Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart



We arrived back to our little yellow house in the early morning hours today and all jumped into our beds as soon as we walked in the door. Our week away was amazing and so refreshing, but there's just a little something special about the way it feels to be home again. Home just feels right to me and its here that we spend my favorite moments together. I often wonder just how good it will feel when we all call Heaven our home? I'm quite sure its going to top the way our little house feels, but for now this is what I know.

What an exciting week we had. We spent some time(lots of it actually) on the baseball field, some in the OR of yet another hospital(Dell Childrens in Austin), some at Shlitterbahn, and some on the Guadalupe River.

Our Tarheels finished 5th at the National Tournament. Our 61 game season ended with 8 full and exciting games of a possible 11 in the tournament and we couldn't be prouder of our kids. They went into overtime more than once and never lost a game by more than 1 run. We scored more runs than any other team( a total of 81) and played more innings than any other team. We never gave in to an opponent and we played some of the most exciting baseball the National Tournament saw. Like I said we couldn't have been any prouder of them than if we had walked away with the title. Blake earned a spot on the All Tournament Team and it brought tears to his dad's eyes as he was given the honor. He pitched one game, caught in all but a few innings of the remaining games, and played a little second base. He made some amazing plays and made some amazing outs at the plate and on his throws down to second base as the runners attempted to steal. We cheered until we were hoarse. Our last game was almost won by a tag he placed on a runner at second base and in the end even though we all know the game was over with that play the umpire ruled against us and the opponents won by one run. Blake will never forget that play and more importantly he will never forget that the call that is made is the call that we will have to live by. We are so proud of the respect he showed on and off of the field.

Ashley Kate kept things exciting as always. I spent my time between innings on the phone with more surgeons than I generally like to speak to. We spent 6 hours in pre-op as we waited to have her central line removed then it was decided not to have it done only to have an emergent call the next morning saying it had to be done. A few hours later it was decided to be too dangerous at this point and so for the rest of the week and this one we are "babying" a very weak central line that is not usable and not to be touched. A scary position to be in especially while traveling on vacation, but one that reminds us of her frailty and the value of each and every moment we are given with her. Eventually all agreed that her clotting factors were not stable enough to remove a central line that is in the sub clavian vein (which sits underneath the collar bone) because there would be no way to apply pressure to the vein to help stop its bleeding. At this time her surgery remains on the schedule for the 30th of July. Other than her messed up line(it actually has an aneurysm in the wall of it), she had a great week. My mom traveled with us allowing Ash to stay comfortable in the RV and allowing us the opportunity to see all of Blake's games. It also gave us time to spend with Blake and Al on the river and at the water parks. Without her help our trip would have been impossible and we are so grateful for the way she loves and takes care of Ash.

Life is busy, busy, busy. Blake will have 3 weeks off between ball season's, Al begins Tae Kwon Do tomorrow, and Ashley Kate will be turning 3 in less than 2 weeks. We still have two more characters to bring to life for her birthday party so this weekend will be spent in the shop painting Queen Frostine and Lord Licorice. We are all so excited about her birthday and can't wait to celebrate it with all our family. I need to take her birthday portraits this weekend as well.

The house is now quiet and everyone else is sleeping. I'm sorry it has taken all day to post an update. I didn't mean to worry anyone. I was hoping to share some pictures of Ash on the river, but my silly computer won't allow me to transfer them. I'm going to try again tomorrow. As I sign off tonight I would like to ask for your prayers for a few sweet transplant children whom I have learned of. I won't mention names, but I trust you will pray anyway. As my Ashley sleeps in her crib tonight across from my bed so many others sleep in hospital cribs across the country from their homes. I know the struggle their mommies go through tonight and I ache for them even though we happen to be on a good stretch at this moment. Life is fragile and it is precious and I won't take one single moment of it for granted. It is a gift and I am so very thankful for Ashley Kate's life. She is so, so sweet. Goodnight my friends. Its good to be home again. Talk to you soon. Trish


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