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I found Ashley’s blog several years ago, while I was still living in the UK, and it’s the one I can’t wait to read every day. (Ashley has very kindly let me use some of her photos here, but please, do yourself a favour and check out her blog.)

Somewhere along the line I realised that we’re only a couple of months apart in age, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. She’s a mum of five (three boys and two girls) living in Oklahoma in the USA. And she’s a photographer who not only captures life incredibly well, but also teaches others how to do the same.

Their youngest daughter is adopted and their story had a huge impact on my head and heart, even before I’d ever guessed that one day I’d be walking this road.

One of the reasons I love her blog so much is this…

My mum, dad and grandmother challenged and inspired us to think and work creatively. My sisters and I spent many hours drawing, cutting and glueing at the dining table (the same one that now stands in our house and will hopefully soon see the next generation drawing and painting on it).

Both my parents had infinite time and patience when it came to teaching us to sew, build and paint. I don’t ever remember them saying, “No, that’ll be too messy.” Or too much. Or beyond what you can manage. Instead they challenged us to find answers to the problems we encountered.

And that’s what inspires me so much about Ashley’s blog – she creates time and space to instill the creativity and practicality that she was taught in the next generation. I can imagine it’s not always easy, but I can bet you that one day her children will look back with thankful hearts at everything they learnt around the family table…

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Photos | Ashley Ann Campbell