Renee is a scientific journal editor, and Bennett is a doctor and medical researcher. We met as graduate students in Seattle, where we shared the excitement of research and our love of the outdoors. Our first date was an unforgettable camping trip to an alpine lake: we went up the mountain “just friends,” but became worlds closer chatting in the peaceful moonlight. We got engaged while backpacking in Alaska, and were married in a blustery mountain meadow in 2006.
Four years later, we welcomed Hannah into our lives. As parents, we have worked side-by-side, attending to our newborn’s 3am cries, comforting our toddler through nightmares, and wondering at her first steps, first words, and countless other accomplishments. We have grown together through all this, and we are incredibly excited to experience the joy of a second child with their unique personality and talents.
Hannah has a heart of gold, and her laughs and giggles light up a room. As a teacher commented (to another family), “Hannah loves playing with everybody and is a great role model for being kind and generous.” She is a compassionate girl who loves to give gifts and help others – she is always finding toys for younger kids or writing cards for sick friends. She has a boundless imagination, a bright curiosity, and loves to sing and dance. She has long wished for a sister or brother, and we’re excited to watch her and a sibling develop their own special relationship as they grow up together.
Interests and Hobbies
For us, fun comes in a million forms. Around town, we seek out theater, live music (including Renee’s choral group), and opportunities to dance as a family. Our biggest joy, however, is playing outside. We bike everywhere, play our individual sports, (running, yoga, basketball, golf), and together love hiking, camping, skiing, and snowboarding. We save our pennies for big travel adventures: we’ve surfed in Mexico, hiked the Himalayas, and wandered Zen gardens in Japan. We can’t wait until our kids are old enough to stamp their passports and explore the world with us.
Friends and Family
Renee’s four siblings are her closest friends in the world, and despite living in different states we see them several times a year. Renee’s mom steals Hannah away for beach time whenever she visits. Her dad lives in Texas, where each Thanksgiving Hannah and her cousins enjoy canoe rides and hours on the trampoline. Bennett comes from a smaller family. His younger brother lives in L.A., conveniently close to Minnie Mouse. Bennett talks to his mother in Chicago every weekend and we see her several times a year so she can dote on her granddaughter with wild shopping sprees. Locally, we have a fun and supportive community comprised of preschool families and close friends we know from our college days.
Our home is in the heart of San Francisco’s diverse Mission District, where we embrace people of all backgrounds and spend hours every week at our many neighborhood parks. We also enjoy the city’s farmer’s markets, street festivals, beaches, and museums.
We live in a modest condo filled with love and laughter, surrounded by an eclectic group of caring neighbors. At home, we spend most of our time reading and playing in our cozy living room, cooking together as a family, or doing wacky “science experiments” in the kitchen. The kids’ room, lit with twinkle lights, is typically the scene of a “stuffy-world” adventure dreamed up by Hannah. She eagerly awaits a sibling who can join in the fun.
Renee is always ready to laugh, joke, find fun in any form, and share it with our daughter. Sometimes this means an impromptu Saturday morning dance party, sometimes it’s an intricately planned mommy-daughter road trip to see elephant seals and explore Monterey. Her daily highlight is the running gleeful hug she gets picking up Hannah from school. Renee is warm, generous, and eager to help people – whether by volunteering at an African orphanage or staying up late to advise a friend. She is a wonderful mother with an amazing ability to project love so strong that with her hugs and whispers she can soothe any pain or calm any fear. I am excited to see her nurture these qualities in our next child as she has with Hannah.
Bennett has a remarkable gift for putting people at ease and making anyone laugh. He has a truly generous heart, and will drop everything to help people. We have stopped the car many times so he could help injured strangers, and he has volunteered time in homeless clinics and African hospitals. As a father, he is a constant source of joy and support, a fun-loving playmate, and an encouraging teacher who cheers on every accomplishment. I have proudly watched him help Hannah learn how to read, roast marshmallows, and ride a bike. He has boundless energy, and brings out squeals of laughter by magically converting a simple room into a giggle-filled playhouse. I can’t wait to see how the games go when he’s juggling two children in the air!