First Came Love:
After years of waiting for "Mr. Right" and literally searching the world, hoping to bump into him, I returned home from 3 years doing missions with Youth for Christ in Northern Ireland. After returning I started volunteering for my youth group as a new youth pastor came out to California to serve at our church. A few months passed and a new volunteer showed up. Little did I know that this guy would be my future husband.
You see our new youth pastor, Nate, had attended Liberty University in Virginia and was the RA there. One day while walking through Target, Nate ran into a guy who lived on the same floor as him. What were the chances? That guy was Daniel so Nate asked him to come and help at our youth group.
I didn't think much of him to begin with, he did have a girlfriend at the time and I just wasn't paying attention. No use looking at someone who had a girlfriend anyways, and he wasn't looking at me either. I literally said about 5 words to him the first few months I knew him. He wasn't really around that much. But then it became clear that he and his girlfriend had called it quits and he was hanging around a lot more. I still wasn't thinking much about him but soon everyone began suggesting him to me and me to him. Neither of us saw it happening, and I was not interested in being pushed into a "set-up". As he watched me, however, and we hung out in groups he grew more and more interested and started to act accordingly. I was still indifferent, I wanted him to make the move or else I wasn't going to be bothered with him. I would notice him staring at me, but that was the extent.
Soon he began to make it very obvious that he was interested. Obvious to everyone of our friends, everyone but me. I knew if anything was going to happen between us and I would at least "see" what he was like was if he asked me out and we got to know each other, but I wanted to be chased! One day we were all hanging out and I decided to play a joke on him while also hopefully helping the situation along, at least a little. I found his phone on the ground when he was outside and reprogrammed my name in his phone as "God" (not to be too sacrilegious, just as a joke). The next day I thought and thought about what fun or funny thing I could text him from "God" and finally I decided on "If you are looking for a sign, you can take this as one." Thinking I was so clever and waiting for the flirting to begin, I instead never received a reply. He thought somehow it was spam???
Finally his roommates figured out it was my number and he text me, and flirting began which led to our first date. Our first conversation was him explaining to me why he had fallen for me and all the things he had watched about me that he had admired. I knew that if this was going to be right, it was going to go fast. We were both ready and not about playing games anymore with each other. Boy, was I right. We got together a week later, engaged four months after that. What a whirlwind, but it was all so wonderful and completely worth the wait. We always say "You are everything I never knew I always wanted" and it is so true. He is so good for me in so many ways, but my favorite thing is how much we laugh. Because of all that we had been through we appreciated each other so much and it was like we were made to love each other, I think that is exactly the case.
Then Came Marriage:
Our engagement: 4 months after we started dating I knew it wouldn't be long till we were engaged. I was on vacation with my family in Sedona, AZ. I thought it might be coming sometime soon but it was nearly the last day and I hadn't given up on all those expectations. Our second to last day there we all went out to eat. Little did I know Daniel was back at the hotel setting it all up. When we returned there were candles and rose petals that all lined up to a stool. On the stool was a check in a ring box. The check said Pay to the Order of Ashley's Heart, for the amount of priceless, the date: from now until eternity. I turned around and there he was with a ring, shaking. (He told me he has never been so nervous in all his life). He asked me to marry him right there in front of my whole family.
We knew we wanted to get married quickly so we started planning right away. Everything seemed to just fall into place. I have never felt more of God's blessing and grace as I did during that time. We got married 4 months later.
Our Wedding: We got married November 14th, 2008. I loved our location and it was a beautiful day in California for a November day. The ceremony was great and my favorite part, we danced down the isle on the way out. It was a great time with family and friends.
For our honeymoon we went on a cruise to the Mexican Riviera, it was amazing. We loved every minute of it. We are so excited that for our next anniversary (our third) we will be on another cruise with my family! We can't wait.
Then Came a Baby in the Baby Carriage:
5 months after we were married I got pregnant with our first baby. Ashton "Action" Jackson. It was so quick and being pregnant for me was a hard experience but the outcome of our little man has been more than I can even describe. I love being a stay-at-home mom with him. I know raising a little human being is one of the most important things anyone can ever do. Anything he will know we will know for many years will be how we taught him. I love him so much.
We just recently moved our little family to Denver, Colorado to be a part of a church plant called "EnterMission". Everything is different, but we are excited about our adventure as the Jackson's!
This is our story, and it's just the beginning....