One of my previous roommates had gone off to grad school in San Diego, and found himself in the situation of inviting folks to his wedding. I met my bride the day on July 4th, 2008, when folks who had come into town met up to watch the fireworks the night before the wedding. Things took off from there, and relatively quickly. Engaged on January 17th, we went on full throttle toward our wedding date on July 4th, 2009. You can find out more about the wedding on the wedding site.
My first job out of college was in Mesa, AZ working for Boeing. This kept me in the Phoenix area for 6 years after finishing up school. During that time I purchased my first home, and proceeded to do some extensive remodeling - repainting the interior, new windows, new carpet, new roof, remodeling two bathrooms, repainting the exterior wood, and replacing all of the doors - interior, exterior, even the garage door!
I also settled into a church in Tempe where I added to my piano background by learning to play the bass guitar for the praise band. I also co-lead the youth group for about 4 years, headed up a young adult group, and was a member of the building committee where we planned for a new sanctuary while expanding the youth room. Additionally, I taught myself much about sound equipment and helped setup for special services, particularly Easter and Christmas.
I followed my brother in attending Arizona State University majoring in Computer Science. ASU was a giant university and you could make it whatever you wanted. Although commonly known as a "party school", this really didn't apply much to those in the engineering school. I found a small group of friends and we took almost all our classes together. About mid way through I found myself involved in a Christian campus ministry which enlarged the circle of friends quite a bit, and provided some additional spiritual foundation.
Like most others, college was about experiencing life on your own, in my case far away from parents. Unlike most folks, I actually enjoyed the long drives between Phoenix and Kansas City, even if I was flying solo. I was always looking for the best route to shave off a few minutes. I clocked my best time on one of the solo trips at 17.25 hours (Lenexa KS to Tempe AZ) - all while cruising within 5mph of the speed limit for the most part.
My brother and I had started a lawn mowing business to earn money. We averaged about one house per day. It was good money and good work. We learned how to do basic accounting and billing. I eventually took over the business after my brother went off to college. In addition, I ran cross country my freshman-junior years. I never had aspirations to be a great runner, but everything is relative when you are running on a team that won state 14 years in a row. The 100 member (coed) team was surprisingly tight knit, and extremely supportive of one another. We all learned how to be cheerleaders for each other, and the impact that can make.
My junior year I began working for a local internet provider doing tech support among other things. I was with the company as we grew from 4 employees through a merger to around 20 employees. In addition to tech support, I did HTML coding for the company website and assisted with network/system administration upon occasion. Upon graduation I sold the lawn mowing business to a friend who further developed it into a full time job.
I was born in 1980 in a suburb of Kansas City, Kansas. My parents were avid Lutheran Christians, so much of my early life involved church and parochial school. My older brother and I were experts at getting on each other's nerves, a skill we seem to have lost as we have aged. Those first years involved things such as soccer, piano lessons, moving to Ohio and back to Kansas, and camping trips with parents, grandparents and cousins.
As I got older, I began showing an interest in computers. I also liked things that lasted. On one occasion I was trying to persuade my parents that more memory for the computer was a better investment than going on a family vacation! Luckily we ended up doing both. While I still could've found other upgrades, I was satisfied with the expenditures. I helped my mom put together a computer lab for our school from donated parts, first machines with only floppy drives and later upgrading them to add hard drives and more memory. It was a great day when all the CGA monitors had been replaced with VGAs.