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Our Love Story: Part 1

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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.

***

I was just getting out of a serious relationship.
I was taking a break from boys. Finishing up my Sophomore year at UCSB and getting ready for my transfer to USC. Studying, working three jobs, and figuring out what I wanted out of life–I had decided that would be my focus for the next two years.
No more of this “falling in love” business.
My heart needed a break.

So there I was. On my lunch break.
I worked at the UCSB events center. My title, facility coordinator–which was just a glorified term for janitor.  I mopped up mystery substances, re-filled the toilet paper rolls, scraped gum off the wood floors and shined the stainless steel water fountains.  It was humbling and it was real. It was just the job I needed for this transitional phase of my life.

But back to my lunch break…

There I was, eating an apple and sipping hot chocolate with those mini freeze-dried marshmallows. My three sizes too large regulation polo work shirt was tucked into my favorite Abercrombie green cargo pants with frayed edges from dragging under my shoes for the last 2 years. Despite the 85 degree weather, I was wearing tall Uggs and my very blonde hair was styled in a left-over barrel wave from the night before.  My feet were propped up on the lunch room table and I took loud bites from my apple while reading the California Drivers Ed handbook.  That’s right…I was 20 and still didn’t have my drivers license (but that’s a story for another post).

I was enjoying the peace and quiet.  This was the one room in the entire Events Center where I knew I wouldn’t be disturbed.  I was avoiding the overwhelming testosterone from the men’s basketball team and 200 plus high school players who were attending the camp that week.  Remember, I was avoiding boys.

I was so engrossed in reading about which way I was supposed to face my wheels while parking down hill that I hardly noticed when he walked into the room.  I was startled away from my handbook when I heard someone not so casually clear their throat.  I raised my eyes just in time to see a guy, who looked just a bit older than me, quickly look away and go back to setting out sack lunches on the tables.

My heart skipped a beat.

Oh no, don’t even think about it Ashley.
Look away.
No boys.

I went back to reading, but couldn’t help and steal glances at his wildly spiky hair do and the obvious dimples on both cheeks even though he wasn’t smiling.  He was wearing a camp counselors uniform of basketball shorts with red Nikes and UCSB staff t-shirt. He was an athlete, I could tell. And I liked that.

Just as I began to stare a bit harder in an attempt to guess his age, he looked over his shoulder and our eyes met for the briefest of seconds. I quickly looked down into my handbook.  But it was too late.  The temperature in the room began to rise and I could feel my heart beating in my face.

Head down.
Keep reading.
Avoid further eye contact.

My heart continued to race as I did my best to focus on the words in front of me.  And then he spoke:
Boy: I’m just setting up lunch for the Men’s Basketball team. You can eat with us if you want.

Was that a pity invite?
Was he flirting?
Just being nice?
Don’t analyze Ashley.
Just stick to your plan.

Me: I’m okay.
And then I quickly and awkwardly packed up my snacks and papers and rushed out of the lunch room.

Flustered, I walked across the bustling gym, through the corridor and into my supervisors office.  I threw down my bag, made a loud sigh and plopped down on the couch. Silence.  D, my supervisor, kept his head forward, sending an email on his computer.

I sighed again. This time louder.

D: Aren’t you supposed to be on your lunch break.
Me: I was. Until I was interrupted by the basketball team.
D: Would it kill you to eat with them.
Me: It might.

I sat there, lost in my thoughts about those dreamy dimples while D finished up his email. He clicked send, and then swivelled around to face me.

D: Listen. We need to work on this chip you have on your shoulder.
Me: I don’t have a chip on my shoulder. I’m just focusing on me for a while.
D: Hmph.
And he swivelled back around to face his computer.

A few minutes passed before I gained the courage to casually ask D about the boy I had just sort of met in the lunch room.
Me: So whats the story with the Camp Counselor with the red Nikes. I haven’t seen him here before.
D: He’s one of the coaches brother.  Just visiting for the week and helping out. Why?
Me: No reason.

And just as quickly as I had left the lunch room earlier, I grabbed my bag and rushed out to the main corridor before D could ask any more questions.  It was just about time to start my shift again, so I headed into the restroom, caught a glimpse of my disheveled appearance in the mirror and nearly gasped.  I quickly pulled a Scarlet O’Hara cheek squeeze to get some color into my face, added some lip gloss and attempted to flatten down all the fly away hairs dancing around on my head. It was a lost cause.

So he’s only here for the week.
What could be the harm then…

I took a deep breath and gave myself a semi-confident look in the mirror.
I was only half-sure of what I was about to do.
I gave my cheeks one last squeeze, marched out of the restroom, walked across the gym, into the lunch room and right up to the boy with the dimples who was now enjoying lunch with the basketball team and coaching staff.

Me: By the way, in case you were wondering, my name’s Ashley.
And then I smiled, turned, and walked away.

***

read more here.

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53 Comments

  • Reply
    Megan
    October 31, 2011 at 12:43 am

    So cute and very LMM of you… Of course he was wondering! Love your moxie Ashley!!!

  • Reply
    Brooke Anderson
    October 31, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Adorable! Simply adorable. And written so perfectly.

  • Reply
    becky mercado
    October 31, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Ashley…can I buy the movie rights? I don’t know…maybe Jennifer Aniston could play you. Can’t wait for part two. Both of my sons went to college in Santa Barbara. They played tennis at Westmont, a beautiful campus and a great place to be. Don’t know when you were there, but I was actually a bit sad when they graduated…didn’t have an excuse to go as often. I’m getting the popcorn ready for tomorrow.

  • Reply
    Jackie
    October 31, 2011 at 1:14 am

    ha i’ve been there before; taking a break from boys. but that’s when the best ones come along 🙂 can’t wait to hear the rest!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    October 31, 2011 at 1:24 am

    Love.love.love.love. Can’t WAIT to hear the rest! 🙂
    ~Amanda

  • Reply
    Sally
    October 31, 2011 at 2:10 am

    Such a sweet story. Can’t wait for more.

  • Reply
    sarah
    October 31, 2011 at 2:39 am

    oh i cant wait to read more! 🙂

  • Reply
    The Drama Mama
    October 31, 2011 at 2:54 am

    I LOVE THIS….so stinking sweet!! Can’t wait to read more! HUGS!
    xoxoxo

  • Reply
    Lindsay Lee
    October 31, 2011 at 3:15 am

    I could hear this story over and over again! Part II better come SOON 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelly
    October 31, 2011 at 3:46 am

    Sooo cute Ash!

  • Reply
    Jen
    October 31, 2011 at 3:55 am

    You went and talked to him! I would never have been brave enough! Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story (although I already know it has a happy ending.) 😉

  • Reply
    Lacie
    October 31, 2011 at 3:58 am

    Love always happens when your least expecting it and totally not looking for it! SOO cute. im dying for part 2. I feel like this is such a good story/book I can’t put it down. 😀

  • Reply
    Marissa @ Momma Rake
    October 31, 2011 at 4:09 am

    You are so adorable!! You have a way with words my dear… you need to write a book! I am dying for Part II!! XOXO!!

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    October 31, 2011 at 5:57 am

    Ahh it was getting so good, I forgot this was ONLY part 1! Can’t wait to read part 2!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    elise
    October 31, 2011 at 6:53 am

    Oh my gosh. You’re killing me with this suspense!

  • Reply
    Summer @ Made By Munchie's Mama
    October 31, 2011 at 6:57 am

    Your story is so cute already…I can’t wait to read part 2! Love it!

  • Reply
    Cassie
    October 31, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Awe soooo cute! I can’t wait to read part two. =D

  • Reply
    Maria-Isabel @Agape Love Designs
    October 31, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    The Most Cutest and Bravest thing EVER—> Me: By the way, in case you were wondering, my name’s Ashley.
    And then I smiled, turned, and walked away.

    I never would have done that! haha So awesome! 🙂 It makes me smile! How exciting to hear your love story!!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    October 31, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    love hearing how people meet! can’t wait to read the rest of your love story!

  • Reply
    Melanie Cantelmo
    October 31, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    oooh I can’t wait for the rest of the story!!!

  • Reply
    ana {bluebirdkisses}
    October 31, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    I love this. Its so cute and lovely. I can’t wait for part 2!

  • Reply
    Kari
    October 31, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Oh Ashley, this is so sweet and so well written!

    Seriously, I just now if we were neighbors, then we’d be the best of friends. I know our husbands would get around great, too. This really makes me want to sit down and right out mine and Nathan’s love story. I’ve only wrote about the day he asked me to be his girlfriend…but there are so many more fun stories to tell!

    p.s. I CANNOT wait to see what you all dressed up as for Halloween! 🙂
    p.p.s. Did you get my FB message I sent you a while back?

  • Reply
    Tara
    October 31, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Ha, This is amazing. Of course you would. Also, I didn’t get my license until 20 either. And I failed the first test because I had only “practiced” actual real driving ONE time before I went in to try for it. Oh well.

    Love that you’re sharing this. I should probably do this one day.

  • Reply
    Sol
    October 31, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Wow wow wow. You write so beautifully.

  • Reply
    Erika Thompson
    November 1, 2011 at 12:24 am

    I seriously love every single one of your posts! So entertaining and you are stinking cute! Cant wait to see you and Baby Wes all dressed up for halloweeen!
    -Erika

  • Reply
    Anna @ The Guiltless Life
    November 1, 2011 at 3:40 am

    Brilliant post Ashley, so funny as I don’t think I would have gone up and said anything either but then if it’s meant to be, sometimes we do things that surprise us and then later realize we did something so uncharacteristic because that’s just what was meant to happen…can’t wait to read more! Don’t make us wait too long please! 🙂

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ 4Eighteen
    November 1, 2011 at 5:35 am

    Seriously, this would make the BEST movie, or a book or ummmm something more. I’m just chomping at the bit for more!

  • Reply
    brittany @lovestitched
    November 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I LOVE IT! I have heard most of this story in person and still got caught up in reading it again…can’t wait to read the rest 🙂 xoxo

  • Reply
    Jess Lane
    November 1, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Adorable story – adorable you, adorable dimples…..can’t wait for Part 2!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    November 1, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I was heading for lunch and wanted to read part 1…so I printed it off and read it at lunch. I’m such a die-hard…I couldn’t wait to read it in the evening.

    Such a cute read so far. 🙂

  • Reply
    Lis
    November 2, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Awwwww, I love this!!!!

  • Reply
    Dyna
    November 2, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I’m looking forward to reading Part II now! What a wonderful story so far.

  • Reply
    Nina
    November 3, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Anxiously waiting for part II. I am such a romantic 🙂 Love your blog!

  • Reply
    Veronica Carpenter
    November 3, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    First of all I LOVE the beginning of this story. When I met my husband I was also in a “no boys. just me” time in my life. Funny how that happens….Also, I was 20 when I got my license, too. Glad I’m not alone. As always, thank you for sharing….I am starting to feel the blog bug biting me.

  • Reply
    Hannah
    November 4, 2011 at 1:32 am

    ahh!! I can’t wait for part 2, I’m already hooked!

  • Reply
    Our Love Story: Part2 Little Miss Momma - Little Miss Momma
    November 4, 2011 at 3:00 am

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  • Reply
    kristen duke photography
    November 4, 2011 at 5:23 am

    so feisty…I love it !

  • Reply
    kristen duke photography
    November 4, 2011 at 5:24 am

    p.s. I’ve been planning to type out our love story, but its a doozy…it’d have 10 parts!

  • Reply
    Our Love Story Part 3: Little Miss Momma - Little Miss Momma
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  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Our Love Story: Part 5, The First Date - Little Miss Momma
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  • Reply
    Our Love Story: Part 6, After the Kiss - Love Story, Real Life - Little Miss Momma
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  • Reply
    Trinnah
    July 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I love reading this! I imagined everything. Great writer!

  • Reply
    Our Love Story: Part 7, Serendipity - Love Story, Real Life - Little Miss Momma
    September 20, 2012 at 2:33 am

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  • Reply
    mele alana
    February 16, 2013 at 4:11 am

    Reading this put made me smile. Such a sweet beginning…

  • Reply
    Our Love Story: Part 9, The Goodbye part 1 - love - Little Miss Momma
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  • Reply
    little miss momma love story
    April 2, 2013 at 4:50 am

    […] the prologue here. Read part 1 here. Read part 2 here. Read part 3 here. Read part 4 here. Read part 5 here. Read part 6 here. Read […]

  • Reply
    STLchick
    April 2, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    omg love it! you go girl! I wish I had your confidence, but I’m still quiet around the guys :/
    I can’t wait to read part 2!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Sarah
    November 13, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Honestly sometimes when I get sad I read your love story and it gives me hope. It’s so inspiring and well written. Thank you for writing it! 🙂

  • Reply
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    October 15, 2019 at 10:25 pm

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