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Alexis and Kiel DiGennaro and their children Kayleigh, Luke, Gabriella and Adeline felt welcome in their move to Viera.

Alexis and Kiel DiGennaro of Viera celebrated their third wedding anniversary not long ago. A lot has happened since they tied the knot.

The family, which moved from Eau Gallie to Viera 1½ years ago, grew quickly. The couple have four children: Kayleigh, 13, Luke, 3, Gabriella, 19 months, and Adeline, six weeks. And, with young children, it seemed like the right time to host Christmas for the extended family this year in Viera rather than traveling to other relatives’ homes for the holidays.

“Typically, we go to Jacksonville for Christmas to see my grandma,” explained Alexis. “But everyone wants to make it easier for us.”

“My grandma, my parents and youngest brother from Tennessee, and my brother from Connecticut, my uncle on Merritt Island,” Alexis DiGennaro said, “the whole family will be here.”

Alexis DiGennaro has been a special needs teacher for nearly a decade, both in Tennessee and Florida. She moved from Tennessee to Jacksonville to take care of her grandmother. Once her health improved, Alexis DiGennaro moved to Merritt Island to be near her uncle.

She worked at a beachside restaurant where she met Kiel Digennaro. “I used to be her boss,” said Kiel DiGennaro, who was a shift manager at the time. He is now a logistics specialist at Kennedy Space Center and is working on the Artemis program.

Six months after she quit her job at the restaurant, the couple started talking, then dating, then they married.

After the birth of their third child, Alexis DiGennaro made the difficult decision to stop teaching special needs children, her lifetime passion, to stay home for the sake of the family, she said.

She stays connected with a strong community of moms through Burn Boot Camp.

Kiel DiGennaro works long hours, according to Alexis, but when he gets home, he helps her with the family.

“My work doesn’t take away from the family,” Kiel DiGennaro said. “My wife and kids are my priority. I do bedtime with the kids every night.”

The couple are happy they decided to move to Viera, which they said was so different from where they lived before.

“Viera was like a foreign language,” Alexis DiGennaro said.

“Neighbors are friends with each other and cars go slower. They understand that kids are around.”

“Moving to Viera was like a breath of fresh air,” Kiel DiGennaro said. “The families were so welcoming. They brought us cookies and meals and introduced themselves.”