Meet EIM Contributor, Ashlyn Bingham!

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Hello, I’m Ashlyn!

I claim Shelley as my hometown. I moved there at age 8 and I loved every aspect of it. I felt safe, welcome, and comfortable there. Since high school, I have lived in Rexburg for college; Nebraska for an LDS mission; Bakersfield, California where my husband worked on an almond farm; and we are now settled in the Bear Lake area near the ID/UT/WY borders.

There are a lot of things that I love about the area: the clear, starry night skies on almost any given night of the year, the wide-open space, and the lake is nearby! I’m definitely leaning towards living in the country for life, but I could use a Walmart or a Target nearby!

The town that I live in doesn’t have very many moms with young children. Sometimes I long for more connection in the form of mothers in my stage of life, and I try to find that online as much as I can. I’m very thankful for the more experienced women in my life that watch out for me, teach me, and give me perspective into this brief time of my life that I get to spend with my tiny babies!

Bear Lake, where I live, is also where we maintain our property management company that we own. My husband and I manage short-term rental homes for owners that want to make money and we host travelers in those homes. We spend our time running a cleaning crew, fixing problems, and buying lots of supplies for the homes. I enjoy communicating with travelers and helping make owners happy.

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Family Studies in 2019. I love learning about social science. I try to write or type my thoughts when they come to me, and I have enough notes on my phone to write a novel! I heard once that good ideas will find their way into the world whether you introduce them or not. I try to let my good ideas flow and bring them into the world whenever they come to me.

I am the oldest child in my family with an autistic brother just 19 months younger than me. My relationship with my brother has played a big role in my life. I feel strongly about advocating for disabled people; I want to help them be seen.

I got a very small taste of impairment when I was involved in a UTV accident at age 21. I mangled my right hand and still deal with the issues from that injury. I basically only have the use of my thumb and index finger; the other fingers don’t work and I lost my pinky! I can still function well with my hand but that accident opened my eyes to the reality that any of us can become “disabled” at any moment. I am now more appreciative of my body and the good it can do. I love yoga, walking, and dabbling in YouTube kickboxing from my living room!

I love being a mama. I have two little boys: Sawyer (age 2) and Declan (age 5 months). Motherhood has been so much more than I ever anticipated. So much harder and so much better.

One thing I have noticed since becoming a mom is the simultaneous isolation and fellowship that motherhood brings. I’ve never felt so lonely, yet I also feel like I am part of a worldwide club of women who “get it”. I see it in the eyes of older women when they hold the door open for me at the store when I have a baby in one arm and groceries in the other. I feel it at church when other moms offer to hold my baby while I take my screaming toddler in the hallway. It is a special position to be in—a sisterhood. I decided shortly after having my second child that I’m not going to judge other moms anymore. If it’s hard for me, it could be hard for her too.

I was actual garbage at cooking and baking before I got married. I have worked hard for the last 5 years to become a better cook and I have refused to buy things pre-made because I thought, “I can make this myself.” Now that I know that I can make things myself, I have been buying more things pre-made because it’s more convenient. But I still find satisfaction in creating food, especially bread! I have been really into sourdough lately—the possibilities are endless! I am still learning but am proud of the progress I have made.

Lately, my hobbies include watching my favorite TV shows from high school like One Tree Hill, eating at Chinese buffets (since being pregnant with my second, I crave them all the time), and thrifting! I listen to true crime podcasts more than I would like to admit. I love vegetables in almost any form, but I also bake chocolate chip cookies twice a week because I’m obsessed with treats. My favorite restaurants in Southeast Idaho are Tandoori Oven (Idaho Falls), Sandwich Tree (Idaho Falls), Fuji (Pocatello), Pizza Pie Cafe’s salad bar and Oreo pizza (Pocatello), Coopers (Fish Haven), Riverwalk Thai Food (Lava Hot Springs), and the Chinese buffet in Blackfoot next to Walmart. (I don’t even know what it’s called, all I know is it satisfies my postpartum cravings and I go there each time I’m in town!)

That’s me in a nutshell! I would love to connect with more women in East Idaho and make more friendships. Please reach out if anything in my bio resonates with you, I would love to be friends!

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