I thought I would take a few minutes to tell everyone in "blog land" how I met and married my husband Mark. Our story starts in 1999 when a mutual friend encouraged us to meet. We were involved in the same youth group and were headed out on a ski trip to Colorado. We did meet and hang out a little bit but he was SO quiet - it was hard to get to know him very well. When we got back home, we were AIM (instant messenger) friends and got to know each other really well. I thought he was such a good guy that I encouraged him and one of my best girl friends to go to prom together! I just had my eye on another guy at that time so I wasn't viewing Mark 'that' way. Things didn't work out with this other gal and Mark and I started hanging out more. One night that I can't forget is a dinner we had at about 6pm at Village Inn. We just talked and talked all night long and the staff had to ask us to leave because it was 2:30am WHAAAT?? That night I went home and journaled about my night with Mark. I basically told God I had no clue what was going on with this guy but that it feels different and asked him to keep me open to whatever might be.
Fast forward a few months and we had been spending TONS of time together. If you would ask our friends from back then, they'd say we were pretty annoying. At this point we weren't dating because I was leaving for Arkansas for school that summer. He still went to all of my formals and prom with me and we basically spent ever spare second we had with each other. On May 16th, 2000 Mark finally said he wanted to date me for sure. It was funny because he didn't want to date me because I was headed out for college but I guess he had a change of heart. :) I'm sure glad he did but it made my time at John Brown University (8 hours away) really tough. My first visit home was 3 weeks in to college and Mark and I talked about marriage (we had only been together a few months). I felt the exact same way and we continued dating. I moved home to be close to him and we got engaged on August 28th, 2002. Finally!! We can get married!!
It was fun/completely stressful to plan for our big day but it was amazing. We had almost 500 guests join us in celebrating our marriage. It was May 30th, 2003. It was record setting hot outside....pushing 90 degrees. There were hundreds of gerber daisies and my cute bridesmaids all dressed up in cobalt blue. The stage was set at Lincoln Berean Church with wildflowers, more daisies and lots of candles. The wedding was a surreal blur. Our wedding party was HUGE with 8 bridesmaids and 8 grooms men and 4 ushers that were best friends from junior high. We all loaded up in our SUV limo after the nuptials and headed out to take pictures.
We arrived an hour or so later to the Train Station downtown. It was breath-taking...sky high ceilings filled with little twinkly lights. The tables were set with bright crisp white linens and each napkin was home to a single gerber daisy (are you catching the theme??) We had lots of laughs and danced the night away.
The whole night was topped off with a walk through downtown to get to our hotel for the night. There were lots of congratulatory honks and yells and it was something we'll never forget.
Here's some of my favorite pictures from that day:
I'll have to force you to read this blog since you don't think you need to ever read it because you "know me so well and you know how I feel about things so you don't need to read a blog where I talk about it." Thank you for these past 8 years of friendship and love. I feel blessed that we have each other and we still keep one another laughing. You are my best friend and we have so much fun together...whether we're taking in a concert, football game or just doing the mundane things together (woot woot for Super Target). Thanks for being honest with me and challenging me to think beyond what I normally would. Thanks for taking ANY situation that seems horrible to me and reminding me that everything is going to be okay and that we're still alive and well with amazing friends and families. You are such a good doggy dad. Yes, I'm aware that sounds totally insane but you love those dogs so much and I can't wait to see you love on your son or daughter some day. Let's keep dating like we try to do every week. Let's keep laughing at life and ourselves. I love you more than I could ever express. xoxo ~Ash