Oh, how time flies!

It's been a year, y'all.

A year since I married the love of my life, the funniest man on earth, the sweetest husband around, and the only leader I will follow unconditionally. Nathan and I have said several times over the course of this first year together that it has been so easy and FUN!! Everyone said there would be an adjustment period where we would be getting used to each other's habits, but, we're still waiting for that to happen! Maybe we are super easy-going because it seems as though we've blended our lives seamlessly. Of course, there's been a few little "I do it this way..." moments, but no big blow-ups and such.

When I look at my husband, I am constantly reminded of how HUGELY God blessed me with this man. I am absolutely, 100% positive that there is no other man more perfect for me than Nathan. Our love story is too full of God's hand and we are just so much alike. Even our differences complement one another. For instance, I abhor doing the bills & checkbook, while Nathan is great at managing our finances. I just ask him for a general run-down and get him to tell me how much I can spend on something. This year has truly been the best of my life and we are well on our way to keeping a promise we made to each other in the beginning...to be newlyweds forever!

To celebrate our 1st Anniversary, we took a little weekend trip to Arkansas. **Destiny, Nathan decided he wanted to surprise me, so we'll have to check out some of those great places in Mississippi next time!** The only thing I knew about the trip was that we were going somewhere outside of Mena, Arkansas (and that's only because my honey slipped up one day!). We left on Friday evening and headed to what turned out to be the Queen Wilhelmina State Park, 14 miles outside of Mena. Here's a picture tour of our trip...(descriptions at the top of each photo)

Excited to be on our way (yes, those are my sunglasses Nathan is wearing) :)

The lodge where we stayed at Queen Wilhelmina. It was so nice and they had yummy food in the dining room! There were lots of recreational bikers there that weekend (not the mean & scary kind).

Another view of the front of the lodge. It sits on the top of Rich Mountain, which is Arkansas's 2nd highest peak!
We had great views! Saturday morning we got up early and went out to explore after breakfast. Nathan is using his binoculars to get a bird's eye view of the valley. Notice the wooden trail marker? There was a trail called "Lover's Leap!"

We took the path to the Reservoir Trail...

and came upon this...

Here's the actual reservoir. Doesn't look like it gets much use these days, does it? Looks more like a snake den than a water tank!

This Ohio Spiderwort was growing all along the trail. Isn't it pretty? By the way, I only know it's name because there was a poster depicting all the wildflowers you can find in Arkansas.

The trail was not so easy on the way back! Those rocky steps got a little tricky and we took a few rest stops.

I'm catching my breath on a bench that was so conveniently placed!

Nathan had fun looking under rocks for crawdads and salamanders. Ick! He finally found a baby salamander...
The rest of the day we drove all around the surrounding towns and even ventured into Oklahoma for a bit! We ate at a neat little restaurant in Heavener, Oklahoma that was once a train car. It had been restored and converted into an eatery. Can you guess it's name? On Sunday, we decided that we had done all there was to do at Queen Wilhelmina, so we checked out early and headed to Hot Springs. I had been there a long time ago and thought it might be fun. I had forgotten how touristy it is and Nathan and I decided that we don't like being surrounded by crowds of people all clamoring to get their hands on souvenir junk! We did end up having a good time though. We took a sight-seeing ride on a "Duck," a big boat with wheels that can drive and go in the water! It was fun!

Captain Carl was our tour guide...

Good thing we had cash money on us!

We also paid a visit (and a pretty penny) to a slightly creepy aquarium. It was fine until Nathan was petting the resident turtle, "Slow Poke," and we noticed an ever-growing puddle underneath her. She was peeing on the floor! And when we looked around, it looked like the floors hadn't been cleaned in quite awhile! Yuck, yuck, yuck! The rest of the place was kind of dimly lit and just had a "carny" air to it. We got out of there pretty fast!

After being grossed-out by the aquarium, we decided to find a place to snooze for the night. We checked in, dropped off our bags, and then headed to Garvan Woodland Gardens. This is a former private citizen's home that has been turned into a couple hundred acres of lush gardens & wooded areas by the University of Arkansas. It was very relaxing to stroll along the trails and see all the different plants and ponds.

A nice man offered to take our picture for us. It was sunny that afternoon!

When we got to the gardens, there was a wedding just finishing up in the chapel so we saved that tour for last. I'm so glad we did. Just look at this beauty! This is Anthony Chapel, isn't it amazing?

It's built from wood, stone, and glass. The ceilings are 57 feet tall and it has floor to ceiling windows. It is so peaceful...

The crazy thing is, I didn't realize it 'til we'd been there for awhile, but this is the church that my friend, K, showed me on the internet a couple years ago. She raved about it and said she'd love to get married there. How about that?

Such a pretty altar...

We had a great time relaxing together on our trip! Monday, May 19th, was our actual anniversary and we took our time making our way home. That night, we got dressed up and went to dinner at Superior Steakhouse. It was DELICIOUS! It's definitely a special occasion place though because it is so expensive! But it was worth every penny, they even brought us a piece of cheesecake for dessert that had "Happy 1st Anniversary" written around the edge of the plate in chocolate! Yum! I didn't take a picture because I thought they might look at me funny in that fancy place. Ha!

Y'all, this year went by so fast. As wonderful as it's been, I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for the rest of our years together. Not that I'm rushing time. Goodness knows it'll get here and be gone fast enough! So, go kiss your husband and hug your kids. They're blessings, believe it or not. Just think about how you'd feel if you never got to put the toilet seat down again, never got to put the cap back on the toothpaste again, or never got to pick a high-heel Barbie shoe out of your tender foot again. If something happened to one of your people, you'd be begging to be annoyed just one more time. Treasure all the time you have with your hubbies and babies.

Thank you so much for sharing in my memories of this special milestone! Have a blessed day!


  1. WOW...a year already. We went to Queen Wilhelmina State Park and stayed there in the lodge and enjoyed the dining! We did the trail and I agree...going back up the trail is HARD! I had to take lots of breaks too. We even rode the little train that they had there...lol. The Duck in Hot Springs is a fun thing to do, but sure is hot while you wait on it to fill with people. Sounds like ya'll had a really good time and I'm so happy for you two. Ya'll are a perfect match! Keep enjoying each other and spending time in different places. The time does rush by before you know it. I have pictures from our motorcycle ride last weekend and then some from our camping trip (Arkansas) this past weekend. I hope I'll be able to post some of them on here, thanks to you helping me to figure out how to get it to work! We just love spending time together and I see that you and Nathan do too. We like spending time with friends, but our time together is always...priceless!! Can't wait to see what your next year together brings! Thanks for Sharing. And thank you for the tips on posting pictures with text. I'm gonna give it a try.

    I agree about the aquarium in Hot Springs...it's a bit lacking in some areas. It's a strange place.

  2. What a great trip! Thank you for sharing....and congrats to you both. I think you are one of the cutest couples I know! =)

  3. AHHHHH You were less than an hour away from my house......

    We did the duck in Branson. J is working in Hot Springs this week. That is so crazy. It would have been so fun to catch up with each other.

    I have had 3 friends get married at that church.

  4. Oh, Ashlie, I loved reading this and felt like I was right with you. What a fun trip! What your wrote in the last paragraph was sooo true. Thanks for reminding me!

  5. What a sweet, sweet post!! It looks like you all had such a blast. Isn't Arkansas the best!!! We used to live 30 minutes from Hot Springs- it was awesome! Happy Anniversary!

  6. That was a great synopsis! We went to that odd aquarium too--I wasn't that impressed, but we did enjoy the rest of the city, especially our horse-drawn carriage ride! Congratulations!!

  7. What a great weekend! I'm so happy for ya'll! You're two peas in a pod! By the way...I think Nathan's pretty lucky too!

  8. Hey girl. So I re-invited you...please let me know if it works! I do apologize for you not being able to see my blog. We'll figure this out...See you soon!

  9. Ashlie, you are such a beautiful writer. I loved the end of this post. You always know how to give me a "wake up call" and bring me back to what really matters. I'm so happy for you and Nathan and your 1st year of marriage. I know that you guys are going to enjoy so much more together! We missed you at PEP tonight :)

  10. Happy 1st Anniversary!! Looks like a fun trip! Great advice too Ashlie.

  11. Oh my goodness...this sweet 1st anniversary post has me teared up! You and Nathan are so perfect together. I am so glad that your first year of marriage has been wonderful! Your trip looks like it was so great! We are going to Hot Springs later this summer, too! I'm really looking forward to it. I'll remember not to go to that aquarium!:)

  12. I'm just now catching up!! I'm glad you had fun--it looks like a nice place. I love that church. The pictures were beautiful!! I thought about yall on the 19th. That's also Ethan's birthday.


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