Thursday, April 11, 2013

Heads Up, Heels Down is Not Just for Horseback Riding!

Saaaaay what?! Is it really Thursday! My week seems to be all mushed together and to be completely honest, I felt like yesterday was Tuesday! I know, it's a nice surprise to learn I was a day behind! Since it's Thursday, y'all know the dealeeo! Ashley reached out to me after finding my blog page on Facebook! Come to find out she lives like 45 minutes away, her mom used to live in the area I live in now, and her uncle owns an auto body shop that my friend's husband works at! Small world right?! This gal right here has the sweetest most genuine heart I think I've ever encountered! I can't wait to arrange this blate and I hope it involves horses and riding since I've been dying to get back in the saddle after almost 15 years of saying goodbye to my beloved sport! Enjoy Ashley and wish her a Very Happy Birthday - it's today!!!


Hello sweet girls!! Birthday girl here, Ashley, and I ramble over at Horseshoes & Pearls! I turned the big twenty-three today! Woo hoo! I actually found Miss Lauran through her blog's Facebook page right around the time I was debating on whether or not to start a blog of my own. After visiting hers and others that I found via Lauran's, I decided to press forward and enter the blogging world. I am so thankful and happy that I did! I have met some amazing women, including Lauran, and I am so thankful for the friendships that have been created. Not to mention, I'm totally in love with Baby Reef, Lauran's lab and her sense of style and the honesty she puts into her posts. OH, and ps, we still need to arrange a blate! 
Hi! That's me!
So, a little about me real quick before I go into my post. I am a newly engaged, wife-to-be to my best friend, Chris. We are currently chin deep in wedding plans, planning and preparing for a September 2013 wedding! See how he proposed, here or view our engagement pictures, here. We live in a small town of Southern, VA with our two fur babies Chevy & Oliver, and two horses, Bailey & Paddy. I'm a very positive person and I try to find the positive in any negative situation. I'm a God fearing woman and strongly believe in the power of prayer. Making people smile makes my heart happy. I've been riding and showing horses ever since I was old enough to know what one was. Graduated from Virginia Tech in 2010 with a degree in Animal & Poultry Sciences, now continuing my education to become a large animal LVT (licensed veterinary technician). I'm very OCD when it comes to cleaning, making lists, staying organized, and making plans. I'm addicted to Pinterest, Instagram, cowgirl boots, Mason jars, the color pink, Kate Spade, polka dots, and Criminal Minds. I love to cook, bake, try new recipes, tackle DIY crafts and projects, decorate, and then re-decorate again. Anything rustic, vintage, or antique is right up my alley. I'm the girly girl who loves hunting, fishing, shooting sports, and sports. Jeans, cowgirl boots, and a strand of pearls is typically my outfit of choice. Closet book nerd and an aspiring professional photographer. And now, on to the good stuff... 

Here's us! :)
And here's a sneak peek from our engagements... about to play kissy face! ;)
So, after reading Lauren's Bare It All post on Friday, I decided what I would write about here today.
I've struggled with weight all my life and am constantly struggling with insecurities and doubts that it puts in my head. I was the "thicker" girl growing up, elementary school all the way through high school... but it wasn't until that day that my weight changed my world upside down. I had a legit "enemy" all through elementary school and middle school. Her name was Ashley, too, and to be completely honest I can't remember why on earth she hated me so much.  I remember the day so vividly that sometimes thinking about it still stings my heart in ways that I just can't really explain.
Gym class, my 6th grade year, we had to start "changing out" in front of other girls in the bathroom before and after class. I knew, compared to my classmates, that I was "bigger" than they were but it didn't really bother me until this.... I was cramming myself into one of the corners of the locker room trying to change for class without really letting anyone see me (regardless of my weight, I still felt super uncomfortable changing in front of other girls, it was just super weird to me). I had just gotten undressed down to my skivvies when my enemy walked over with her little posse of friends and they started shoving me back into the wall. Of course I lost balanced and fell backwards, dropped my gym clothes that were in my hands, leaving me completely exposed, they started laughing, calling me names, mean names that I'll never forget, they grabbed my gym bag, all of the clothes and ran out of the bathroom, leaving me there with nothing but my panties and bra. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't run out after them. I couldn't go get a teacher. I had no clothes. I was just left there, exposed. About five minutes later I started hearing people walking down the hall towards the bathroom and I thought, thank God, the teacher realized I was missing and has come to find out what was going on. No. It wasn't the teacher. It was a group of boys in my grade being led by the enemy and her posse to come see the "fat girl naked." The boys started laughing and calling me mean names right along with the enemy and her friends. This went on for about five minutes until our gym teacher finally realized that there was something going on and came in to cease the chaos.
I was devastated. Of course the boys, enemy, and her posse were suspended, put in detention and other disciplinary actions charged against them for bullying. But that wasn't any good. It had already scarred me, cut me deep, for life. Still to this day it haunts me. I blame this incident for being the stem of all of my insecurities and self consciousness. It's ruined past relationships and caused me to think very little of myself every now and then. Of course it got better, a little, as I got older and out of high school, but I'm still nowhere near my best. I have my good days and my bad days. My good months and my bad months. My good years and my bad years. But I still occasionally struggle with feeling like I always have to be "skinnier" and "tanner" and "blonder" and "wear more make-up" and "buy cuter clothes" and "always fix my hair"... and honestly, the majority of the time when I'm not these "things", I feel very insufficient.
Chris has been an amazing support system with my insecurities and knowing how I feel about certain things he always makes it a point to encourage and lift me up. He's the first man that I feel 100% comfortable with and we've decided that together we are going to work towards a healthier lifestyle. It's a work in progress, and probably will be for years to come, but I know I'll be just fine!
Of course there's more to feeling the way I do, ie media, social expectations, etc. these days... but I feel like this incident that happened in 6th grade was the base, the stem to all of this. I wanted to share this story to encourage Lauran and others who may be dealing with the same insecurities. It's a very difficult thing to overcome and feeling insufficient about anything can be a real heavy burden on someone. If you struggle with the same insecurities, or ones like it, and want to talk about it and try to encourage each other, I am more than willing to open my arms to anyone and listen, talk, discuss, or be a support system if needed.
A big thank you to Lauran for having me today! And thank you'll so much for taking the time to read my ramblings. I hope that you'll come visit me over at Horseshoe & Pearls! I look forward to meeting you!

Follow along...
xo, Ashley


First off, I cried like a baby when I first read this post, so if you are crying, it's only natural! I think Ashley is already a beautiful person and I'm so glad she is on her way to accepting herself! I still remember being 23 myself! It's definitely an in between stage where you thought you knew who you were but you're starting to find out who you are meant to be! I certainly believe in karma and I believe that you reap what you sow, therefore, I will go ahead and assume that Ashley's enemy is or has paid for the horrible, cruel, and sick way she treated Ashley! Children can be so mean and hurtful and it's sad that they have no clue as to how deep such behavior can affect someone! I'm certainly proud of Miss Ashley for sharing her story with all of us! It takes a brave soul but it's also a way to heal. I think you are on your way to being healed! Keep your head up loves whether you're riding a horse or riding life! 



  1. I know Lauren knows this already, but I'm from the middle peninsula and live in Fredericksburg right now! I use show and ride horses, but not so much anymore.

    I'm so sorry you had to experience so much pain. No one deserves that. I've always been the bigger girl compared to everyone else and I am working to change that. It's not easy. Congrats on your wedding!

  2. Come and Link this girl up on Exposed today!! She is adorable!!!!!