2018.12.30 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning, my favorite extended family members! My wish for you today, is that regardless of what is going on in your lives… the difficulties and pain, or just even the craziness that can be there, is to find amazement in even one little thing. It is sooooo easy to get caught up in the challenges, “to do” lists, the disappointments, as well as taking everyday things for granted. Try living in the moment, and let your heart and mind be open to something new. It only takes one seemingly insignificant act or thing to flood your senses with amazement. For me it’s usually nature. I never tire of it and when I get home from work after having a bad day, just stepping out of the car and looking around brings me such delight. It may be the sunset, a new flower bloom, the moon peeking through clouds…but in that moment I am filled with gratitude and thankful for the opportunity. I remember a time towards the end of this summer, that wasn’t a particularly good day for me; but when I pulled into my driveway and got out of the car, hummingbirds were flying all around like little fighter jets. They were buzzing around my head, dive bombing their feeders, and darting around with their little motors just a humming. I couldn’t help but smile and start laughing. I felt like they were welcoming me home. I could have easily kept my head down, grumbling to myself about my less than great day and walked in the house. But instead I chose to look up and take notice. Let me know if you find something that lights up your thoughts or makes you smile today. It truly is the little things in life that can turn your whole day around.❤😊🦋🐿🌻 Have a great Sunday and Warrior On!
2018.12.29 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
How many times do we read where one of us (myself included) says, “How will I do this?” or “I don’t think I can do this.”? It’s perfectly normal and understandable as an individual to feel that way. It even compounds itself, because we are Military Mamas, which comes with it’s own special set of obstacles and learning curves. Sometimes the challenges we face, whether it’s sending our children to basic training, watching them deploy, running a 5K, figuring out how to Skype, or even launching a MMN Chapter seems daunting and/or terrifying. The best way to deal with those feelings is to meet them head on, acknowledge them, and then kick those life draining suckers firmly in the behind, and begin working towards our goal. We are all here to support, encourage, and make believers out of each other, regardless of the task at hand.
So start this weekend in a Warrior State of Mind, and believe in yourself. We will help you if you stumble or just need to vent. We believe in each other. But like the post says, “I CAN AND I WILL…WATCH ME.” Have a great day, Everyone!
2018.12.28 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning Everyone,
I hope you all have a wonderful day! Today I am a very rich woman. Not by any measure of money, but if measured by gratitude, I am one of the wealthiest women alive. Beginning a new day filled with gratitude is a gift to yourself. We all have something to be grateful for, even though some days we might have to look a little harder. Once we find it, not only does it enrich our lives, but it becomes so much easier in turn, to enrich the lives of others. And the feelings that come with helping another see a little sunshine are fantastic, incomparable feelings. Thanks to each if you who have helped me search high and low on those days I was struggling. I am so very grateful to have each of you in my life. ❤
Have a great Friday, Warriors!!
2018.12.25 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
I hope each of you gets to experience something today that makes you smile. You deserve it. Yes, YOU deserve it. Today I want to remind each of you, individually and collectively as MMN, that what we do is nothing short of astonishing. As Maya Angelou said in her quote, “…continue to be who you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness.” What a powerful statement! It reminded me of who we are and what we do every single day. We perform so many different acts of kindness: to each other, to mamas looking for a home like MMN, to our troops, veterans, their families, and to complete strangers that we will never see or meet. That’s our core and Geriann protects and ensures the integrity of our amazing group. When Mayo Angelou refers to a “…mean world”, yes, it can be very mean and ugly. Yet our family members have committed to fight, and save us from enemies that embody those very principles of meaness and ugliness. We know how bad it can get, yet we CHOOSE to continue performing acts of kindness in a very harsh environment, every chance we get. That makes us pretty darn amazing from my perspective. So yes, feel great about what you do, day in and day out. Let’s continue to astonish this world and Warrior on my MMN family
Happy Sunday, Everyone,
How is my MMN family doing today? For the most part, when someone asks one of us how we are doing, we respond with, “I AM….(fill in the blank)”. We also know that our answers may be completely different, depending on who asked the question. And quite honestly, there are usually multiple words that can fit truthfully into that blank. We are devoted, loving, multi-tasking individuals; so it wouldn’t make any sense if we could explain ourselves with just one word. The graphic I chose contains 41 POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS. Today I challenge each one of you to choose at least one, two, or more of these affirmations to fill in the blank of , “I am…”, when thinking about ourselves. It may be a great day full of joyous anticipations or a tough day full of a myriad of trepidations. Either way, how we feel about ourselves, plays a large role in how we respond to whatever life throws at us. If it’s one of those days that you need help identifying one of the POSITIVE 41, come to us, your extended family and we will help you. ❤ That’s why our group is 13,500 plus strong and growing. Today I am feeling inspired. How are you this morning? Have a fantastical day and Warrior On!
2018.12.22 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Happy Saturday, MMN Warriors!
All individuals, although in our case, mainly Military Mamas, are created with a tremendous array of traits and emotions. They span from one end of the spectrum to the other, and all in between. I see this as a gift. We don’t often (I try never to say never) start our day on one point of this spectrum and just stay there for the duration of the day. Depending on the circumstances, we can move with lightning speed from one end to the other, and even jump right into the middle if necessary. Because we have this gift, we are innately capable of being caught up in our own lives, but then immediately changing gears to defend, protect, and fight for our loved ones. This also works in reverse. Our day may have started with us in a fierce Warrior mode, but something changed with ours’ or others’ circumstances, that moved us over to a fragile, soft and/or gentle supportive role. That’s what makes us uniquely qualified to meet the needs of each other, friends, and family in whatever capacity is needed at that moment. My graphic says we can be all of these things in one day…from experience I know we can be all of these things in an hour. Who knows how much area we will cover today? Come to us regardless of your problems or concerns, and someone will meet you…and do everything in their power to get you back where you belong! GO OUT INTO THE DAY AND WARRIOR ON
2018.12.21 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
If you ask Piglet what day it is, he says, “It’s today”, and Pooh answers him with, “My favourite day.” These two characters beloved by so many children and adults alike, knew the answer to having a good day, everyday. Of course, most of us will have some days, where neither Pooh nor anyone else can change our mind.( those are my Eyeore days) But for the most part, if we try to think like dear, old Pooh Bear, then EVERYDAY can be our FAVORITE DAY🙂 So no matter how long the “to do” list, or the event we dread going to, or disappointments we may face, let’s try to think about our day in a positive light. As I mentioned in an earlier post, a LOT (not all), but a lot of days can be steered into the “Happy Lane”, by beginning with a positive attitude and a feeling of gratitude for all that we do have. I hope you all have the best day possible, and if you can cheer up any Eyeore’s along the way…then add that to your happiness bucket. Go do great things today, my MMN family! Remember, great things can be the tiniest of actions
2018.12.20 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
When I read through our hundreds and hundreds of posts, there is common interwoven thread. We all want to know, “Does anyone else feel this way?”, ” Is it normal to be scared or worried about this set of circumstances?”, “Did you have this happen and how did you manage?”, etc… We are seeking validation for feeling like we do. We don’t want to feel alone, weak, or strange in our messy, chaotic, and often very challenging thoughts and worries. That’s why we are here as members of MMN. That’s a driving force behind Geriann ‘s unending efforts to constantly add new ways for us to connect, guide, encourage, and learn. We don’t all experience the exact same things or handle them the exact same way. One of the constants that keeps us here, however, is knowing our feelings will be validated and someone else in this ginormous group will be able to relate, share, and walk you through it. Have a fantastic day, and by the way, you got this!
2018.12.18 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning, MMN Warriors!
I love this quote and it describes what we do everyday. “For our own success to be real, it must contribute to the success of others”. Truly successful, kind, leaders are always looking for a way to lift others in the process of what they are doing. We all do that, whether it’s through one of our small groups that focuses on a certain area, or just our daily making sure we are all making it through the day. There is no “size ” attached to these successes. The importance is that this group of phenomenal Mamas, led by Geriann is always striving to succeed, but that also always includes contributing to the success of all of our members. Ya’ll are a fantastic group who succeeds at your own levels, depending on where you are in this crazy, wonderful life. But everything you do inside of MMN also is helping another Mama attain her goal. Congratulations to you all! You have a LOT to be proud of every single day. Now go forth as always and Warrior On!!! You make me proud everyday! I hope it’s a great day for you!
2018.12.16 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning, Warriors,
I hope you have a wonderful Sunday! Thank you all for being a part of our Military family. Without YOU we wouldn’t have this phenomenal group that does move mountains to take care of each other and our ginormous extended family. We may be just a tiny sliver of the general population, yet we have the strength, compassion, and determination to make a profound difference in our families’ lives. Thank you, Geriann Hanley Wiesbrook, for having the foresight to see the possibilities, and for your tenacity to keep pushing us to the next level. And as always, go forth and warrior on…
2018.12.15 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
I hope you are feeling great this morning. Unfortunately, sometimes we feel disconnected from everything…like we have lost our direction or purpose. Many times the reason may simply be, because we feel the pain of being separated from our loved one(s). Part of overcoming that feeling is being able to connect with someone or something. Other times it may be by throwing out an anchor for stability. Well, guess what??? The good news is that you are already connected to this amazing group of 13,500 plus members. There are a LOT us of out here ready to hold that anchor steady and be there for each other not just on the tough days, but everyday!! That’s a pretty great feeling to know that you can reach out…grab on to…and allow yourself the grace to be steadied by each other for as long as it takes. For many of us Mamas and Dads our children are that anchor, regardless of their age. So when they are gone on their mission to protect our nation’s freedoms, we sometimes need a little help staying anchored ourselves. Whenever that happens, take comfort in knowing we will be here to steady you and keep you upright as many times or for as long as you need it. Military Mamas are here for each other and collectively we can be one heck of a ginormous anchor for each other. There are plenty of us to go around. NEVER forget that it is okay to ask us for help and/or encouragement. We are Warriors and we leave noone behind. Have a great day as you prepare for the new week ahead!
2018.12.14 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford
Good Morning All,
It’s Friday and what does that mean? Well, it actually means something different to each one of us, depending on our own set of circumstances. But what does each day mean, regardless of our individual circumstances? Everyday is truly a gift, even though it may not always feel that way. Some days we may think, really…this is a gift??? Then we take a deep breath, look around, and realize, yes it is, just by the fact we are here, able to think about it, and read our Morning Mail. We need to gently remind ourselves every single day, how grateful we are for this gift. Then take it one step further, and remember that along with our outside family and friends, we have more than 13,700 awesome MMN members that have our backs on any given day, 24/7. That’s one powerful reason to be grateful. Some days we are the encouragers and others we are the encouragees. Think about how blessed we are to have this in our lives. So take today’s gift, make the most of it you can, and as always, Warrior On!
2018.12.11 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning, Warriors,
As we wake up and begin our day, I imagine some of us already have some thoughts about what’s going to happen. We may be feeling blah about something we have to do, or maybe we are excited and happy with anticipation of a life event. But most importantly, we need to focus on this one day.
Live in the moment and squeeze every bit of life you can, out of every minute of every day. We are so fortunate to have these minutes, let’s try to make the most of each one. Just reading the posts on our page each day, we see how quickly lives can change in the blink of an eye. So let’s make the most and best of everything we do. Love yourself and love each other❤ We are MMN Warriors…Live the Life/Love the Life(and when the need arises, talk to each other, encourage each other, and eat chocolate or anything decadent that makes you smile ?) Warrior On, My Military Family!!!
2018.12.09 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning, Warriors, it’s Sunday, our day of rest…unless you are scheduled to work. lol ? Our Military children work 24/7, 365, for the most part. That’s also a reminder that WE are here supporting each other…24/7, 365. That takes true dedication. So we bond together to listen, encourage, and comfort each other all hours of the day and night. That’s what we do, so go forth and Warrior on…
2018.12.08 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Happy Saturday, Warriors,
As we embark on this new day, remember that we are such a tiny part of the population, and yet we are strong, caring, loyal, “get it done” types of individuals and collectively. We are here for each other, our families, and anyone who needs us. We believe in solidarity, patriotism, and loving someone so much that we proudly send them off to protect our nation.?? We are a different breed of Moms and Dads, who raised heroes. Don’t ever forget that; even in a weak moment…and if you do, we will pick you right back up and we will continue to Warrior On!! Have a fantastic day, my MMN family!
2018.12.07 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Happy Friday, Military Mama and Dad Warriors! We have almost made it through another week. I know several of you have had some really big challenges, tragedies, and obstacles to overcome. Yet many of you have had some fantastic heart warming stories and were reunited with your families. There is one common thread woven into all of these events…Military Mama Network??❤ We were all here to share, support, celebrate, and take care of each other. I know Janelle has mentioned this before, but every single one of you adds value to all of our lives. That is a remarkable thing to do each and everyday. Be proud of what you have accomplished. You are all amazing individuals!! Have a wonderful day, Warriors
2018.12.04 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning, Beautiful and Brave, Mamas!
Most people are afraid of something; while others may be afraid of a whole lot of things. There is nothing wrong with being scared. As Military Mamas, we not only face the fears that are common for the average person, we have a huge, additional chunk of looming fears. There is the sometimes overwhelming fear of what is happening in today’s world. Each day that we read or watch the news, (many of us don’t) there is a new scenario playing out in another country, that our children may get called to go handle. If you begin to dwell on it, the mind can get caught in a continuous cycle of fear and worry. Today’s quote says, “Being brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it.” It’s not always easy to do, but you are strong, resilient Warriors. And during the times that we feel weak and need some help calming the fears and powering through, we have each other. We can always come to our Military Mama Family, and count on the fact that we will get the encouragement and support we need to steer us back on the right path. Even the strongest person needs a little help at times. We then create a powerful force of being there for each other, and encouraging each other to grow and stretch our boundaries. As a result we grow stronger, and then we are able to help the next Mama who needs it. I think of it as a giant force field that continues to get stronger, bigger, and all encompassing. We become wrapped amd empowered in this force field.
We help each other find a way through the fear and that is an awesome feeling. Thank you, Mamas, for being here and keeping us on track. Have a phenomenal day!
2018.12.03 (Janelle Swenson France)
Good morning Mamas! Happy Monday to all ? I hope you found time to relax this weekend and recharge your batteries. I asked a friend if I could use her picture for today’s post as it really spoke to my heart. Thank you Lisa Baney-Koch for the pic. Each one of you Mama’s has what the quote from Harriet Tubman says “You have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars and to change the world”. How do we do this? We start with making a difference for one person at a time. It doesn’t take a huge gesture, sometimes just a smile and kind word can change someone’s day. We have all been there ourselves, having a rough day, and a person’s smile and support makes us smile as well. We change the lives for our heroes when cards are sent to them, honoring and remembering their service and sacrifice. We make a difference when we send a piece of home to our service members who are deployed far from home. We change each other’s lives as we say me too when a Mama needs support. Each one of you amazing Mamas does have what it takes to change the world. You hold a tremendous amount of courage and strength. You have an empathetic, compassionate and caring heart. You have a fire within you that cannot be extinguished. Find your passion, use those traits to change the world. Start small, make a spark that starts a wildfire of change. You can and do make a difference. You are amazing Mamas! I hope each of you have a wonderful day!
2018.12.02 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning, my fellow Military Mamas! How is everyone doing today? I so hope each of you has something to celebrate. Remember there is always a reason to feel grateful…if nothing else it’s because you woke up this morning to a new day. If you woke up or couldn’t sleep, because you are struggling with your current situation, remind yourself that it is temporary. Circumstances change daily. I know it can be a challenge; believe me, I have been there. Today’s quote by Socrates says, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” It sounds so simple, yet it is so easy to get caught in a trap of being unhappy or dissatisfied, and to continue fighting against your current situation, which is a waste of precious time and energy. We have to accept what has happened and move forward to make progress. I didn’t understand how to do this until approximately 5 or 6 years ago, and it’s still a work in progress. I always argued that it wasn’t fair, or right and I wanted to keep fighting it. Finally someone told me that acceptance does not mean you like it. I was so stubborn that all I wanted to do was keep dwelling on it, as if that was going to change anything. Every fiber of your being may despise it, but you have to accept it, put it behind you, and move forward. Only then can we start “building the new”. Once you stop dwelling on the past and focus on the new, you will find new energy, a new attitude, and reignite your passion for life. I know that ya’ll can do this. For some it comes naturally; for others like myself, it takes intention, practice, and persistence. But I can tell you from experience, that once you rewire your thinking, the frustration level drops significantly and you will see things in a different light. It is yet one more tool to add to your Warrior toolbox. Go forth, Mamas, and continue doing the amazing things that you do each and every day!
2018.12.01 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning, Mamas,
My wish for you today is that you have the opportunity to rest(even if it’s just a little), reflect on anything that may be troubling your soul, and restore whatever missing piece you need to feel grounded. I am heading into work this morning. It’s the first day of December, so let the reindeer games begin! Yesterday in the Gift Shoppe, I waited on several customers who were trying to get their Christmas shopping done, yet it was obvious they were struggling with adversity in their lives. A genuine smile, a listening ear, and a kind word, has the ability to allow those individuals a few moments when they feel cared about and understood. Even if it’s just a few moments for them to drop the facade and feel the emotions; it can truly be cathartic for them. They realize that they aren’t alone and there are people who care in this chaotic world we live in.
This same type of scenario is what all of you do daily…here at MMN and in your personal lives. Never forget the significance of even the smallest gesture, like a smile, to generate positivity and healing. And it doesn’t cost a single dime to make that impact. Sometimes the greatest gifts come in the smallest packages. Go forth, Warrior Mamas, and continue making the immeasurable difference you make each and every day!
2018.11.30 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Happy Friday to all of my favorite Mamas! It’s time to start a new day and with that comes the opportunity to wipe the slate clean. We all have many different responsibilities pulling us in so many directions, day in and day out. This isn’t necessarily a problem; responsibilities can be positive and rewarding. The point is, however, that even when everything is going great, we still need to take a moment, clear our minds, and focus or refocus if needed. It’s coincidental that I had already chosen this quote, when I watched the video that Cynthia Valenta posted in the Local Chapter Leaders group, this evening for us on the East Coast and afternoon for you Central and West coast dwellers. It explains the same ideas and philosophy about leaders in general. It is exactly what our leader, Geriann Hanley Wiesbrook, strives to do for all of us. She tries to empower each of us, to live our lives in such a way, that we realize and maximize our respective capabilities. As a strong, caring, and influential leader, she knows that, “You don’t inspire your teammates by showing them how amazing you are. You inspire them by showing them how amazing they are.” Everyone she empowers, goes on to empower others. It’s like the ripple effect we have talked about before…the smallest of ripples just keeps getting bigger and bigger, as it encompasses all of the new energy and individual growth. It’s pretty phenomenal when you think about it. As we continue to watch the transformation in each other, it pushes all of us out of our comfort zones. But then that is where we make the most progress. Can it be scary? UH, HUH. Is there a chance we will fail? UH, HUH. Does it diminish your goal and/or your attempt? NO! Is there a chance you will be wildly successful? YES! And regardless of the end result, you have us, your mega-family, who will be here to give you courage, encouragement, and congratulations. Putting yourself “out there” is half the battle. Many, many succesful people failed not once, but multiple times before they got it just right. Perseverance is the key. And as Military Mamas, we certainly know a thing or two about perseverance. That is part of what makes each of you a Warrior. You know how to persevere, just like the Warriors you raised. Keep moving forward, because you are doing a great job just by being here. You can do absolutely anything you set your mind to…and then some. Ya’ll are amazing every single day just by showing up. Thanks for being you!
2018.11.27 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning, Mamas,
I trust that everyone made it through Monday and now we begin Day 2 of our week. In this group or family, as we call ourselves, there is always a wide range of emotions and circumstances that we deal with daily. We deal with grief, sadness, anger, happiness, excitement, and frustration, just to name a few. I know one of the reasons I turn to MMN when “crazy” seems to be the word of the day, is because ya’ll will give me support, advice, and encouragement. We have so many role models within our group. Mamas that have endured the worst of the worst, and yet still carry on with grace and a tender heart. “Your greatest gift will be the example You become for Others.” Whenever my situation feels overwhelming, I simply come to our group and start reading. When you see what others are experiencing, while continuing to lift other Mamas, you can’t help but feel empowered and stronger. We have so many extraordinary Mamas here, who do set the example and raise the bar for us all. It gives us something to strive for as we grow along this journey. Never forget how important your role is in our group. Everyone contributes something that the rest of us can learn from; so hold your head high, remember not only can you learn, but you can also be a mentor, a trail blazer, and an example for everyone else. Have a great day, Warriors!
2018.11.26 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good morning Mamas! I hope with all my heart, that each of you had the chance to make happy memories with those you love and also had some time to relax this Thanksgiving weekend. Hold onto those memories as you say your goodbyes, and head back to your regularly scheduled life today. I pray all our fellow Mamas being covered in snow are safe, including our amazing leader Geriann Hanley Wiesbrook.
I read so many happy posts over the holiday weekend that made me cry happy tears for the Mamas and their heroes. The videos of heroes surprising their loved ones touch my heart deeply. I also read the opposite posts of families having to say “see you laters” and send their heroes back to their Military home, which also bring tears to my eyes. I am confident I am not the only Mama who feels this way reading the posts on MMN. We read posts from fellow Mamas looking for reassurance when they are worried, support when they are sad, strength when they are feeling scared, and hugs when feeling lonely. We jump in and help one another without hesitation, opening our hearts and sharing our deepest feelings. We do this knowing we probably will never actually meet the Mama who needs our support or is supporting us. However, the Mamas we meet on MMN understand how we feel more than the person right next to us everyday. It’s the commonality of being a Military Mama that brings us together and gives us the empathy and understanding of one another. We can relate to how a fellow Mama is feeling, better than any other person, as we walk the same path. Just like our heroes know their fellow heroes have their back, we too have each other’s back here. Like the pic below says ” There are some people who could hear you speak a thousand words, and still not understand you. And there are others who will understand you- without you even speaking a word”. This is one of the many, many blessings of MMN, the thousand of Mamas who understand you. What an incredible comfort and gift to us all to have each other who understands. Always know there is support and understanding here even if you don’t speak a word. We have each other’s backs. I hope each one of you has a wonderful day today!
2018.11.25 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning, Warrior Family,
Today wraps up the last of what has been a long holiday weekend for many of you. Along with that comes precious new memories to cherish, the warmth and light brought in by the comfort of family, and new family photos used to add or update frames and photo albums. And finally, yes, it also involves the, “See ya laters” and the flood of emotions that come with them. That’s when each of you individually and all of you collectively, rise to the occasion. For we are family too, a sprawling huge family known as MMN, and we take care of each other. We understand each others’ roller coaster of emotions and the intensity of the feelings. You can pour out your heart and soul and know it won’t be brushed aside or trampled on…this family understands and has walked in your shoes. I am so grateful to be a part of this extended family. Sometimes our circumstances leave us feeling extremely challenged and mentally exhausted. Don’t ever lose hope, because those feelings will pass. Today’s quote says, “…all things can be mended. Not with time as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.” YOU ARE THE LIGHT. I see it everyday in your posts, and your caring, inspirational words to each other. You make it happen instead of just waiting for it to happen. That is a gift that knows no boundaries. Today as you prepare to get back into your regular routine, remember these words and feel empowered by them, ” …the light that is you.” Thank you for bringing the light into my life. Be the Warriors that I know you to be and illuminate the dark.
2018.11.24 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning, Warrior Mamas!!
How is everyone this Saturday? Yep, the countdown to Christmas is here and the race is on. There is no shortage of “to do” lists and they vary anywhere from your Christmas shopping list, to the Christmas card list, to the finish decorating list, what are we cooking list, the grocery list…oh my, this looks just a bit overwhelming.😢🤔 So, let’s just take a deep breath, slow down, and focus.🧘♀️ Do all of the things I listed above, have to be perfect? Will the Christmas season completely fall apart, if I don’t get it all done? I will give you a subtle hint, “NO”! Going back to my days in the world of ballet, today’s quote is by a famous choreographer, Martha Graham. She says, “Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” Use this as an analogy for everything you do. When we are passionate about something, we give it the most time and attention, and our passion continues driving us forward. All of us here do that for our MMN family. We don’t have to be the best at everything, because our emotions, drive, and passion propel us forward, and it’s contagious. Think back on the times you have seen someone doing what they love, and you thought or said aloud, “Great job! You are an inspiration to us all.” Was it because of the skill level, or the passion and enthusiasm you could see and feel? My guess is that you were motivated by their willingness to put themselves “out there” and give it their all. We feel a tremendous respect for that person. We can all do this; just get out there and try. Feel secure in knowing that you have an army of Mamas ready to help you see and believe in the wonderful, powerful, inspirational “YOU”!❤ Go conquer something today, Warriors. 💪 You never know how many others you might inspire, just by being yourself.
2018.11.18 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good morning to all of my extended Family Members!😍
I hope each of you is starting your day knowing you are good enough, you are worthy, you are amazing, and you make a difference in peoples’ lives every single day. Whew! That’s a lot to take in, but let it sink in. (more caffeine allowed if needed). My quote today is from the Wild Women Sisterhood Facebook page. I love this, “more alike than different, connected in the circle of life, women, mothers, daughters, sisters and friends standing tall together”. This is so true, because we are different, but in so many ways we are so much alike. This is what increases our ability to be empathetic to one another. Like I have written about before, our perspectives and life experiences mold our everchanging, even if subtle, outlook on the world around us. As Military Mamas, there are certain things that we all go through…the events that truly bind our hearts and souls together. The things that elicit the “Me Too” and the “Yes!” responses. Receiving that type of validation and understanding is often what gets us through the toughest of times. We do stand together. We catch each other and help get you back upright if you fall. We want to see each other succeed and thrive in this often daily chaos filled wave of emotions and change. We also want the same results for our family and loved ones. Being a super-sized group, means that there is always someone who can relate and guide us. So I am more than grateful to be a part of this awesome family. You make it that way; so feel good about your contributions. Have a peaceful Sunday, and take some time to recharge as we transition into a new week. May today’s Warrioring( I think I made that word up) begin! Congratulations, on slaying another week!
2018.11.17 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Happy Saturday, Everyone,
Guess what?? YOU MATTER-every single one of you matters!! Well, what exactly does that mean? Matter starts sounding like a strange word, once you repeat it a couple of times. One definition is “Be of importance, have significance.” Is that you? You’re darn skippy that’s you! When you read today’s quote by Angela Maiers, really let it sink in, because every word is true. Every member of our MMN family possesses these assets.
“You are enough. You have influence. You are a genius. You have a contribution to make. You have a gift that others need. You are the change. Your actions define your impact. You matter.” Don’t for one minute doubt you have these attributes. This list is indicative of the reasons you are here in this amazing group. Without these qualities, MMN would not be the force for spreading all of the Mama love that we currently spread each and every day. Do not ever let anyone cause you to feel inferior. You are Warriors! Embrace yourself and all of the good that you do. When you look at everything you accomplish daily, it’s pretty amazing. I hope you have a fantastical day! Go forth into the craziness of life and continue making a difference every single day!! You got this. ,Warriors!!
2018.11.16 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning, Warrior Mamas,
I can’t believe another week is almost behind us. Isn’t crazy that during the same “chunk” of time, the minutes and hours can pass in the blink of an eye; and yet those same minutes and hours can drag on and on, almost painfully? It’s all a matter of perspective. When we are trying to get our neverending “to do” list done, there is not enough time in the day. But when we are waiting for something we really want, like the return of our loved ones, time seems to almost stand still at every second that passes. We all view everything that happens from our own perspectives, which is why each of us can experience the same set of circumstances and feel differently about the outcome. Our perspectives are shaped by our life experiences and our beliefs. When we disagree with someone, it’s important to keep that in mind. It allows us to respect the individual’s different response, even if we disagree. This leads me to today’s quote, “Questioner: How do we treat others? Ramana Marharshi: There are no others.”
When I first read this, I was instantly intrigued by this manner of thinking. What if we all embraced this idea in the course of our daily lives? Within our Military Mama Network family, we do approach our actions this way. That’s probably one of the biggest reasons we feel safe here. The culture that Geriann Hanley Wiesbrook started and continues to nurture, has no room for being mean or judgemental. Yes, we are all the same, and yet different at the same time. We respect each other’s opinions, while continuing to love, support, and encourage each other. Think about all of the posts we read daily that start out with, ” I can’t share this with anyone else or on my own page.” So they come to MMN knowing it is a safe place and they won’t be treated like some “other” type of person. We embrace each other with open minds and hearts, while sharing these ideals with the people we meet. That is something pretty remarkable and often may seem at odds with our current culture. But each time we live by and spread this way of thinking, we are opening someone else’s eyes. Try to keep this in mind during the course of your day, and see if you don’t view your daily interactions in a different light. Have a wonderful day, Mamas. Go forth and continue being the light in a too often dim world. You are Warriors!!
2018.11.13 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning, Warrior Mamas,
How is everyone today? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every morning we could all answer that question with a resounding, “Great!, Fantastic!, Better than Ever!” ? 😃😁👍 We all know that a positive attitude, choosing to be happy each morning, and a dose of gratitude are the recommended best practices for providing those answers every single day. For those who have mastered this ability, I have nothing but respect and awe. Some of us keep practicing. There are days we have setbacks, but we keep forging ahead, determined to see the silver lining, regardless of the circumstances around us. The message I really want you to hear today as you read, is that on the days you are really struggling with this and feel like you failed…DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP! You are still a caring, loving Mama, who is doing the best that you can. Nobody is perfect. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! Love yourself and all of your quirks, weaknesses, and, yes, even the failures. Because that is how we learn. If we falter, we pick ourselves back up and try again. Where does MMN fit into this puzzle? We are blessed to have over 12,000 Mamas who are here to help us on the tough days. We lift each other by giving out words of encouragement, and get each other back on course. Sometimes all we need is for someone to listen and recognize that we are struggling. We validate each other’s feelings, and do whatever we can to get each other over the hump. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. We are here for each other. You are here for a reason. Some days you may sprinkle the “happy dust” on everyone, and on other days you may need a ginormous barrel or two of that dust poured on you.❤ Never give up. Believe in yourself. I believe in you. Go take on the day like the Warriors you are and if you can throw a little happy dust around…GO FOR IT!
Good Morning, Beautiful Mamas,
Today is Veteran’s Day. A day when we honor all those who have served. As Military Mamas, Veteran’s Day has a huge significance for us. We know and have seen first hand the extent of how much Veterans have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice. Today, we will embrace our Veterans and remember all they gave to protect our Freedoms. There is no limit on how much we owe them, so the least we can do is honor them openly and passionately. As Military Mama Network, we strive to spread awareness regarding our Veterans and their needs. Thank you, Sue Ellen, for everything you do to make that happen as our specialized advocate and educator. Today’s quote echoes my feelings regarding Freedom today and everyday. “May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” And a special thanks to each of you, who either individually or with your local chapters took the time and/or are making the effort to do something out of the ordinary to show your respect. That’s who we are and what we do. Today let’s focus on our Veterans…those Warriors and Heroes who are so deserving of our upmost respect today and every single day. Have a wonderful Sunday, fellow Mamas!
2018.11.10 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning, Warrior Sisters,
It’s Saturday, so I am guessing a lot of us will be running here, there, and yonder trying to finish our never ending “To Do” list. My day should prove to be very interesting. My best friend’s brand new daughter-in- law is having a bridal shower today. I was asked to take pictures…ok, no biggie, I always take pictures. So it was all good, until I was asked to take them with my “real camera”😟. Yes, I have a real camera with special lenses, flash attachments, tripod, etc…, but I don’t know how to use it! Yikes!! Needless to say, this will be a true test of my abilities to “wing it”. Wish me luck; I will need it. Okay, sorry for the transgression and back to the task at hand. I love today’s quote❣ The last line says, “When one feels seen and appreciated in their own essence, one is instantly empowered.” Being loved and accepted for who you are, without feeling pressured to change, is like having a heavy weight lifted from your shoulders. We don’t all fit in the same box. We are unique in our own way. Everyone has their own perspective to share that can profoundly affect each other. Every single one of you is a true gift. Our group is made of thousands of individuals who share a common bond, yet we accept, support, and welcome the differences that each member brings with them. I believe that is one of the reasons that our group is so extraordinary and continues to grow and strengthen. Our leader, Geriann Hanley Wiesbrook, definitely wants us to transform into the greatest, truest versions of ourselves. Being Military Mamas is the common thread that brought us together, but acceptance, encouragement, and empowerment are just some of the reasons we stay. Keep forging ahead in your journey as a Military Mama. You are loved and accepted just for being yourselves. Don’t ever think otherwise. Now go out there beautiful Warriors and OWN THIS DAY, like only you 👉 can do!
2018.11.09 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning to all my favorite Military Mamas!!
It’s Friday (don’t forget to wear R.E.D.), and I want to give a huge “Shout Out” to every single one of you here with me! Today’s quote is short and sweet, yet it perfectly describes how I feel… “I thank you for your part in my journey”. And I really do thank each one of you❣ What is my journey??? Well, that just all depends on when I am asked. Think about it; we are all on a journey. But that journey may be the story of your life including your ultimate goals or it might be the what, why, where, and how you are spending this morning or the rest of your day. I know for me, especially if I am overwhelmed with life, my journey might just be, how I am going to survive the day. We can plan our life’s journey, but there is no guarantee that it will evolve that way. It’s all subject to change in the blink of an eye. How we handle these changes or disruptions, regardless of whether they are good or bad, sets the tone for your morning, your day, or the rest of your life. Each one of you is a part of my journey. Your posts, your comments, your experiences are ALL part of my journey. I learn from you. I get advice from you. I get the “Me toos!” and the “Been there, done that” from you when I thought I was alone in my journey. And all of these things have a positive impact on me. Having a child in the Military has redefined my life, my feelings, and my expectations. From the day my Marine enlisted, my journey changed drastically. Thank goodness for MMN! Thank you again for your part in my journey. You are each amazing, strong, caring, determined Mamas. And while you get encouragement and support from our awesome group, you give it daily as well. It takes a village, right? I am so thankful to have you as a part of mine. Get out there today, live your journey and Warrior On!
2018.11.06 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Happy Tuesday, my MMN family,
Whew, we survived Monday…the first Monday after turning our clocks back an hour. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I was ready to go to bed around 7 p.m. 😴 And wouldn’t it be nice if someone could explain the time change to our furbabies?? Mine know exactly when they get fed, morning and evening. Except for now they think morning is 5 a.m. and evening is 4:30 p.m., ughhh😲 They will adjust…about the time we change our clocks again🤣. This morning I want each of you to read the quote and let the last sentence really sink in, “…The once in a lifetime kind of people.” Ya’ll ARE those once in a lifetime type of people. You make each other “…see the sun where you once saw clouds. The people that believe in you so much, you start to believe in you too.” As Military Mamas we are different from the others; our perspective of the world and our Military is viewed through the eyes of our loved ones who serve. That fact alone creates a bond between us that we don’t have with others. We truly feel the celebrations, the worries, the complicated family issues, the pride, and the sadness that we all live with daily. Each of you plays such an important role in all of our lives, just by being here. We are welcomed, accepted, and encouraged from the day we join this wonderful family full of Warriors. You are those people…”the once in a lifetime kind of people.” So today, hold your head high, know you are uniquely gifted with big open hearts, and smile knowing that you always have family right here. Warrior on and have a great day, everyone!!
2018.11.04 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
How is everyone today? As always, I hope that you are having a great weekend. I hope you have had reasons to smile, laugh, and see light in a world that often seems dark. We are told and encouraged to be grateful everyday, if for no other reason, than to have the opportunity to see a new day. We are unique. We all cope with and handle things differently. For some, gratitude comes easily; for others, it is a daily challenge to train the mind to think and feel that way. Knowing something and actually putting it to practice are two totally different things. Why do we have groups whose main purpose is to support and encourage? Because life is hard and most of us need to be reminded occasionally, that we are not alone in our thoughts and emotions. I can’t begin to count the number of posts I have read (or even written myself), that start out with the question, ” How will I…”. As Military Mamas the last part of that question can be filled with as many responses as we have members. But then life goes on, and like the quote says, “There are all those moments you don’t think you will survive…and then you survive.” I truly believe that for so many of us, having thousands and thousands of Mamas to connect with, takes up a ginormous spot in our survival toolbox. Each new situation or phase of our loved ones’ journey in the Military can lead us to that same question again and again, “How will I survive…?” You will survive because we have each other, you are stronger than you ever realized, and you are Warriors. If you have a specific time you remember thinking, “How will I survive?”, and you received encouragement, comment below. Let’s tell each other how grateful we are for each member and this group as a whole. Your survival rate during tough times is pretty amazing and a true testimony to your strengths. Have a wonderful day, my extended family, and as always, WARRIOR ON!
2018.11.03 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning, Military Mamas!!
Here we are on the first Saturday in November already. Tonight, in most of our states, we set our clocks back an hour for Daylight Savings Time. It’s hard to believe that Christmas is only 54 days away. It will be here in the blink of an eye. I imagine a lot of you feel like I do…how in the world am I going to get everything done that needs to be completed by then?? Or you may be emotional because Thanksgiving and/or Christmas are going to be very different this year, depending on your Military loved ones’ situation. Everyone has days, weeks, even months, when you feel like, “How will I get through this…how will I survive?” We will survive in part by relying on our network of extended family members here at MMN. We are incredibly blessed to have so many members ready to help each other and be there for comfort, moral support, advice, etc…and NOBODY else understands us like another Military Mom does!!! We manage to survive situations that we never before thought were possible. “Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.” , quoted by Rikki Rogers. We have members doing that every single day. We make huge impacts in each others’ lives. We gain strength and courage everytime we are faced with a new challenge. Without each other, and MMN, we would be lost so many times. Thank you for being my extended family and for pushing me to Be a Believer in Myself. You are all Awesome, my Warrior sisters! Have a terrific Saturday and as always, Warrior On!!
2018.10.30 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning, to all my favorite Military Mamas!! I hope everyones’ Tuesday morning is off to a great start. If it’s not great yet, try some more caffeine, meditation, positive self talk, pretending until it feels real, or whatever works as the catalyst you need to get over that initial hump. I know some days are harder than others, but I have absolute faith in your abilities to get through anything thrown in your path. You can and you will conquer it. Today’s quote is pretty straightforward ( author unknown), “Here’s to those who inspire us and don’t even know it.” I want all of our members, my Warrior sisters, the behind the scenes heroes, those of you that may not post or comment a lot, to know that YOU, yes, YOU, Inspire Us, even if you don’t know it or no one has told you. By virtue of you being here, sitting on “ready” if we need help, maybe posting something if you really need encouragement, by commenting on someone else’s post, or just taking it all in until you feel comfortable sharing, you are inspiring others. You took the initial step of joining a very large and at times, a bit overwhelming group of Warrior Mamas. That action alone may encourage another Military Mama who is in need of some of the best Mama encouragement and advice, to join our amazing, constantly evolving, and growing group. So to all of our members, vocal or not, stand proud, be yourself, and thank you for being an inspiration to others. Go out, own this day, and Warrior On!!!
2018.10.28 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Good Morning to all of our phenomenal Military Mamas!
Yep, it’s Sunday again, so we refuel and recharge to meet whatever new challenges come our way. We never know what the new week will bring; heck, we never know what the new day will bring. But that takes us to today’s quote that begins with, “The world needs strong women.” Well, guess what?? The world is getting strong women and our MMN family just happens to be one huge group filled with them. They are YOU! Every single one of you is a strong woman: “We lift and build others.” We love and allow ourselves to be loved. “…Women who live bravely, both tender and fierce. Women of indomitable will.” You can’t survive this Military life if your aren’t strong. Sure, we all have days that we don’t feel very strong. That is perfectly normal. That’s why we love and allow ourselves to be loved. Some days we need a lot of support to get through, and other days, we are the champs of giving support. That’s how it’s supposed to work, especially when you are surrounded by amazing Warriors like yourselves. We are such a small piece of the population, yet our children are the heroes of this nation. That’s a pretty big deal and nothing that is truly worth having comes without a cost. That cost is tragically at times, at the expense of our families. And yet you are still here…you are “women of indomitable will.” Indomitable is defined as impossible to subdue or defeat. That’s an incredibly powerful word. And that word describes the very essence of our group, as well as each and every one of you individually. How do I know that you may ask? I know it because YOU ARE HERE. You have taken on the role of being there for all of our members and our families. You have been there for families you have never met or heard of, but yet they still belong to this extended Military family. I love what Tina Beecham said the other day in response to a post. She said something to the effect that not only do our children never leave a brother or sister behind, but we never leave another Mama behind. What a wonderful way to describe a huge part of what we do! So let that sink in, recognize how remarkable you are, and keep Warrioring On!
2018.10.27 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Happy, Happy, Saturday, Mamas,
How is everyone today? I am at work where we are hosting an event called Hallopalooza. That means I will be wearing a Unicorn wig with a big horn on the top, looking totally ridiculous all day. But we will have 8 or 9 games set up outside along with face painting, hopscotch, hot dogs, and candy galore for hundreds of young children to come racing through as many times as they can or until Mom says it’s time to leave. Looking at today’s quote, I think back to all the gabillion holiday events, football games, cheer competitions, choir performances, band exhibitions, track meets, birthday parties, etc…( I am sure you have the idea), that I and I imagine MOST of you drove your children to daily. We laughed about it, called ourselves taxi services, swapped stories with the other Mamas, found carpools, and sometimes some of us may have been just a teeny weeny bit excited if something got cancelled.(sshhh🤫) But as the quote says, “Moms are as relentless as the tides. They just don’t drive us to practice, they drive us to greatness.” Think about that for a minute. We Mamas drive our children to greatness. That’s HUGE!! I tell ya’ll all the time that you are Warriors. Look at everything you did, sacrificed, and still sacrifice along the way to raise a hero…to greatness and beyond…to be part of the .5 percent of our population who serves in our Military to protect all of us and our freedoms. That’s a pretty big deal, not just for our families, but for our entire Nation and other places in the world. Don’t ever doubt the profound impact you made on your sons and daughters lives. That’s what pulls us together as MMN. We all have that in common and many days, we desperately need the encouragement, support, advice, or just a listening ear to calm, cheer up, educate, acknowledge, and/or validate our feelings. We are relentless. We are Mama Bears. We are Warriors who helped create more Warriors, our children. Never minimize the overall impact you have made directly or indirectly on this rollercoaster ride of life. Go forth and slay everything you are dealing with or working on; even if that means just getting out of bed today. You can slay something bigger tomorrow. Take care of yourselves, always. You are the backbone of so many types of greatness ! Be proud of yourselves everyday.
2018.10.26 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Happy Friday, Mamas!
I hope everyone is feeling awesome this morning as you are putting on your R.E.D. shirt, Remembering our Fallen, and starting another day representing Military Mamas everywhere. MMN is an amazing entity of Mamas, continuing to evolve as our group grows larger each and every day. We are learning and perfecting how to have the most powerful and far reaching positive impact, how to live this Military life with as much grace as possible, how to let our babies be the Heroes they have become, and how to take care of ourselves and each other, throughout this seemingly at times, relentless task. And all of this is in addition to just being a Mama, “A Real Mom”, as the quote refers to today. I think I may have posted this quote before, but it us definitely worth repeating. Read what it says. This quote describes every single one of you.
1)”Emotional, yet the rock.”
2)”Tired but keeps going.”
3)”Worried, but full of hope.”
4)”Impatient, yet patient.”
5)”Overwhelmed, but never quits.”
6)”Amazing, even though doubted.”
7)”Wonderful, even in the chaos.”
8)”Life changer, every single day.”
Are all of us pros at every single one of these characteristics? Honestly, probably not…we all have our stengths and weaknesses. That’s why being this huge cohesive group is one of our strongest assets. We all contribute and build on each others’ strengths and help each other with the weaknesses. Noone is great at EVERYTHING. That’s unrealistic, so DO NOT look at this list and feel any less than the phenomenal Mama that you are; even if you struggle in some of these areas. That’s the beauty of our Military family. Where one of us falls short, there are hundreds of others ready to step in, handle it, and teach by example. We are always here for each other, we understand each other, and we will do everything possible to ensure another Mama and her family are surviving the current challenge. You are brave, beautiful, loving, Mamas, who deserve the best. Never forget that as you head out into the world and Warrior On!
2018.10.22 (Ashley Carlisle Ledford)
Happy Monday, Warrior Mamas,
Today we start a new week. Yep, that means it’s Monday. I know I am late this morning and I apologize. Janelle and I switched who was writing today and tomorrow, so today is my responsibility…And I am late. But this morning, I couldn’t think of anything that seemed just right. So today is a perfect example of my own self sabotage by overthinking and telling myself that whatever I wrote wouldn’t be good enough. I am guilty as charged of doing the very things we try to encourage others not to do. Can I blame it on Monday? Nope, it was all me. Should I punish myself all day, because I faltered? Okay, this is what we are learning and practicing. The correct answer is “No”. Will I worry about it? Probably, but aren’t we learning to be Warriors, not Worriers? So I definitely need to take some of the advice I give to others for myself. When I was young, I loved Pippi Longstocking, her fearlessness, her positivity, and her red braids that stuck straight out from the sides of her head. She would try to do anything that came to her mind. I loved her self confidence and complete freedom from any self imposed restraints. Like she said in this quote, ” I have never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that.” We should all try to think more like Pippi ( even if she isn’t a real person). In my mind she was real as I immersed myself and my imagination into her books. If we need a little boost of confidence, we can always come here, to MMN, where there are thousands of us to encourage each other, share stories, and give us that little nudge we need sometimes. For that I am so very thankful. Have a great day, everyone! I will take some of my own advice this morning by seizing the day, not giving up, and most definitely by being a Warrior! Who else is with me? Today and everyday, you got this !