Kevin and Ashley, I am so happy we got to spend this afternoon together! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to make this (very fun) day happen. So excited about your wedding day! Enjoy a few of my favorites. —js
Ashley, what’s your favorite thing about Kevin?
I like shopping second hand; Kevin’s profile pic was of him in his new convertible. Our first date was relaxing and our conversation easy, but I worried that Kevin was more refined than myself. That when he saw my stark, thrift store decorated apartment, he’d have second thoughts. It wasn’t that he was willing to try something new or that he is a voice of reason to balance my sometimes whimsy ideas that makes our relationship work. The way Kevin and I communicate to share ideas, interests and even challenge each other is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Kevin’s personality and way of looking at the world complements my own. He took on the challenge to set up my $10 garage sale purchase of a projector and screen in our dining room, I’ve fallen in love with evening drives in his car, and I’m a better traveler when I’m with him, even my parents agree. He takes my ideas and helps me make something of them that we can share together, all while making me laugh and see the world in a way I never could have managed on my own.
You knew you’d marry him when…
Part of what made our first date so cool was how much we shared about our dreams and goals, both personally and professionally; I maybe had a hint then that this relationship had some real potential. Kevin and I are both busy people, but I’ve never felt like our relationship has gotten in the way of new goals or that our jobs have gotten in the way of our relationship. We’ve never prevented each other from reaching toward something, and that was certainly true when Kevin took a job in Pierre, thereby expanding the miles in our already long-distance relationship. We were over an hour and a half apart for the first two years, so every moment we spent together was something special. Sensing I was having a hard week, there was one time after he moved when he surprised me by jumping in the car and driving the three hours so we could share less than a day together. He also knew that my smile would be even brighter when I opened the door if I saw not only him, but also our cat. I knew I’d marry him when I looked back and realized not only how much fun I have when I’m with him, but how open, kind and genuine he is when life gets hard.
Kevin, what’s your favorite thing about Ashley?
The lens that I look at the world through is a well-blazed trail that is lit in black and white. The lens Ashley uses is fascinating. She is always full of new ideas and ambitions – creativity is her super power. She sees a problem and knows that by doing her part she can make a difference. She spurs people to try new things – often of her own culinary creation. Ashley sees the strengths in her students and gives them the space and support to cultivate them. Best of all, she challenges me – because of her I am a better person. She shares her magical lens and makes me the best version of myself.
You knew you’d marry her when…
Our first date was simple and felt so wonderful – I had an inkling that good things were in store for us. We proceeded to have memorable dates—such as when we ended up helping search and rescue locate a man lost in Custer Park. Since Ashley was teaching an hour and a half away in Pine Ridge, I often only had our evening phone conversations to look forward to. She would visit me in Rapid City most weekends and if she could hitch a ride with a Jesuit who was coming to town, she would. After a couple of months, I realized that I couldn’t imagine looking at the upcoming weeks, months, or years and not have her be a part of them. So when did I know I would marry her? Last Tuesday, yesterday, today, and every day since the day she slipped in as a character in my biography.