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By Ashley of The Ederington Family and Maniac Mom

Fall Trails

Horseback Riding

Family Walks

Fall Cycling

Ashley Headshot
Ashley lives on a 125-acre hobby farm with her husband and two sons in Bismarck. When Ashley isn’t teaching high school or running marathons, the family loves to explore the beautiful outdoors in Arkansas by hiking, hunting and fishing. Ashley is taking a break from blogging, but when she returns, you can follow the family’s adventures on their blog: The Ederington Family or Ashley’s running blog: Maniac Mom. Ashley can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest.



The last post in this series is one that is near and dear to my heart. After 31 years on this earth there are a few things I’m sure of: my God, the ability of food to bring people together, and the fact that we genuinely need relationships in our lives. Not Facebook acquaintances, but flesh-and-blood, thick-and-thin, love-you-always relationships. I truly believe that the health of those relationships will help in determining a lot of our health in general.

I’m a very introverted person; one-on-one I do great, but in huge public settings you can generally find me close to an exit door. I don’t mind being alone; in fact eating alone in restaurants or even seeing a movie by myself is extremely relaxing. But there have been times in my life when that introvertedness has hurt me rather than helped me.

The thing with relationships is this: they’re messy. When you let people in and they start to know your junk and you know theirs, it’s hard. We will hurt one another. We will disagree. There will be times when we all just want to run and hide. I’ve experienced that many times in my life to the point of not ever really letting anyone in, other than close family, until the past 6 years.

And you know what? Those 6 years ruined my life in the best way possible.

I met women (and some men) who challenged me. They made me think, they made me talk, they made me share. I told them things and thoughts and actions I never thought I’d reveal to anyone. I hurt their feelings and they hurt mine. We hashed it out, grew stronger, and for the first time I started to understand that people were not made to be alone. Our lives are stronger and healthier and more beautiful even in the mess and the junk, and I could never go back to being covered up and protecting my heart from potential mess.

My plea to you is this: open up. Share your life. Share your hardest thoughts, with grace. Don’t just sit in comfort, because at the end of the day the beauty comes from daring to be you in front of others.

One final thought: how perfect of a time does this come at? The holidays are upon us, and this is the time of year that we all look forward to and dread simultaneously. Be willing to get a little messy. A little crazy. A little FUN. Take chances and dream big with the people you care about. Open up. You’ll be so glad you did!


Sunday Link-Up {Nov. 23, 2014}

November 23, 2014

Arkansas Blog Linkup


Best of Bentonville {Beard Foundation Benefit}

November 22, 2014

I was pleased to represent Arkansas Women Bloggers as a guest of Crystal Bridges  at the Friends of the Beard Foundation Best of Bentonville Benefit held at 21C Museum Hotel on November 8 featuring the culinary work of Chef Rob Nelson of Tusk & Trotter American Brasserie, Chef Matt McClure, a Beard semifinalist for best chef Sotuh,   of The [...]

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Family Holiday Favorites {Foodie Friday}

November 21, 2014

 We’re sharing some of our Family Holiday Favorites for Foodie Friday.  We’ll be featuring some of those throughout the holiday season. The linky will remain open through December 6 so feel free to share several of those special dishes that are always present on your holiday menus.   Calling all #ARWB members to our first Family [...]

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Fall into Fitness {Fitness in the Fall}

November 20, 2014

By Lisa Mullis The morning air is crisp and cool, the leaves are showing their true colors, and the search for gloves lost in the land of mismatched winter gear has begun. Morning coffee tastes a little sweeter and I, for one, am tempted to stay in bed just a little while longer instead of [...]

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The Sun May Go Down, but the Run Goes On {Wordless Wednesday}

November 19, 2014

By Whitney of Running with Whit Whitney Sutherland blogs at Running with Whit about the fun and adventure of an everyday athlete. Whitney works full time playing with numbers and products and unwinds by training for races. She loves triathlons and has completed two half ironman distance races. She completes many races each year and initially [...]

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5 Steps to Spiritual Fitness {Blogger of the Month}

November 17, 2014

By Miss November 2014 Heather Disarro I’m a firm believer that fitness is an all-encompassing product of taking care of our bodies, our spirits and the ones we love. It is a constant pursuit of learning about ourselves and what brings us joy, a pursuit that is never-ending because we are always changing.   I [...]

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Sunday Link-Up {Nov. 16, 2014}

November 16, 2014

We’re excited to see what you bring for #Sunday #Link-Up on #ARWB. Click To Tweet

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Cajun’s Christmas Camp Blogger Event

November 15, 2014

#ARWB members were treated by @CajunsLR to a bunch of Christmas cheer. Click To Tweet By Sarabeth Jones Recently a group of Arkansas Women Bloggers enjoyed a lovely Saturday afternoon at Cajun’s Wharf in Little Rock, where they were treated to wine & whiskey tastings, food, and fun. During lunch, they passed around heaping plates of yummy [...]

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