catching a sparkle

hello, loved one.

i decided to make a cute little post for your monday (or i suppose whichever day your fingers lead you to this page.)  

you lovely creatures let me know some things you wanted to talk about in this space of the internet, this precise moment in time while our feet are still rooted into the earth as it spins wildly through the galaxy as a tiny speck in the universe. 

okay, that was a little much, but i just write the weird things that come into my weird brain. 

one of the things you all mentioned more than once was talking about the little things that make us happy; small things throughout a bad day that turn it toward the light, making it a little better. 

i love this because these little things often breeze by us unnoticed, and the weight of the difficult things ends up crushing them. but if we're more aware of these little things, we can let them into our hearts to fight off negativity & darkness. 

so  here are a few of my favorite things:

> when the clouds part in the perfect way so that sun rays wisp out in straight lines, almost as if they're reaching out to you. there's something so magical about the golden beams fighting through the heavy clouds, and it reminds me of the vastness of the universe and i am grateful. 

> the perfect cup of coffee. cliche maybe, but as of late i've cut way back on my coffee drinking, so when i do, i want it to warm me from head to toe. this often occurs when i make it to starbucks and order a sugar-free vanilla latte with soy milk. it's a spiritual experience. 

> this song: The 1975 - Robbers
so maybe you have your own song. and i honestly don't know what it is about this one, but it just eases so gently into me, whether i'm driving with the windows down or dancing alone at my house. it just makes me feel all of the things i want to feel and my spirit is aligned. 

> a text from an old friend. i say text because honestly, phone calls overwhelm me and i typically send them to voicemail until i'm ready to call them back. but a little text saying they're thinking of me is such a special gift and makes my existence feel, for a moment, validated. be that old friend. send out a text. you never know what kind of day they're having and how you could turn it around. 

> animals. any kind, any place. a silly photo of a friend's dog or passing a deer on a drive. there used to be a family down the street from me that had pet chickens and goats. whenever i was feeling down, i would walk over there and feed them grass and bask in their innocence. animals bring me so much joy. 

these are just a few of the things that, for me, briefly lighten the burden of living. 

all of the photos on this post are older ones, but they make me feel good about myself, and that is a rare & precious feeling. 

sometimes it's a fight to make it through the day. but when we catch a sparkle in the water, the sun reflecting off it and dancing like glitter, it can feel like a kiss on the cheek. 

i would love to hear some of the little things that make you feel this way. let's talk about it in the comments? 


Listening to:

(this is another one that makes me feel the good feelings)


  1. What makes me smile is the brief seconds before I wake my kids in the morning. Their look is of innocence and it reminds me of the miracles that have been gifted to me.

  2. Reading this made me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside, thank you for sharing. Some things that make me happy are the colors of nature during fall, listening to someone talking about something they're passionate about, singing and the sound of coffee being brewed.

  3. the sky in general it's one of my favorite things, I love it when it's clear because it looks infinite, I love it when it's cloudy because clouds make me feel safe and hopeful for some reason and mostly, I love it when it's colorful, I love seeing the different colors mixing and creating a "lovely world" vibe.

    I love hearing my nieces laughs and now that I just met my newborn nephew I realized just a touch or a glance from them it's enough.

    as you mentioned I love hearing those special songs that make you feel all the right things.

    I love cuddling with my two puppers.

    I really enjoy a warm shower/bath.

    I love feeling the tenderness of the sun on my skin.

    I love reading things like this, pieces of people's souls, written beautifully.

    now that I think about it I could go on for days, I love enjoying the little things, I feel the joy they provoke on you lasts longer.

    hope you have a week full of light! read you next wednesday.

  4. Small things that make me happy:
    - nice people. whether it's an extra cheerful waiter or barista at starbucks, it makes my experience there a little more enjoyable.
    - cats. give me all the cats.
    - freckles. i think freckles are so pretty and i wish i had some.
    - stars. i was looking at the stars one night and was feeling extra grateful in that moment because in the city of chicago, they're a very rare sight.
    - connecting those two together, i came up with this: "stars in the sky are like freckles on the skin. they are so lovely." this is a little something that made me think of you because i knew you'd appriciate these words.
    - airplanes. whenever i look up and see one, i wonder who's in it and where it's going. somewhere tropical? cold? will there be mountains? europe perhaps? it keeps me in touch with my curious side. and that's something i think we should all have.
    - untouched snow. it's just so pretty and sparkly and that sounds like a good combination to me.
    - im going to stop here because honestly, i could go on for quite so time but ill let you go. thanks again for your beautiful words & pictures Ashley. you're a lovely human being <3 see you Wednesday, love.

  5. Texts from old friends make me so happy, especially when it leads to reconnecting. :)
    Kind of random, but yarn makes me feel this way. Not even working with it, just the softness is enough sometimes.

  6. i know ive already commented, but i just thought of another one that i'd like to share. i love dogs with short legs, particularly Corgis. and i know that sounds silly but they literally have me laughing out loud when i see them trying to run or walk quickly because they just look so funny. in these few moments my heart does a little pitter-patter out of happiness and i appreciate that.

  7. A few small things that make me happy are;
    - When flowers/grass grow up through cracks in concrete. There's something really metaphorically empowering in that for me, as silly as it may sound.
    - When a song perfectly suits a situation/moment that you are in, and I mean this in the sense of both how the moment feels and what the situation is about. Either of them, or both. It is so satisfying.
    - The warmth of the sun in spring (it's that time of year in NZ right now so I'm all about this one)! I often walk to the local park or over the local hill and find a bench and write/draw for a little while, just enjoying the sun beaming down on me. It's ever so peaceful.
    - Freckles. Are they not the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?
    - This is a funny one, but I love all of the little differences that we all have from each other. I do a lot of photography and I absolutely love to notice all the little things that physically make someone them. This applies to the little things that people think about too, the mental side of things. I just love people.
    - The feeling of doing something productive/"grown-up" without having a panic attack. This is a huge one for me and every little step is progress and another success to keep in mind when things don't go so well.
    I'll leave it here for now to keep this from getting too long but I'm absolutely going to continue writing them down in my journal. I do think we sometimes forget how beautiful all of the little things in life are, and there are such a large amount of them all out there!

  8. -being hit with a wall of heat after walking out of an air conditioned building.
    -live music.
    -the sound of the birds slowly waking up even though it's still dark out. bonus points if it's the first time hearing this since winter.
    -making new animal friends.
    -finding little "goofs" in movies/tv shows.
    -laying next to an open window when there's a little breeze. bonus points if it's raining. double bonus if it's night (which is weird that i like that because i'm TERRIFIED of the dark).
    -finding something that you forgot that you lost.
    -finding out that something is unexpectedly vegan (i cried when i found out that i can still eat oreos).
    -crossing the last thing on your to do list off.
    -developing film.
    -riding in a car on the highway at night.
    -any moment that is so great that i stop and think "i'm so glad i'm alive to experience this."

  9. excellent idea, my top 5:
    1. my cats (obvious one, they're my children. 1 adopted brown tabby, 2 black aunt/nephew i got from relatives)
    2. long car rides, especially late at night when there's hardly any traffic. just talking and listening to music.
    3. harvest moons!! they look so huge sometimes, it startles me when i see one and i'm not expecting it! in a good way though, it's kind of hilarious. also, when you see a bigger than usual star and realize it's probably a planet.
    4. rain/thunderstorms - they actually relax me. not when there's possibly tornadoes though
    5. remembering dreams, especially if they can be interpreted in relevant ways or are compelling in some way. i used to keep a dream journal, but some of my dreams are so disturbing i cannot bring myself to write them down. i have to remind myself it's not a personal reflection of me because it's my subconscious which i really have no control over. unless i have a lucid dream, which i've only had a handful my entire life.

  10. Hi Ashley!

    I'm sorry it has taken me this long to comment on your blog -- to be honest I've felt kind of intimidated. You write so beautifully and one of my worst habits is comparing myself to others because I have such a negative self-image. But anyway, that's not what you asked about.

    Some things that make me feel better when I am having a bad day with my anxiety & depression --

    Bible quotes, especially from Isiah, Hebrews, Ephesians, Psalms, and Proverbs.

    Songs! Music is SOOOOOOOOO important to me! I have been singing since I could talk. Right now, some of my favorites are "Dead Come Alive" from New Albany/Five14 music; My Shot, The Schuyler Sisters, The Battle of Yorktown, Helpless, Burn, and Dear Theodosia from the Hamilton Soundtrack; O Come O Come Emmanuel (I'm really digging the Pentatonix version right now); Taxi Cab, Trees, Screen, Oh Ms. Believer, Addict With A Pen, Trapdoor, Doubt, Fall Away, Guns For Hands, and Kitchen Sink by Twenty One Pilots; When You Come Back Down and Sweet Afton by Nickel Creek; Hallelujah and When It Rains by Paramore; and Thumbalina, Move On, Ghost Inside My Radio, and Glow by Coleman Hell.

    I love watching the sky -- I love clouds and the beautiful colors of the sky. When I was younger I used to think that sunbeams were how God brought people up to heaven. I love Thunderstorms, I live in Riverview, FL right now, in Tampa Bay, which is one of the lightning capitals of the world. I respect nature's power, but I LOVE watching lightning and hearing the loud claps of thunder.

    Cats make me very happy and serene.

    My little cousins - who are half the country away from me, but I would do anything for them. I love them with every fiber of my being.

    Old books, especially poetry. Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost are some of my favorites. And, especially, Harry Potter.

    Wells Beach, Maine and Bow Lake, NH - those are two of my favorite places in the world and my heart aches when I am not there.

    I also love creating boards on Pinterest because I feel like it helps my creativity and it is a way for me to keep my eyes fixed on the future, instead of feeling trapped by my anxiety and depression.

    And, above all. God. When things seem most hopeless, I try to call on him for support, love, and guidance. And I pray that he will help bring peace and calm to me.

    Thank you for sharing yourself with us. I hope to meet you someday.

  11. This post is gorgeous in so many ways! Here's a ;ist of a few things that make me happy.
    1. Those really deep 2am conversations with your best friend. When all pretenses fade away and it's almost as if you're too tired to be anything but completely honest. You can take about everything and nothing and nothing else matters. Just two humans, truly connecting.
    2.Wandering through bookstores or libraries, surrounded by stories. Feeling completely safe and simultaneously exhilarated at the thought of the the adventure that awaits me pressed between the pages.
    3. Seeing my little brother's face as he rushes to hug me as soon as I get home from work. It is by far the best part of my day. :)
    Love you Ashley! Keep creating! <3

  12. I love the comments underneath your post. there are the ones I think, yeah I love that too! which is cool. and there are those that are completely different from things that I love, which is even more awesome. and I just love your blog in general. you said you were a bit scared to start writing. but I think you a really great job and I hope you'll be writing for a long time, that'd be so awesome <3.

    -I love birds. not the big impressive birds like eagles and such, but the small brown birds. the tiny birds I see when I walk/bike to school, work, or to nothing in particular. I've learned the sounds of the small birds that are native to my area. so often I just travel and listen, and make mental notes of what birds are hiding in the bushes. most of the birds I never get to see, but it's that bit of mystery of listening to bird sounds what I like so much.

    -nature, I just love nature in general, whenever I feel sad, overworked, frustrated, when my brains spins a 360 degrees per second, I go sit outside and watch the grass grow. it really gives me back my peace of mind.

  13. Twenty one pilots believe it or not gives my mind peace. Their music pushes the demons/thoughts away

  14. I'm very particular so I'm very picky about what makes me happy.

    1. Barq's Root Beer and Sunkist. Seems simple and I don't have them often, but when I do, it is so satisfying.

    2. Sunsets have always deeply moved me emotionally. The colors overwhelm me every time.

    3. Music. Music is so important to me, but sometimes there are specific things about a song, whether it's a harmony, a chord, a line, or a vocal, that pierces through. For example, Open Your Eyes by Snow Patrol. The bridge.... I promise it will give you strength and drive to push through.

    4. I love traveling. I don't get to do it often. And I have a desire to one day take a solitary road trip. I've been told that that isn't a good idea and asked why I would want to go on a trip alone. I need solitude, and I don't get much of it.

    4. The smell of something baking never fails to bring joy to my soul. Cookies, cakes, bread..... I love it.

    5. When my kids (both teenagers) laugh together. They are both introverts. They keep to themselves even at home. So whenever they are laughing and sharing, it warms my heart.

    6. I look forward to the Christmas season beginning December 26. I love shopping for people. I love the music. I love the air. I love the decoration and wrapping paper. I love the anticipation my kids and nieces have. Even my mom, because she is always, always, grateful for what she receives.

    7. The love of Jesus. When I think about what He endured for me, it makes me love Him more.

    :) Thank you for your blog. It's precious.

  15. Dappled sunlight. I think that's what its called...when the sun filters down through leaves of trees and is all kinda spotty and moving and golden and green. That.

  16. Dappled sunlight. I think that's what its called...when the sun filters down through leaves of trees and is all kinda spotty and moving and golden and green. That.