Sunday, January 31, 2010

Our Story - Part III

Thursday, September 4th, 2008
He could not fall asleep. He was far to anxious for their meeting the following day. He tried to occupy his mind with reading, or t.v. but nothing could calm his nerves. Finally, at 3 AM he left Charlotte, North Carolina, where he had now been for 6 weeks to complete his Masters of Divinity. The 8 hours that lay between him and this new interest quickly passed (though he did stop halfway through the trip to sleep for a couple of hours)
Friday, September 5th, 2008
The Willeke house, in the meantime, was a hub of excitement. The 5 boys had already dubbed this new friend, “Just Friends Dan,” following a conversation Ashlee had with Nathan on the subject. It went something like this:
“So, who is this guy?” (asked rather casually, but with every intention of getting exactly the answer intended)
A casual response was given, and a general description followed.
“You like him?” (lets just cut to the chase already, huh?)
“O. Just friends?”
“Hmm… So, he’s like… ‘just friends Dan’?”

Ashlee did her best to keep the morning normal—though changing her clothes three times certainly wasn’t normal, and walking to the front door every half hour was not either. As afternoon came her adrenalin began to rise. He said he’d be here around 2. He’s a guy, he’ll be here around 3.
2 o’clock passed.
The clock was fast approaching 3pm… and the doorbell rang.
Angela, for reasons still unknown to all who witnessed, screamed and ran to hide in the kitchen. The boys casually walked to the front door and peered out the windows to evaluate, without any intention of inviting the visitor in. Finally, leaving the baby on the landing of the steps only half dressed, Ashlee pulled open the front door, then jumped back to get Anna before greeting Daniel for the first time.
Naturally, their eyes met. They hugged. It was over. Eventually everyone else made their introductions. He already had all their names memorized. (Impressive, huh?)
They passed the afternoon as any two friends would. They made cookies, talked, watched the kids outside. They talked past 1 am Friday night, she telling him why she was at home, and not at college. Although, months later, with a ring on her finger, she referred back to the conversation and he was completely clueless. Kind of just lost in the moment?

Saturday, September 6th, 2008
Their first Scrabble game. He insisted they play on teams—Angela and Peter, Daniel and Ashlee, and they disagreed how their names sounded best together “Ashlee and Daniel,” he said, “Daniel and Ashlee,” she insisted.
But the worst was yet to come… Angela and Peter, because of their long-distance relationship, had yet to have been out on a date. For various reasons, Mr. and Mrs. Willeke did not want them going alone, and so requested that Daniel and Ashlee to accompany them. But not sit with them, Angela insisted. So reservations were made for a classy Italian restaurant, the girls got dressed up, the guys made themselves handsome, and 5 o’clock rolled around.
Ashlee agreed to the arrangement mostly for her sister’s sake, knowing how important the night out would be for her. In her thinking she reasoned, if she had no feelings for this guy, going out, sitting at a table alone, should be no big deal…. Riiight?
So why was her stomach in knots before she had even freshened her make-up?

Proceeding dinner Ashlee was adamant: THIS IS NOT A DATE. Daniel only laughed, “So it’s a non-date?”  She said that was fine enough, so long as it wasn’t a date. So, it was dubbed their “non-date,” though they both privately acknowledged the outing had all the elements of a real date.
As they sat down at a small table for two, she told him she’d never been to dinner with a guy before this. He was the first. Though he had resolved before leaving Charlotte that he would not let his emotions or subjective feelings out during the course of the weekend, the atmosphere and her obvious anxiety made him slip. With a charming sort of smile he said, “Well, I’d much rather be on a non-date with you than on a real date with any other girl.”

Ooops. :-P

He got the speech about how she wasn’t ready for a relationship, and was happy just to be friends, and hoped she wasn’t leading him to believe she wanted or hoped for more than that…Who cared what she thought? He wanted and hoped for more.

During dinner Daniel presented her with a 5 disc collection of hymns and praise songs, complied to follow the order of worship—beginning with praise to the Lord, then lamentation for sin, songs of the cross and resurrection, then of the Christian life and walk, and then of the Church and her glorification. It was accompanied by a sweet little note about how much he had grown to appreciate her as a sister in Christ.
She loved all of them, and spent the next week listening to and memorizing each song on all 5 discs.
Her take home box that night was more than half full, and when he suggested ice cream (at Coldstone!) she nearly gagged, and politely declined.

Sunday they turned heads, naturally. He was full of talk of how they appeared to be a couple-- walking in together, sitting together during service, and then sitting together (without her family, even) through Sunday school. She justified it easily-- who else would he sit with? The baby? He couldn't have gone to the high school class with Nick, and etc.
He was just plain excited.

That afternoon saying goodbye was actually more emotional than either of them had anticipated. He had to fight tears as he drove down the interstate (though he didn't actually admit to it until months later), and when they met again because he had forgotten his glasses, contact solution and a few other necessities (which made her laugh good-naturedly-- he actually was a real, typical guy), she impulsively hugged him goodbye again, without intending to.

He left that weekend determined to pursue a friendship, in the hopes of something more, very soon. Her expectation for the weekend was left still grey. She had hoped the encounter would have been a deciding factor, but despite all the wonderful things about the weekend she felt no more inclined or disinclined to attach herself to him. He was still just friends Dan.

           be continued...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Home Sweet Home

As I write Daniel has already begun the process of moving all of his things (mostly books :)) into what will be our first home. We found this adorable little townhouse while apartment searching last Fall, and it turned out to be the best deal. We'll be located less than 5 miles from RTS, and about 5 miles from the nearest shopping center. We're in a small community of townhomes, with tennis courts and a swimming pool at our disposal. We'll even have a guest room for visiting family and friends (hint, hint). Pictures will be up when I can actually get some. But we are SO excited about our first real home.

In the meantime, my thoughts are full of decorating ideas. So, this morning I headed out with my two littlest sisters to Goodwill. Sometimes you can find some great deals, and today I came home very, very happy. :)

I found this 64oz. vase for $5 with the tags still on it- Italian glass, whatever that means ;-). I love the shape of it. Considering you can buy something similar brand-new at Crate and Barrel for $20-$30, I thought it was a bargain.

I found this Lincoware kettle for $4, again brand-new. It took me awhile to get over the green heart, but I've decided it's adorable. The one I registered for at Macy's was $40.

So, this is by far my FAVORITE thing.  Pier 1 find for $2. Material is raw satin and taffeta. I'm going to add some material to the sides of it to convert it into a shower curtain.

So, that's what we're up to... Daniel's busy lifting heavy boxes and furniture, and I'm out shopping to my heart's content. :-P
Part III is soon to come- I promise!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Our Story - Part II

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

The usual evening activities in the Willeke household completed, and the quietness setting in, a cell phone was handed to Ashlee, who blushed, made a curious face, and then ran downstairs to privacy.

1000 miles away in Tampa, Florida the charming redhead introduced himself. It was finally good to hear her voice, he said. The conversation lasted well over two hours. There was never a moment of silence, never an awkward pause, never a hesitant answer; it could be safe to say that they felt they had known each other forever by the end of the conversation. She told him about her family, what she loved about and learned by being raised in a large family, and how she hoped to have one of her own. He told her about his missions trip to Wales and the passion he had for an area and culture that had no understanding of biblical principles, and where a covenant family was virtually unheard of. He said, with emotion in his voice, of how he hoped to live and pastor a church in an area such as that, so that the Lord could use his hopes for a large, Biblical family, and Reformed theology to witness to the people there.

Then he told her how he hoped to someday adopt perhaps half a dozen children from countries around the world: A little girl from India, one from China, an African baby boy. She fell in love with the idea, and put it on her mental notepad.

Had she been any less sensible her heart would have been won before the night was over, but as it was, any emotion that he arose in her she quickly pushed aside, and when her sister asked her what she thought, her reply was that he was still much too intelligent for her, but that he was amazing, and funny and a great man. His thoughts were reserved as well, and he told Peter only, that he'd like to talk to her again.

However, the following day he requested permission to continue to call her periodically, as a friend, and she agreed—as a friend. After two weeks of such conversations (they did not shorten in length) and many late nights chatting, she decided she had better okay everything with her dad. He agreed without hesitation, but with some perplexity; and when Daniel called not too long after that to ask for permission to make a visit up to Ohio, it became evident to Mr. and Mrs. Willeke this young man was not interested in simply being just friends. (Though they remained silent on the subject!)
The visit was planned for Labor Day weekend, September 5th would be the first day they met face-to-face.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Our Story - Part I

A quiet day in September of 2007 a young man sat by the beside of his dying Grandmother and promised that he would do his best to make her proud, and would, as much as it depended upon him, find a godly wife who exemplified the characteristics he loved and cherished in his grandma. She died not long after, and since that day, the young man’s quest for a woman of God has been in earnest.
While he pursued his college education, and endeavored to realize the call God had placed on his heart to be a minister of the Gospel, a young (very young) woman was waiting, O, so anxiously and patiently for the man God was preparing for her. She was told to wait and hope and pray, and he would come along eventually. In the meantime, there was a lot to DO!
He was extroverted, good-humored, passionate and either loved or hated by those who knew him. She was quiet, sweet and loved by everyone. He grew up with two working parents, one older sister; went to the public schools in Tampa, FL. She relished the vivacity of a home school family of 10, with hard-working father, and a stay at home Mom in a rural suburb in Ohio—not quite out with the cornfields, and yet not close enough to the city to see the smog.
She wanted 13 children, he wanted 18.
They were perfectly matched.

Actually… that’s not quite how it went. The first time the name Daniel Wells was ever heard in the Willeke household it was between two sisters, one smitten in love, and the other calmly resolved that, “only the deepest love will induce me to matrimony. So I shall end up an old maid and teach [my sister’s] 10 children to play their instruments very ill!” (Pride and Prejudice). He was acclaimed as “hilarious… and a very godly, and intelligent man,” and then sadly, very soon forgotten. However, when the name Ashlee Willeke rang in his ears, “beautiful” was all he was told, and he was determined to be at least introduced to the girl.
Many thanks go to modern day conveniences such as cell phones, the Internet (and therefore chatting, facebook and blogging) which were all important factors in teaching this couple about each other.

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Ashlee, fresh out of high school, not even a month over 18, and totally oblivious to the change that would happen in her life in the next four months, sat contentedly on her bed. Angela, bubbly and exuberant as she is, soon was nearly on top of her sister with her camera phone on, “I MUST take a picture of you!”
A playful fight then took place where older sister attempted to divert the phone from the younger, whose persistence and animation eventually won. “It’s for that Daniel Wells! He’s out with Peter tonight, and he wants to know what you look like!” (Reader, please note: Daniel Wells had never said such a thing.)
Snap. Click. Sent. (or so we thought… upon investigation months later we realized the picture was actually never received.)
The conversation between Angela and Peter immediately preceding this event had been a simple dialogue between a curious girlfriend who was an adoring sister, and a loving boyfriend, with a biological make-up inducing him to match-making. He told her his plans for the evening, that he was going to a movie with Daniel Wells, had to remind her who he was, and then quickly said goodbye.
The conversation was not ended 10 seconds before both Angela and Peter dialed back out. “Were you calling me?” Peter asked. “Yeah! Were you calling me? Babe! What about Ashlee and Daniel!?!” “I was just thinking THE SAME THING!” Thus the tackling of the older sister in an attempt to match-make.