Lis has taken our family photos for a couple years now and every single time she blows my mind with the shots she gets.
My kids aren’t always cooperative but she always catches them perfectly! Lis even went beyond the lens and came to the place I work and spoke on a panel of women who all own their own businesses.
She’s just as sweet as she is talented.
Fulfillment looks different to everyone. For some, it may be achieving a career or educational milestone. For others, fulfillment may arrive unexpectedly in the form of a new romantic interest, a growing family, a hobby or passion fulfilled, or a new adventure unfolding…
At its core, fulfillment is that self-awareness that we feel when we look at our lives and feel content, thriving and at our peak. If you’re feeling low or battling to develop a more fulfilled life, remember to appreciate the small things that really matter.
Honor your past, take root in the present and realize your dreams for a better future.
1. Honor The Past
Your past may be riddled with mistakes or ‘mis-steps’ towards living a fulfilled life.
You may have faced disappointments and heartache that have shaped your outlook. However, in order to fully embrace your present life, you need to acknowledge the past – and not dwell in it.
Never allow the wrongs of your past to define who you will become someday, but use the lessons learned along the way to shape you into a better person.
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaard.
2. Take Root In The Present
“If you feel anxiety or depression, you are not in the present. You are either anxiously projecting the future or depressed and stuck in the past. The only thing you have any control over is the present moment...”
― Tobe Hanson
Learn to appreciate where you are right now.
No matter our current circumstances, we can attempt to adopt a positive outlook and choose happiness, triumph and fulfillment in the present moment. This is not always easy, especially when going through a valley. But each day, each moment, we can make a choice.
3. Set Goals For The Future
The future certainly is yours for the taking. Dream those impossible dreams. Write them down. Create goals you can work towards and realize the dreams you have waiting to be birthed within your heart. Manifest your greatness.
“It's amazing how a little tomorrow can make up for a whole lot of yesterday.”
― John Guare.
Photography: Elisabeth Ashliegh / Elisabeth Ashliegh Photography
Are you ready to create some beautiful memories? I would be honored.
As a photographer of ten plus years (& a photograph lover myself), I understand the significance of having beautiful moments captured. But if you are anything like myself and the millions of other moms out there, you are not so sure about photographing your pregnancy...
Photography is a luxury and you are probably already trying to figure out how to save money when this little one arrives. Plus, we often do not feel our most beautiful self as our bodies begin to change and adapt to this new life inside.
But let me give you a few things to consider before you completely brush off the idea.
Here are six reasons you might regret not having maternity photos taken.
1) YOUR BODY IS ACCOMPLISHING ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ACTS OF NATURE
Growing a new little human within your own body in itself is a true miracle. You have nurtured it within your own womb, giving it life! And then your body gives birth to this new little life. How can we not marvel in the delicate intricacies of all of the little things that come together to create life. This extraordinary miracle deserves to be honored.
2) YOUR CHILD WILL LOVE LOOKING BACK AT A TIME BEFORE THEY COULD REMEMBER
There is something magical about looking back in to the past. My children and my friends children all love to look back on a time when they were so connected with their mother. Just knowing that is them within those curves fills them with the magic of life, a bond beyond any other bond, and sense of love.
3) YOU WILL LOOK BACK AND REALIZE HOW BEAUTIFUL YOU REALLY WERE
I know, I know. I see you there shaking your head. It is understandable. Right now you are likely swollen in places you did not know could swell, your body aches and you feel gigantic. But if you could see yourself through the eyes of the world, you will see how uniquely beautiful you are. The way a body curves and embraces this child is absolutely beautiful. And you will never be in this moment again.
4) IT GIVES YOU A MOMENT TO REALLY SOAK IN THIS BEAUTIFUL GIFT
This is a time you will never get to be part of again. Eventually your home will be filled with a more complicated schedule, sleepless nights, and emotional changes ravaging your mind, body & spirit. This is a moment to pause, breathe in the moment, and really connect with yourself (& your partner). Do not let this beautiful gift pass by, unrecorded.
6) NO REGRETS TO BE HAD
I have heard countless mothers tell me that the regretted not taking professional maternity (or newborn) photos. I truly believe this is an investment you will never regret.
Ready to capture your miracle?
Gratitude is a state of mind. It is the daily decision to appreciate all that life has to offer and to live out of a place of thanksgiving.
When we choose gratitude, we in turn choose positivity, hope, thankfulness, joy and so much more.
Did you know that there are many benefits to adopting an attitude of gratitude? As you begin to take on a mindset of thanksgiving, you may begin to curb negative thoughts, eliminate anxiety and even diminish depression.
Prioritize gratitude and you may begin to live a healthier, happier and more joy-filled life.
I will share a few simple ways to help you nurture a habit of gratitude and thanksgiving every day.
· Be mindful. There is always something to be grateful for. Look for the silver lining in every situation, no matter how small and start to develop a deeper sense of gratitude for the simple things in life. I like to take a walk at some point in the day and really dwell on what I am grateful for that day.
· Create a gratitude journal. Begin to daily write down those things that you are most grateful for. It may start out simple but over time, you may begin to experience the power of positive thought and nurture a real sense of gratitude for the things that matter most. I write down a list of things in my daily planner as I think of them.
· Express thanks to others. Make a point of thanking others for their role or contribution in your life. Write a note to that inspirational teacher or role model who encouraged you to become the person you are today. Verbalize your thanks to your parents or grandparents for raising you. The more we learn to express gratitude, the more we give others the freedom to do the same. I love encouraging others and finding ways to share how I appreciate them.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend,”
― Melody Beattie.
The Sigler Family
Photography: Elisabeth Ashliegh / Elisabeth Ashliegh Photography
We met Elisabeth back in 2016 when she drove to Toledo to photograph our wedding.
Since 2018 we have been hiring her to photograph our family 2 times a year! She has always gotten the best pictures of our family!
We appreciate her so much for giving us these memories our family can cherish! We recently had our second child and immediately had Elisabeth booked for a newborn shoot! She was so patient and took extra time to get the best shots.
She has an eye for detail in all the photos she shoots.
Ready to book some beautiful moments together?
It is estimated that around 40-50% of marriages in the US end up in divorce. The reality is that marriage is hard work and will take a lifelong commitment in order to achieve success. So what can we do?
Here are 10 things I think are important to a healthier, happier marriage.
1. Communication is vital.
Good marriages often fail because of a lack of communication. Learn to share your highs and lows with your partner.
2. Adopt a growth mindset.
Marriage is a work in progress. Set and achieve goals together and reap the rewards as you grow together – and not apart. This includes checking in with one another and talking about the things you have done right for one another and the things you need to work on.
3. Take care of yourself.
"I am learning how to love him, by loving myself." If we took better care of ourselves as individuals – emotionally, physically and even spiritually – we may be in a better position to take care of those we care about and help them take care of themselves too.
4. Forgive often.
Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. Throw perfectionism out of the window. Instead of harboring false expectations and negativity in marriage, let’s forgive often (when those things don't matter in the long run) and choose positivity in every situation. A positive mindset can go a long way.
5. Say thank you – even for the small stuff.
Sounds simple enough but a lack of gratitude can tear a marriage apart. Learn to adopt an attitude of thankfulness and express your gratitude in marriage daily. Thank you husband for the every day things he does. Thank your wife for all the little and big things she does daily. Even as simple as being the driver on your next trip to the store.
6. Speak love into being.
Your words have the power to make or break your spouse. Choose to speak kindness, grace, love and respect over your partner daily. To them, in your own head, and to others.
7. Be your partner’s biggest supporter.
Take an interest in what is important to your spouse and support them in their endeavors. After all, in marriage you are on the same team.
8. Stay faithful.
Many marriages fall apart as a result of unfaithfulness and deceit. Stay true to your vows and practice honesty and trust daily.
9. Listen more, talk less.
It’s easy to offer advice and shrug off what really matters to your partner. Practice the art of active listening and connect with your spouse on a deeper level.
10. Add romance.
Schedule date nights and plan intimate moments with your spouse to keep the spark alive. Capture the memories in a romantic couple’s photoshoot – and treasure the keepsake of your love forever.
Susan + Willie at Wegerzyn Gardens, Dayton
Photography: Elisabeth Ashliegh / Elisabeth Ashliegh Photography
As busy women, we’re often taking care of everyone else’s needs. Preparing meals, cleaning our homes, pursuing a career to support our families… and yet, we seldom take the time needed to make our own needs a priority.
Here are few simple tips to help you prioritize yourself this year.
Remember – sometimes we have to put ourselves first.
We can’t possibly pour in to others when we’re not pouring in to ourselves first.
Prioritize your needs through the end of this year and ensure a healthier, happier 2023.
Don’t neglect the time you have with your family. In the end, we only have 18 summers with our children. 18 memorable summer holidays to explore, grow together and invest in the people they will become someday.
Here are a few ideas to help you reconnect with your loved ones this summer…
1. Celebrate Experiences
As an adult, I can hardly recall the toys and gifts bestowed to me as a child. I do however remember the laughs shared with my family; the moments spent building forts out of cardboard boxes and playing hop-scotch in the driveway. After all, life is about cherishing moments and experiences with our loved ones – and not things.
Take some time out this summer to celebrate experiences with your family. This doesn't have to be as big & grand as a trip to Disney. It can be as simple as finding a new park you have never been to. Go for a summer hike outdoors, plan that overdue camp out under the stars – and enjoy a carefree summer of adventures with your children.
2. Spend Time One-On-One
It’s great to bond as one big happy family and celebrate the summer together. However, it is just as important to connect with your kids and spouse one-on-one. This alone time will help cement your relationship.
Plan one-on-one time this summer with each member of your family. Perhaps it is a pamper session with your pre-teen daughter or an afternoon of biking with your son. Have a backyard picnic with your significant other. Do something special that you know they will love and build memories that will last a lifetime.
3. Disconnect For A Day
“Sometimes you have to disconnect to stay connected. Remember the old days when you had eye contact during a conversation? When everyone wasn't looking down at a device in their hands? We've become so focused on that tiny screen that we forget the big picture, the people right in front of us,”
– Regina Brett.
Pack away the phones, tablets and more – even just for a few hours. Decide on a set day or weekend this summer where you will pack up the car and venture away from home with your family to spend some quality time together – disconnected completely from technology. Can't be away for a whole day? Set aside certain hours of the evening to be electronic free.
4. Start a Family Tradition
Start something new! From the moment you wake up until the moment you lay back down - find new & creative ways to make a whole new experience together. It may be an annual weekend at the lake or a visit to the zoo, but whatever it is, schedule a special family event that will be the start of your own family traditions over the summer holidays. This will help you reconnect as a family and build your bond for generations to come.
I hope that you take a moment to step back and find new ways to connect with each member of your family.
Have some other great ideas or something you love to do together? Share with us in the comments.
BJ & Deidre at Oakes Quarry, Huber Heights
Photography: Elisabeth Ashliegh / Elisabeth Ashliegh Photography
Being stuck at home because of the Coronavirus can be overwhelming and it can be just plain boring - especially if you are an extrovert like myself. Annoying as it can be, lounging around at home does have its upsides – you can finally indulge in all those things you never made time for, whether it be cleaning out your closets, getting creative with the kiddos, tending to your cracked heels or getting through that book you’ve been ignoring.
So despair not - I have put together a list of 45 things that you could try to fill some time with! I know we will be trying to mark off as many as we can in my family during this time.
Whether its just you or you have a bunch of kiddos running around, I hope that you find this list helpful! Please add in some of your awesome ideas in the comments - we would love to hear them!
Remember to take care of yourself during these times.
Stay Healthy. Be kind.
*** I did something I have never done before on my own blog posts and added photos from other artists. Typically, I like to correlate my own imagery in with the articles I post. Since I am mainly a portrait family photographer, I just didn't find anything in my own collection that fit perfectly with this. If anything it increased my desire to do more in-home type photo sessions to capture that daily magic. You can find all of these artists and more on unsplash.com and hope to share more of my work with you in the future! ***
Guest Blog Written by Mariah McIntyre / Photography by Elisabeth Ashliegh Photography
Over two instances of fighting cancer in my twenty one years, I’ve learned a lot about my own personal trauma that’s stemmed from these challenging situations. Chemo is no joke, and after round two of fighting against this disease, I’d say it’s left me with more physical and emotional scars than my first go around. This isn’t to say that I haven’t gained strength and endurance for the things that we never expect life to throw at us; relapse for me was a reminder that as humans, we're never too good to be thrown into the wringer for a second time. It’s shown me that there’s always more to learn from a hard situation- always a new view point that can be taken on as the tables are slightly turned. In fact, I like to say that as time passes, the more I can personally see all the wisdom I’ve gained in a clearer light. It’s wisdom you have to work for, cry for, and mentally exhaust yourself for. But in the end, your armor is stronger and brighter, making the chinks in the metal that much less visible.
One of the biggest wisdom's I’ve learned from my relapse with cancer- and one that I was only dipping my toes into as a fourteen year old fighting the disease- is that trauma is both connective and isolating, all wrapped into one very complicated package. Let me elaborate on that thought:
The widowed parent is relearning everyday life without their other half there; relearning holidays and anniversaries that will never quite feel the same. Yet there’s a sense that these three people are struggling, growing, and surviving as one.
Trauma Doesn’t End After The Initial Traumatic Incident. The way I often like to convey this idea is to put it into perspective using a situation that many have been blessed to go through: Having a baby. The birth of a child is the gateway into a brand new chapter in the lives of a family. If it’s their first, they're learning how to be a new parent which includes the in’s and out’s of 24/7 child care. If it’s their second addition to the family, it’s learning how to navigate the care of two tiny humans instead of one. Each addition is a whole new ball game with its own challenges to be faced.
That first month after a child is born can be filled with visitors, family members staying over to help with the transition, gifts, and meals being delivered to the new parent’s home. It’s a challenging and amazing introduction of new life, all guided by friends and family easing you into parenthood. But oftentimes, once that excitement has died down, you’re left navigating the transition period of raising a baby on your own. Things aren’t any easier then what they were in that first month- in fact, sometimes they can get harder as new challenges present themselves. Yet the visits are less frequent along with the texts asking how things are going, and the help that was there in the very beginning slowly becomes nowhere to be found.
This same concept can be applied to the cancer patient, the gun violence survivor, and the widowed parent. Once those first few months of initial shock, pain, and grief wear off for everyone else, it's all still there aching inside of the people who are navigating their trauma. In my own words, this process can be described as living in a bubble filled with constant noise. Once the initial trauma came to an end, that being the end of treatment for myself, the bubble pops, and the silence screams in both of my ears. The “How are you doing’s?” become much less, the social media encouragement fades away, and you get the sense that the whole world is ready for you to move on.
This isn’t being said to shame people for getting on with their everyday lives, or trying to put out an expectation that people should forever be coddling those who have sustained trauma. It’s a PSA that we’re still here, and we’re still going through it long after the world has deemed that we should be fine.
As someone who has always made it a point to learn from my trials and to move past them as soon as I feel I’m ready, I’ve always had a particularly hard time navigating my way through the ‘silence’ stage of my journey. The words and encouragement of others do not define me and they don’t make me who I am. But as I’ve struggled through the after effects of treating cancer that still present themselves to me on a daily basis, I find it a great deal more lonely and challenging then when I was in the thick of chemo.
This leads me to suggest small ways that you can be there for someone who has endured trauma in their life.
I am Elisabeth.