Party of five content in their village abode

Camden Markowitz' birth in July not only added a third son to Sara and Andy's active Hinsdale brood, it also tipped the gender scales among the offspring of Sara and her five siblings.

"He broke the boy-girl tie of grandkids for my mom and dad," Sara reported. "We've got four girls and five boys now."

That's unlikely the source of Camden's joy, but his big smile garnered him the mantle of The Hinsdalean's happiest baby for 2023 and a spot on the cover.

He timed his arrival to fit right into the family cluster of midsummer celebrations. Andy and his mom are both July babies, as are Sara's mom and brother.

"We've got a week of birthday celebrations," Sara said.

Camden is baby bro to Nico, 4, and Lucas, 3, whose pre-Christmas energy was brimming on Saturday.

"Two days!" Lucas assuredly declared when asked how long until Santa stops by.

Sara said this has been an especially fun holiday season.

"The Christmas magic, it's at the peak this year. They're into all of the decorations," she said.

Mom and dad are struck by how different Nico and Lucas are despite being so close in age.

"Nico is very sociable, but at home he's relatively quiet," Andy said. "He funny and creative, and he loves to make up stories."

Lucas, by contrast, is decidely more vocal.

"I'm not sure how such a loud child came from me," Sara said. "He's got more personality. He wants to put on a show."

After several rounds of IVF treatment, the couple adopted Nico as newborn. Two months later came news that Sara was pregnant.

"It is funny to think how long you try, how much goes into it, the adoption process, the IVF process," Sara related, "and then you're like, 'Here we are with three and five years ago we didn't have any.' "

Life as they knew it was no more.

"It was a little more quiet," Andy recalled with a grin.

Andy, a Hoffman Estates native, met Sara in her hometown of Terre Haute, Ind., where both were undergrads at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. They spent the first part of their marriage in Chicago before their growing household prompted a migration west in August of last year.

"We wanted something walkable with a cute little downtown," Sara said.

Andy is able to commute to the city via Metra for his job in options trading, and Sara takes the Tri-State up to the northern suburbs for her marketing work.

"Hinsdale's been an awesome location for us," she said.

When they again learned they were pregnant, Sara's maternal instinct obviated the need for an ultrasound gender reveal.

"We waited to find out, but I had a feeling it was a boy all along," she said of Camden.

The pair's original boy was actually their gentle giant dog Ace.

"Ace is really good with the boys," Sara said.

While the city's abundant nightlife had advantages, living on a close-knit block with a number of young families is a different kind of stimulation.

"There are lots of young kiddos that we're excited to watch grow up together," Sara said. "We're loving that kind of suburban neighbor life right now."

- story by Ken Knutson, photo by Jim Slonoff

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean