A messy kitchen, and seven sons.
For an Omaha couple, there’s a connection between the two.
Brian Murphy was a senior at the University of Northern Iowa in 1993, and Stacey Frazier was a sophomore.
He lived with a couple guys in an apartment near campus, and Stacey lived with a few girlfriends in an apartment next door.
Brian and his roommates rotated kitchen cleanup duty. One time when his turn rolled around, the kitchen was out of control. Dishes with crusted food filled the sink. Dirt and dust covered the floor. The waste basket overflowed.
Brian had an idea.
Why not ask the girls in the apartment next door if one of them would help? Plus, Brian thought it might give him a chance to talk a little more with Stacey. He had chatted with her a few times in the hallway and thought Stacey, who had long blonde hair, was pretty and smart.
Brian knocked on the door and offered $10 if one of the girls would help.
Stacey volunteered. As a broke college student, she could use $10, and Brian seemed like a good guy.
Stacey helped clean the kitchen, and joked that the messy job was worth more than 10 bucks. Brian wasn’t much help with the cleaning, but he and Stacey flirted and talked, and found out they were both the middle of five children.
They also were both Iowa natives. Brian grew up in Waterloo and Stacey in Logan, 40 miles northeast of Omaha.
Brian and Stacey soon started dating.
The walls were thin between their two apartments, and one night Stacey heard Brian’s roommate teasing him about whether Stacey was his girlfriend yet. Stacey pressed her ear to the wall, trying to hear Brian’s answer but couldn’t. She laid in bed that night wondering.
They did become boyfriend and girlfriend, and loved going out dancing, taking walks and listening to music. Brian was a big Grateful Dead fan.
They also discovered they were a good balance for each other. Stacey was serious about her school work, worrying about every assignment and grade. Brian was more easygoing.
After her sophomore year, Stacey transferred to Creighton University. Brian graduated from UNI and wanted to be near Stacy, so he took a teaching job in Schuyler, Neb.
On July 4, 1996, they married at a church in Blair, Neb., and Stacey’s brothers launched a fireworks display during the reception that people still talk about.
The couple eventually moved to Omaha, where Stacey became an occupational therapist and Brian works in commercial sales.
Now, back to those sons.
The couple ended up having seven children, all boys: Mark, 13; Adam, 11; Jack, 9; Sean, 8; Ryan, 6; Luke, 4; and Gabe, 2.
Stacey and Brian shuttle the family around in a 12-passenger van, the size sometimes used for school kids.
When the seven boys pile out of the van, Mom and Dad occasionally get asked whether they’re taking students on a field trip.
With seven sons, the kitchen at home can get a bit messy.
The boys pitch in, but sometimes Brian and Stacey just clean it together.
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