We are Max, Robyn, Jackson, and Cassandra Chittister. We’re a down-to-earth family of four. Max and Robyn have been married since July 27, 2002. Jackson was born on January 17, 2006. His birthmother chose to make an adoption plan, and we became his parents when he was three days old. Cassie was born on October 25, 2011. Her birthmother also chose to make an adoption plan, and we became her parents when she was five days old.
As parents, there are three basic values we want to impart to our children:
- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. (The Golden Rule)
- Love your neighbors as yourselves.
- Leave everything better than you found it, whether a camp site, a relationship, or the earth in general.
We have two cats, Jinxy and Firefly.
We met at Carnegie Mellon University when Max was a freshman and Robyn was a sophomore. We were both involved with Scotch ‘n’ Soda, CMU’s student-run theatre organization. We became friends, and, on October 16, 1994, we became more than friends. Robyn graduated in 1997 and headed back to California, where she was a tech writer for Netscape, then Hotmail.
While at CMU, Max was one of the founding members of the improvisational troupe, The No Parking Players. We enjoyed our NPP reunions every summer in New Hampshire. Max graduated in 1998 and moved to New Hampshire, where he became a technical writer for Oracle.
Robyn decided that she’d had enough smog and high rent, and moved to New Hampshire to be with Max in October 1998. Robyn worked for E-Travel for awhile, then Oracle bought E-Travel, and she transferred to DocTools. (In an interesting turn of events, not long after her transfer, Oracle spun off E-Travel.)
Max and Robyn were married on July 27, 2002!
In 2003, Robyn was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Due to her medical condition, as well as some other factors, we decided to move back to California. We moved to California in August 2004.
We are often asked if we still do theatre. We have not performed since moving. In 2003, Max played a young Albert Einstein in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, for which he earned an award nomination. Robyn was involved with the Nashua Theatre Guild, and directed the fabulous Talk Radio in spring 2002. She last had two lines (and a scream) as The Other Woman in NTG’s production of Agatha Christie’s The Witness for the Prosecution in April 2004. Further theatrical pursuits will depend on our parenting schedule.
Before We Were Max and Robyn
Max was born and raised in Pittsburgh (Pleasant Hills), PA. He attended Thomas Jefferson High School, and was active in sports, band, and, of course, drama. He went on to CMU, where he majored in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. He has been a technical editor, newspaper columnist, and reporter.
Robyn was born and raised in Pleasant Hill, CA. She attended Christ the King School, then College Park High School. Never much for sports (though Max is constantly teaching her the rules), she was quite active in drama and literary clubs. She chose CMU, mostly because her grandfather Joe Matoney went there when it was Carnegie Tech. She majored in Professional Writing and Performance Studies. She has spent more than 15 years being a technical writer.