Doctors Dave and Dan know how to celebrate. Together for 15 years, and recently married, they approach life in celebration of one another, their two beautiful children, hard work, and in celebration of Christmas. Having met on a blind date, both have a background in family and pediatric health care, currently running two successful pediatric dental practices in New Jersey. Professional entrepreneurs of sorts, Dan’s passion lies within his day-to-day interactions with clients, saying, “We didn’t know if we’d have kids of our own, so why not work with kids every day?” Dave, a Harvard graduate and also passionate about family care, helps to run the practices, intending to continue growing as a practice. Together, they make two partners with eyes set upon not only making a difference in the lives of their own family members, but also the lives of many families.
As I pulled up to this outstanding home, I immediately noticed an intentionally designed landscape. Acres of carefully kept trees seasoned the property, previously a forest, but later turned into a grove. A red stone driveway traveled through a beautiful, lush lawn, still expertly maintained even as winter soon neared. I pulled up in front of a house surrounded by lit columns and large windows. It was Sunday, and Dan greeted me at the door with a warm handshake and a smile. Lights lit up the inside of every window, and I followed Dan into a circular foyer. A marvelous statue greeted me, surrounded by a staircase that wrapped up to the second floor.
David rounded the corner, and I sensed a blazing spirit of “welcome home” meeting the couple. Music played throughout the house. Soon, their children Dominic and Juliet appeared at the top of the staircase, running down to see what was happening downstairs. All around me, I noticed spiral staircases leading to lofts and hallways, overlooking libraries and large rooms with cathedral ceilings, and fireplaces provided warmth from the cool air outside.
“We had a vision that we could redo this house and turn it into something kind of special. Christmas is our holiday to host, so we were desperate to update the dining room. It was formerly peach and gray, but we added my favorite color, red, and widened the door frame to give it more of an open feel.” With deep red wine walls, and dark wainscoting, the center of the room held a table large enough to imagine many guests in sincere celebration of the holidays, and I imagined the aroma of Christmas dinner, which soon led us into the kitchen.
We moved into the living room to sit beside the hearth, carefully decorated with poinsettias and stockings and a very unique statue imported from Mexico. With their wedding having passed only a week prior, we took the time to talk about the attention to detail that went into their planning, which I knew would be fascinating with the attention to detail within their home. Dave often lit up with Dan quietly listening as he described their vows to me, which I later had opportunity to read. They spoke about how important the essence of family was in their wedding, and laughed about their officiant. “He was a little buttoned up at first, but I said, ‘listen, don’t pretend to know us, twelve minutes or less and keep it fun. I suggested he share his experience previously officiating a gay wedding saying, “first I was afraid, I was petrified.”
At Dan and Dave’s core, running two practices, raising a young family, and managing added pressure of a continuing education doesn’t intimidate them. Though maybe at times they may be afraid, may be petrified, what was obvious as one with the privilege to peer in from the outside was that these two men will continue to make it, without compromise of the most important things in life.
Merry Christmas, Dan and Dave, two wonderful men who find strength in one another in a chaotic season, eyes firmly set upon their goals, and may your holidays be filled with great joy.