Meet the Family

About me...

I remember a writing assignment from high school in which we were instructed to write about our family. At that time, at the age of 16 or so, family is really the last thing you want to write about. What modern American teenager wants to tell people about their mom or crazy drunken uncle or their annoying little sister?  Family at 16 is a burden. You have your newly earned freedom in the form of a drivers license and the family mini-van, so long as you run car-pool or pick up the groceries from time to time.

At 26, you begin to realize how special family is. You've been off to college, seen the world, launched a career, and started a family of your own. Through the years, you've lost touch with friends you've made, you've experienced death in your own family or in those who are close to you. You've seen just how crazy your family is compared to the world around you, and you start to see the thread that holds it all together. Those people who you call family are the closest people to you. They are the spiderweb of your life, your threads crossing and recrossing as the years go by. They are the people related to you by blood and those related to you by common experience. The ones your have worked with, shoulder to shoulder and those you have cried with, arm in arm. Most of all, they are the ones you hold most dear.

Meet my family, and we'll start with the immediate, and stay tuned, I'm sure to update this page as time goes by.

Kate, my wife, is my soul-mate. We met at summer camp when we were just 12. I knew very little about life at that point, though I thought I knew much more. We became friends, and even had a little "camp romance" in which we held hands by the campfire and carved our initials in the cabin rafters. We lived a few hours and a state apart, so our interactions were built on writing letters (yes, before Facebook and the interweb, stamps were 29 cents, I do believe). Through middle and high school, we each dated other people and had our own social circles at home, but continued to write those letters and see each other at camp during the summer and on holiday weekend retreats. By the summer before our senior year, we were each single and were beginning to realize what a special bond we had created through the years of writing each other. At a camping trip that summer with her Dad and some other friends, we decided to try long-distance dating. The letters had become phone calls, I had a license and could drive up for weekend visits, and Prom would be there before we knew it.

Once graduation was upon us, we had decided to attend college together. Three years of college later, I proposed to her, and while I never got a verbal "yes" from her, we began planning our wedding. Then, in May of 2003, my bride and I got married in front of our family and friends, honeymooned in beautiful Illinois wine country (yes, there is wine country in Illinois) and began our lives together. A year and a half later, we expanded our family by one, four years after that, we added another, and now after crossing the ten year mark, our third has arrived. We celebrated that ten year anniversary in May by having a childless weekend while the kids stay with grandparents, and going to see Wicked here in town. While it's been ten years married, I've now been best friends with my wife for 15 years. The most amazing thing about being married to your best friend is that after knowing her for nearly 20 years, I still learn new things about her daily! As the Beatles once said "who could ask for more?"


My daughter is 10 and has been my pride and joy since the day she was born. A friend of mine once said (in a blog post no less)
"I became a feminist in that delivery room when my wife gave birth to our oldest daughter.  I can not believe ANY MAN can look at his daughter and want anything less than everything the world has to offer for her. I want daughters who have the strength of character of Rosa Parks; the commitment to justice of Dorothy Day;  the tenacity of purpose of Margaret Sanger; the outspoken voice of Elanor Roosevelt; and the commitment to the impoverished of Mother Teresa ."
This sums up my goals for her, to be not only a great woman, but a great person in a world where nothing that she can dream to do is denied her. She has the spirit of an artist, always singing, dancing and creating. She is very connected to her emotions, feeling strongly about everything she sees and investing all her spirit in all she does.

Nat came a few weeks early, and being our first child, we weren't really prepared. I like to think that we rose to the occasion though, and learned with her as we went. She fought bedtime for about two and a half years. It was not uncommon for bedtime to take two or three hours, and heaven forbid she woke up in the middle of the night, because there was no getting her back down without having the fight all over again. While she gave us some struggles, she also gave us moments of pure amazement. From discovering the world around her, to her very first friend moving away, we've seen her highs and her lows.


We call him Godzilla because he is all boy. Before he was walking, he would headbutt just about anything he could get his head close to. By the age of one, he was carrying my power drill (we swiftly bought him more age appropriate tools). He loves trucks and dirt and trains and has a cape for every day of the week.

For as much as I have fallen in love with my daughter through the years, my son is my legacy. He will be the oldest child to carry his Great-grandfather's surname into the next generation. He is me, 30 years younger. He is the canvas on which I will paint the imagery of manhood. Of fatherhood. Of husbandhood. Basically, I will help mold him into the man he will one day become. I see him follow me around and try to do the things I do. It always keeps me on my toes. I want to show my son what the world has to offer, and for him to decide to take my example and make it better. For that is what he is capable of. His imagination is vivid. His energy is untamed. His potential is unlimited.


Kate delivered #3 the day before Thanksgiving, 2013. We didn't know his gender when we checked in to the hospital, but were excited to find we had a healthy bouncing boy. While there is a lot of sleeping and eating and pooping, he's already teaming up with his big brother to annoy his sister. We've hit the running faster than his legs can carry him stage. Now nothing is safe!

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