Family means everything to us! So much, in fact, that within a ten block radius we are neighbors Monica’s mom, Maria, and her sister and brother-in-law, Jennifer and Jose. Together as a family we lead our parish’s weekly charismatic prayer group, where Monica leads praise and worship. We attend mass together and spend many weekend nights playing board games, singing karaoke, watching movies or just talking.
Nathan’s mom and dad, Chuck and Rene, live in Indiana. We love to see them every year when we travel there in the summer time. When we visit, we have the privilege of hiking with mom, dad, and Nathan’s sister Holly in one of Indiana’s many state parks. July 4th is our favorite time to visit. We love grilling in the backyard and watching the private fireworks shows emanating from the many backyards into the skies! It’s also a sweet time to visit with Grandma Phyllis and reminisce on Nathan’s childhood memories of her late husband, Stan, teaching Nathan how to work wood. Every now and then we Skype with Nathan’s sister Heidi, Sr. Maria Faustina, who is also a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration and works endlessly to serve the poor.
On occasion, we have the fun privilege of visiting Monica’s Dad, Lucio and her step mom and step brother, Claudia and David in who live in Florida. God makes all things new even after the heartbreak of divorce. We are blessed to have a great relationship with Monica’s father and extended family in Florida. Not only do we get to have fun in the sun when we visit Florida, but we get to eat Lucio’s world famous empanadas! Every time we visit, we return home with a few extra pounds on us. When apart from her dad, Monica loves to keep in touch through funny texts. During World Cup Soccer season, it’s not unusual to find Monica texting to her dad goooooooooooooooooal!