We first met in 2009 at the Salt Lake County Democratic Party Convention, shortly after Barack Obama's first win. Jason was on the board of the Young Democrats of Utah and Brian was (somewhat begrudgingly) helping a local candidate run for office. We quickly became close friends, but we didn't begin dating until 2010.
Once we were dating, we knew we wanted to be together forever. We spent several years seeing each other practically every day. We participated in numerous road races together -- and would eventually train for and run two marathons. Together, we hosted game nights, movie nights, and Oscar parties with friends and family. We're homebodies at heart and love bringing people we love together to celebrate big and small occasions.
We eventually bought our first house and moved in together in 2014. Marriage equality wasn't legal in Utah, but we knew we were in this for the long haul. In 2015, Brian proposed to Jason on the Tower of Terror at Walt Disney World, surrounded by more than 30 friends and family from around the United States. We married a year later in 2016.
We welcomed our daughter, Sydney, on our second wedding anniversary (June 4, 2018). Sydney's birth mother found us through a mutual friend six months earlier and we adopted her through private adoption. Nothing has brought us more joy than the opportunity to be parents.
We live outside Salt Lake City, off a cul-de-sac in an established, quiet neighborhood. Our home is on Salt Lake's east bench, in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountain range. Utah is a majestic place to live and perfect for all kinds of outdoor adventures. Our neighborhood has several young families, like ours, and often when a house is for sale a young family moves in. We are within walking distance of a neighborhood park and an elementary school. When we were house hunting, we specifically selected this neighborhood because we felt it would be welcoming for our future family.
When we purchased our home we knew elements of it were a "fixer upper." We often enjoy working on home projects together to make it a place that reflects our family. To date, our favorite project has been designing and putting together our daughter's room. Mostly recently we began a basement renovation project to expand the living space in our house.
Written by Jason:
I consider myself so lucky I met and married my best friend. Brian makes me laugh daily. He's pushed me to do things I never would've done if I hadn't met him. Like, run a half marathon and marathon in back-to-back days, participate in multiple mud runs, and crawl under barbed wire for fun. So yes, I'm more physically fit because of Brian, but I'd really do anything to spend more time with him. He is the most thoughtful person and throws the best surprises: he helped throw a surprise birthday party for me in Walt Disney World for my 28th birthday, surprised me by renting out a movie theater for us and all of our friends for my 30th, and pulled off an epic engagement on the Tower of Terror again at Disney World with about 30 friends and family.
Now, if COVID-19 taught me anything about our marriage, it's that we're built to last. Even though we spent all year at home, there's no one I'd rather spend all day everyday with.
Brian isn't just a great partner, but he's the best dad. He's the rock of our family. He's dependable and always knows what to do in any crisis. He's the cook in our house and Sydney loves baking with him. He's full of love and Sydney just loves spending time with him.
Creating a family with Brian is the greatest joy of my life and something I will never take for granted.
Facts about Brian... He:
*Is stronger than he looks. He can back squat 400 lbs!
*Has two tattoos. They both pay tribute to the science fiction he loves: Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica.
*Is scuba certified. He once saw an octopus living in a wine bottle at the bottom of the ocean.
*Loves movie soundtracks. He can often tell you what's happening in a movie (that he's seen) based on the song.
*Taught law in India for a summer during law school. He spent his weekends and any free time experiencing India and its culture.
Written by Brian:
Jason is always striving to be better, and reaching towards what's next. Complacency is a no-go. Jason works hard to achieve whatever it is that he's set out to do, and then is on to the next challenge. Jason is an excellent communicator, and sensitive to what's going on in other people's lives. If I'm having a bad day, am stressed, or seem off, Jason is there to ask "are you okay?" But not just that. He then takes the next step to talk through whatever is going on and how to make it better.
Jason is caring, patient, and kind - and I know everyone says that about their spouse, but it’s true! He is thoughtful, and thinks birthdays are one of the most amazing things to celebrate - because if he loves you and you’re involved in his life, why wouldn't he want to celebrate the heck out of that?!
Jason is very even-keeled with Sydney, never letting her bad moods or tantrums - big or small - get the best of him. He’s always researching how to be a better parent and how to raise a good human being, and is never ashamed to say, “I don’t know, let’s learn more about it!”
Jason shares interests with Sydney and connects with her on things like Disney movies, good music (mostly Kelly Clarkson, duh!), dancing, funny stories at bedtime, and love of dessert.
Jason always helps make sure we take family photos, document the things we’re doing, and otherwise making great family memories. I love that he thinks in advance about what kinds of traditions we want to adopt as a family, and places special importance on building a magical and memorable childhood.
Facts About Jason:
*Has always loved politics. He watched his first presidential national convention when he was 8, worked on his first political campaign when I was 14, and interned at a U.S. Senator’s office in high school.
*Has a sweet tooth. He once at an entire bag of candy corn in one sitting.
*Is a Kelly Clarkson superfan. He's seen her live in concert at least eight times.
*Loves movies. He wakes up early every year to watch the Oscar nominations live and won his first Oscar predictions contest in 1998, the year Titanic won Best Picture.
*Went to Boston University and lived two blocks away from Fenway Park the year the Red Sox "reversed the curse" and won the World Series for the first time in 86 years.