About Our Family
My parents have been incredibly supportive and we enjoy getting together with family and loved ones. I come from a family of six kids including a brother who has Down Syndrome.
I’d like to share a little more detail about my parents because they have been a big part of shaping who I am and how I want to parent.
I remember a time I was very insecure about my smile in middle school, my dad would tell me how much he loved my smile and that it was beautiful. I could tell he really meant it – and it helped me believe it too. Now I smile all the time and don’t wonder–I love knowing my Dad thinks it’s beautiful. I KNOW David will be that kind of Dad too – our kids will absolutely know they are LOVED. We will do everything in our power to help our kids feel heard and cared for. We will love them with everything we are, and we will always strive every day to be the best parents we can for them.
My father loved adventure, family experiences, and brought a lot of laughter, tender love, and fun to our home. He took us on a “transportation trip” when I was younger so we could experience all different kinds of transportation around San Francisco. From a train to a boat, to a bike… and it was the first time I went on an airplane. It felt magical! He also managed to wave down a limo drive and paid him like $20 to drive us around the block a couple of times. Talk about a thrill! I would love to take my kids on a “transportation trip” like my dad did. David is SO much like my dad that way and I know our kids will have joyful adventures often.
My dad used to play the bass before he became an accountant. He has always shared his love for music with us throughout his life – it is a significant part of why I ended up wanting to be a musician. On occasion he would turn up the radio very loud (usually some classic jazz, rock, or blues) and he would flip over the big empty trash bin and pretend it was a bass. My siblings and I thought it was the greatest dance party opportunity ever. We jumped up and down singing along and laughing at our silly dad. He also told corny dad jokes which we groaned at. But we really loved his desire to make us laugh – which he did often.
My mom was incredibly nurturing and unusually emotionally intelligent and loving. She was the essence of love and creative mothering. She knew that each of us needed different things as children, since we were each different, and she really listened to us and helped us feel uniquely heard and loved. She loved learning too and was always curious and intelligent. She was a Presidential Scholar (2 per state) and a National Merit scholar, who also loved dance and music. Professionally, she was a master teacher who was passionate about finding ways to reach every child, and she was highly successful, even with the most challenging students. She incorporated her belief in others and optimism into her parenting. She was so much FUN! She could make work into games, and she sees beauty in everything – to this day she gets excited over a sunset and often asks to pull over to take pictures when she sees a beautiful scene she wants to photograph. She always made delicious food and I have great memories of hot cocoa and peach cobbler around the holidays.
I remember taking a trip to San Francisco one year with my mom and sister and we just laughed and laughed because it started raining really hard and we were lost downtown. For some reason we thought it was hysterical. I hope to help my kids laugh despite the circumstances!
Mom sacrificed a lot for us and gave me a love for reading and looking out for others, just as my Dad did. She wrote each of us our own lullaby – something I plan to do as well. It was so special to be sung to and I have ALWAYS looked forward to singing lullabies to my own sweet little ones. Both of my parents sang to us, which meant so much.
My mother was born on the West side of town in Salt Lake and never traveled outside the state other than to see some sites like the Grand Canyon. She was more of a homebody that loved her kids dearly and did all she could to help us succeed in life. Unfortunately, she got sick as a result of her last pregnancy and never really recovered. She was sick the rest of her life and was not well enough to work outside the home. She did what she could to help raise us to be good citizens of the world. Unfortunately, she passed away at a young age from a non-genetically passed cancer. She sacrificed a lot for us kids, and I am grateful for her courage and sacrifice. Love you mom and miss you!
My dad was also born and raised in Utah. In fact, outside of his tour in the Marine Corp, and a church mission to Norway, he never traveled more than 600 miles from home. My father was always having to work multiple jobs at the same time so that we could make ends meet as a family. He was a police officer that served his community and the citizens of Salt Lake for more than 40 years. He also served his family with equal fervor. Although he worked long hours each week for many years, he always found time to be there for his wife and kids. He set an example for me that I will never forget or abandon. Because of my dad's devotion to his family, I realized how important it is for me to be there for my family, and I strive each day to do just that. Family is number one above all else. When April and I were just starting to date, she asked me my philosophy on family and work. I told her my firmly-held views - that nothing was as important as my wife and future kids.
My older brother Steve has a very happy marriage and some great kids, three of which he adopted from his wife's first marriage. He was always hands-on in raising his kids, and literally has a very close relationship with all of them. He is a very successful family man.
The third child, Rob, preferred to learn from the school of hard knocks, but has ended up being a very successful analyst for a global shipping company. He also adopted the daughter of his wife when they got married.
The next child Travis is a successful dad with a very successful career. He has four beautiful kids and a wife of 15 years. He is a VP of Product Marketing in the Software Security market. Travis received a bachelors of science in marketing.
The last brother, Shaun, is a very successful family man and accountant. Shaun and his wife were unable to have kids of their own, so they adopted two children, one boy and one girl. The girl has some health challenges, so much of the first years of her life has been spent in hospitals. In fact my brother has had to resuscitate his daughter multiple times in her 3 years of life. It has been extremely difficult, but they say that even knowing what they have had to go through, they would adopt her again in a heartbeat. Both kids are truly part of their family, and they love them so much. Shaun got his bachelors and masters degree in accounting.