On Being Irish: A St. Patrick’s Day Rant

AshleyCirque du Today26 Comments

www.bigtopfamily.com / On Being Irish

Do you want to know what chaps my pasty ass? People from Ireland getting their asses chapped when people from America want to claim their Irish heritage. I don’t know how many times I’ve met an Irish person and said, “My ancestors are from County Cork,” only to be met with an eye-roll and sometimes with a flat-out rude retort like, … Read More

AshleyOn Being Irish: A St. Patrick’s Day Rant

Seven Reasons Why Being A Mom Is Like Having A Concussion

AshleyCirque du Today14 Comments

www.bigtopfamily.com / 7 Reasons Why Being A Mom Is Like Having A Concussion

Last night, I went into my home’s basement crawl space to take inventory of the eleventy billion trucks my sons never play with down there. After several minutes of picture-snapping, I totally forgot where I was, as I often do, and STOOD STRAIGHT UP. Because the ceiling was only about 4 feet tall, I DRILLED my head on it and … Read More

AshleySeven Reasons Why Being A Mom Is Like Having A Concussion

The Sister Helen Effect

AshleyOld School Circus17 Comments

www.bigtopfamily.com / The Sister Helen Effect

Among the strange stories I’ve told, perhaps living with a nun for much of my childhood makes the loudest statement about just how different my childhood was. The nun’s name was Sister Helen, but her impact on my life wouldn’t just be on childhood. She would change not mine, but my whole family’s lives, forever. Most of us who were … Read More

AshleyThe Sister Helen Effect

The Day I Nearly Lost Control of My Orifices at A “Listen To Your Mother” Audition

AshleyCirque du Today30 Comments

As some of you might have heard, I went to an audition for Listen to Your Mother yesterday in our nation’s capital. Listen To Your Mother is a show that will be performed in 39 U.S. cities this year. At each show, 10-12 writers—handpicked by the show’s directors—will go up to the microphone and read their 5-minute stories about motherhood … Read More

AshleyThe Day I Nearly Lost Control of My Orifices at A “Listen To Your Mother” Audition

How Many Moms Does It Take To Draw A Heart?

AshleyCirque du Today14 Comments

This week, one of my five-year-old twin boys, Drew, and I sat down to do arts and crafts. (He actually pronounces it “arts and craps,” and I’ll never correct him since it pretty much sums up how I feel about doing this activity). “Let’s draw and cut out a big heart,” I said. “Then we can decorate it.” Not exactly Martha Stewart-worthy, but HE … Read More

AshleyHow Many Moms Does It Take To Draw A Heart?

Papa Does Preach Guest Post: Searching For Dad

AshleyCirque du Today20 Comments

You guys know that I am partial to the type of writing that merges the past with the present, and family history is a specialty of mine. You guys also know I haven’t written anything of my own in a while – I know, I’m sad about it too. Life sometimes gets in the way. But luckily, my buddy Mike … Read More

AshleyPapa Does Preach Guest Post: Searching For Dad

Merry Thanksmas: A Holiday Rant

AshleyCirque du Today36 Comments

Ok, it’s two weeks (give or take) before Thanksgiving, and I have a confession to make. I’m one of THOSE people – the kind that is champing at the bit to get my Christmas on BEFORE Thanksgiving. There, I said it. Let the judging begin! But first, people, let’s think about this. This year, Thanksgiving’s on November 23rd. If I waited until … Read More

AshleyMerry Thanksmas: A Holiday Rant

How Grandma Spun Straw into Gold

AshleyCirque du Today16 Comments

Yesterday it was my Grandma Brown’s birthday. She was a spark plug of a human being, and I’m not just saying that because I’m her granddaughter. She could walk into a room, and the energy around her crackled and glowed, like those rainbow fireplace logs you can buy at the grocery store. Yes, I totally just compared my dear, departed … Read More

AshleyHow Grandma Spun Straw into Gold

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

AshleyOld School Circus34 Comments

I had a therapist recently ask me: When you were growing up, what did money mean to you? This was in relation to a conversation about my husband and I disagreeing on how to manage our finances. The purpose of the question was so that I could see how money, or the lack thereof, affected my childhood and shaped the … Read More

AshleyMo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

Cirque du Today: Losing My Religion

AshleyCirque du Today40 Comments

As some of you might guess, my relationship with God has been, um, complicated. When you grow up with a mom who frequently converses with The Lord, and those conversations often lead her to pack up all your shit and move somewhere overnight, you might occasionally want to give God the finger. And not the You’re Number One finger. Now, … Read More

AshleyCirque du Today: Losing My Religion