Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


At our house...

... You'll find a family of 5. Inside our walls you will see a fully decorated Christmas tree. Its complete with all 16 of our family ornaments that have been collected one by one each year we have been together. Each ornament has our names, our pets names, and the year. They are all handmade and hand painted. Each chosen to represent that year and all it held for our family. Of all the ornaments on our tree these family ornaments are the most special to me. I love to look back and see how the Father took Dave and I from just the two of us to the three of us in 1995, and then the four of us in 1998, and then the five of us in 2005. All five of us. Our family is complete. I love that. I love that we have been given a Blake, an Allison, and an Ashley Kate. Oh, how grateful I am to be us.

At our house tonight we finally finished a battle of Risk. It only took 3 days to play and only took Blake 3 days to dominate the entire globe and knock us off one by one. I'm not kidding you when I say he plays to win in EVERYTHING he does. Its exhausting to play games like Risk or Monopoly with this child. Although he does make me laugh until my sides ache with his strategies and plans for victory. This child is serious when it comes to winning.

At our house tonight Allie and I began our traditional holiday puzzle. The dining room table is now occupied with a 1000 little pieces that we will systematically fit together one by one until our picture is complete. I love puzzles. Not because I love puzzles, but because I love the time it gives me with my family. As the puzzle is being fit together you will find one or two or maybe three and sometimes even all four of us there together hunched around the pieces working and fellowshiping. I really love what it does. Puzzles bring us together. Maybe only for a moment or two in passing from room to room, but sometimes for hours. I encourage you to get one and give it a try. I've had some of my favorite conversations with the kids while working away during the holidays.

At our house tonight I "let" Blake whip me in a game of ping pong. I was just too easy on him for fear of making him cry. I wouldn't want to do that to my son. He needs to think he is the ping pong champ in this house. You know, I'm building his self esteem.

At our house tonight you would have found our tiny pickle snuggled in the crook of Blake's arm as they read "5 silly monkeys" together. They were both so very content to be together.

At our house tonight Allie scooped up our baby and carried her to their room to tuck her into her crib. You know that room she waited and waited and waited for her baby sister whom she waited and waited and waited for to get to sleep in. She sleeps better with Ashley Kate in her place. Its so precious to tip toe into our girls room and see them both fast asleep. Its so wonderful to here Dave ask as he walks in the door, "Where's the girls" and for me to answer him, "In their room." I LOVE that! Our girls. Their room. God is so good!

At our house tonight you can hear the sounds of Christmas carols playing and smell warm baked pumpkin seeds that have just come out of the oven.

At our house tonight you will find a fluffy white puppy who is now a year old that made her appearance as the surprise of a life time a year ago for the hurting heart of our oldest daughter. I looked over at that silly dog tonight as she was all snuggled up on the freshly folded laundry and was thankful for her.

At our house tonight I am happy and grateful. I am content to be me. I am soaking up all the moments I possibly can so that I can store them in my memory never to be forgotten and to be readily available if we ever have to leave for a while again.

At our house tonight as tired as I am, I am hesitant to lay my head down for not wanting this evening to end. An evening where we chose to let all those places we were supposed to be go on without us and just stay home together. It was such a healing time for my heart. I'm so glad we chose to stay in. We all needed it.

And now it is time, at our house tonight, to go snuggle up close to my best friend in this world and let my heart rest while I am safely tucked in his arms. God surely blessed me the day we met. I am so grateful. Good night my friends. Trish


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