Ashlee's brief version: (I will have Chris write his side later) :)
If there is one story in this entire world that I will never get sick of talking about or hearing, it is mine and Chris's love story. I don't use the term "love story" lightly or just to sound cute...it truly is a love story. More beautiful than anything I could have imagined.
For me, it started May of 2010. He and I were in the same ward for a couple months since I had been home from my mission. I was getting ready to go to SUU. I noticed Chris each week for a few reasons. The obvious one is how handsome he is but there was a lot more to it than that. I saw him interact each week with people in our ward and I couldn't help but be drawn to his kindness, warmth and love that he showed for everyone that he came in contact with. We would say hi to each other but that was really all the interaction that took place. I had an "admiration crush" on him.
I then left to Cedar City for school and kind of forgot about this crush I had. I became heavily involved in school and my ward and did a lot of dating and making good friendships. Chris continued to attend the singles ward in South Jordan, attend the U, and work for his dad.
Summer 2011 came around and it was time for summer break. I had my summer all set up full of plans and thought I was going to have the most wonderful summer. I had been offered a job at Zion National Park (one of my favorite places on earth) and to be a nanny part time in Las Vegas. I was so excited and thought this was for sure going to be the best summer so far.
I got home from SUU and began to pack and prepare to move to Las Vegas and then on to Zion. I had about a week to get ready. I decided to attend the old ward that I had previously gone to the year before. I wanted to see a few friends and I knew the time and place it started so I figured that it would be easy to go. I went into Sacrament meeting and it was a fast sunday. I remember seeing Chris get up and bear his testimony. I remember thinking to myself how much I admired him last year and I wondered why in the world he was not yet married. I was again impressed by his testimony. Then came Sunday School. I remember walking in and sitting down and glancing over at him. I couldn't help but continue to steal glances at him and I distinctly remember thinking how much I wanted to go and sit by him. But the thought came into my head that there was no point in trying to get to know him because I was moving in 2 weeks and there was not any guy who could keep me home from Zion National Park!
Well, then things took a drastic turn. I was at the store R.E.I. buying hiking shoes for my summer job when I got a text from my friend telling me that the Zion job had been cancelled and they didn't need students anymore. I was shocked. I immediately went home and e-mailed my professor begging him to let me go but he insisted that the company that hired us no longer needed us. He had no control over it. I was borderline devastated. Then, I called the family that wanted me to nanny and they wouldn't pay me enough to make the job worth my time. In one day my entire summer plan was gone. And I was now in West Jordan for the summer with no job or really any close friends.
For about a day I had what you could call a bad attitude. I was sure that there was no reason for this. I remember talking to my sister and mom and them both telling me that everything happens for a reason and that a new opportunity would present itself. I couldn't imagine anything being better than Zion National Park!
After a couple of days I decided I'd better change my attitude. I wrote a list of summer goals and a couple of them were to involve myself in church activities and social events and to maintain a positive attitude. Well...the next Saturday the institute was hosting an institute activity called "The Book of Mormon Feast." I wanted to stay true to my goal so I decided to go. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made....
I remember in between classes I saw Chris come into the room and immediately I was drawn to him. I kind of watched him and again saw the sincere interaction and attention he gave to every one around him. I wanted to talk to him SO bad. Eventually, I got his attention:) we talked for a few minutes and he asked me out for that night. We've been in touch every day since May 21st, 2011. We clicked immediately in so many ways but especially on a spiritual level. I knew after 8 days that I was in love with him and that he could possibly be my future husband. He knew on the 2nd day that he was in love with me and that I could be his wife:)
The Saturday we met, was the Saturday I would have been in the car on my way to Zion National Park. :)
When one door closes, another one opens. I now have a testimony of this. Heavenly Fathers hand really is in our lives and sometimes when things don't seem to make sense, the best thing is to trust in Him because His way is ALWAYS better.
I had a feeling that summer 2011 was going to be the best summer ever...and it was more than I could have ever thought up or dreamed of:)
Thanks for reading :D