Saturday, February 27, 2010


There are now only 98 days left until our wedding!!!


we have been engaged for 215 days

our engagement will last 313 days

we spent more days in triple digits than we will spend in double
we are 2/3 of the way to the altar

facts make me happy.

p.s. fact: I love Daniel Wells.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

...She'll Be Wearing White...

After traveling 5+ hours down to northern Cincinnati (GPS took us through the country back roads... :-/) my mom, my Matron of Honor and I all piled out of our suburban with high hopes.

Note to future brides: Hidden in a little suburb near Kings Island is the "Bridal World" of America. Brides from all over the world come to get designer gowns at reasonable prices. We made our first stop at Bridal and Formal, the nation's second largest wedding gown shop. They have over 1,500 gowns ranging from pretty $500 dresses, to Vera Wang and Lazaro which could easily top $15,000-- we only glanced at those ones.

The woman helping me kept calling me "Princess" and "Cinderella"....

Guess, that's the closest picture you'll get until June 5th. :)

111 days!


Our Story - Part V

In October the two sisters planned a trip down to Tampa to visit Angela’s boyfriend. Daniel “happened” to be on fall break that week, and their second encounter face-to-face was much anticipated. Daniel, especially, was looking forward to this meeting. If the chemistry between them went well, if she seemed comfortable and happy around him, he planned on approaching her father about beginning a courtship.

October 17th, Daniel stood in the Tampa airport with excitement rising. Their plane had already landed—where in the world were they? (freshening make-up, fixing hair, reapplying lip gloss, of course—2 hours is a long time on a plane!) He waited as each group of people exited the tram, each time his hopes of seeing her growing greater.  Time stood still for a moment as his eyes fell on her; it was completely surreal The smile that spread across his face made evident his emotions to all rational onlookers.

“Where is he?” one sister asked the other, unaware they were already being watched. Ashlee saw him waiting there first. A sweet, friendly hug followed, and Angela, watching from behind smiled at the adoring face Daniel made when he hugged her older sister.
To her it was more than obvious that he was keenly interested.

The morning in Tampa was enjoyable. They had lunch at Macaroni Grill where the white paper table cloth turned into a game of messages. Trying to gain more hand, no doubt, Daniel wrote, “I missed you.”
Ashlee grinned, and wrote, “I miss your beard.” (They had had a discussion about facial hair, during which, Ashlee had made it very obvious she preferred facial hair. Despite such obvious prompting he shaved two days before her arrival.)

Friday afternoon they coupled up again, but Ashlee was comfortable enough around him now not to feel the anxiety their “non-date” had produced. They visited the aquarium in Tampa, and laughed and took pictures, then went to a coffee shop, where Angela and Peter enjoyed torturing Daniel with jokes about how much he liked Ashlee—jokes which went right over her head.

At the aquarium, Friday, October 17th - blissful oblivion on the right, anxious anticipation on the left.

The beach was the one place she wanted to go during that trip, so he perfectly planned it that they would arrive just before sunset…

Unfortunately, his plans were foiled by the happy couple, who was more interested in eating, than watching a romantic sunset. They missed the sunset, but made it to the beach shortly after. As Ashlee and Peter raced to the on coming waves, Daniel walked slowly forward, filled with mild anticipation and excitement. He was too nervous to let it all be expressed, but everything seemed to be proceeding well.

The “couples” eventually split up, and Angela and Peter found a dry spot in the sand to lay and watch the stars—or what little of them could be seen through the haze of the city lights. Ashlee and Daniel waded back and forth in ankle-deep water, Ashlee nearly perfectly happy—jeans rolled up, fresh ocean air to breath in deeply, wind through her hair and on her shoulders, a dark sky of stars above her, with waves lapping at her toes—it was close to bliss. Her contentment was interrupted with his voice, and words about how glad he was that she had come to visit, and how glad he was to have her as a friend, and all she could think was, “Please don’t hug me. Please don’t hug me.” And ways to politely avoid what she now knew was inevitable. Then he hugged her, and she liked him too much as a friend to reject it. 

Their first moment of awkwardness followed, before she shuffled her feet in the water, and asked if they could lay down in the sand.

Laugh hard, Reader, it was as ridiculous as it sounded.

She was sure to leave enough space between them to keep things safe, but as their heads went back on the sand and they looked up at the sky, all he could think of, with something bordering childish excitement, was “We’re laying in the sand—next step—in love!” He looked over, now the one perfectly content, and couldn’t help but remark to her how beautiful she looked with the moon reflecting off her features, and the darkness giving a mysterious aura to her expression. She laughed, and tried not too think on it too much.

But, they have agreed to tell their daughters to avoid lying down in the sand with young men: They are certain to fall in love. : )

... to be continued...

A little Oops.

In reading over our story together, Daniel pointed out that I'd forgotten a very important part of that first "non-date" back in September.

Check out the missing link in Part III again.... Wedding planning update, and Part V coming soon!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Our Story - Part IV

Conversations continued after that with mutual interest, they both grew closer as friends; and his subjective interest heightened. She turned his head, and his heart. He bought three Jane Austen novels and purused her favorite, in an attempt to "enter into her world." He was the joke of the campus: M.Div students do not read Jane Austen. Period. But this one did.

Things grew complicated quickly, however, when it became evident to those around her that this man was not just interested in a friendship. She had several friends cautioning her, and even a couple encouraging her to discontinue all conversation with him. In her journal she wrote of a conflict of mind and heart. While logic and reasoning could easily persuade her that they were just friends, and that taking him at his word was what was best for the friendship, the power of her heart and the confidence of trusted friends created quite a quandary. "My heart is telling me, along with outside sources, that he’s more than just interested: he sees a potential relationship and is scoping out his prospect- me. Talk about pressuring; talk about uncomfortable.... I want to just run away from my problems and cry..." But in the end, reason always won. At least it made sense... she couldn't make sense of what she was feeling, so she just ignored it, in hopes it would soon disappear.

Down in Charlotte people thought he was just plain crazy. His pastor and pastor's wife had a good laugh over his pursuit of her, and thought that the trip to see her in September was moving just a little too fast. Some were a little concerned that she was only 18, a home-schooler, so far away, & etc. There seemed to be no end to the conflict.

Yet, somehow he knew she was different. She seemed set apart from all other girls he'd ever been interested in, she seemed unique, unparalleled. And he knew that the heart break he could possibly experience through being rejected could not compare with the joy that would come if she ever was his-- even the joy that he experienced simply in knowing her.

They had a fight late September over the definition of their relationship. Unable to live without some confrontation, she brought up his obvious interest, expressed concern that "just friends" didn't seem enough for him... and nearly crushed his hopes of winning her heart.

She thought she had done right, she had been honest. Everyone told her she needed to be more honest. Why then was there a hole in the pit of her stomach? 

Besides one email they didn’t talk at all for 3 days (O, wow!) but it felt like a month. She prayed he would call on Wednesday, as he normally did, but when 9 o’clock passed without a phone call, she did her best to hold her emotions in check.

However, after thoughtful consideration, and some prayer her honesty (she had flat out told him she could not ever see a future with them as more than friends) did not discourage him at all. He and his best friend set to work on a plan to woo her back into his hands.

(O, Dear Reader, it was dreadfully awful, and he was scolded fiercely months later when he told her what went on, but it worked.)

He waited and waited and waited for the clock to roll past nine. And when finally 9:30 came he called his best friend again, "You sure I shouldn't just wait until tomorrow?"

"No, no. Dan, she'll hate you if you do that. You've gotta call late tonight. She'll be all emotional, and just be glad you even called. If you wait, you'll lose."

So he called forty minutes late and was pleased to hear she nearly burst into tears at the sound of his voice. He pretended to be a little mad (and he truthfully was a little) and after letting her express all she wanted (which was mostly just jumbled apologies for hurting him), then told her rather firmly that if they were going to be just friends he needed her to trust him.

She realized that night that her life would be very different without that man in her life. Somewhere in her heart she was beginning to understand what it felt like to be completed by someone.

                                                                        be continued...