current city: Memphis, TN
living situation: Living in our house are my husband, our three kids, and me. We have twin four-year-olds and a three-year-old. They’re all girls.
occupation: Small business owner of The Cosmic Coconut, an organic juice bar set to open in Memphis this spring.
how do you structure your time and space: Right now I’m working about four hours per day as I am starting my own business. My kids are in school Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for a five-hour block. That’s normally just enough time to work, go to the grocery, and exercise. Some days lunch with a friend is possible! When the kids are home I try to be available for them but sometimes I’m on the phone for business, and they are playing in the next room. (My office is in my home currently, but it will soon be at the juice bar.) The girls have become very independent recently, and I wonder if it’s because my new venture has taught them to self-entertain, if it’s an age thing, or a little of both. After they are all in bed at night, I normally try to relax and meditate for 30 minutes or so. Sometimes I don’t get to or just don’t feel like it. Sometimes my husband and I are exhausted and veg out and watch a movie. I love to read; it’s my favorite pass time.
Regarding childcare, right now we have date night two nights a week, and when The Cosmic Coconut officially opens, I have a friend who will take them to school and pick them up (if necessary). The juice bar will only be open from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for the first few months, and I am really hoping to be able to pick the kids up from school. Some days I may not be able to, but I have back up in case I need it. We are so fortunate to have her! She has been a friend for a long time, even before our kids were born! This is a pretty natural transition for everyone. My girls know her and are very comfortable with her. She is familiar with their routines, schedules, likes and dislikes.
using the metaphor of seasons to describe the phases of women’s lives,
-what are the particular challenges and highlights of your current season? Finding a balance with work and kids is tough in this season. It’s challenging to not be too intrusive in my kids’ lives so that they can grow up without too much input or over-parenting from me.
-what season(s) preceded this one? Fall preceded my current season. Things were starting to change. I had creative desires to start my own business and break out of the housewife/mom job! My kids were changing too, morphing into more independent, immuno-superior, rock stars. They weren’t needing me as much, and I was finding myself too intertwined in their lives and not having enough of one myself. I signed up for guitar lessons, tennis lessons, yoga teacher training and was looking into art lessons when I took a step back to reassess what my true desires were for this new season of my life.
-what season(s) might your future hold? WOOHOO! CREATIVITY!!! It’s cool seeing everything that goes into starting a small business and learning as I go. I can’t wait to see how my little undertaking is received by the community and what tweaks I will make to adapt to changing needs. Hopefully the juice bar will expand to more than just a place to grab a healthy drink. My hope is that it will be a place for people to commune, learn about healthy lifestyle choices that aren’t fads, grow personally through fun after-hours classes, and engage in good conversations with others who frequent The Cosmic Coconut.
favorite family activities: We love going to the park (just being in nature in general), eating meals together, and watching movies.
favorite solo activities: Reading! Reading! Reading!
source(s) of inspiration: MY BEAUTIFUL GIRLS. I also love to walk at Shelby Farms with my dogs. Something about that is so calming and peaceful. Ideas start flowing. Meditation — when I learned to quiet my mind, I found that the world was indeed a magical place. I can remember feeling so stuck and heavy before I started on my spiritual path. Nothing is what it appears to be, and ANYTHING is possible! This life is an adventure and I look forward to going wherever it might take me.
best MakeShift moment: The twins were three-and-a-half and the baby was two. I had been sick for a few days, and the first day I was up and at ’em, I noticed one of the twins scratch her head like something was really itching her. She did it a few more times before I realized that she had HEAD LICE!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG! All of us had it. We had probably gotten it at the movie theater the week before. So for the next two weeks, all the kids were out of school while my husband and I treated our kids and ourselves for head lice. Every night we olive oiled the kids hair and put them in buns (lice don’t like dirty heads), and every night we combed through their hair with a lice comb. This took 45 minutes for each kid. Every morning for TWO WEEKS we stripped their beds and ours and put everything into the dryer for 30 minutes. All of their stuffed animals got put in garbage bags on the back porch for 30 days. Every hair brush and bow in my house got torched. You know your husband truly loves you when he will comb your long, long hair, section by section, for about an hour each night for two weeks. Six months of therapy should come complimentary when you buy any type of lice treatment. I think I might start a petition.
Here’s another good one:
The twins were almost three and the baby was 18 months. We were in line at Starry Nights, our city’s elaborate drive-through holiday lights display, and realized that this was going to take a lot longer than we had thought. It was FREEZING outside and one of the girls announced that she had to go NOW. I started panicking because we couldn’t go forward or backward and there was no toilet in sight. Our car hadn’t moved in at least five minutes, so I took her out and kind of held her so she could pee on the grass beside our car. The cars behind us had quite a view, but she was fine and we avoided an accident!
find ashley on the web:
- website: http://www.cosmiccoconut.com/
- blog: http://cosmiccoconut.blogspot.com/
- facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Cosmic-Coconut/137039759690401?ref=ts&v=wall#!/pages/The-Cosmic-Coconut/137039759690401
- twitter: www.twitter.com/coconutbuzz