(Podcast) Our Story, The Whole Story

Ashley Brooke and husband Ryan Chambers on their wedding day at Oxford Exchange

… and my favorite story 

I’m so excited to finally share the podcast Ryan and I recorded back in February with The Knot! Truth be told, I’ve been kinda-sorta holding my breath waiting for this podcast to go live, because y’all, we got real. When my girlfriend Whitney, the host of the XOXO podcast, texted me back  in January and said, “I want you two to tell your WHOLE story on my podcast,” I promptly texted her back “NO.”  And she, being the excellent and wise friend that she is, said… “I’ll let you think about it.”

I seriously thought she was NUTS.  There was no way I was going to go on a podcast and tell my story, especially the ugly bits (I’m sweating just typing this sentence out). But when I told Ryan that the Knot wanted the chance to share our story, he said, “Ash, it’s time.” And, in true Ryan form, he was right.

We flew to New York, did a few mic checks, put on the headphones, and recorded our story from the beginning. We chat about our dating life, the proposal, and of course our wedding! But, we also talk about how Ryan helped put my heart back together after the devastating loss of my first marriage. And how over this past year I helped put Ryan back together has he battled for his life against cancer. Our love has always been unexpected, unpredictable, and yet incredibly beautiful… and I will be forever thankful that The Knot wanted to tell the world our story. 

So, today is the day and I’m honestly very excited for you to listen. We cover everything from the backstory to our dating and wedding and so much more! My wish is that my story inspires hope for you in whatever season you are in. Because my story is not unlike most of your stories or like those of your friends. It started out from an unlikely beginning, where there was little hope and a lot of hurt. But true to His word, God took my story and made it more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. 

I hope you enjoy, friends.

Listen to the Podcast from XOXO by The Knot

P.S. For more you can catch up on our cancer journey here!

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38 Comments

  1. Jennifer
    May 8, 2019 / 8:14 am

    I can’t wait to listen to this after work! I absolutely love you two together and again as an outsider looking in, you two look as though you’re absolutely meant for each other. God may have stumbled you through your first marriage but look at what a perfect outcome you have! So happy for you and I cannot WAIT to listen to it later! Love this!

    • May 8, 2019 / 11:12 am

      Jennifer, thank you so much for your increadibly kind note, means the world! I hope you enjoy! xx – AB

  2. Samantha
    May 8, 2019 / 8:58 am

    Wow, what a great listen! My husband and I are going through the struggle of infertility right now, and it has been daunting. Your advice to always remember no matter what is going on we are on the same side and are a team is so true. Loved listening to this. Thank you!

    • May 8, 2019 / 11:11 am

      Samantha! My heart breaks with yours as you are walking through such a tough season. Praying for peace as you guys wait on a baby! Sending lots of love your way!

      xo – AB

  3. May 8, 2019 / 9:37 am

    I was smiling through tears listening to this on the train this morning! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful story. XO

    • May 8, 2019 / 11:10 am

      Jenny, thank you for your sweet comment and taking the time to listen. Means so much! xx – AB

  4. May 8, 2019 / 9:48 am

    I already downloaded it, so I can listen to this podcast on my way home! ❤

    xoxo,
    Jessica | whattostyle.blogspot.com |
    Instagram @ what_to_style

    • May 8, 2019 / 11:10 am

      Aw, thanks Jessica! I hope you love it! xx

  5. Bailey
    May 8, 2019 / 11:47 am

    I love this SO much, Ashley! Thank you so much for sharing your story; you’ve really inspired me today <3

    • May 8, 2019 / 3:01 pm

      Bailey, you are so kind, thank you for taking the time to leave such a sweet note! xx – AB

  6. Amelia
    May 8, 2019 / 11:54 am

    Oh Ashley thank you so much for sharing this! Your love, joy, and strength just shine through this; as does Ryan’s. You two are THE sweetest!

    • May 8, 2019 / 3:02 pm

      Amelia! Thank you Amelia, you are the kindest! We really enjoyed sharing our story. xx – AB

  7. May 8, 2019 / 2:54 pm

    What a wonderful podcast! It was so nice to hear the story of how you and Ryan met, your engagement and wedding. I love the bit about therapy. I’m a firm believer that everyone could use therapy. It’s so good for you! 🙂

    • May 8, 2019 / 3:02 pm

      Shannon, YES! It’s the best heart exercise!! xx – AB

    • May 8, 2019 / 3:01 pm

      Mariah, ah, that was the sweetest thing! I hope you love it! xx – AB

  8. Robin
    May 8, 2019 / 3:45 pm

    This was such a sweet and special story to listen to, so thank you for being open and sharing! And you both have such maturity and really great advice that all couples can put to use! I wish you nothing but the best and an easier next few years!

    • May 8, 2019 / 3:50 pm

      Robin, thank you so much for taking the time to listen and to comment, means the absolute world! Thank you for your sweet words!

      xo – AB

  9. Sydney Paulsen
    May 8, 2019 / 3:46 pm

    Thank you so, so much for sharing your story!! I found out about this podcast episode from Carly’s instagram, and I just admire both you and Ryan completely. Thank you for being the beautiful humans you are!

    • May 8, 2019 / 3:51 pm

      Sydney, you are just so kind! I’m so glad you found the podcast, thank you for listening, it means the absolute world! Lots of love, Ashley BRooke

  10. Kendra
    May 8, 2019 / 4:49 pm

    This was incredible. Thank you for sharing!!

    • May 9, 2019 / 9:56 am

      Thank you, Kendra! Means so much! xx – AB

  11. May 8, 2019 / 9:00 pm

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your story. So much I want to say, but all I will say is beauty from ashes.
    Be blessed 🙂

  12. Kat
    May 9, 2019 / 3:09 pm

    You are already an inspiration but now..wow! It was so great to listen to you both. Thank you for sharing your story and being so honest xx

    • May 9, 2019 / 4:12 pm

      Kat, that means the world! Thank you, friend! xx

  13. Diane
    May 9, 2019 / 6:01 pm

    A beautiful, inspirational and loving marriage with the best years yet to come! Thank you for sharing yourselves.

    • May 10, 2019 / 2:22 pm

      Thank you Aunt Diane! Love you! xx- Ashley

  14. Missy
    May 9, 2019 / 6:25 pm

    Loved it!! I am several decades older than you, but not too old for a love story. I have enjoyed following along on your journey. The love you have for each other just jumps off your photos. My husband of 21 years had a serious health issue at about the same time. I love how you said “we were diagnosed with cancer”. My husband and I are a great team and I too felt like “our team” would get through it. A wonderful partner is God’s greatest gift!

    • May 10, 2019 / 2:23 pm

      Missy!! I’m so thankful for your comment and I totally agree, it’s most definitely God’s greatest and sweetest gift. xo – Ashley Brooke

  15. Lidia Oatman
    May 10, 2019 / 1:55 pm

    I laughed & I cried while I listened to the podcast on my way home. What an indescribable testimony you shared with us. So in sync with each other and in your faith! Truly an inspiration to us all!

    ‘Pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks!’

    Hugs, Lidia

    • May 10, 2019 / 2:26 pm

      Lidia, thank you so much for taking the time to send me such a kind and thoughtful note! Thank you for listening, means the world! xx

  16. Graham
    May 11, 2019 / 12:03 am

    I love how the two of you have created something so special and enduring, especially in the face of all the adversity. I too had a first marriage that did not end well, and I also had to reinvent myself post-2008, but I am now engaged to a wonderful woman whom I will marry this fall. Thank you for having the courage to share your beautiful love story. It is a true inspiration.

    • May 14, 2019 / 12:43 pm

      Ah Graham, I love hearing this! Thank you for taking the time to comment and share a bit of your story as well! Means the world. – Ashley

  17. May 13, 2019 / 11:02 am

    Thank you so much for your bravery in sharing your story…I had tears streaming down my face through this whole interview, and gained so many sweet nuggets of wisdom that I know I’ll be able to bring to my marriage. I’ve been following you for a long time (maybe since 2013? I used to work at Southern Weddings and learned about your work through them, back in the day!) and have always admired your positivity and joy, but it is even more impactful and inspiring knowing how much you have had to fight for those things. You and Ryan radiate Christ so authentically and beautifully! He is so good. Xoxo!

    • May 14, 2019 / 12:39 pm

      Lisa!

      Oh my gosh, thank you so much for this incredibly kind note, it seriously means the world! Also, yes of course I remember you… gosh such a long time ago!

      Thank you again for reaching out, it means so much!

      Lots of love, Ashley Brooke

  18. Rachael
    August 2, 2019 / 1:22 pm

    Ashley- I listened to this podcast when it was first released and not long after, I learned of my boyfriend’s (who I was with for 5.5 years and was living with) infidelity and was absolutely crushed. This was about a month ago and I keep revisiting this podcast to help me through this hard season and have hope in the future that I will find love again. I feel the same as you that I love love and I loved being in a relationship. This has been the hardest heartbreak I have ever experienced. Your story gives me so much hope <3

    • August 5, 2019 / 11:56 am

      Rachael,
      Thank you so much for reaching out, I can’t tell you HOW much it means to us. I hate that you too are having to walk a similar path, my heart breaks along side yours. But just know, you are so much stronger than you think!

      xo – Ashley Brooke

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