The two of us met by chance while visiting New Orleans! We were both there for a conference for students getting their Master in Business Administration degree. Having just graduated from business school at the University of Texas, Stuart was there to do recruiting for the wine company for which he had just started working. Having just started business school at UC Berkeley, Matt was there looking for a summer internship. A mutual friend introduced us, and we were inseparable for the remainder of the conference.
We were lucky enough to get married in front of all of our friends and family at a beautiful winery in San Francisco in September of 2017. 2018 was a big year for us. Our lives changed forever when Oliver joined our family through adoption. Shortly after, we left the west coast for the east coast and now live in New Jersey.
We spend all of our free time with Oliver and Wyatt, our dog that we rescued three years ago. Between morning runs, long walks, and park play dates with friends that also have kids and dogs, we are definitely embracing the role of parents. Apart from that, we spend a lot of time with family. We drive to Richmond, Virginia every couple of months to see Stuart's family and travel to Los Angeles, California every couple months to see Matt's family. We love having friends over for dinner and games and try to do it as often as possible. And finally, we are both AVID fans of Survivor - we have seen every episode of all 38 seasons!
We live in a condo in a relatively quiet New Jersey neighborhood right outside of New York City. In our house we spend a good portion of the time cooking meals in the kitchen. We are always attempting new recipes and have recently begun challenging ourselves to create vegetarian meals more often. For Christmas, we bought each other a beginner's keyboard and guitar. Lately we have been spending a little time each night practicing our respective instruments. We recently found out that Oliver actually loves playing the piano!
The neighborhood is away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, so has a bit of a small town charm. There are a handful of parks and restaurants within walking distance, including one of the most delicious pizza places in the city. Just three blocks from our house is a great park that has water features for the summer heat that Oliver loves to splash around in.
The best description for Stuart is intellectually curious. He is incredibly smart, and yet his appetite for learning new things seems unending. Whether he is learning to speak and read Spanish by practicing with me or teaching himself to play the piano, his love for learning extends to every aspect of his life. Above everything else, he is the most loyal, family-driven person I know and I think that he is the most amazing, loving, and thoughtful father to Oliver.
Matt is a special blend of beach-loving Southern Californian and cultural explorer. He is in his element spending an entire day playing beach volleyball and surfing or exploring the sights in a foreign destination. If that foreign destination has a beach, even better! His appreciation for other cultures and for the simplicity of relaxing in nature reflect his passion to learn from others, to build communities, and to protect what needs protecting. Matt is both compassionate and demanding. He will never allow someone to be taken advantage of and is the first to step in and help, whether in the kitchen when someone is overwhelmed hosting a dinner, or on the soccer field when someone is getting roughed up by the opposing team. I know that the children he raises will know right from wrong and care for others as much as he does.