It took me awhile to come to this post. I kept pushing it away, saying my reader’s don’t care. Over and over, though, I had the desire to be real with you – SO LET’S BE REAL!
I know many of you have been with me since what I call “the Dr. Phil days.” I began Frugal Coupon Living in late 2008. The following year in 2009, blogging became an unexpected whirlwind through media and press that was a bit overwhelming. It was nothing I had expected and it was in the middle of personal silent chaos (I couldn’t share) but also public joys. I welcomed my oldest daughter before the blog in 2008, but many of you were with me in the birth of my youngest daughter 2009 – how do I know you were there, I was in the hospital bed, in labor, blogging about deals (that is when you know that your “job” is your passion.)
From 2008 to 2011, I shared with you many of my excitements. I included pictures of my kids, myself and friends at blogging conferences, my personal deal finds, and other home photos. Then all of a sudden in 2011, I went quiet – I removed so much of the personal and I HATED IT. I wanted to still connect with you.
The other day I posted a picture on Instagram. It was a picture of myself and my two girls celebrating my 2009 baby turning 5. Yes, five years have gone fast. I had a reader ask me a question – WHERE IS YOUR HUSBAND?!? Really?!? You don’t know, I wondered. I spent the better part of that morning crafting my response to her. This was the first time I had been asked in 3 1/2 years, how would I reply? Why do I have to answer this now? It dawned on me, “Ashley, you have tried to publically hide this divorce and you have. Of course, this reader of six years has no idea.” Yes friends, I AM DIVORCED, and I publically hid it from Frugal Coupon Living.
Five years ago, this sweet girl graced this world giving Lucy and I one of our biggest gifts. Thank you Bella for teaching us to laugh, forgive, hug often, color outside the lines, and to find joy and humor in all things. Happy 5th Birthday Isabella Grace. We love you! #birthday
Why did I hide my divorce? Mainly two reasons. 1.) I didn’t want my blog to promote divorce, it isn’t something I agreed with and after counsel from the church, friends, and family, I decided it was the right thing to do. This blog was about saving money and I wanted to keep it that. 2.) I feared judgment. I knew a lot of my readers were from in-tack families, some were even wives of pastors – yes, I do understand that doesn’t keep you free of the struggles marriage can bring. In fact, you probably are attacked more. I do get that. However, inside of me a little voice asked – What would they think? Would I loose readership?
I don’t regret the times I remained quiet behind the blog. In fact and unfortunately, there is still much reason for me to continue to do so. I still have two young impressionable girls. But there is also a time to connect with you and say to you, I GET IT! I go through struggles and I, as well, find times were saving money or using a coupon is just too much effort.
While I can’t always connect with you in each deal post I share, I do find the best place for me to let you into my life, my passions and my heart (I think it’s a big one) is on INSTAGRAM.
- Did you know my Godfather worked in the World Trade Center?
- Did you know I am a fitness fanatic?
- Did you know I am “sorta” obsessed with coffee?
- Did you know I love fashion and putting outfits together?
- Did you see the fun way I practice spelling words in my child’s lunch?
It’s been over three years as a single mom and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Wow the GROWTH that has occurred. I am not the same woman who started this blog six years ago. I AM BLESSED YA’LL. I love my kids, I love my home, I love my family and friends – and you might just see a man I love on Instagram too. He’s a mighty good one! I have grown to appreciate love and life more than I ever did before.
And for the future – I have some really happy things on the horizon and I can’t wait to share them with you too! God is good!
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