Kindness and Chaos

The Fabulous Fuhry of an Ordinary Girl


Another Year Down – Reflections of 2016

I’m just sitting here watching “The Chew”. Peggy loved “The Chew”. I’m crying.

It’s THAT day. The day my sweet aunt Peggy went to be with Jesus. Oh, I know she’s loving it there. I know she hurts no more. But, I still miss her. The older I get the more I want to ask her. I’m mad that I can’t. I’d love to tell you that grief gets easier, but after 4 years, I’ve found it doesn’t. It just manifests itself in different places. You’ll find you can walk a full 60 miles in honor of a person and not shed a tear, but bawl while you’re watching “The Chew”.

Grief is weird like that. I don’t have it figured out, but I’m working on it everyday.

December 30th is a hard day, but it’s also a day I’ve used to reflect on my year and set new goals for the year to come. I find the sadness and regret of today helps to fuel me. It helps remind me not to waste a single moment that God has given me.

As I sit here and reflect on 2016, it doesn’t look much like my past years. I checked some goals off of my check list and failed miserably at others.  I vowed to be more intentional in 2016. In some things I was, in other things I wasn’t. To be honest, I don’t immediately feel much improved from last year.

I think we’ve been conditioned to equate improvement to more. More stuff, more money, more achievements. 2016 for me was filled with a lot of visible “lesses”. I spent less. I acquired less. I said yes to less. I left my house less. I created less. I just did a lot less. At first glance it doesn’t look like improvement, until I remember it was part of my intentionality. All of these lesses allowed for MY mores. I spent more time at home with my husband and son, making memories Russell’s previous job didn’t allow us. I spent more time in my bible and in prayer. I spent more time reading (and definitely listening) to books. I spent more time pouring into The Art of Encouragement and fundraising for Susan G. Komen. I did plenty of mores, but they look different than my past ones. I did more of what matters. It may not look like much to others, but I’m happy with the way my 2016 played out.

I didn’t start my own business. I didn’t lose weight. I didn’t engage in more social activities. I didn’t write a book. We didn’t take an anniversary trip. We didn’t go on monthly date nights. I didn’t do a lot of the things I wanted to do, but I’ve come to realize that I can’t do it all right now. I can’t possibly try to accomplish anything and everything all at the same time. If you’re discouraged about all that you didn’t do this year, look back at what you DID do.

Here is my year in review:

I spent more time not just reading, but writing the Bible.

I spent more time cooking and baking. I enjoy being in the kitchen, but don’t do it very often.

I gave away my FIFTH The Art of Encouragement scholarship at the Miss Altus Pageant
(and my… 3rd? at the Miss Dallas/Park Cities Pageant in Texas.)

Speaking of pageants, I did one…again! I had another great year at Mrs. Oklahoma. Another top 5 placement, a stellar gown from Tres Jolie. What’s not to love?

I spent a lot more time traveling and talking about The Art of Encouragement to groups all across the state. One of my favorites was speaking to the incoming class of 2016 at my Alma Mater, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma … 10 years  since I was in their shoes! EEK! I have also grown to love and care for this sweet friend. You are dear to my heart, Leah.

I have had a lot more fun with both of my guys. I am blessed to have each of them in my life.


Y’all! I painted and installed my very own Little Free Library! It has been so much fun to disperse books into the community.

Speaking of books. I read 72 of them. I also went to another Harry Potter midnight release, something I never thought I’d get to do again. Nostalgic and fun!
(Check back tomorrow for a chance to win one of my books of the year!)

I did a lot of breast cancer crushing in 2016. I raised money in new ways, donated, attended a local fundraising gala, created a Race for the Cure Crossings Team, and walked in my 3rd Komen 3-day. That’s 180 miles, and I’m not stopping yet! If you’d like to help me in my 2017 journey, please donate here:

I celebrated 5 years of marriage with this wonderful man. He is my rock. I can hardly believe I’ve loved him for nearly 7 years. Time really does fly when you’re having fun!

The Art of Encouragement sent nearly 21,000 Christmas cards to veterans in all 50 states. I’m just coming down from this one and am still in awe. This was my ninth Christmas. To think I’m walking into a decade of honoring veterans is hard to wrap my mind around. It was my 7th year to do Airport Outreach (6th with the beautiful Amanda of Amanda Grace Photography), and we grew in every single corner of this ministry.

Surely I’m forgetting some things, but these are the ones that stick out in my mind.
Farewell 2016. You were another good year.

Race forward in to 2017 with new fervor.  It’s never too late to start over or continue to where you are going. Cheers to 2017!


Ashley • December 30, 2016

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