ABOUT RUSSELL ALEXANDER STEPP
ABOUT ASHLEY BYBEE STEPP
How We Met
Xan and I met fall of 2004 while we were both undergraduates living in the Foriegn Language Housing at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He lived in the Italian house and was working on his final year of a physics degree. I was starting my 2nd year working on a degree in Chinese (later to be changed to Asian Studies). I liked his roommate and was frequently found over at their apartment. Xan's roommate suggested that Xan help tutor me in my math class, which I was practically failing that semester. Let's just say that his teaching style did not match my learning style and there were some personality clashes.
Xan's first impression of me was that I was really cute and I believe he used the word "hot" when he related it to me, but I was extremely young and imature and a typical freshman/sophmore girl: Loud, over-social, not too concerned with academics, and a HUGE flirt.
My first impression of Xan was, wow! Has that guy traveled a lot. I would love to marry him and travel the world, but he was extremely anti-social, didn't dress well, too focused on homework, and wasn't a huge flirt back to me.
How We Hooked UpFast forward to the beginning of 2006. I had just returned from an internship in China for the past 6 months and had grown up A LOT. He was working on getting into the MA Comparitive Literature program at BYU which office was on the same floor as all my Chinese classes. We would run into each other a few times a month. I remember always wishing that we had more time to talk than the quick 5 minute passing by each other chats we would have. He was extremely interesting. He left to visit his parents in Thailand in the Spring followed by a 6 week intensive language program in Iceland for Icelandic. We began occasionally e-mailing each other in May after he left and continued through out the entire summer. By August, we were frequently writing a couple of times a day to each other. When he got back to Utah beginning of September, I asked him to come to a soccer game with me. He accepted. And that's how the dating started.
June 3, 2008 found me busy in the kitchen following a Spanish meatball recipe - from a Spain cookbook Xan had given me for my birthday the year before - making dinner for the two of us. He came over as soon as he was done with his meetings on campus. He had just gotten the ring in the mail that morning and made the right call by deciding I would rather get engaged sooner than have him put it off for a couple of days while he prepared some elaborate proposal. (He was leaving for Iceland in just 3 months and the engagement was the determining factor of whether or not I went with him.) When he got to my apartment that day, I remember thinking he was a lot more huggy than he usually tends to be. He kept putting his arms around me and saying, "I love you" while I tried to multi-task and finish cooking, for those who know me, it causes me to be more distractable than usual. I was in the process of telling Xan to grab his plate from off the table to dish up when I noticed the box sitting on the table open with a ring inside. I froze. I had been waiting for this to happen for almost 2 years and honestly could not really believe that he was proposing. Xan came over and hugged me and asked, "Marry me?" I took a few more moments to process what was actually happening, said some type of "yes" and had him put the ring on my finger. After we were done eating, I realized that the ring had probably been on the table waiting for me see it for over half an hour. When I asked Xan about it, he said that I looked straight at it more than once before realizing it was there and that yes, it had been there for quite a while. That to me, is the BEST part. Got to love my ADHD and slow processing skills.
Xan and I were sealed to each other for eternity on August 16, 2008 in the
Jordan River Temple in South Jordan, Utah.