My partner Ariel and I have been together for eight years, since the fall of 2011, when we kissed for the first time under the bright stars at Unicamp, a UU retreat centre outside of Toronto that is a special kind of heaven. We were married five years later, just a stones throw from the site of that kiss, with our two-month-old Rowan in our arms. Getting married at camp was very fitting for us both, as we’d been counsellors and outdoor educators and believe strongly in the power of retreats as sites for spiritual renewal and recommitment to our faith.

Ariel grew up in the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, where she eventually became very involved in the youth group. She has degrees in political science and education, and has spent her whole working career supporting youth and young adult ministries, both in congregations and at the Canadian Unitarian Council where she was the Youth and Young Adult Ministries Staff Lead. Ariel won’t be able to work for the first few years that we’re in the United States, so will likely be pursuing some educational opportunities after taking some time to build new networks. We also hope that she’ll come and sing in the Westside choir.

Ariel and I both identify as ethically non-monogamous (or polyamorous) and have had other loving partners who continue to be part of our lives, a community of folks who love and support our family. If you’re curious what ethical non-monogamy is, I’ve written a little note here that includes some good resources.

With Rowan and his perfect, purple unicorn, Jacki.

Rowan is a delightful, sometimes shy, and very energetic kid who is fascinated by words and stories, and revels in the magic of the outdoors. We are surprised each time we take him to Science World, the local experiential learning museum, how his interests have changed – right now he is fascinated by the beaver dam he can crawl into, the 3D puzzle of the human body he has memorized, and all the pneumatic tubes that launch parachutes overhead. He has spent the past year in daycare at a wonderful centre founded by the daughter of Rev. Dr. Philip Hewett, who was the minister at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver for over 30 years. We are looking forward to discovering all the museums, parks and playgrounds Seattle has to offer (the search team even gave us a handy guide!) and finding another great learning community for him.