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Katherine frames a family portrait

From left to right: JP, Naila, and Katherine holding a family photo in our Mercer frame.

We couldn't imagine a more fitting backdrop for a family full of light, life, and positive energy. On a sunny Saturday morning in front of DC's latest street art addition - a series of motivational murals marking a collaboration between First Lady Michelle Obama and renowned graffiti artist Mr. Brainwash - we met up with this beautiful family to hear how they're celebrating dad this Father's Day. Meet Katherine, her husband JP, their daughter Naila, and soon-to-be brother, Zen.

Happy (almost) Father's Day! Tell us about your husband, how would you describe him?

Jonathan, or JP as I know him is above all, a passionate, determined person. Naila came along very early in our relationship, and he has never faltered in his commitment to support us. Even when we were separated romantically for a brief period, he was always there for the both of us. He is a man of his word - caring, strong and trustworthy - and I feel very lucky to have him forever.  

What quality about him do you admire most?

JP has many admirable qualities, but I think the one that is most important to me is his purposeful intent to be a human being that makes a difference in the lives of others, for the better. He works so hard in his personal and professional lives to make the world a better place for us as a family, and for others he has never met. He is determined to be the best version of himself, and I find it inspiring. 


 "He is her hero, her storyteller, her bringer of gifts, her teacher, and so much more."


Tell us about Naila's relationship with JP. How would you describe it?

Naila is definitely a daddy's girl. He is the first person she asks for when she wakes up in the morning, and the last person she usually sees before she goes to bed. He is her hero, her storyteller, her bringer of gifts, her teacher, and so much more. He has always believed that she is capable of anything, and Naila is always looking for his approval more than anyone else's. They are very similar, highly energetic planners, always wanting to move to the next best thing, whereas I am more relaxed and live more in the moment. They are buddies, and have various activities they share between the two of them such as library visits, and other special field trips. 

Cutest dad moment? 

Oh goodness, there are too many, but one that sticks out in my mind actually happens often. Sometimes, when I come home from teaching, I'll find that JP has fallen asleep in her room, and they are just laying there, sleeping in identical positions, and they just look so much alike in that sweet moment. It's the cutest. 


"I love that we are learning as we go, and we are conscious of that."


Tell us about your family.

I love that we are learning as we go, and we are conscious of that. JP and I are not afraid to admit our mistakes to our daughter, and in turn she understands that she can make them too. The important thing is that we learn from them and become better people evolving together. We learn so much from each other, and we show love and affection often. My family is a sure thing, and I know it will only grow and keep evolving for the better. 

You're expecting! What are you looking forward to most when the baby arrives?

Meeting this new person! We are expecting a boy, and I having five sisters, I have never grown up around little boys, so I am sure there is plenty to learn. We all can't wait to see what he will look like, and the biggest question, if he will be like Naila or completely different, or somewhere in the middle.

Can you tell us a little bit about the photo you framed for Father's Day? What makes it special? 

The photo was taken at my last birthday after dinner. About a month later, we were married and expecting again all at once, so when I look at it in retrospect it is kind of a marker of the end of an era in our family history, and the beginning of a new one. 


"I think it is a great reminder that so much of what made us 'us', is the little girl who made us parents together"


What made you choose to give this photo to JP for Father's Day? 

I think it is a great reminder that so much of what made us "us", is the little girl who made us parents together, and for 6 years we worked so hard to stay together and love and teach her the best that we could. Her presence has always been a factor, as we became expecting her just 3 months into our relationship 7 years ago. So much has changed for in the past few months, but it will always be the three of us as the founding pillars of this family. Since we found out we were going to have this little girl, his role as her father as shaped him greatly, and I hope that the photo is a reminder of that. 

How do you feel when you look at this beautiful gift? 

I feel so proud of us, for all that we achieved despite the odds.

It just doesn't get any better than that.

What family photo do you have that will make the dad in your life feel this proud?