Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Surrounded By...

I sit here in our home tonight and find myself surrounded by a million little things that make me happy, and I feel blessed.  I began to make a list of those things in my mind, and it quickly turned in to a list of the million little things that made me happy not just tonight but all day.  Then the list became a list of not just today but all week.  I thought I'd document just a few.

Glitter.  Its everywhere!  Red, green, silver, pink...I've been busy glittering everything you can imagine for Ashley's 8th birthday.  It makes me smile even when I'm picking it out of my teeth!

Flowers.  They have over taken our formal dining room and have even filtered into the foyer.  I love a good party and the only thing I love more than a good party is the preparation for a good party.  It makes my heart happy to be planning an 8th birthday.  I wake up everyday and work on another piece of her party.  Its so fun!

Giggles.  My sweet girl has found her giggle again.  It was lost for the most part of last month, but its here again.  What JOY I feel as I find myself surrounded with the sounds of her laughter.  I find myself stopping to listen to it at all times of the day and into the night.  OH HOW I LOVE MY GIRL!

Bubbles.  Ash asked for bubbles for the first time in at least a year tonight and before you knew it I had filled the playroom with bubbles.  She lay on the floor and signed more and more as they floated down upon her.  It made my heart happy to see her play.  Her smile was so sweet as the bubbles landed on her nose.

Baby birds.  We now have our third nest of baby birds staying with us this spring.  I love them!  I get so attached and then my heart is so sad as they leave our home, but the short time they are with us brings me such happiness.  I love everything about them.  I love to watch the mommy and daddy preparing for them , taking care of them, and then teaching them to fly.  We have captured some sweet, sweet moments with our camera this spring.

Lists.  I'm serious.  I love lists.  I have a book full of them in front of me tonight.  Give me a good list and it can keep me busy for hours as I plan, organize, and re-write them over and over again and again.  The key to a great party is list making:)

Costumes.  The doorways of the dining room are filled with costumes tonight.  I'm so excited!  Looking forward to August 10th a little more every single day.

Baseball gear.  I love baseball because my son LOVES baseball.  Anything that can make him as happy as this game does has got to be a gift.  There are cleats, uniforms, bats, baseballs, and hats strewn about the house this week.  The team advanced to the Area playoffs after an amazing weekend of play and we are so, so happy for them.

Girl stuff.  Teenage girl stuff to be specific.  Shoes, clothes, perfumes, jewelry, hairbrushes, etc.  I love the mess of it all because I love the young girl it all belongs too.  I lay next to that young lady last night because she wasn't feeling well.  As I drew pictures on her back with my fingers my mind was flooded with memories of the little girl she used to be and the nights I used to spend doing that exact thing.  She's a beauty now.  All grown up and figuring out who she wants to be in this crazy world.  I'm so blessed to be surrounded by her.

Spring.  Everything about it makes me feel blessed.  The grass, the flowers, the fragrance, the temperatures, the freshly planted gardens.  I wake up in the morning and get happy all over again as I step out back and see the changes that have taken place overnight.

Family.  I love my family.  Dave, Blake, Allie, and Ash.  Surrounded by my biggest blessings in this life and I am so, so grateful for each and every one of them.

Music.  The relaxing sounds of Ash's favorite CD surround me tonight.  I love the instrumental Christmas Carols that play in her room all year round.   She's been drifting off to sleep to these sounds since we first met her in that NICU all those years ago.  The music brings rest to my soul as I listen to it play and I find great peace in knowing that it plays for her in our home tonight.

I could write forever about the blessings that surround me tonight.

 I could write forever about the fears that try to overwhelm me daily.

 I could write forever and ever about the Father uses my blessings to remind me that even in the midst of the hardest of circumstances He is taking care of me.

 I feel so incredibly blessed in this life.  To have been given our sweet Ashley.  To have known how it feels to truly love someone without condition.  To be witness to the miracle of her life...

God is good.  I am surrounded by His goodness.


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