Photography by Jennifer Joy Photography
Meet Ashli. She is Beauty Revived.
I’ve known Ashli since we were in grade school together in a small Nebraska town. She has always been a genuine person and there is something about her that draws you to her like a magnet. Some call it the it-factor or a fascination advantage. Whatever you want to call it, Ashli has always been unique and full of her very own spirit. What made me want to feature Ashli as a Beauty Revived 50 Beautiful Mothers honoree is this spirit, what it has cultivated, and how it is teaching her 3 boys valuable life lessons.
In 5th grade Ashli was a match-maker for many of her friends, using her communication skills to get shy boys and girls together to say they were “going out”. That was just the beginning of Ashli’s illustrious communication talents. She’s gone on in her adult life to use those skills to study marketing, volunteer her time with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and more personally, write about life lessons on a blog that has reached thousands of readers. The Omaha, NE mother of 3 began her blog, titled Baby on the Brehm, as a journal to document the lives of her young boys. In the early days of the blog, Ashli would write about her experience with pregnancy and the real life ups and downs of motherhood. So many of her words were relatable and so many of the things she wrote about were things ANY mom could have been thinking in her head. Ashli’s wittiness and raw honesty has gained her many fans, and the topics of her musings have lately been centered on a more sobering topic – her diagnosis with breast cancer.
Ashli broke the news to her blog readers and instantly gained the support and rallying prayer power of nearly 6,000 internet friends. As I followed her blog, I was amazed to witness the outpouring of support that Ashli received in the way of prayers and words of encouragement. But more amazing than the support of the fans was the attitude and strength in which Ashli faced this life-altering event. And it wasn’t just ONE event. Her cancer has been a series of events from biopsies to chemo and radiation, to mastectomy and reconstruction. And all along the way, Ashli has been sharing her story with her readers, touching the lives of other cancer survivors, families of those who have faced cancer, and people like me – relatively healthy human beings who find that they take their health for granted. Ashli’s story is common, unfortunately. But at the same time – unique. What makes it so special is the fact that she has shared her emotions with her readers along the way, and we’ve all become caught up in her story.
Ashli has often used a term in her writing that has begun to become like her trademark phrase – “Goodness”. She writes often about goodness. About the goodness she has received from her medical team, family, friends, even strangers. Ashli has been so overwhelmed by the support she received from her fans and she saw an opportunity to use her blogging platform to give back. And so she’s been giving goodness back into the world. Ashli partners up with businesses in her community and beyond to give away goodness in the form of all kinds of things that other mamas like: jewelry, boutique clothing, and beauty supplies, among other awesome stuff!
Ashli has so much more of her story to tell, and the main character in her story won’t be cancer. No one is going to think of Ashli as that lady that had cancer. They’re going to think of her as that lady who inspired them to become a marathon runner. Or that lady who encouraged them to push past their fear of jumping out of an airplane. Or that mom who showed a bunch of other moms that it was okay if their kids wore pajamas all day and that moms need to give themselves a break because raising kids is tough and we’re all doing the best we can. Ashli’s caring spirit has shined a light out onto this world and is teaching her boys life lessons every day.