell out of each and every day. look at the gifts in each moment, in each circumstance. Appreciate the flowers and find shapes in the clouds. Soak up every sound wave of your babies laugh (the most healing sound on the planet). Find the beauty in the trial and soak up every single blessing for all its worth. This little life is too short to not LIVE.
HERE is a link to the babymoon video I made last year (I am no pro but I’m so glad I made this)
 We originally thought we would name her Poppy Ann when I was pregnant.. I could never fully commit to it so when she was born paul said “what about Poppy Rae? Because she has been our little ray of sunshine” I instantly cried and she has been our Poppy Rae of sunshine ever since.
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  1. Beautiful heartfelt post. Lovely video & photos, looks like you guys enjoyed each other so much, this will be such a treasure for your daughter to watch in years to come xx

  2. Ashlee,

    I just started following you and your blog because I saw you on another fashion blogger’s story. I am so impressed with your hope and positivity throughout this terrible time in your life. You are so strong. You are in my thoughts and prayers almost every day. I cannot imagine the pain you are feeling, but I know that God will carry you through it. I also know that Paul will be with you and Poppy for the rest of your lives. Poppy is such a darling, and she will absolutely love to be able to, one day, look at the posts and videos of her daddy that you have shared with us.

    Know that I am praying for you! oxox, Halle

  3. You write so beautifully; through such mature eyes and wisdom. You have a friend here in Vancouver, BC that is sending good vibes your way. Peace and love.

  4. My heart goes out to you. You’ve suffered such an unimaginable loss and you handle it with such grace. I thought I saw somewhere that you were moving? Have you decided where? I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide.

  5. Hello Ashlee,
    Wow! Thank you for this beautiful masterpiece. Your blog is definitely part Journal/ part wisdom/ lots of love! Your daughter is beyond beautiful! (But you already know that) 👶🏼 Can’t wait to continue following you!
    Caitlin S.
    Mystic, CT