Him and Me

This was originally a post I published a little while ago. I rather like it and until I find time to rewrite this story a different way, here it is:

Essential info: I grew up in Ripon, CA. Brad grew up in Manteca, CA. Those two cities are a mere 10-minutes apart. And in the same stake. Brad is three years older than me, the same age as my older brother, Craig. Us Ripon folk went to Manteca for early-morning seminary until the year I started high school, when we started having our own seminary. So I never did the trek up north (haha) and met a lot less people from Manteca (like Brad's brother, Greg, who is my age). 

My dad was made Bishop of our ward when I was in 6th grade until we moved my junior year of HS. Brad's dad was made Bishop of their ward two years later. Their offices were right next to each other and they spoke often to one another. 

Phase I: I first hear his name. This is a somewhat vague memory, but I definitely remember this happening. We were in the car... driving somewhere... and Craig was talking about seminary and said, "Brad Westmoreland is a jerk." That is all I needed to hear- my brother said it, it must be true. This guy is a jerk (and no worries- they are good buds now) :)

Phase II: The move, and move back. We moved to Idaho Falls, ID, the middle of my junior year of High School. A month before I graduate from High School, the parentals informed us that we are moving back to California. To the same area. Wow. Dad has to go out there asap for the job, but we can't sell our house. Boo. He calls his awesome pal Bishop Westmoreland to see if there is anyone who would house this lonely, family-less man until his family can come out- sure, come live withus (my in-laws are amazing)! Really? Ok! He ended up living there for six months.

Phase III: The missionary. It is the end of summer. I am about to start college at BYU-Idaho. House still not selling. One last trip out to California to visit my dad in Manteca and head south to the ever beautiful San Diego. Where do we stay? Why, at the Westmoreland's of course. They have a son out on a mission. His pictures are on the fridge. He's scrawny, but kinda cute. He comes home in a week. Guess who still lives there? 

Phase IV: That's Brad? I finish one year of school at BYU-I before heading home for the summer. Meet a guy (well, remeet- knew him before), fall in like, think I should stay home from school... guy breaks my heart. Awesome. No plans for dating for a looooooong time. Friend wants to cheer me up and invites me to the corn maze with a bunch of other people. Good friend says, "I think Brad Westmoreland is back in town, too. I'll see if he wants to come." Don't think much of it. Go to friends house to wait for everyone and then... he walks in. I'm not the biggest believer of love-at-first-sight, but this... this was something close. I think to myself, "This guy is Brad Westmoreland?! He did NOT look like that before!" We're introduced to each other (and everyone else) and we head out. He asks me my last name again... "So you're Bishop Dell's daughter?" Yes, yes I am. We get out of the car and he notices my shoes. Converse All-Stars aka Chuck Taylor's. He likes them. Oh yeah, points for Amy. Go in the corn maze, half the group goes one way. We and our friend stick together. How many times can a guy give you a half-hug or touch your shoulder? These are good signs, right? All go out to Denny's, then back to friend's house. We talk. Says he'll take me out on his boat. Kind of wishing and hoping he'll offer to give me a ride home that night (so much for trying to not date). Nope. Has to go work. Boo. We'll see if he ever takes me on his boat or even talks to me again...

Phase V: Chance meeting. It's the third Sunday of the month... we all know what that means- High Councilman talks. One of ours just happens to be Brother Westmoreland. His son comes to support him (aka see Amy again). My dad sees the lone son, offers him to sit with his family. Sits next to me. We talk. Brings up the boat again. I go home and tell my mom that I don't think anything will happen, but I'm pretty sure Heavenly Father sent Brad to me to give me hope of what a wonderful guy is. 

Phase VI: The phone call. It's the next Thursday. My parents are busy with church things and my sister is hanging out in their room. The phone rings. Oh my goodness, it's Brad! We talk, he says the boat is broken (what is with this boat obsession...), but he got a movie to watch and would I like to come over and watch it. Um, yeah... I just got out of the shower and had done nothing with my hair. Fabulous. Wet pony tail it is. Another phone call. Could he come over to my place? Suuure. As long as we hang out. Please. He comes over, pop in the movie and sit on the couch together. And get closer. And closer. My dad comes home. Oh, hi Brad. Hi Brother Dell. Dad proceeds to his room. Mom comes home. Oh- hi. Hi. Proceeds to room. Not as much privacy as before, but oh well. Movie over, everyone going to bed. We stay up and chat. And chat. And eat ice cream. And chat. It's 1am. Say what?! And he's playing with my hair. I don't know how that happened... but I'm basically on cloud nine. Time to go, want to go out tomorrow night? Yes, please! 

And that is how Brad and Amy became Brad and Amy