About

Hi, I’m Ashley.

Update: We are moving to the Hemlock Inn in N.C. for a new adventure.  Read all about it here.

A little bit about me:  I’m almost 6 feet tall.  I cut off all my bangs. I drink lots of iced coffee from McDonalds. I collect quotes and I’m obsessed with organizing. I love to read memoirs and I love to make stuff. I’m a cancer survivor.

I’m committed to Christ (read my testimony here).

First of all, don’t be fooled by all pretty pictures you see on my blog….my life is far from perfect. I struggled with a lot of things in my 20s. I had severe anxiety and panic attacks. I struggled with ADHD and social anxiety for almost 20+ years. I’ve lived through years of eating disorders and alcohol abuse. It took me a long time to unlearn a lot of things. Oh, and I’ve had cancer…and now I’m navigating the world of infertility. But I wouldn’t change a thing……I know everyone says that…but it’s true: anyone who is the least bit interesting has a past. I’m not saying I’m interesting….but I do have a story to tell. 

 

The one big turning point for me in my life is when I learned to embrace “the dark side”…..and I did that through journaling. It became a new addiction. I would be on a corporate jet with CEOs of billion dollar companies and I had no problem pulling out my journal and crayons to write down a quote or something I wanted to remember. (yes CRAYONS) I glued bits and pieces of my life into notebooks trying to sort things out and figure out who I was. I turned sadness, anxiety, insecurity, addiction and anger into a creative process. I collected questions, random facts, quotes, people, words, receipts, websites, photos and drawings. I didn’t write in order. I skipped pages. If I didn’t feel like writing I would just draw a map of where I was or write down what I had for lunch.

 

I slowly became less anxious, I stopped worrying about what other people thought about me. I spoke up and welcomed the consequences. I became more compassionate and I sought out people that were real and interesting. I cut ties with people who were toxic. I became obsessed with memoirs and movies and when I connected with something in them, I wrote it down. I read all of Sylvia Plath’s journals and underlined so much I might as well have underlined every word.  I met Johnny Cash in a dream.

Have I lost you yet?

Anyway, sometimes the most random of stories just come pouring out…and so Lil Blue Boo has slowly become a random compilation of life. I spent 6 years in a lucrative investment banking job, getting my MBA in between, and I quit on a whim to pursue a more simple life as a “maker.”  I love reading odd news, observing strangers, and being imperfect.

 

In 2011, my father died unexpectedly on a plane. Choose Joy was born.  A few months later I had what I thought was a miscarriage but it turned out to be cancer. I’m still here. The turning point from those events is that I now write more.  I’m now starting to navigate the world of surrogacy.

 

I’m blessed with a wonderful family:

 

Brett Hackshaw aka "Mr. LBB" of Lil Blue Boo <—– This is Mr. LBB. Everyone thinks he looks just like Matt Blashaw. We’ve been married for 13 years (oops 12) and together for 17.  He has more patience than anyone I’ve ever met. He puts up with all the red solo cups I leave around the house and doesn’t mind if I leave my closet a disaster.  Oh, and he’s given me 93.2345% of our home to devote to my painting, journaling and projects. “Big D” likes him the best, he doesn’t like when I cook brussel sprouts, and he drives an enormous truck that I’m deathly afraid of. He brushed my hair when I was really sick and does everything else around the house so I think it all cancels out. He’s kind of elusive but my friend/assistant Lisa managed to snag an interview with him.

 

"Boo" of Lil Blue Boo <—– This is “Boo”….we started calling her that when she was little. She “legally” changed her name at school. She actually tried to shorten her last name so she’d be called “Boo Hack” but we drew the line. She loves to paint masterpieces (watch her in action here) and cries at movie scores.  She bravely shaved my head when I was losing my hair.  You can read all her funny sayings in my “Booism” file.

 

 

Diesel of Lil Blue Boo

<—- This is Diesel.  He may look cute packaged in that 2 pound body but he’s a raving lunatic (just ask the exterminator and the postman).  He has a liver issue and requires a homeopathic diet with no protein. His biggest enemies are the postman, owls, and hawks. When he’s sick he has to sleep on the very tippy top of our pillows and he doesn’t apologize for accidents. He even has his own little movie.

 

Thanks for reading. I’m thankful you’re here!

Love,

Ash

To read all the Hemlock Inn posts to date click here or the photo below:

A Year at the Hemlock Inn Bryson City, NC Ashley Hackshaw  / Lil Blue Boo

P.S. Despite all the de-cluttering I bought 9 used books at the library today. Books don’t count right? I do think that one of the first things we’ll be doing in our new cottage at the Hemlock is installing some bookshelves! (oh and did you know the Hemlock has a library? that could be a new project too….a “trade-in” shelf where I can share books and get new ones.)

 

 

 

P.S. Dear haters, I have so much more for you to be mad at. Just be patient.

 


P.P.S. Make sure to sign up for my weekly letter. Your info is safe with me…..never shared with anyone else…..promise.  I don’t spam.

 

You can also find me at all these places!

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