The Blog

stories from the heart

Welcome to my blog!  I'm so happy you're here!  This is where I'll share beautiful client work, photography tips & tricks, and a bit of my life with two growing boys and a precious girl in heaven.  I'm looking so forward to connecting with you!  

Hey There!  I'm

Ashlee

lifestyle photographer for fun, laid-back people

more About me

Mended Heart Sessions

Uncategorized

February 12, 2024

back

When I lost London, I made a promise to her, to God, and to myself that I would never let her life – or my pain – be in vain. I was going to use London’s story to love & serve others to the best of my ability. One of my favorite ways to do that is to host Mended Heart Sessions every February. It’s one of my favorite days of the year because I get to honor children with Congenital Heart Defects while sharing London’s story. The sessions are held in my home studio – aka “London’s Studio”. It’s furnished with London’s nursery furniture, and it’s a place where life is celebrated!

Top: London’s Studio today Bottom: London’s nursery

This past Saturday was the big day!! I got to meet precious new faces and also photograph a few children who have come to me every year! It’s so fun to see how they have grown! I had to do a little decorating and preparation first! 🙂

I was so excited to find this red velvet chair on Facebook Marketplace just 2 days before the sessions!! 🙂
It was a Happy Heart Day, for sure!! 🙂
Heart balloons, heart cookies, heart cupcakes, heart suckers, & heart chocolates were a necessity! Oh…and we had water (it off-sets the sugar)!! Haha! 🙂
Left: Bodie & his brothers Right: Madison
Top Left: Leah Top Right: Booker Bottom Left: Reagan Bottom Right: Harper
Left: Eli Right: Meadow

Three other Heart Warriors were unable to come due to sickness, but I hope I get to celebrate them in the future! Here is a sneak peek of the sweetest pictures from each of these amazing Heart Warriors!

BODIE

Bodie is 14 and was born with Tetralogy of Fallot. He just had his last open-heart surgery in September of 2023. Bodie loves sports, is the 8th grade boys basketball manager, high school football & baseball manager! He’s also a really great big brother! 🙂

MADISON

Madison was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) and is a heart transplant recipient. According to Madison’s mommy, Madison is sassy sassy sassy!! Haha! She loves “Wheels on the Bus” and loves to dance!

LEAH

Leah was born with a right sided aorta and complete vascular ring. She endured a left thoracotomy at age 3. Leah loves her mommy and has the sweetest smile!

BOOKER

Booker is 2 and was born with D-Transposition of Great Arteries (D-TGA). Booker had open heart surgery after having complete organ failure. He has wowed his medical team with how far he’s come! He loves dirt, trucks and dancing!!

HARPER

Harper is 10 and was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). She has endured four open heart surgeries. Harper loves school, cheerleading, Barbies, drawing, her Golden Doodle (Knox) and her family!

REAGAN

Reagan is 2 and was born with Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), Double outlet right ventricle. She had open heart surgery when she was 5 months old. Reagan is always smiling and loves dinosaurs, sharks and eating!! She’s obsessed with ranch dressing!! Haha! She loves her pink blanket named “Raspberry”. 🙂

MEADOW

Meadow is 18 months old and was born with Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) and Pulmonary Atresia (PA). She had open heart surgery to address her TOF and will need more open-heart surgeries in the future to replace valves. Meadow loves the movie Frozen and is obsessed with Disney princesses! She also loves fish. 🙂

ELI

Eli is 6 and was born with Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS), Tricuspid Atresia, Pulmonary Stenosis and Complex Heart Failure. Eli received a heart transplant when he was four months old! Eli loves music, books, buses (or anything with wheels), and life cereal! 🙂

ELI’S SISTER, ABBY

I want to take a moment to honor Eli’s big sister, Abby. Although Abby was not born with a Congenital Heart Defect, she was diagnosed with cancer – Osteosarcoma – last fall and is currently receiving treatment. Abby is such an amazing young lady. She is strong and brave and has the most positive attitude. At 14 years old, she is wise beyond her years and is handling this life-changing event with such strength & grace.

I also want to just say that Abby and Eli are blessed with an incredible Mama who loves her babies more than anything. She has supported both of her children with perseverance and strength. Caitlyn, you are amazing and such an inspiration to so many.

Abby is recovering from Rotationplasty surgery. It’s an incredible surgery where Abby’s middle portion of her leg was removed (since the tumor was in her knee), her foot was rotated 180 degrees and attached to the thigh bone. This will allow her ankle to function as a knee. Her foot will be able to sit down into a prosthetic which will allow her to walk, run, ride a bike, and really anything she puts her mind to!

I am so proud of Abby and thankful that she allowed me to capture this small piece of her journey. Although her life will never be the same, I have no doubt she will move mountains! God never wastes a hurt, and He always has a purpose for the pain! We are praying for you, Abby!!

Thank you for letting me share these amazing children and stories with you! Thank you for your love and support and for allowing me to honor London while celebrating life & love for others! It means the world to me and truly makes my heart smile!! Sending love & a big hug to all of you!

  1. Cheyenne Novak says:

    I just want to say this is so amazing to me. As a first time mama to my sweet girl who just had her CHD repaired in December, I love seeing other children who have gone through the same or similar things in life thriving and doing so well. You have an amazing heart, and from what I’ve read are so strong.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

share this post: