Sometimes I can't remember what I did yesterday but I would like to tell you very clear memories from 17 years ago.
17 years and 7 months ago (give or take a day or two), we were cruising along in life with a 4 year old and a 2 year old. One day, I discovered I had hives and a serious case of them let me tell you! I was so very miserable and went to the doctor twice with no relief at all! Finally, (leaving out a few details) I went to a doctor and his question was, "Before I treat you, any chance you could be pregnant?" Immediately, I said no but he was smart and tested anyway and gave us the news our third child was on the way! We got to July and went to TN around the 4th to visit Joe and LaDonna. The A/C went out, I swelled up and was completely miserable! We came back home to IN and sat to watch fireworks and lo and behold a contraction hit! I was shocked since we had a good 6 weeks to go before this child was even due! To make a long story short, after many trips to the hospital and many sleepless days and nights for the mom AND the dad - July 25th, after 3 weeks and 17 long hours, our final child arrived! Ashley Nichole! This was a pretty happy baby let me tell you and it is a good thing she was after what I went through to get her here!!!
This is by far my most favorite picture I have of Ashley as a baby! This is her with Grandpa Thacker. I have a picture of me and my dad when I was a baby that is EXACTLY like this! I just LOVE it!!
Before I knew it, it was time for kindergarten!
I turned my back once and she was getting ready for junior high!
8th grade graduation arrived and we were so proud of her!
One of Ashley's very favorite people in the world and her biggest hero next to her dad is her brother! These two are NUTS!!
Sisters and friends - for the most part! I LOVE this picture because it is truly them!
This is Ashley surrounded by her favorite people with - I think!!!!
And this is what she is today!!
Ashley - you are my favorite youngest daughter! I CANNOT believe how you have grown up! What happened to the little "rugrat" I had running around my house?? You have brought so much laughter and joy to our funny farm! You make me proud every time I look at you - well, ok......not every time but you know what I mean! You amaze me and the way you look at life! Your dad and I are so thankful for your desire to serve God! NOTHING you do makes us as proud as that does!! I wish sometimes I had your "organizing" skills! If I want something cleaned and you are in the right mood - NO ONE can do better! You are a lot like your mom when it comes to sports although you surpassed my abilities a LONG, LONG time ago!!! I can't believe I am going to put you on a plane tomorrow morning on your 17 birthday and let you fly away to camp without me! When in the world did you get old enough for that? Remember that your dad and your brother(s) will be looking to "harm" the boys so tell them to watch out!! Ashley, this is my way of telling you that I love you and I am proud of you and I hope you have the best birthday yet!!