Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Around our House

Around our house we are learning lots of things.

Ashley Kate is learning how to crawl. Its amazing to watch. She has taught herself. Hands and knees at 4and1/2 years old. She crawls across the rug. It leaves us speechless. We hold our breath and try to be very still as we watch. Monday Blake called to announce, "Did you know she can crawl!" The excitement in his voice caused a huge smile to spread across my face. I had seen her crawl a couple of times last week and had not mentioned it to him. Shame on me! He was thrilled to discover her newly acquired skill, realizing just how HUGE it was.

I'm learning that our Allison is growing up. Really growing up. I sit and listen to her talk on and on and share story after story of a certain someone whom I am suspecting is her first crush. Trying not to give it away that I have figured it out and to just smile and nod as I listen. Its something I know her daddy and I aren't quite ready for, but in its own way is just too sweet. In addition to all of this excitement I took her to experience another first this week. She was so excited! Until it actually happened. Then the look on her face was something I know I'll never forget. Not much else to share except that she is looking more beautiful than ever and each time I tell her how nice they look she grins and her eyes sparkle.

Blake is learning how to live without a baseball in his hand. Its not been an easy week. My heart is so broken for him as I watch the range of emotions wash over him each day. Today was a hard day. Really hard. He shared with me his frustration and even his anger over the place he finds himself in. Being idle is very, very difficult for him. He is not one to sit inside. He wants to be in the cage. He wants to swing a bat. He wants to throw a ball. He wants to practice tomorrow. He wants to play this weekend. None of those things can actually happen. The only thing that brings me peace about his situation is knowing it is temporary. It will heal and this time will pass. It will. I hope. I'm afraid for him this weekend. He insists on going to the tournament to be with his team. I just pray that he can adjust a little more to the idea of not playing before he travels there. Watching another player take his place on the team is going to be very hard for him. Just talking about it has him struggling tonight. I've realized this week that even though he tries very hard to be a man he is still a kid. A kid with a broken elbow that has broken his heart. He's hurting and I'm hurting for him.

Other than all of that drama not much is going on with us. Just thankful I get to be the mom to these three amazing kids. Whether its crawling, crushing, or crying, I'm blessed to be the one they share it with.

Thanks so much to all of you who have shared that you are praying for Blake during this time. I'm convinced God can use this for good in his life. I've learned that I grow more when I'm being challenged and so I'm counting on that happening for my son too. He assures me he is praying for the heart issues that this is causing in his life as well as for quick healing(don't guess it hurts to ask for REALLY quick healing does it?). Hope you all have a blessed week.


Dealing with Disappointment

What a tough thing to learn. Especially at 14.

Blake's elbow is broken. Last weekend was by far the toughest weekend he has ever had behind the plate. I knew he was hurting. I think everyone at one point could tell. The umpire told him to take some time, walk it off, gather himself. So he did. He continued through the day and the next. He caught 27 out of 28 innings.

We thought he was struggling all this week with some deep bruising. His thought process is that it would work itself out. He threw Monday, hit and threw Tuesday. Went to practice Wednesday and worked on throw downs from behind the plate. He left practice in a lot of pain. This bruising wasn't getting any better. Thursday he rested. Friday in practice he couldn't even toss a baseball. He left without hitting. Saturday things were rough. Just annoying pain in his elbow. Loss of the use of his arm for most anything.

Dave looked at me Saturday morning and said, " I think it may be broken." Sinking disappointment settled in as I tried my best to think positive. There is no way its broken. No way. I mean, he used it all week long.

We shot films and sure enough there it was. A break in the growth plate. His right elbow. His throwing arm.

Not sure how to describe to you the rest of the day. Deep disappointment. Frustration. Blake is very discouraged, very disgruntled and very grumpy. I know his heart is hurting and because we know that we are hurting too.

We are grateful they had this weekend off. No tournament. There is no way he will be playing next weekend and probably not the next. Our hope is that by the third weekend he might be ready, but if he is not I can assure you we won't allow him to risk his future seasons for this one. Healing time is anywhere from 2-5 weeks. We are using micro current therapy round the clock along with some laser therapy as well. The micro current increases ATP(the healing component in our cells) production by 500%. The more diligent he is with his therapy the quicker healing will occur. He knows that.

I'm afraid the real disappointment won't hit him until the first pitch of the first game he is sitting out of is thrown. Then its going to get tough. Life lessons learned at an early age.

My kid is tough. I've always known that about Blake. I knew it last weekend as he took hit after hit after hit from wild pitches. I just never knew he was tough enough to play with a broken elbow and still manage to throw a runner out at second who was attempting to steal on him.

Blake I'm so proud of you. I'm sorry for your pain and your disappointment, but if I know anything about you I know that you won't allow this to keep your from following your dreams. This is just a speed bump along the path. You can come back from this. I know you can. Love you, kid. I really, really do.


My weekend favorites

Ashley Kate had a wonderful time "walking" around the soccer fields. She looks so big when she's standing up like this. Some days its hard to remember she's almost 5 years old. I guess its because I carry her most of the time, change diapers, and spoon feed her still. In so many ways it seems as though she's still our baby, but then when I glance over and see her looking like this I'm reminded she's a little girl.

I love this next shot. Allie's SAT scores go down point by point each weekend as she directs the ball with her "headers". Most of us would cringe and try to move out of the way of a flying ball coming toward our heads, but this happens to be one my girls favorite moves. In the first game Saturday she had 6 of them. Its really awesome, even if that SAT score keeps going down. I captured the ball coming off her head in this first one.

Her newest move as of late is to use her chest to knock the ball down out of the air. It looks so cool when she does this. She admits that it hurts pretty bad, but she likes the control it gives her. Again, one of my very favorite shots taken this weekend.

I'm really proud of her ball control. She's worked hard at it. Allie is one of the most aggressive players you'll come across. She can take a hit and keep on running. Unfortunately the girls on the other end of that hit usually can't. Not sure how many players had run ins with Allie this weekend but I'm pretty sure they won't soon forget. She's really amazing. I love watching her play. She is determined not to stop when going for the ball and if that means needing to go through a wall of opponents then so be it. ;)

So this is probably my millionth photograph of my son catching. Its basically all he does. He's a great out fielder, a pretty good second base man, but a seasoned catcher. I love watching him play this game. Really love it. It was probably one of the hardest weekends he has had in a while. We've worked our way through lots of ice packs the last two nights. He's actually still icing his left knee at this moment. His arms are insane. His right arm was numb for most of the second game. I guess you can only block so many balls till you start to lose the feeling in it.

I knew he was in bad shape after last night, but to see him play today you would have never known it. He did a great job for the two games we played this afternoon. Some games are harder than others. Some pitchers are better than others. You just never know whats going to be thrown at you, but he handled it well. I'm really, really proud of him. He called all his own pitches today and that's super exciting for me to watch.

Some times you lose, some times you win. Its not the wins or loses that really matter to us. Its more about the time we spend with our kids each weekend. Its about the life lessons they are learning through hard work, dedication, long practice weeks, commitment, team work and coaching. It doesn't always go their way, but they are growing as young people each and every time they step on those fields. I'm so grateful for their talents. So grateful for the strong healthy bodies God blessed Blake and Allie with. So grateful for the friendships and the memories being made. Both the older kids learned tough lessons this weekend. Things they will take with them into adulthood and I can honestly say I'm very, very proud of how well they held it together. In the game of life we sometimes hurt and what better way to learn about that than on the field. God is using these experiences in the lives of my children and I'm excited to see what He's going to do with them in the coming years. Ashley Kate's new found stability and freedom? Its just icing on the cake! Wow, our God is good! and I am blessed!


Tournament Update?

Well, I knew it would be a crazy weekend, but I had no idea I would still be waiting to hear at 11:15pm if Allison's team had advanced to tomorrow's play. Call me cranky, BUT I placed a call to her coaches at 8:00pm and I'm still waiting not too happily to find out whether or not I need to get her to the fields before leaving for Blake's tournament(over an hour away).

This morning I sent Blake to his tournament with friends while I went to the soccer tournament with Allie and Ashley. Allie played an awesome game and they won in a shut out by more points than I can even remember. I hurriedly left the fields and made my way over to Blake's first game of the day. They also won their game. It was 10-1. As he was playing his first game I was receiving updates by phone about Allie's second game. It ended in a tie 2-2. Neither of their next games ended well for them. Allison's team lost 1-0 and Blake's team lost 5-4.

Tonight I've got a very sunburned 12 year old who fell asleep in the middle of our bed and a beaten and bruised 14 year old. At last count right before he went to bed he had 8 bruises on his arms(2 of them really nasty) from blocking pitches. His arms are beat up. I've never seen him look this bad after two games. Never. He is so sore and we are hoping by morning things will look better for him than they do tonight. It always makes me laugh to hear the coach go on and on about what GREAT pitching was thrown during the games when the catcher looks as though he was in a fight and came out on the losing end. If the pitching was that great don't you think the ball would have ended up in his glove? Call me crazy along with tired and cranky but it makes sense to me. Oh, well he is doing what he loves. He's been catching behind the plate since he was 4 years old and I'll tell you one thing he is a really good "blocking catcher". That's the first question Pudge asked him the day he met him. "Are you a blocking catcher?" and Blake answered "yes sir!" I dare say Pudge Rodriguez would be proud if he could see Blake tonight.

Ashley Kate had a great day. She laughed and played with her grandparents at the soccer fields once I left for Blake's tournament. She is so tired from all the playing that I can hear her snoring all the way down the hall. She had so much fun today. I love to see her so happy!

I really don't think I'm going to hear from Allie's coach. Not sure what to do about that. I need to leave here by 9:30 to have Blake in Nacogdoches by 11:00. Don't know if I need my girls to go with me or if Allie needs to be at her fields for an 11:00 semi-final match. I really have no idea. If thats the case it would have been nice to know something so I could have made arrangements for one or the other of my big kids to catch a ride in the right direction. I can only be in one place at a time.

Its been a great day, just a LONG one. I took some amazing pictures of all three of the kids today, but I'm too tired to walk out to the car and grab the camera so I can load them. Maybe I'll add them to this post tomorrow? What a blessing it is to have these days to spend with my kids. I wouldn't miss this time with them for anything in the world. I just know I'm blessed. Well, I guess I'm off to sleep on the couch and I'll have to figure out what direction to go come morning. Hope I get everyone where they are supposed to be. The Texas Pride just might be short a mid-fielder if I don't hear from those coaches!



1 parent + 3kids + 2 ball tournaments + two different towns = a very busy weekend

All I can say is that by Monday morning I'm going to be worn out. Wearing a smile on my face from watching my kids do what they love to do, but still worn out.

Hope yours is great.


Good night Sweet heart

My dear sweet Ashley Kate,

Its very, very late or I guess I should say very, very early. You my sweet girl were allowed a very long nap while your brother and I went to hitting practice tonight. Why? I'm not real sure, but its in the past and it happened so now you and I sit here paying the price. Together.

To be honest my sweet girl, I would have it no other way. I'd sit up with you any night, any time because I know how very precious these moments are with you. I love you Ash. I love you so very much. Even though I know our day will be starting very early and we will both be moving slowly because of our late night adventure.

Ash, I could look at you a million times and never grow tired. Each time I stare into your face I fall in love with you more and more. Your eyes are sleepy. Although I know you are disagreeing with me. They are beautiful and heavy, and tired, and so sleepy. Your hands are the tiniest, the softest, and the most amazing that I have ever felt inside of mine. I love to hold them. I love to hold you. I just do.

Ashley Kathrine Adams, if you don't drift off to sleep soon then I'm afraid you may be lying in that big girl bed of yours all alone because this mommy is struggling to keep her eyes open. Yes, I know you are helping me by sticking your fingers into them. I appreciate it, I really do since they are so soft, but I'm losing the battle. Yes, I do hear you saying "up" again and again(did I forget to mention that Ash is saying the word "up" now? She is. For real and using it in context. She understands what it means and her "p" sound is so amazing. So amazing). I can't pick you up anymore tonight. Its time to go to sleep. Please? Lets go to sleep.

So goodnight sweet heart, I'll be back in to wake you up shortly that is if you do decide to sleep for a moment or two.

Mommy loves you.


What do you say...

when you begin to realize

that your baby is growing up

and the dreams you had for her that you feared were dead

start to live again?

As a parent you never really give up on those broken dreams. Even though years go by and they don't come true. They still live deep inside of your heart and you still long for them to come to pass. You continue to push, encourage, and pray that some day, some way, what you so desperately want for your child will happen for them. Today I witnessed the re-birth of one of my dreams for my Ashley and what joy welled up inside of me. I really do believe that her chair is only temporary. She's going to get this. She is.

21 independent steps with the help of her walker today = the freedom to run miles and miles in her tomorrows.

Every day is a miracle. A living, breathing, miracle of our God who just happens to be my daughter. My beautiful girl. Thank you for praying for our Ashley. Through the long, scary, unsure days of her life. Thank you for not forgetting to pray for our baby gherkin. It has made all the difference.


Easter 2010

More than blessed!