the first meeting.
it was freshman year of college. new life on the horizon - new town, new roommates, new friends, new school, new everything. we were having a ward party up provo canyon where we would learn how to square dance. we all had different partners and finally after the learning was done i got to meet back up with my new found "besties" [we called ourselves]. hilary, the roommate, came over and brought this cute boy with her. "this is derek," she said, "and he doesn't have any friends yet." he had just gotten out of the hospital with a collapsed lung and quite literally hadn't made any friends in the ward yet. of course we'd be his friend. after it was over i somehow ended up being in his car for the ride home, with a few others. and after we all stood outside talking where we exchanged phone numbers by stover hall. as soon as i came inside with hilly i said, "derek is so cute!" and that's when the crush began.
freshman year continues.
the year continued on and we included derek in our group of friends. he was only staying one semester and so i knew that my crush was useless. he was leaving in three months, he wasn't going to date anyone before he left, and two years was far too long to wait around for a boy that i didn't know if he even had any interest in me. but, i still couldn't get over how cute he was. we hung out a lot. some of our friends would go running and they'd invite me. i'd ask if derek was going. if the answer was yes then of course i would go. if not, there was no way...i didn't even like running anyways. but when i went i was always the slowpoke, and derek made sure to check on me often. how could i not like him? he would also invite me to breakfast before class with some of the boys in the ward. i never was a morning person, but i sure got ready quick on those mornings. he thought i loved cannon center breakfasts, i sure fooled him. and sometimes i asked him to drive me home, because he was one of the few with a car. i loved those car rides with him. and could talk with him for hours and hours. but still, i knew nothing would come of it. except for one night he was dropping me off, he gave me the best hug and said, "i sure am going to miss you ashley while i'm gone." it sparked the tiniest bit of hope.
february 3, 2009
we had been texting a lot when he was at home. [one time i even sent him that crazy text.] but the time finally came when we had to say our goodbyes. he was off to fresno to preach the gospel as a missionary and i was ready to move on. maybe not really, but i wanted to pretend i was... we shook hands after breakfast at kneaders. i didn't even cry. he was just a crush. i tried over and over to convince myself, hoping it would work.
a lot happened to me. and to him during those two years he was on a mission. i wrote him quite often, because we were good friends. deep down i still thought he was adorable, but i couldn't tell people that. i wasn't waiting around for a missionary that i didn't even date before. but i wished a lot something would work out. there were a few other boys i liked, and a fair amounts of dates where i found exactly what i didn't want. but still, i kept his lanyard with me. [the one i asked for before he left.] there were few who knew exactly what it was, but it was my reminder of derek. and i took 800 north as often as i could because i knew it was his favorite. a lot of the time i wondered why i still even cared and sometimes i even asked myself if he was real life or just someone i made up. but still, i couldn't get him out of my head.
"confidential..."there was one time about four months before he came home that i did something drastic. it wasn't on purpose. but i just had to know. i was confused and so i knew that asking was the only way to get an answer. "would you ever consider dating when you got home?" there was more to it, but that was the jist of it. i put it in the mailbox and waited. his answer, "i'd love to get to know you better."
february 9, 2011
he got home from his mission. i knew this because i asked his sister. i waited. and waited. and waited. to hear from him. and i was dying.
february 17, 2011
i still hadn't heard anything. well, besides an email on sunday from him asking for my phone number. i had been waiting all week and was about to give up. mom and i were on our way to california to visit kelsy before her mission. our conversation was going like this. mom, "have you heard from derek?" me, "no." mom, "well, maybe you shouldn't get your hopes up....maybe he won't call until he gets back to school in the spring." me, [grumpy]. the subject changed and we kept driving. we made a stop for dinner in fillmore, ut. we were at the texaco filling up with gas and i got this text, "is this the real life ashley walter? this is derek. can i call you?" heart. pounding. "MOM! what do i say?!? can he call?" poor mom had to sit for the next hour of the car ride listening to me be totally ridiculous in my first phone call in two years. going to sleep that night felt like a total fantasy. and i may or may not have called him the next day just to make sure he was real life.
the next couple months.
he was still in texas at home. we talked on the phone quite a bit. mom told me not to be too overbearing, but i couldn't stand not talking to him. i wasn't sure if i still liked him or not, but i knew that i loved our phone calls. and he still seemed as cute as before.
april 4, 2011
he was back in utah. we had talked about meeting up over the weekend but i was at home. he told me he'd try to visit at work on monday. you better believe i had my outfit planned all weekend. and monday could not come soon enough. i was dying all morning. i couldn't focus. i couldn't sit still. i just wanted him to come already. i had told him exactly where my office was [we moved during the two years]. this was the moment that kelsy had written about in letters. those couple hours felt like an eternity. and then, i looked up, and there he was. as cute as ever. and we both had nerves shaking . and the first thing i said was, "oh my gosh. you're real life." and then we hugged. and he ran errands with me across campus. here.
april 12, 2011
our first real date. home depot and in'n'out. derek got sick but felt bad taking me home early so we drove around to look at houses. it was the best.
the following months.
we started to hang out quite a bit. playing tennis, going to dance parties, basically anything i could find to invite him to i would. we talked a lot about our relationship. he wasn't ready for commitment and i said that it was okay, "it'll work out how it's supposed to" was usually my answer. all i knew was that he kept hanging out with me so that's all i really cared about. people confused us a lot for being a couple, but neither of us really seemed to mind.
july 2, 2011
he held my hand as he was dropping me off a couple days before. he kept talking to me but i had no idea what he even said. i knew that to him this was a big deal. ask amy, my roommate, how ridiculous i was that night. a couple nights later we talked in his car in my complex parking lot. he said, "i've realized i have this great thing in front of me, and i won't know what i really want until i jump in with both feet." i texted some friends that night and said, "i'm pretty sure we're dating..."
first kiss. [aka "september third"]
flashback: junior year of high school we were on choir tour. one night me and bff kayla and bff kelsy decided that we were all going to get our first kiss by september third. well, kayla did. and kelsy and i didn't. that year. or the next. and so forth. so "september third" became our joke every year, saying that maybe this would be the year...
we went to see harry potter on july 16th. i was so excited. it was the last harry potter of course. we hadn't kissed yet. and i just didn't really want to think about it because i had never even kissed a boy before. and he hadn't kissed any girls. [cute, right?] well, it just made me nervous. after the movie his cousin called and wanted to see him. i figured he'd drop me off first, it was getting kind of late. but he took me right a long with him. little did i know that he had told his best friend that he would kiss me before the week was over. he couldn't take me home until he did it. after meeting his cousin he went to drop me off, he kissed me at my doorstep. and then i laughed. out loud. i later explained that your first kiss is something you think about so many times, i laughed because it just wasn't what i expected. the next day amy told me, "your childhood ended last night, ashley." [harry potter and first kisses]
summer and fall.
we kept dating and life was happy as ever. we went on walks and laughed and had fun dates. school started and got crazy and we went to football games. one of our favorite activities was driving around to look at house. sometimes i cried a lot. and there were very few days that i didn't see him. and none that we didn't talk. he told me he loved me the beginning of november. i spent thanksgiving with his family. and we often asked ourselves, "how did this happen?"
i was in hawaii. he left for idaho the day before i got home. we didn't see each other for nearly two weeks. [so long, i know...but i was dying.] but those two weeks were the best for us. i realized just how much i missed him, and he realized just how much he loved me. it was later that week we talked about actually getting married for the first time. and my one request was that he talked to addison about it before he left on his mission, which they did.
february 3, 2012. it marked 3 years to the day that i shook his hand goodbye. i thought it would be cute if he proposed. i knew it would be coming in the near future. the night before he mentioned going somewhere nice for dinner, but i didn't want to get my hopes up. friday he told me that he would pick me up right after class. i told him i needed to change so he told me to be quick. we were obviously in a hurry and he was talking a hundred miles a minute. i could sense something was up, but i decided to remain calm. he kept checking the traffic on his phone, and i still had no clue where we were going. then he said, "let's take the back way." it was about this time i was actually catching on. the back way meant driving by my favorite spot. he pulled off there. he then said, "i have something for you ashley." and grabbed a binder. it was all the letters that i ever wrote to him on his mission. with "confidential" at the front. i laughed and said, "well, i don't think i ever really wanted to see that letter again." then he handed me another letter he had written. it said, "confidential..." across the top. and then a list from 10 to 1. it said, "these are the top ten reasons i want to marry you. so..." i looked up at him and he said, "i'm doing this the right way, let's get out of the car." we got out of the car. he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. i kissed him and said yes. and then i said, "is this real life?" [seems to be a theme.] the sun was setting. the ring is beautiful. and it was perfect in every way.
then we got back in the car and said, "what do we do now?" so we just sat there and looked through old letters. it was then that i cried. we enjoyed the perfect moment. i wish i could bottle it up forever.
i then had to go the bathroom and we were starving. cheesecake factory was a two hour wait so we went to corner bakery instead. we then decided that we should probably tell our families. our moms cried. our dads were happy. after we thought we'd go ice skating in murray, just how we did years before. but there was a figure skating competition... so we stopped by my house instead.
it was simple. and perfect. and i'm madly in love with derek asay.
may 23, 2012.
the draper temple. sealed for time and all eternity. husband and wife. the asay's.