Our Families

Have you ever seen the movies My Big Fat Greek Wedding or Fools Rush In? If so, you have an idea of what our two families are like; not so much in personality, but in size. Amanda's family is HUGE! She has 6 sisters (Amanda is the 5th of 7 - so 4 older and 2 younger sisters), all are married, and all have kids (the oldest, our niece Michaelanne, is 22). We currently have 6 nieces, and 21 nephews! Almost all her extended family (cousins/aunts/uncles) lives in Las Vegas. So holidays at her house are pure chaos, and oh so much fun.

This picture is almost 2 years old - so even though it is a lot of people, there are more (we are missing 1 nephew that has been born since and of course Abby)


Christmas with Amanda's family
Ryan's family is quite a bit smaller - 2 sisters (neither are married yet - Ryan is in between them in age) - no nieces or nephews. His extended family is spread throughout the country but mostly in the western states. Holidays with his family are quiet, and peaceful, and fun. This picture was taken in 2007 - but we all look pretty much the same. (We need a new one with Abby though!)

Ryan's Family
Dad - retired from BNSF Railway where he worked in sales for years. He is currently working as a consultant. Mom - stay-at-home mom but now substitute teaches occasionally Sherri - master's and doctorate degrees in English and Education, now is a professor at Texas A&M-Commerce Heather - master's in social work and now has a private counseling practice We all live within 45 minutes of each other so we see them pretty often. We get together for all of our birthdays, Easter, Mother's and Father's Day, and then either Thanksgiving (even years) or Christmas (odd years: we alternate between the two with Amanda's family). We see them other times as well.

Things to know about Ryan's family:
  • There's a lot of game playing when we're together (board games, card games, lawn games, Wii - we are open to all kinds of games)
  • We all like to travel and sometimes do so together (We have been with them to Arkansas, Padre Island, Hawaii, and Heather came with us to Alaska)
  • They are very accepting and non-judgemental of people - doesn't matter where you are at in life or what you have going on
  • They adore Abby (she is far and away the most popular person in the family) and would love to welcome more kids into the family



Amanda's Family

Dad - dentist (the best dentist in the world, if you were wondering)
Mom - PhD in organic chemistry, but she chose to stay home to raise her kids

Missy - masters in math, stay-at-home mom, married to Christopher (lawyer), and they have 4 children

Back: Michaelanne, Zander, Chris, Sophie 
Front: Missy, Christopher

Mindy - went to medical school but chose to stay home with her kids instead of finishing, married to Brian (business guy), they have 7 children
Back: Braeden, Spencer, Jacob
Middle: Ellie, Brian, Mindy, Ethan
Front: Wesley, Daniel

Molly - masters in marriage and family therapy, stay-at-home mom (does family counseling one day a week), married to Bruce (therapist and flight attendant), they have 5 kiddos
 Back: Adam, Mary
Middle: Molly, Lissa, Bruce
Front: Paige, Timmy

Emily - bachelors in interior architecture and design, stay-at-home mom, married to Mark (sales/business), they have 5 sons

Back: Sammy, Matthew, Emily, Mark, Andrew
Front: Luke, Seth

Jenny - bachelors in psychology, stay-at-home mom, married to Cameron (veterinarian), 4 sons plus another baby on the way

Ben, Caleb, Jenny, Nathan, Cameron, Jesse

Maggi - bachelors in psychology, stay-at-home mom, married to David (dentist), they have 2 sons

David, Jack, Maggi, Liam

Over the past couple years Amanda's family has spread out quite a bit. Her parents, Missy's, and Molly's families live in Las Vegas, Emily's and Jenny's families are in Utah, Mindy's family is in Texas, and Maggi's is in North Carolina. (We're hoping this seperation won't last long.) Even being spread out we still get together quite often. Her parents have come to visit once or twice a year, almost every year at least one of her sisters has come to visit, and we go to Las Vegas 2-3 times a year. We are always there for at least Christmas or Thanksgiving, generally go in the summer some time for a family reunion, and generally something else comes up to bring us there.

Things to know about Amanda's Family:
  • There is always a LOT of good food at family gatherings. Food may be the reason they like to take any chance to celebrate - well, in addition to being together of course
  • When together the girls like to spend time talking, the guys like to watch and play sports (they play a lot of racquetball)
  • The cousins are best friends, they have so much fun together and are always cooking up reasons to get together
  • There may not be a more welcoming and including family than Amanda's family. It is a bit of a tradition to bring people into the family - Amanda never had a Thanksgiving while in college that she didn't bring at least one person home with her to share in the festivities. There are always random people living, visiting, and celebrating with the family
  • Even though there are lots of kids in the family each one is celebrated. Everyone was especially excited to welcome Abby into the family



Family is everything to us - we feel so blessed to be part of two great families!