I met Stephanie Marie Hassebrock just over two years ago. We met through the internet and we seemed to connect at a very deep level almost immediately. On our first date, which was at Mother’s Pub in Ames, there was an instant connection both physically and emotionally. We soon met each other’s families and I just fell in love with her family. They are wonderful and strange in their own unique way. Soon we were spending almost all our time together. Last fall, Stephanie got baptized and on that same day, I proposed to her in front of most of her family. It was a wonderful day. We are getting married later this year on August 3rd, 2013. By this point, I could not really imagine living life without her in it. She has been such a blessing in my life and I am a better man with her in my life than I am without her in it.
I have been blogging for almost 2 years now, almost as long as I have known Steph, and in all that time I have never referred to Steph, by name in a single one of my blogs. Steph blogs regularly as well and has often mentioned me by name in her blogs, but not once have I mentioned her in one of mine. Steph has asked me about this on several occasions and my answer was essentially that with the kind of blogs I write, I keep them mostly limited to general success topics. If I do get more specific and personal, I limit it to myself since I only feel comfortable speaking for myself. The exception to this is when I have profiled someone in one of my remembering blogs. I guess it is a way of keeping some form of separation from my personal life and what I share with the world. Maybe I have been wrong in that logic. Anyway, that is what I have done up to this point.
So for Valentines Day this year, Steph told me that she didn’t want a card and flowers on that day because that is so standard, but she was looking for something unique that really came from the heart. The other condition was that I was not supposed to spend a lot of money because we are trying to save up money for the wedding. That all makes sense and I agree with her reasoning. The only problem was coming up with something unique that I had not given her before. I put a lot of thought into what to get her and was not coming up with any ideas. Then it finally hit me.
I would write a blog about Steph and how much she means to me. That was a very workable idea and with this blog, I am fulfilling that gift and breaking the streak of blogs where I do not mention her. That in itself is a pretty good idea, but if you know me at all, you know that I like to think and do things BIG. Why write just one blog when I could write several. I liked the idea of keeping the first blog as being about what I really loved the most about Steph, but I wanted to go further.
With our upcoming marriage, I have been doing a lot of thinking and reading about ways I can be the best husband I can possibly be for Steph. I know I am not perfect and I never will be, but what are some tangible things I can do that will make her feel loved and sustain our marriage through the years? Through research and just plain thought, I came up with 7 actions I could do that would help grow and sustain my relationship with the love of my life. After this blog, I will be following it up with a blog outlining each one of these 7 actions that I intend to do or continue to do moving forward. That means that Steph is getting an 8 part blog series instead of the original one blog.
I decided to keep my list to only 7 actions because 7 is a perfect and whole number. I could have probably came up with a list of 30 actions, but you would have grown tired of reading about them and I would have had trouble doing all of them. So I decided to keep the list to 7 and really try to focus on executing them. Normally, I would list the 7 actions for you here in this first blog of the series so you would have an overview and know what I would be talking about. In this instance, I would ask that you humor me because I want to reveal these to Steph one at a time over the period of time that the blog runs so it can be like an extended gift. Steph has been the most loyal reader of my blog that I know. She has read every single blog I have ever posted so with loyalty comes special privileges. We will get into the actions in upcoming blogs.
I would like to finish out this blog by mentioning the top 3 things I love the most about Steph. Please understand that there are so many more things I love about Steph than these 3, but these are my top 3 thing in no particular order.
I know and have known hundreds of people in my lifetime who have exhibited very high amounts of kindness towards me. Each of us has the ability to show kindness within us and we all manifest kindness in different forms and levels in our own lives. Steph is at the very top of my list when it comes to people I have known who exhibit extraordinary amounts of kindness on a daily basis. Steph is one of the most selfless people I have ever known. She seems to always put the needs of those around her ahead of her own. This is such an admirable trait. I wish I could say this for myself, but the truth is that this is an area that I have struggled with for a great portion of my life. I tend to be a bit selfish in nature and it is only in the last few years of my life that I have seemed to make some real progress in this area. The amazing thing is that Steph seems to show kindness towards others without giving it any thought or effort. It seems to come just naturally to her. Usually by this time I have processed the thought that we should get someone something, she is way ahead of me and has already gotten it. I look up to Steph for the natural kindness she shows others and I use her as an example of how I would like to be when it comes to showing kindness towards those around me.
I went through 9 years of college and made it through vet school so it is evident that I am not a dumb person by any means. I think sometimes when you have such a high level of education, you can tend to become bored talking to people who don’t. You can find that you run out of things to talk to them about and you end up having to explain a lot of the things you are talking about to the person because they have no idea what you are talking about. This is not the case with Steph. Steph is highly educated and has a very high level of intelligence that seems to just come naturally to her. She is one of the more gifted writers I have read and unlike most highly intelligent people, she has an amazing ability to relate to just about anyone. She brings herself to the level of the people she is talking to and never talks down to them. I really admire and love that about her. She loves Iowa State just like I do and is very well versed and intelligent when it comes to the topic of sports, specifically Iowa State sports. I love being able to share this with her. We definitely connect on that level and it is a level that few couples are able to really connect on.
Sense of Humor
Along with Steph’s high level of intelligence, she has a strong wit about her. She has the ability to see the lighter side of life and know that sometimes the best thing for a person is a good laugh. I tend to use humor with her a lot and she seems to get my humor so that is a real cool bonus. She even laughs at my jokes, sometimes, but not every time. Lol. I love how she will just randomly quote lines from a funny comedy movie we both like and then I will try to fill in with the next line. I never seem to do it as well as her, but she seems to put up with my improvisation anyway.
I know that marriage is never easy and it takes a lot of work. Steph and I have our good days, but we also experience our bad days. We have our struggles just like anyone else in any relationship does. I have seen plenty of failure when it comes to relationships I have been in through the years. I have even been divorced. There are no guarantees to any relationship or marriage, but with Steph it feels different. I have loved many different people in my life, but with Steph it seems like a different kind of love. We just seem to be more connected. Even on our worst days, there is a sense that everything will work out just fine and we will be one of the couples that lasts a lifetime. I would love to take a lot of the credit, but the truth is, she is the reason. It is her, just being her, that makes her so special to me. She makes me want to be a better person and I think that is just about the greatest gift you could ever hope to give a person. Steph, thank you for giving me that gift. Thank you for giving me all of you!