Rebecca and I met at Brigham Young University (BYU). In our congregation, my roommate and I were assigned to home teach her and her roommates. (Home teaching was a program in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to make sure everyone is supported and cared for). It’s a little awkward to try dating people you home teach, but after about a year of becoming good friends, I decided I would risk asking her out. Apparently, it was worth the risk. She was usually shy and reserved, but on that first date, she was almost giddy. We dated for several more months and then I proposed at Thanksgiving time after taking her on a surprise horse-back ride. I’m not a huge animal lover, but I knew she couldn’t refuse me if horses were involved, especially since practically every note she ever wrote me was signed “ - <3 - Rebecca…Horses are Awesome!” So…we got married on Cinco de Mayo, 2007 – complete with a wedding cake piñata. (Don’t worry, we had a real wedding cake too.)
We soon graduated from BYU and moved to Clearfield, UT where I was hired by Northrop Grumman (an aerospace engineering company) and I’ve been there ever since. I really enjoy the work I do and am glad that the company has been growing a lot lately.
Here is a little about our kids:
From Rebecca's perspective
Austin’s favorite things to do are playing with toys and being silly. He also loves to read and hike. I am often impressed with how far and hard he can push himself when he goes hiking and running with me. He loves all sorts of vehicles and dreams of being able to drive some of his favorites one day.
Emma loves music, gymnastics, and swinging around on a playground. I can often hear her singing to herself as she goes about the house. Like Austin, she also loves reading. She often spends time writing stories and notes. She is eager to be helpful around the house, a trait that is much appreciated!
From Nate's perspective
Austin is an energetic, silly boy. I love coming home from work and hearing the same thing from him every day – “Dad! I want to play with you!” It has been fun seeing him succeed in home-school and devour new books. He has been so excited to have a sister and practically worships the ground she walks on.
Emma joined our family later, but has seemed to fit right in. She is super helpful and affectionate. I love when she randomly comes up to give me hugs and tell me “I love you”. When it’s her turn to spend one-on-one time with me, she always chooses to ride our bikes to the park.
The best thing about mom is….she gives me school lessons, makes me lunch, reads books to me, and goes on bike rides with me.
The best thing about dad is….he makes me breakfast on Saturday like scrambled eggs, he goes on bike rides with me, and he plays with me.
The best thing about me is…that I am good at reading, writing, and hiking.
I want to have another sibling because…I want to play with him or her.
The best thing about mom is….she is nice, she loves me, and she is patient.
The best thing about dad is….he goes on bike rides with me, he plays with me, and he is really nice.
The best thing about me is…that I can hike so fast, that I can ride my bike, and that I can learn fast.
I want to have another sibling because….we will have more people to play games.
Priorities & Principles:
As a family, there are a number of things that are particularly important for us. Here are some of the top principles and priorities for our family. While we are not perfect at these, they are all of great importance to us, and we are continually striving to improve upon these ideals:
Faith: Our faith in Jesus Christ creates the foundation that our family stands on. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our faith provides us with firm principles and high moral standards to hold to. These things influence nearly every other aspect of our lives, and we are constantly working to live according to them. Activities of worship also permeate our routines: we hold daily family prayer, we read the scriptures together, we attend church weekly as a family, and we attend the temple as a couple monthly.
Family: Family is an extremely important aspect of our lives and our faith. We work to support each other in individual as well as family needs and interests, and we make spending time together a priority. We eat dinner together every evening, we take family vacations, we hold weekly family home evening (with a spiritual lesson, treat, and activity), and we read and play together often. We also spend time with extended family on a regular basis. We try to practice “connected parenting,” which emphasizes meeting the need underlying the child’s misbehavior instead of punishing them into good behavior.
Hard Work: We believe in working hard and doing our best. After all, success doesn’t come to those who don’t put effort into achieving it. We all have individual and family responsibilities to take care of around our house and yard that make our household run as smoothly as possible.
Recreation: While hard work is important, fun recreational activities make life truly enjoyable! We do things together as a family and as a couple. We love to get away and go hiking, camping, and swimming. We enjoy visiting museums, going to plays and musicals, and attending local events (such as fairs, festivals, rodeos, etc.). There are plenty of things we love to do closer to home too, such as going for walks, visiting the park, roasting marshmallows over a backyard campfire, watching movies, reading books, singing, playing games, and building puzzles together. Holiday traditions are especially fun whether we are caroling to our neighbors, dressing up in Halloween costumes, or doorbell ditching valentine cookies to our friends.
Service: Finding ways to serve others brings joy to everyone involved. We try to help others around us when needs arise, and we visit our elderly neighbors regularly.
Education: Knowledge is power, and success is much more difficult without it. This world is full of learning opportunities, which is wonderful since we always love to learn new things. We are working to instill a love for learning in Austin and Emma (and plan to do the same for all future children) by doing fun educational activities, visiting educational places, reading to and with them, and teaching them about various things ourselves.
Fiscal Responsibility: We have always strived to handle our money responsibly. We create monthly budgets and try to stick to them. Furthermore, we have never had any debt besides our mortgage, and all purchases are saved up for and paid in full so that no additional debt is incurred. Major purchases are always discussed, researched, and agreed upon before we make them.
We live in a nice neighborhood. Our kids love to play with the other children living on our street, and our neighbors are friendly and helpful.
Our home sits on horse property that is nearly an acre lot. We don't have a horse now, but hope to have one one day. For now we are content to have plenty of space for our children to play, our dog to race about, our garden to grow, and our hens to roam. We spend a good deal of time outside taking care of our yard and garden during the warmer months. This also means we often eat well with all the fresh produce we get from our garden during the months that the produce is in season. Our children help out with yard work too, and they particularly enjoy taking turns riding on our lawn mower.
Since Rebecca and the kids love animals, we also own a number of them. We have a dog, a parrot, a leopard gecko, and some chickens to share our home and yard with us.
I am laid-back, humorous, and intelligent. I am fairly introverted and haven’t always been very successful socially. (Except marrying Rebecca. That was pretty dang successful of me.) I work hard towards succeeding in my career and providing for my family, but I also love taking time off from work to do fun things with them. My main spiritual and family goal is to maintain a loving relationship with my wife and children and a close relationship with God.
From Rebecca's perspective
Nate is extremely smart and a fast learner, so it is no surprise that he received nearly all A’s throughout his time in school. He has a good sense of humor, which often helps lighten the atmosphere of otherwise tense situations. Generally he is a casual guy who enjoys making jokes and playfully teasing. I love how he often brightens my day with his fun personality and thoughtful attentions. He greets me with a loving hug and kiss every day when he returns home from work. He is kind, considerate, and good at noticing ways to help others. Nate is also a great father; I love watching him interact with Austin, Emma, and other kids! Just watching him tease, play, and have fun with children is a blast! He is friendly and witty but also reserved. Nate has always been good at working to support me in my interests, even when they are not his own. For example, he has been very accommodating in my desires to have pets, even though he is not particularly enthusiastic about animals himself. Our relationship over the years has just grown stronger as we have learned how to work and communicate with each other even better.
I love to create and design. I graduated from BYU with a BA in Illustration. I love to draw, paint, design pop-up cards, and create wood crafts and toys. I am extremely grateful that I can work on my talents and interests while also being able to stay home with our kids during the day. Spending time helping them learn and discover new things is very rewarding for me. I have always been a sort of tomboy, and I am avid about being active and having fun outdoors. I love literature, history, art, and animals. One day I plan to have a horse, which is why we are living on a horse property.
From Nate's perspective
Rebecca is creative, ambitious, diligent, and super hard-working. She loves art and animals and is very good at staying organized and maintaining a routine. Rebecca is very thoughtful and puts a lot of effort into researching issues that affect our family like education and politics. I really admire that she always does what she thinks is right, even if it is unpopular, or hard, or makes her uncomfortable. She is a super caring person, too. She is always coming up with ways she can use her hobbies to make her friends and family happy – like making wooden toy cars for Austin, giving people home-made soap, or coming up with fancy new paper craft designs just for a family member’s special occasion. In our marriage, she has always been selfless and has put my happiness ahead of her own.