Ever been waiting to cross the street, standing with a few strangers? Well, we believe people should put their phones down and say hello when that happens, because that is in fact how we met! It was our first day of College and we were waiting to cross the street. Brian was carrying a musical instrument case, and Julie asked him what he played. And that was that! We dated straight through all four years of college and got married shortly after graduation. Music has always played an important role in our lives. Brian plays the trumpet and Julie loves to sing. We also share a love for being outside and working in the garden. By far the most important thing to both of us, though, is family. We are both the oldest in our own families, and each have three younger siblings. Growing up in large families was very special for both of us, and we can't wait to have a family of our own!
Our home is a 3-bedroom ranch in a quiet suburb with a fenced-in back yard. We have many flower beds and also a vegetable garden--we love to work in the garden! Our home is walking distance from two parks, the library, the elementary school, middle school and high school.
Hi there! Thanks for your interest in learning more about me.
My full name is Juliana but I go by Julie. When I’m not spending quality time with Brian or our families, I can most likely be found buried in a book. I have loved reading ever since I was a kid. Mysteries are my favorite, but I will read pretty much anything. Some people hear I teach English at a college and assume I must look down on things like science fiction or fantasy, or that I only read classics. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I am interested in how people—all people—express themselves. Some of my favorite writers include Tana French, Toni Morrison, Dennis Lehane, Tolkien, and of course J.K. Rowling. Another interest which has stuck with me since childhood is that I love to be around kids. I am the oldest of four siblings, and there is a 6-year gap between me and my next closest sister. My siblings were the ones who first taught me how much fun kids can be. Once my own siblings were more grown-up (they are still fun, by the way), I sought out babysitting jobs, and this saw me through high school, college, and even graduate school. As a grad student, I worked as a nanny for a family with three children under 5 years old while going to classes at night. Children see the world through fresh eyes. They have the most delightful ways of describing things. Many people asked me why I chose to work with families who had so many children, and often with families of children with disabilities. But I always had more fun with the bigger families. I got a kick out of planning craft or baking projects we could all do together. We would visit every library story hour in the area. I learned how to fold up the trickiest strollers, set up the most complex car seats, and how to cover elusive and pale toddlers in sunscreen before outside time. There was never a dull moment, and I miss those children every single day. Fortunately, their moms have been kind to me and I get frequent updates and pictures even though we no longer live nearby. It was difficult to realize that biological children were not in the cards for me and Brian, but as I learned first-hand from nannying, it is 100% possible to love children as if they were your own, regardless of biology. Please enjoy the accompanying picture of me with 3-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Sam, two of the three munchkins I watched while in grad school. We were making 'crazy smile' faces, at Sam's request.
I am a civil engineer, and have always enjoyed watching and helping things get built. From playing in the sandbox and watching construction videos as a boy, to building Lego and block sets and observing nearby construction projects, and now to designing and reviewing plans for new construction projects. That enjoyment also applies to my personal life, as I always have some house project going on. I enjoy improvements of all sizes, whether they be big projects like putting in new wood floors in our living room and kitchen with the help of my dad and father-in-law, or smaller projects like replacing old loose doorknobs or painting a bathroom door. I also enjoy some of the more mundane house chores, like mowing the lawn, mulching, weeding, and similar projects where I appreciate the sunshine and just being outside.
When not working on projects at work or home, I love watching and playing sports. My favorites are tennis, hockey, and swimming, though I will play any that people are willing to participate in. The more the merrier! I really just like getting away from screens for a while and getting some good exercise while having fun with friends. Growing up, my three siblings and I would try to have some outside activity every day after school. When we invited friends over, some favorite activities were kickball with the neighborhood kids, street hockey, and volleyball.
Since I met Julie, I have started reading for enjoyment much more than I did growing up. I have found that I really like reading fantasy and science fiction adventure stories. Some of my latest achievements include the Game of Thrones series, the Eragon series, The Hunger Games series, and I am currently working my way through a particularly long series called The Wheel of Time. I am on book four of fourteen! Reading fantasy adventures helps me relax at night before bed, and it’s really nice to cozy up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate on rainy days!
This is a picture of me with Kaya. Kaya is our close friends’ first baby, and mine and Julie’s Goddaughter. We are happy to live close enough to see them often, and are so excited to watch Kaya grow up.