We are a young couple exploring our newest home, Washington DC. After two years of life abroad, first in Uganda, and then in Ireland, we returned to the US in July 2010.

Jon is a “state-triot” (read: a patriot for his home state of Illinois) and a philosophy junkie. He likes a good quality beverage – be it coffee, orange juice (with pulp), wine, or beer. Jon is a daydreamer and a planner. He seems to enjoy watching football and live theater in equal measure. After two years working for the Chicago Public Schools and Northwestern’s Center for Global Engagement, a year on a Fulbright in Uganda, and a year studying philosophy for his Master’s degree, Jon has returned to education work at the Council for Chief State School Officers. In his spare time, he studies French (the fifth time trying a language is the charm?) and contemplates picking up his saxophone again.

Lauren is a child of Minnesota snow and Minnesota Nice. A true extravert, nothing pleases her more than a full social calendar and frequent emails, phone calls, and Skype chats with friends and family. Lauren’s favorite part of any house is its book collection, and she takes pride in her and Jon’s personal library, which is organized by topic and then alphabetized. She has a strong intuition and a pretty stable demeanor – unless you deprive her of cheese. Then she goes a little nuts. Lauren’s spent the past several years diving into interfaith work, fair trade, and African history and politics. After her incredible year as a Mitchell Scholar earning an MA in Gender, Globalization, and Rights, she’s looking for full-time work and piecing together other projects. In the meantime, she tries really, really hard to take one decent photograph a day.

Please follow along with us as we reflect on the things that people and places have to teach us.