Stephanie Maples had noticed Matt Redick at Special Olympics volleyball practice and thought he was cute. Even though they were on different teams, Stephanie had a crush on Matt and wanted to get to know him.
In the fall of 2007, Stephanie, 25, wrote Matt a note, asking him some of his favorite things. She also wrote, “Do you want to go out with me? Circle yes or no.”
Matt, 27, decided to circle “yes.” They started talking and eventually went out.
Stephanie: “I liked his eyes a lot. At first I felt shy. He wasn’t easy to talk to, but after a while I started opening up.”
Matt: “When I saw Stephanie, I knew she was special.”
The unfolding: They dated for several years, wanting to go slow and really get to know each other. They both loved sports and enjoyed participating in soccer, golf, volleyball, basketball and bowling. As they spent time together, their relationship deepened into love.
The proposal and wedding: In the fall of 2011, Matt and Stephanie and her parents were at a bowling tournament. Matt secretly told her parents he wanted to marry her and asked if her dad would videotape Matt’s proposal.
Her father agreed, and they went outside, where he recorded Matt getting down on one knee and professing his love.
That December, on Stephanie’s birthday, Matt was at her apartment, where he asked her to watch a movie with him. Then he played the video of his proposal.
Stephanie wasn’t sure what was going on, so Matt again knelt and asked, “Will you marry me?”
She was so surprised and excited she could barely speak. They were married Oct. 27, 2012, in Olathe.
Favorite shared activities and hobbies: They enjoy watching movies at home and playing sports.
Careers: They live in Olathe with their two dogs. Matt works as a general school aide at Northview Elementary School. Stephanie works at Wal-Mart, stocking groceries.
What keeps their relationship strong: They love and accept each other. When they have disagreements, they give themselves a little time and space to relax and think things over. Then they hug it out and kiss and say “I love you.”
The qualities they most appreciate in each other:
Stephanie: “He’s hot. I like his eyes and I like his personality.”
Matt: “I love to talk to her. She has a strong, strong heart and a great smile. I like everything about her.”
Deborah Shouse is a freelance writer. Suggest a Love Story couple by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.