Happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful mothers out there. Motherhood, although immeasurably AMAZING, can be challenging and it's easy for us moms to get down on ourselves or feel like we will never measure up to the "ideal" mother. Here at Lulu Bella, we want you to know that YOU ARE ENOUGH. You are so enough. It is incredible just how enough you are and your efforts do not go unnoticed.
Let me introduce you to Ashley, a mom whose efforts go above and beyond for her children and she will stop at nothing to provide them with the resources to succeed. Ashley's positive outlook end enthusiasm radiate from the inside, out and have helped her and her family deal with adversity that has come their way. Her daughter, Zuzu, has a smile that will light up the darkest of rooms and she completely won us over. Pictured are Ashley, her husband Chris, and their daughter, Zuzu.
LB: The Lulu Bella Project was inspired by Grandma Lulu's legacy. What kind of Legacy do you hope to leave?
Ashley: People always tell me I have a gift where I can stay calm and find joy and light even in the darkest of situations. So I guess I'd hope that would be my legacy, that no matter what's going on in your life that's terrible and uninvited, life CAN be and SHOULD be a wonderful one. The choice is ours.
LB: How long have you been involved with the United Angels Foundation and what inspired you to be a part of it?
Ashley: A lot of people reached out and helped us in so many different ways while Zuzu (our youngest daughter) was in the NICU and undergoing multiple heart surgeries. Once Zuzu was finally thriving we wanted to give back so we held a big charity event in Zuzu's name. 100% of the proceeds went to United Angels. That's how we first got involved with the foundation.
LB: If you could only tell us ONE thing about yourself what would that be?
Ashley: I'm a Disney parks fanatic! That will most likely also be my legacy and I'm okay with that. 🏻
LB: Finish this sentence. More than anything else I want.....
Ashley: To be a Disneyland character (preferably Chip and Dale). A closet full of Madewell jeans. But mostly to simplify my life so my little family can travel the world.
LB: What is the single most significant accomplishment of your life so far?
Ashley: Honestly, making it through Zuzu's birth and heart surgeries without developing some sort of ulcer or mental illness.
LB: What is something people might be surprised to know about you?
Ashley: In 9 years we've moved 20 times within 4 different states and 4 different countries. I also taught myself to play the piano to hopefully inspire my very stubborn and adorable 7 year old to practice the piano more, thank you YouTube. Side note, it didn't work. She quit but I still play almost every day.
LB: How can people get involved/support your cause?
Ashley: Talk to your kids about other peers who are "different"
When people look at my daughter they immediately know she has Down syndrome and that's great but there are stigmas that people immediately assume come with the extra chromosome. When that happens, people naturally see her disability and not her abilities and all she's capable of becoming. So my cause is to rid the schools and society of these stigmas by encouraging parents to inform their kids in hopes that people will look at Zuzu and see ZUZU and her individuality not just a little girl who has Down syndrome.
LB: It's a Friday night, what are you doing?
Ashley: I am eating things I'll regret while counting down the hours my kids will go to bed so my husband and I can eat more food we'll regret while watching a movie. Lately we've been loving scary, suspenseful movies which I usually also regret because my husband travels a lot and I get freaked out.
LB: We love fashion, what is the craziest thing in your closet?
Ashley: My *NSYNC signed shirt. "You're all I've ever wanted..."
I was positive I would marry Justin Timberlake. We both love Apple Jacks, it was a no brainer.
LB: What's the oldest thing in your closet and why is it still there?
Ashley: My mom bought me this cute leather jacket while I was a junior in high school. I still wear it all the time, it's totally timeless.
LB: Using only 3 words, describe your life.
Ashley: WORK IN PROGRESS
A BIG thank you to Chris and Ashley for sharing your story and little Zuzu with us. Our hearts are forever touched. Happy Mother's Day!