ashley machele

hey friend!

Certified Stepfamily Specialist
Blended Family Blogger since 2013
Studying Family Dynamics at BYU-Idaho

I’m Ashley and I'm just a mom sharing custody that believes there has to be a better way...


I was a single mom barely surviving in the middle of a custody battle. I woke up every morning with crippling anxiety and a paralyzing fear that I was going to lose everything. It felt like I was living in a nightmare. 

It's every parent's worst fear to lose their children. But no one talks about the different type of trauma it is to be forced to share them with someone.

As a parent, it's engrained in every fiber of your being to love and protect your children at all costs. So when it feels like they are being taken away from you for days at a time, it causes severe cognitive dissonance. Because even though you know they are safe with their other parent, on a deep subconscious level it doesn't feel natural. Learning to let go of control and have faith that everything will work out is one of the hardest things to do for a parent sharing custody.

I didn't always have a positive attitude about my custody situation. In fact, it was the exact opposite...

After years of struggling to find peace in the middle of an intense custody battle, I was convinced there had to be a better way. 

At first, I tried to force it. I hired attorneys and fought in the family court system because I naively believed that things would work out if I just trusted the experts. 

Then I compromised. I thought the logical approach was reasonable. I tried to set boundaries and I worked on my communication skills, but nothing I tried worked for very long.

Finally I realized that if I wanted something to find peace in this situation that I couldn't control, I was going to have to work on creating change from within.

I released the fear of judgment, let go of any expectations, and allowed myself to be open to the unconventional possibility of my life being better than anything I could have planned on my own. 

Once I made the decision to take aligned action, everything started to shift.  Instead of focusing on all of the symptoms showing up in my life, I started getting to the real reason I was struggling. 

Our life is a reflection of our inner belief system. When we begin to recognize the correlation between our current reality and the conditioning of our subconscious, we gain an awareness that empowers us to create massive shifts from a soul level.

Most people live their lives focused only on their symptoms. They set goals to address the areas in their life that they think they need to change and put an action plan into place to fix those surface level issues. But they always fall back into the patterns from their past because the real root cause of their issues isn’t being resolved.

The moment I realized my symptoms were directly related to an emotional trigger that stemmed from an experience in my past, everything changed for me. I no longer looked for external, logical, measurable progress. I turned inward and searched my soul for ways to heal from the inside out.

Now I help other parents who are struggling to share custody uncover the real reason why their situation feels unsustainable and empower them with tools and resources to create change from within and manifest a better life.

(in case you were wondering)

Ashley is the founder of Our Splendid Life. She has provided resources and support for blended families since 2013. She is a certified stepfamily specialist and is finishing her Bachelor's Degree in Family Studies from BYU-Idaho. After struggling for years after her divorce, she felt inspired to do things differently. She has spent the past 15 years trying unconventional techniques to improve her situation, focusing on creating change from the inside out. She is passionate about sharing these tools with other families who are struggling in similar situations because they have truly changed her life!

if we were chatting over brunch, this is what I'd tell you:


I come from a divorced family that carries it's own patterns of codependency and narcissism. I am committed to breaking that cycle for my children.

I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I'm so grateful for my Savior and I know that because of Him families can be together forever.


I've learned how clutter impacts the energy of my home, so I've leaned hard into our minimalism journey


I'm obsessed with showing my kids the world. Our family has been to 49 states and over 10 countries (so far!)


one thing I'm most proud of is my ability to find the good in every situation. It isn't toxic positivity if you believe that God knows us better than we know ourselves and He has a plan for everything.

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