WEST SUBURBAN COUPLES SHARE ON LOVE & LIFE
Chicago's western suburbs are adored by many couples– some newly dating, some together a lifetime. Here we feature four suburban couples who talk about #LovingLife together, hand in hand.
Charlie & Donna Peterson, Elburn While the old adage of Cinderella’s wicked step mother may impede singles with children to consider blending families, Charlie and Donna Peterson have made it look simple for the past 15 years. Combining their four children into a single family was surprisingly seamless.
After dating a little over a year, Donna introduced Charlie to her sons, Jerry and Alex; and in turn, met his twins, Haley and Kelvin. “Communication is paramount,” Donna shares. “Charlie and I dated over 4 years before getting married and we talked about everything from parenting styles, values, religion, finances, discipline (roles), expectations, etc...” The couple also placed value on family meetings, keeping abreast of the kids’ feelings in a non-judgmental forum; as well, as actively volunteering together at Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva, Hesed House in Aurora, and Lazarus House in St. Charles.
Their marriage remains vital by enjoying date-night dinners, working out together, and impromptu overnights at the Herrington in Geneva. “It’s important to continually nurture your relationship,” Donna adds. “It doesn't have to be grand gestures or time consuming: flirt, send a fun text during the day; buy a favorite candy or a card!” Remind your partner what you love most about loving life with them!
Arnoush and Michelle Javaherian, Naperville In 2010, Arnoush and Michelle met through friends. Right from the beginning, they knew they had something special. After a surprise engagement on the 95th Floor of the John Hancock Building, the couple married in 2014.
Having lived in the city for many years, they decided that Naperville was the ideal location for their future together; after all, they both worked in the suburbs and Arnoush, better known as Java, not only teaches Anatomy & Physiology at Neuqua Valley High School, he spends countless hours running the Neuqua Valley Ultimate Frisbee Club as Director and Head Coach.
Because of their daily demands, they ensure to set time aside for each other. “Our number one date night spot is the Sushi House in downtown Naperville,” Java says. Other favs include, Pizzeria Neo, Traverso's Restaurant, and Le Chocolat due Bouchard in Naperville; Basil's Greek Dining in Aurora; and Kilwin's in Wheaton. The couple also enjoys hiking in the local forest preserves and membership at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle.
Beyond loving suburban life, Java and Michelle admire the positive energy and inspiration each brings to their relationship, and strongly believe their success will be built on a foundation of integrity.
Pam and Mark Molnar, Naperville Pam and Mark’s romance began as high school sweethearts back in 1986 at Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn. After a Cinderella inspired proposal during a carriage ride in Chicago, the couple has been married for 25 years and have chosen to raise their three children, Michaela (18), Delaney (15), and Luke (13) in Naperville for the past 18 years.
According to Pam, making time for each other is equally as important as raising their kids and advancing their careers. “It does not need to be an extravagant dinner out,” she shares. “Recharging with a trip to Starbucks, a hike through the forest preserve; or meeting for lunch during the week will do wonders for your marriage.” The couple also shares a common interest for the theater, taking in shows at local venues such as, Wheaton Drama, Steele Beam in St. Charles, and North Central College in Naperville.
In the midst of daily life, reminding yourselves what you love most about each other is a great way to keep your love fresh. In Mark’s eyes, Pam is a strong woman and great role model for their family; and Pam appreciates that Mark is always an encouraging supporter of their dreams and endeavors.
Jane and Richard Rio, Glen Ellyn They hadn’t dated very long, so when Richard proposed to Jane, the couple surprised a lot of people. They had just met at Northern Illinois University in the summer of 1967 and were married the following summer.
Three children, seven grandchildren, and 47 years later, the couple still thoroughly enjoys spending time together. They credit their success to many years of laughter.
“Richard makes me laugh and he puts up with my idiosyncrasies,” Jane says. They love to travel together and recall very simple, yet very memorable, overnight trips to Chicago, to extensive and very special vacations overseas to Europe; however, nothing compares to being home in Glen Ellyn.
“It has been our home or so long we can’t imagine living anywhere else,” Jane shares of living in Glen Ellyn for the past 42 years. “There is a sense of community here – people care about their hometown. And it is a beautiful Village.” Richard and Jane also enjoy local eateries including Greek Islands in Lombard, and Barones and A Toda Madre of Glen Ellyn.
“Family is the most important to the Rios,” Jane says. Richard agrees and gushes about Jane, “She is my best friend. I love being with her.”