Tami was born 10.16.81, a Friday just as work got out at 4:58 pm, in Ephrata, WA--and after flying up into the air upon her arrival outside the womb was barely caught by the doctor, true story--but grew up 20 minutes away in Quincy. At age 11 she moved to an even tinier town called Republic, WA. She did allthethings in high school, from playing sports (she was only ever sorta ok at sports) to keeping football stats (which she was really good at because she loves numbers like a FREAK WHO LOVES NUMBERS LIKE A FREAK!) to just about every club and extra-curriculur she could join, on top of being valedictorian and leading wherever she could. This was half because she grew up in poverty and knew she needed every possible scholarship for college, and half because she did whatever necessary to try and belong, maybe even be loved.
After becoming a Christian at age 16, Tami ended up going to the college she told God she'd never attend, Whitworth University. After a harsh encounter with legalism, Tami ran as far away as she could from her cult-like college church and taught High School History for two years in Eastern North Carolina with Teach for America. It was while there that some sports googling led her to some Seattle-area dude's blog in June 2006. After some MySpace messages promising that neither party wanted any funny business, they quit pretending it wasn't love and the second time they ever met in person Jason was on one knee proposing. They moved Tami back home to Washington, this time to Bothell, and married on 09.08.07 because numbers. The rest of the story can be picked up with...
Jason was born a few hours after Mt St Helens blew up on 05.18.80 in Missoula, MT. He was nearly 12 pounds, so everyone joked that first the mountain blew up, and then his mom. He grew up in a small town in northwestern Montana called Thompson Falls. He won a first place award in Meats Identification for 4H. True story. If you must high school stereotype him, he swam and did cross country and helped manage the basketball team but was introverted and shy and could beat Megaman on the Nintendo with his eyes closed. Yay! After starting at the University of Montana, he finished his education at Gonzaga. Unfortunately, his poli sci degree helped get some wealthy people in the Seattle metro area some very clean pools (another true story), and led to lots of packages being loaded into UPS trucks at 4am, but not much money in his own pockets. A severe back injury led to unemployment for Tami, at which point Jason started pursuing a career in IT.
A few jobs and a few moves--Bothell to Green Lake (Seattle) to Ballard (Seattle) to Bellevue to Redmond, oh my!--later, Jason is settled into a career as a software developer in downtown Seattle and commutes from Redmond. Tami stays home with...
Roger Nehemiah was born on 03.11.11 at Swedish in Ballard, Seattle, though the family was living in Bellevue at the time. We put a LOT of thought and purpose into our kids' names, so you can learn about Roger's name in this post. [It's tempting to remove the MH stuff but it's part of our story so it stays.] Roger was pretty much a superstar from the first moments of his life. Every nurse commented on the perfect shape of Rog's head, and the fact that he lifted that giant thing up in the first moments of his life when they put him on Tami's chest. He had the most amazing little old man wrinkles and big brown eyes right from the beginning. He loved laughing and made every single lady at every single store fall crazy in love. Queue up the Beyonce. There were a lot of Gerber Baby comments in his first two years of life.
At 18 months, he still wasn't talking but could clearly understand and follow along with what was being said to him. But then when he still wasn't talking--at all--at his 2 year check up, his pediatrician recommended testing. He was diagnosed with autism, toward the moderate to severe end. You can read more about this here. But now, after a lot of therapy and hard work and so much grace, he's talking a bit. Roger is the most good natured kid you have ever met, and still everyone loves him. It's not just mom bias--people go out of their way to share this pronouncement. Roger loves the color green, counting, hanging non-wall stuff all over the walls, going outside, getting on his belly and staring down deep into grates--even in the middle of the road, which is real fun for his parents--and more than anything he loves being snuggled into either his mama or his daddy.
Nicknames: Rog, Rog Podge, Podge, The Podge, Silly Goose, Rog Sauce
Juliet Elise came on 10.03.12 at Swedish in Issaquah, WA, though the family was living in Redmond. Her name was also carefully chosen; you can read about how we chose it here and here. She was the best thing to happen to our family. The first four months were rough because baby girl needed to be closerthanthis to her mama constantly and screamed unless she was being held or had her face all smothered up in her mama's. But that didn't last forever, and she kept turning into the sweetest, cutest, fiercest little girl you've ever seen. This according to highly subjective people, but it's still truth. Her lilted, sing song voice is so powerful that even a little autistic boy who never speaks but only hums starts humming with Juliet's intonation and pitch when he's around her.
And yes, Juliet is friends with this little boy because she, too, was diagnosed with autism. She is less severe than her brother and manifests in some different ways, but her interaction with the world is different from her neurotypical peers. Nonetheless, girl is the cutest and her mama often half-jokes that they need to keep a close eye on Juliet, lest someone else steal her. Juliet is obsessed with Olaf, Elsa, her "minions Despiccy Me", Batman, Minnie Mouse, and Super Why! She only speaks in phrases she has heard, but genius girl is a chatterbox and hearts be fallin' in love with her every day in every way.
Nicknames: Jules, BabyLove, BabyGirl, Cutie, Sweetie Pie
The Hagglund Family is a pretty dang blessed. Jesus captured the hearts of Jason and Tami, used 7 years at the now defunct Mars Hill Church to introduce them to reformed theology. They experienced a lot of legalism and corruption, but even more grace and life. As such, Jason and Tami have become unabashed grace junkies and pray their beautiful babies, both Roger and Juliet and any future siblings, be they biological or adopted, will be just as enraptured with a God who loves his children, who grants immeasurable mercy and grace, and who put to death the performance treadmill.
Current life resides in Redmond and includes soaking up as much Jesus as possible in every way, being members at Trinitas Presbyterian Church, being crazy Seahawks, Mariners, and Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball fans, and balancing Jason's heavy work schedule with Tami's suffering health (more details on the My Story page, but a host of autoimmune illnesses make daily life a heavy burden) and the general travails and joys of two toddlers with the added weight of autism and its glut of therapies. In general, it's a pretty charmed life.
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