Some of the ways we like to spend our time together include going on adventures in the outdoors (like hiking and wildlife watching), celebrating traditions and holidays with family and friends, cooking, and cherishing moments together at home with our cat (Mocha) when we can enjoy each other’s company and be goofy.
One of the places we particularly love spending time is at the family ranch in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Kirsten spent much of her childhood on the family ranch, and today we spend our time there with family and friends tending the garden, beekeeping, boating on the lake, chopping wood, and exploring.
It is important to us that our child has access to experiences and learning opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom, as we did growing up. We hope to help our child gain the intellectual curiosity and critical thinking we value so much and that pushes us to continue exploring the world and excelling in our lives and careers.
We have both had the opportunity to travel the US and the world on family vacations, school-related trips, and work travel. Andy lived for two years in Hong Kong, and Kirsten studied in France for a year. While Andy has been to six continents, Kirsten has him beat, having traveled to all seven continents including Antarctica. We hope to give our child the same opportunity to travel and experience different cultures, places, and perspectives.
Andy grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and Kirsten grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Shortly after we graduated from college, we met in 2010 in Washington DC where we both did environmental policy work for several years. We fell in love with each other’s sense of humor, love of nature and animals, and ability to challenge each other to be our better selves. In 2012, we moved to the Bay Area for graduate school. A couple of years after we graduated, we got married near the family ranch. Andy’s work eventually brought us from the Bay Area to the Reno/Tahoe area, where we currently live. We spend our time cross-country skiing, trail running, kayaking, cooking dinner with friends, and hosting our parents (and excited future grandparents) when they visit.
We both have careers focused on sustainability. Andy co-founded an industrial recycling company, and Kirsten works at a renewable energy investment company. In her free time, Kirsten also teaches a course on energy and the environment at a Bay Area university.
When we moved to Reno two years ago, we bought a three-bedroom home with a backyard, located in a good school district. We love the open floor plan that creates warm and inviting common places to gather while cooking, playing board games, puzzling, and hanging out.
We also love the neighborhood, with schools, parks, and coffee shops all within walking distance. We consider our neighbors friends, and Mocha sometimes has social outdoor gatherings with the other cats and dogs in the neighborhood.
I love Kirsten’s smile and laugh, and how she expresses her genuine excitement about what matters to her. Although she can be stubborn at times, I also love and appreciate her willingness to grow, change, and try new things, even if they may be uncomfortable or she is apprehensive. Most of all, though, I love enjoying the little, everyday things in life with her, the mundane and challenging events that are made all that much better because she is with me.
I love Andy because he is thoughtful and patient, and goofy and adventurous. I also love Andy because he challenges me to be my better self and take on new perspectives. He challenges me to explore new places, try new activities, and learn new skills. He once bought a tortilla press and signed us up for a cooking class so we could learn to make our favorite dish—carnitas tacos—from scratch. His favorite animal is a raccoon, and his favorite dog breed is a Corgi. He has an uncanny ability to make me laugh about the small, random things of normal, everyday life.