Friday, June 8, 2012


Today we were driving on the road near the park.  Suddenly, Friend shouts out "Go Red Team!"  I looked over at the ball field, and sure enough, both teams were wearing red.  Go Red Team, indeed.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Hope:  This is going to be the best summer of my life.
Fear:  This is going to be one more painful chapter in a very hard year.

I'm not so far away from the hardest thing I've ever been through.  I remember it all in crippling detail.  And there are moments when it comes on me as strong as ever...those inexplicable fears and inner churnings.  Praying to God to get through the day one minute at a time, and fearing that each day would end and I would be forced awake to a new one...usually in the middle of the night.  So many nights...crying for what I gave up, crying for what I would never have again, crying for what I never really had.....  It's not so far away from me.

I see this coming summer as full of potential.  I have a job I love, a church I love, friends and family that I love.  And life is really starting to piece together again.  But here's the scary part, this is how I felt last year at this time.  I didn't know how things would turn out.  Standing there and looking forward, I thought only good things were on the horizon, finally unfolding in front of me and making my otherwise unimportant existence something exiting and interesting.  And for a moment, just a moment, that was true.  Everything seemed to exist in a surreal euphoria.  Everything I had ever wanted, dreamed of, prayed for, was finally within my grasp.  And just as swiftly, and as ugly as the spring was beautiful, the summer ended, and robbed me of everything I had, even my very sanity.

I don't want things to go back to the way they were.  No.  I have nothing to go back for.  But there are days when I'm terrified of moving forward.  Just as sure as there will be a future, it will be accompanied by its own pain and sorrows.  That is a guarantee.  And I wonder if I have the strength to face that pain, that sorrow, that fear of the unknown.

But tomorrow comes without consulting anyone first.  The sun rises without taking a survey about whether or not it should.  And as much as we try to shut it out, pull the blankets up over our heads, the morning brings with it a whole new set of trials.  But it also brings a whole new set of opportunities.  And the potential of those opportunities could be just as good as bad.

Last week was not an easy week.  This week is not starting out any easier.  I feel like I'm on the verge of giving up...but I don't know quite how...and I don't quite know what.  I just have to remind myself that it gets better.  The good days are not so far away from me.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Marriage.  It never fails that I'm confronted with the concept on a near daily basis.  It's not something that I think about all the time though it does play a role in my grander ideas for my life.  But I'm not so unhappy as a single girl. In fact, I've had a few opportunities in my life to marry, but I've never followed through on them.  I suppose that's my fault, or a sign of my good sense.  I prefer to think of it as the latter.

This weekend I sang in a wedding for the first time since October.  I've kind've been avoiding the whole singing up front thing since late last summer...when things got really bad.  But lately, it seems that everyone is determined to have me sing for something.  I was asked to sing The Star Spangled Banner for a banquet a couple of weeks ago, my grandma requested I sing a special in church for Mothers' Day, and last week my worship leader had me sing for him at church because he needs some help with praise band.  And though I'm not unhappy to do these things (I'm actually pleased and flattered to be asked), I do have my moments of uncertainty.

On my way to the rehearsal on Friday, the sun was shinning brilliantly over the freshly plowed fields of my Indiana home.  A long week of work behind me; a long country road in front of me.  The radio was on.  I knew I would be with my cousin and her family.  All signs pointed to happiness.  And yet, there was an achy, hollow feeling down inside me.  That same feeling I experienced six months ago....that same emptiness that's impossible to fill.  Singing in weddings seems to be the hardest.

I'm fairly good at shaking off the bad feelings that sometimes roost in my thoughts and dreams.  I've learned how to focus on the things that are good, wonderful, even perfect about my life.  I think about my cozy little apartment, my adorable nieces and my nephew on the way, my awesome church, my crazy wonderful family.  I am so blessed, and yet....

I suppose there are things in life that most people take for granted.  We just assume that things will happen a certain way, be a certain way, stay a certain way.  But, living teaches us otherwise.  And though this time last year, things were starting to finally fall in place, I could have never guessed that just a few months later, everything would completely fall apart.  ....And I'd be singing at other people's weddings.  But I wouldn't change it.

As the Goodmans' say, I wouldn't take nothing for my journey now.  I really like where I am in my life.  I really like that I've stayed the course on the road less traveled by.  And yet, there's still that feeling that something's missing....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chubby Mac

Hello my lovelies!
Just wanted to let you all know that I won't be posting much on "Observations" because I'll be spending my designated blogging time on my six week blog Chubby Mac.  Please feel free to follow along as I go to extreme measures to lose extreme weight.  Love ya all!

And here's a picture of my adorable Em in a hat.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Until the Real Thing Comes Along

If I could put myself into any decade in American history, I would choose the 1940's every time. 

I wish I could go back in time and live the life my grandparents lived. To experience the hardships that built and preserved their character and integrity.

I'm fascinated by everything about that era.  The hair.  The clothes.  The history.  

And let's not forget the enchanting music.  If I ever meet someone I'd like to slow dance with, I hope it could be to this classic Billie Holiday song.

Charles and Wilma McKnight 1943

WARNING:  Mary, don't listen to this song unless you have time to play it 50 times in a row. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cookies and Cream

AshB's Cookies and Cream Cake Pops.

I started with my regular vanilla cake pop batter and crushed up just a few Oreos into it.

 I didn't feel like I could have too many cookies, 

so I crushed up a couple more and mixed them into the white chocolate to coat the pop.

My favorite sister-in-law said these were her favorite.
What flavors would you all like to see?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Heaven help the man who ever really loves you

Sigh, that famous quote from Captain Rhett Butler.  No girl really ever wants to be proposed to that way:  "You're right, my dear. I'm not in love with you any more than you are with me. Heaven help the man who ever really loves you."  But there is something so fantastically romantic in the idea that it takes a very special kind of man to see you all the way through and love you for who you are.  The irony of course is that Rhett really did love Scarlet, he just couldn't let her know that.
Gone with the Wind

I've heard those simple, precious words, I love you, from a variety of men in my life.  But they were shallow, just as their understanding of me lacked any depth.  I was even told by my last boyfriend that his loyalty was to a fault, past the point of logic.  Almost too loyal.  I'm sure he felt that was true until I got very sick and he got very scared.  Those shallow words held nothing sacred, and all those feelings I had imagined so real, were just as gone with the wind as so many shared sentiments before.  But I digress.

It's kind of exciting to see what God is going to do with this season of my life.  Will there be love and trust?  Will there be freedom and adventure?  Will there be heartache and tears?  Will I laugh more or cry more?  I think of my friend who so well stated, "I'm navigating a new life-stage that I naively thought I wouldn't have to walk alone."  And even though I thought I would be frightened in this circumstance, I'm actually excited.

Does anyone else feel this way?

Friday, March 16, 2012

So Few Followers

Here's the great part about having so few followers, I can pretty much write about whatever I want.  There's really no expectation on what I say and how it may or may not pertain to someone else.  I know that my friends are really just reading it to catch up on my life, not to be inspired or motivated, necessarily.  Of course, if they are, then that's just bonus points.

I think I'm more style/fashion conscious than I've ever been.  (Thanks to Krisina J!)  And I'm slowly becoming this fashion forward girly girl.  (Check out my Stylicious board on Pinterest)  Who knew?!?!  I've come a long way from culottes and camp t-shirts.

Technically this is a vbs t-shirt
So, at the urging of my co-workers, friends, and pretty much anyone whom I've ever breached the subject with, I am considering wearing my hair down on occasion again. 

I started wearing it up as an act of obedience and a symbol of purity for my future husband.  It was terribly romantic at the time...but now...w/o going into uncomfortable and painful details, some of those things that seemed so important before have lost their holy luster.
My hair is semi-down here

Any thoughts from my friends and fam?

Sunday, March 11, 2012


I think as I've struggled with what and when to post on this blog, I've had somewhat of an identity crisis.

And maybe a blog-dentity crisis.  (Points for creating a new word! Woot!)

What is it I want to share, reveal, and market here?

AshB's Cake Pops?

Or AshB?

Making cake pops is not all of who I am, it's just part of what I do.

And the rest of me, the other 92%, seems to sneak it's way into everything I publish here.  

And I think I like that.

What do you think?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Matters of the Heart

Proverbs 13:12-Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.


 Proverbs 4:23-Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Proverbs 16:9-A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

Proverbs 17:22-A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Due to some confusion on how to win FREE CAKE POPS.... I have broken down the process into six easy steps.

1.        Invite 10 friends to “like” AshB’s-The Cake Pop Shop at Karamel McKnutts

a.       Note:  They must be 10 people who have not already “liked” AshB’s-The Cake Pop Shop at Karamel McKnutts.

2.       Each friend tags you in a post on the AshB’s-The Cake Pop Shop at Karamel McKnutts official page.

a.       This is how I know whose friend it is.

3.       Once you hit ten, check your “inbox” for a certificate for 3 Free Cake Pops.

4.       Pick up your cake pops- (date and time tbd by what works best for both of us!)

5.       Enjoy eating your 3 free cake pops.

6.       Repeat.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Man Pops....and Happy Birthday

Me and B

Today is my older brother's birthday.  I can't believe he's thirty already...but then there are times when I can't believe he's only thirty.  
"Man Pops" until I think of a better name
When I hosted "AshB's Pick Your Pop," my brother made the observation that little dainty pastries on a stick (with ribbons) were not a very manly dessert, and that I would have a hard time marketing them to male clientele.  He told me I needed something more masculine, more guy-friendly, something like "man pops".  
The whole fam
So, in honor of his birthday, I have created something new.  I don't think they qualify as "man pops" and I was still very particular about the details, but they are a much hardier dessert.  

Happy Birthday, Brandon.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

And you'll never walk alone....

A walk in the park.

I love this picture.  It looks like it came out of a magazine, but in actuality,  these are my nieces, and my two favorite little girls in the whole world.  I love big sister with her hand on little sister's shoulder.  I love little sister with her hands clasped behind her back. 

The leaves on the ground, the path stretching before them, even a vintage style streetlight seems to whisper peace, adventure, contentment, and everything good.  It makes me want to be in that moment, where possibilities abound and the love of two sisters for one another is the overriding theme.  Each with her own dreams and plans stretching before her, but taking on life together, no matter what.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Featuring Party Pops

I think about cake pops all the time. 

AshB's Party Pops
 I'm always pondering on new flavors, new looks, new people who may enjoy them.  To me, there's no greater reward than seeing someone take their first bite, and then turn to me with wide eyes and happy mouths.

Perhaps for me, cake pops are just a vehicle for meeting new people and making new friends.  And if that's the case, then it's definitely worth the time and energy spent.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Jar Full of Yum

Ah, cheesecake.  What is it about you that makes me love you so? 

To come up with this little creation I perused the internet and combined a few different recipes to create something truly unique.  It also had to conform to ingredients I already had on hand.  My little fledgling business demands resourcefulness. 

I actually up-cycled the jars and my mom painted the lids for me (cause she rocks like that). 

This is why hoarders never throw anything away.  You just don’t know when you may need it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Featuring Pink and White

I used to write short fiction.  Every now and then I still dabble in fiction writing, but only when I have extended periods of time when I’m not working on some other project.  As you can imagine, it’s not very often. 
AshB's- The Cake Pop Shop

I always liked to start a story as if the reader was in the middle of it, as if they were already familiar with the plot and the characters, and then flesh it out as the story revealed more and more.  And so, with as little introduction and fanfare as I can get away with, I am starting this blog. 
Strawberry Blondes

It won’t be so terribly unlike my other blog…still me, giving my account of life, daily happenings, struggles, victories, a bit of sarcasm and a central theme of God’s presence in my life.  But instead of focusing on depression, I’ll be focusing more on cake pops. 

AshB's Cake Pop Bouquet

I suppose it’s the difference between traveling during the day and traveling during the night.  Same roads, same vehicle, same traveling companions-but the perspective is completely different.

It is my hope that you will find this to be a light-hearted break from your routine, and a break for me too.  Please enjoy!