28 March 2012

An Oregon Engagement Session by Michelle Cross Photography

"There are the road trips, the camping, the exploring new places for their dogs to run, and the long afternoon drives with no destination in mind. When asked what Daniel and Ashley's favorite things to do were, it didn't take long to see that the couple's love for wide open spaces was rivaled only by their love and admiration for family and friends. But it was what Ashley wrote in an email that really caused me to stop and catch my breath, making me realize just what a beautiful couple I was working with. "We both go to work ever day with the motivation that some day we will have our own ranch where our dogs, horses, cattle (and us!) can run free". Daniel and Ashley met a few years ago during a Memorial Day weekend camping trip. Both were staying with different parties, but when their campsites were placed adjacently to one another, the two met, became friends, and soon began dating. They will marry in July 2012 at the groom's parent's property just outside Bend, Oregon." - Michelle Cross, photographer.

Their love story:
When I was choosing where to move for my internship during my last year of pharmacy school, I was beyond excited when my school told me I was going to be in Central Oregon for the entire year. Five days after moving to Redmond I was up at the lake visiting a friend and as I tried to get off the boat I was stopped by a chatty guy with a cut-off shirt and a cowboy hat with the worst farmers tan you can imagine. Later that night Daniel carved my phone number into a tiny wooden baseball bat with scissors because he didn't have his cell phone on him. The next morning I had a text message from an unknown number saying "if this is Ashley then my carving skills are better than I thought." After he invited me to go fishing and I said I was too busy ironing my clothes, he tried again for the next night and this time I didn't have a good excuse. It poured down rain so we decided to just get dinner at the local italian restaurant. As dinner progressed the rain stopped. He was driving me home and jokingly asked if I still wanted to go fishing. I said, "let's go!", with a big smile on my face. We attempted to go fishing in the dark and I sank past my knees in mud as I heard him fall into the river (I couldn't see it because it was too dark). After that night we have pretty much shared every unplanned and planned adventure together.

The proposal:
It was a Saturday night and Daniel told me he was going to pick me up from work and take me on a special date night. We headed up the mountain and he pulled off at Suttle Lake. He led me up to a room at the lodge and told me to change for dinner. As I was getting ready, a summer storm drew closer. The thunder and lightening kept drawing closer and I kept wondering why Daniel had a worried look on his face. He usually loves summer storms. Little did I know, his cousin, friend, and brother were out by the lake preparing for the engagement. After I was ready, he grabbed my hand and we ran across the parking lot in the pouring down rain to the restaurant on the lake. As we enjoyed dinner, Daniel anxiously looked outside and just as the rain let up he told me to hurry up and finish so we don't miss the sunset. We headed out for a walk around the lake and found an empty dock. We headed out onto the dock to watch the bright pink sunset from the smoke filled air due to the surrounding forest fires. As we talked and stared off into the sunset Daniel told me he loved me and when I said I love you too, he asked with a smirk on his face, "forever?". He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him and of course I said, "yes" so fast that he barely got the ring out of his boot. A few minutes later he turns around and yells, "ok, you guys can come out now". His brother, cousin, and friend had been strategically placed around the lake to catch the entire thing with their cameras. We all enjoyed a bottle of champagne on the dock and then the guys took off. It couldn't have been more perfect! :)

He says:
There are so many qualities that I love in Ashley, but my favorites are her love for adventure, her unyielding loyalty and her persistent patience. I love that she is always ready to try something new, or to go somewhere different. We love exploring untraveled roads, untested pubs, and unknown camping spots, and pretty much any adventure that has us both in it. I have never met a single person in my entire life who has time and time again shown through actions that she will be the last person fighting in your corner, no matter what. She does this not just for me, but for her friends and family as well, and it is one of her attributes that I admire the most. And finally, her patience, is unmatched by anyone. Whether it's at her job as a pharmacist dealing with sick people all day, or training her horse or training me. She has the patience to see difficult times and situations through. Seeing these qualities play out before me every single day makes me want to be a better person...it makes me want to be more like her.

She says:
There are so many qualities that I love about Daniel and I feel so blessed to be marrying a man that has so much to offer the world. Some of my favorites are his fun, out-going personality, his warm heart, and his unshakable faith in his family, friends, and me. I love that he is always meeting new people and creating lasting relationships with a variety of people. His big smile and ability to talk about anything and everything always makes him someone you can't help but like. He is always ready to try something new, learn along the way and then share with others what he has learned. Another quality that I love about Daniel is his strong faith in his family. He has close relationships with everyone in his family and as the oldest sibling, he has a strong sense of protection that he carries over into our relationship allowing me to always feel safe in his arms.

Submitted via Two Bright Lights.

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