We met in high school when we were 16 years old and went to our first prom together. Saskia moved overseas that summer but we kept in touch over the next 10 years via postcards and AOL Instant Messenger.
In 2006 our paths crossed again in San Diego and it was love at second sight.
Our parents look forward to spoiling grandchildren!
After two years of dating we had to move to a long-distance relationship while John went to graduate school, but the happy result was a fairy tale wedding on the beach in Costa Rica surrounded by family, friends, and the ocean. Now we live in a picturesque ranch home nestled among the mountains of Park City Utah with our faithful dog Hans who enjoys chasing the neighbor’s chickens and barking at the herds of wild Elk that wander down the street.
About John: My parents met and fell in love in medical school in Philadelphia. My mom ran her own internal medicine practice and later was the Chief of Staff for a major area hospital. My father started in emergency medicine then built his own successful nationwide medical staffing company.
Growing up, my parents made sure my older sister and I were learning something every single day. On road trips dad would make us listen to the Feynman Lectures on Physics (despite our constant complaints) and on summer nights he’d take us to star parties – big gatherings of astronomers in a field with massive telescopes aimed at planets, comets, and all the fascinating things to see in the night sky. We went on “bunny walks” together after dinner to see who could spot the most rabbits, and mom made sure we ended each day with reading a few chapters of a book together. Her grandfather had been a literature professor so it was incredibly important to her that we share their love of classics like Homer, Shakespeare, C.S. Lewis, and Jane Austen.
Family vacations were usually somewhere warm and sunny with abundant opportunities to scuba dive. My sister and I would spend hours exploring every nook and cranny of the coral reefs, finding moray eels, Christmas tree worms, and sometimes even sharks.
Rowing was one of my big passions in high school, it was such an important part of my life that I continued rowing competitively in college at Columbia University. After a successful career in finance in New York, I pursued my masters in Economics at schools in Golden, Colorado and Paris, France. Now I’m a consultant in the energy industry and compete in triathlons for fun.
About Saskia: My parents also met and fell in love in medical school, but in Germany instead of Philadelphia. My father’s work as a medical research scientist later brought them to San Diego where my two older brothers and I were born. My most vivid memories of growing up in California are the days we spent at the beach as a family. My brothers would surf while I would make sand mermaids out of my parents, dig super deep holes, and swim. We ended our days playing board games or card games and fell into bed exhausted but happy.
When I was 9 years old my father had a new professional opportunity that took our family back to Germany. At the same time, my mom decided to make a career change and went back to school to do a psychiatry residency. I wanted to help so I started making dinner for everyone and have been obsessed with cooking ever since. I loved teaching myself new techniques and trying out new recipes with my dad and brothers as guinea pigs. I also loved to perform, I was a ballet dancer for more than thirteen years. I was very involved in our church’s theater group, and was beyond thrilled to get to play the starring role in Pippi Longstocking.
Most of our family vacations were in southern France. We would have family tennis tournaments, go swimming, and my dad would take us on “history days” where we would go to an historically important spot and he would teach us about it. No matter how old my brothers and I got, we always finished each vacation day playing card games or Yahtzee around the table as a family.
After I moved to Germany, my best friend from California moved to Philadelphia. We missed each other so much that our parents arranged it so I could spend my junior year of high school living with her and her family. That year I joined the school crew team and met John during the team spring break trip. We connected immediately and fell in “high school love”. We dated for the entire six months before I had to go back to Germany to finish high school. The distance was so far and we were so young that we decided to break up, but we stayed in touch sporadically via AOL instant messenger over the years.
After high school, I decided to take a year off to travel and see the world before choosing what direction I wanted my life to take. I decided that I really wanted to return to the California for college and follow my parents footsteps into Medicine. John moved to San Diego while I was finishing college and it was love at second sight. I didn’t know it at the time, but he took secret Salsa lessons because he knew I loved to dance and wanted to take me dancing. We spent tons of time at the beach surfing together and often went to Mexico to go camping.
We had to be apart again while John went to graduate school, but this time we stayed together despite the long distance and time changes. After John graduated, he joined me in Philadelphia where I went to medical school. We had a fairy tale wedding on the beach in Costa Rica surrounded by family, friends, and the ocean. We had hoped my medical residency would bring us back to San Diego so we could be with my family, but I matched in Salt Lake City, Utah. We were disappointed at first, but we have fallen in love with the mountains, the cultural diversity, and the welcoming community. We love that we can spend our winters skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding and our summers tubing on the river, mountain biking, and hiking. It’s such a wonderful place that John’s parents have retired here. They are excellent dog sitters and are looking forward to having more grandchildren to spoil. Fortunately, we are only an hour plane ride from San Diego, so my parents can visit easily too. My mom is super excited to start knitting more animals and clothes for her future grandchildren. My father is brushing up on his Utah history so he can be prepared for the next generation of history lessons.