How We Met
The first time Luke and I met, I actually was working his Interview Day at a Christian camp in Alabama. It was the day before Valentine’s day, so I had brought little candy grams to pass out to my coworkers. I ended up with one extra pack of skittles so I gave them to him. (It had a sticker on it that said Love, Ashley that he apparently kept on his phone for about a week after). Now, I have a forgetful memory and when Move-In Day came around that summer, I was tasked with greeting everyone and making sure people got settled in. I REINTRODUCED MYSELF to him. Completely had forgotten about him. He thankfully did not call me out. Just allowed me to reintroduce myself like an idiot. After a couple of weeks of getting to know each other and joking around nonstop, the feelings began to develop. Yes, some people might say “Oh, it’s just summer love” but I knew something was different. Even our boss was pulling for us a bit, although he didn’t outright admit it. You have to understand that I am a blunt person especially when it came to how I felt. I grew up with two parents who basically had love at first sight. My mother told my dad the night they met that she was going to marry him, and four months later they got married. I had always figured that wouldn’t happen to me but still dreamed of something so sure like that. Just a defining moment where I knew. Well, Luke and I went through a weird, one day, “break up even though we weren’t dating” because I wasn’t sure if this was what I really wanted. I honestly couldn’t make it through the whole day without constantly telling myself I was an idiot for making it weird so I asked if we could talk (he’d been asking me all day if we could, to which I had replied no). I swallowed my pride and met him at 11:30pm in the snack shop area of work. No one was really down there because most everyone had already gone to bed. Cue the awkward silence that felt like an eternity. He spoke first and said, “Can I just pray for you?” I was caught off guard a little but just nodded my head. He proceeded to say the most humbling prayer I had ever heard. It wasn’t about us working out or anything like that, but just that in this next phase of my life, starting college and everything, God would lead me and guide me. I had my defining moment then, on those outdated benches in the snack shop. I just knew. I was going to marry this guy someday. 5 days later, I told him that too. I just straight up told him I was going to marry him someday, just as my mom did all those years ago.
how they asked
Luke and I had made plans to go take family pictures with his family for Christmas. They do all of their Christmas traditions on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day so when the 24th came around, I put on my coordinating flannel shirt and hopped in Luke’s car for a 30-minute drive down the road. Not even 5 minutes into the drive we got into a car wreck. It wasn’t anything too serious, two cars collided and then collided into us while we were stopped at a stop sign. So after about an hour of police reports and exchanging information, a friend of ours picked me up to get my car from my apartment and then I went back to get Luke. I got out and sat in the passenger’s seat as Luke got into the driver’s seat so we could proceed with our trip. I remember Luke laughing, saying, “Wow, you are going to remember this day for forever.” I laughed and was like ” Yeah, we’ll remember that time we got hit on Christmas Eve. That’ll be funny.” Little did I know. So we got to his parents’ house, where we were meeting his parents and brothers/brother’s families. For some reason there was a delay in heading to his Mawmaw’s house (we had to wait for friends and my family to get there and hide), so we hung around and just had a good time. Finally, everyone was like okay let’s go so Luke and I pulled out of the driveway first making it halfway down the road before saying he left his phone let’s go back.
We turn around, pass all his family, and get back to the house. He runs in and “grabs his phone” while I use the restroom real quick. We leave again and make the 3-minute drive to his Mawmaw’s house. We pull up and there are Christmas lights everywhere. On the trees, bushes, pallet outdoor Christmas trees, creating a soft glow outside. We get out of the car and I commented on how pretty it was. I had just gotten a polaroid camera that morning so Luke asked if I wanted to take a picture. We head over to the trees to take a picture and as I turn, I see Luke’s brother’s face pressed against the window of his Mawmaw’s house. What was even odder was that all the lights were off in the house. I go, “Hey Luke, I think your family is waiting for us to eat.” He’s like, “They’re fine, they can wait.” So I turn around to do one of those over the shoulder shots.
He takes the picture then goes, “Turn around and take a forward one now.” So I turn around and multiple things happen at one time. One, Luke’s oldest brother and one of his sister-in-laws come running around the corner of the house with their phones ready and recording. Two, Luke is down on one knee with a ring. He was not prepared for his brother and sister-in-law to come running out to record so he forgot his whole memorized speech he was going to give and proceeded with a “Um (insert laugh from him and definitely me who was in shock), will you marry me (insert another laugh)?” I think I asked “Is this for real?” about 4 times before I said yes. He put the ring on my finger and then got up and picked me up for a massive hug.