Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


The Game of Life

I used to love that game as a kid. The little cars, getting married, every once in a while you would pick up a new piece that announced you could fill your back seat with a kid or two, the buying of houses and insurance. Remember all that fun stuff? Well, guess what? I'm still playing that game and still loving it only this time its for real. There are days when I have to brace myself for whats coming my way, just Blake did here in this photo.

Then there are those days when I just hit the ground running, keeping the ball in front of me and the world behind me to the best of my ability. A lot like Al is here in the next photo. The game has kept us busy, busy, busy. Every week I find myself in the thick of it and every week I find my that my heart is so very grateful. I love the running and going. I love the having 3 kids part. I love the discussions that we have about keeping this house or moving to that. I love our profession,the office, the patients, the whole thing. Life is just blessed!

The best thing about our house this time of year is that our Ashley is in it! God has been so good to us. Oh, how incredible it has been to be here for the past six months. Can you believe she's been home six months next week? We are approaching her 2 year transplant anniversary this month. We are also approaching the one year mark since her episode of rejection( it happened a mere 5 days before the anniversary). Ashley Kate and I haven't been home for the fall season even one time in her life! Since August of 2005 we have spent every single August, September, October, November, and December in one hospital or another. We have missed out on planting our fall gardens, hanging our fall wreath on the front door, making our pumpkin patch, visiting a pumpkin patch, celebrating Blake's birthday, and eating Thanksgiving dinner with family. This year we are so excited to be home as we approach the time for each and every one of these events. The weather here in Texas has been bearable because of all of the storms in the gulf and it is almost causing us to believe that fall is just around the corner. The nurseries have gotten the first shipment of mums in and I even saw pumpkins at the grocery store this afternoon. Although I was so tempted, I knew better than to be fooled by their arrival. The temperatures won't last and the plants would die. The pumpkins would rot before the first of October because of the heat and I would be sad. Instead of being suckered, I decided to settle on a new pumpkin spice Yankee and am now sitting in the family room dreaming of Ashley's first fall at home and making plans for a photo shoot.

Each day Ash is looking better and better. She has grown so much this summer and I just ordered her fall clothes from Gymboree. She is so,so happy and silly and I love her so very much. She has a really busy week ahead of her. It begins with an eye appointment at 8am tomorrow morning and ends with a GI appointment in Shreveport on Friday. In between she will have her first riding lesson Wednesday morning(we are so excited!!!) and therapy on Thursday. She will attend 3 soccer games, 2 baseball practices, 2 Tae Kwon Do classes, 2 soccer practices, lunch at the school with the kids and a few other odds and ends thrown in there. She loves all the running and going and is taking wonderful two hour naps every afternoon. Her appetite is getting better and better and she now adds $50.00 of her very own to our grocery bill every single week. Dave and I agree it is the most exciting $50.00 we have ever spent. She is eating between 8-10 jars of level 2 and 3 foods a day. I'm really excited about finding out how much she has grown at her doctors appointment.

So much is going on in this household, and Dave and I are busy trying to figure out just how to sneak off with the kids for a trip or two before the end of the year. We aren't sure of where we are going but have a couple of plans in the works. Blake and Allison aren't little anymore and we are trying to make as many memories as we possibly can with these two young people before hanging out with mom and dad isn't all its cracked up to be. Just the planning stage has them buzzing with excitement and its really fun to watch. Blake will be turning 13 in under a month and is now attending youth group with some of his friends. His eyes light up when he talks about baseball, cars, or college and the only one of those things I'm ready to listen to is the baseball part. I just hold my breath when the others come up, and I try to slow time down as much as I possibly can. Allison is as beautiful as ever. The other night she passed in front of us as Dave and I were visiting on the couch and her daddy said, "Man, she's really beautiful isn't she?" I had to agree. A touch of lip gloss and it somehow transforms our little girl into a young lady. I can't even describe to you how frightening and exciting that is all at the same time. She and her dad have planned a date night this week. Again, trying to slow down the hand of time and make as many memories as possible while their still little enough to want to.

The Sentinels( Blake's soccer team) have won their first two games and the Cyclones( Allie's team) won their season opener yesterday with a score of 2-1. Allie blocked an incredible 3 attempts at goal with her body and one time I thought they were going to kick her in the face. She never backed down and when she came up with that ball and the other team came up without a point we all went crazy on the sidelines. It was so much fun to see her play! We are anxiously awaiting our Tarheel tournament schedule, and in the mean time Blake is hitting so well! As I watch him at practice I can't believe how much the guys have grown and how strong they have all become. We can no longer practice at our old field because they hit the ball too hard and too far and the cars that pass by are in danger of receiving a baseball in the windshield.

Life is busy. Just like in the game. Some days everything is going great and then out of no where a problem arises and we have to figure out how to get back on track. I'm just thankful that our little problems that like to pop up lately haven't had anything to do with our baby gherkin. For that we are more than grateful.

If you stuck with me this long then I am amazed! Sorry its been such a long and rambling post. I felt really good this weekend and think I'm finally back to myself. I promise not to go so many days without posting this week. Look what happens if I don't jot things down each day! Anyway, hope you all are busy playing the game and loving it as much as I am. Take care. Trish


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