My mama heart today.

Today, I’m just going to ramble.

My mama heart has had a lot going on this week.

This morning, Ashby has her 16th procedure.

I mean…it sucks.

She’s sad.  I’m sad.  We’re all sad.

Please be praying for our brave girl.  She handles it with such grace.  It floors me every time how someone so tiny can be so strong.

So…Ashby’s having surgery and Madeley is going to her second day of a new school today.


Here she was on Tuesday ready for her first day!

We have been at the same preschool for eight years and last week, Erika and I both made the decision to move Britt and Madeley to another school.  It was not an easy decision at all, but one we felt necessary to ensure they’re getting what they need to prepare them for kindergarten.  If I’m being honest, I probably should have switched Ashby a few years ago, but I didn’t know.  Now, Ashby is in kinder and I see how she could have benefited from a different type or preschool curriculum.  So, we made the change and (hopefully!) are setting Madeley and Britt up for success once they hit elementary school.

She love, love, loved her teachers at her old school and had so many sweet friends, so I was nervous about switching her, but SHE HANDLED IT LIKE THE BOSS SHE IS!  She was so excited to go, so excited to meet new friends and had THE BEST DAY!!!

Kensington and Smith were both like “we would have cried our eyes out and had panic attacks if you would have switched us”, but this girl?  She was super excited to make new friends.  She told me that morning before we left that she already loved them.  I mean to tell you…those girls of mine are RESILIENT!

So…needless to say, my brain is everywhere today.  Prayers are always appreciated, but especially please pray for today as my sweet girl goes under general anesthesia for the 20th time in less than four years.  She has gotten really sick the last six times, so that might be our new norm…BUT, we can all pray it’s not.  Thank you guys so much for being my community.  Love you all. xo

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  • Erika Slaughter January 31, 2019 at 4:54 am

    We’re covering Ashby in prayer at our house. I should have been recording our night time prayers last night. I walked out of Nixon’s room with tears. We love that girl so very much! XO

    • Michele January 31, 2019 at 8:30 am

      I love your friendship with Shay. Y’all warm my heart. I feel as if I know you and could go and have coffee together. Not in a stalker way, but in a way that is normal. LOL!

  • Julie McPeak January 31, 2019 at 4:55 am

    I am praying for you and sweet Ashby. Thank you for your sweet and uplifting blog. You truly make a difference.

  • Jessica January 31, 2019 at 5:01 am

    Prayers for your girls today! They both are truly resilient!!! I’m in awe every day when I read your blog and see just how amazing they are. Prayers for your sweet Ashby as she undergoes surgery today. Prayers for a smooth recovery and for your mama heart as well!

  • Lindsay January 31, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Praying like crazy for sweet Ashby today! Changing daycares (we unfortunately had to a couple times) is so hard. You followed your gut, and your heart and did what was best for Madeley (and Erika for Britt). You’ve had a big week but God is in control!

  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog January 31, 2019 at 5:04 am

    So brave of your girls! Good luck to Ashby, will definitely keep her in my prayers! It’ll all be okay! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Eileen January 31, 2019 at 5:07 am

    Sending prayers to both of your sweet girls, and to you.

  • Narci January 31, 2019 at 5:08 am

    Praying for your precious girl this morning! We love you guys so much!

  • Crissy January 31, 2019 at 5:23 am

    Praying for your sweet girl!!!! Blessings!!!

  • Mary Ellen January 31, 2019 at 5:29 am

    Prayers for your girls and your entire family.

  • Kim January 31, 2019 at 5:42 am

    Lifting up your precious Ashby and your family this morning. May you all experience the “peace that passeth understanding!”

  • Amy Heinl January 31, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Lifting sweet Ashby in prayer that this procedure goes well and that she is able to tolerate the anthesia and yhatvshe doesn’t get sick. Praying for her continued strength during this procedure. Lifting her doctors in prayer for divine guidance as they perform this delicate procedure on her. May Ashby feel the love being sent in her direction and Maybe he find comfort and strength in the many prayers being lifted for her today.

  • Laura January 31, 2019 at 5:59 am

    Praying for Ashby’s surgery and Madeley’s school transition! May God continue to bless your children and family.

  • Becky January 31, 2019 at 6:06 am

    Ashby, you are a warrior. I will be praying for you today along with your mama and dad and brother and sisters.

  • Beth Knecht January 31, 2019 at 6:11 am

    I love how much little kids can teach us! Sometimes they are the best teachers! Wishing you a calm and uneventful day for you all!

  • Sarah Shaneyfelt January 31, 2019 at 6:12 am

    Praying for Ashby this morning and the doctors performing her procedure. Praying for a peace for you and Andrew knowing that you are making the best decision for her health.

  • Amy D. January 31, 2019 at 6:12 am

    Sweet Ashby! Sending lots of prayers for your sweet and brave girl this morning and for you and your family as well.

  • Sheaffer Sims January 31, 2019 at 6:17 am

    And now I’m bawling . Praying and bawling.

  • Ramona January 31, 2019 at 6:18 am

    Surrounding all of y’all with love and prayers! ❤️🙏🏼

  • Laura E Fredlund January 31, 2019 at 6:21 am

    Sending lots of love and prayers your way! Thank you for the positivity and excitement you bring to some of my mornings as in love reading your blog. I am not usually on to leave comments but I hope that you guys have some extra comfort during this procedure. You are one blessed mamma and they are all blessed to have YOU! 🙂

  • KimW January 31, 2019 at 6:23 am

    Prayers for Ashby today for a successful surgery and a quick recovery. I think it is so great that you and Erika have each other and that Madeley and Britt have two strong mamas advocating for them!

  • Rene' Pingel January 31, 2019 at 6:27 am

    Praying for your sweet Ashby today!

  • Kathy January 31, 2019 at 6:48 am

    Praying for you and your girls today!!

  • Dustie Day January 31, 2019 at 6:49 am

    Praying for her and you! I can’t imagine – she is so brave!

  • Elspeth Mizner January 31, 2019 at 6:55 am

    Sending all my prayers to sweet Ashby so glad Madeley is enjoying her new school.

  • Melissa Terry January 31, 2019 at 7:01 am

    Praying right now for your sweet Ashby and your mama heart as well xo

  • Tanya January 31, 2019 at 7:02 am

    Praying for sweet, STRONG Ashby and your whole family. She is brave and SO ARE YOU!

  • Laci January 31, 2019 at 7:08 am

    Prayers for your Ashby!! I can’t imagine what she endures on a day to day basis! What an amazing little girl!

  • Elizabeth January 31, 2019 at 7:10 am

    Madeley will do great! Its great that you and Erika are going through it with the girls together. Many prayers for you and for Ashby this morning!

  • Tyler January 31, 2019 at 7:17 am

    Praying for that precious girl and for your mama heart!!

  • Stephanie K January 31, 2019 at 7:19 am

    Your girls are filled to the brim with courage—one who displays it with the unknown and one who does it in the known. Just wow. Praying for all of you today—God loves you! (And sending up a special prayer for your mama heart!!!)

  • Marilyn Bridges January 31, 2019 at 7:20 am

    Oh, that must be so hard, but so thankful we serve a God who loves us and is still in control of all these situations. Praying you and Ashby feel that today.

  • Paula January 31, 2019 at 7:20 am


  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams January 31, 2019 at 7:26 am

    My heart goes out to Ashby, you and the whole family!! Sending prayers <3

    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Kristen January 31, 2019 at 7:36 am

    Praying for your family! 🙏🏻

  • Jody January 31, 2019 at 7:37 am

    My prayer for you and Ashby this morning…”The Lord bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” I know Ashby is thankful to have you as her Mama Bear that loves her and prays peace, healing, and strength over her…I will pray those over you as well.

  • Christin January 31, 2019 at 7:39 am

    Praying for sweet brave Ashby and your family!

  • Kathy Lang January 31, 2019 at 7:41 am

    Prayers for Ashby’s procedure this morning. God has blessed both your little girls with an amazing strength and resilience–especially Ashby. I mean 20 times under anesthesia in less than 4 years, my goodness! Madeley’s sparkling personality really shines through in your posts, and I wasn’t too surprised to hear that she handled the new preschool like a champ, and that she LOVES all the people there already! I think it’s so cool that your 2 big kiddos recognize their little sibling’s strengths and are impressed by it. Looking forward to hearing that Ashby’s procedure went very well!

  • Tracy January 31, 2019 at 7:56 am

    Such strong little girls, praying for your family Shay!

  • Julie January 31, 2019 at 7:58 am

    Sending so many good wishes and vibes your way! What a tough week, sounds like some extremely lazy couch time is in order for the weekend.

  • Carly January 31, 2019 at 8:01 am

    Prayers to sweet Ashby (and Madeley) for her doctors, her parents, nurses and especially her anesthesiologist to find the right mix of medicine for her to not be sick afterwards. Hope this means that she will be feeling her normal self by the Valentines Day dance. We’re thinking of you today, Shay

  • Monica January 31, 2019 at 8:05 am

    I feel like you are family I’ve never met…praying hard! Hugs to all!

  • Tori January 31, 2019 at 8:05 am

    Praying for your darling girls today. Praying for all the doctors, nurses and hospital staff that they, too, have God on their shoulders watching over them. And praying for your sweet, sweet mama heart. May all of you have courage, grace and peace during this trying day. ♥️

  • Amanda Wilson January 31, 2019 at 8:06 am

    Praying for Ashby!! I don’t know how you both do it….watching your child go through stuff is so hard on that mama heart. Good for you on moving Madeley I know how much you love tradition and hate change. I had to do the same thing a few times with preschools over the years with 5 kids. It was hard because you don’t want anyone to take it personally.

  • Shelby January 31, 2019 at 8:15 am

    Prayers for your brave girls and your family. May God wrap his arms around all of you and continue to bless you and give you strength.

  • Casey January 31, 2019 at 8:15 am

    Praying for both of your sweet girls and for mama!!! You’ve got this Ashby!!!!

  • Rachel January 31, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Praying for your sweet brave girl today and your family too!

  • Julia January 31, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Sending prayers for sweet Ashby and your whole family!

  • Jenna Lathrop January 31, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Praying for Ashby. Praying for the transition to a new school as well.

  • purplemidnight January 31, 2019 at 8:26 am

    Bathing your entire family in prayer today.

  • Michele January 31, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Praying for you and the girls today. I can’t imagine how hard this is, but God knows and he is right there with you. And I bet his heart breaks with yours. I don’t understand everything in this world, but I know that God put the perfect parents in Ashby and Madely’s life. Your positive outlook always makes me feel good. I can’t wait to read you blog every day. Praying for you, Andrew and that sweet, brave Ashby.

  • Sarah January 31, 2019 at 8:31 am

    Praying for you guys today. Those girls of yours are so brave!

  • Kindal January 31, 2019 at 8:32 am

    Praying for sweet Ashby and your whole family!

  • Michelle O January 31, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Prayers going up!!

  • Melanie January 31, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Praying for Ashby and her procedure! Praying for you, too! So thankful that you have assurance and hope in Jesus!

  • Kristin January 31, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Praying for your sweet girl. Bless her heart – she is so strong. Praying that Jesus would be very near today and the days to come.

  • Deb Weber January 31, 2019 at 8:43 am

    Prayers for your girls and your family.

  • Angie Clark January 31, 2019 at 8:43 am

    Prayers for you and your sweet family! Ashby is such a trooper and so strong!

  • Alicia January 31, 2019 at 8:46 am

    Prayers for Ashby and you! Madely will do great! I’m sure having Brit by her side makes it easier.

  • WhittyWife January 31, 2019 at 8:47 am

    I’m praying for your sweet Ashby today! ❤

  • Lorie January 31, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Prayers for you and your family…especially beautiful, brave Ashby today. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

  • Lauren January 31, 2019 at 8:56 am

    My advice to you about the procedure would be to make sure they put a motion sickness patch behind her ear before they begin and give her something thru an IV before she wakes up. Then, as soon as she is awake have her eat something (crackers or toast and ginger ale). She will need to fill her stomach after having so many meds in her from the surgery. Best of luck to you!

  • Paige E January 31, 2019 at 9:01 am

    Mama heart is aching for you today!

  • Liz January 31, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Prayers for you, Andrew and your two sweet girls. Prayers that Ashby wouldn’t be sick from this procedure. We thank Jesus that Madeley is having so much fun at her new school. Prayers continued all day. ❤️❤️

  • jaime January 31, 2019 at 9:06 am

    could you maybe do another update on both madeley and ashbys growth and why you made the changes you made. we are thinking we might be headed down the same road with our preschool.

  • Taylor Shill January 31, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Prayers for Ashby <3

  • Lisa January 31, 2019 at 9:15 am

    Praying for Ashby and you today

  • Kathy Cochran January 31, 2019 at 9:34 am

    What a strong little lady Ashby is! Sending prayers today for her and your family.

  • Tish Ferry January 31, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Sweet precious girls! We learn so much from our kids. What a blessing to be called to be their Mom. Much love and many prayers today for Ashby, for you, and the entire family. God is in control of all things, surgery #16 included. He is good ALL. THE. TIME. Praying you feel His love and peace especially today. Simply Tish

  • Tiffany Bagalini January 31, 2019 at 9:42 am

    I completely understand. Our daughter has had almost 10 procedures in her short 9 years since we brought her home. I’ll keep Ashby in my prayers today.

  • Debbie January 31, 2019 at 9:45 am

    Sending lots of love and prayers for sweet Ashby and your whole family! 💕🙏🏻💕🙏🏻💕🙏🏻💕

  • Patty Anderson January 31, 2019 at 9:49 am

    So many prayers for all of you today. God has you!

  • Trish Beverlin January 31, 2019 at 9:51 am

    Praying for all of you today, and especially sweet Ashby.

  • Shelbie January 31, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Prayers for your girls (and momma & daddy hearts). I always find comfort in knowing that the Lord is the great physician and healer but also that the spirit intercedes for us when our momma hearts just can’t pray anymore. Even while you sleep, the Lord is hearing those concerns of yours! He is with you today! Praying for wisdom for the doctors as well. I love following your sweet family and your brave little Ashby. If only we all had the strength and tenacity that she has!

  • lori reggio January 31, 2019 at 9:56 am

    God bless your sweet family! praying!

  • Kerri January 31, 2019 at 10:06 am

    Thinking of you today. What a week on your mama heart. We all have those days and weeks and they are so hard and then we look back and so proud to get through the things we did. I guess this just goes with the “mama” job title! Sending prayers and good thoughts for all this week!

  • Sarah G January 31, 2019 at 10:06 am

    Praying for your precious Ashby and for you as well. Such strong and brave little girl!

  • Beth Valenta January 31, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Sending prayers for your sweet girl today and for you as a MOM. Following your heart for your child’s education is the hardest, but most important decision you can make. I did this early on, and knew God’s gentle hand was there to guide me. xo

  • Morgan January 31, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Praying for you all today. I love reading your thoughts about your sweet little family, very inspiring!

  • Dawn January 31, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Praying for Ashby today <3

  • Amy Baker January 31, 2019 at 10:28 am

    Praying for Ashby and praying for all of you!

  • Emily January 31, 2019 at 10:37 am

    I never knew I could be so inspired by someone I never met, but sweet Ashby inspires me with her strength and resilience. Praying so hard for that sweet girl and for you!

  • erica werner January 31, 2019 at 10:42 am

    praying for you and your sweet family!

  • Amy Azza January 31, 2019 at 10:45 am

    I am praying so hard for your sweet and brave Ashby today. God has big plans for her and I know she has an amazing future ahead of her. And I totally get where you are coming from switching preschools. My oldest daughter is 13 and I feel like a made a big mistake with her preschool and it did not prepare her at all for kindergarten so with my youngest daughter who just turned 3 I am sending her to a completely different preschool. I still don’t forgive myself for sending my oldest daughter to such a bad preschool. Covering you and your family in prayers today!

  • Brittany January 31, 2019 at 10:50 am

    Praying for sweet Ashby today and that the Lord would wrap up your momma heart in his warm embrace a little extra today! Love you Shulls!

  • Kim Hayes January 31, 2019 at 10:52 am

    Praying BIG with all my Mama heart! XO

  • Rachel January 31, 2019 at 10:54 am

    Oh, we can relate to Miss M! My second grader is finishing up his second week of homeschooling with my mom. It was very hard to make the choice to pull him from public school…especially since I teach at the same school, and I have to see his old teachers and classmates every day! He’s having a few withdrawals and transition issues, but it’s what we feel is best right now. Prayers for all four of your babies!

  • Sandy Blitch January 31, 2019 at 11:32 am

    Prayers for all those situations and all of you. You obviously have handled Madeley’s change well, so she was fine with it. Ashby has learned, I think, that you guys know what is best for her, and she trusts in that! I love reading about your family, all the good, and will always pray for you when prayers are needed in those challenging times!

  • Meg January 31, 2019 at 11:37 am

    Sending prayers!!

  • Bev January 31, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Prayed for your sweet Ashby that her recovery would be speedy with positive results!

  • Sandy Manning January 31, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Tell Ashby I am praying. This has got to be so hard on you guys. On the other hand that little Madeley is a crack up! How wonderful to have such a nut to bring all the funny to your home! She does just bee bop through life! Not surprised she isn’t fazed by a new school situation! Hang in there momma.

  • Janine January 31, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Poor Sweet Ashby 😢 I am wondering if you have the anesthesiologist include an anti-nausea medication into her anesthesia? I imagine you have already looked into this but just in case I thought I would mention it. I am just like Ashby. A matter how light the anesthesia is I get very nauseous after waking up. I have had multiple surgeries and it is always the same if I don’t tell the anesthesiologist to include an anti-nausea medication. Every single time I have done that, I wake up fine with no nausea. The few times I forgot, I wake up sick. This will probably always be the case every time because Ashby has to have an empty stomach. The anesthetic makes us sick due to our empty stomachs. Sending Ashby love and healing vibes!

  • Rhoda Watson January 31, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    This post brought tears to my eyes. I feel your mama stress and pain. Praying for you and Ashby today!

  • Becky Carl January 31, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Praying for your sweet family today 💓

  • Kendra January 31, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    Girl I read this and wanted to just text you!! Sending you a hug from a Mom! Us Mom’s go through a lot for our kiddos. Stay strong and give it all to God! That is my motto. Praying for you and your sweet kiddos. HUGS

  • Lois Hilty January 31, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Why haven’t your early morning posts come to my email inbox for the past 3 days? I’ve been receiving them for several yrs. with nary a hitch; now suddenly they’re not arriving. Help! Thanks.

  • Debbie Hibbert January 31, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    I’m on the west coast (Oregon), so as I write this you’re probably already home … but I just prayed that God would give Ashby a speedy recovery time, and as little discomfort as possible. Also, prayed for strength and wisdom, for you and Andrew, as you walk through this situation with your sweet girl.

  • Jackie January 31, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Shay, I’m covering both of your girls in prayers today and I hope Ashby’s procedure went well and that her recovery does too. Sending lots of hugs your way, you got this Mama!

  • Liz Thorson January 31, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    Carrying thoughts of a smooth recovery for precious, brave, stoic Ashby and for you, Shay. We mamas are tortured by our childrens’ pain, struggles and so wish we could carry their burdens. Love to you and your family. I know Andrew, Kensington, Smith, Madeley and your 2 pups will love and try to comfort Ashby over the next few days.❤️

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick January 31, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    I have no doubt that Miss Madeley handled it like a BOSS! Hahaha. And I hope Ashby’s feeling ok! My heart breaks for that sweet girl and everything she is enduring. Hang in there, friend!

  • Francene M Katzen January 31, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Been praying today for your sweet little girl and for your family. Please let us all know how she is doing when you have a second. Sending tons of love and hugs.

  • shawnna griffin January 31, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    hey girl- I’ll be praying for ya’ll! God is good!

  • Michaelann Seiders January 31, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Prayers for your dear girl

  • Mollie January 31, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    I so understand where you’re coming from! We went through a week like that once upon a time…middle child (4 year old) began a brand new preschool on a Monday, oldest child (age 6) had a surgical procedure complete with anesthesia on Tuesday with a terrible reaction, and had our third baby on that same Thursday…it was quite a week for my Mama heart. I felt like my emotions were all over the place. That was almost 10 years ago, but I can remember it like it was yesterday! What a crazy week!

  • Molly Rice January 31, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    Praying Joshua 1:9 for everyone!!

  • Keisha Dawson February 4, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    I’m late in reading this, but I saw your Instagram post on surgery day. You guys have all been in my prayers, and I hope Ashby’s recovery is going GREAT!