| REAL LIFE: Mythy Huynh and Matt Tulpa |

A Recipe for Love

FIRST PRINTED IN THE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022 ISSUE

When it comes to their love story, MyThy Huynh and Matt Tulpa have created a winning recipe: Two parts love, a cup of social media with a dash of food “porn,” along with a mix-in of curiosity and self-improvement. And the best “surprise” ingredient ever: their baby Nash.

Now nearly six years later the recipe continues to be a treat as MyThy and Matt juggle demanding careers and really long hours, exhaustion and showing now 1-year-old Nash the world around him, documented through his own Instagram account @the_house_nash_built, a digital baby book they fill with their adventures and milestones. They are undeniably an adorable family.

MyThy, an emergency room registered nurse, shares her passion for food with a peek into her life on her Instagram account, @MightyintheMitten, taking her 25,500+ followers along as she whips up desserts and meals or discovers something tasty that catches her eye. Matt is the chef at Shelby Detroit where he creates “fun and friendly” food that pairs with the cocktails served up in the former bank vault-turned-restaurant. He says he leans toward thoughtful fine dining with lots of veggies and high-quality meat and  loves cooking over an open fire.

She credits social media with finding Matt in the first place. An avid runner, she runs the Detroit marathon as a birthday gift to herself every year. While searching Instagram hashtags, she scrolled to an intense photo of Matt running, then kept digging into his profile to find it filled with food photos. On one of a fancy scoop of ice cream, she wrote, “that’s one sexy quenelle.” She giggles now still remembering it. 

 It sparked a conversation, though. The passionate food connoisseurs kept crossing paths until one day, Matt says, they just hung out. The friendship quickly turned romantic, he says. 

They discovered they’re both driven by self-improvement, whether it’s learning to make the perfect rice, perfecting pie crust skills or learning how to better apologize. They also share an appetite for exploring the world.

“I think we just realized we have the same curiosity for most things in life,” MyThy says.

Says Matt: “We hold each other accountable, we challenge each other in that way and we really have grown together, we’ve come a long way, as individuals first and that has helped our relationship.” 

Just before COVID hit, they were surprised to discover MyThy was pregnant. Now they can’t imagine life without him. “We’re those parents, after he goes to sleep, we look at our phones and we just stare at pictures of him,” she says.

What have been the biggest parenting surprises for you?

Matt jokes, what hasn’t been a surprise? “All of the cheesy shit you hear is true. All of the, ‘it goes by so fast’ ‘you do everything for your kid,’ all of that stuff before you have kids. … There’s a difference between hearing it and understanding it and feeling it. That was the biggest surprise for me. That feeling, it’s the three of us and now all of our decisions are based off, does this benefit our group, our family?”

He’s also finding cooking for kids, along with parenting, is one of the hardest things he’s ever done. Luckily, Nash is an adventurous eater, but even so, MyThy says it crushes Matt if Nash won’t eat his food.

As for MyThy, she says she expected the late nights and exhaustion, but was surprised how hard it is to coordinate child care. She and Matt often work opposite schedules. She also loves the mom community she has met; there’s so much support out there. She says she wishes, though, dads felt the same support.

FAST TALK

MOST HATED HOUSEHOLD CHORE?

Matt: Hates doing the dishes.

MyThy: Hates cleaning the bathroom and doing the laundry.

One word you use to describe each other:

Matt: Curious.

MyThy: (cheats and uses three) Relentless forward motion.

Your guilty pleasure:

Ice cream. (They eat it every night.)

Favorite thing to make for each other:

Matt: Every morning we make a banana for each other: Cut down the middle and spread with almond butter with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Plus coffee.

MyThy: Comfort food, rice and an egg.

Favorite date night:

Hopping from restaurant to restaurant, hitting four or five in a night, encountering friends and colleagues.

Best advice for other new parents:

Matt: “When parents would give us life advice or philosophical advice, they would always follow it up with, ‘don’t take any advice, take all of this with a grain of salt, you are going to figure it out.’ Yes, get all of the information that you can, get different points of view, take it with a grain of salt and figure out what works you. You’ll figure it out.”

MyThy: “Don’t beat yourself up. It’s OK to figure it out as you go. It’s OK to just intuitively parent.” Don’t be afraid to lean on people. “Give yourself some grace, you are not going to be perfect and your kid doesn’t know.”

Both: Congratulate and High Five yourself every once in a while.

Read More stories from the January/February Issue

The Kids Are Not All Right

Kids these days are faced with school gun violence, staff and supply shortages, COVID, learning loss and more. Find out how they are being affected by it.

Love, a Many-Splendored Thing

Explore different kinds of love and learn why experiencing all forms of love matters to your kids.

Real Life: Mythy Huynh And Matt Tulpa

Meet the local couple behind the popular Instagram account, Mighty in the Mitten, and learn how they navigate parenting.