Ashley & Trey's Story

I cannot believe that this year Trey and I will be celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary. It feels like just yesterday we were standing in the rain, under a tree getting married.

Since this is the month of love (because Hallmark says so), Sarah and I thought we might share our “love stories” on the blog.

Trey and I’s story is really like any other story… boy meets girl, girl thinks boy is a little bit of a tool, they are just acquaintances for quite a while, then they start dating, four months later get engaged and then five months after that they get married. Oh, that’s not your story? Well, I guess I should give a little more detail then...

Trey & I first met through our home groups at The Village Church in Dallas. He was in a guy’s home group, I was in a girl’s home group and we would meet separately but do some social and service things together. We met at a pumpkin carving social event and it was as awkward as you think a group of 40 strangers getting together and carving pumpkins in someone’s front lawn could be. At the event, I remember thinking that Trey clearly thought of himself as pretty cool and that he really wasn’t. I don’t remember exactly why I thought that but I wasn’t an immediate fan. Well, fast forward to one of the next awkward meet ups and I realized that he was actually really nice, albeit a little creepy because he randomly asked me if I had eaten at Original Pancake House in Frisco the Sunday previously. I had. It just so happens that he was there with his family eating, but he said he had a moustache at the time and hadn’t wanted to come up to my table in case I didn’t remember him and just thought he was a creepy guy with a moustache at my table.

Over the course of the next several months, we would hang out in groups together and I was actually better friends with all of his roommates than I was with him. My group of girlfriends and his group of guy friends slowly all became one giant group and we had so much fun having backyard Olympic parties, hanging out at each other's’ houses, and even toilet papering each other (yes, we were all in our late 20s at this time and were super mature). It was seriously one of my favorite seasons of life because it was just so fun. Somehow in the midst of all of that, we had become attracted to each other. To be honest, ever since I had decided he wasn’t lame, I had thought he was attractive, but I would always follow that thought with the thought that we weren’t that close and I wasn’t quite sure the chemistry would be there.

At the time, I was a teacher and was on summer vacation. Trey had some vacation days to use up and had mentioned wanting to hang out. We went to get ice cream, went to the mall, then we met up with two friends, and somehow ended up watching fireworks with Trey’s entire extended family that night. About halfway through this “hang out” Trey had told me that he would never date anyone from our homegroup. I was understandably confused, but at that point was just kind of over it. Trey still claims to this day that it was all part of his plan.

I had pretty much written him off. We still hung out quite a bit in groups, but didn’t hang out again one-on-one. During this time, we went to a party at a friend’s house and while we were there a guy asked for my number right in front of Trey. I think this lit a fire under him.Then, a few weeks later he called & asked me if I would be his date to a group dinner with some of his college friends. I thought it was weird, but didn’t have anything else going on so I said “yes”. It was a lot of fun, but I was still a little confused as to why he asked me. The following week, he asked me out to coffee for the obligatory DTR (define the relationship) conversation. I remember at some point during that conversation he said something to the effect of “I’m not saying we have to get married tomorrow…”.

 One of our early dates... Trey surprised me with Mavericks tickets! 

One of our early dates... Trey surprised me with Mavericks tickets! 

Little did we know…

No, we didn’t get married the next day, but it all moved pretty fast from there. Neither Trey or I had dated anyone longer than a few months. I would say that we both would know pretty soon after a relationship started if we thought it was going anywhere or not & usually they didn’t last long. So, we started dating in August 2013 kind of knowing that either it was going to be short-lived or get serious quickly. By the first weekend of November, we were looking at engagement rings (while Trey was rocking a moustache again). A fact which we tried to keep a secret, but then all of the ring store cards fell out of Trey’s pocket at a party so the cat was out of the bag.

 Engagement photos by The Three Photography. We look like babies.

Engagement photos by The Three Photography. We look like babies.

From there, we actually started to plan the wedding. We knew we wanted a May wedding and that we didn’t have a lot of time to plan, so while we were waiting on the ring to come in, we got a jump start on it which is something I said I would never do. I guess I can just add that to the list of things that I have said I would never do and then wind up eating my words.

Our wedding was magical, beautiful, and really really rainy. We had an outdoor wedding at Trey’s grandparents’ house and up until it was pouring down rain that afternoon, the radar had looked completely clear. If you know me at all, you know that I’m not always the most easy going person in the world, so it surprised everyone, myself included, that the rain really didn’t affect me much at all. I knew that I could throw a fit and essentially ruin the day for myself and everyone else or I could just remember that end of the day, I was going to be Trey Watten’s wife and just enjoy every minute of it. I chose option number two. We had a blast celebrating with family and friends and we loved how laid-back it made our wedding. At one point, I had bridesmaids on their hands and knees rolling up carpets to make room for a dance floor in Granny & Grandad’s living room. I honestly don’t think I would change anything about it.

 Photo by The Three Photography. This is my very favorite picture from our wedding day!

Photo by The Three Photography. This is my very favorite picture from our wedding day!

Shortly after getting married, we moved to Abilene, TX where Trey started his career with Sylvan Learning Centers. We had to leave our friends, family, and I had to leave a job that I loved, but it felt like we were going on our own little adventure together. It was quite the adventure, for sure. I had to start some hormone suppression therapy right after we got married in an attempt to control my endometriosis. It was really tough, mostly for Trey, because his wife turned into a crazy person. We were in a new city, I was working from home, Trey was starting a new job, I had health stuff going on, we didn’t have a community, and it was just hard. We fought quite a bit & really REALLY struggled to communicate. We have grown so much over the past (almost) four years and our relationship and our communication has gotten so much better over the course of time, but it’s honestly still something we have to work at constantly. (I talk about this a little bit more in a recent post, Stop, Start, Keep.)

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The Lord has used marriage to reveal our sin and sanctify us more than we could have ever imagined. I have told many people this, but I have never seen a more tangible example of the Gospel than in marriage. Trey sees all of my brokenness and all of my sin. I have screamed at him. I have cussed at him. He has had to sit up all hours of the night taking care of me while I have been sick. I have been such a brat more times than I can even count. And he still chooses to love me. It’s something that I’ve honestly fought against sometimes because I feel so unworthy, but he is quick to remind me of what’s true. It has given me a greater awareness of God’s faithfulness and His unfailing, unconditional love towards me.