I guess I'll start with my parents. Both my parents grew up in Downey, CA, but they went to different schools and didn't hang out until later. My dad served (as a Marine) in Vietnam after graduating high school and then went to work in his dad's shop in Southern California as a machinist. I don't know if he met my mom before he left for Vietnam or after he got back. But on May 31, 1970, my parents got hitched. I don't know much about what they did then. I think my mom took some classes at Cerritos Community College and worked as a bank teller and dad continued working in the shop. My sister, Liz, was born October 6, 1974. And two-and-a-half years later, I came along. I guess I was a handful, because my parents waited until I was 5 to have my brother, James (J.D.).
Liz, JD and me - Christmas 2003 Dad - Christmas 2003
Shortly after my brother was born, the family moved to Port Orchard, WA, because my dad got a job working as a machinist at the naval shipyard in Bremerton, WA. We got to spend a lot of time with my Aunt Laura, Uncle John and my cousins, Dan, Joe, and Pete. Mom stayed home some years and worked others when we needed it. But after 4 years in Washington, my father heard the "call" and we moved back to Downey, CA, so he could attend college followed by seminary. He went to Cal State Long Beach for a BS in history followed by Fuller Theological Seminary for his Master of Divinity. He graduated in 1992, the same year my sister graduated from high school.
My sister left for college at the end of the summer and we stayed in Downey for one more year. Then my parents, JD and I, moved to Jesup, IA. I can honestly tell you that I went kicking and screaming. I mean, to go from a suburb of Los Angeles to a rural community (population 2000) was quite the shock to the system. But I adapted. After two years, I graduated and went to college at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA. The four years I was there, my family remained in Jesup. Then I went to graduate school at Iowa State University in Ames, IA. I had been there for one year when my brother graduated from high school. As soon as that happy day occurred, my parent packed up and moved to Camas, WA, where my father is the pastor of St. John's Presbyterian Church. My brother wasn't so gung-ho on the whole idea of college or the military, so he moved with my parents to Camas. But after a few months, he decided to move back to Jesup. However, after another year, he decided he needed to leave Iowa, so he moved back in with my parents. He tried school, but it isn't his thing. He found a great job in Portland, OR. He works with a small metal working company. He does lots of jobs for them and he likes it, so I'm happy. He also has a super-cool girlfriend, Katie.
JD, Mom and Dad - Christmas 2003
JD and Katie - Disneyland JD and Katie
As for my sister, she went to college at Whitworth in Spokane, WA, where she met her husband Mike. They were married in 1994. She graduated in 1996 (I think her degree is in art education, but I'm not completely sure.) She worked various jobs while in school (and possibly shortly after), as well as working as a substitute teacher. Then she found her calling as a church youth director. I admire her. I don't think I could ever work with Jr. High kids. I don't have the patience for it. Liz and Mike had my nephew, Nathaniel, in 1998. They live in Anacortes, WA. And apparently my nephew and brother-in-law are quiet the actors in the community theater.
Liz, Mike and Nat - Christmas 2003
As for myself, I met my husband, Bill, while attending graduate school. We met at a birthday party for a friend of a friend. Our first date was on Friday the 13th. We saw Star Trek Nemesis. Am I a geek or what??? That spring (2003), Bill graduated from ISU with a BS in geology. He spent the summer in Wyoming being a TA at field camp. Then he went to central Minnesota to work at an environmental education camp. He proposed to me Christmas 2003 and we were married June 11, 2005 in St. Cloud, MN, where he grew up. My in-laws are great. Bill is an only child, so my mother-in-law is glad to have another girl around. Bill is attending graduate school at the University of North Dakota, so after the wedding, we moved to Grand Forks, ND and I got a temporary job as an assistant professor at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. I looked for jobs over the winter, but I found that I had grown attached to Concordia. When they offered me a permanent, tenure-track position, I accepted it and Bill and I moved to Fargo, ND. Bill is almost done with his MS in geology, but he is taking the fall semester off to train in Law Enforcement. He hopes to finish his MS, work as a police officer for awhile and then work with the EPA or DNR.
Bill - Disneyland January 2004 My family at our wedding - 2005
Bill and I before the ceremony Bill and I at the church
Bill and I taking our vows (That's my dad officiating!) Bill with his parents (my new in-laws!)
In February of 2006 we had the newest addition to our family. Our baby dog Zoey! She is a chihuahua/yorkie mix. I fell in love with her on the spot, so Bill bought her for me. She is a little stubborn at times and frustrates me to no end some days, but I love her to death. I never thought I would be a little dog person, but she is great.
That's our Zoey in Bill's hood! Zoey after we first got her.
Isn't she adorable? She likes to chew on stuff.
A more recent photo. She gets spoiled at Grandma's house!
She folds herself into a pretzel while she sleeps! Isn't she special?!?