In Summer of 1999 we were on break from college. Leigh Ann was working as a lifeguard at a pool where it just so happened that Justin was also working in the grille...and 21 years later the rest is history! But in case you're wondering, here's our story:
Leigh Ann grew up in North Carolina and Justin in Iowa and South Carolina. We attended college in different states, dated long-distance until graduation, and then for 5 more years after college. After our engagement we lived in Australia for 4 amazing months while Justin studied abroad for grad school. In 2006 we married on the beach at the same golf club where we met.
Early in our marriage we lived in Charlotte, NC and enjoyed traveling and going to Carolina Panthers games. We moved to Chicago in 2010 for Justin's job and so Leigh Ann could attend graduate school.
Our infertility struggle began in Chicago when we were told we would likely never conceive. 6 months later, to everyone's surprise, we were pregnant with our daughter! Some of our most treasured memories are from our time in the Chicago. It was difficult being first time parents and far away from family. Living in the city, there was always something exciting to do, but we wanted to be closer to home...and away from the blizzards!
In 2015 we moved to SC. We love our life here being so close to the beach and people we love. Our infertility struggle continued in SC as we tried for a 2nd child without success. We are excited and very hopeful about adoption and can't wait to welcome a child to our home!
What makes us happy and what matters to us is simple: togetherness. We love having fun together, finding adventures both close to home and in new places. We also really value our down time at home just hanging out not really doing much of anything. Balance in life is so important to us. We believe that family is strengthened through our support of each other in all our ups and downs. Patience and understanding is the foundation of our family story.
Our home is a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, white brick ranch built in 1977, completely renovated 2 years ago. As you enter the front door you see a dining room to the left and a hall to the right that leads to our bedrooms. The 3 bedrooms are located close to each other on one side of the house, which has been convenient if Clara needs us at night. From the entrance, looking straight you see the kitchen and living areas. We love the openness of this part of our home. Our kitchen has a large island and a vaulted ceiling with a skylight that adds to the open feeling. There is a gas fireplace and sitting area with a piano across from the kitchen - this is where we put our Christmas tree and gather to open presents.The kitchen is open to our living area which has many windows overlooking our patio and fenced backyard so we can keep an eye on Clara and the doggies. Off the kitchen there is a breakfast niche with a built-in bench that also has a view of our backyard. This is where we eat dinner as a family each night. Off the kitchen and over the attached garage, is our playroom where Leigh Ann and Clara spend a lot of time playing and making art. The playroom is the only upstairs part of our home. We couldn't live without our laundry/mudroom for dirty paws which opens to the garage and also into the backyard. Clara loves jumping on her trampoline in the back and playing basketball in the driveway. Our home is cozy and elegant, and we are very happy living here. It is a wonderful home for us, and we can't wait to welcome another child into our family and home.
Leigh Ann is compassionate, supportive and caring, all of which make her a great mother and partner. The love she has to offer and provides our daughter is a beautiful thing. She has been a remarkable "mama," giving her whole heart to our daughter.
Family always comes first to Leigh Ann, and she makes sure every decision we make has our family's best interests in mind. She is very determined which helps, because she is the one in the family that motivates us to try new things. She is always looking for activities for us to do and is the one that gets us out of the house to take advantage of nice days or try new vacation spots.
Leigh Ann is the core of our family, and I'm blessed to have her as my wife, but more so to get to experience and see the love she provides our daughter and family.
The first word that comes to mind when I think of Justin is committed, which encompasses many of his personality traits. He is committed to our family, always putting us first. He gives much of his time and energy to doing things around the house (even laundry!) and really would do anything for us. He has said many times that we are his world!
Supportive is another word that describes Justin as a husband and father. When I decided to change my career 10 years ago, Justin was nothing but encouraging. We moved to Chicago away from family during that time, I was in grad school, and Clara was born. I needed his support more than ever to finish my degree and be a good mom to Clara. We were both pretty overwhelmed, but we leaned on each other and it all worked out. He continues to be supportive in small ways, often listening to my troubles, going out of his way to buy my dairy-free ice cream, and getting up early so I can sleep in. :)
Justin also has a very determined personality. When he sets his mind to something he gets it done. That goes for work and family, and as such, he has an accomplished career. Justin is the ultimate multi-tasker and enjoys having several things to do at once. I sometimes have to remind him to relax!
Justin is such a loving father to Clara and they have a close bond. He often plans things for just the two of them. Their special Daddy/Clara activities include: hitting golf balls at the driving range, golf cart rides, washing the cars, and bike rides. He also insists on taking Clara to school every day and sometimes the doggies ride along too! Clara says her Daddy is fun!
Justin really is such a kind, considerate person. He's open-minded and dedicated. I know he will make a wonderful father to another little one.