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What’s your love story?

My friend Skhye is highlighting her valentine’s tale – Sacraficial Hearts…(new to my must read list…)

Today – she posted this question: What have you given up for the love of the person you love(d) enough to marry?

In answer–Before I met my husband, I’d just about given up on ever finding real love. I had become determined to just enjoy myself – that marriage was no longer for me, and that my true soul-mate (HS Sweetheart) had gone off and married another while I was dithering around with the wrong guy.

Then, one summer night at a beach party – there he was. Handsome, funny, sexy, and completely into everything I did or said. And, he lived a world away in San Diego.
Proximity wise, he was all wrong. But he was everything that I had ever dreamed of in a life-mate…but to make a life together, one of us had to start over.

Like any hero, he offered to come to me – but I knew his heart. So, like any heroine in my own romance, I gave it all up for love. My home at the beach, my career, hardest of all, leaving my best friend… and I never was more certain it was the right thing.

We married a year to the day after we met. Two daughters and 9 years later, it was still the best decision I ever made…

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Anniversary…

Today is Perry and my 8th wedding anniversary. Lace and Linen, they say. Ooh la la. Well, it would have been – in life before toddlers! ha. My question to you is – what is the most romantic memory you have of your spouse? Anyone can be sexy… but romance? That is an art form.

My most romantic memory of my sweet husband is this… and it may seem silly to some, but those of you who know him know that Perry – world’s greatest sports fan – is also the world’s biggest softie. Here goes:

It was 1999. Summer. One of those long, lingering Hermosa beach days – where I beat both the marine layer and the sunset home from a marathon day at Adwire. I had the convertible top down on my red Mitsubishi Eclipse as I cruised down Sepulveda Blvd; in 99 I was probably blasting Train on the stereo, singing along about meeting Virginia at the top of my lungs…


That was back when I shared a beach house with two room-mates, our balcony had a sliver view of the Pacific on Manhattan and 2nd. Right across the street from Le Petite Bistro and Mickey’s Deli. This was where the boys played volleyball and girls like me loved the eye-candy. Back when I was going on dates, enjoying the company, the free meals, wine, and deciding for myself if I would or would not even give in to a goodnight kiss. What I loved about Hermosa, was that with so much to drink in, I knew that when a guy REALLY turned my head, I’d be in love for sure.

Perry was different from the get-go. He made me laugh. He made me think. He knew how to have fun and not worry about strings. He knew we were just getting to know each other, and that I was not serious about anything with anyone. Including him. But, one day, when I had a date with someone I don’t even remember his name and was hurrying home to get ready… there, on my doorstep, was a little tiny Star Wars – Phantom Menace dixie cup, full of Hershey’s kisses. He’d left a note, that he’d dropped by knowing I wouldn’t be home – on his way to a Dodgers/Padres game. He just wanted me to know he was thinking of me.

Whoever that guy I went on the date with (yes, I still went…) was toast. Sure, I devoured some Rockin’ Sushi on Hermosa. But, I floated home on a dream of Perry – His smile, his deep, tanned skin, his sweet, thoughtful nature. Was it possible this sexy, romantic guy was really into me? And why, darn it, did he live 90 miles south, in San Diego?

My life in LA LA land was drawing to a close. I knew it. Wendy, my best friend and boss, knew it. I had every intention of being Tucson bound. That summer Perry stepped in and changed all of my plans. He changed my life. He changed my future. And, take it from a gal who’s taken a LOT of wrong turns… He is the true love of my adult life – my soul mate – my partner in parenthood – and my very best friend.

My hope is that Rachel and Ellie will give themselves a chance to find true love, and not sell themselves short – and to find their soul mates – after they’ve gone to college and have fantastic careers, of course. 😉

~Ashley

Of Little Girls and Ladybugs…

My sister gave us a “new” used hybrid trailer for Christmas – that means, it has a 17′ long body, and pop out beds to 23′. We’re planning on putting it to good use this summer, having already braved a trip in February – when we discovered the heater didn’t work (BRRRRR). All freshly fixed up and serviced, we just spent a lovely getaway to the lake over the weekend. Perry fished to his heart’s content (though I think I heard the fish laughing… we didn’t see ANYONE catch ANYTHING all weekend.)

The girls and I collected ladybugs and butterflies and played on a hidden beach.We had a picnic under an enormous oak tree on a field of grass. Flew a kite. Connected the dots with the stars, and woke up with the birdies. Idyllic? well, we were camping in a pop-out trailer. I did my best this time not to envy all of the lovlely, shiny new 5th wheels and Class Cs that were parked all around. Class As didn’t even bother to try camping where we were parked… So, social envy was curtailed in that arena.

We still love Lake Skinner – the best place close by, thus far, for a cheap weekend getaway – with no computer, no work, no bad days…

Let’s just say, we returned home with far less beer (and stress) than we hauled out with us. The girls are tan and happy, with some bandaid scars to share with their friends today at school. We spent last night finding many more places in and around SoCal to wander in our little tiny trailer. Can’t wait to see where we take it next!

Funny Scenes…

I was thinking this morning, while choosing a funny scene from All or Nothing, that isn’t love funny? What is more fun than falling in love? the thrill of the chase? the making up? the tension? the drama? all of it can tumble away in the blink of an eye with a laugh. That’s what makes someone human–our ability to laugh at ourselves. For, what is more funny than being utterly vulnerable together?

I think that’s why I love the romance genre so much… because in all things, in all situations, you put together a hero and heroine and there is always comedy before passion. At least, in my experience. Ha! don’t know what that says about me… You get mystery, intrigue, comic relief, and then, that blissful happily ever after that little girls dream about. In my life, I’m lucky. I tell my kids that they are part of my happily ever after… that their daddy is my prince charming. And the day we got married, was my princess day.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. Before I met him, I had to kiss a lot of toads along the way. 🙂 And we can’t always be princes and princessess. Somedays I wonder if Perry’s been eating flies. Of if I’m not acting more like a wicked stepsister than the heroine… God has a phenomenal sense of humor. If you can’t laugh with him, what’s the fun of living?

Coffee and comments

Listening to: Flight 26
Drinking coffee.
Going through e-mail.
A stack of edits waiting to be entered.
Another week about to begin.

This week, I’ll be spending more time at my work work – and less time dealing with new contract stuff, working with marketing at TWRP, etc. The contract is signed and on its way back.

We spent the weekend in Carlsbad, enjoying the sun, surf, and sand. Perry built the most amazing sand castle I’ve ever seen. Every kid on our part of the beach came by to help out. I have the most amazing husband in the world. It’s nice to have him back after he was so sick last week.

The girls are sleeping. I’m going to work a bit on All or Nothing – just wanted to keep honest, as blogging every day is part of my New Years Resolution. Or I should say, new LIFE resoultion. It helps my brain stay flexible. The ideas are coming like water. I’m very impressed with the group of writers at TWRP and need to be able to keep up!

~Ashley