by Kelley Gusich | photos by Soul of Photography and Lauren Natalie Photography

Blooming Creativity

When discussing Michelle and Bryan Zeigler, it’s not necessary to talk about each seperately – it’s ‘them’ all the way. Michelle and Bryan both went to Mission Estancia, Diegueno, and Santa Fe Christian High School, and even set off together for Biola University. They were engaged as high school seniors and married the summer following their freshman college year. “We lived in married housing at Biola University and loved it,” Michelle explained. Bryan went on to USD Law School, and they returned to Encinitas to start a family.

Parents: Bryan and Michelle Ziegler
Children: Jacob (9, 3rd grade at Flora Vista Elementary), Samuel (6, 1st grade at FV Elementary), Elijah (5, Santa Fe Christian Preschool), Silas (3)
Community: Village Park Community since 2004
Parents’ Hometowns: Bryan – La Costa, Michelle – Encinitas
Parents’ Occupations: Bryan – prosecutor for the County of San Diego, but is currently on disability due to a back injury, Michelle – stay-at-home mom and works part-time for Clara’s Creations and as an event planner
Pets: No pets right now unless you count the baby lizards and other critters our boys often find outside and care for. We just had to put down our house cat after 16 years with our family.
Favorite Places to Visit in Encinitas: Our favorite place to go in Encinitas is Moonlight State Beach to let the boys play in the ocean. We also enjoy walking along Swami’s and spend a lot of time at local parks and playgrounds.

family_zeigler1Michelle taught kindergarten for seven years, but as the family grew to four boys she had the opportunity to stay home with them. Bryan worked as a prosecutor until severe back and hip injuries took him out of the game. He’s been a Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy for the past 13 years, where his commendations included Reserve Deputy of the Year Award and a legislative award for his work on the Cedar/Paradise wildfires. As the boys have grown, they’ve enjoyed artistic and messy endeavors of all kinds, from paint, Play-Doh, and sidewalk chalk to recreating Pokémon characters. Michelle could see the need for the arts to be addressed.

“It is fun for me to watch the creativity bloom as each boy grows.”

family_zeigler3Clara’s Creations was named after Bryan’s mother, who was very artistic and would volunteer in Michelle’s kindergarten class doing art with students. Clara also inspired Bryan. “She always spurred him onto going to law school and fighting for justice.” Her desire was for Bryan to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, Theodore Roosevelt McKeldin, former Baltimore Mayor and Maryland Governor. “Eisenhower’s first choice for Vice President until Nixon came along and stole the show,” Michelle smiled. Clara’s Creations is a home-based art studio offering workshops and classes for kids. “I wanted to honor her legacy by naming my art business after her,” Michelle confided, “as she has been a big part in mine and my husband’s life.” The goal is to provide more art exposure to all children, and Michelle would like to raise the funds to open a kid’s art studio in Encinitas.

Michelle and Bryan know it’s difficult with four children for each one to feel special, so they make sure to alternate time for one-on-one interactions in addition to their favorite once a week family movie night. The art aspect is crucial. “It is fun for me to watch the creativity bloom as each boy grows,” mused Michelle.