Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday Favorites - Traveling Tutu Edition!

YAY for Friday!!! This weekend is going to be PACKED with fun and I'm kind of already tired thinking about it :)

Tomorrow morning we have one of my FAVORITE events - family pictures!!! And yes, they're at SEVEN THIRTY IN THE MORNING!!! OMG

But, when your photographer says that's the best light.... you trust her judgement and get there.

I posted this picture on IG and asked for opinions on what we should wear and overwhelmingly people liked the bottom option...


... except I wasn't digging it.  I'm not as into the pics screaming "Hey, it's Spring!!!" as I am just having great photos where our clothes aren't the first thing you see.  I'm also leaning toward neutrals because I think they look better framed and up in our house.  Sooooooooooo, I played around with pieces and decided on a completely different option altogether.  Dave's shirt looks a little blue, but it's actually gray :)


Kelly always does such a great job capturing our kids personalities, and I can't wait to see what magic she captures this time. 


I think lots of people were drawn to fringe shoes in the bottom pic of my IG post, but I'm thinking the shoes that I plan to wear are even more fabulous.  They're by Bed Stu and are INSANELY comfortable.

I wore them earlier this week for the first time and they were comfy (even on the first wear) all day long!  They're fun and unique and I got so many compliments.  I normally wear a 6.5 or 7 and got these in a 7 and they're perfection.


My very FAVORITE event of the week was getting to attend Luke's Character Awards chapel on Monday...


 Dave was able to come and he brought Mason and G with him and before the program Mason had a staring contest (as Captain America, duh) with one of our school's police officers.  This picture makes me smile :)


Luke got called up on stage for the "Faithfulness" award and I my pictures are blurry because I was laughing so hard at his little wave at me and then at Griffin (my shadow) who was yelling, "UKE! It's UKE!!!" ;)



 Luke has had such a fabulous year and it was great to see him being recognized.


And the sweetest big brother award goes to...


I mean... WHEN did he get so stinkin' big??? 


"Okay, mom.... enough with the pictures." :)


When Luke got home that afternoon we were looking at his certificate and found this.
Cue the tears!!!


My very last FAVORITE for today is probably my most FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE of all time ever (yes, it's that good). 

When I put this tulle tutu skirt on to wear last weekend, it was a moment of lighthearted fun for my students dance.  I had NO IDEA how something so minor would move in so many impactful and amazing ways.  Just you wait...



On Tuesday I blogged about my desire to pass along the super fun skirt to someone else in an effort to bring a little sass and fun to someone else's day and then hopefully they would do the same for someone else.  The emails started coming in and I was BLOWN AWAY by the response!  I wish I had dozens of skirts to give away so everyone could wear a hot pink tutu skirt and twirl around for a day... but when I started sorting through the emails, one story immediately struck a chord with me.

"I'm a new follower and it was the tutu that tuned me in:)  Love it!  So fun!  Makes me smile and makes me happy!  I think I know the perfect person who could use some cheering up and who would rock that beautiful pink explosion of tulle in numerous regular places - just because.  Like church, doctor appointments, preschool and date night.  Her name is Ashleigh Range and she's living life to the fullest with her husband and two sweet boys right now trying NOT to think about her triple negative inflammatory breast cancer diagnosis."

I went to Ashleigh's blog and started from the very beginning.  At 29 years old and 34 weeks pregnant with her second child, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 triple negative inflammatory breast cancer.  She delivered a healthy baby boy at 37 weeks, as her first son turned 18 months old.  


Ashleigh has undergone chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery and has been nothing but inspiring and a testimony of true faith along the way.  I mean, check out how she replaced her "Southern preppy" look with "superhero hair"!!!  


She is rocking a FABULOUS turquoise wig to coordinate with an amazing spirit of strength that shines through her writing and I feel HONORED to pass along the pink skirt to her. 


In reading her blog (which will be receiving a sparkly and fun new look!)  I realized that Ashleigh is local (like 10 minutes from me kind of local!) and we even have mutual friends.  How awesome is that?!?! What's even more awesome is that when I was telling Narci about this AMAZING woman who had been nominated by her friends, she graciously offered up a family photo session for her!!!  (Dear Ashleigh.... PLEASE wear the skirt in at least one pic! hehehe)

I was touched deeply by Ashleigh's story and journey as well as the PASSION her friends Lisa and Lindsey felt for brightening her day.  There is nothing better than great girlfriends and I loved getting to see her friends rallying for her.

So, Ashleigh!!!  SURPRISE!!!  WE LOVE YOU!!!  We're praying for you and your husband and your kids.  We're praying for MIRACULOUS healing and for a peace that surpasses all understanding.

I'm going to leave y'all with an excerpt from Ashleigh's blog.  On the day she found out she had cancer she made a list of what she was thankful for (oh yes, she did!) and her words are powerfully humbling...

Most of all I am thankful for the hope I have in Jesus Christ. I’m thankful to know that this world has never been my home. It is tough because technically it is the only thing I've experienced, touched with my hands, and seen with my eyes - but my faith allows me to believe that there is something far greater than this broken, sinful earth.  There is a place that I will go, whether it is 6 months or 60 years from now, that will be better and more perfect than anything I can imagine in my feeble mind. I have a peace that is coming from some place outside of myself. I hope that through this trial, and potentially tragedy, that my faith will be strengthened and that it would strengthen those around me. I pray that my non-believing friends would come to know Christ through my battle with cancer and potentially young death. The ultimate goal is for God to be glorified through whatever the journey looks like and whatever the outcome is.

   

35 comments:

  1. Before you made me cry this early in the morning I was going to say I love your Captain America & the second pic for your spring pictures... I can't wait to see them.
    This blogging world and community is something else... So thankful for bloggers like you and Ashleigh. Her Story is amazing. Thanks for sharing her blog !!!!

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  2. In tears. This is truly a beautiful post.

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  3. Passing that skirt to Ashleigh is just incredible! What an amazing story. I will be praying for her and her family!

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  4. You are speaking my love language with styling that photoshoot! And yes, no time is too early for the perfect light! Can't wait to see the finished products - we take ours in 2 weeks! :)

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  5. I mean, Andrea! How precious is Ashleigh?!?! It's 6:00 AM and I'm emotional over it. God bless that sweet mama.

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  6. What a testimony Ashleigh is!!! I hope that skirt brightens her day. :)

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  7. Ahhhhh!!!! So so so excited for Ashleigh right now! Thank you for choosing her for the special skirt. Thank you for helping spread the word for others to lift her in prayer and thank you for also giving her words and her story a further opportunity to help others see Gods love.

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  8. Just cried reading this post...YEAY, YEAY, YEAY for Ashleigh getting the tulle skirt!!! And how sweet is your friend to do a photo session??? That's a gift every mama would adore. I hope we get to see a shot from that on your blog! Thanks for being so sweet and making me smile every morning : )

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  9. Ashleigh is precious and so inspiring!! Can't wait to get her in for her family session! We are going to have the best time!!!

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  10. Ashleigh is inspiring. And so is what you are doing for her. Beautiful.

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  11. OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!! ASHLEIGH is MY FAVORITE FRIDAY FAVORITE TOO! What an amazing story and amazing woman, wife, and mama! Prayers for you Ashleigh!

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  12. OH MY GOSH!!! Ashleigh is one of my sister's closest friends and I've known her since we were all teenagers together. She is the sweetest and most genuine person ever. And when I first saw your post about the skirt I immediately thought of her too. I'm so excited that she's getting the skirt and know she will rock it whereever she wears it. I literally just screamed at my husband when I saw her name on my computer screen. Thank you so much for sharing your joyful skirt with her. And thank you for getting her story out and helping us storm Him with our prayers for a miracle for Ashleigh.

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  13. Thank you so much for sharing Ashleigh's story & blog!! So beautiful & such a testimony to the Lord! Reading that was a wonderfully inspiring way to start my morning!

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  14. My family pictures would be horrendous of we had them at 7:30 am!!!! Ha!

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  15. This is a beautiful story! Praying for that beautiful woman and her family!

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  16. I think when she BEATS cancer, she should then pass the tutu to the next cancer warrior...and on and on and on. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I PRAYED for her just now. Please keep us posted about her. I love your blog and your heart.
    Kelly in Michigan

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  17. Okay, so now I've cried two mornings in a row while reading your blog! So glad that Ashleigh is receiving the pink tutu! Praying for her--what an awesome testimony.

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  18. WOW....an amazing story Andrea! I've been a reader for awhile (came to you from Sheaffer and Shay and now I read Erika and Narci's blogs too!) I love your posts and this one really hit me. What great faithfulness Ashleigh has! You and your friends are awesome!
    Jan Fisher

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  19. Andrea, I know Ashleigh! I went to high school with her at a small private school in Carrollton. I've been following Ashleigh's story obviously and praying for her! What a small world that this happened. She's an amazing and strong woman and I think about her often with two little boys myself...I just can't believe she's going through this, but if anyone can fight this battle, it's her. Her strength and trust in God is inspiring.

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  20. I stumbled across your blog today, but I do not believe it was an accident. Your children are beautiful, I love the tutu ( my daughter is a dancer), and your hair is fabulous. But I needed Ashleigh's prayer today. What a gift. Thank you. Susan

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  21. Andrea, LOVE your blog. Question - can you tell me where your red moccasin-like wedges are from (the ones in your 2nd photo from the top)? I have seen them in a few of your posts and they are SO cute. God Bless :)

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  22. I am now a crying, emotional wreck at my office!!! Prayers for this sweet Mama and for her to rock that pink skirt!!

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  23. Wow, prayers for Ashleigh! Amazing!

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  24. What an amazing story Andrea.....thanks for sharing and for being you!

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  25. Oh the tears and the chills! Ashleigh is an amazing woman AND such a perfect recipient of the tutu!

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  26. Love this so much! BUT before you pass it along you and G should have a girly girl shoot with it tomorrow morning!!

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  27. This is so fun/crazy! It is a little surreal to wake up and read a blog about yourself. Thanks for all the sweet comments and encouraging words. The last year has been a wild ride and I'm looking forward to seeing what else God has in store for our family. Can't wait to wear the tutu and turquoise hair. Thanks for picking me. :-)

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  28. Praying for you Ashleigh! My mom had that same diagnosis and is doing great now. Just some encouraging words. You've got this!

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  29. This post brought tears to my eyes-how awesome that you and Ashleigh live so close to each other!

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  30. Praying for Ashleigh! How sweet of you to highlight her blog -- love seeing bloggers use their "powers" :) for such good.

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  31. You are just beautiful, inside and out! Love that you get to use your fun skirt to brighten someone's day and so neat the way God worked out the details. Praying for sweet Ashleigh! Also, on a much more superficial note, I love the outfits you chose for your pictures! Happy weekend!

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  32. well, here is Shaffer's next shopping trip winner~ This gal certainly deserves it. I will be praying for her.

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  33. Oh what a sweet story!! Loved reading this..thanks for sharing!

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  34. So sweet that you are helping out Ashleigh. Just saw her latest update :(

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  35. This is really a wonderful post.

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