You just have to figure out the flow of your family,” Gregg Hart says. “And I think you don’t know what you really need until you’ve lived in a few houses.”
Gregg and wife Jennifer, who reside in Tiburon Ridge near 180th Street and Highway 370, configured their house to fit what could be called a crazy-active lifestyle.
The flow of their family life revolves around the kitchen and living area, which are wide open to one another. Since their three kids always seem to be eating, they built the cupboards around a double-door fridge. Their walk-in pantry is well-stocked and hides small appliances like the toaster
In the middle of the kitchen is a bar-height island with a blindingly white granite countertop. “We liked a bar in the kitchen because we stand a lot when we eat, since we’re always on the move,” Gregg says.
Connecting the kitchen to the garage is a hallway with lockers, giving everybody a place to drop their gear on their way inside the house and to grab it quickly on the way out.
On another side, the kitchen/dining area has big double doors they ordered by special request leading to the hole that’s being carved into the ground for a pool. “I wanted to be able to walk right out from the kitchen to our backyard oasis,” Jen explains. “No stairs.”
The pool isn’t the only work in progress outside. Houses are popping up all over. The Harts were about the third house in the neighborhood in November of 2014 when they moved in, and they’ve been delighted by how many kids now live nearby, whom their three can spend time with.
The kids’ rooms are upstairs. Sons Hudson, 12, and Harrison, 10, share a connected closet and a Jack-and-Jill bathroom between their rooms. Daughter Hayden, 9, has a bathroom to herself.
There’s also a den upstairs, which serves as a toy and game room for the kids. Jen says, “When they have a sleepover with friends, they can camp out in here, and you don’t even hear them.”
Heading back down the stairs is an industrial-looking banister built custom, in a single piece, by Bender Ornamental—a finishing touch before closing.
“You can’t close on a house until you have a railing up,” Gregg says. “The day we were supposed to close, they were over here putting this up. A lady had to come over here and watch them finish the install before we could close.”
The banister is one example of how, as Gregg says, “Jen likes to do things different—nothing standard.”
For décor, they like simple, clean looks: dark gray with white contrast.
Jen and Gregg’s bedroom is on the first floor, along with an office large enough for both of them to work at a T-shaped desk. They both work in pharmaceutical sales, so their home office is a nice landing pad for them between trips.
Specifically, they now both work in oncology pharmaceutical sales. Gregg moved into oncology after seeing Jen so passionate about her work.
“Oncology is so different,” Jen explains. “It’s really motivating to do what you do because you feel like you’re really helping someone.”
“Our products are allowing patients to live longer,” Gregg says. “To maybe see a life event—see a child born, somebody get married, or a graduation. And that’s important.”
In addition to busy sales jobs, Jen co-directed the Mrs. Nebraska Pageant for six years, retiring after the last season. In 2009, she was crowned Mrs. Nebraska after never considering herself a pageant person.
“I never did that growing up. I was a total tomboy,” she says.
A few of her friends (including Jen’s would-be co-director Jennifer Bradley) encouraged her to participate. Eventually, she agreed, craving the discipline to get fully back into shape after having three children—and having an end date of standing on stage in a swimsuit helped.
As co-director, Jen got to experience the challenge of recruiting women like her, people who had never considered a pageant, who grew confident as they participated. She says, “It was such a great experience and so rewarding.”
The competitive nature of the pageant made sense to Jen, a former college athlete.
Jen and Gregg met on the Indiana University track team. She threw shot put, discus, hammer throw, and weight. Gregg also threw the discus and shot put, winning three Big 10 Championship titles. He went on to compete in post-collegiate discus competitions, including competing at four Olympic trials.
It’s not surprising then that their children are extremely active. The two boys are in the midst of select baseball season, with football, basketball, and volleyball on the way.
As if they’re not busy enough, Jen coaches Harrison’s basketball team and Gregg is one of Hudson’s baseball coaches.
All these activities keep the Harts on the move and grateful for friends and family who help.
Fittingly, Gregg explains how they make it all work: “It’s teamwork.” OmahaHome