Joe grew up in a tiny, miniscule, itty-bitty town in southern Idaho. (Did I mention it was small?) He has an older sister and an older brother. Amazingly, he and his brother NEVER fought, except a couple of times over who was going to turn out the light at night. The bedside lamp solved all those dilemmas.
Joe graduated from high school, and trundled off to BYU in Utah. Where he promptly learned that a small-town education is not as rigorous as needed to excel in honors classes at a four year university. After his freshman year at "the Y," Joe moved home for the summer, saw his brother get married, turned 19, and left on his LDS mission to wild, wonderful West Virginia for 2 years.
A few months into his mission, Joe's parents divorced, Joe's Mom moved out of state, and his Dad remarried. This left Joe "homeless" when he returned from his mission, and he spent his school holidays at his Grandma's house. (Thankfully, his Grandmother lived down the street from the house he grew up in.)
While Joe was attending his sophomore year at BYU, he enjoyed jobs as a pizza delivery guy, and a "professional bun warmer" at Hardee's. He didn't actually make any money delivering pizza, since his vehicle was a gas-guzzler. He decided after that year to transfer to Idaho State University, which was closer to home.
Joe graduated after 4 more years in school from ISU with a bachelor's degree in newspaper writing. (Whatever that degree is called.) While he was learning at ISU, he got a job driving a truck for the local Deseret Industries, where he picked up others' used things to sell at a consignment-type store. It wasn't his favorite job, but it paid the bills. I think. He did also have some student loans.
After graduation, Joe moved to Utah. He got a job working for a grocery chain as a truck driver. (His license in Idaho miraculously transferred into a CDL, and Joe was driving truck with no previous experience with a big rig.) He worked there until the warehouse closed, and he was laid off. After that, he drove truck for several other companies never actually enjoying the work, but always enjoying the paycheck. He never drove long-haul, although for one pizza company he did do a few overnight trips.
Joe was the cool, single uncle to all his nieces and nephews. (2 nieces, 4 nephews.) He lived with his brother and nephews for a short while, and spent many Sundays, holidays, and evenings with them after that. When his niece was small, she preferred him over almost anyone else. It's true. Just ask her. He loved to go to their sports games, buy them gifts, and spend time with them doing fun things. But he was always just as grateful to have a quiet home to retreat to.
In fact, Joe spent a LOT of time at home. He was single, didn't date much (I'm pretty sure he just wasn't sure how to ask a girl out, or something like that), and watched a lot of TV. Especially sports. He roots for losing teams ALMOST all the time. BYU, the Minnesota Vikings, and the Utah Jazz. Basically, if you want to root for a winning team, pick against Joe.
And after many, many years of bachelorhood, I come into the picture. Yup. It's kind of crazy, but it's how it worked out. A high-school buddy of Joe's introduced him to me, Amber. I'm MUCH younger than Joe. (seriously). We met in May, got engaged in September, got married in January, and found out in July we were expecting. That next March, we welcomed the girl. 2 years later, her brother, the boy, joined the family. After thinking we might be done with the two kiddos, when The Girl was 6, we welcomed Baby Girl, and 17 months later, Baby Boy.
Joe used to work a crazy schedule driving truck, but it finally drove us both crazy so he quit to write. He now drags his laptop with him in the house and jots down his thoughts between playing peek-a-boo, driving imaginary trains, and cleaning up baby spit-up. Parenting has been a bigger challenge than he imagined, but he loves the kids! He's happy to see me every day after school (where I work as a teacher) and during the summer... most days ;).
(I am sure Joe will contradict some of this, but this is his mini-biography by his wife.)