We met in June 1996 on a mission in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Christy had cement on her clothes from carrying buckets for a roof. Jeff saw straight past that to her perfect smile and beautiful eyes. She was drawn to his fun-loving personality. Jeff played his guitar; Christy sang along—the first notes of a lifetime duet.
On Valentine’s Day, Jeff paid Christy a ‘surprise’ visit at the University of Nebraska. No one revealed the secret—she just knew he was coming. At Christmastime, she visited him in North Carolina. Jeff cooked a romantic dinner then took her out to see the Christmas lights. They sat by a fountain. He played his guitar—a song he’d written just for her. The last line: “Will you be my wife?”
Nebraska and North Carolina
The next Christmas, we celebrated our wedding day, complete with an incredible big band at the reception. We danced to “Unforgettable.” Christy’s favorite photo is a candid shot taken during the first dance; Jeff loves the image of a shared glance between us, just after being pronounced
husband and wife.
Nineteen years later, we have six fabulous kids. Ours is a happy, hectic home on Easy Street (yes, literally!), and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Jeff has synesthesia and sees colors in response to sensory stimuli. For example, when he plays music,
he sees colors instead of chords. Once, Christy wrote the alphabet and the numbers 1-10 and had him
recite the colors he saw for each letter and number. Years passed. They found the paper. She quizzed
him, and he nailed it—giving the exact same answers down to the specific shade. Favorite use for this
skill—editing photos, of course. It comes in real handy!
A Color Story
As a professional Worship Leader, Jeff is passionate about his faith and his music. He loves to make up
silly songs for Christy and their kids. His lifelong dream? To sing and play guitar onstage with a famous
jazz or soul singer. (Jeff’s great grandad was a professional jazz band drummer.) Favorite artists—Needtobreathe, Johnnyswim, Goldford and Harry Connick Jr. (Ask about the time Christy surprised him
The Jazz Singer
Although he grew up in Raleigh, NC, after college, Jeff traveled the world while working for a mission-based
organization. He visited India, Kenya, South Africa. Nepal, Singapore, Ecuador, Zimbabwe, and
Jamaica. Favorite trip—Haiti, where he met Christy.
On a Mission
Christy’s dad was in the Air Force, so they moved a lot when she was a kid. Now, her parents live
nearby and get to spend tons of time with their grandkids. She feels blessed to be putting down roots
so close to her family, though she’s also excited to travel more—especially to China to bring home their
Putting Down Roots
A planner at heart, Christy organizes everything from the household calendar to online grocery shopping to Disney vacations to the dream house she hopes to build for the family one day. Think: hardwood floors, subway tile, shiplap, and a huge farm table for friends and family.
Family Dream Maker
This episode of Christy is brought to you by the letter C—coffee, coconut milk, chocolate, cupcakes, children—are just a few of her favorite things. Her style? Clean, crisp, classic. She enjoys being challenged, comfy, cozy, charitable, and above all, a follower of Christ. Christy’s insistence on comfy-cozy translates into so many throw pillows, Jeff jokes that he can’t even see her when she sits on the bed. But, after a challenging Pure Barre workout, she wouldn’t have it any other way!
The most important thing in the world to us is our family! We have five incredible children—Jonah, Ella Grace, Haylee Joy, Caroline Faith, Judah—ranging in age from 15 to 3. We’re also adopting a sweet sixth baby who will be coming to us soon—all the way from China.
We cherish our date nights—thanks Mom & Dad for being such great babysitters! Sometimes, it’s a night out at 131 Main, our favorite local restaurant. Sometimes, it’s shooting weddings. We love that our work allows us to spend time together, celebrating love and marriage.
Music is a huge part of our life. After all, Christy is a former Music Teacher and Jeff is a Worship Band Leader! We share a love for soft jazz, Harry Connick Jr., worship bands—and, of course, disco dance parties at home with the kids.