It has been a while since I have written an entire blog post about someone, heck, it has been a while since I have written a blog post in general. So naturally, I must create something in honor of Zach turning 27! A lot of you have not even met Zach yet, and I personally think everyone on this planet should know about this incredible man I get to call mine and why he is so stellar. He basically is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 in person form. So with that, here is everything that Mr. Zachery (emphasis on E-R-Y) Haugen is not. And before you judge me for thinking I’m about to spew off a list of terrible things about my man like his habit of picking his fingers that drives me insane, y’all know I like to put a twist on things. Sometimes looking at what you aren’t highlights all that you are. I could tell you everything that Zach is, but let’s be honest, that would be boring, really sappy, and no one would click on that kind of tag line (all about that clickbait). I’ll try to keep this post Tostitos mild salsa level sappy, instead of extra hot all while not embarrassing Zach in the process (probably will be embarrassing me more here because I’m great at that). If you need proof of that last sentence, ask us about what I did on our first date.
He is not from Eagan
While we both live in the more inner part of the cities right now, we both are from the suburbs. When I say we are from the suburbs, that means two completely different things since Eagan is as flat as a pancake compared to the wintery hills of death called Duluth with a lake that makes every lake in Eagan look like a puddle. Zach is the true Minnesotan out of the two of us since he grew up in one of the places that makes Minnesota worth coming to, and doesn’t scream every time he jumps from rock to rock at Gooseberry Falls. It is really nice knowing that I am marrying into a family where visiting my in laws is going to feel like a mini vacation every time we go up to visit them! When we first started dating, Zach took me on a “hometown tour” that consisted of the North Shore and all the other spots that you probably have seen in proposals, engagement pictures, and tourist highlights. You bet I returned the favor and took him on the greatest Eagan/Apple Valley hometown tour. It showcased the most popular Raising Canes, the first Super Target to exist, and of course, TAGS gymnastics, my second home. I even got him an Eagan Minnesota sweatshirt since he got me a Duluth Pack one because Eagan is JUST as great as Duluth, obviously.
He is never selfish
I’m just going to say that Zach is a lot nicer than I am (or this could just be a psychological phenomenon called Imposter Syndrome- but I digress). Between seeing him interact with his three younger siblings, his family, friends, my family, and of course myself; it is not hard at all to see his genuine care for others. He is so quick to put others first that it amazes me how he hasn’t blown his top. I can think of dozens of times when he would, and has, sacrificed what he probably wanted to do or was doing to make me, or someone else happy followed by an “it’s all good!” or, “I don’t care!” and actually seems like he is all good and doesn’t care. I’ve never had a man willingly turn the TV off during the middle of a big game to go to dinner with my parents, the gym with me, a gymnastics meet, the list goes on…. He does so much for others and expects nothing in return. I could write a whole other blog about the countless number of times he has dropped what he was doing/came to help me when my FND and Lyme were giving me troubles, when others would think it’s crazy to come to my rescue at 4 AM, or see it and run the other direction. Can’t forget the spoiled New Years when he stayed back from a family event because a chicken patty gone wrong gave me food poisoning…or the time he drove me to the ER in the middle of no where, Minnesota for a kidney infection on the way to another Duluth family event…Maybe I should create a blog post about all the crazy stories I’ve put this man through. He will tell you that I’m a trooper but I think he deserves the gold star.
He is not self-conceited or lazy
In other words, Zach is so humble and hard-working. I say this about every aspect of life; work, relationships, self care, etc. He somehow juggles it all even on days he’s running on fumes. Remember how I mentioned Imposter Syndrome earlier? (Feelings like you are not as good as how others perceive you to be- fun fact: 70% of the population feels this phenomenon). As an unlicensed psychologist with no power to make an official diagnosis, I am diagnosing Zach with this. A Process Optimization Consultant with a psychology degree and obsession with psych in my back pocket counts for something, right? He doesn’t give himself enough credit for all he has done, can do, and does do. His passion for what he does shines through even when he can’t see it, and I have no problem reminding him every day that I am so proud of him, and how he motivates those around him, too. He’s got more willpower than anyone I have ever seen. The amount of thought and care he puts into making me feel special is unmatched; from planning out our engagement down to the little things of going out of his way by bringing me my favorite drink of choice just because. He never will brag about what he has accomplished even when sometimes I think he should…except for how he is the best soccer player out of all the Haugens. I’ve heard that a few times 🙂
He is not quick to anger
Being with a Casey, specifically a Lauren Casey, can be quite a rollercoaster at times. You never know what weird twists and turns are going to hit you. I’d like to say I’m more like the kiddy joy ride roller coaster at the county fair, but honestly, I am more like The Corkscrew at Valleyfair. Like most people, my moods can go up and down due to the fact that dealing with stress isn’t my forte. I swear Zach is half cucumber because he’s as cool as one. I have never seen him get angry at anything, not even Minnesota sports. Most impressively, he did not get any kind of upset during the house buying process when I was a whole new monster even I had never witnessed of myself. For homeowners, you know how stressful this can be, I was justified. That’s something I appreciate about him so much because when I have been stirred up about my day at work, my health, or finding a house with a large master vanity – he is my constant that takes me back down to baseline and calms my stress.
He is not a gymnast
Trust me, I checked. He’s got a lot to learn still, while on the converse, I still have a lot to learn about his sport: soccer! I have enjoyed entering his world lately as I’ve now attended more than 1 Loons game which makes me an official soccer fan now, right? Unlike watching my brother’s endless baseball games (sorry Christopher, I’ll never let those go), I actually enjoy going with Zach to watch his brother and sister’s soccer games. Before I met Zach, soccer was the sport I knew the least about since I decided to quit in kindergarten when I was traumatized after seeing my teammate get kicked in the knee and start hysterically crying while running off the field. Now, I watch it almost as much as I watch gymnastics! When we first met and I told him I was a gymnast, he immediately asked me if I could do a front handspring over a soccer ball like the pros do- needless to say, the gymnast meets soccer moment has made me come out of retirement just to master this so I can finally not be lying from saying yes that day.
He is never not smiling
Maybe it’s due to the fact that his dad is a dentist and his teeth are impeccable, but really, he’s just a happy dude! My mirror neurons thank him for this, as I’ve been told my default face is a resting “you know what” face….I swear I’m not mad that’s just my face! It’s really hard to not be happy around him, and anyone’s mood is instantly lifted just by his presence. He is my Serotonin.
He does not dress like a high school guy
Y’all know exactly what I mean, and if you don’t, it’s the athletic shorts/sweatpants everyday look. Dressing up back then was a guy wearing…wait for it…jeans! This may seem like an insignificant little detail, but I really appreciate that I don’t have to tell him what to wear like I am his mom. If anything, the only reason we will ask each other what we are wearing is so we can match each other’s “vibe” we are going for that night. I don’t know about you, but that is definitely #goals. Zach worked at American Eagle all throughout college, including summer internships, which is how he found his retail niche! I have to thank American Eagle for sticking him with the Aerie side of things for a while- he’s the only guy I have met that knows what cheeky underwear is. You bet we bonded over the fact we both wore American Eagle all through high school, and still do since we both basically never grew again. But the one thing I don’t mind from high school? Backwards hats. Ladies, you know what I mean.
He is not boring
What is the adjective used to say someone is the opposite of adventurous and outgoing? I landed on boring. I can credit Zach for getting me to inch out of my comfort zone a little bit more than I used to. For that, I am so grateful, otherwise I would not have learned that my true love is not actually him, but is street tacos. His adventurous side and excitement to try new restaurants/date night ideas, has now turned me into a better Minnesotan to the point where it’s not as obvious anymore that I grew up in the suburbiest suburb ( see below the step by step instructions and diagrams written by my dad on how to start a fire because he knew I didn’t know how…one of Zach’s favorite documents he’s ever witnessed). Those who know me well know that I can have a hard time relaxing or going with the flow, well, I can now successfully say that I know how to do that now. Life with Zach is always going to be a fun adventure, and I’m only experiencing the tip of the iceberg with a lifetime of iceberg left to go.
He is not unhelpful
Is that a word? Because is doesn’t sound like one. I can’t think of a better person to go to for help (other than my dad whenever I have car issues). Zach and I are very much a team in every aspect or project we are working on, and when we are not, it’s more because I am the one leaning on him for help. He knows how to help me in ways that I didn’t even know I needed, like leaving motivational sticky notes in random places when I am not looking and discovering them on a hard day is just one example. He will drop me off at places because he knows I am scared of any place that may require any percent chance of parallel parking. He even went into my apartment one day when I was at an overnight work conference because I suddenly remembered I forgot to take a load out of the washer and didn’t want them sitting there for days (he even remembered which delicates needed to be hung up, that is husband material). The number of times someone has asked me if Zach is as hands off on wedding planning as their fiancé was, is unreal! We both have been equally active in picking out all the furniture for the new house, flatware for the registry, and really everything but my wedding dress, of course. People look at me like I just told them I am moving to Fiji when I tell them HE picked out the wedding colors, not me.
It’s amazing how easy it is to write about what you love, and love is an understatement when it comes to Zach (sorry, this probably surpassed the mild salsa level sappy zone). I can only wish that everyone has someone in their life that they can call their best friend, biggest supporter, and other half. While I know not everyone may not want to read about a complete stranger, at one point, Zach was a complete stranger to me, too, and I have learned so much from him that I think everyone can learn a thing or two here. To conclude, happy birthday, Zachery! I can’t wait to celebrate YOU this weekend 🙂
Happy July, folks!