Our journey together actually began in high school in 2005. We became quick friends, as we were both involved in choir and hung around the same groups of people. We did not seriously date until a few years after high school when we reconnected. After 6 months we became engaged and 3 months later we were married, in November 2009. In total, we have been happily married for over 8 years.
We both grew up enjoying many of the same things. We both like to avidly read books, watch sports (especially BYU football), and play games. Time with family is highly valued, and most of our weekends are spent with both sides. A family ranch in a nearby canyon gives us ample opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. We value this time with our families in creating lasting memories.
Chris works full-time in the education industry and specializes in using technology to help teach children literacy, language, and mathematics skills. He enjoys his job and finds success in helping children become better readers and more competent students.
We both enjoy reading books of all kinds, including Harry Potter and the Hunger Games. Cassie's favorite book is Emma (written by Jane Austen), and she reads it at least once a year. She finds the old Victorian lifestyle appealing. Christopher enjoys reading fiction (as long as its action and adventure oriented, he's into it!) and biographies, and each year around Halloween reads either Dracula or Frankenstein. He picked this up because his father does the same. We also spend some time watching TV and movies, as long as it does not detract from other more important family activities and events.
During the summer months, Cassandra likes to garden and go cycling. During the winter months, she skis with Wasatch Adaptive Sports up at the Snowbird resort. Cassie is a huge BYU football fan, beginning as a 1-year old baby (dressed as a BYU cheerleader) with her parents at a game where BYU defeated the Miami Hurricanes, the #1 team in the nation at the time. She has since converted Chris to her cause. On the other hand, Chris is still working on converting her to be a lifelong Utah Jazz basketball fan, though she likes to stick to the Malone and Stockton era. At times, we have found immense pleasure in attending vocal or theatrical performances, as well as playing games and spending time with family.
Before her stroke, we played hard and we worked hard too. We both had full time jobs and went to school full time. But when she had her stroke, everything changed ... we literally started from square one because of the trauma. At the time of her stroke, we both were in our last semester in college. It took her about 4 years to get to the point where she could talk and walk as well as she does now. It required hard work and determination, but she excelled at all that was asked of her.
In short, Cassie is disabled. She cannot use her right hand fully, as it lacks in fine motor skills. She can use it to stabilize objects she is carrying, and has done so with babies. She does walk with a limp, but is capable of getting around just fine. She does require some assistance to get off the floor, if needed. However, Cassie is capable and has shown ability, grace, and humor as she has adapted to life as is. She continues to be a great cook , decorator, and homemaker. Her skills at bringing happiness into the home are unparalleled.
We love visiting both families and frequently tell them so. When Cassie went through the experience of having her stroke, we would not have survived without them. We do a ton of stuff with our families!
We know that our children will be happy, as we will be firm but loving when it comes to the expectations of the family, while making it a fun and safe environment. We know that we have a responsibility to each other as spouses, and have an equal duty to raise children in the right manner. We know that family is the most important thing in this world, and we plan on raising our family based on important values. We will instill principles of good living, safety, self-reliance, closeness, and laughter as we raise our family.
We love to travel and explore new places, even after Cassie's stroke. Chris loves going to Pennsylvania and New York, and we recently discovered a love for Los Angeles and San Diego. We took her brother and sister this last year because Cassie and her sister graduated from college! Chris did learn his lesson after not applying sunscreen, because we laugh now ... but at the time, his 2nd degree burns were no laughing matter. But Cassie had fun, because she could use a tank of a wheelchair in the sand (massive rubber tires). All in all, it was a blast! We love exploring places that we have never been!
All of our adventures have taught us to really listen to one another, to be supportive at all times, and to ensure each others happiness. We learned to go slower, to enjoy things as they are and appreciate the good times that we have. We have been this honest with you because we want you to know what we are dealing with, so that you can place your child with the right people. We hope that you will consider us.
Our apartment is really cute; as soon as you walk in the door you sense a feeling of love. Though it may not be an actual house, we feel it is what is most important: a safe place to raise a family! We have pictures of family and inspirational quotes that decorate our walls; almost everything that we put on our walls or shelves has meaning in our lives.
We live in a duplex with no stairs, 2 bedrooms, a living room and kitchen, bathroom and laundry, with covered parking and outside storage. Depending on how we rearrange our possessions, there is obvious room for a child to have a place to sleep, play, and live comfortably.
We have lived in our current apartment since the end of August 2016. So far, the neighborhood has been warm and inviting. We have had great neighbors who do not stay up and make noise in the middle of the night, and who are also helpful when the time calls for it. We mostly mingle with the local church members, who have welcomed us into their community with open arms.
We live close to the historic downtown area, but far enough away from the main flow of traffic and congestion. Within our vicinity is a pharmacy, some restaurants, our church building, and other useful locations. Also close by are some parks with all the playground equipment and grassy areas that a growing child craves to explore! We enjoy going on walks, as it allows us to chat and explore our neighborhood.
It's been over 12 years since we met, yet I have the privilege of learning more about my wife week-by-week, sometimes daily. When I returned home from my time in Pennsylvania, I had a very good idea of what I wanted in a spouse: a desire to be a mother, a love of music, the ability to put up with me, and someone who I could spend the rest of my life with and become a better man. Because I already knew Cassie from our high school days, I made sure to reconnect with her. It did not take me long to realize she was everything I was looking for, and more!
She is the strongest person I know. Throughout her life, she has bested and overcome all of the trials that have come her way. She is not to be deterred, and is determined (almost stubborn) to get back up. She rises to the occasion, and exemplifies strength and ability in tackling life's problems. Because of some lingering medical circumstances, including her stroke in January 2013, she's had to relearn much of how to live a normal life. It has been an amazing experience to witness her doing what is necessary to fully heal. Even though she has not regained full use of her right leg, arm, and hand, her grit and determination to endure is surpassed by none. This has given her the gift of understanding and empathy towards other people.
She makes me laugh and gives me a hard time, much to my chagrin sometimes. It's never a dull moment with her! She makes me a better person, and we complement each other well. She's the driving force of doing what is right in our relationship, and I could not thank her enough for it. I love her more than I can express. I know that she was born to be a mother, and all her life has been focused on this one goal.
When we first met in a high school class, the only thing I remember about meeting him was his long, wavy hair, and that he sat in front of me! But he eventually became a friend, boyfriend, fiancé and now my husband. I don't know anyone who is as lucky as I am.
He is the oldest of 2; he and his younger brother get along great and they always laugh and joke around. His parents have a dog named Ciera, and even though she is getting old, they still love her. He loves reading books, watching TV or movies, being with family, sports (whether he is watching or playing) and camping. We purchased our own camping gear this past year, and that has been really fun for us! He loved the time he spent in Pennsylvania between 2007-2009. We took a trip out there and visited the people because he loves them and has fond memories of the area. This was where his love for God was solidified, and he tries to be responsible and upright in all he does, to be a good example to others around him.
We are both the oldest child in our families, but due to the age gap he never learned how to change diapers or care for his younger brother, but has since learned from his experiences with the children of our close friends. He really has grown to love them! He loves it when they bring their kids over so that he can play with them! I'm so excited to have our own kids, to have Chris experience that fun and become a great father!
I know that he didn't enjoy being in the hospital when I had my stroke, but he did it and stuck by me no matter what. I know some husbands wouldn't have stayed. I'm so grateful that I have this guy with me in good or bad times and everything in between, and that our future kids will have him too!