Girls in the Hood: The First Time I Shoplifted

AshleyOld School Circus21 Comments

Girls In the Hood: The First Time I Shoplifted www.bigtopfamily.com

The first time I shoplifted, I was eight years old. At that time, we were living in a huge house owned by The Community in a neighborhood of Steubenville known as Belleview, and Sister Helen was still living with us then. You would think living with a Catholic nun would exorcise the orneriness right out of most kids, but I … Read More

AshleyGirls in the Hood: The First Time I Shoplifted

Dear Blue Bear (You S.O.B.)

AshleyCirque du Today12 Comments

Dear Blue Bear (You S.O.B.) / www.bigtopfamily.com

Four weeks ago, something traumatic happened in this household. As a result, I wrote a letter on Facebook to the person, er, thing that was causing all the strife. The letter was met with an avalanche of support from people who wanted to help. So I wrote a letter to them too. Here are those letters.   Dear Blue Bear, … Read More

AshleyDear Blue Bear (You S.O.B.)

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

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

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

The Demise of Balboa

AshleyOld School Circus15 Comments

I was happily skipping down the hall after my alter-ego, Balboa, told Gina Palmeri, the beastly-basketball-playing-bully, where she could stick it. I just assumed that would be THAT, because in elementary school, all I’d had to do was mouth off to bullies to get them to leave me alone. Sadly, up in the high school big leagues, this wasn’t the … Read More

AshleyThe Demise of Balboa

When Chickens Fly: the Dinnertime Cluster-F*ck

AshleyCirque du Today10 Comments

Dinnertime is traditionally a fantastic, epic cluster-fuck in our house. First of all, we’ve given up on forcing our three boys to try anything new. Oh, once upon a time I busted my butt trying to introduce new items on a daily basis, but I always ended up bashing my head against the kitchen wall as they were turned down, … Read More

AshleyWhen Chickens Fly: the Dinnertime Cluster-F*ck

Cirque du Today: Hangover Staycation

AshleyCirque du Today4 Comments

Today, my husband enjoyed his Obligatory Annual Debilitating Hangover Day. He went out with a slew of his college buddies last night to celebrate the end of Fantasy Football (a phenomenon I still don’t understand and don’t even attempt to). Apparently, when you’re a guy, nights out with your college friends, no matter how old you are, consist of fantasizing about … Read More

AshleyCirque du Today: Hangover Staycation

Cirque du Today: My Breath Doesn’t Stink. Really!

AshleyCirque du Today8 Comments

Today, we started the New Year off with a bang. Well, almost a bang anyway. I was sitting on the couch with my three boys, snuggling and watching TV, when suddenly, my oldest, Mineological, starts complaining about something smelling bad. “Did someone have Poo-poo Gas [our word for farting, passing wind, cutting the cheese]?” I looked around accusingly. “No, it’s … Read More

AshleyCirque du Today: My Breath Doesn’t Stink. Really!