New Mom Advice : The Shine Project

We’re so grateful and humbled to end our week of new baby, new mama stories with Ashley’s. Ashley is the founder of the Shine Project, a blog, a shop, and a charity set up to benefit at-risk youth. They do service projects every other week with inner-city kids, and any money they raise goes back to fund those future leaders’ college funds. On top of that, Ashley is a new mother, in a very special way. We hope Ashley’s words serve as a reminder of all the wonderful ways we find ourselves as mothers in this life.

New Mom Advice : The Shine Project

“Our story is different than most. We didn’t go through the pregnancy, birth, or even the first few years of life. Our new babies came to us, at the same time, at ages 4 and 6. My sleepless nights haven’t come from crying babies and feedings, they’ve come from weeping and praying for strength and guidance and trying to learn how to become this instant parent to two special people who need to be held tight. I remember texting my friend with kids around their age frantically wondering “What do they eat, how much do they sleep, are they supposed to be reading yet, what do kids DO?!” I was thrown into this magical and unknown world of childhood, and suddenly feeling the responsibility that I have over two human beings was the most overwhelming yet wonderful thing I had ever felt.

New Mom Advice : The Shine Project
I often get asked, “When are you going to have your own children?” While the process we’ve taken is not the normal step to raising kids, the love and feelings that come along with it is all the same. Zoe and Shiloh have filled emptiness in my heart that I didn’t even know was there. I’ve only been a mom for 10 months, and have no clue in the whole wide world what I’m doing. But I know how to love them, so if I put that first, the other stuff just trickles in to place and it all works out okay. There was no preparation for us, no baby showers, no real “advice” that could be given as we ventured into a completely different scenario. Someone told me to create boundaries with consequences, not just rules that have to be followed. Doing that has helped us SO, so much. We’ve worked through and overcome a lot these past 10 months, and what a blessing it has been in our lives. For months I was called “Ashley” and my husband was called “daddy” almost immediately.

We do things at their pace, when and if they want. I’ve learned how to sacrifice and be less selfish than I’ve ever had to be. Sometimes the things that hurt me most are what is best for them. Even though they’re older, we still have a lot of “firsts” with them. Taking them to the zoo or teaching them songs, how to read, etc, and seeing their confidence grow and their little eyes shine with excitement is what I live for. I may not ever know what I’m doing, but I do know one thing; being called “mommy” for the first time was the best thing that has ever happened to me.

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Comments

  1. on February 23, 2014 at 5:55 am said:

    I love this, so much! Thank you for sharing, Ashley! And, thank you for making a difference!

  2. Andrea:
    on February 23, 2014 at 6:04 am said:

    The car seat cacoon is to die for

  3. on February 23, 2014 at 6:45 am said:

    Love is a many splendid thing, and your family’s love radiates from your words. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Amy s:
    on February 23, 2014 at 7:37 am said:

    Wow as a mom to twins this would be amazing!

  5. Beth L.:
    on February 23, 2014 at 8:50 am said:

    Thank you…great giveaway!

  6. courtney d:
    on February 23, 2014 at 8:51 am said:

    Great giveaway!

  7. Karen Victor Lee:
    on February 23, 2014 at 9:04 am said:

    Awesome giveaways! Loved reading all the stories this week!

  8. Sandy:
    on February 23, 2014 at 9:44 am said:

    I’m becoming a first time mom this fall and this package looks Amazing!

  9. Tina Marie McCallum:
    on February 23, 2014 at 10:28 am said:

    Oh my gosh so many cool prizes! I want soooo bad to win! <3

  10. on February 23, 2014 at 11:34 am said:

    Beautiful, Ashley.

  11. Kristy:
    on February 23, 2014 at 11:43 am said:

    This prize package would be a dream come true!!!!

  12. Kate:
    on February 23, 2014 at 12:56 pm said:

    Thank you for the idea behind this week of posts– it’s great to read about other people’s experiences and see how they’ve handled it all.

  13. Adrianna Butler:
    on February 23, 2014 at 1:25 pm said:

    You guys have the best giveaways!! This is such a great one!

  14. Kara A:
    on February 23, 2014 at 2:42 pm said:

    Love these items!

  15. Tracey Hall:
    on February 23, 2014 at 3:14 pm said:

    Thank you for a great giveaway – such beautiful things!!

  16. Ashley L:
    on February 23, 2014 at 4:22 pm said:

    Oh my goodness! This is an amazing giveaway! I would just love to have every single one if these items for my new little on the way!

  17. Leah:
    on February 23, 2014 at 5:02 pm said:

    Please if there is a god, I will win this for my baby!!!

  18. on February 23, 2014 at 5:43 pm said:

    Thanks for making it easier for new moms – we have been entering all the contests – really hope to win something!

  19. Parker:
    on February 23, 2014 at 5:45 pm said:

    Amazing giveaway!!! Would love all items!

  20. Katie:
    on February 23, 2014 at 6:14 pm said:

    These new mom posts have all been great. Living this week of shared stories and giveaways!

  21. on February 23, 2014 at 6:20 pm said:

    Love love love it all! Hip hip hooray for giveaways!

  22. kendra:
    on February 23, 2014 at 6:24 pm said:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story!

  23. Allison:
    on February 23, 2014 at 6:52 pm said:

    We have a 2 week old baby and all of these items would be amazing!! Love your blog, just found it about a week ago!

  24. Kristen:
    on February 23, 2014 at 6:55 pm said:

    I love this giveaway! Would love to win being a new mom
    To be you can’t help but get overwhelmed with all of the awesome things baby’s need!!! Also
    Love the mention of the shine project! Love my bracelets! Rock them every day!

  25. Lexi Rosene:
    on February 23, 2014 at 6:55 pm said:

    Another amazing giveaway!!! All of this stuff would be so incredibly wonderful for this 33 week baby belly!

  26. Andrea:
    on February 23, 2014 at 6:57 pm said:

    Great giveaway! 21 weeks currently and could use all if this 🙂

  27. Kiley:
    on February 23, 2014 at 7:25 pm said:

    Amazing!! Would love to win!

  28. Christina Adams:
    on February 23, 2014 at 7:25 pm said:

    All of these stories are beautiful. If I won a giveaway I would be so unbelievably thankful. Your blog is lovely! 🙂

  29. Heather t:
    on February 23, 2014 at 7:28 pm said:

    Wow..what a generous give away!! Praying for favor!!

  30. Brittany Peck:
    on February 23, 2014 at 7:34 pm said:

    These Giveaways are killing me! SOO amazing! WOuld love to win! Thanks for always giving the best of the best! Also love the story on Ashley from @theshineproject! 🙂 Got my braclet when she was at The Riverwoods in Provo!

  31. Kathryn:
    on February 23, 2014 at 7:36 pm said:

    Oh my gooooodness, I am in LOVE with the Moses basket!!!

  32. Sara:
    on February 23, 2014 at 8:08 pm said:

    Amazing blog, amazing giveaways! can it get any better? 🙂

  33. Cassidy:
    on February 23, 2014 at 8:26 pm said:

    You’re a good mama! Thanks for sharing.

  34. on February 23, 2014 at 8:31 pm said:

    What awesome stories. Ashley is such an inspiration.
    Also what a great giveaway. I have my eyes on that darling moses basket.

  35. Madi H:
    on February 23, 2014 at 9:13 pm said:

    Such an amazing giveaway! Would love to have some of these things when our baby comes in august!

  36. Megan:
    on February 23, 2014 at 9:21 pm said:

    This give away is a dream come true! I have been eyeing that Moses basket for baby #4 due in May!

  37. Sharice:
    on February 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm said:

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  38. Airyn:
    on February 23, 2014 at 9:32 pm said:

    Would definitely love this!!I’m due here in a little over a month with our first baby! 🙂 could definitely use these amazing things!! 🙂 thank you!! 🙂

  39. Andrea:
    on February 23, 2014 at 9:53 pm said:

    Love these!!!! I hope I win.. I’d really live them all!!!

  40. on February 23, 2014 at 10:11 pm said:

    Awesome! Just awesome (did I say that too much?) 🙂

  41. Jami:
    on February 23, 2014 at 10:47 pm said:

    Love love love all of this!

  42. Jami:
    on February 23, 2014 at 10:52 pm said:

    Love LOve LOVe LOVE all of this!

  43. Julie Lee:
    on February 24, 2014 at 3:33 am said:

    So many goodies in one giveaway! One lucky person will win! Hope it’s me!

  44. on February 24, 2014 at 5:59 am said:

    So many amazing items I could totally use for this new baby 🙂 Thanks for hosting such an amazing giveaway!

  45. Brooke:
    on February 24, 2014 at 7:09 am said:

    What an inspiring story. As a soon-to-be new mother, it is comforting to hear these stories and see that motherhood, the adventure and its challenges, comes to us in so many different ways. Thanks!

  46. on February 24, 2014 at 9:06 am said:

    Love this blog! So excited about this amazing giveaway!

  47. Jenny:
    on February 24, 2014 at 9:17 am said:

    Thank for hosting such an amazing Giveaway! I have a toddler and am expecting identical twins so would love to win!

  48. julia:
    on February 24, 2014 at 9:27 am said:

    We are adopting our first baby and would love to add this to the baby closet for our forever child when he/she finally finds us!!

  49. Cassie Feerer:
    on February 24, 2014 at 9:40 am said:

    What an awesome giveaway! I’d be so happy t win any of it!

  50. on February 24, 2014 at 10:54 am said:

    Loving all the companies and products!

  51. Bethany:
    on February 24, 2014 at 10:57 am said:

    My baby boy is due in May, and I would just LOVE to spoil him with these goodies!!

  52. on February 24, 2014 at 11:47 am said:

    Would love to win! Thanks so much for the awesome giveaway!

  53. Hailey:
    on February 24, 2014 at 11:57 am said:

    Such amazing products. I would love love love to win!

  54. Tarryn:
    on February 24, 2014 at 12:01 pm said:

    This has to be one of the best– if not THE best– baby giveaway I’ve ever seen! Small Fry–you’re amazing! Would love to win this for my sweet baby due 3 ½ months!

  55. Christie:
    on February 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm said:

    Amazing giveaway!

  56. Susan Carter:
    on February 24, 2014 at 2:17 pm said:

    I just found this site and it’s amazing!!!

  57. on February 24, 2014 at 2:22 pm said:

    I would loveeee to have this for my baby boy!

  58. Brittany Peck:
    on February 24, 2014 at 3:32 pm said:

    Such a amazing giveaway! Thanks for always getting the best of the best! 🙂 I also love your story of adoptive mother Ashley from The shine Project!! 🙂 two thumbs way up!!

  59. Anne S.:
    on February 24, 2014 at 3:45 pm said:

    Thanks for the fabulous giveaways this week! I would love to win anything you are giving away for my new bundle of joy!

  60. Paige Lynn:
    on February 24, 2014 at 4:54 pm said:

    I adopted two of my three children and I’m so glad small fry didn’t forget mommies that adopt as well! Every one of children came to me from different ways and each one of them thought me how to be a mommy! First child, first new born, then first birth.

  61. Nicole reineck:
    on February 24, 2014 at 6:40 pm said:

    This is fantastic!! All would be perfect for our sweet little one due in July!

  62. Melissa:
    on February 24, 2014 at 6:54 pm said:

    Adorable, functional products! Love it!

  63. Rebekah:
    on February 24, 2014 at 9:20 pm said:

    Baby Girl 2 on the way… Can’t not try!!! Awesome giveaway wowza!

  64. Ally:
    on February 24, 2014 at 9:42 pm said:

    This is amazing!

  65. Courtney:
    on February 24, 2014 at 9:44 pm said:

    What an awesome giveaway!!

  66. Danielle:
    on February 24, 2014 at 10:19 pm said:

    Awesome giveaway!

  67. Kari:
    on February 24, 2014 at 10:19 pm said:

    Oh my, oh my!! What an amazingly GENEROUS giveaway!! Even though my littlest just turned one, I could still use so many of these awesome products, and the ones my babes are too big for, I would love to gift to my new momma friends! Oh gosh, I neeeeeed that a Ergo for my clingy little babe. I would explode from happiness if I won!!!!

  68. Shasta Hansen:
    on February 24, 2014 at 10:21 pm said:

    I need this so hard

  69. Shanna:
    on February 24, 2014 at 10:33 pm said:

    This looks amazing!!

  70. Deanna:
    on February 25, 2014 at 2:32 am said:

    Beautiful !

  71. Kristen.:
    on February 25, 2014 at 5:53 am said:

    Wow this give away is insane!!

  72. Marissa M:
    on February 25, 2014 at 8:47 am said:

    OMG so much baby cuteness!!! 🙂

  73. cathryn:
    on February 25, 2014 at 12:38 pm said:

    This would be a dream come true! Amazing products!

  74. Heather:
    on February 25, 2014 at 3:06 pm said:

    So many amazing products!

  75. Erin:
    on February 25, 2014 at 5:14 pm said:

    Amazing and beautiful products!! Winning would be a dream!

  76. on February 25, 2014 at 6:41 pm said:

    want!

  77. Kristen:
    on February 25, 2014 at 8:24 pm said:

    What a great giveaway!

  78. on February 25, 2014 at 9:29 pm said:

    looks awesomeeeee

  79. Lisa Arnold:
    on February 25, 2014 at 9:39 pm said:

    So many fun things. My daughter is having a baby and would love this. Small Fry rocks!

  80. Michelle Butler:
    on February 26, 2014 at 6:39 am said:

    Thank you so much for all of your inspiring work!

  81. on February 26, 2014 at 11:06 am said:

    I would love, love, love to win! All of this stuff is amazing! I love your blog!

  82. Rachel worthen:
    on February 26, 2014 at 2:50 pm said:

    My little dude and I would love all this amazing stuff!

  83. holly rice:
    on February 27, 2014 at 12:35 am said:

    Awesome sauce!

  84. Emily Hall:
    on February 27, 2014 at 6:46 am said:

    Amazing stuff! Amazing site!

  85. brittany:
    on February 27, 2014 at 6:48 am said:

    This giveaway is amazing!!

  86. Kristi Hawks:
    on February 27, 2014 at 1:45 pm said:

    This is an amazing giveaway. I think if cry if I won.

  87. Whitney Brenon:
    on February 27, 2014 at 2:24 pm said:

    I would DIE if I won this! So so so amazing!

  88. Elizabeth:
    on February 27, 2014 at 3:37 pm said:

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  89. Victoria:
    on February 27, 2014 at 3:40 pm said:

    Trying for baby number two and this sure would help!!!! Would love to win!

  90. Lindsay Bigelow:
    on February 27, 2014 at 7:27 pm said:

    Would love to win this amazing giveaway! Thanks for putting it all together!!

  91. Kim Derrick:
    on February 27, 2014 at 9:50 pm said:

    WoW!great giveaways!

  92. on February 28, 2014 at 8:03 am said:

    Lovely!

  93. Lindsay Templeton:
    on March 1, 2014 at 6:13 pm said:

    Great giveaway!!

  94. Heidi C:
    on March 3, 2014 at 9:35 am said:

    What a cute blog and an amazing giveaway!

  95. Amee Cameron:
    on March 3, 2014 at 9:03 pm said:

    Aaa-mazing!!! Winning this would make me so incredibly happy!!

  96. carrie:
    on March 4, 2014 at 2:05 pm said:

    All of these products are amazing! Would love for my baby boy to rock them!

  97. Pingback: A look back at New Year, New Baby | Small Fry

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