21 years ago today I gave birth to the most amazing little girl in the world. Ashley made her entrance in the world in the same epic fashion as she has done everything else since she was born – she came out bottom first! That made for an amazingly difficult labor and delivery for me, but for her coming out bum first meant she was able to appear with an absolutely perfect little head. I figure she wasn’t about to let her beautiful face get smooshed in the birth canal so she made sure to flip around the week before she came out.
From the moment I saw that perfectly beautiful face I knew that this little girl was going to change the world. She was breathtakingly beautiful on the outside, but she was also incredibly smart and funny and sure of herself on the outside. She was fearless as a child and her adventurous spirit made it quite a project to make sure she stayed safe. Her abundance of sassiness and her stubborn streak made her the world’s toughest negotiator. When she wanted something she would find a way to get it. I still remember when she was just an infant in her car seat she would only allow us to play the song “Gangster’s Paradise” by Coolio on the radio over and over again. If we tried to play anything else she would scream and scream until we put Coolio back on. To this day I can literally sing every single word to that song from memory…that’s how many times I had to listen to it. Thank heavens I like hip hop as much as she does or my ears couldn’t have survived those first few years 🙂
Ashley went through some trials in her early years that no child should ever have to go through, but she handled them with more maturity and courage than anyone could imagine. From going through that experience Ashley decided to always stand up for anyone being mistreated. There have been many times she stepped in between a bully and the person being bullied, even when the bully is far bigger than she. She is never afraid to do the right thing.
Ashley has never placed value in material things. She cares about people and she cares about accomplishing goals. She is one of the most incredibly talented women I know. She taught herself to play piano, and the guitar, and the ukulele. She is a great basketball player (although she tore her ACL twice so the doc won’t let her play much anymore), and she excels at anything and everything she puts her mind to.
She has always lived her life with good morals and values. She made the choice growing up not to kiss a boy until she was 18 years old and despite the fact she is gorgeous and a lot of boys were dying to kiss her, she didn’t let them. She also believes that “modest is hottest” and she sets the example that true beauty isn’t flashing your skin, its being confident in who you are.
The best thing about Ashley is her positive outlook on EVERYTHING. She lives her life by the motto that “Happiness is a choice” and she makes the choice to stay happy no matter what. And she is awesome at helping others to see the joy and blessings around them when they are struggling. It was no surprise that when she graduated High School she was voted “Most likely to brighten your day.” She has a thousand watt smile that could brighten the darkest of rooms. Man do I love that smile!
Ashley is without a doubt my hero. I look up to her so much. I could not be any more proud of her than I am. And I am so thankful that Heavenly Father saw fit to allow me to be her Mother. What a gift she is in my life and the lives of all who know her. Happy Birthday sweet daughter of mine. I love you to the moon and back x 157. Love Forever, Mom
Ashley as a newborn
Happy Birthday Ashley Lewis, my baby girl who is now officially a full-fledged 21 year old adult.
~Amy Rees Anderson