As part of a week-long series alongside Valentine’s Day, we’re featuring stories about UF couples, past and present, called “Findlay Faithfuls.” Did you meet the love of your life on campus? We want to hear about it! Share your story via Facebook or Twitter using #IHeartUFindlay #FindlayFaithfuls
When two people meet and fall in love in high school, it’s frequently assumed that it won’t last, that it’s “just a crush,” and that the boy and girl are too young to entertain any notion of future plans. Defying that idea, however, is the love between Scott ’16 and Paige (Scalf) Stevens ’15. A love that validates the notion that rock-solid relationships, especially when they begin in the teen years, are built on a familiar communication, one that those who haven’t “grown up together” might not have.
Summers at sixteen are normally spent with friends, doing things that people do in that time when they are not quite kids, not quite adults. Along with the “normal” activities, this particular summer saw Paige spending a lot of time at her church. She would start at a new school in the fall, and felt like the comfort she needed for the recent changes in her life could be found there. Coincidentally, it was a friend from church that told her about a boy, his cousin, that Paige might want to get to know. “He assured me that he was a ‘great guy,’” Paige said. “But I’m thinking, ‘of course you’re going to say that! He’s your cousin!’ I didn’t have anything to lose, though, and thought it would be a good idea to make more connections before school started.”
Indeed, a connection was made. While Paige thought Scott was “very cute and a gentleman,” Scott confessed that, when he saw her that first time at a lake in the county where they are from, it was “definitely love at first sight.”
The innocence of youth for the two at that time, is evidenced by the moment in which they first became “official.” Scott asked her to make a formal proclamation in September of that fall. “If I remember correctly, we were sitting in his blue Ford Ranger,” she recollected, “and he grabbed my hand and said, ‘Sooooo, do you wanna say we’re boyfriend and girlfriend now?’ Real romantic.” Since then, however, they have never been apart; and that includes during their formative college years.
Scott was smitten enough to follow Paige to the University of Findlay, where she eventually found herself majoring in Middle Childhood Education and working as a campus tour guide. Scott enrolled in the Physical Therapy Program, and the two began working their way through academia. Tight with their families, they went home often on weekends. Wherever they went, and whatever they encountered, though, they were good to and for each other. Scott, “in true Scott fashion,” as Paige said, passed all his classes with ease and continued to help her with the tough stuff. The two started thinking more and more about a future, both with the increasing awareness that they wanted each other in it.
Around three years after the “real romantic” scene in Scott’s truck, he asked Paige to marry him in a particular no-frills fashion that reflects their bond. “No family around. No hidden photographer,” Paige said. “Sweet and simple, like our relationship.” With the idea of beginning their aforementioned future together as soon as they could, they were married before their junior year of college.
Graduations, occupations and transformations followed, but no transformation, according to the pair, has been more fulfilling than the one into the role of parents. Their children, they said, two-year old Willow and four-month old Kanon, complete them in a way that they’d only imagined prior. “I have dreamed of being a mother since I was a little girl,” Paige confessed. “At Findlay, we thought life was so stressful with the demands of college, but we have discovered that having a real job and the task of raising quality humans is a tad more demanding!” And it doesn’t end there. Paige said that she felt the call for the pair to become foster parents, and, after a period of diligent work, they are now nearly fully certified to do so.
It seems there is an overabundance of love with the Stevens family. Lots of love for each other. Overwhelming love for their children and others they may be graced with in the future. Where does all of this love come from? “We have a very strong faith,” Paige said. “In fact, one of the things I remember specifically about our time at UF was being in tears, as a freshman, over my statistics homework. Scott was trying to help me, and more tears came, and after feeling like a total idiot, Scott grabbed my hand and began to pray for me. That gesture proved to me that he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and the kind of father I wanted for my future children.”
To keep each other on their toes, they said, they keep the silliness they have between each other intact and in play on a regular basis. “One of my favorite things about our relationship is how goofy we are,” Scott explained. “We make each other laugh daily to the point of tears. We have about a million inside jokes and being able to be weird and funny with my wife is something I love most.”
“Scott makes me laugh until I’m crying almost every day,” Paige added.
The two now live “back home” in Circleville, Ohio, with Scott working at Berger Hospital and Paige a stay-at-home mom. Their time in Findlay, they said, was invaluable to their relationship.
Paige, one day, hopes to show off the skills learned from her campus touring days. “We often reminisce back on our ‘Findlay days,’” she said. “We can’t wait to tour campus with our children one day and show them where Mom and Dad spent six years of their life.”
Sweet and simple; weird and funny. That’s Scott and Paige. And they wouldn’t have it any other way.