Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Up and Running

Wow, its been a while! but here we are up and running once again(finally)!

Our computers have been down. One down and the other completely out. Its taken us much longer than I had ever anticipated to get them going once again. My last two posts were actually written on Dave's office computers because mine had been out for a couple of weeks. Now as I look back at the date I see its been close to a month since I had an actual functioning computer in our home.

So...what have we been up to?

Crawling, snacking, riding bikes, walking, horse back riding and swimming. Yes, Ashley Kate is doing all of these things. Not all completely independent but still enjoying them every day. I have much to share in the way of video if I can get it loaded. The bike riding video is enough to bring you to tears. She is doing such an AMAZING job. She looks SO cute on her big girl Amtryke. We are so, so proud of her.

In addition to all of her growing developmental progress she too is actually doing some growing. Her legs are getting longer and longer. They are also developing a little bit of muscle tone which is an incredible thing all in its own. Her hair is long and shiny. So pretty. Her skin is turning an envious shade of brown as she sits at the soccer fields each weekend. Her feet have grown two sizes and she is now wearing a size 7. She is losing yet another tooth(still I find this crazy). Her weight is actually holding steady at about 37 lbs. She is thinning out though because of those longer legs. She is up to a size 5T in most of her clothing. Her baby toys are all but gone as is any sign of our tiny little gherkin. She is growing up before our eyes and will be 5 years old before we know it. As soon as school is out we will begin building the props for her birthday party. I'm so excited about it!

Ashley Kate is still the sweetest thing. Beautiful and smiley. Cuddly and silly. She loves her daddy more than anything and continues to ask when he will be home all day long. She can say the word "UP" when wanting to be held or helped to stand. She can also say "HIP" when wanting a snack. This works for pretzels, crackers, chips, or french fries. She thinks they are all called chips. She's not actually biting any of these snacks, but she can lick them till they are soggy at which time she tosses them(literally) and requests another. You should see the snack piles on my floors(or perhaps maybe you shouldn't)! Ash is happy. She is feeling better than she ever has and we are so, so happy for her. There are moments in our days when I am overcome by emotion as I steal a glance at our girl. The normal times I so desperately longed for day after day are here. What a gift a day at home truly is. No drama, no fear, no worry. Just a day of snacks, laundry and playtime. I wouldn't trade the mundane for ANYTHING!

In the quieter moments of my days I find myself praying for her. For her to talk, to walk, to eat. My mind drifts to ideas of a take down procedure and a life free of ostomy bags and break down for my girl. Still I'm not ready to jeopardize her current quality of life and risk a hospital stay where the days and the events are so unpredictable. For now we are happy and I'd like to keep it that way for as long as I can. In the back of our minds we know how quickly her life can change and so the idea of electively choosing hard times is not that appealing. Still I wonder what her life will be like when the bowel is placed back inside of her abdomen and the only visible evidence of her transplant will be the scars. Someday we may choose this for her. Just not today.

Allie is as feisty as ever. Getting into her fair share of scrapes. That girl of ours is an absolute beauty(still crushing on the same young man at her school and thinking I am none the wiser). Lots of drama in the winding down of her sixth grade year and I can honestly say that I'll be glad when its all over. There are lots big decisions being made for Allie and we still haven't come to final over any of them. Wondering where she will be attending school next year is the biggest. We love her school for so many reasons and then there are so many reasons that we don't. Honestly the tuition burden seems to get bigger every year. She would love the same opportunities Blake has been given and I think she deserves those, but its REALLY hard to think of sending her into a public school situation. Anyway, lots to pray about. She is playing some of the best soccer of her life and I can't describe to you how proud we are of her as we watch her on the field. We are also trying to decide if she should switch to club soccer to have a better shot at playing on the high school team. Soccer is just one more reason we are leaning toward moving her out of her current school. They won't allow her the opportunity to play and this is what she does. Anyway, her team won the league title once again and will be traveling to compete in the Tournament of Champions in Dallas in a few weeks. Before that tournament they get the opportunity to play in another tournament in Tyler. So our girl is excited. Really excited.

Blake is healing. Its been one of the hardest times in his life. For him and us. This week he is working hard at rehab. He is really hoping to play in this weekends tournament, but I'm not sure he will get the opportunity. This Saturday will be 4 weeks from the time of the injury and healing was said to take place between 2-5. He is hopeful. Not at a 100% yet, but he hasn't been able to swing a bat or throw a ball all of this time. I'm hoping he hasn't lost his season over this. He loves the game so much and just wants his life to go back to normal. In other news, he was inducted into the junior national honor society. Along with his closest friend, his girl friend and her closest friend. That was an honor we were all so proud of them for. They are such great young people. They really are. I couldn't be more pleased with the group of kids Blake has chosen to surround himself with. Just quality young people. He has had a great year( I think Allison(his girl friend) has had a lot to do with that. He remains a joy to parent. A true joy. I look at my son and my heart swells. He is so much like his dad. The very best parts of his dad are inside of Blake. I love that!

School is almost over. Summer can't come soon enough. We plan on hanging out in the pool, on the ball fields, perhaps making a quick trip to the beach at some point, and celebrating our miracle girls 5th birthday. Life is blessed. Some days are harder than others, but you can't deny how very blessed we are. God is good.

Hope life is good in your homes. Missed you guys. Trish


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