Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart



Whew! What a busy few days we've had. Its been so enjoyable, but I'm tired.

We discharged from the hospital Thursday evening and couldn't wait for Dave to get off work and pick us up. As soon as those papers were signed Ash and I loaded our things and headed for fresh air. We stood outside and enjoyed the rush of freedom that comes over us after being cooped up inside the hospital. 6 days with no fresh air can seem like 6 months. Looking back over that past 3 years I have no idea how we've survived those long stays without a hint of sunshine on our faces. I hope to never repeat those. Anyway, we made it home and moved Ash's crib back into our room that very night. Its just easier when she's sick to have her near. Its not pretty cramming another piece of furniture into our tiny bedroom, but its convenient. When your low on sleep convenience wins.

Thursday was a rough day for her. She just didn't feel well. She struggled with a low grade fever and vomiting for most of the day. We ran the usual practice schedule for baseball that night as well as adding in a play rehearsal for Allie. Ash hung out in the car with me and enjoyed being out of the house. We read books through most of the practice. That night she slept a little, but not as much as I would have liked for her. She made up for the lack of rest on Friday and didn't open her eyes until after 11am. I ran errands to prepare for the weekend and Dave hung out with Ash. Friday was a much better day for her. She seemed to perk up and return to her silly self. Dave and I went to the school to watch the kids in the play and his parents came to sit with Ash. The play was fantastic! Allie enjoyed it so much and Blake...well maybe not so much. He was a good sport though. Here's just a few shots from the play.

I forgot to mention to Dave that Al would be wearing a wig. It took about half of this act for him to figure out that it was her! That cracked me up. All I can say is that I am SOOOO thankful she doesn't have curly blond hair. It just wasn't our Allison, but she was so funny to see like this.

In this scene she plays the role of a tourist. They are riding on the tour bus and watching one of Jesus' parables play out before them. The role of this character required her to be "married" to her good friend Christopher. This brought on lots of discussion at our house this week! Like I shared with her, if we had to choose a guy in her class to marry we would definitely put Christopher on the top of our list. They are really good friends.

We didn't get to watch Al in her role as a thorn(that took place on Saturday evening), but we did get to see Blake's debut as a thorn. He was awesome! I mean, I've never seen a kid be a thorn before, but I'd guess he was about the best thorn I've ever seen!

After the play we hurried out to run home and grab Ash, pack up Al(to spend the rest of the weekend with her grandparents), and then headed toward Mansfield in the RV. Ash was so thrilled to be going. She LOVES the RV. As soon as we open the door and step inside her face breaks out in a smile that crosses from ear to ear. I love this silly girl! She gets great joy out of the simplest of things.

The Tarheels played two pool games on Saturday. The first ended in a tie 4-4. The second was a hard loss 6-4 in the last inning. They played a little rough earlier on Saturday. Not their best baseball, forcing them into elimination play that evening. They came out with a win late last night to stay alive in Sunday's play. Sunday was a whole new day with a whole lot of good baseball to be played.

Blake played a lot at short stop, a little of second base, and then as always caught for the Tarheels. Today he threw out 3 runners from behind the plate and that was more than exciting for Dave and I to watch. We really enjoy watching him do what he loves so much. Sunday's first game was an exciting win of 7-0 against the top seeded team of the tournament. That advanced them to the semi-finals. The next game was by far the best baseball game we've seen this season. It was a tough battle to the end and in the last inning our guys had to walk off the field. The opponents took the lead by 1 run in the last inning and then time expired. They had a great time, enjoyed the game, and learned a lot. You can't ask for much more than that. We weren't disappointed at all.

Allie played soccer on Saturday and from what we hear played incredible. She spent the second half of the game in goalie box and blocked some amazing shots. In the end her team lost to the Lady Longhorns by 2 goals. She was disappointed, but gets to play for the Longhorns as a guest player in the upcoming tournament. She has some really good friends on that team and we are looking forward to some great games in two weeks.

She went from the field back to the school for the second performance. This acting thing is something she really enjoys and we are considering allowing her to join the children's theater here in town.

Ashley Kate had a good weekend. We had the privilege of sharing a little about her with a couple of newer dads to our team and it was a joy to watch them visit with her. This morning they both greeted her, spoke directly to her and told her good morning. Ash looked up from her book, flashed them her smile and waved "hello". That blessed my heart! She is becoming more and more social each day. She is such a sweet little girl and to see the fear of others begin to disappear from her is such a blessing. I want so badly for the world to know her as we do. Once she figures out that not everyone out there is going to cause her pain I just know she's going to love people. One of the dads shared with Dave that he used what he learned of Ashley from us yesterday in his Sunday school lesson with two of the boys on the way to the game this morning. What an incredible blessing it was to hear that her story was able to be used in that way. I can't describe to you the joy that swelled in my heart. Blake's friends are so good with Ash. I'm grateful for that.

Ash has a few issues we are dealing with, but hopefully we will get a handle on them this week. She continues vomiting, has developed an injury around her mickey-button and an ulcer in her tummy. The ulcers come from the dose of Prednisone. In the past she has been on Prevacid in conjunction with Prednisone to protect her from this happening, but somehow it was overlooked this time. I'm going to make some calls and try to get her some help this week. The pain is pretty miserable and all of the vomiting only makes it worse. She is bleeding from the inside of her tummy and it is coming out the opening in her abdomen where the button is placed. Its causing her a lot of discomfort. The size of the hole has also changed with her change in size from all the fluid she held last week and so the button no longer fits well. That is causing a lot of leaking of stomach content onto her skin and its pretty acidic. This breaks down the skin around the button and it hurts too. I'm doing my best to keep it dry and to keep her comfortable.

That pretty much sums up our weekend. Its been a super busy time for us, but we are so grateful for the time we are given to spend together. Ash is coming back down a little closer to her normal size. Still peeing diapers that weigh close to 500ccs! As soon as she sheds the last of this extra fluid I'll snap some pictures to share. You wouldn't want to see her looking the way she has lately. Its pretty amazing the way her body changes. Hope you all are well. Sorry for the long post. I'll try to keep up a little better this week. I think its going to be a slower one for us. Take care guys. Trish


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