Life lately has been bananas.
I don’t know what it is…but the end of the school year always kicks my hiney. On top of that, I have the privilege of being a part of two wonderful boards/committees and for some reason, my worlds collided this week and I had a meeting Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. This hasn’t happened before and I don’t expect it to happen again…but let’s just say my Sleep Number score has been extremely low this week because I’m getting home waaaaaaay past my bedtime. #zzzzzzzz Needless to say, I need a weekend (the kiddos’ have a four day weekend!), so here’s hoping life lately slows down just a bit (why do I feel doubtful about that???). Bring. On. Summer.
I pinned this quote to my Summer Pinterest Board 🙂 .
We had been swimming the other night, and I got out at the end and watched a few minutes…with Poppy. She’s always watching those kiddos 🙂 .
My hairstylist took this pic of Madeley and me looking at pictures of Britt 🙂 . They come home TODAY!
Andrew and I went into our room the other night and found this. Hmmmmm? Do we sleep on the floor?
On Friday, Ashby and I walked to the big kids’ school for their Field Day (Andrew and Madeley met us there). We were walking and I told her we should take a picture because it was her first day of summer (her last day of preschool was the day before). I took this sweet picture and posted it on Instagram…well later, she wanted to see the pic and when I showed her, she made a comment about her arm. It was the first time she had seen a picture of herself and then verbally communicated something negative to me about the way she looked. It was a hard moment. I love this beautiful girl so much…and I just want the very best for her life, but I know there will always be hard moments. She lives with a physical disability day in and day out so well, that you could almost forget she has one…but she does. It just broke my heart that at four, she for the first time, was critical of herself.
Field Day just felt extra fun this year! Both of my big kids had a BLAST!
At one of the events, Andrew raced Smith. These two were cracking me up!
Field Day was over for my kids’ grades at 11:30, so we walked to lunch.
Madeley just makes me laugh!
They were having a “slumber party” in the hallway.
Friday night! Can you spot Ashby?
On Saturday, both of these guys had their final baseball/tee ball games. It was a great season and I’m so proud of them!!
We had dinner at this guy’s house on Saturday. It’s a shame he’s not cute! Ha!
My big and my little.
We had a well visit at Scottish Rite on Tuesday. We just LOVE that children’s hospital so much!!!
Well, that’s a little look at life lately. Happy happy happy Thursday, friends!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says
I’m so envious of the kids, they’re having the best childhood. Oh, AND a four day weekend, lucky duckies!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
Bless sweet Ashby’s heart!! ❤️
Cannot wait to hear all about Miss Britt on Erika’s blog! Praying sweet Ashby doesn’t stay critical over herself. Love reading your blog!
Sheaffer Sims says
Sweet Ashby is going to do big BIG things. That girl is my hero. xoxo
Narci Dreffs says
I just love that picture of Ashby at Scottish Rite! We love that precious girl so much!! Xo
Awww poor Ashby!!! She is such a trooper. And she is GORGEOUS!!!! My prayers are with her every day.
Amy Heinl says
I live with lymphedema which causes physical disfigurement in both of my legs and often get stares…but I am reminded daily that I was created in the image of our Savior…sweet Ashby was created in His image as well…so just keep reminding her of that. She is such a beautiful little girl with such a wonderful spirit and that is what the world sees…not her arm (which does look like the treatments have been helping). She is surrounded by the love of all of you and that will always give her strength and carry her through.
Oh Amy I’d love to get in touch with you. My sweet daughter who is 10 now was born with primary lymphedema in her right foot and lower leg. She wears a daily toe compression and leg compression. I pray everyday that she will have a normal and happy life. Especially teenage years! She’s becoming more self conscience at times and she is perfect to us!
Lori Ann says
Please let Ashby know she has a fan here! Her photos are so lovely and lively! Every person is unique, special and perfect in God’s eyes!
What a hard moment that is for sweet little Ashby and also for your Mama heart. Very hard moments. My heart goes out to you.
Lizzie @ This Happy Life says
My son has his field day today! I can’t wait to go with my girls and watch for a little. End of the year is pretty crazy around here too, there is so much going on in elementary school!
My son, the second kid of my four, was born with a condition that leaves him with a disfigured ear (microtia atresia). It isn’t immediately obvious, and he doesn’t require any auditory assistance. Most people don’t even notice.
Poor Ashby. What a tough moment! However, I would love to tell you it gets easier. It doesn’t. My son is in fourth grade now and handles himself very well. If you ask him about his ear he will tell you “I was born that way. It’s the way God made me.” All through preschool none of the kids ever said anything about it. Early elementary…nothing. But lately he has told us it bothers him to look different. Some kids have pointed it out. As the kids get older they unfortunately begin to pick out their differences and are often not very nice. He will have to have surgery or surgeries to create a new ear, but it still may not be ‘perfect’. It breaks my heart when he says he just wants to be normal. I wish Ashby the best, and you too, because there will be some heavy moments, but I believe with love and support she’s gonna do great things!
On a positive note, he has good friends at school that support him. And family too! We’re looking at surgery dates and hospitals and so forth. Much to be thankful for as well!!
*sorry for the long comment*
Lisa D says
What a precious photo of your big girl and your little girl in matching dresses. Smith sure seems like a great brother! Happy Thursday!
I was so captured by Ashby’s smile, I didn’t even notice her arm. Enjoy your long weekend and sweet summer time!
Same here. I had to scroll back up to see what the issue was! She’s such a beautiful little girl and seems like she’s a tough cookie too!
Shan Rocha says
My ❤️ breaks for Ashby knowing she will always go through hardship but everything happens for a reason and it will only make the sweet girl stronger and more determined! She is precious!!
Jenny L says
I love your family, Shay! Precious Ashby is who God made her to be. And you are the mom chosen for her. I pray God will give you what you both need to navigate through. He will!!! I love reading about your family. Thank you for sharing with us yourself and beautiful family.
Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams says
You can always see Ashby’s spirit through your pictures Shay! Hopefully she’ll drawn from that in the coming years. She’s so lucky to have a loving family 🙂 —Yes to almost summer!
Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams
Ashby is so beautiful! When I look at pictures, I just see her great, big, beaming smile! You are such a wonderful forever family for her.
Alexis deZayas says
So sweet! Can’t wait to hear about the Slaughters bringing home sweet Britt!
Ashby’s comment hurt my heart, too. I don’t want her to feel anything negative. She is so beautiful and has that sparkling smile. You are a wonderful Mama and I know that God will give you the words to say. I’m sure He is already doing that. Much love!
Oh sweet and beautiful Ashby! She has great parents that will assure her she is beautiful!! yay for Britt coming home!!
Shay, is Ashby’s arm painful? I live with a physical disability as well and as I grow older (I’m 34!) I’ve been able to really have a healthy outlook on the physical part but pain management is something I continue to struggle with. I always feel that there is strength in numbers so hearing how other people deal with differences/pain management is so encouraging to me. There will always be hard moments but it looks like the good ones far outweigh the bad with that girl! Such a sweetie!!
Mix and Match Mama says
Yes, but she seems to be managing it quite well. The sad fact is, she doesn’t know life without that pain.
Rebecca Kick says
Shay when I saw that picture of Ashby on Instragram all I saw were here long legs – she looks like she is so tall in that picture. What a sweet girl, beautiful girl!
That is exactly what I saw, too! Legs for days.
Bless Ashby’s heart…and yours. I’m sure that was a super tough mama moment. She is so beautiful and you are just the mom she needed to remind her of that often. Hugs!
Brittany Hensley says
Wahoo!!! #BringingBrittHome the end of the year always kicks my butt too. Hoping to these next couple of days fly by for y’all!!
Angela Ellingson says
Ashby is beautiful! Praying for her sweet little heart. Hugs Mama!
That was heart breaking to hear that about Ashby, that girl is going places and will do anazing things.
I think most evenings I’m out between church, kids, activities etc. . It gets worse as they get older. . Hold on for the next few years!
praying for Ashby. She is the light <3
Ashby is absolutely beautiful! It breaks my heart to hear that she has any negative feelings towards herself! She is a very special and precious little soul!!! Thank You for loving these children like you do and for giving them such a loving home!
D'Ann Haffner says
We LOVE Scottish Rite Hospital!!! My son rarely comments about his condition and when he does it breaks this momma’s heart!!! Scottish Rite makes him feel normal and then also lets him see just how blessed he is! AND – that playground!!! Please tell me you guys play on that playground when you visit!!!
A friend of mine has a noticible disfigurement that he now loves bc he uses it as a conversation starter to share his testimony of God’s love & salvation. I know y’all will continue to teach precious Ashby that we are all different & use our uniqueness to share Christ with others. And I can’t wait to see more pics of sweet Britt! So excited for the Slaughters!
Ashley Van Dam says
Ashby is an inspiration! I am sure there will be some hard years as she grows (kids can be cruel – girls can be critical of themselves at times) but I pray that as she grows, so will her confidence in who she is – A PERFECT CHILD OF A LIVING AND LOVING GOD!
She is going to do great things! God planned her life with a purpose and destined her to have an amazing family to support and love her along the way.
Love your blogs!
Sarah M. says
Praying for your precious girl this morning. Your story broke my heart! Praying as she grows that she sees herself as God sees her, perfect and lovely, created by His perfect plan. Praying wisdom for you and your husband as you navigate these new waters. That your words and affirmations will root deep in her little soul. What a precious gift y’all have been given. ❤️
Michelle N. says
Oh please tell sweet Ashby that when I looked at that picture her arm was the LAST thing I saw. First I saw the smile as wide as an ocean, then eye as bright as the sun and then darling shoes that I wish came in my size!
Lindsay D says
Ashby is a beautiful little girl!! With a smile that brightens my day!!
I have only been following your blog for about a month. It is so fun to see Ashby’s bright beautiful smiling face in your photos. Before today I never noticed her physical disability. My hope is she will grow to know what we see is her bubbly happy personality.
Oh sweet Ashby! I look at that picture and I see such a beautiful smile on a happy girl.
Ranisa Brletich says
I love all the things you share about your kids. Thank you for doing so. I love that you share specifics about Ashby’s arm. I think we all have or are given things in life that help us grow to become who we are meant to be. I believe Ashby’s special arm will give her insights, strengths, compassion among many other things that will help her become the amazing women she will one day be. It may not have happened any other way. Thank heaven for our own individual special trails that shape us.
Like somebody posted above, I couldn’t see her arm, all I could see is her beautiful smile!! But I understand that there will be times when things will get harder. I can’t comment as a person with a disability, nor do I know anybody personally with a physical disability but as a girl and as a woman, I know how hard society puts pressure on us to look a certain way. I pray for all moms, but sometimes specially for all of us moms that have girls so that we may show our girls how beautiful they are in ways that don’t have anything to do with physical appearances. May they be strong enough and confident enough in themselves to know that physical appearances matter very little when our hearts are with the Lords and full of love and kindness. Hugs to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your family and pieces of your life with us.
Amanda @ That Inspired Chick says
Oh sweet Ashby. That just breaks my heart. God bless that precious girl. And the slumber party in the hallway pic made me smile! They are just the cutest and sweetest sisters!! Yay for Erika coming home today!!! Can’t wait to meet that little Britt!
That Inspired Chick
angie g says
I was a Scottish Rite patient too! They diagnosed and treated my scoliosis with what was (in the late 80’s) at the time “new technology” of a back brace I wore at night. That place is amazing and does amazing work! Blessings to your sweet girl!
I didn’t even notice Ashby’s arm in the photo until you mentioned it. I know she has a different arm, but it doesn’t register with me unless it’s pointed out. Our daughter was adopted from China, and she has post operative glaucoma and 5 other eye conditions. Nystagmus makes her eye condition obvious. I know it bothers her at times, but we’re trying to teach her that her differences make her unique, not less. I’m praying both these girls will recognize their worth and beauty God bestowed upon them.
Ashby could not be in a better home to love her and support her through her “disability”- which I hate even saying that word. It doesn’t define her. My daughter has had speech issues forever and has started stuttering, to the point that she stops talking and then sighs and says she wishes she could say everything right :((( all the emotions. We hurt for them as mamas. Prayers for your sweet girl. I love love love you updates!
Ashby is going to bless so many people. I don’t even know her and she blesses me every time I read your blog.
In those moments when Ashby is not surrounded by her family or friends, know that God will be standing beside her, holding her hand…
Jenny Jo says
Oh sweet Ashby, God chose her because he knows she’s strong enough to handle whatever comes her way. She has so many wonderful features and a great big personality to compensate! Love the picture of K and Madeley, they have such a special bond! All the best <3
Yvonne C says
Aww. Ashby. I didn’t even notice her arm in that picture. I was amazed at how tall she looked! You have a beautiful family!
You tell Ashby that there are 4 children in Virginia who saw her picture and thought she had the prettiest smile they ever saw! You know, the only one to notice her arm was my son. He said “look at all the muscles in her arm! I bet she’s stronger than me!! And that’s like suuuuuper strong!”
I’m interested to know how you responded to Asby’s comment. That makes me so sad because she seems like such a beautiful, vibrant little girl! (She also looks so TALL in that photo!)
Liz Thorson says
Reading your post regarding Ashby’s comment about her arm broke my heart for that precious girl. She is so darling and her personality just makes me smile. You’ve shared how brave she has been for all of her appointments and treatments and your photos and comments share with us what a wonderful, loving, sweet, kind, happy little girl she is. I am so happy she is a Shull! The love and support she will always have surrounding her will continue to give her the strength and courage to handle the challenges her disability presents.
Karen Hartnett says
Since so often worlds collide, I thought I would throw one at you that I’m not sure you’re aware of. One of the girls that was actually on your brothers season is a big part of a charity, which may hit home for you with all your girls, but especially Ashby – http://www.shelift.org/
Kelly Henderson says
My prayers for your sweet Ashby as she’s endured more procedures in her short life than most will in a lifetime. I will never forget the first time my daughter asked me about her cleft lip. She was about 3 and saw a newborn picture of herself and asked “what happened to baby Parker?” It broke my heart but we explained she was kissed by an angel. As she got older, we explained more to her. She’s 13 now and fully understands but it still frustrates her that she’s different, she has visible scars on her mouth/nose and has been wearing braces for 4 years and will most likely wear them for 3 more. On the bright side, I believe our daughters so called birth defect has taught our children tolerance from a very young age. They both learned it’s not polite to ask someone what is wrong because they know what it feels like when my daughter is asked.
Megan Butler says
Seriously breaks my heart that miss Ashby asked about her picture. She is so precious and full of joy!! Just want to hug her.
Our daughter from China [age 7 1/2] was born with a club foot. She does a great job of handling her foot issues most days, but there are the days when she cries about having to wear her AFO or when a curious person asks her what’s wrong with her foot. We just try to focus on how blessed she is in all other aspects of life and know that God made her this way for a reason. Have you seen the trailer for “Wonder”? I’m intrigued. I’m thinking about reading the book with my three girls this summer and watching the movie when it comes out!
Debbie Dunbar says
I agree with so many others from above that Ashby’s smile and expressions overshadow anything else! She is beautiful!
Prayers for Ms. Ashby. I hope she always feels as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside!
Erin Port says
Oh sweet Ashby you are so beautiful 🙂 Oh momma, that is SO hard. May she know how intricately and beautifully God knit her together! Have a great long weekend and yay for Britt coming home :)! xoxo ERIN
Whitney Pegram says
That sweet Ashby is beautiful! ❤ Counting down the days until summer over here!!
Oh sweet Ashby. Everyone else has said what I was thinking. Hopefully, one day she can read these comments and understand what we all see when we see her pictures…A wonderful girl with a big spirit and a beautiful smile. I knew a girl in college with a physical disability and it took me three years before I actually noticed because she played sports and let nothing hold her back. I think Ashby will be much the same way with the love of God and her family guiding her way.
So, I wanted to say that I follow your blog and read it all the time. When a picture of Ashby comes up, I don’t even see what she sees, I did not notice her arm at all, I noticed her smile – I am always drawn to her happy face in photos. It pains me that a child has to be conscience of this, and that she cares (but how wonderful that she is part of your wonderful family). Just keep telling her that people might notice, but really with her smile and happiness, they know she is no different than any other child.
A meeting 4 days in a row! Er welcome to the real full time working world!! You’re a lucky lady for that to only happen once! Um, jealous!
Mix and Match Mama says
My meetings went from 5:30 PM to 11:30 PM four nights in a row. It was not the meetings, it was getting home so late so many nights in a row! Urg. I need more sleep than that 😉 .