How We Met
We met through a mutual friend in 2008 when Gia was attending grad school with one of Joe’s friends from high school. There seemed to be an attraction at first, but the timing wasn’t right. We stayed in touch over Facebook, exchanging messages about our favorite team, the White Sox, for about a year. After a few more run-ins through our mutual friend, things progressed…and here we are almost 12 years later!
Joe: I was impressed with her from the get-go as she was pursuing her master’s degree in Education. About a year after meeting, Gia started her career as a high school English teacher in the town where I worked. We met up after work to avoid rush-hour and soon set an official first date. Over the next few years, ALL of Gia’s friends got married and she was a bridesmaid in most of them. And so finally, it was my turn to spend time with her at a wedding! I asked her to marry me one night in March 2012.
Gia: We clicked right away; there were no setups & no pressure. It was evident that we shared similar values but had opposite personalities that balanced each other nicely. Joe was the guy my family had been waiting for. My mother and grandmother loved having someone new to spoil. When he wanted to propose, he snuck a dinner date with my mom and grandma; he took them to our favorite restaurant and asked if they would dote on him for the rest of our lives! That is, until our future child gets here.
We share an appreciation for a healthy lifestyle and enjoy getting out for fresh air with our dog Lily as much as Chicago weather allows. We are outdoors nonstop in the summer months, attending concerts, exploring new walking paths with our dog Lily, and making up silly pool games with our niece and nephew. Gia’s teaching schedule allows for tons of summer fun. Her coworkers have a summer “Kids’ Calendar” & the group meets up once a week all over the area (zoo, parks, museums, someone’s pool, etc.) This baby is going to be busy!
Gia is a loving and compassionate person. She’s incredible at creating connections with new people and nurturing relationships. Gia has been teaching High School English for 11 years.
I know that Gia will take the best qualities of her own mom and infuse her own “teacher style” into it. Gia was raised by strong women (her mom & two grandmas) and her grandfather. They taught her compassion, resilience, and the importance of upholding tradition. She definitely gets her love of animals from her grandpa who owned and cared for his own horses. Her mom taught her that no celebration should be small and no plate should be anything less than overflowing. Her grandmas are two of coolest and most fun-loving women on the planet. They would do anything for anyone. Her family comes first in all situations. When it came time to buy our first home, I knew she would want to be close to her mom and grandmas. We all live about ten minutes apart.
Her favorite thing about being a high school teacher is watching her “kids” transition into young adults and go out into the “real world” (as they say). I’m glad one of us will be ready for the teenage years! Many of her students have become extended family to us in the years following graduation.
Career Highlight: She was fortunate enough to be part of many of her students’ first Broadway experiences when they went on a field trip to see Hamilton the Musical. Gia is obsessed with Hamilton, and it’s rubbed off on Joe a little (a lot).
Joe is the most artistically talented person I know. He designed this entire website! I cannot even imagine what he’s going to come up with to document our child’s early years! He is a data-analyst for an IT company in his day job.
When I imagine Joe as a dad, I picture lots of backyard baseball, “dad jokes,” and the one who will help with the math homework. Most importantly, though, I look forward to navigating parenthood together and watching Joe grow into a role he is meant for. I know he will share his love of sports, video games, and all things technology with our child.
Joe grew up in the Southwest suburbs. His parents were happily married for 25 years. They shared household responsibilities, much like Joe and I do now. His mom was very creative and received a lot of recognition in the automotive industry. She was proud of being successful in an industry saturated with men. This, in my opinion, has made Joe such an amazing partner to me; he is supportive of everything I do in my career. Sadly, we lost Kathy right before our wedding. It pains me that she will not be here to watch Joe become a dad, but I know she would be so proud of all he’s accomplished.