Saturday, March 24, 2012

"Forever" Friday---Matt and Elizabeth Hadsall--"His" Side of the Story

Matt's Side of their "LOVE Story!"

Growing up, some of my fondest memories are from the Youth Group at Olivet Baptist Church, and it was there where I can first remember a beautiful girl named Elizabeth Stevenson. Elizabeth was a couple of years older and way more pretty/popular than me, so my insecurities never allowed for me to get to know her. She actually never even knew I existed (as proven when looking at old youth trip photos, and her saying “You were there?!?!?!?!).
In the summer of 2009 I joined Olivet’s co-ed softball team, (who made the Bad-news-bears look like the Boston Red Sox) and there again was Elizabeth. It was on the softball diamond that my interest in this beautiful girl really began. She was so much fun to be around, even when we were losing, ALL THE TIME (which is not something I do well). Around the same time as softball started a young adult community group had began meeting at my house every Thursday night, and Elizabeth was a regular face there, so I was quickly seeing more and more of her. Being the reserved insecure man that I was though, I pushed aside the ever growing attraction I had for this girl, knowing full well that she was WAY out of my league.

I was able to keep my feelings subdued until one Thursday night, when Elizabeth rushed into my house, sprinted over, and sat down next to me. She then said, “ I have something to ask you! But I am only 95% sure that it will happen! So do you want me to tell you now, or wait until I am 100% sure?” Knowing that I needed to play it cool I told her she could wait until she knew for sure. This however, was not the answer she desired, so she then replied, "Well I'm going to tell you anyway! I am probably getting two tickets to go see Taylor Swift, and do you know who I want to take as my guest??? YOU!!!!" I could have passed out right there, not because of Taylor, but because I was going to get to spend an evening with the girl I had been crushing on! Again, I knew I had to play it cool, so I non-chalantly said, “Yea, I’ll go.”
After receiving the invite to the concert I could subdue my feelings no longer. In my time of accountability with my dear friend Kamunge I confessed to him my interest in Elizabeth. I also expressed to him the fear I had in actually asking her out, because she was so far out of my league. Who was I to ask Elizabeth Stevenson out on a date?? Kamunge did what he could to help me out. He started inviting Elizabeth to join us for our workouts on the weekends. The more time I spent around her, the stronger and stronger my feelings began to grow.

Soon after all of this, I began the process of getting my first tattoo. I explained it in full detail to Elizabeth and made her a part of the whole process. So when the day finally came she sent me a text message saying that she would come hold my hand if I needed. As badly as I wanted her to do that very thing I AGAIN played it cool, and told her I would be ok. That night after the tattoo was complete, she came by my house to see the finished product and hung out for awhile. So tattoo in place but still not enough courage to express my feelings. You have to understand the meaning behind the tattoo to understand how much this started to eat at me. I had gotten a tattoo of a rhino on my side, symbolizing my walk with Christ. You may not be seeing the connection here, but allow me to explain. A group of Rhino's is known as a "Crash" and this is because a rhino can run at speeds up to 35mph but can only see 30 feet in front of them. This is how I strive to live, as a Crash. Trusting that even though I can't see the road a head of me, God can, and he will be my eyes. I was for that reason growing upset with myself for not trusting in the Lord and whatever he had in store for pursuing Elizabeth. My talks with Kamunge began centering on this very topic, until he as my accountability called me out, and convinced me to go for it!

One Sunday night after leaving a game-night at Elizabeth’s apartment, I had made up my mind. It was time for me to take a leap and ask her out, but it didn't happen there. I didn’t sleep much the whole night, and arrived to work earlier than normal. Sitting in my truck I got on facebook, typed up a message, but couldn’t get myself to push send. So I did the only thing I knew to do, popped in the Taylor Swift CD, turned on the song Fearless, and mustered up enough courage to hit the button. Now all I had to do was wait.

The next 3 hours were the longest hours of my life. But right before morning break she sent an answer. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear, but it wasn’t a no so there was still hope. She told me that she wanted to pray about it, which was something I myself had been doing for quite a period of time, so it was only right to allow her the same oppurtunity.
A few days later we both attended a friend, Keith Talbert's birthday party. We spent the evening pretty close to each other so I was feeling pretty good. When the night was over, I went with Elizabeth to drop our Keith off at home. Once he was home she gave me my answer, and it was YES! I’m sure that the big goofy smile on my face would have been a pretty funny sight.
Only a few months into dating Elizabeth I knew that she was the woman God had made for me. About 8 months in our relationship I started looking for a ring. I can remember one Friday evening, we had gone to dinner, and the jeweler called to let me know some diamonds had come in for me to check out. I didn't really give her much of an explanation, other than I had to go do "something" I'm sure she was probably suspicious of what I was doing. I ended up picking a diamond for her ring that night.
On a Thursday in the beginning of February, I called Rick (Elizabeth’s Dad) and asked if I could come and talk with him and Tammy. That night I asked for their blessing to ask their daughter to marry me. I was so relieved when they said yes! After leaving their house, I put in a call to Elizabeth’s sister Emilee, and asked for her blessing as well. She too said yes!
The next day I went and picked up the ring and called the one last person I needed to talk with, Brooke Johnson, one of Elizabeth's closest friends. She was away from the house when I called her, but told me she would call me when she got home so I could come speak with her. Knowing that Elizabeth might find it a little odd for Brooke to be calling me, I changed her name in my phone from Brooke Johnson, to Mikey D. I let Elizabeth know that I was expecting a phone call from a co-worker who needed help moving a couch, so when he called I would be gone for a bit. Shortly after Brooke called, which Elizabeth saw as Mikey D on my caller ID (genius I know), and I went to her house and asked for her blessing as well. She, like Elizabeth's Parents and Sister, said yes.

The next day at Sunday school I let Elizabeth know that I had to take a coworker to the airport. Little did she know, I was leaving to set up the proposal. I went to her apartment, set everything up and nervously awaited her arrival. When she finally got to her back porch and it was time, I lost it! Tears of joy rolling down my face I was able to finally tell her I loved her, and asked her to marry me. I had always told Elizabeth that I would never tell her I loved her, unless the next words out of my mouth were will you marry me. So the moment had come, and she said yes!
Engagement and wedding photos taken by: Tim Davis Photography

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"A Lady With a Baby" Product Give Away!

Many of you who are local in Wichita have probably heard of the Grand Opening of the "Cottage Collective".

"The Cottage Collective is a charming boutique located in the historic College Hill neighborhood of Wichita, Kan. The shop features seven unique vendors who offer handmade goods and vintage decor you won't find elsewhere. We specialize in locally-made and found accessories and adornments for you and your home. You'll always find the perfect treasure at the Cottage!"

Tiffany Classen is one of the Eight Vendors with a space inside the quaint boutique. Her handmade creations are inspiring and unique and will add the perfect touch to your home, event, or even wedding decor! She can customize orders to match wedding colors, home decor colors, etc....

Meet the special lady behind all of her creations!
"He’s the Baby, I’m the Lady"
 "I love traveling to new places, shopping for sport, and eating delicious food. I love decorating my home, getting creative, and re-purposing items of old. I am inspired by the beauty of the things of old and natural elements, as well as the freshness of new designs and patterns. I love to inter-mingle these different elements into one cozy inviting environment. This same stream of creativity has now filtered into creating the products for A Lady With A Baby. I re-purpose fabrics as often as I can, giving them new life in a new way. By pairing the old with new, an unexpected yet beautiful product emerges…one that could tell you a story."
--Tiffany Classen

Just a little peek at her shop inside Cottage Collective:
 Tiffany is giving away some of her awesome creations to one lucky winner! A fun Spring T-shirt scarf and SUPER CUTE utensil holders!

 What do you need to do for a chance to win??

Like A Lady With a Baby facebook page
Leave a comment on A Lady With a Baby page
Like A Lady With a BabyEtsy
Like Cottage Collective on Facebook
Like Events By Ashley on facebook

Make you sure leave a comment for every task done on THIS BLOG POST!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chocolate Fruit Basket Cake-Recipe from Taste of Home

I made this amazingly, easy cake for a staff meeting and not only is gorgeous on the stand, but it is yummy in the tummy! For those of you whose mouths were watering, the recipe is so simple and very fast to make. I mixed up the cake batter and baked it one day, and then the next day completed the recipe. It definitely got me in the festive mood with the bright colors. It is great for any special event you may have! Enjoy!

Chocolate Fruit Basket Cake-Picture from Taste of Home
30 25 jkadah 55              Ingredients
  • 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix
  • 1 can (16 ounces) chocolate frosting
  • 11 Kit Kat candy bars (1-1/2 ounces each)
  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons apricot preserves, warmed
  • Fresh mint leaves, optional


  • Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using two greased 9-in. round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Separate candy bars; lightly press into sides of cake. Arrange berries on top; brush with preserves. Garnish with mint if desired. Yield: 12 servings.

    How-To: To keep the cake stand clean while frosting, line the edge with 3-in. strips of waxed paper. Center the first cake layer over the strips. When finished frosting, carefully remove strips one piece at a time.

Events By Ashley completed cake!

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    "Forever" Friday Love Story-Lauren and Bret

    How we met:
    Bret first saw me at a New Year's Eve Party in 2007, but we did not meet officially until I visited his Oxford House with a friend the next week. Bret immediately recognized me and was caught off guard still wearing his work clothes, laying on the couch. He proceeded to run upstairs and shower real quick, so that he was wearing something "fresh." Before leaving, we shook hands, but both left this time with a crush. It was only a few days later that our mutual friend, Jessica, played matchmaker and set us up to meet with a few more mutual friends along for the ride. And the rest is history....
    After surviving the longest summer of our lives, Bret finally made it back to Kansas in late September 2009 after fighting wildfires on a Hotshot Crew in Colorado. While the topic of marriage had come up a time or two, Bret tricked me into thinking the engagement wouldn't happen for another year.

    After picking the perfect ring and earning the approval of his mom and Whitney, one of my best friends, Bret bought the ring and was waiting for the perfect moment. He made the trip across town and asked my parents for their blessing and they happily answered "YES!." They were so excited and happy to have Bret as a son!

    While Bret had planned on waiting another week or two, he found the ring to be burning a hole in his pocket and overcome with fear that I would discover the surprise...which led to a few sleepless nights trying to dream of the perfect proposal. During the day of Halloween 2009, Bret had suggested carving some pumpkins, hoping to carve "marry me" into his, only to be revealed at the end. However, I decided it would be too messy and that we didn't have the proper carving utensils (lame, I know!).

    So onto plan #2! After passing out candy to many trick-or-treaters and running out of candy, I was changing before we left to meet up with some friends. Bret began to ring the doorbell with Jake, who happened to be dressed as the cutest doggy-squirrel. I answered the door laughing, wondering what in the world the two of them could be up to. Bret said, "Jake has something to ask you. There is a note in his collar." I found the note tucked into his collar and opened it..."Mom, do you want a trick or a treat?" I answered, "A treat!" Bret had got down on one knee, with his hand and voice shaking, asking, "Will you marry me?", followed by many other sweet things! It was absolutely perfect :)

     Wedding day:
     Bret and I had lots of time to plan our special day, as we were engaged for almost two years before we tied the knot. It was so nice to have time to research vendors and get all the details ironed out. Besides, I loved being engaged because it was such a fun time! I also really enjoyed the planning process and used for ideas and organization. For us, we tried to create a classic, warm, romantic wedding with a touch of vintage that could be done on a budget. Bret and I were both blessed with super organized moms that love to plan, so they were a huge help in the planning process as well. Photography was the most important to us because after the day was over, we wanted to have beautiful pictures to look back on. Jaclyn did not disappoint! Family and friends were also a huge part of our wedding! They all played such an important role, whether it was helping with planning and set-up, taking part in the ceremony, or being in the wedding party. We were so grateful to all of them!

    When I look back on our wedding day, it really was the best day of my life! If I could relive our wedding day everyday, I absolutely would. It was filled with such warm and loving moments and lots of laughter. When I look back now and think of our day, it immediately puts a smile on my face. Everything worked out perfectly and it exceeded my expectations. I know that our fairytale was possible due to our wonderful family, friends, and vendors! We couldn't have asked for a better day!

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    Show stopping Guest book!

    Shabby Chic Guest "Rocks"; a fun alternative to a book. A simple inexpensive project that will be sure to "Awe" wedding guests.
     Have your guests sign their names on rocks! This is something you will be able to keep forever in a vase, flower pot for your garden or even a door mat or bath mat for your guest bathroom if you like to D.I.Y.

    Friday, March 9, 2012

    What's Your Love Story??

    This young lad, is my handsome hubby. We celebrate our 4th wedding annivery in just a few weeks and as I reflect, I realize just how blessed I am to have him in my life. I still have quite a bit to change, but at least he doesn't wear high water jeans anymore!!

    I was Ivan's waitress during a meeting he held for work and after a bet was wagered between all the guys at the table as to who would "date" me, Ivan ended up the winner! After stalking me at work for about a month....and me not really giving him a second glance, we saw each other out and he came up and asked for my number. When he first met me at my work place, I had just gotten back from a trip to Africa, so he had just been calling me Africa in his mind. Well, the poor guy had to ask what my name was....Hmmmm. After a 3 hour phone conversation the following day, I accepted a date night.
    Our first date I thought for sure he really was a stalker. He knew all my volleyball stats, favorite Starbucks drink that he actually had waiting in the console of his car. Our drive to dinner seemed to take FOREVER and was in the middle of what seemed, no where. After entering the restaurant and observing his attire, I could not help but think of Steve Urkel. After a friend told me that I could eventually change the way he dressed (she never told me that I couldn't change everything about his clothing choice), I knew he was my "Lifer" as my dear friend says. After about 9 months of dating and during a trip I took to Africa, my handsome man paid a surprise visit to the orphanage I was working at and asked me to marry him!!! I was shaking so bad, I had to sit down and of course I said "YES"!! Six months later we had the wedding celebration of our dreams, surrounded by all of our family and dear friends.
    Amoung many other lessons learned along our journey, this one stands out to me:
    We would LOVE to hear your story of how God brought you your special someone! We will be featuring one couple each Friday with the hopes of inspiring and encouraging other couples to never forget what brought them/you together.

    What do you need to do to participate?
    All you need to do it send a couple of pictures of you and your fiance'/spouse and a typed story to:

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    Personalizing Your Accessories

    Do you have your eye on a hair accessory, but want to make it yourself? Here is a small picture tutorial to help get you started. Look on Pinterest or Etsy to find something you like and then find the pieces that you need to assemble the design you have choosen but don't forget to add your personal touch. All you need is a glue gun and scissors to start putting it together!
    Want to add a birdcage veil to your design?

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    A Year To Remember!!

    As Events By Ashley gears up for another year of weddings, baby showers, fundraisers and birthday parties, we have spent some time in reflection and we can not believe all that has taken place over the last year and the amazing journey it has been. It would not have been what it was without the poeple, lessons learned, or the ability to do what we love! Thank you to all of you who have encouraged our team, our clients and other vendors who have helped to make Events By Ashley what it is today! 

    Here's to another great year!