Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Resting, Relaxing, Reflecting

Our day consisted of resting(after being up with the pickle all night we slept until NOON!), relaxing on the beach(I love this shot of Ash's toes as she was napping in her stroller), and reflecting on all of the gifts He has given to us. At one point during the day I looked at Dave and said, "I feel so rested!" It has been a long time since I have been able to say those words. This weekend has been exactly what we needed. No schedule, no agenda, no responsibilities, no appointments, no problems. We have taken our time getting to wherever we were headed. We have had no definite plans in mind. We just load the kids and go and where ever we end up is where we are. It has been wonderful.

We enjoyed a late lunch and then spent the afternoon and evening on the beach. Ash and I sat in the sand together and watched the big kids(all 3 of them) play in the water. She was so content to be snuggled in my lap as we listened to the waves roll in. I was so relaxed as she played with my necklace and I played with her toes. She felt especially cuddly today as I held on to her. After cuddling for a while she fell asleep and I laid her in her stroller to finish her nap. As she slept I walked along the beach and collected a bag of sea shells to place in her baby box along with some of the photographs I took of her on the beach. Someday I will enjoy showing them to her and sharing all of my memories of her first trip to the beach. I will have to save the two swimsuits she wore this weekend and place them in the box as well. I don't know why but they seemed to represent something special to me. Maybe the beginning of life without chemotherapy? I'm not sure why I loved seeing her in them so much, but I did.

This next picture was taken shortly after her nap. I just love the way she wakes up. She has this smile that spreads across her face as she opens her eyes to see who ever is there. Lucky for her she opened her eyes and got to see her favorite person in the whole world. It was her dad. These two have a very special relationship. I know Ash loves me, but she REALLY loves her daddy. There is something about him that brings out the happiness from inside of her. I love watching them together. They laugh and play and have so much fun with each other. My heart smiles as I watch him love this baby girl. I ask him all the time, "Do you love her?" just so I can see the look in his eyes as he tells me how much he does. Its the same with all of our children. They all love me, but they have this amazing relationship with their dad. He really is the best father I have ever seen. He is never too busy, too tired, or too distracted by "life" to give them his time and attention. Everything else in life can wait, but they can't. He knows how brief their childhoods will be and he takes those extra steps to make sure they know how much he loves them.

Things in our lives may not always be easy or perfect, but our life is good and it is so very blessed. Its days like today that I look around me and realize that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Sitting on that beach this evening holding my sweet Ashley Kate and listening to my Blake, Allie, and Dave laugh as they played in the ocean was so good for me. I can't help but reflect on all He has done and is doing in our lives. As I was shooting pictures of the evening sky above the gulf I was reminded of His many promises. In the view of my lens I saw a rainbow that had formed in the distance. I didn't see it until I looked through my camera. It brought a smile to my heart as I whispered "Thank You, I won't forget" to the Father. He is true to His word. He does keep His promises. He really does.

Now that all of these beautiful people are sleeping peacefully(even the little one), I think I will slip off to take a shower. The beach is nice, but its not so nice when it lands between your sheets. My feet are still covered in sand and I won't be able to sleep until I have washed it all away. Thankfully I don't have to hang on to the sand to hang on to the memories we made in it today. We have one more day to play before heading back toward that little yellow house we like to call home. Tomorrow holds more memories we have yet to make and I will close my eyes and wonder just exactly what they may be. Take care my sweet friends and may you feel the Fathers hands as they hold you close to His heart tonight. Trish


At 1:35 AM , Blogger Carol Edwards said...

HI!! I have followed Ashleys story from the beginning, i have prayed for her , today i am so thankful that my prayers and others prayers have been answered. I am so touched by the pictures you have posted that i have tears of joy streaming down my face! I am so excited to see Ashley enjoying her life and her family. GOD is REAL and GOD is GOOD and GOD does EXSIST!! You people are amazing and theres no doubt that Ashley is loved very much. Thanks for sharing all you have shared about Ashleys journey. Have fun on your vacation and have a safe trip home.

At 6:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post! Those are definatly some lucky kids to have parents that love a appprieciate their childhood and lives so much! Take care and have a safe trip home! ~Chan~

At 7:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodness, these posts are so beautiful and wonderful.... I could just read them all day. I LOVE that y'all are experiencing all of this together. Praising God that you have been given this chance! I pray this is the beginning of a more *normal* life for all of you.

p.s. I've really been enjoying all the pictures.... looks like you've made some technical strides with Blogger, Trish. :)

At 9:40 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been away out of town trying to get some rest from our stressfull life...I had to check in on Ashley, I should have known not to do it when I had just put on mascara! She is looking so good and how it brings tears to my eyes to think of you watching her look out at the ocean. The picture of her from the back with the big hat on is so precious. It would be gorgeous blown up and as screensaver. Can you tell that I am smitten with her? LOL! God is using you Trish to teach me so much. I have wallowed in my situation over the past year, hopeless, desperate for God's direction in our lives, feeling so trapped. Your life is an example to me of being thankful fo ALL things. Thank you & my prayers are continually with Ashley's healing and God's continued strength in this adversity. Praise be to God for His glorious works! Colleen in Ohio

At 12:22 PM , Anonymous Suzanne said...

Just got in from church...had to see how you guys were doing...& I love the pictures.....she is so beautiful as was this post.....Praying...

At 10:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just looked at pictures of a miracle. To see Ashley on the beach with no wires and cords attached to her is a true miracle. She looks so good, but more importantly, she looks so loved. I have followed your blog since last Sept. and I am in awe of God's work in your life. What a beautiful family and a beautiful day! Thank you for sharing.

At 11:16 PM , Blogger Ivey said...

I want to tell sweet Ashely congratulations for finishing chemo. Looks like everyone is having a great time at the beach.


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