Raf on Growing up and Family:
Raf is a native New Yorker. He is the eldest of four children and is very close to his two sisters, Cathy and Emily, and his baby brother Gabriel. They are all very excited to be aunts and uncle to their new niece or nephew.
Chris, Raf and Morgan love to travel together. They love to explore new places, including other countries. They love exploring new cultures, seeing new sights and having new adventures. We can’t wait to take trips with your child, as well!
They are a close-knit family, and Emily and her husband have a son, Wes, who is almost 1 year old. We meet up with them almost every weekend.
Growing up in New York City allowed Raf to develop a love for art, music and cultures from all around the world. Weekends were spent discovering museums, playing in parks and gardens, and attending Sunday school, karate lessons, and music lessons, which he loved. Raf’s mom encouraged he and his siblings to always pursue their passions and interests and introduced him to the piano when at 8 years old.
Family is important to Raf, and it’s always been a dream of his to have one. He grew up surrounded by lots of aunts, uncles and cousins who all lived in the same neighborhood, so family was always close by. Sunday dinners, birthday and holiday celebrations were always a 15-minute walk away from home and there was something always going on.
Raf’s love for music led him to discover the violin, which he played until he was in college. He was very close to pursuing a musical career in high school but decided to attend college at the School of the Visual Arts in New York City.
Raf is a designer and Creative Director at a branding agency in New York City. He decided to pursue a career in graphic design while studying in Madrid, Spain during his Sophomore year of college. Living in Spain was a spontaneous adventure that he took with his best friend, Eva. His love for music, art and pop culture led him to begin his career in magazine design by interning at places like Fortune Magazine and Teen People.
He graduated in 2002 and received his first professional job with one of his favorite film directors, Baz Luhrmann, designing for his opera debut, La Boheme on Broadway. It was a dream job and he got to work with Oscar-winning actors and designers from New York and Australia.
Chris growing up and family:
He grew up building snow forts in the wintertime and swimming in the river in the summers. He is very close to his family. He has one older brother, Jackson. Chris’s mom used to read to Chris and Jackson over breakfast on cold winter mornings in North Dakota. Chris has always loved to read, and love reading to our family during meals now, too! Chris moved to NYC when he was 18 to go to college at NYU, where he studied theater. After graduation, he performed as an actor for 7 years. He worked with a theater group that travelled around the world performing, performing in different theater festivals. When Chris was in New York, he always worked in odd jobs to make a living. He worked as a barista, as a personal assistant, and finally, for many years, he worked in the emergency room at a hospital. He liked helping people and the busy atmosphere.
Then Chris went to law school, and now he is an immigration attorney. It’s important to him to help people, and he loves meeting people from other countries and cultures.
Chris has one older brother, Jackson, who is a nurse aenesthestist in Boston. Chris’s Dad, Tim, and step-mom, Pam, live on a houseboat in Seattle, Washington. Chris’s parents love being grandparents, and they cannot wait to meet their new grandchild! Jackson is an amazing uncle who can’t wait to play with his new niece or nephew! Chris’s parents are retired and they visit NYC often to be near their grandchild! Chris’s extended family is very close, and they are all excited to welcome a new member of the family! Chris’s cousin adopted one of her children from Korea. There are lots of cousins that would love to play with your child!
Holidays and Celebrations:
We usually spend Thanksgiving with Chris’s family. We all gather in Virginia at Chris’s aunt’s house. She lives in a big house in the woods. While we are there, we all eat (a lot), talk (a lot), and take nice long walks on the country roads. Everybody in Chris’s family loves to play cards and scrabble together. Everyone sits around talking and playing games and catching up. Chris’s cousin and his wife live right next door with their kids, Braeden and Sofia. Usually there are at least 12 people at Thanksgiving! It’s a very busy weekend, and everyone is talking pretty much the entire time. Chris’s family likes to goof around and tease each other about silly things from when we were growing up.
Every Thanksgiving, Chris’s aunt brings up the time when Chris was staying with her and colored with crayons on her refrigerator door, making “art.” We love to bringing our family to the Thanksgiving weekend, and we know that Chris’s family is so excited to welcome a new addition (and a playmate for Braeden and Sofia!).
Every Christmas Eve, we go to Raf’s mom’s apartment in Manhattan, with Raf’s siblings. Christmas is very important to Raf’s mom, and every year she decorates a tree to the nines, with ornaments and glitter and tinsel.
It even rotates around and sparkles in the light. Raf’s mom makes amazing Latin food. She is from Ecuador and she moved to NYC when she was sixteen. She raised four kids in Manhattan, and take care of our daughter Morgan now. She’s a strong woman.
Raf’s favorite aunt was born on New Year’s Eve, and every New Year’s Eve she throws a big party for the family. She cooks delicious food all day long, and the house always smells so amazing when we arrive. Everyone gets dressed up and we eat the great food and stay awake until midnight to wish Tia Loli a happy birthday and welcomed the new year. We can’t wait to bring your child to the party, too, because we know how excited everyone will be to hold him or her. When he or she is older, we know she or he will be so excited to get to stay up so late with the adults!
Friends and Family:
We love to hang out with friends and be social. We love having people over for dinner and hanging out at friend’s houses, but we also like to be active, taking hikes, going to the beach and even traveling with friends. We visit our families often for meals and get togethers.
Travel and Vacations:
Chris, Raf and Morgan love to travel together. They love to explore new places, including other countries. They love exploring new cultures, seeing new sights and having new adventures (and especially eating good food!).
We also love to travel with family, and we can’t wait to take trips with your child, as well!
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