Opinion: Vote Because You CAN.

From time to time I like to stretch my article-writing muscles. I don't usually post them here, but have decided to share one every once in a while. Hope you enjoy!

When The Vote Doesn't Rock: Embracing Our Rights
by Ashley Johnson

More than ever this election season, I’m seeing my social media feeds light up with a mantra: “I don’t like anyone running, so I’m not going to vote”.

I think about those women in 1920, the Suffragettes, being drug away from rallies and sitting in a jail cell, all so I can get an envelope in the mail full of voting papers addressed to me, instead of just my husband. That’s a spur to my side. No one would take action to initiate a change for future generations if they knew the general consensus of that generation would be “…meh”.
And yet apathy reigns. Lots of industries prey on that apathetic hope; the weight-loss field, for one. People aren’t stupid. We know if we eat right and exercise, weight will come off. It’s a basic fact, and, let's face it, science. And yet pills and shakes and programs and surgeries are more popular than ever… Because we hope that the easy way out will pay off one of these times. We don’t want to put in the work, the time, the effort. We all want that neatly packaged quick fix. And really, is finding the next leader of our country any different? Tell me what you stand for, in a nutshell. If I agree, you get my vote. If I don’t, I’ll just stay here in my comfy bubble.

Those weight-loss success stories though, how do they begin? “I just got off the couch and started walking” or “I just decided to stop drinking soda”. A simple first step that made them better. And that’s how I have to think about my vote this time around. 

Sometimes, choosing whomever you deem the lesser of two evils is the only way to move forward. Did the suffrage movement happen because women were passionately for or against James M. Cox? Did Warren Harding ignite the need to rally in the streets? No. But it was time - past time - for a move to be made. The fiery, fearless women who made it also made history. Who am I to look askance at that? Someone somewhere decided to tell her friend her thoughts on women getting the right to vote, and the step was taken.
Am I thrilled with my options this election year? Solidly, nope. But taking a step toward deciding who I like less is still a step. Casting my vote for that person, another. Right now, I have to rest in the knowledge that the steps might be hard to take, not exactly the direction I thought, and definitely not an easy choice, but at least I’m moving. I refuse to be a part of this movement of ‘meh’. For my country, for the women before me, and for myself. And I hope you do the same.


A Brand New Day

*big deep breath*

I'm officially a stay at home mom. Exciting, terrifying, and a whole new world for me; someone who's had some sort of out-of-the-home job since high school summer breaks.

And lets be clear: Staying at home with a babe is a whole other kind of job. I love it though, this always-on-the-clock situation that I don't get paid for in money. The smiles, milestones, and TIME with my little guy are 150% worth the 24 hour shifts!
Luckily, even though I've left my 9-5 (or rather 6-2:30 in my case), I still have an outside gig to keep me in touch with adults. Remember when I told you about my new adventure with Rodan + Fields skincare? Taking the role on while pregnant felt a little crazy at the time, but the products are so amazing and the opportunity so good, I knew it was the right choice.
And happy to say I've been proven right many times over already. Becoming a R+F consultant has allowed me to connect with old friends and meet new, watch people gain confidence and joy through improved skin, and has played a role in allowing me this gift of staying home with Shep. I put in time when I want to, and can run my whole business from the palm of my hand. Heck, I made a phone call to my corporate office before taking my head off the pillow last week. It's an amazing business that is all mine, and fits into whatever nook or cranny I feel like finding.

Sounds intriguing, right? I'm actively hiring, and would love to know if you or someone you know wants in on this awesome gig. I'm surrounded by an incredible network of women and men who are supportive, excited, and ready to lend whatever kind of hand I need. There are even Registered Nurses on hand if I or a client have a specific question that requires deeper knowledge.

People are often skeptical of direct sales opportunities, but I'm here to tell you that this one is legit. I help people, I make friends, I get discounts, and I make money, all on my own schedule. What else is there to want?
You know where to find me: RodanAndFieldsAshley@gmail.com
Let's go!


Random Round Up: On Being Gentle

Welp, here it is, a month after my last post, and I've clearly dropped the ball. Such is life with a babe, I guess. I've gone back and forth with being frustrated with myself for not making time to post, and realizing that some things are just gonna get out-prioritized, but truth be told: I miss this little corner of the world.

So, let's face facts: Posts may be sporadic at best, and content might be pretty mama-focused for a while, but I'm trying. And if that's my best right now, I'm going to try to be soft with myself and let that be okay.
No one doesn't look funny at the dentist.
Backyard camelia in full bloom already!
Mirrors are super fun!
Pretty dinner fixin's
Front yard cherry blossoms through a rain-soaked window.
Three cheers for everyone giving it their best, whatever their best-right-now is! Get it, girl.


Random Round Up: Through The Trees

You know the old saying "can't see the forest for the trees"? It feels like I'm finally starting to see the world again: Taking pictures of things that aren't my son, venturing out into the world more and more. Refreshing!
Hate grocery shopping, but love the produce section.
Big shoes to fill... The pressure will get to ya! 
Obsessed with the 1-2 winter blasting punch of a once-weekly dose of Vitamin D and
a fool-proof sunless tanner. I asked my doc about the vitamins, and she asked for
ordering info; Now that's approval!
RodanAndFieldsAshley@gmail.com for more info.
Family Style
The Super Bowl isn't exactly how we Hawks fans hoped, but: GO PEYTON!
Have a great week! Hoping to deliver some more actual content soon.


Random Round Up: Wet & Wonderful

To say it was a bit damp around these parts this weekend would be putting it lightly. But the deluge didn't stop us - As Pacific Northwest lifers we know you can't let the rain keep you inside (because you'd nearly never get out). Bundled, covered, and out we went!
This guy is doing great and really seems to like his new little bro.
One of my favorite places to walk, now even better since it's stroller-friendly.
Little bit of wetland overflow...!
Washington's version of wildflowers.
Taking cover for a quick fam photo!
I know you can't yet set your watch to my blog posts, but I'm working on the regularity. This kiddo has rocked my day to day timeline (no surprise there, I know), and it's taking me a hot second to grab my new normal and hang on.

Have a great week everybody!


Top 5 of 2015

It seems unreal, but 2015 has already come and gone. And that means it's time once again to take a look back and see which posts drew the most attention last year. The annual top five, here we go!

Number One
Woohoo! My exciting announcement that I'd taken a position as a consultant with skincare company Rodan + Fields had far and away the most hits. I haven't looked back for a second, and it's already been such a fun and gratifying ride only 6 months in! I'm growing my business by the day, and it's not only brought me residual income, but the fun of reconnecting with friends I haven't been regular with in years. If you - yeah, you! - have any interest in your skin, my products, or even joining me on this ride, give me a shout: RodanAndFieldsAshley@gmail.com  I'm all ears!

Number Two
The Seattle Seahawks went on quite a nail biting tear last year heading for their second Super Bowl, and this year is already shaping up to be no different (well, the nail biting portion anyway!). This post had all kinds of goodies, from the kind that taste delicious to the kind you can hang on the wall. Hoping I have to revisit it this February for the big game!

Number Three
Oh, Arizona. It never fails to be a palm-tree-filled good time, and 2015's trip was made even better by hitting the Grand Canyon. This post was a bite-sized recap, followed up with a full who/what/where detail post right here.

Number Four
There's always one surprise for me in what people view most, and this post was the one for last year. A few fun shots of our holiday time and nothing more, but maybe seeing some cozy holiday fun is happy for everyone.

Number Five
Not an appealing post title since, ew, who enjoys a hangover?! But bidding farewell to the Seahawks 2015 Super Bowl showing with a loss felt like just that. But as we said then, there's always next year... and here we are, maybe heading in the direction of The Big Show once again. Fingers crossed!

As always, I'm so grateful for each and every one of you who visit my little corner of this interweb world. For hanging through the photos, the trips, the projects, and the fundraising, I say thank you, thank you, thank you!

Can't wait to see what's happened this time next year.



Shepard - "Shep"
8 pounds, 5 ounces
He was worth every minute of my 44 hour labor and our 4 days in the hospital. And let me tell you, that's saying something. Ha!

So much more to come on this little guy as we carry on on this new great adventure! What a ride already.

And for some good fun, here's Dad, Mom, and now Shep all around the 'brand new' time frame.
I think he's a pretty good mix!