We met at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse at an after work event. I was drawn to Albert instantly, and later I found out he was just as intrigued with me.
After dating for about a year and a half we had discussed marriage
and specifically the appropriate timing of our engagement as it relates to his two children from his previous marriage, so I knew his proposal was imminent. We used to date night every week, and we still do, so when he picked me up for a nice dinner, I didn't see anything out of the ordinary. However, he was visibly nervous taking my coat from me at the restaurant, so I had a gut feeling he was going to ask. We had a lovely dinner at an intimate restaurant, and after our second course, he got down on one knee. I can't say I was totally surprised, but I was thrilled!
Our wedding was amazing. The first international family vacation I'd ever been on was to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, and Albert grew up visiting the beaches there, so we knew exactly where we wanted to say our vows in front of family and friends. We flew down about one
hundred guests and had a three-day celebration filled with local food, dancing and even a Catamaran around the coast. On the fourth day, we were married in the rain forest overlooking the ocean. My uncle, who is a Catholic deacon, married us, and we wrote our own vows. It was very personal and intimate, and the reception lasted well into the evening. It is a week we will never forget! In fact, my side of the family loved it so much that my parents and brothers bought the condo where I had my makeup done before the wedding, and we take our children back every year.
We now have four daughters, but our older two are grown and no longer living at home.
We are a very active family, and most of our activities center around the children or traveling. We enjoy walking around our city to the various parks, playgrounds and events. If we are in town, on weekends we often ride our bikes along a greenway that overlooks the city or hike one of the nearby mountains. We travel quite a bit for a family with young children and thanks to our live-in au pair, we plan on continuing travel with our new additions as well. One of the first things we do for our children after birth is apply for their passports, so we can visit our family in Costa Rica and explore other countries. Albert also travels a good bit for work, so we often plan a vacation around it and visit him. Esme is very into imagination play and spends a lot of time playing dress up, which has been really fun. We all love music, so at night while I'm cooking, we often play children's music and dance in the kitchen — the kids and I love to get Albert
dancing too when he walks in from work. We can't wait to complete our family by adding two boys!
We live in a large condominium in the center of our city. Albert's work is three blocks away, which means he can spend a lot of time with the children. Our condo was built in 2010 and is very modern. We have five bedrooms, five full bathrooms, one half bathroom, a living room, kitchen, dining room, play area and a mother-in-law suite with a full kitchen, bedroom and living space as well as four large balconies with a view of the city. Our building is unique in that it has only twenty six units, and we have become close friends with many of our
neighbors. It is a diverse group of owners in ethnicity, race, age and lifestyle.
Our city is the perfect size for us - it is not too big but still has all of the perks a typical city has to offer, including a professional football team, NBA team and minor league baseball team, all of which are in walking distance from our home. There are also plenty of activities for kids, and we love the diversity that living in a city brings our family. We are a short drive from the mountains and the beach, so we are fortunate that we can escape city life easily when we want to be in nature.
As Written by Albert:
Courtney is sweet and warm — when she walks into a room, people are attracted to her immediately. Courtney brought a new freshness to my life — she makes lemonade out of lemons and encourages me to do so too. In stressful situations, she can still find a reason to
laugh and is fun to be around.
I love Courtney's discipline and commitment to whatever she puts her mind to. Courtney's upbringing and career in gymnastics taught her to set goals and no matter what happens remain committed to
achieving them. I see the same discipline and commitment to our family — when we decided to spend our life together, she quit her dream job in New York City and moved to our city to build a
relationship with my daughters. Even though there were some
difficult times, as there always is with teenagers, she persevered and worked hard to build a relationship with them, and as a result, they love her as a second mother.
With Courtney, there's lots of love and fun all around -- whether it's teaching the girls to eat healthily; showing them how to treat other children, their elders or people who are less fortunate; or through providing joy and laughter while playing with them, Courtney works hard to create a secure and happy environment for our children. She schedules their activities, keeps order in our home, and teaches them responsibility.
Courtney is a wonderful mom!
As Written by Courtney:
I was first attracted to Albert's ambition, intelligence, and zest for
exploration and still am today. He is hardworking, fun and interesting. Albert's story illustrates the American dream — he left home on the
coffee plantation at sixteen to attend a university in the city of San Jose, Costa Rica then left his country at nineteen to finish his university in the United
States. He didn't speak a word of English when he arrived in the States, and in a matter of years, he taught himself the language, worked
multiple restaurant jobs to put himself through school and caught the eye of those on Wall Street where he eventually landed a great job.
Albert has never been and will never be complacent — he constantly
strives to both improve his career and himself. He speaks three languages and loves to learn. I love that about him. He loves to get outdoors and explore whether it's in the mountains thirty minutes from our home or the mountains in Iceland. He loves to travel to new cities, try new foods and delve into different cultures. He is an incredible person to spend life with, and our kids and I are so lucky to have him in our lives.
I knew when I met him that being a Daddy was just as important of a
role to Albert as being successful at the bank. He is very close to his older girls as is evident by the fact that they often call him first if they have a problem. Our older girls have fond memories of him reading to them, playing soccer with them and taking them to swim lessons as children. Our younger girls just adore him and can't wait for him to get home at the end of his workday. After kissing me, the first thing he does when he walks in the door is take off his shoes and get down on the floor with the girls. They love to climb on him and dance with him and usually ask that he read at least one of their bedtime stories before sleep. He doesn't
mind being silly with them, and although he'd be embarrassed that I'm writing this, he has even been known to let them paint his toenails when they play dress up.