Children | Uplifting | Pregnancy/Babies | Parenting | Family

'Don't Mess With Her' - The True Story Behind One Mother's Viral Birth Announcement

When photographer, Emily Garrison shared this adorable baby announcement photo, she had no idea that it would be an instant viral hit.

The totally touching black and white portrait of her good friend Ashli's four sons announcing the arrival of their brand new baby sister is probably the cutest photo idea ever!

Their precious new sister, Jolie Mirabelle, appears in an adorable burst of pink. She sleeps peacefully under the watch of her four, proud older brothers.

It's been a few years since this sweet shot was taken, and the family has some pretty exciting news...

Shared caught up with Ashli Denton to chat about life as a modern mom with a big brood and the exciting changes and challenges that face her and her family every day.

When Ashli, 34, met her husband Jeremy, 36, they were attending the same Geometry class in college.

"He approached me after the first class and asked real swag-like, ‘Hey- if you ever need a tutor, I’m available.’" She says, "I snapped back with sass, 'I don’t need a tutor.' Real smooth, Jeremy. Ha!"  

Thankfully, Jeremy persisted and she realized they had quite a lot in common. "It was love at first sight. We were inseparable after that day," says Ashli.

The happy couple got married in 2004 and decided that they wanted to wait five years before they had children. Their plan was to build up a nest egg, travel and just enjoy newly-wed bliss.

But fate had something else in mind and a few months into their marriage Ashli discovered that she was pregnant!

"I wrote on the bathroom mirror, ‘You’re going to be a Daddy!’ in soap before he woke up." Said Ashli, "Jeremy walked in, took one glance at the mirror, and crawled back in bed."

"Little did we know, we were just gearing up for an overload of fun."

It's A Girl!

Cut to several years and four boys later ...

"I love having boys but I wanted a girl so bad I could taste it." Ashli recalled, "When I found out I was pregnant for the 5th time, the due date was my birthday and I just knew in my gut, this one’s a girl."

Little Jolie Mirabelle was born into the loving arms of two parents who couldn't be happier to have a daughter and four proud big brothers who were excited for a baby sister.

Ashli knew she needed to do something extra special to announce their newest arrival, so she contacted her best friend and photographer Emily Garrison. Within minutes, of arriving at her garage studio, she had snapped the viral 'Don’t Mess With Her!’ photo.

Every year since, Emily has found new ways to reproduce the family's signature photo:

The couple were certain that their family was complete, but there was one more surprise on the way...

Tragedy and Triumph

"We assumed we’d only have a couple of kids since neither Jeremy or I come from a big family. But we have something I like to call, fertility overdrive." Said Ashli, "Jeremy can look my way and a fetus appears.

We don’t take it for granted, we believe that each child has been a gift from God."

Tragically, Ashli's mother passed away suddenly in 2016, which left a hole of heartbreak in the family.

A few months later, Ashli was surprised to find out she was pregnant again...

Happily Ever After

Two months ago, Ruby Jane was born. Named after Ashli's grandmother, she was welcomed into the joyful arms of a family full of love.

As she reflected on her beautiful new daughter, Ashli was certain that she wasn't alone in their celebration: "I was confident that some special ladies in heaven we’re jumping up and down with me, " she wrote.

"The stick has showed a plus-sign not once, not twice, but now six times and with every new addition, our life overflows with blessing. "

Their beautiful children Jadin 11, Brody 9, Dallas 7, Bentley 5, Jolie 4, and little Ruby Jane 2 months, are growing stronger every day.

"The dynamic of having girls now is all I dreamed of and more. Jolie is sassy, like her mama, and the girls are well protected by their brothers. Life is loud. Dinners are messy. And Jeremy and I are tired. But that’s just parenting and we’re having the time of our lives!"