Listen To Your Ashley

Meet Ashley. You may know her already. Still, say hi.

Hiiiiiiiiii, Ashley.

Ashley is pretty much the best. She writes a blog called Zebra Garden.


I had been blogging for two months when I found Ashley. Scrolling through the parenting boards on WordPress, I clicked on a link to a post by a full-term preggo who was singing the praises of her husband. It was her. We would get along.

Ashley has become my Internet bestie, the person I go to when I need moral support not only on all things blogging, but mundane, everyday stuff too. She’s my grown-up pen pal and I love so, so many things about her. One day we’re going to meet in real life and the entire world is going to break out in Handel’s Messiah. Puppies and rainbows will fall from the sky. It will be scary but fun.

Here is a short list of why I love her:

1. She constantly helps me in my writerly endeavors. It is really, really easy to get competitive when you’re trying to make a name for yourself. But Ashley still forwards great opportunities to me – ones that she is also vying for. Her selflessness is admirable. And she looks awesome in a cheerleading uniform. She’s been blogging waaaaaaaay longer than me too and gives me invaluable advice on making sure I turn off the caps lock before I start typing.

2. She takes everything into consideration. Ashley was my right hand woman during Festivus. When Sandy Hook happened right in the middle of Festivus, it made me sick to have ever thought of my silly blogging game. However, Ashley knocked it out of the park with her Festivus wrap-up post. It gave me chills. It still does. Ashley’s tact and awareness shine. She is an incredible member of our blogging community.

3. She makes me giggle snort. She has the bravery to take Peeps down a few pegs. These words just needed to be said. Brave. Simply brave.

4. Her words are mountainous. There are very few things Ashley writes that don’t get me fired up or move me. She gets those words in the right order every single time. Her thoughts on the important things – the really important things – ring true. She will make you care if you don’t already.

5. Her vulnerability gives her strength. Rather than wallow in the not-so-fun things that happens to her, she learns from them. She regularly serves up pwnage of Pinterest and puts it in its place. She lives life proactively and relishes all the fast balls that the world throws her way. She is making a beautiful life for herself and her family.

Tomorrow, Ashley will be taking the stage as part of the Kansas City cast of Listen To Your Mother. I am endlessly proud of her for this and all she does.

Break a leg, Ashley! We love you!


  1. Le Clown · · Reply

    I only discovered Ashley recently, through you. And it was love at first blog post. I like her as a writer, but I mostly love because of how engaged she is with this blogosphere.

    And as we say in French: A big MERDE for tomorrow, Ashley.
    Le Clown

    1. She has her finger on the pulse of a lot of things on the Intertron. She’s one to watch, for sure.

  2. What? Whaaaat?! Who is this Ashley of which you speak?

    Can I hire you so I wake up to posts like this every day? Haha

    But seriously. Thank you. This is like collectively the nicest things anyone has ever said about me. I’m so glad the Internet exists and that it brought us together in sweet, sweet bestie-hood. Our friendship is one of the best things I’ve gotten out of blogging.

    1. Oh, Ashley, you are gaining a giant audience without even realizing it!

      I have a tiny, but very valuable nonetheless, shout out planned for you next week as well! :-)

      1. Well, thank you! I appreciate that!

    2. Consider me as good as hired. You can pay me in Bitcoin since our friendship started on the Internet ;D xoxox

  3. Emily,
    Just like Le Clown, it was you that pointed me in Ashley’s direction, and I’m glad you did. Ashley is a fabulous writer, and I can hear her voice in everything she writes – it’s poignant, honest, and very well-written.
    Ashley – I’m looking forward to watching the video of tomorrow’s LTYM show – rock it!

    1. I agree! She is a very incredible lady, indeed. She’s going to do awesome tomorrow!

  4. Ashely is so wonderful it’s almost hard to jealous-hate her for being so incredible. I only found her recently, but I’m hooked!

    Also, I love that you guys are BBFL (Blogging besties for life).

    1. Ha! We are! We should write that in the back of our blogging yearbooks, right underneath “Stay cool.”

  5. You both have been among my favorites in the blogging community for a long time now. This post was a wonderful tribute to your friendship, and you should know that you both inspire me in writing and to stay engaged in the community. Good luck tomorrow, Ashley! I know you will do great.

    1. Thanks, Rachelle! That means a lot coming from you.

  6. Mary Anna Austrew · · Reply

    I am so happy for you, Ash, and hope your talk is the thrill of a lifetime for you. I love you mostly because you are open, honest, funny, talented, and of course, an Austrew . I love you too because the bond of birth dates between Sonia and Lila makes it fun and so easy to understand and adore BOTH of them Nothing but the best and nothing but success for you and your family!

    1. I appear to not be the only person who married into good people ;D

      1. Absolutely! Mary Anna is so supportive. Thank you, Mary Anna!

  7. A great tribute to a wonderful blogger, a blogger who dares touch on thornier issues in a nonjudgmental way. In fact, you both are pretty fabulous in my book!

    1. Thanks, Carrie! I absolutely adore Ashley’s tact. She is so diplomatic, way more than me.

  8. She’s a great blogger. Glad to see her singled out for praise!

    1. She had it comin’ ;D

  9. Go, Ashely!

    I have an Ashley, too. But I call her sj.

    1. I thought of y’all when I was writing this. You kind of have to have someone like Ashley and SJ when you’re writing.

      1. I feel sorry for the people that don’t.

  10. Thanks for turning me on to Ashley… uh, maybe that came out wrong? Or not? Hmmm. Thanks. Happy Mother’s Day Emily!

    1. Hahahah I gotcha ;D My pleasure! She is an awesome lady!

      Happy Mother’s Day right back at you! Hope you have a fantastic day!

  11. I feel bad because Ashley has given me love and I haven’t returned it much. I’ve been over to her blog a couple of times but I haven’t enveloped myself in it. I do have lots of love for this girl because like you, she gets me. I’ve just been ignoring the blog world lately (except for your blog of course) but I need to come back with a vengeance.

    1. Wait, wait. There’s a real world out there?! I guess it’s that world that I’ve been ignoring when my bathrooms are rank. Ashley needs to write something for Kidz Showz! She’s hilarious. I will start hounding her ;D

      1. We’ve talked about it a little bit. I was thinking maybe something about Daniel Tiger but I never checked to see if it had been done already… Lol

      2. Please do! We need guest posts to support our little endeavor!

  12. It appears that Emily is the gateway drug to Ashley addiction.

    1. Be sure to inhale.

  13. Justine · · Reply

    Ashley- so very proud of you, the life you’ve created, and your accomplishments. I always knew you’d find your niche’, always knew something very special was waiting for you. Ecstatic and honored to be a part of something so special tomorrow!! You’re brilliantly entertaining. Break a leg! love you. Happy Mothers day weekend!

  14. I met both of you around the same time and love you BOTH. You are both magic kitten-rainbow-awesome.

    Break legs tomorrow (crap, today, I guess, I stayed up too late) Ashley!

  15. Ashley is a superstar, its true.
    We could all use an Ashley. Fortunately, I have a few; they rock!

  16. Love this. She is INDEED great. But so are you! Happy mother’s day to you both!

  17. […] bummed to tell you today that my right-hand lady Ashley of Zebra Garden is going to be taking a longterm hiatus from blogging and Remember the Time too. This linkup was […]

  18. […] in order for all of this to conspire, it meant that the other half of that blog hop, Ashley of Zebra Garden, is taking a long term hiatus from blogging. And that news bummed me out because I genuinely […]

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