Our Love Story: Part 2


Here’s the thing about this love story of ours. It’s long. And drawn out. And mushy gushy. And even a bit cheesy. But it’s true. And I’ve decided to take my time writing it, capturing all the special details of those moments I never want to forget. So if mushy-gushy, cheesy love stories aren’t your thing, I totally get that.  Just know that I’m writing this as a gift—to my family, and my children, and their children—and also, for Ben and me—so that on those days when the kids are screaming, the laundry is overflowing and the bills are rolling in…on those days when it all just seems so hard, we’ll have this to remind us of those first moments when we fell in love. And if sappy, detail ridden love stories are your thing, well then you’ve come to the right place. All previous chapters can be found here.


After my gutsy and rather uncharacteristic introduction to the boy with dimples, I went back to my little apartment and did my best to not think about him for the rest of the evening. After many failed attemps, I decided to go to bed early so the next day would come sooner.


The first four hours of my shift were spent making “accidental” eye contact with him from across the room. He looked cuter today than I had remembered.
But…had I scared him off with my aggressive introduction the day before?
Afterall, nearly four hours had passed and we still hadn’t spoken.
Not to mention, I still didn’t know his name.

I had just finished tieing a knot in a jumbo garbage bag full of sticky, empty Gatorade bottles and sweat drenched towels.  I wiped my forhead with the back of my hand, threw the bag over my shoulder and turned around to see those dimples smiling me right in the face.

My heart hit the floor.

Boy: You need some help with that? he said, almost laughing.
I just stared, caught off guard.
Not quite as calm, cool and collected as I had imagined I would be.

Boy: It’s Ben. My name–it’s Ben. You didn’t really give me the chance to introduce myself yesterday.

I was picking up a mid-western, Matthew Mcconaughey-ish accent.
Are you kidding me? An accent. What’s next?

Me: Uh, sorry about that. I was in a hurry.
Ben: Yeah, I noticed.  So…I saved two of the staff lunches. Have you eaten yet?
He held up two paper sacks and smiled.
Ben: Turkey or ham?
He smiled again.
And at that point I realized–it didn’t matter what he was asking me…
My answer  was going to be yes.


You could sorta call the sack lunch on the outside steps of the Event Center our semi-first date.
That’s when we asked eachother all those “first date” questions.
I nervously played with my hair and he poked at the bread on his sandwich.
That’s when I found out that he was the middle of 5 kids–2 sisters, 2 brothers.
His Mom was a piano teacher and his Dad a lawyer.
I found out that he played soccer in college,
lived in Spain for 3 months, Chile for 2 years,
and he had spent a Summer traveling through Europe with his college buddies.
He spoke fluent Spanish,
believed a guy should always open the door for a lady,
and his baby niece was the apple of his eye.
He wasn’t dating anyone seriously because he was focusing on the next steps of his career,
and he was 25 years old–a whopping 5 years older than me.

I gushed too.
Shared things about myself.
Told him that I was an only child, born and raised in Southern California.
I was leaving UCSB to study marketing at USC.
I played soccer in all the same places he visited in Europe,
and while I was about as gringo as they come,
my Mexican roots meant that half of my family spoke Spanish as their first language.

Me: So you’ll be able to communicate with my family members better than me–I said with a laugh.
As soon as the words left my mouth, I realized how it sounded. My face got hot.

I mean..uh…not that you’ll ever be communicating with my family or anything. I just meant…
Ben: Don’t worry. I knew what you meant–he said with a smile.
I could tell he was enjoying watching me squirm.
And for some reason, I liked that he made me nervous.

My lunch break had ended 5 minutes earlier, but I could have talked to him for hours.
I reluctantly crumbled up my sack lunch and stood up.

Me: I should get back. This was fun.
I lingered a bit, hopeful that he might ask me out later that night. But he didn’t.
Ben: Yeah, this was fun.

And that was it.
He smiled at me from across the room a couple times, but we didn’t talk again for the rest of my shift.
And I went home that night, again, with thoughts of his dimples and accent swirling around in my mind. I wondered if he was thinking of me too.


I arrived at work right at 8 the next morning.
D was unlocking the gymnasium doors as I walked up with my hot chocolate with freeze dried marhmallows in hand. He looked over his shoulder as I strolled up.

D: So…lunch date yesterday, huh.
Me: It wasn’t a date.
D: Suuure.
Me: I’m serious, it wasn’t a date. Besides, I don’t even know if he likes me.
D: What do you care if he likes you? I thought you were staying clear of boys.

I gave D a half-serious glare.

Me: He’s only here for like another week…then he’ll leave, and I’ll get back on track. 
D: Whatever you say.


I was vacuming the entry rugs when I saw Ben arrive to work  from the other side of the gym.
He didn’t look my way and that was the last I saw of him for the next seven hours.
Probably for the best, I thought to myself.
D was right–I have a plan, and I should stick to it.
But then, an hour before my shift ended,
I turned to see him grinning from ear to ear with a soccer ball in his hand.

Ben: So, are you gonna show me what you’ve got, or what?

Part 3 coming soon.
It gets much much better.
and even very very sad.
stay tuned.

Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock

Latest posts by Ashley Stock (see all)

Ashley Stock


  1. Lindsay Lee says:

    You two are straight from the notebook and I LOVE it. 😉

  2. is there ANYTHING better than a great love story?? i think not!! you 2 are thecutest =)

  3. This story is already getting better and it’s only part 2. I can’t wait to read part 3. It sounds like ya’ll met in a very cute way! =D

  4. first of all, I just LOVE the way you write!!! and your story is just so so beautiful which makes it all even better. I love it all!!

  5. You are killing me, Ashley! I had no idea the story would get even more exciting. I’m giving you until early next week to finish the story or I am showing up at your doorstep and you will have to tell me all of it in person! 🙂

    Seriously though, thanks for sharing. It is such a fun story!

  6. Okay seriously, I’m more invested in this story than I am with most tv shows I watch. The suspense kills me every time. And, I love the story. Real love stories beat cheesy chick flicks any day. and I love me some chick flicks.

  7. Ashley, I can’t wait to read the next part! Thank you for sharing your story.

  8. I absolutley LOVE reading your story of how you two met! Its got me on the egde of my seat…its like a good book! haha. I cant wait for part 3. Except for the sad part…not looking forward to that, just cause its sad…but im sure it gets better : ) post it soon!

  9. i love that you’re writing it like a novel and not just a paragraph! I’m SO dying.

  10. and p.s you’re going to make us housewives fall in love with ben! haha!

  11. Ashley- Your love story is too cute for words and we are only two days in of how the road to ever lasting love began!
    Thank you for sharing and as always thank you for being so real. I adore that about you and I hope one day I can have you guest blog for me?! Think about it!!

  12. I love your love story! I can’t wait to read the next part. It is so cute! It makes me think of how I met my hubby and it brings back such fun memories!

  13. Noooooo, I can’t wait!!!! Love love love this story, so sweet. Xoxo

  14. I can’t wait for the next chapter! This is such a sweet story. Great writing!! On the edge of my seat!
    Lots of love!!

  15. Love reading this! I’m new to your blog and thoroughly enjoying everything I’ve read so far. Can’t wait for part 3…the suspense is already mounting!

  16. Auntie Bubbie says:

    So nice to hear this story again.
    I remember when I visited you at UCSB and you shared
    with me that you had met Ben but he had gone back to Wyoming.
    I am so happy you found each other.
    Ben is a wonderful person, husband & father.
    The family couldn’t be happier he is a part of us.
    I love you both (and Wesley) so very much.

  17. gah I am soaking this up like a good novel, dont keep us waiting TOO long!

  18. I wanna know now! hahah too cute. love it 🙂

  19. LOVE hearing how couples met! Can’t wait for part 3!! 🙂

  20. Can’t wait to read part 3.

  21. This is such a great idea for your blog! I am enjoying reading your story so much. Thank you for sharing….and don’t make us all wait too long to read the rest….

  22. Ashley!! Don’t leave us hanging!! I was about to go to bed, then saw your post and had to read it:) Can’t wait for Part 3!!

  23. LOVE it!

  24. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! you left it there?! this is adorable. “i realized then that it didn’t matter what he was asking- my answer was going to be yes”. so cute. i know just what you mean. i’m gonna sound like a crazy person, but I LOVE LOVE!!! 🙂

  25. You can’t do this to me! are you kidding me leaving me like this. I want to read morreeee. you should make it into a novel. I like that idea. yup.

  26. PLEASE DON’T KEEP ME HANGING!! I want to know what happens next. Please, please, get the rest to us ASAP, and please don’t make me wait a weekend.

    (I’d say you’re doing some pretty good writing if all of your readers can’t wait for the next part!!)

    Good job Ashley!!

  27. so happy that you are sharing this. i am a sucker for love stories! ya’all are TOO cute…!!!

  28. AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are killing me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please oh please get to the next part soon! These posts have been so utterly and completely dreamy!!!!!!!!!

  29. Girlfriend!!! This is some AMAZING novel worthy writing! You have me hooked and I know you have just scratched the surface of your-I’m sure- amazing journey to love with Ben. Your story is adorable so far and I can’t wait to read more. I can already see it now-you are following in the steps of our beloved Pioneer Woman and your story will be on the best sellers list too! Fabulous job girly! Now PLEASE don’t keep us all waiting too long 😉

  30. GOsh I’m dying till part 3 comesss….

  31. I agree with Aileen! I just finished Pioneer Woman’s book and LOVED it just as much as I am LOVING your story! Cant wait to read the next part 🙂 And you should seirousally think about the book….

  32. This is to good. SO ready for part three missy! 😉

  33. I love reading love stories and it’s even better reading one that’s real 🙂 Can’t wait for the next part!!

  34. This is seriously SO sweet!! I need to know what happens next!!! Ahh!!

  35. Thanks for sharing! I love stories about how couples meet.

  36. Renee Rasmussen says:

    thank you for sharing your love story. Reading your story makes me smile and remember that in a crazy world we always have our companions. I look forward to reading more. 🙂 PS the rest of your blog rocks too. I’m hooked.

  37. ahhhh i love this. i can’t wait to read the rest.!!!! please don’t keep us waiting too long to hear it 😉

  38. I am loving this story. It makes me want to write mine down this way. I can’t wait for part 3!!

  39. I LOVE love stories!!! Can’t wait to read the next part! I think everyone is posting their love stories lately, I just posted my first part of mine today 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  40. Ashley I am loving this story! It’s like a book that I just can’t wait to read the next chapter 🙂

  41. waiting for part 3!! :0)

  42. I know u have a million zillion comments on here but I love reading ur story. We lived in Redlands for 5yrs. And my sister-in-law went to UCSSB as well. We moved to LA a little over a year ago so my doc. Hubby could do a residency at USC hospital. I’m not really liking LA but it’s nice to read about someone kinda local. Can’t wait for part three!!

  43. Brittany B. says:

    Cliff-hanger! Noooo! Please hurry & I’ll stay tuned XD

  44. Thanks for sharing your story! It’s so sweet.

  45. Oh my word you 2 are meant for each other!! He’s a doll!

  46. I am loving this series!! More more more 🙂

  47. OH MY GOODNESS! Please don’t make us wait to long!

  48. Veronica Carpenter says:


  49. oh i love it! tell me more. xoxox

  50. This is killing me!!! Tell me more!

  51. I love how you are writing about how you and your husband started dating. It’s the cutest story and really allows us to get to know you:)

  52. intentionally missing american idol to read this. your story and your ben are equally cute 😉

  53. You two are straight from the notebook and I LOVE it. 😉

  54. Great looking site. Think you did a great deal of your ownyour very own coding

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