What better way to welcome my sis-in-law into the 30 club than sharing all of her secrets and posting really embarrassing photos! I’m totally kidding! She keeps her secrets in her hair, so I could never find all of them any way 😉
I was 14 when I first met Ashley. My first memory of her is standing in their living room with a red-headed child thrown on her hip. Ashley probably weighed 90 pounds, and so did that child haha! She was babysitting for their neighbors. Nothing significant happened between the two of us on that day, but that will always be how I remember meeting her. Here’s some of our first photos together…
Shannon and I were Seniors and Ashley was a Sophomore. This was during spirit week and we were suppose to dress up in a blast from the past outfit. Shannon looks hilarious! He’ll probably kill me for this haha! It’s funny how styles come back around, because I think I could wear my outfit in that photo now!
This next one is from my senior prom. I think Ashley says it best, “we must be like fine wine!”
Now, I wouldn’t say Ashley and I hated each other, because that’s a very strong word. Lets just say, we definitely were not scheduling two hour phone dates and running off to Vegas together for a girls weekend. This lasted for a good 10 years! I know that sounds crazy to not get along with someone for a whole decade, but it’s true! We never had any big fights or anything crazy during those 10 years. We were just young, catty, jealous girls. We were so much alike back then. In our individual family units we stood out and held our own, but together, we couldn’t find a room big enough to hold the both of us! We often would show up to family events dressed alike. I am an only child, and was also the girl in school that would lie to you when you asked where my outfit came from, because I didn’t want anyone to have the same clothes as me. Having said that, you can understand how mad I would be when we showed up looking like twins! The photo below is the best! This was Christmas, and trust me, we had not discussed clothing together!
Here’s some other great photos of us dressed very similar to each other…it looks like we only did this with the color scheme of red, black, and white, but that’s just because I could only find these photos! The photo directly below was at my 24th birthday/wedding engagement party. Ashley’s holding the card I made asking her to be a bridesmaid in our wedding. I kinda look like Minnie Mouse lol!
This next photo was taken at our annual Christmas cocktail party. The ironic part of this photo is that the dress Ashley is wearing, I had the exact same one in black. Thankfully, I hadn’t chosen to wear that one, but we still looked very similar.
I know you’re probably saying, but you girls look so happy together in all those photos. Remember, I said that we didn’t hate each other. We just didn’t make an effort to become friends outside of family events. That’s why there aren’t a ton of photos of us together back then.
This next photo was the turning point in our relationship. It’s not that it’s a great photo, because it definitely is not! That night though, was significant to the relationship we have now. From then on, we saw each other several times a week and for the first time we actually opened up to each other. We spent many, many hours that summer talking about those 10 ugly years. We’ve been very honest about it to each other and anyone who asks, which is why I feel ok to write this blog now. We had an absolute blast together that summer! In the end, we realized that clothing was a petty thing to argue about, among other things. We left that summer not only as friends, but as sisters.
Now that I am a photographer, I see more in the photo below. Look at how close our heads are together. I always tell my clients the closer your bodies are the more connected you’ll look in the photo. As you look at the photos further down, you’ll see just how connected we get. Practically attached at the hip!
Here’s more of my favorite photos of us together from that awesome summer…
Please note we showed up this night wearing the same color dress, but thought it was “so freakin cuuuuute” instead of being annoyed by it!
Amy G!!! She makes everyone happy, so I had to throw this one in!
We’ve now spent 7 good years together! I’m beyond thankful that we repaired our relationship before she moved to Atlanta. Life has dealt both of us several bad hands, but ultimately those low times are what drew us closer together. We also believe that conflict is good. I once listened to a pastor talk about conflict. He said you absolutely can not avoid conflict in relationships. There are no short cuts around it no matter how hard you try to avoid it. He said, it’s what happens during that conflict that shapes the relationship. It’s the people that ask questions of each other and really work through it, that in the end, up with a deeper more connected relationship. That pastor is the cousin of Ashley’s fiancé. Small world 🙂
I’m not proud of the person I’ve been in the past, but I am proud of the person sitting here writing this blog. I’m also proud of Ashley. I feel like I should insert the Drake song here lol! Seriously, I am blessed to call her my friend and sister. I also really love her fiancé, Doug! I’m excited and honored to be a part of their future and make more happy memories together. Although, we do welcome the hard memories too. After all, those are what got us to this point.
I’m going to overload you with more photos now. I’m a photographer, I can’t help it!
This photo was at Put In Bay during my bachelorette party. Ashley made me the veil I’m wearing. Maybe that was the start of Renee May Couture??
If you know us at all, you’ve heard us call each other Pussywillow (ash) and Poppycock (me). That began as a joke while we were shopping for flowers for my wedding. Below, she’s wearing the pussywillow halo I made her for to wear at our wedding rehearsal dinner. Please note, our dresses are the same color!
Now, she’s holding her birthday present wrapped in pussywillow paper.
My personal fav is the pussywillow sweater she got me for Christmas!
In the photo below, I’m wearing a one-of-a-kind Renee May Couture original piece!
Us on my wedding day.
In the photo above, you can see Ashley’s holding a parasol. That’s what I had my girls carry instead of bouquets. That theme continued with the song we chose to walk into the reception to, Rihanna’s song Umbrella. Now, anytime that song comes on you’ll hear a loud “AWE!” and everyone surrounds me and makes an umbrella with their hands. See below!
The next photos were Ashely’s 28th birthday. It was her first birthday in Atlanta away from family, so we all surprised her! I think she looks surprised!
We are both wearing lace tops with similar colored skirt/shorts 🙂
This photo was a very special moment for all the sissies! Ashley presented each of us with cards asking all of us to be her Matrons/Maid of Honor at her wedding! We were so excited we celebrated with cheerleading moves!
In November 2012, Ashley and I shared our first visit to Disney together!
Hanging with some Minions at Universal Studios!
Working on our Heisman pose!
Some of my fav photos of the two of us from our visit to Atlanta…
I want to end with family photos. I love being a part of this family! I’m sure you can see why 🙂
HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY ASHLEY RENEE’! LOOK AT HOW AMAZING YOUR LIFE HAS ALREADY BEEN, I CAN’T EVEN WAIT TO SEE WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS! I’M WRITING IN SHOUTY CAPS SO YOU KNOW I MEAN BUSINESS! HAVE AN AMAZING BIRTHDAY! WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!
Poppycock + Pussywillow 4-EVA