Ashley Coral EighmyOne year ago today…on her birthday, my niece, Ashley found herself in labor with her first child. While her daughter, Reagan would not arrive until the next day, it would still be a day that would herald a change in her life. That birthday…her 22nd…would be the last day before she became a mother. The last day before her precious little girl would come in and change everything. It is hard to imagine what it is going to be like to be someone’s mother…until it happens to you. We all think we have an idea, but we don’t…not until that little teeny life comes and wraps it’s tiny little fingers around your heart, and you find yourself totally smitten. You can’t imagine the love you feel until you feel it for yourself.

For some time, even before she and my nephew, Eric got engaged, Ashley wanted nothing more than to be his wife, and later, the mother of his children. They became pregnant just 6 months after their marriage, and the excitement of their growing family filled all of us with joy. It had been a number of years since we had a new baby in the family, and it would be Jennifer’s first grandchild. It was an exciting time. I had hoped that Ashley would have the baby on her birthday, and I thought maybe I had picked it. Reagan wasn’t quite ready…but she was just a dream away. So, Ashley’s birthday remained her own, and the birth of her daughter would have to wait for the Just A Dream Awaynext day. For one more day, Ashley would be a young wife, but not yet a mother.

Much has changed over this past year. Reagan is almost one…but that is tomorrow’s story. Ashley has been a wonderful mom, and has had a wonderful first year of motherhood. She and Eric and her parents have been remodeling the house that they bought to start their little family in. They are working hard to finish it, while enjoying their time with Reagan and with the horses her parents keep on their land next door. The year has been a busy one, and also one filled with dreams and their becoming reality. Ashley calls it building the dream, and so it is, but this day belongs to her. Today is Ashley’s birthday. Happy birthday Ashley!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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