My name is Jaime, I was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, New York. I am a wife, mother of 2 and a lover of sports, sewing and all things design. I started watching medical operation shows at a very young age and love to learn how the body works. I LOVE to travel, see new places and experience new cultures. My favorite binge watch worthy shows are, “Project Runway”, “This is Us”, “Suits” and “Schitt’s Creek.”
The story of our family starts in San Diego, California. After grad school, a job opportutnity at the United States Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA fell into my lap…well, it didn’t exactly fall into my lap, I worked hard to get there, but the sunshine and surf of San Diego didn’t make the decision to go hard. I packed my bags and drove across the country basically not knowing a soul, and dove in.
That year on New Year’s Eve, I ended up at an event at the Hall of Champions museum in Balboa Park. When I headed in, I decided to circle the dance floor in search of familiar faces, and as I stood there searching I heard this loud voice over the music, “HEY! We’re over here!” I turned to see a guy in a black and red hat waving. I had no idea who he was, but he seemed happy and cute so I decided to make my way over. He told me he was testing out some new dance moves that night (which included the sprinkler and a weird leg/head grab and thrust) and for some odd reason I was hooked (ok I thought it was hilarious). Later that night we ran into each other again and he convinced me to “reinact” the ball dropping at midnight. As he counted down, “3,2,1” we smooched and the rest is history. Almost a year and a half later we were married in beautiful San Diego and had an epic celebration with our family and friends.
Not too long after, we were presented with a job opportunity for me to work with the Brigham Young University Women’s Basketball team. At first I didn’t have much interst in moving…I mean really people, the sun and the sand and traveling the world to move to the snow and the mountains? (I know, the mountains are beautiful and some people prefer them over the beach, but not me…) For some reason we felt like we should entertain the possibility of job change and a move, and one thing led to another and we ended up in Utah.
Fast forward a couple of years (2012) and we welcomed our sweet new baby Penny into the world. At the time we had no idea what was coming as we struggled to get answers as to why Penny was having health issues. Five months after she was born she was diagnosed with Glycogen Storage Disease 1a a very rare genetic liver disease. (You can read Penny’s diagnosis story here.) Our world was flipped upside down learning new information, getting used to new very strict schedules and learning the ins and outs of how to keep our little baby safe and alive. In all of this we learned that there were only a few places in the entire country that were very good at diagnosing and treating Glycogen Storage Disease (GSD) and that Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City was one of them.
Just weeks before Penny was diagnosed, her metabolic genetics doctor and dietitian from PCH had gone and trained with the the leading GSD doctor in the world. Looking back we knew that we were led to Utah for a reason, and that reason was bigger than us… it was to ensure our daughter’s safe arrival into the world.
After Penny was born I returned back to work, but the stress of a new baby with a rare medical condition and the impending travel demands of my job, and my husband working full time were too much. We decided that it would be best for me to stay home and take care of Penny. I always figured that at some point I would stay home with my kids, but I wasn’t mentally prepared for it to be right then. For so many years that was my “identity”… it was who I was and what I did, so for a while I struggled to let go, even with the thought that maybe sometime I could return. The mom/kid life balance is a hard one to begin with…how do you not lose your identity, maintain health, balance and sanity? With all the new demands, I sometimes felt like I was drowning. I did eventually settle into things and catch my breath, but as we all know balance is a continuing quest.
As Penny got older, medically things began to stablize. In 2015 we welcomed Simon into our family. We knew going into his pregnancy that there was a 1:4 (25%) chance that he could have GSD1a as well. We decided to do prenatal genetic testing via amniocentisis and it was confirmed that he too had GSD1a. The thought of having another child with a rare medical condition was a little daunting but we knew that we had done it once so we could do it again, this time having the advantage of knowing ahead of time. Unrelated to GSD, Simon was born premature at 32 weeks, and there we were, a family of 4!
Because of the care of some amazing doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, and dieticians…and a little elbow grease on our part… our kids are thriving. Penny is a 5 year old inqusitive chatter box. She loves to read, swim, dance, play soccer, go to ju jitsu and despite my best efforts she loves princesses. Simon is our soon to be 3 year old ball of emotion. He is passionate about many things but especially Star Wars, baseball and his giggy (his blanket). He loves to take things apart, “snuggle” and loves his big sister Penny.
Danny is a funny, homestead loving, tree growing, surfer and lover of unconventional things. When he was about 3 years old he told his parents, “Remember, I am unique. I can do it my own way.” His “uniqueness ” continues to shine today.
Together we are making our dreams of living abroad and traveling come true. We sold our house in Utah, started teaching English online and left on our adventure in Central America. Follow along as we share our adventures!