Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Growing Up

Its amazing to watch my children grow up.

Alarms set at 5:45 so he can get up in time to work out at the gym and make it to driver's ed before school.

Hair dryer, lip gloss, and mascara scattered across her bathroom counter each morning.

Tiny hands that use more apps on her daddy's IPhone than he does.

I spent the weekend missing my 15 year old as he went from one activity with friends to the next only to show up last night around 11 begging not to attend school this morning because he was SOOO exhausted from his weekend. He went to school this morning. I know I'm old because I'm the one that sent him without a tear in my eye regardless of his exhaustion! Laughing at my 12 year old beauty and her sense of humor. I love this girl! Dave I had a conversation yesterday about how very fun it was to parent this girl. What began as hard work with one of the most stubborn toddlers to ever walk this earth has turned into such a joy. Allie B. is one amazing girl. So beautiful, talented, athletic, smart, and fun loving. Couldn't ask for a better young lady. Watching our baby proving more and more to us that shes not so much of a baby. I watched her play on that phone all weekend and it struck me that if only they could see how very amazing and intelligent this little one is that a neurology consult wouldn't even be necessary for eval. Who cares at this point if she's caught up with her peers or if she will ever stack those dang blocks on command. I see her learn more and more about her world every single day and at this place in our journey I have QUIT caring about milestones, markers, evaluations. Its so much more about LIVING and so much less about what the "books" say she is or isn't.

My kids are growing up and its a mixed bag. There are moments when I long for them to stay little forever, and then there are those moments that the excitement of the young people they are becoming overwhelms my heart. I miss a lot, but look forward to so much more. Funny how time keeps on going.

As I prepare for Christmas I am being reminded that they are not so little anymore. The fun of shopping for them and finding that perfect gift is dwindling as they refer me to websites for things they need for this or that. Not too many surprises landing under our tree this year. Catchers gear and gloves need to be replaced and thats all Blake has asked for. New boots for Allie is the only thing she'd like to have. Not much fun anymore, but then there is our baby.

The sweet girl who doesn't know the difference between today, tomorrow, or Christmas. Our littlest one is proving to be more fun this year than ever before. A toy catalog comes in the mail and it belongs to her. She flips pages and points that tiny finger until it lands in the same place every single day. She makes us giggle as she shoves that paper in our hands and signs "please, please, please, I want." You should see the wadded mess of papers she holds on to every single day. She threatens tears with sign when I say, "maybe for Christmas, not today". She has no idea what or when Christmas is, but she knows when I say not today it means I'm not handing her that GIANT, ORANGE, PLASTIC DINOSAUR. Can you even imagine my beautiful little girl loving on that ENORMOUS, HIDEOUS thing? Well, come Christmas morning you will be able to see it for yourself when I post a picture of her with it. Her daddy is threatening to get it for her now, but I'm insisting on it waiting till Christmas. My friends are arguing with me and siding with her daddy wanting her to enjoy it today not knowing what tomorrow will hold, but I so want to see her smile on Christmas morning as she pulls the paper of that ugly toy. I'm wrapping it up today just as soon as I get it back to the house! The funniest thing about Ash and the toys she loves is that if they make the slightest of sounds, play music or light up then she will never play with them again. She is TERRIFIED of all of those things coming from a toy or book. So...we won't be putting batteries in her toys. That way they can stay silent and play right along next to her for as long as she wants. Her other requests from that catalog? No baby dolls, stuffed animals, or princess things. Nope, not for our girl. A dinosaur, a farm, a train, and an alligator. Honestly, does she not realize that her momma works hard at making her girly, frilly, and sweet? What does she not understand about who she is being raised by?

It was a good weekend. She felt good for most of it. When shes feels good its a good day for all of us. The medical issues and struggles haven't gone away and aren't any better, but we are enjoying our time here at home with Ash. She loves to have the carols playing, the lights twinkling, and frosty on the TV. I love watching her enjoy it all. I feel so blessed every single day. We don't cry that much anymore. I think we are all so focused on today and not looking at tomorrow that we have gotten good at not talking transplant and such. We don't spend our time dwelling on what we know is coming. Outside of my planning and packing for the event(which I keep hidden in her closet) I try to enjoy the now and not worry about the then.

Soccer season is winding down for Allie. One more tournament as a guest player and then nothing until this spring. Basketball is in season and I'm thrilled about that. She's considering trying out for a club volleyball team for the winter. Blake is still playing a little baseball. Not enough for him, but at least there are two more tournaments on the schedule. This weekend and then the first in December then he finishes up. High school ball should be just around the corner. Dave and I started building Ashley's library cabinets in the play room hoping to finish them this next week or two. Its one of the final steps in completing our vision for her therapy/play room. I'm excited about them. Other than all of that, we aren't doing much of anything else. Hope your homes are getting all ready for the upcoming holidays. Ours is so wonderful! I smile all day as the peace of the season floods over my soul. His timing is perfect and I know it was no accident that He allowed me to face this time in Ashley's life during this season. I need to feel the peace of His presence surrounding me and Christmas does that for me. God is good.


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