Modern Family

It’s 2010, but when some in this country describe the American family they sound as if they’re living in the 1950s. It’s all short-sleeve button-down shirts and aprons, ambrosia salad and lime rickeys, a membership to the local country club, and a two-car garage. These people would recoil behind their picket fences if they saw the tattooed Lozas pushing their stroller down the street. Because, sure, Kyle and Casey have a dirt bike or two in the garage, but they’re also two successful business-minded, devoted, churchgoing parents who are committed to the values of love and compassion. Meet the modern family.

Maybe you’ve seen them before, either when Kyle was besting his competitors three years in a row at the X Games or when Casey was on The Hills alongside her sister Audrina for a handful of episodes. Yes, those Hills, where drama resides, where Heidi Montag, Lauren Conrad, and Spencer Pratt’s charmed but complicated lives of bickering and partying enthralled.

Pulling up to the Lozas’ house in Los Angeles’s South Bay, it appears that there has been a crazy party, what with boxes strewn around the garage and a pickup truck in the driveway that’s been tagged with the phrase “Break Your Face.” Turns out, as the slight, cereal-munching, black-clad Kyle explains while opening the door, they moved in only five days earlier, and because Casey has a bulging disc and a torn nerve in her back, unpacking is occurring at a snail’s pace. While some women would be happy not to lift a finger, it drives Casey mad. “They gave me an epidural last week and it didn’t work at all,” she says. “So they’re like, ‘Take some drugs. Relax.’ I’m like, ‘I have two kids and a new house. I can’t relax!’”
On top of taking care of two children under age 3 (Sam Draven was born in April, and Sadie Raine is 2), Casey and Kyle are constantly working on new projects, whether that means launching a cosmetic line or designing prototypes for Etnies. And there are no assistants or nannies to be found. The pair would rather do it themselves, even if it means asking Sadie to stop pretending to chew on the chair that Kyle is sitting in. She’s clearly bored, and, as Casey explains, she had a lot of strawberry syrup at IHOP.

“Kyle and I are basically little kids raising little kids, but we have found a balance of creative freedom and moral grounds,” says Casey. “My mom dressed Drina and I like dorks. We had brown leather matching Mickey Mouse backpacks. She’d push things on us like high-waters. She would never let us be our own person. I want Sadie to be herself.” A typical Loza family outing is a trip to the zoo so Sadie can learn about animals or whatever catches her interest, and their approach to parenting is allowing their kids to flex their creativity and their minds.

It’s not far off from the kind of experience Kyle had. “My entire childhood was skateboarding and building things and making tree houses and stuff.” To hear him tell it, he was a mild-mannered kid who didn’t freak his parents out except when he broke a bone … or 27. So at 15, when he asked if he could get a tattoo—a richly colored piece featuring a cross, a rose, and the words “For God” that would take up most of his left biceps—they said okay. “They were like, ‘It’s a cool thing to live your life by, so do it.’” But the experience of getting inked was a little sketchier than anyone expected. “It was gnarly. My dad went with me to this little apartment in Huntington Beach and there were, like, seven dudes in it and they were doing some crazy drugs, like crack or something.” He got tattooed and they hightailed it out of there.

Casey’s early tattoos weren’t inspirational or accepted. “I got pretty much all of my tattoos from when I was 17 to 20. My parents weren’t okay with it at all, and I have a couple that are a little dark.” Her first? The Latin phrase veritas odium parit, which means “truth begets hatred.” Casey explains: “I went through a hard time when I was 17, with my family and my sister. It was almost like I would rather live the lies and believe that everything was going to be fine than know the truth and have to live with it.” Not long after, she went to Tim Sauter and had him tattoo a traditional-style woman on her right biceps with an arrow through her head and the words “Fuck Love” beneath it. “At the time, that’s how I felt. I was never getting married. I just didn’t believe it at all. My grandma was the one who changed my mind. She said, ‘You don’t love me?’ And it broke my heart. So I was beach-cruising one day and stopped in a random tattoo shop and had this girl who had done, like, two tattoos put black hearts over the bad word, so now it just says ‘Love.’”

Ultimately, she ended up finding love—although the way she found it wasn’t so simple. “When I first met Kyle I thought he was awesome,” she recounts. “He was Christian and he had tattoos and this amazing style.” But at the time, Casey was engaged. Since she couldn’t be with Kyle, she decided to set him up with Audrina. “They went on two blind dates—”

Kyle, who has just walked back into the room after dressing four-month-old Draven in a purple sweater and zebra pants, interrupts: “Two blind dates? They were blind both times?”
Casey laughs and continues, “Well, the second one you could call a blind date. There was lots of tequila involved on my sister’s part. She was like, ‘He’s more of a friend.’ She had a couple other guys that she was dating and I told her, ‘You can’t hurt him. He’s such a good person. I would feel responsible if you broke this guy’s heart.’ But she likes to keep her options open. So they stopped hanging out.” Eventually, Casey left her fiancé and moved back in with her parents. One night she threw a pool party and invited Kyle—this time to hang out with her. “From that night on, we were inseparable,” she beams. “A year after that, he proposed.” With a ring he designed, no less. The two were married late one night in March 2009 at the deep end of his parents’ drained pool with just their immediate family and closest friends present.

It may seem that two 24-year-olds in The Hills’ orbit would be more prone to living fast and single in young Hollywood, but the more Casey talks—about riding a motorcycle with her dad in the desert, reading Nietzsche, getting a giant tattoo of a T. rex head on her side because she loves dinosaurs, and falling in love with the house they just moved into because it has secret passageways—it’s clear she wouldn’t really have fit in at Le Deux. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t want to try. When Audrina got involved with the show, Casey was on a completely different path, following in her father’s footsteps, working on gears in his machine shop and studying to be an engineer. “Audrina was in the office, answering phones and filing papers, and I was wearing work boots and getting greasy learning to weld,” she says. “I would have loved to move to L.A. with her. It’s an easy job. Get drunk in a club and get paid a hundred thousand dollars? But she was like, ‘This is my thing. This is my work.’” Casey continues, “I’m not really invited to things. She brings her assistant or her manager with her. There are a few times where I’ve gone with her and it’s fun … but it’s kind of weird.”
It’s unlikely Casey would have enjoyed being part of a reality show for long, especially as she says she’s most passionate about “taking a raw piece of material and transforming it into something useful and beautiful.” In fact, it was Kyle who kick-started her interest in design. “I didn’t get into fashion or anything until I married Kyle. He loves costumes and gets really excited when I play dress-up.”

Their shared love of creation is something that draws them together—they have spawned a band, Piranha Fever, and Kyle has gone so far as to design a dress for Casey for a Christmas party. “I made her a dress the night before the party,” he boasts, grinning.

Casey smiles at him and explains further. “I was pregnant and I couldn’t find anything cute to wear, so I gave him the idea. I wanted a one-shoulder, long-sleeved black dress that was short and kind of flowy, and really cute. He stayed up until three in the morning. It fit me perfectly.”

For most of the last year, Kyle couldn’t compete in freestyle motocross because he was healing from three wrist surgeries to shorten a bone in his wrist that had been broken four times and healed incorrectly. So he spent his time working on other projects, including tattooing. He tattooed Casey with a good unicorn to match his evil one, and Casey helped him tattoo his own arms with designs like the pan-playing kid and goat on his left forearm.

Kyle’s also working on designing the next season of products for his line with Etnies. “I don’t trust people to create my image. I don’t want it to be some suit making something look ‘tough guy,’” he says. “There’s a pair of shoes coming out that are super rad. They have a bunch of secrets hidden in them that say stuff like ‘Kill Kyle.’” He also explains the odd graffiti on the truck in his driveway. “It’s just a way I like to get pumped for competition. I always have ‘Break your legs’ or ‘Break your face’ on my riding gear. A lot of the other riders get sketched out because they think I’m jinxing myself. But you can’t let that superstition get in the way, because ultimately God is in control.”

Kyle, a member of the group Riders 4 Christ, has to believe God is watching over him when he pulls some of the tricks he does. He practices behind their church and is currently working on a trick called a Bike Flip in which the bike flips backward and he remains still. It’s something we’ll probably see in next year’s X Games, since he had to sit this one out. “I practiced for the month leading up to it, and I could have ridden but my wrist was hurting super bad. The morning of X Games I over-jumped the foam pit, and when I landed in three feet of foam my suspension rebounded so hard I did a front flip off the bike. I hurt both my wrists doing that. It sucked.”

The injuries have kept him out of the air, grounded—and home a little more with Casey and their family. Is that really such a bad break?

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