I first met Ashley, and her husband, Haynes, over six years ago. They are not friends that I get to see everyday, but I when I do see them, they are a ray of sunshine and always make me smile. You know those folks I’m talking about – the kind that always take a minute to walk over and say hello, the kind that have you laughing within one minute of that conversation, the kind that you know you can be your genuine self around, because they want you to be you? Yeah, that would be a great description of Ashley and Haynes.
I feel a genuine connection to Ashley, in particular, as a fellow mom, wife, goofball and fitness-loving female warrior. She is one to set a goal and “warrior on” to reach that goal. The thing I like most about Ashley is that she has this sweet and beautiful exterior, but she is a firecracker and full of passion on the inside, ignited by many years of personal challenge, and hard work to overcome those parts of her that weren’t serving her life and what was most important to her. She has been a warrior in keeping priorities straight – and knowing when to let go of the unnecessary details. She is a warrior for being the best Ashley she can be, because she knows that she is the only one that can carry that mission. She is a warrior for those that don’t yet have the strength, but are seeking help. She helps others around her in every possible way – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Ashley is one hot-mama barre instructor, while being the type of role model that will spearhead a Make-A-Wish Trailblaze Challenge, hike 28.3 miles in one day and raise $2,600, all so that a struggling child can fulfill a dream of going to Disney World. And she’s the first one to pull out some old school Salt ‘n Pepa or some Eazy-E — and laugh when one of her boys rips one. As you can see, she is a phenomenal woman, and I hope all you Smarties get to meet her at some point. She’s as real as real gets!
Before I get too carried away, let me fill you in on what some of her smarty friends have to say!
Friend, Allison Hudson: Ashley inspires me to be a better version of myself on a daily basis. She genuinely cares about the people around her and it shows through her words, actions and service to others. She knows who she is and what she stands for and lives accordingly. She stands firm in her faith.She builds me up but tells it to me straight even when it isn’t something I don’t want to hear. She is honest and direct, and holds me accountable to be the person I want to be. She reminds me daily that I amstriving for progress, not perfection, and that I am human and make mistakes — and not to beat myself up too bad. Ash is authentic in everything she does and what you see is what you get. And what we get is a beautiful person, with an even more beautiful soul,who shares that to help others. Ashley inspires me to be true to myself and authentic in everything I do and leads by example. I simply feel better when I am around Ashley and that is inspiring to me.
Funniest moment with Ashley: Ashley is hands down one of the most hilarious people I know. She never takes herself too seriously and has a fun personality with a dry and witty sense of humor. I will randomly get “dubsmash” videos of her singing the most ridiculous songs while she is waiting in the carpool line at her sons school. Kids will be walking by in the background looking at her like she’s crazy and she is just singing her heart out to some rap song! Like anything Ashley does, she puts heart and soul into it.
Friend and Owner of Carolina Barre & Core, Amity Whalen: Despite any hardships that Ashley has been through in her life, she always, always finds the positive in everything, everyday. She is not bitter, she holds no grudge, she does not have a “poor me” attitude about anything. She lives to continuously make her life and the lives of everyone around her better. She is constantly supporting and uplifting others. She has a very strong faith and lives her faith in everything she does. She is grateful for simply living!
She brings that awesome energy to Carolina Barre every single day. Her energy is infectious and she lifts me up, she lifts up the other teachers and the guests. She has been coming since day one. As a student she was like an ambassador, greeting new guests, showing them around, introducing them to other guests, making them feel welcome. We are so lucky to have her as a teacher now…. I can’t imagine Carolina Barre without her!
Smarty Mom: Ashley Peery
Married to: Haynes
Children: Reid 16 and Whit 14.
Years in Charlotte: 30
Neighborhood: Park Crossing
Hometown: I consider Charlotte my hometown because I’ve been here for so long but I was actually born in Greenwich, CT. I’ve also lived in California, Michigan, Australia and Hong Kong!
Occupation: Full time wife, mother and homemaker and part time barre teacher
You are a working mom…tell us how you manage all of it! I start my days off grounded in prayer, try not to be too attached to my agenda, and look at interruptions to my day’s plan as divine. My family comes first and I do my best to schedule work around their needs.
You love being fit and having a healthy lifestyle. What all do you do to work on this? I take barre at least 4 times a week and try and get 3 days of cardio in. My favorite thing to do is hike!
We’ve heard you are newly certified in barre instruction. Share the scoop! I started taking barre almost 2 years ago at Carolina Barre & Core and I absolutely fell in love with the workout and the community. I am so grateful to be teaching there now, it’s awesome!
Favorite store? Anthropologie
Ocean or mountains? Mountains…all day!
Favorite family dinner: Ugh. Cooking. We grill all summer long, chicken, corn on the cob and a big salad is the standby. The boys favorite meal is still spaghetti. If you don’t know how to make that, I’m not sure there’s much I can do to help you.
Paper or electronic calendar? BOTH! My iPhone/Mac is where I input everything the moment it is scheduled, I also keep a weekly family desk calendar with a space for everyone to see it all in one place…helps with work, school, sports and travel.
Favorite thing about raising boys. It’s a loud, dirty, wild adventure, the best one I’ve ever been on. Through all the rocks, dirt, sticks, matchbox cars, wrestling matches, Xbox fights and driving lessons…the best part about boys is the way they love their mamas. Be still my heart.
What traits did you inherit from your parents, that have served to shape who you are as a person?Perseverance, industriousness, compassion and forgiveness.
How would you describe a mom who is “whole” and “balanced?” (or what qualities do you think it would take?!) Hmmm the b word. Balance. I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer this one…For so much of my life, balance was that thing I rocketed past on my way from one extreme to the next, looking for something to fill me up. I’ve made progress in that area for sure. Today, I am whole and balanced, one day at a time, because I know who and whose I am, because I give and receive love and because I have a peace that passes all understanding. What it takes for other moms to feel that way, I can’t say for sure.
Biggest pet peeve. Tardiness
If you could go back and give your 16-year-old self some advice or words of wisdom, what would it be? Listen to your mother, she really does know what she’s talking about and she loves you more than you’ll ever understand..until you have two boys of your own one day.