Ashley Stock of Little Miss Momma is a dear friend and one seriously amazing momma. She is beautiful on the inside & out– I wanted to share a little interview I did with her about being a mom and how she balances work and friends. Scroll down to get to know Ashley’s heart and beautiful journey.

What surprised you most about becoming a mom?

Before becoming a mom, I remember people telling me that I could never imagine just how much I would love my children—just how overwhelming and all-consuming this love would be.  And I remember thinking that because of the tears that filled my eyes when I heard my baby’s heart beat on the ultrasound for the first time…I thought I already knew what that kind of love felt like.
And I did, but…

Little did I know that was only a taste of my love.
Little did I know that love would take on a whole new meaning.
Little did I know that I could love so much it hurts.
Like actual, physical pain.
And with that kind of love comes worry,
and hope, and faith,
and compromise,
and sacrifice
 and an entire new sense of purpose.

How did you transition to becoming a mom of two–was it harder or easier than you expected?

When it comes to motherhood, I don’t do things very gracefully—and the transition to a mom of two was no exception. I’m pretty sure Sawyer was 4 or 5 months old before I finally gathered the courage to take both boys out to run errands at the same time. And there was sweating. Lots of sweating—as I juggled two squirming kiddos, bottles, binkies, a diaper bag, car seat and an uncooperative stroller. I remember arriving home to discover that I hadn’t even gotten half the items that were on my list.  But while some of the logistics of having two kiddos seemed impossible, there were many elements that were surprisingly easier.  Immediately after Sawyer’s birth, my heart doubled in size.  And then it was almost as if I immediately became a better mom.  Making decisions was easier. I trusted my momma-gut more. I had been down this road before and I was more confident the second go around. Confidence in motherhood does wonders for increasing one’s patience threshold—and ultimately (for me) patience and a big heart are the key to motherhood.

What is one of your favorite momma duties? Least favorite?

Not being able to protect my children from life’s heartaches and disappointments—that’s my least favorite part of motherhood. Even with the knowledge that struggles and stumbles are an essential part of their growth, even then…it breaks my heart to see their bottom lip quiver.

Kissing boo boo’s—that’s right there at the top of my “favorites” list. I’m pretty sure there’s magic in those kisses. Because for some reason, all it takes is a bunch of Momma kisses to make some of the world’s biggest disappointments and ouchies suddenly “all better”.

What’s one thing you do for yourself to feed your soul?

I write. I go antiquing. I get pedicures. And I eat chocolate chip cookies daily.

How do you make time to nurture your marriage? 

Finding balance. That has been one of the biggest challenges of parenthood.  And it always seems that the first sacrifice being made in the name of parenthood, is time alone with my husband.  So time.  That’s our gift to each other. To make sure that we take time to be alone together. That we take time to remember those precious moments of falling in love.  Listening, looking, touching, laughing, strolling, relaxing, eating—alone, together.

What’s your favorite recipe?

This chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe—hands down the most fabulous cookie of my lifetime. They are from Sally’s Baking Addiction and I make them at least once a week.

Give us a piece of advice on keeping girlfriends close even when life is crazy busy. 

Friends matter.
 And even when we grow up,
 and get married,
 and start a family,
 and get ridiculously busy and distracted with everyday life…
even especially then,
we need true friends.
 Friends to remind us that we’re not alone, friends to lean on, friends to encourage us, and love our children as if they were their very own. Remembering that I need my girlfriends, that is the key to keeping them close.

Do you have any hopes or dreams for the next 3-5 years?

I’m a dreamer. I even have a life list. And these next 3-5 years include lots of “living in the moment”, soaking up my kiddos while they still have baby fat and perhaps even knocking a few items off the ol’ life list.

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Oh, Ashley! Your heart is beautiful. I love you, do you know that?
Friends, hop over to Ashley’s blog, Little Miss Momma! And make sure to ‘like’ her on Facebook, too!
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