7.30.2014

Our Love Story, Part 1: "But Ashley Was Different"

If you had told me a year ago that I would meet and marry a man so adorable, funny, and sweet, I maybe wouldn't have believed it. But lucky me, all my wildest romantic dreams came true and I snagged the best man in the world. He's so good, in fact, that HE is the writer of our love story!!! And I didn't even have to pay him to do it. ;) I'm SO excited to share this. He's a spectacular writer, and I thought it was a fun twist on your typical blogger love story deal. He tells it so perfectly, but I think my side is interesting at some points, so I'll be adding my thoughts here and there. Look for those at the end of the post, and read on for the first chapter of how Jim and Ashley Neve came to be! 
Jim and I last summer before we met.
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My story with Ashley began in late summer of 2013. I only recall saying a few words to her in the park at a Young Single Adult ward activity. As the Executive Secretary in the ward it was my duty to get to know new members and have them meet with the Bishop. I took this calling very seriously, but at the same time, I thought Ashley was attractive and I wanted to meet her. I only got to say a few things to her at that moment and, I have to admit, I was even a little jealous of a guy named Chance in our ward who was talking to her and her roommate Heather. But I knew she was in our ward and we had at least met. As a Young Single Adult you have to keep your options open.

Over the weeks that followed I noticed Ashley in church and playing the organ and piano for church meetings in our ward. I didn’t think she had a thing for me cause I always glanced in her direction to see if I could catch her eye but I failed in my attempts. Or maybe she was just too sneaky for me to catch her drooling over my good looks and charm… We may never know.

I spoke with her a few times and learned a little about her family and her educational pursuits at Utah State. I felt impressed with her personality and her kindness. I even invited her to a pot luck once, but I think there was a conflict (there better have been a conflict!) with her schedule for choir or something so she couldn’t make it. But I knew, after only a few encounters, that she was a person I wanted to get to know better. 

Later, I discovered that we had been attending one of the same classes, Natural Disasters, and I would always look for her after I knew she was in my class. Again, I tried to catch her eye by looking in her direction, but no luck! Maybe she just knew it was driving me crazy to not have a pretty girl at least once catch me glancing at her. This was probably the only game she ever played with me before we started dating.

Up to this point I had struggled with an attempt to date a girl in the summer and it flopped. I followed that up with a phase of going on hundreds, if not thousands, of blind dates, give or take a few. I knew that I needed to get myself out there and find someone who was confident with themselves and who wasn’t interested in playing games… I hated the dating games. I was sick of them. I had never been much of a dating relationship type of guy, in fact I struggled with it. The chase was the hardest and most annoying thing about the single life. It was fun at times, but generally I would end up frustrated because there was something that I just ended up lacking in the girl’s mind. So I wrote a song on the guitar and moved on. 

But Ashley was different. She was a breath of fresh air for me, once I knew I wanted to ask her out. I knew I wanted to ask her on a date in about mid-October of that Fall 2013 semester. She had talents and was not afraid to share them with the ward. She was always in church meetings which I was impressed with. She seemed to be generally happy and had some good roommates she seemed to get along with.

The anticipation to ask her out was growing.

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I know this isn't much of a cliffhanger, but I just had to stop here to add my two cents: I remember that night in the park, too. I have a very vivid memory of sitting on that park bench with my roommate, Heather, and being too chicken to get up and talk to anyone. She and I were just proud we went at all. When Jim came up to us, I was very impressed with him, and thought he was pretty darn attractive as well. To use his word, there was just something "different" about him in a way that I couldn't quite put my finger on. But I too knew I wanted to get to know him. And even though I had my eye on someone else when Jim and I had our first encounter, I distinctly remember having the impression "you're going to marry that boy" as he walked away. 

I was also completely oblivious to the fact that he'd had a crush on me this early until I read what he wrote. I wasn't playing games, I just had no idea! Silly me. And the fact that he'd had his eye on me for so long... that detail just makes my little romantic heart sing.

Stay tuned for part two, where I get a little brave. ;)

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