they’ve got the same haircut

It has almost been 5 weeks since Little One’s surgery. Crazy. She still has some lingering stitches we are waiting to fall off and she’s still a bit tender. Other than that – all is well. She mimics everything right now, including the way her big sister plays with dolls. Before we left for China, FireCracker wanted a doll that looked like her sister. Now Little One is the one usually playing with it.

She smiles more with her lower lip now, compared to the huge upper lip grin she used to have. I miss her original smile. Sometimes in the morning when I hear her wake up I go in and expect to see that huge grin I’ve known and the change surprises me. Don’t get me wrong, I cherish her new smile. I am in complete awe of what her surgeon did for her. I am deeply grateful the for all that this successful surgery means for her future. But, it is all still so new for us and missing something you loved doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful for what you’ve been given.

Eventually the cuddles lead to giggles and then she’s done.

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  • Gina B - Her new smile is beautiful, but the old one was the one you fell in love with. I imagine you’ll always miss it a little even though the new one is darling, too.

  • Jessica - so VERY cute!!

  • seriously sassy mama - Such a cute little girl.

  • Ashleigh Bicevskis - So glad she is doing well! Thank you for continually being an inspiration. I’m not a mom yet, but I am already learning SO much from you. Thank you for being an example of a godly mom and wife and for living out the Bible. I’m encouraged and challenged!!

  • amber - Seeing these pictures, I was just completely overwhelmed with how her life looked just months ago. Simply amazing. God is awesome. And, she is beautiful. Thank you for sharing that girl with us. I just wish I could squish her! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Natalie, the Chickenblogger - Ah… cheers for smiles and giggles!

  • Barnicles - Does little doll near a hairband to match little one? ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Sarah Crafts from the Cwtch - I love your photos and your beautiful little girl. It’s lucky you have so many great pictures of that old smile too, although I’m sure you’ll never forget it. xxx

  • Jessica R - She’s so beautiful. I’m still in awe of how easily she seems to have settled into your family. What a sweet little soul she is.

  • Corinne - So very cute and sweet. What a blessing!

  • jenny - she is absolutely precious! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jennifer - I think she smiles with her nose too! So precious and what a blessing we have to watch her grow and heal right along with you.

  • April - I’ve been dying to see more pics of your Little One. Thank you so much for sharing! One thing I love seeing is that cute little nose wrinkle up just like it did before when she smiled. She’s as beautiful as ever! I’m hoping and praying that she is eating better due to her surgery. Lots of love and prayers for her and you!

  • giozi - She is growing so fast. She is fantastic, and beautiful. She is so happy. Her new smile is good I can understand you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Susan - Thanks for sharing Little One to brighten our day! She is really growing fast. And of course, is adorable! So glad things are going so well for y’all post-op!

  • Anna@agoodhome - What a beauty she is! Thank the Lord for talented surgeons and sweet little girls. I think it’s absolutely fine to grieve that old smile while simultaneously falling in love with the new one. Emotional multitasking is good! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also, so glad you’re back to regular blogging. I’ve missed your updates!

  • Kiki - I loved reading “missing something you loved doesnโ€™t mean you arenโ€™t grateful for what youโ€™ve been given.” That applies to so many things in life. Little one is and has been beautiful and I love seeing photos of her growth! I do have to say, her nose is adorable and so are her outfits! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Molly - It is so amazing to watch her flourish! she is home!

  • Trish - I came upon your site by accident after seeing your post on pintrest for the obstacle course you created for your sons birthday party, very cool by the way. I hope you don’t mind if I copy it for my son in another year or so. Congratulations on your amazing family! Best wishes to you all!

  • Julie - I always look forward to reading your new posts and looking at the pictures of your sweet family!

  • lindsay - “missing something you loved doesnโ€™t mean you arenโ€™t grateful for what youโ€™ve been given” – so wise, i’m going to remember that! also, i’m signed up for snapshots this month and i’m getting excited…:) ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Laura J. - I agree with some of the other posters-That doll needs a hairband! Does Little One also have a ‘medical kit’ to play with? I wonder if she would like to have control over some of the things she saw on her body with the surgery. The doll needs a pulse oximeter too! That’s the nurse in me.

  • Meredith - Just got the email from Mpix about sketch pads. I noticed the email happened to show your family sketch pad ๐Ÿ™‚ What a fun thing to have!!!

  • Christina - It makes me so happy to have followed your family’s story for a few years now and see all the love along the way. It’s amazing to see how much Little One’s older siblings care for her and how she has transformed from a shy little baby to a happy beautiful adventurous girl. Wishing you all the best. Beautiful to see how much love you have in your heart. You’re doing a wonderful job raising those kids.

  • Jenny - She is just a little Sweet-pea! I have a 15 month old son and I bet they would have fun playing together.
    I have missed your posts. It’s good to hear about your darling kid-o’s and see pictures of your colorful home!

  • Jennifer - Crinkled nose + owl shirt = my heart melting.

    LOVE it!

  • kelleyn - You don’t have to explain about her smile! I completely get it! Her new smile is beautiful, but her old smile was beautiful too!

  • Miriam - She is beautiful. And she looks so happy, happy, happy.

  • sarah k - She’s utterly adorable.

    And I loved your line: “missing something you loved doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful for what you’ve been given.” Amen. That’s profound.

  • Maureen - “Missing something you loved doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful for what you’ve been given.” Wise and beautiful words those…

  • Kelsey - May I ask where you got the baby doll? I’ve been on the hunt for an Asian baby doll for our soon-to-be daughter, but all the ones I’ve seen are kind of creepy looking. ๐Ÿ™
    Little One is the sweetest. I love reading your mama’s heart for your girl. Thank you for letting us into your life in such an intimate way.

  • Noelle - “…missing something you loved doesnโ€™t mean you arenโ€™t grateful for what youโ€™ve been given.”

    I love this and I completely understand what you mean. Before my daughter (who is now almost 8 months old) was born, we thought she was going to be born with down syndrome. When we found out, I started studying up on down syndrome and imagining how my daughter would look and how long it would take her to learn how to crawl, sit, walk, etc. I grew to love this precious baby with down syndrome.

    When she was born, we found out that she didn’t have down syndrome. I felt truly blessed and grateful for her health and I was so happy that she didn’t have it, but I also missed this other baby that I pictured I would have. It’s really hard to understand without being in that person’s spot, but I really do understand what you mean. <3

  • Emily - Oh my oh my, this post and that smiling girl and that adorable doll make me so very happy!!

  • Brooke - Ashley! She’s looks sooooo great! I can’t believe how big she’s getting. She looks amazing and is clearly thriving in your loving home. What a lucky lucky girl!

  • Windy - Reading your blog makes me smile!

  • AshleyAnn - Kelsey – there are so many creepy ones out there! Our doll has lost half her clothes and her headband, but here is a link on Amazon:

  • Eva - I am totally lovin’ the hair!!!!

  • dee - She looks so grown up.She is just cute as a button and I love the doll-love dee x

  • Kimberly Dial - Oh Ashley, your Little One so touches my heart … her story, your story … and once again, I’m amazed at how mindful the Lord is of our heart’s desire, our needs … God bless you and your sweet family, all seven of you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Monica - She is adoreable! I can’t believe it how much she has change but I am not saying after the surgery , I am refering since you brought her home. She looks so big, so full of joy, so loved. I would like to give her a big hug. ๐Ÿ™‚ She is such a pretty girl. God bless her always.

  • Jacci in Ohio - Oh my squishy goodness. I just want to squeeze her! She is healing so beautifully, Ashley.

    I admit to missing her first smile a bit, too. But, yes, so thankful for her new one. I am so glad her sweet little nose still scrunches a bit… my daughter does that, too ๐Ÿ™‚

  • elizabeth H - I feel the same way about her smile … it’s BEAUTIFUL … but i miss her BIG grin she had before surgery!! I’m SO SO thankful that we live in a country w. talented physicians; and i know it’s better for her in the long run …
    but those first pictures of her smile; they are captivating!!
    such a sweet, sweet girl!

    oh, and you must tell more about that LOVELY pillow next to her.
    did you make it?!!

  • Katie - She is just awesome!

  • Kristen - My half asian daugther has that doll! It is her favorite. We all love Rosie!

  • Zoe Alexander Maternity - She is such a sweetie! She is enjoying every minute! We wish her a very speedy recovery! Lovely photos!
    Zoe xxx