Homesick. Bear with me here....

 Fall 2017. Did that year go by fast?

Fall 2017. Did that year go by fast?

SATURDAY 22ND 6PM:

I miss Hayden. I chose to take this film far away, so it feels wrong to now complain. I enjoy getting to work and am grateful. Perhaps complaining is not the right word.

Joel and I can talk all the time… communicate as often as we want (until recently, but that’s due to weather, see below). Huck has two homes. We don’t see him all the time; that’s our reality right now as a blended family. But, Hayden is just a toddler. We spend an incredible amount of time together. This time apart is out of the ordinary for us.

Question for parents: how old were your kids the first time you left them for an extended amount of time?

 The days are long, but the years are short. A year ago this month, @Ographr took this shot.

The days are long, but the years are short. A year ago this month, @Ographr took this shot.

I think if I’m honest with myself, it feels like I’m missing out on these days with him; I feel guilty. Did I make the wrong choice? Every time I find myself missing him, it translates to guilt in the pit of my stomach. Serious separation anxiety. Hayden IS with my parents and sister. That part is the good news. He is bonding with them and literally having a blast: walking in the rain (fully clad with the cutest frog rain gear you’ve ever seen-see below), searching for lizards, playing with Betty the Bunny. My family is keeping him stimulated and smothered with love! But, I am up here in Canada far away from him. Hearing him say “Hold you, Mama…hold you” through the phone breaks my heart. For months he’s heard me say, “Want me to hold you?” Hence the “Hold you, mama.” 

I was kind of doing ok emotionally until today. Last night, a tornado hit Ottawa. Our production is right in the middle of it. I was downstairs near the hotel lobby waiting for one my producers and wardrobe for an intense, long fitting where we would decide on outfits for each remaining scene for my character Connie. There were other visitors in the lobby around the same time. In a chorus type melody, each phone began to sing the chime of a weather alert. One after another updating each of us of the danger heading our way. The news had a headline saying: TAKE COVER. STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS. A TORNADO IS YOUR NEAR VICINITY. What??? The other locals and desk clerks laughed. They said authorities loves to alarm citizens about tornados, but nothing ever happens. 

About five minutes later, through the large glass entry way doors, we saw the tree across the street leaning so far over on its side, it looked like a cartoon. The street lights flickered, then went out. Inside our hotel, the same thing happened. Zap! Darkness. It seemed surreal for a second. I thought to myself… oh geez, we’ll have to wait for a few minutes before the power returns. Well, that was over 24 hours ago.

While we are all safe, we have been without electricity. No one knows how long till it resumes. It’s mayhem here. Few stores or restaurants are open. The ones that are up and running are packed with lines out the door. Once I was able to charge my phone, cell service has been so spotty (and forget trying to get wifi), it’s been very hard to communicate with my husband and family. Currently, I am in a different section of the city writing this, charging my phone and hoping to get some food. Unfortunately, nothing is available near my hotel and since the refrigerator is out…you get the picture. Some of the headlines on the news say this area looks like a WAR ZONE. It’s sad. I feel for these people that are having to rebuild their lives and homes. And my understanding is that many are injured. The school where we’ve been shooting this film caught on fire and has extensive damage. 

No one has died, at least no reports I’ve heard. I thank God for that. And our production crew is safe and sound. So, all in all…. there is nothing more to say. 

Except, I always have one more thing to say, so… I guess it feels as though things can happen anywhere at anytime. My phone isn’t working- I can’t get the videos my parents are sending of Hayden. I know it sounds silly in the grand scheme of things. It’s only been 24 hours. People and families go through real troubles everyday.

I was scheduled to have five days off starting today. My plan was to be on a plane to Texas to see Hayden. And Joel was looking into meeting us there briefly until he was back in LA with Huck. But, alas, this force majeure has altered schedules and I am now shooting during part of that time. 

Hug your loved ones extra tight tonight. 

UPDATE SUNDAY 23rd 11AM:

Power is back on!! Wifi is still spotty, but I can find certain spots now to FaceTime with Joel and Hayden. I got a flutter of photos and videos from Joel (he is visiting his 89 year old grandmother!) and my family. 

The schedule had to be altered for production, but they’re on top of that figuring out new locations, a new school, what needs to be reshot… a lot of juggling. 

Thanks for letting me vent. I’ve received a few DMs or comments from people responding to instastories/posts about being away from Hayden. Your encouraging words help! I especially appreciate personal stories of your own experiences. Working mom stories, travels, etc. I

SECOND UPDATE: Omgoodness!!!! As I was finishing the update above, the fire alarm in this building went off! We were all evacuated temporarily. Kinda crazy. All was taken care of and we are back in our rooms, but wow. (see instagram stories)

SO…. I repeat. Hug your loved ones. Call your loved ones. And also—- I appreciate you all for reading this far! Much much love.

xo

AAJ

My last update..! I saw notes on instagram asking where to get this frog rain gear from the instastory….so, I said I’d add it to the blog post. He is 2 years and 5 months and the 2T fits perfectly. Size 7 shoe.

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frog umbrella











Touching Base

AshleyAJones.com

I feel compelled to say thank you at times. Today is one of those times. Thank you to many of you that were so supportive of the recent visit back to The Bold and Beautiful. I appreciate all the comments and tweets showing your support. Perhaps we'll see more of Bridget on the horizon very soon... It's pretty nice to go to a place that you love with people you truly want to work with. I don't take that for granted when it happens anywhere. 

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My favorite thing is how the cast and crew support each other. John McCook (my dad!) has a very cool dressing room close to set. On long days shooting scenes like weddings, he allows us to congregate in there on breaks. He has been so inclusive to every member of the cast since day one. I love quickly catching up with everyone while lounging on his sofas. 

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A great deal of you ask about Parker often. With Lexi back on the horizon, (and much talk of Parker on the show recently) there are questions about "Pristina." I did get to chat with Frank Valentini, executive producer of GH, recently at an Emmy event. He wasn't able to confirm any future thoughts about Kristina or Parker, but what's great about the soap genre is this: things change all the time with the stroke of a pen from the writers. People can even "DIE" and come back to LIFE (hello, Hunter Tylo). I truly don't know what their plans are for Parker. Do I think it makes sense to Kristina and Parker on screen together figuring out whatever issues they may or may not have? Sure, of course. I believe there's story left to tell. But, from a production standpoint, there's a whole puzzle of characters to place every week in storylines that keep Port Charles alive and dramatic and fun to watch. This may sound like a politically correct response, but having been on the other side of the camera from time to time, I understand. 

I'm happy to be filming a movie for Lifetime in September. It's a VERY different kind of character. One I've never really played before. Looking forward to spilling the beans as soon as I get the go ahead. I'll be shooting on location in Canada. Excited to go back to the east coast up there. 

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Until then... thanks for visiting here. I like sharing ideas, mom stories, fashion choices, favorite products, etc. Always love your ideas, too. Hoping to upgrade the look of the blog soon, but for now, it's simple and straightforward. Curious of any ideas you all have come across for inspiration to update the look here? 

And last but not least, thanks to Soap Digest for the recent cover "casting news." Looking forward to being on your screens more soon. Your emails, comments, tweets and facebook messages get noticed by the powers that be (and ME), so thank you for voicing your thoughts. How would you want these characters to come back into the fold on your favorite show? Fun to hear sometimes.

Now, off to bed. Up early with Hayden and to learn lines for an audition. Magnum P.I.!!

Let Go, Let GOD.

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I mentioned a bit ago that I would write an update on "life and work." You all have been so supportive asking. You have no idea how much that means to me. So, here goes. 

A couple of great opportunities came my way work wise. I normally don't discuss this stuff, but for some reason, I feel compelled. Let me explain why. A wonderful role became available on a soap I've never been on (a network television soap, so if you do the math, it's easy to figure out). I ended up testing with a group of amazing women, most of whom you would know if you are soap fans. For those of you that are curious about the definition of testing? The casting directors, producers and network narrow down their choices to usually two or three (in this case it was more than a handful). Then, you show up on set and shoot a scene as if it were a usual tape day. The ladies testing worked opposite one of the show's stars (not sure if I'm allowed to say who yet, so I'll refrain). I woke up at 4:30am. Did a bit of hair...put on some makeup. I had my bag and dress I wanted to wear already in the car (I later wore the same dress to the Emmy parties the following weekend). My call time was 6am in Burbank at the studios where they have taped this show for years. You rehearse, then wait, then head to makeup for touch ups, then wait, etc. Finally, you're called to set and tape the scene. Around 9am it was all over. The tapes go to all the "heads of everything." Producers, writers, network people, etc. They figure out exactly what works for them at that time. You get one shot, by the way. No re-shoots. It's a lot of build up for about 2-3 minutes of delivery.

It was a great experience and you have to hope for the best once you walk away from your test. Any type of test. I've done this many times. Sometimes you get that job, sometimes life takes you in a "different direction."  The quotes at the end of the last sentence symbolize the words actors have heard for years when it doesn't go their way. They simply went "a different direction." 

I love the soap world. I love soap fans. I love getting up to go to work in LA and come home to my family. But, that role wasn't meant for me. I have to take a deep breath and let it all go. Let go, and let God handle it.  Not gonna lie, it's not always easy to swallow. But, it just means I am meant to be somewhere else. Or back on a show I've been on before? Maybe. Just maybe.

Then, another great opportunity came up to be considered for on Hulu. A-List actors. George Clooney directing. The script was stellar. But, there was nudity involved. For my own reasons, it wasn't right for me. 

UGH!!! Back to the drawing board. I know that every time a door closes, you can just open it again because, well--- it's just a door. Timing is everything! If you're in a frustrated spot too, keep your chin up, do your preparation, then open that door again.  

Something has came up for June. I have to get permission to discuss it, but it's fun and dare I say... creepy! Ha!

But, know that I am hoping to be back on your screens soon enough...one way or another. 

And personally, the last couple of months have been interesting. Hard interesting. Having a blended family can be wonderful. It can also present challenges. Since many of you have asked and DM'd why Huck hasn't been in pictures lately, I also feel compelled to bring that up, too. Let's just say we're hoping to have our family all together again soon. I know some of you have shared journeys going through similar experiences, which I have appreciated. I'm grateful for all the good going on in my life, too. My family. My friends. My husband. Hayden is PURE JOY. Our time in Texas was very special. 

If you're in a season of frustration, know that this, too, shall pass. God has something bigger in store for us. Beyond anything we could imagine.  It's one of my favorite verses in the Bible. Ephesians 3:20. And if you wanna share anything in the comments below so we can all encourage each other, please do. I will be reading them later today. 

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Big hugs to all.

xoxo

AAJ

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ps- the dress I discuss is on sale under $100 for those that need a fun wedding dress! 

And I there's this post with details on the pictures;) Or click below. 

Reel Life: little update on some airdates for shows

Thank you to those of you that have inquired about work. A few things to report....

First up, NEXT WEEK on Oct. 24th, there's NCIS. It's a fun guest spot. I loved getting to work with that crew. And sometimes, as a gueststar, you only work with a couple of the cast members. Even though it's not a huge role, I got a chance to work with quite a few of them. 

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Then, there's the Lifetime movie filmed earlier this year in Canada. It's airing on LMN December 8th- I'M COMING FOR YOU, so mark your calendars for a little thriller in the winter.  Excited for you all to see it. I just finished ADR on it yesterday and got to see a bit of the film. 

There's another announcement coming about the Christmas movie that was filmed in Nebraska, 12 DAYS OF GIVING, but we have to wait for permission to announce the network, but it will also air in December. And finally, there's one more primetime show I recently filmed that I'm proud to be a part of, but we also have to wait on that as well (airs in January). So, stay tuned! 

Many of you have asked for me to comment on Parker's abrupt exit last week on GH.  I understand the logistics of making an hour long serial drama thrive. There are many puzzle pieces to put together, so as soon as I hear more from the producers and writers, I'll let you all know. I enjoy working with everyone at GENERAL HOSPITAL. Thank you for the support. I know your voices are heard! I'll be checking the comments later today (from this post and other posts), if you feel inclined to leave one. xx

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When Playtime Meets Worktime

Last week, I got to go banter with my one of my besties for a Priceline commercial.  I've had the opportunity to work with friends before (even with Kaley in THE WEDDING RINGER). But, this was the first time I got to play myself and our real friendship. It was fun, to say the least, which makes it seem a lot less like work and more like a play day! I can't wait for you guys to see the spot soon!! It's a pretty fun take on real life. 

Wardrobe picked out some of the cutest pieces around... and I learned about some new stores, like & Other Stories.  We tried on many variations, but ended up with this Theory dress on sale at Nordstrom Rack! Just add a strapless bra (I'm wearing a high cut bra from Natori that I they gave me. And although I had on nude heels (the same ones I wear all the time--- they are so on sale right now, I have to share... $27... I think I'll order a second pair to have on hand), I ended up wearing my comfy Rothys

And while we're on shoes... how fabulous are Kaley's ruffled sneakers. Just a hint of ruffle. I nearly died over them (anyone that's following me lately knows I'm into a little ruffle added somewhere somehow- check THIS POST, or THIS ONE). This sneaker is so subtle, I love it. 

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Many of you have asked about makeup, so I'll post about that soon. But, stay tuned for info on when the commercial will air. And, I have some exciting work stuff I'm shooting this summer. I so wish I could say right now, but it would ruin the surprise!!