Our love story started in late 2010, when we both moved to Washington, DC, after graduating from college. On our first date, over chips and salsa, we quickly realized that although we had different upbringings, we shared the same morals and values and cared a lot about our friends and family. Over the years, we’ve supported each other’s passions and ambitions, allowing us to grow as individuals and as a couple.
Our favorite holiday tradition is Thanksgiving—we love it so much, we celebrate it twice! In November, we celebrate with a large family dinner, and in October, we celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with our friends in Toronto.
But our family traditions go beyond just the holidays! Phillip grew up playing card games like Euchre with his family, and continues this tradition with our friends in New York. He loves to make his great-great grandmother’s Hungarian cabbage rolls, a recipe that was passed down for generations. Jonathan makes his grandmother’s matzo ball soup, which can make anyone feel better if they’re under the weather.
Jonathan is a big pop culture fan who loves watching the Real Housewives and listening to pop music. His favorite artist is Britney Spears, who he got to meet for his 30th birthday! He’s also an avid cook who’s always looking out for new recipes to try.
Phillip’s love for music started when he took piano lessons as a kid, and grew throughout his time studying music in college. He still loves to play piano in his free time. He also loves to read, and listens to audiobooks while commuting into the office.
Though we are from different parts of the country, we were both raised in big, loud, and loving families. All of Phillip’s relatives lived within a few miles of each other, where your doors were always open and you were ready to welcome a spontaneous visit from relatives. Jonathan’s family was all over the DC area, but that never stopped them from seeing each other for every holiday or cousins’ birthday party. Our families are so excited to welcome another baby into the family.
In Brooklyn, we have such a great support system of friends and family. Our cousins live nearby, and we love spending time with them and their new baby, who’s eager to have a cousin of her own to play with!
We can’t wait to share our families’ many traditions with our child. We have many holiday celebrations, like Phillip’s family’s massive Easter egg hunt and Jonathan’s family’s Passover Seder, or decorating the Christmas tree and lighting the Menorah for Hanukkah.
We live in a warm, spacious apartment in Brooklyn, New York, that we’re happy to call home. The walls are decorated with Jonathan’s original artwork and photos of our travels. Our home has plenty of personal touches, like Phillip’s books and musical instruments, Jonathan’s sketchbooks and cooking gadgets, and plenty of toys for our dog Gus!
We love our neighborhood in Brooklyn because of its tree-lined streets, diversity, and the easy access to Manhattan. We’re one block from a park, which we visit often with our dog. It has some of our favorite restaurants and a local bagel shop that we visit every Saturday to share an egg and cheese sandwich. There’s a community bookstore nearby, plus a local arts academy that shows some phenomenal theatre, music, and film. But that doesn’t mean we won’t make the trip to see a Broadway show from time to time!
On warm weekends, you can usually find us at the local farmer’s market, but we also love spending time together as a family indoors, reading books, watching our favorite TV shows, or playing video games. We can’t imagine a better place to raise a child of our own.
As an only child, I grew up very close to my parents, grandparents, and extended family. But I was also very independent and strong-willed, which allowed me to follow my interests and try new things, especially as a teen and young adult. My parents always let me follow my passions (piano, reading, drama) and that’s something I will definitely keep close to my heart as our child grows up.
I was raised in a farming village in Ohio, where I was one of few in my high school to go on to college. I enjoyed my time studying music at the University of Dayton, and was ready for a change after graduation. I moved to DC to start a career in nonprofit public relations, and not long after that I met my husband Jonathan and started writing fiction with the hopes of publishing a novel someday.
After we got married, we moved to London so I could get a master’s degree in publishing and transition into a career in publishing. I loved this experience in our lives, but by the end of our year abroad, we were very excited to come back and settle down in New York. Around this time, I happened to get my first book deal.
I love the stability and benefits of my office job, but I also get to experience something really special with my career as a published young adult author. I get to tour the country and speak to teens about my experience, and I get to write books that make LGBTQ teens feel seen and represented.
I grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC in Northern Virginia. My parents are both retired, but my mom was a high school guidance counselor and my dad was a child psychologist. My older sister and I were very close growing up and both did competitive gymnastics throughout our childhood. She now lives with her husband in Richmond, VA where she teaches middle school history. I remain close with my family, despite living in different states, and am also very close with my extended family and first cousins, who I view as siblings.
In high school, I was a straight A student and was accepted into the architecture program at the University of Virginia. After graduating, I took a job as the conference manager at an architectural nonprofit in Washington, DC. This allowed me to get work in the field I wanted, event planning, while being in a world I studied in college. It was during this time that I met my husband, Phillip.
In 2017, shortly after moving to New York for Phillip’s work, I started my own event and wedding planning business. My business partner and I have the pleasure of planning amazing weddings for people of all backgrounds, religions, and sexual orientations, and feel so privileged to work in an industry focused on bringing people together. I love the flexibility of making my own schedule and working from home which will be great once we have a baby.