Home » Family » My heart has been a little achey this week…

My heart has been a little achey this week…

I have such a fun little Father’s Day project that I’ve been working on with the kids…….that’s quick and easy.  And a sure dad-pleaser! :)  But, I had to set it aside for a bit. 


Because maybe you’ve heard…….but Colorado is having several fires right now. 


(I know there are several other states battling wild fires right now as well.  And I’m so sorry if you’re being affected by them.  Those little monsters become unruly, so quickly.)


One of the large fires happening in CO right now, is only a couple miles down the road from us.  Over 360 homes have been destroyed, 38,000 people have been evacuated………and about 15,000 acres of beautiful forest growth has turned to ashes. 


Here’s what we saw from our neighborhood, on DAY ONE of the fires:



I grew up in southern AZ…….so I’m used to seeing wildfires.  And really scary ones.  But I’ve never felt such a sense of panic and urgency until now.  And I guess most of that stems from being a mother to 3 small chickens.  I just want to pluck them up and run. 


We are currently in a pre-evacuation zone.  So, we have a week’s worth of clothing packed, as well as our computer, important documents, and other medical necessities……all ready to go.  The rest of the stuff in our new home is completely replaceable.


But to those who have already lost their homes, all our prayers are with you…….including the sweet prayers of our small children.  (They don’t know the severity of what’s going on……but they know others have lost their homes.  And that it’s possible we could lose ours.  And let me tell you, if you want to be humbled, listen to the faithful pleas of a child’s worried & praying heart.

 . . . . .



Last night, we drove around a bit, just to see what we could see.  (And I forgot to grab my big camera……so these fuzzy cell phone pics will have to do!)


And oh wow, all those wonderful firemen, forest servicemen, policemen, military personnel, city officials, etc………working their guts out to extinguish the ugly monster of a fire.




This area of CO has been so dry……creating perfect conditions for a fire.  But our city is exhausting all efforts to contain this fire….including parking large tanks of water around the major borders of the fire.




We weren’t the only ones out, soaking in the scene.  Another onlooker and I both agreed, it seemed as though we were attending a funeral.




However, the volunteer work, encouragement, stories of rescue, monetary donations, etc have been so incredible to read about.  It’s all of the really small things that make my heart smile.


Including this little sign I saw on the side of the road.  And the city vehicles that are parked at intersections, to offer help and answer evacuation questions.  I love seeing it all.




Fly on air support… 



We can’t see all the work going on near the fires, but the air support flying over head, late into the night……..represents all the hours and hours of hard work everyone is putting in, to help save our homes, forests, and wildlife.   We so appreciate your hours of hard work. 


My children (and I) have thrown up a trillion fist pumps up in the air for you, as you cross our skies (even when it’s really late, and they should be in bed).  So, thank you.



And just so you know, no lives have been lost.  Everyone has been accounted for and all were evacuated with plenty of notice.  And for that, I’m feeling extremely grateful.

 . . . . .



Anyway, that’s where I’ve been. 


And why I haven’t posted a really fun Father’s Day Gift Idea that I made with the kids the other day.  If things turn calm today, I may get that together and post it tomorrow.  Or maybe I’ll post it next week.  Because we can celebrate dad’s any ol’ time of the year, right??


Wishing you all a really good day. :)



Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Brett says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about the fires, I hope you are still safe. There is massive flooding here in Alberta, Canada. I wish there was a way to share some water and help both places out :(

  2. Rachel says:

    Beautiful post, Ashley. I’m so glad that you guys are home safely now. :)

  3. Melanie says:

    I was watching the same thing from my backyard. I had my evac bag packed and important papers all in the car just in case. I am only a mile or two south of Black Forest. Thankfully all my friends are back home safe and sound.

  4. Móni says:

    4 days have passed since you wrote this post. I hope you and your family and (though less important but of course important) your new home are all right! I think of you and wish you the best from Hungary (Europe)

  5. Emilee says:

    Wild fires are so scary. My husband was a wildland fire fighter before we were married and I can attest to how hard they work–sometimes for days on end with little or no sleep. I can also attest to how encouraging all the big and little thank yous from those in the community are for them.

  6. Ana Mourato says:

    I wish you all ter best and hope that you and your famíily don’t lose anything.

  7. Kelly says:

    Wow, are you close? Stay safe!

    (I’m up in Collins, so we’ve just gotten smoke from the Big Meadow Fire when the wind blows our way. Although, we did have High Park here last year. :/ Colorado. Stop. )

  8. Kata (Budapest, Hungary) says:

    Dear Ashley,
    You inspired me so many times. In these difficult days my thoughts are with you….I wish all the best for you and your loved ones.

  9. Sami Veloso says:

    Nice to know that no lives have been lost. Although the loss of houses is terrible for those involved.
    Hope the fires can be controlled soon.
    Best wishes for your family.

  10. Diane says:

    That first picture reminds me of when Mt St Helens blew, 33 yrs ago. Thats what it looked like with swirling ash. We live a little south from it. My thoughts have always been- how can people not have faith and believe in god when you see this?!

  11. Mandy |Small Fine Print| says:

    That is terrifying. Sending happy thoughts to you and your family.

  12. Ann Marie @ whitehouseblackshutters says:

    Big hugs, stay safe. Adding your family to my prayers.

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Ashley, My prayers are going out for all of you as I know the feelings you are having right now. I’m from N. AZ and we have experienced two huge fires in recent years. We had to evacuate with the last one but we were blessed to return to our home unharmed. Praying!!!!

  14. Kathy says:

    I sit here in Nebraska with tears streaming down my face for you and Colorado. Colorado holds so many special memories for me. It has been a place I hold dear. I am praying for you!

  15. Tara says:

    I wish us New Englanders could send some of this week’s flooding rain over to Colorado to hep control the crazy wildfires and save family homes, forests, and wildlife!! Stay safe & sending prayers!!

  16. Becky says:

    Stay strong. My step-brother lives in the Black Forest area, actually on Shoup Rd where the fire started. His house is safe due to the precautions he took, but many of his neighbors lost their homes. I can’t even begin to imagine the anxiety everyone is going through. We were anxious to hear the outcome, but it took 2 days. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    1. Robin says:

      wow! how did he save his house? The count was up to 379 houses at a total loss and Shoup Rd is right there in the action.

    2. Becky says:

      My brother was all over doing anything he could in terms of mitigation. Constantly clearing, cutting, cleaning. (I’m starting to think that OCD is a genetic trait that runs in our family. :-) ) He and my SIL made an escorted trip to their house yesterday to check on damage and clean out the refrigerator. Still an undetermined amount of time until they are able to return for good. My SIL shared that it was bittersweet to see the charred property, their lost barn and the neighbors homes where only adirondack chairs remained at one and a fireplace at another.

  17. Amy says:

    Hugs and prayers to you and your family, and all the families affected.

  18. Ashley says:

    We are all praying this ends soon. It’s saddening to hear about it. Our news in NC was reporting there actually had been fatalities as of this morning. Praying for all of those involved and for friends and family of yours that are affected.

    Stay strong & safe and most importantly smart.

  19. Cathy says:

    I went to school in C Springs, lived at the AFA as a wee babe – and have dear memories and dear friends in harm’s way. I know that heavy hearted feeling…but remember, you have your kids, your health, and love and gratitude to sustain you. Terrifying as it is, calamities remind us of the essentials – goodness, kindness, compassion, gratitude, and love.

    I know I am not alone in praying for the safety and well-being of Coloradoans…rest assured, much of the nation is pulling for you and praying for relief. Hang in there, stay strong, try to remain joyful.


  20. says:

    Stay safe!

  21. Susan says:

    My heart is aching too! The area I grew up in and where my parents still live is in a pre-evacuation zone too! We already know a few friends have lost their homes. Our family has been praying for the winds to die down and for everyone to remain safe. I hope your home and family stays safe too! I enjoy your blog!

  22. Aubrey R says:

    Thinking of you during this scary time. Praying that it resolves quickly.

  23. Peggy says:

    I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I pray that the fire fighters can get the fires under control and that you and your family and your neighbors are safe.

  24. Amanda says:

    I have been so busy with school and work lately that I hadn’t had time for watching the news. I am so sorry to hear of the fires. I will be praying for your neighborhood’s safety, for all those who lost their homes, and especially for all those fighting the fires.

  25. Lesly says:

    Prayers for you and your family from the Western Slope (Grand Junction)

  26. Ellie says:

    Scary and heartbreaking all at the same time! Stay safe. God answers prayers!

  27. carla bynum says:

    Sending prayers….stay safe….

  28. Ceil says:

    I live just 1/2 mile south of the evacuation line in Black Forest. My heart goes out to all those folks who lost homes, friends and family alike. Stay safe and pray that they can contain these flames. The wind has been terrible today, my prayers are ongoing.

  29. Dana says:

    I live a few miles south of where the fire started and this has been heartbreaking. Several people we know have lost their homes and the have such a difficult road ahead. I pray that you and your family are safe and that your home is not touched by the fire.

  30. Dawn says:

    My dad is a retired forest fire fighter and spent years battling these blazes. From hauling fire hose to jumping out of helicopters, its a tough job. Growing up he’d be gone for weeks at a time every summer, going wherever he was needed. So sorry to hear your new neighborhood is suffering. But so nice to hear you appreciate the efforts going into the fight!

  31. Paula Usrey says:

    We live on the southern end of COS. I have friends that live some where near you. Stay Safe!

  32. Kim says:

    Be safe. Thoughts and prayers for all.

  33. dannyscotland says:

    Hoping everything gets under control soon. Take care.

  34. Ellie says:

    I wish we could send you some of our rain! We had a full inch of rain in 15 minutes today, on top of the 4 inches we’ve already had this week. That would take care of the fires! Since we can’t send the rain, we’ll send our prayers.

  35. Jean says:

    I’m sorry you have to go through this scary event. My prayers are with your family and those in your area.

  36. Jennifer C. says:

    Ashley about an hour ago I heard the evacuation area has been increased. I’m not sure if you guys were included, but know I’m thinking and praying for you all.

  37. Jennifer C. says:

    I imagine that’s frightening! When Texas was burning a couple years ago, my husband was deployed and the fires were popping up all around us. Any smoke in the distance or fire truck sirens would cause my heart to skip a beat. A local friend posted pictures of her neighbors house down the street with flames higher than the house. Thankfully they were able to put that fire out before it could burn the house.

    I hope you guys don’t have to evacuate, but if you do I’m thankful you have things packed and ready to go.

    Lord I thank you for the hedge of protection you’ve placed around Ashley’s house and her family. Please give everyone working to extinguish the fire favor and keep them out of harms way. In Jesus name, Amen!

  38. Monica says:

    Stay safe! We have family in the area and are sending our prayers that way!

  39. Jeri says:

    All of you have certainly been in our prayers. WE love you!

  40. Nicki says:

    I grew up in Colorado (in Longmont, north of Denver), and I still remember some scary summers with fires all over the place. Hoping you guys stay safe and that the fire can be contained quickly. Love that beautiful state.

  41. Karyn says:

    Ashley, my heart goes out to you.
    Living here is Australia I know only too well the destructive nature of bush fires.
    Thinking of you and your family at this time.

  42. TerriSue says:

    Oh Ashley, my prayers go to all 5 of you especially.

  43. Melanie says:

    I have family and friends living in CO Springs, and we’re grateful that so far, everyone is safe. My husband has had a dream for years now of somehow finding a faster way to put out forest fires because of how scary and unpredictable they can be. Maybe someday!

  44. Jaren says:

    My heart goes out to your family and others. You will be in my prayers.

  45. Erin || says:

    Thinking about you! My husband and I live about 30 miles north of the Black Forest Fire and we can’t believe the fires are starting up already for this year. Watching all those houses burn on the news makes me so sad. Keep safe!

  46. tricia says:


    Thanks for posting this. I too am living in Colorado Springs and I have been glued to the computer to see what is happening back home. The fire is part of my stake and it makes me so sad to see everything happening right now. Where did you grow up in AZ? I am from the small town of Safford, AZ in the southeast corner.
    I hope you guys are safe.

  47. Cathy says:

    Let me know if you guys evac and need anything. I live on the south side of Colorado Springs (friends w/ Melissa Bolton and Sarah Lund. We met at the blogger meet up last year). Food, a place to hang out, etc.

  48. Carla says:

    As all the other comments have stated, you and your family will also be in my prayers.

  49. Gina says:

    Oh my heart is with you!!!! My hubs was there last year on those big ones- wildfire is his specialty & he is usually at the biggest ones going every year (except this year). I know all too well what that is like & my prayers are with you all. Hugs & the shoulder is here if you need someone who’s familiar with it all.

  50. Laura - Behind the Hedgerow says:

    Wow – thanks for sharing. Wherever we live in the world we each have our challenges – at the moment yours seems bigger than most. Best of luck to you and your community. All your readers will be here after things calm down. x

  51. Rebecca says:

    Sending prayers for your community and state! Hope all is well and we will still be here when you get back :)

  52. Brook says:

    Sending prayers for you and all the families having to deal with the fires. And God bless the one’s working to put them out!

  53. Rebekah says:

    I have been reading your blog for a while now, so you feel like family! My heart aches for everyone who is suffering from these fires (and all the other natural disasters that are causing so much pain!). If there are ways that you need help — please let us all know. If you have a chance (and I know you might not), I would love to see a blog post about how we can help your extended community.

  54. Jamie says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for several years now and never realized how close we are to each other! This fire is about 20 miles south of me. We will keep your family in our prayers! Let us know if there is any way we can help!

  55. maura says:

    Have been reading your blog for a few months and I love all your projects and pin them all the time! I hope you all get through this safely. Will be thinking of you and your family.

  56. Kristal says:

    We have been keeping an eye on that fire. We’re moving to Colorado Springs at the end of the year and are looking at the northeast area of town as an option for living. My husband’s future boss was evacuated overnight….prayers to all of you in our future home!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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