I’d love to tell you a little bit about my wonderful parents. My parents met in high school on a field trip to Germany. They went to a very large high school in Illinois and had never met before, but they happened to be sitting next to each other on the bus. They got to talking and started spending more and more time with one another as they toured Germany. By the end of the trip they had shared their first kiss and have been together ever since.
My mom grew up with an older brother in a large suburb in Illinois and spent summers out at my great grandmother’s farm house. It was there that my mother learned to sew. My mom adored my great grandmother and often tells stories about how she could knit while watching soap operas and never drop a stitch. My great grandmother was a depression era survivor, so there was never any waste and it was there that my mother learned to be thrifty, crafty, and resourceful, traits that I have thankfully inherited as well.
My dad grew up across town with his parents and three siblings, an older sister, a younger sister, and a younger brother. My dad was known as the peacemaker in his family because he got along with everyone. My dad was a gifted athlete, playing both football and baseball and also got straight A’s in school. It used to annoy my mother that she would spend all night studying and he would glance at her notes before a German test and still beat her on it. Things come easy to my dad, but his greatest quality is that he is always humble and willing to help you.
After my parents met on the trip to Germany, they stayed together for the rest of high school, my dad playing football, my mom dancing and performing on the Pom Pom Squad and stayed together while attending different colleges. My mom went to school to be a nurse, following in my great grandmother’s footsteps, and my father studied engineering. While in college, they would write letters to one another and try and visit as much as possible. It wasn’t long after college that my Dad proposed and they decided to get married.
My parents were married in the very first ceremony my Aunt, who was a newly ordained minister, had ever performed. Their reception was held in the church basement where we later attended Sunday school. In the coming years, my parents would welcome 4 children, my older brother, me, and my two younger sisters. We got to spend the first years of our childhood surrounded by our grandparents and aunts and uncles before my dad’s job took us across the country to California.
I did not appreciate it until recently, but my parents moved across the country with 4 kids and no support system. But, being good midwestern folks from humble beginnings, they were up for the challenge. We spent every weekend attending our baseball games, hiking in the local mountains, going on adventures to San Francisco, Monterey, or Carmel, or just playing outside in our back yard. My parents are both incredibly adventurous and we learned to be as well.
Work would once again take us across the country, this time to New York. My dad moved out here to start work and my mom remained with us in California until we had a place to live out east. Once we all made it to the Big Apple, my parents took us on a trip to New York City to take a double decker bus tour and see the Statue of Liberty (again, they are incredibly adventurous!) We acclimated to our lives in the Hudson Valley quickly and we all enrolled in baseball, soccer, and swimming.
My parents are huge supporters of everything we do. My parents never missed a sporting event, which was no small feat with 4 kids. My mom, who works nights, would sleep for a few hours and then wake up to drive and meet us at our games. My dad drove us to school at 7am everyday so that he could go to work shortly after and leave early so that he could come see our games as well. This even continued when I was in college 5 hours away and had a concert. My dad would stay home to go to my sister’s games and my mom would spend 10 hours round trip in a car to see a 2-hour concert. This is the kind of parents Jeremy and I want to be.
Now that we are all grown, my parents have returned to their many hobbies. My mom is a gifted quilter and crafter. My favorite Christmas present growing up were the quilts she made all one year. She at night after we went to bed and we were so surprised on Christmas when we opened them because we had no idea she had been working so hard on them. I used that quilt so much that it has long since frayed at the edges and would fall apart in the wash. My mom loves to be a creative problem solver, sewing and making all of our Halloween costumes, making gift baskets to raffle off for our sports fundraisers, costuming the musical when I was in high school, and passing on her skills to me.
My dad is a gifted wood worker. He loved taking shop class in high school and slowly built up a tool inventory for his own hobby wood shop. He has made beautiful furniture for our childhood home. He made the clock that sits on the mantle above the fire, the bookcase that holds all of our precious family photos, the bed frames by siblings and I slept on growing up, and countless other things for family and friends. He even built my sister a beautiful arbor for her to take her prom photos under. He has helped all of us with our respective house projects and has inspired me to be a hobby woodworker as well.
But in addition to being parents, their most beloved role is being Grandparents. My brother has a 5 year old daughter and a 3 year old son and both are the apple of my parent’s eye. My brother lives an hour and a half away from my parents and my mom manages to visit them every single week while still working full time. Many weeknights my parents will meet up on my dad’s commute home and travel to my brother’s house to have dinner with the kids. My parents are excellent story readers, jokesters, and cuddlers, so our niece and nephew are always excited for a visit from Nana and Papa.
They have taken their grandkids on their first trip to Disney, spoil them with a truly gigantic amount of Christmas and birthday presents, and make sure that they are there for all of the important things, just like they were for us. When we told them that we were planning on adopting, my mom immediately started gathering baby clothes, bottles, pacifiers, and anything else she thought we might need. My dad began making plans for the toy box he has crafted for all of his grandchildren and has been helpful in consulting with me on plans for the nursery. They are both so excited to welcome a new member into our family and I know that they will love our children as much as we will!!!