Michelle grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, as the oldest of four children. She has spent the past 10+ years teaching swim lessons, coaching swimming, babysitting, and nannying. She graduated from Miami University (Ohio) in 2011, holding a degree in Education and minors in Spanish and Latin American Studies. After graduation, she spent 3.5 years teaching middle and high school English Language Arts (ELA) in Florida and California. When Michelle and Derek moved to Washington, Michelle nannied on and off for a year, while being pregnant and then while raising twins. When the babies turned one, Michelle went back to teaching as a middle school English Language Learner (ELL) teacher.
Derek grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his parents and younger sister. He began swimming at age 7 and continued until he went to college. He spent a year at Kansas State before transferring to Lake Forest College, where he continued his swimming career. He graduated in 2007 with a degree in Economics. Then, he went on to earn his doctorate of Economics from the University of Florida in 2013. He has spent the past 3.5 years working for Ernst & Young in San Jose, CA and Seattle, WA.
In the summer of 2005, Derek met Michelle when he decided to go home with a college roommate to work and swim in Cincinnati. Derek and Michelle stayed in contact until they were finally able reconnect in Chapel Hill in 2010. They decided to date long distance, which they continued to do until 2012. Derek was finishing up his PhD at UF, so Michelle moved to Gainesville, so she and Derek were able to try dating while living in the same city. Derek and Michelle got engaged in May of 2013 in St. Augustine, as that was the first place they had a date after Michelle moved to Florida. They were married October 10, 2015 in San Jose, CA and in February 2016, they found out they were expecting their first children. They enjoy spending time outside running, hiking, and climbing, as well as hanging out with their two dogs and cat.