Family first: The loss of a handicapped sister taught Orem’s Jennifer Gale the importance of family.

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Jennifer and Adam Gale love living in Orem. One of their keys to success is a weekly date night. “It doesn’t matter if we go mountain biking or if we end up at Costco, we have fun together,” Jennifer says.

Jennifer and Adam Gale love living in Orem. One of their keys to success is a weekly date night. “It doesn’t matter if we go mountain biking or if we end up at Costco, we have fun together,” Jennifer says.

I lived in Utah Valley as a kid when my dad was in graduate school at BYU. When he finished, we moved to Orange County, where most of my family still lives today.

When I was about 9, my younger sister was hit by a car and became severely handicapped. Suddenly my family had no time or energy for anything else but loving and taking care of her. It taught me what is important in life. My parents both worked full-time to cover the astronomical costs of her care. She later passed away at age 20, just a few weeks before I had my first child, Leah, who I named after my sister.

I came back to Utah to attend BYU where I studied music and met my husband, Adam. I was friends with Adam’s cousin back in California and he introduced us. The funny part is that I initially started dating Adam’s cousin, Ryan. After Ryan and I broke up, Adam and I started talking and the relationship progressed quickly. Ryan was happy for us and everything worked.

After we got married, I was thinking we might end up back in California but my husband and his father started a business here in Utah County — KLAS Enterprises. It’s a research healthcare technology company. My husband loved hiring BYU graduates and they started running the business from our two-room condo. I had just graduated and did pharmaceutical sales as well as a few things to help launch the business. Today, the company has roughly 100 employees in Orem.

I was always career-minded and never the girl who was begging to hold other people’s babies, so I surprised my parents by having six kids. They are the center of my life. I didn’t know I would love being a mom so much. My oldest is my 14 — Leah is my favorite daughter and my only daughter. She was followed by five boys: Sam (11), Spencer (9), Seth (5), Simon (3) and Tyler (1).

With six kids, there is not a lot of sitting around at my house. My two oldest swim at the Timpanogos Aquatic Club in Orem. The rest of my kids are into basketball, soccer and church activities. My to-do list never ends, but it is so worth it.

Between my first child and my baby now, I’ve evolved as a mother. I’m so much more patient. Now, when my toddler has a bad week, I remind myself that in a blink it will be gone. When I was 25, I felt like hard times would last forever.

I love living in this community where there are lots of big families and parents I can turn to for advice. I think we will be here forever! λ

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Kate Lehnhof Nash first joined Bennett Communications as a summer intern in 2009. Now, as an associate editor, she writes for magazines including Utah Valley Magazine, Utah Valley Bride and Prosper. Kate lives in Springville with her husband Steve and enjoys running, reading, sushi and her french bulldog, Chief.

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