[heading] by LINDA FRABL | photos by Soul of Photography [/heading]

As parents, shouldn’t we strive for perfection when it comes to our brood? Devin, the patriarch of the Hughes family (consisting of wife, Suzanne, and four daughters, Bailey and Skylar, both age 13, Harper, age 10, and Finlay, age 8), wisely countered by stating, “Our family motto is: Life is about progress, not perfection! We have our share of sibling drama, teasing, and sister squabbles, but when it is all said and done, we always come together as one.”

These parents are more than competent at being effective educators for their children. Suzanne holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Virginia Commonwealth University, and currently works as a teaching assistant at Pacific Rim Elementary School. Devin is a professional motivational speaker, and the author of a memoir, “Contrast: A Biracial Man’s Journey to Desegregate His Past,” about growing up with biracial parents. Plus, he authored a comic book for kids, “Self Talk,” to 5-t.fhelp them deal with bullies. Devin explained, “The comic is to be used by parents and educators with kids who are being bullied, feel alone, and/or disconnected from others.”

The Hughes daughters certainly aren’t disconnected from others, thanks to their involvement in sports. Suzanne exclaimed, “Our kids are active, and play soccer, basketball, and lacrosse.” It’s no surprise that the Hughes girls are athletic, as both Devin and Suzanne met while playing basketball as undergraduates at New York’s Colgate University. In fact, Devin achieved a full basketball scholarship, and Suzanne was the all-time leading scorer for women’s basketball in college.

The family relocated from Connecticut to Carlsbad’s Bay Collection neighborhood almost six years ago, and Suzanne said she appreciates the “climate, schools, sense of community, great friends … and proximity to the beach!” One of the Hughes’ favorite family rituals is to go out to breakfast every Sunday, frequently at A Little Moore Coffee Shop.

“Our family motto is: Life is about progress, not perfection!”
– Devin Hughes

That particular coffee shop holds special meaning for Devin, as he had a dad reality-check moment there. He recalled, “I always considered myself to be a renaissance dad until my wife was out of town one weekend. At the time, Finlay was unable to do her own ponytail, so while we were there for breakfast, I asked one of the waitresses if she would be so kind as to do a ponytail for her. The girls still tease me about that to this day!”

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Parents:  Devin Hughes (43) and Suzanne Hughes (43)
Community:  Bay Collection
Year moved to Community:  2007
Parents Hometown:  West Haven, CT (Suzanne); Washington DC (Devin)
Parents Occupation:  Teacher (Suzanne) & Speaker and Author (Devin)
Children:Bailey (daughter-13 yrs. old [8th grade]/Aviara Oaks Middle School)
Skylar (daughter-13 yrs. old [8th grade]/Aviara Oaks Middle School)
Harper (daughter-10 yrs. old [5th grade]/Pacific Rim Elementary)
Finlay (daughter-8 yrs. old [3rd grade]/Pacific Rim Elementary)
Pets:  Wiley (Terrier mix)
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