Browsing Category | happiness

His Happiness is My Happiness

Photography by Abbey Kyhl, www.akstudiodesign.com
Photography by Abbey Kyhl, www.akstudiodesign.com
Photography by Abbey Kyhl, www.akstudiodesign.com

 

When Brady and I were engaged to be married, 4 years ago, we met with our Stake President to interview for our living ordinance & sealing recommends. We talked about each other, and being husband and wife. He gave us great counsel, but one thing he said is something I have struggled with but finally feel like I’m starting to get the hang of.

“Ashley, if you put your husbands happiness before yours, you will be happy.”

That was it. That was the big winner. It has been on my mind ever since. It sounds like one of those sayings that you hear from everybody.


Somewhere down the road I developed a very selfish attitude. I was sick of people being rude. I was sick of letting others be mean to me specifically. I developed this attitude that if someone expects something of me, they are expected of the same also. I noticed a very angry and selfish person shine through each day. Oh, you want trash talk Mormons? Well no wonder they all trash talk non-mormons. Or something like that. Oh, you want me to accept the LGBTQ community and support gay marriage in Utah? Well you better love your neighbor, the Mormon, who doesn’t support gay marriage, and THAT’S OKAY. It’s just irritating. Even writing this still brings up some of those feelings.

I hate it. I hate this person I’ve become. I hate the way I’ve changed. I’ve somehow become this very closed off, anger bottled up inside, complaining woman and I hate her. I’m tired of being her. I’m tired of feeling hurt, singled out, lonely, selfish…. I’m tired of anxiety and depression. I’m tired of the way it controls my life. I’m tired of letting my friends down by not showing up. I’m eternally sorry and I regret not being a better friend. I’m just tired of all the negativity in my life. The “nothing ever works out for me,” or how about the “well, with depression and anxiety, everything is 10x harder,” and while that may be true (that last one) it doesn’t give me the right to see myself as more-deserving than others BECAUSE of this difficulty I face each day.

What does this have anything to do with the title of my blog post? I promise, I will get there.

With this new attitude or “way of life,” it started to destroy everything in my life. My friendships, my relationships with family members, my marriage relationship/friendship, my work-life, my church-life, my health & fitness, my finances…. everything. I felt like everything was falling at the drop of a hat, and it definitely was. It was around the end of April when I met with my new friend Karli. She and my sister had planned to meet up one Saturday to do weight/measurements & meal planning. My sister said that she was a previous trainer at the gym she attends, but now she does more personal training/meal planning for others. I was interested because again, I was miserable with this way of life I was living. After the meeting was over, I thought about it for like 30 mins – 1 hour before texting Karli myself. We picked a date & time to meetup. I was serious about this life change, and I knew my health was the first place any of this wanted “change” was going to happen.

On our first meeting, we recorded my weight and measurements so we knew where we were starting. We created goals together and talked about foods that I liked (or should I say, foods I DO NOT like). A couple of hours after our meeting, she emailed me with my meal plan attached. I was so freaken scared but knew deep down, I wanted this for myself. I wanted this for myself. Fast forward to today. The day I made the decision to want to make the health change that I needed, I changed. I noticed a physical change as well as a change in my every day thoughts. I honestly wanted to spend more time with my husband. I wanted to see my family and friends more. I started making an effort to go to social events (aka hanging out with friends) even though I thought I would die from anxiety. My effort at changing my attitude about and at work started working. I started CHOOSING to feel happy, to be nice to others, to do something for my husband, to just clean the freaken bathroom. I can’t tell you exactly what it is or why things in my life started changing but they just did.

You cannot make someone change or become better, or do something different. They have to want it for themselves. And until that happens, all you can do is love them.


My life is different now. I feel different now. I’m choosing reading over social media. I’m choosing private blogging over trying to be a business blogger. I’m choosing personal photography over business photography. I’m choosing my health over temporal “wants.” I’m choosing discipline/debt snowballing over obsessive compulsive/anxiety-driven shopping. I’m choosing honesty over hiding. I’m choosing God over doubts. I’m choosing the Gospel of Jesus Christ over finding joy and peace in temporal things or people. I’m choosing to smile when I wake up because I prefer to have a better day than yesterday. I choose my husband over anyone else. I am choosing to give the benefit of the doubt. I am choose to say sorry and to admit to my mistakes.

I love my husband. He is my best friend. I love spending time with him, cuddling, watching a movie, or driving in the car together. I love that he teases me and I love that he accepts my apologies. I love that, even though times have been hard, he’s choosing to be with me forever. I love that we’re growing stronger together as a team, rather than two individuals legally married. I love him. I love him so much. He is the calm to my storm and I’d be lost in life without him. Putting his happiness before mine has truly changed the happiness I experience each day. He means so much to me and it’s important to me to make sure he is happy. His happiness IS my happiness.

I cannot end this blog post without first sharing my gratitude towards my Heavenly Father. He is always there when I need someone the most. He is always there when I’m upset about how lonely I feel each day. He comforts me in ways that I never look for comfort in. He answers my prayers when I kneel humbly each day. He has blessed with me with a beautiful life, an amazing husband, a loving family and endless opportunities. Heavenly Father comes first in my life. Without Him, everything else isn’t possible.

I’m doing my best each day and as I make these new decisions to cultivate what matters most to me and the Lord, I find myself feeling happier and more at peace.

  • Tomorrow I mail off a form that will close up my photography business forever. I have had the most amazing time these last 3 years but I know that it is time to move forward.
    • If you need any referrals for any kind of photography, I know MANY amazing photographers who are good friends of mine.
  • I am blogging waaaay more on my personal blog (private) so shoot me an email or comment if you’d like to follow. I keep it private for the sake of my family and myself.
  • You can follow me here:

Brady and I have something in the works for our cute family in the next coming months and I can’t wait to share. Be sure to send me your email for my private blog if you want in on this new adventure!

The domain for this blog expires on 08/03/2017 and I won’t be renewing. Be sure to send me your email!!

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Happy Anniversary!!

Brady and I had a really relaxed anniversary! It was on a Monday which was totally a bummer but whatevs, we had a good time! We stayed local and relaxed at home. We watched something together, and then for dinner, we went to the Cheesecake Factory Mmmmm!! So stinkin’ good! Brady had a gift card that we used. Thank goodness! That place can be expensive!! But so good.

I still can’t believe we’ve been married 4 years. 4 YEARS. I know many of you out there think that it’s nothing, but to me, that’s a long time. That’s 2 missions!! ;) I’m learning to find who I am with Brady. That probably doesn’t make any sense but I’ve struggled to leave my single life with friends behind, and be with my husband friend more! Not that it’s wrong to have friends when you’re married but I struggled with this life changing event. I love Brady with all of my heart, and we have endured so much. But when I finally decided for myself that it was time to change my nutrition and exercise habits, it literally changed everything in my life.

My relationship and friendship with Brady became stronger. I started to cherish, more, the time that we spent together. When I had free time, I would spend as much of it with him that I could before he had to go to work or something. I haven’t given Brady enough credit, and on this blog it looks like I battle this life alone, but it’s not true. Brady is the only person who has been through every teeny tiny thing with me. Like when I worked ALL of my hours for 2 months straight, with zero panic attacks OR missing work. He held me that one time I cried all day because I was physically feeling so depressed.

He is my everything and does everything, just for me. I’m grateful he is mine, and forever!!


The day before our anniversary (Sunday), we went to Church and then to my grandparents’ home for a birthday bbq. My grandparents’ birthday are 2 days apart so it was fun to celebrate both of them! Because of this, we also got to see our Lucy girl. We just love her so much and miss her everyday but are so grateful for her “foster family,” my grandparents & aunt.

The Man I Married


I call this the “babe face,” or “Brady face.” 💛 When he looks at me like that, my heart completely melts. It’s a soft, confident, genuine look of love and happiness. It’s the set-everything-aside-I’m-totally-serious look… the one that sees right through me and tells me that I have indeed found the one in whom my soul loves.

Brady is so patient with me. My life has not gone as planned in any direction I have, or have tried, to take. It is frustrating, and it is lonely. I feel like I will never get a chance to do the things that I want to do; which is everything. I have been humbled in my efforts to choose to be and feel and live happy this past week. I’m really trying… I really am. I am doing a lot of self-pep talks and things. God has shown me a side of my heart that I haven’t seen in a very long time.

Brady and I are kind of in the middle of making some decisions regarding our future plans and all that comes with it. It’s scary, it’s intense (mostly for me 😉) and it is trying. I have called upon God many-a-times this week to help me to just be happy and to see things as Brady sees them. To trust my husband and not that devil on my shoulder named anxiety. It has been hard, not in an ignorant or complaining way. Anxiety is hard.

But when I throw aside all of my arguments, all of my wants and dislikes.. I’m finally able to see the man that I love and married and dated and waited for. I am able to see him as more than I ever have. The unknown frightens me to death and leaves me feeling so physically sick. This week, I have had talks with myself, doing self-soothing and all, and when I stand outside of my box, I see that Brady is seeking out my happiness, he is seeking out our happily ever after, he is planning for the future we both dream of… the future we will work hard for.

I love my husband very, very much. I have made it very well known since he left on his mission 7 years ago 😉 and I will keep making it known. I love talking, writing and sharing how happy & loved he makes me feel. I love sharing that happy part of my life with you. And I’m sure those readers who’ve been around a long time are probably happy to read happy posts!! My husband isn’t the enemy that my depression & anxiety make me feel. He isn’t keeping me from doing things I want. He does believe in me, and he wants what’s best for me.

I’ll leave you with this. When we met with our Stake President for our temple recommends and sealing recommend for our wedding day, he shared with us something that will stay with me through all eternity. He said, “if you put his/her happiness before your own, you will be happy.” 💕 My gosh, can I just tell you how true it is! 

I love my husband and his happiness is my happiness.

xoxo

That Entrepreneur Life – Multipotentialite

Ashley Ziegler headshot by Abbey Kyhl

According to Wikipedia (the most untrusted website) a Multipotentialite is:

An educational and psychological term referring to a pattern found among intellectually gifted individuals. [Multipotentialites] generally have diverse interests across numerous domains and may be capable of success in many endeavors or professions, they are confronted with unique decisions as a result of these choices.

AKA we never know what she is doing because she always changes her mind.


The first thing that came to my mind was, is this really a thing? I laughed about it for a bit the other day, seriously and laughing at the idea of it. Someone must have made this word up. It totally sounds like a made up word. And maybe it is, I’ll never know. But after doing more research, and watching this awesome TED talk, I’m starting to finally feel understood.

I can’t even begin to tell you/express how embarrassing it is to constantly be jumping from the next adventure to the next and hearing from others how it all just looks crazy and they just never know what I’m up to. Clients won’t want to book me because they’re afraid I’ll just cancel or change my mind on them. Nobody will want to buy my cute stickers that I make, in my Etsy shop, because there are soooo many people who already do. And my newest adventure, nail school? Yeah, I won’t be able to make enough to pay back what I spent on schooling… it’s depressing and extremely frustrating.

It’s a daily, consistent battle with myself. Do I really need to do anything at all? Do I really need to just find one thing? Can I really just enjoy having a job and nothing else? Can I handle just coming home and not having anything to do and be content with that? Do I really have the courage to give up my photography business, throw the nail school idea out the window, and believe that my designs for Etsy aren’t going to interest anyone?

Nobody is at fault here, and nobody has made these decisions or caused these questions. It’s how I’m wired. It’s just who I am. Entrepreneur? Probably, I can definitely be that. Creative? It’s my favorite outlet for ALL of my emotions. Each time I was in the hospital, my favorite therapy session was art therapy. I always felt most calm, most “in my element,” and most content. It’s the real deal for me.


I’m just ready to accept that I’m always going to be changing interests. I don’t have a “calling.” If I do, there’s definitely more than one. I’m happiest knowing that I can do and be whatever I want to be. I don’t have to be a doctor just because I’m really smart. I don’t have to be a wedding photographer just because I know how to use a camera. I can make all the flippin’ stickers I want because if no one else uses them, I know I will. I guess the price I pay for following many of my interests is the frustration that comes with road blocks. I’m sure it’ll always be that way. But I know, hope, believe and have faith in myself, and that I can do anything I put my mind and heart into.

 

Are you a multipotentialite? Let’s be friends!

xoxo

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