My dad is Bryan. He was born in Utah, but he was raised in Glendale, Arizona. He went to Glendale High and then to BYU. (My parents met there.). He served a mission in Denmark. Before serving a mission, he had studied German so he says he spoke Danish with a German accent. He laughed once when they were in a Danish family's home and they thought his Danish companion was American but they couldn't quite place his accent. :).
We grew up living very close to my dad's parents and spent a lot of time with his side of the family. One thing I loved and appreciated (maybe less back then but more and more as I grew up) was that his family would talk about politics, the gospel, science and many other topics and the children (including me) were always allowed to listen and even contribute to the conversation. We were encouraged to ask questions and be curious about the world around us.
I remember my dad loved Christmas. He would put toys and other gifts inside pillow cases and pull one out at a time to give us.
My dad made some mistakes. He was inactive for several years and made some choices that led to my parents divorcing. It was pretty hard. Very hard. But, he has repented of his sins and is now an active member of the church. He currently serves in the temple. From this, I really came to better understand the role of the Atonement and that there is always hope for those who fall away. I recognize the need for repentance and how forgiving and loving our Savior truly is. The gospel brings so many blessings, and I am grateful for all I have learned from my parents.
My dad is a wonderful grandpa to my kids and loves them very much. I am thankful for his example and his love.
I have also been blessed to have a wonderful stepdad, Mike. He married my mom when I was 15. He has always been a great stepdad to my sisters and me. And he has been an absolutely wonderful husband to my mom. Mike was born and raised in Ohio. His mom was a single mom for many years, then married his stepdad. His grandma was a teacher...and was even his teacher one year. He has two sons from a previous marriage (which means I have two stepbrothers...but as they were already grown when my mom married Mike, I don't know them well...one of his sons I have never met. They live in Ohio.).
Mike helped our family establish important routines...family scripture study, family prayer, and Family Home Evening. They really helped strengthen my faith and knowledge of the gospel (as did seminary) during my teenage years. I am trying hard to have these routines in my family today. I am not perfect at it...I miss days, but I am trying to instill these habits in my home, with my children.
Mike cares deeply about us and prays for my sisters and our families daily. I am so thankful to know that my mom, my dad, and my stepdad are praying for me and praying for my family.
I have been so blessed to have these two wonderful men in my life. They have taught me important lessons. They have helped develop my mind and my spirit. Much of who I am is due to their influence.