We span the country and the globe. We celebrate both Sankt Nikolaus and Ježíšek. We’re proud to have so many creative and adventurous people to call our family!
Susan’s father (Pavel), mother (Zuzana), and brother (Steve) emigrated to America as political refugees/dissidents in the early 1980’s. Though we didn’t have much growing up, our home was eager to laugh and filled with art and music. Pavel, a philosopher at heart, is extremely responsible and hard working. He was raised by his great grandmother while his single mom worked as a high-ranking Medic in the army. His musical influences range from Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, to Etta James. Zuzana is a social butterfly with the soul of an artist. She was raised in the city of Brno by her father (a journalist) and mother (a trained actress). Her musical influences include Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Genesis. Zuzana is a voracious reader and an avid traveler. Though they wouldn’t describe themselves as such, Pavel and Zuzana are true explorers with an unquenchable thirst for life. They will make for epic grandparents. Pavel and Zuzana currently spend their life chasing good weather. They spend Fall/Winter living in Las Cruces, New Mexico where they volunteer in national parks and enjoy the warm desert heat. In Spring/Summer they live in Žatec, Czechia, where Pavel grew up.
Steve is a fantastic older brother who plans on being an active uncle. He is not only kind and caring, but also incredibly hard working. He has fearlessly lived his life pursuing art and music in varying ways. His musical influences range from Phish, to Wu-Tang clan and the Beastie Boys. Steve and his fiancé Elizabeth have seemingly endless energy. They are consistently attending or absorbing music, great food, and art. It is easy to spend hours talking to them about both everything and nothing.
Greg parents both come from big German Catholic families on the West Side of Cincinnati, OH. They first met in college, both majoring in psychology. But it wasn’t until a chance encounter in grad school in Dayton that Ted, the jock, really hit it off with Mary K, the quirky artist. This meet-cute quickly led to the marriage between Ted, the public school teacher, and Mary K, the social worker.
They were able to provide a comfortable life for Greg, his sister Kate, and his brother Max, bringing them up in the same house where Ted grew up. Mary K was always looking for opportunities to expose the kids to creative endeavors: acting lessons, art classes, musical instruments, even puppeteering. Ted took an active role in any athletic pursuits, often acting as assistant coach on our respective baseball or basketball teams.
Kate went on to major in linguistics and spent two years teaching English in both Spain and France after college. She actually followed Greg to Washington, DC a year after he moved there for his first job out of college, where she met her current husband, Tom. She stayed in DC to obtain her PhD at Georgetown: alternating years of study and teaching between the US and Oaxaca, Mexico. Kate and Tom lived in Brooklyn for a few years before ultimately settling in Tom’s hometown of Philadelphia, where they live with their son (Greg’s nephew) Theo.
Max, the baby of the family, managed to find himself on the East Coast with his siblings as started his college career in Boston. He followed a similar path to Kate, pursuing a PhD in Mathematics, which he successfully completed at the University of Texas in Austin. He was offered a post-doctorate position in Heidelberg, Germany, where he currently lives with his partner, Wendy, and their dog, Moose.
Now that Ted and Mary K are retired, their lives are very different from what the kids knew growing up. They both spent a lot of time caring for their elderly parents and other relatives during the last years of their lives. But perhaps the most surprising development has been their acting careers! Following leads from Mary K, they both have ended up acting as extras in movies shot in Cincinnati and surrounding areas. They’ve shared the screen with such names as Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, and Arnold Schwarzenneger. They even starred in a rap video!
Though spread across multiple cities and continents, Greg’s family makes sure to connect often through video calls and group chats.