Greenville Life Winter 2019 - Page 19

Mandy said. “He makes me laugh all the time. Even when I’m mad, he’ll say something that will be so funny that I’ll get mad because I’m not ready to not be mad yet. “When we had our wedding in Mexico, Jimmy and his groomsmen got so carried away with their walking, exploring and swimming, that they weren’t back when the family started ar- riving,” Mandy said. “I had every minute planned, so I was stressing about it, but everything turned out fine. It was a beau- tiful wedding.” Contrary to what some might think, Jimmy’s free-spirited ways have served him well in married life. “Since we’ve been married, Jimmy’s always got projects going on,” Mandy added. “He designed and built the speak- ers for our media room, he networked and set up our surveillance system, built a bridge on our property and is getting ready to get into beekeeping – he’s got all the equipment, he’s just waiting for the bees to arrive.” In addition to their differences in personality, Mandy and Jimmy also differ in their background, as she was born and Jimmy and Mandy celebrate their daughter, Layla’s, first birthday alongside her brother, Zain, age 4. raised in Greenville while he was born in Egypt and raised in Austin. “My mom was an instructor at the Defense Language Institute and my dad was an officer in the Egyptian Army,” Jimmy said. “She was a teacher and he was her student. That’s how they met. “We moved from Egypt to Texas when I was 2 years old, so I’m only really American,” Jimmy said. “I don’t think I have too many cultural habits.” WINTER 2019 Greenville Life 19 Jimmy proposed to Mandy while on a hiking trip at Devil’s Den State Park in Arkansas. Of Jimmy’s extended family, Man- dy says, “We travel to Egypt all the time. It’s a more relaxed pace there, and they actually sit down and talk – they’re not watching a game or anything. “There are lots of different people to learn from. Different can be good,” Mandy added. After almost six years of marriage, the duo is now a quartet with their two children – their 4-year-old son, Zain, and their 19-month-old daughter, Layla. “Zain is rambunctious and dad- dy’s best friend,” Mandy said. “He loves dinosaurs and already knows a lot about them, he’s stubborn, and loves to hunt outside for bugs.” “He’s loud. He’s always talking,” Jimmy says with a grin. “Layla is a momma’s girl, but she’s headstrong and fiery,” Mandy explains. “She keeps busy with her baby dolls and is more loving, but she holds her own with her brother.” “They can play nicely together for about five minutes,” Jimmy adds. Since becoming parents in their thirties, the two have been adjusting to their new roles as parents. “We’re sleep deprived, and it’s been a bit of a struggle, but we’re learning to adjust,” Mandy said. “It’s taken getting over some of our self-centeredness, but we’ve got a lot of family who always offer to look after the kids so we can have a night to ourselves. We never need to hire a babysitter. “I also changed careers and work in real estate now, because it allows me to have a more flexible schedule and be there for the kids but also lets me have a career,” Mandy said. As for Jimmy, adjustment to father- hood primarily meant getting used to not having as much alone time. “I like to take the time to relax and decompress after a work day, but when you have kids, there is no decompression time,” Jimmy said. “But it’s made me closer with my parents,” Jimmy said. “They live in Greenville now, and I had no desire to live near my parents until I had kids, but now I’m so glad that they do.” D