S: Nicki and Mike: the adventure continues
BC: Mike and Nicki Living life and loving it
FC: Mike and Nicki | It is not length of life, but depth of life R. W. Emerson
1: THANK YOU! | Dear birth parents, The fact that you are at this point shows that your care about the future of your baby. Whether you are pregnant or your baby is already born, you love your baby and want to ensure that he or she has the best future possible. We cannot imagine how difficult making a decision like this will be for you. We want you to know that we admire your strength in considering all the options for what is best for your child. We also want you to know that if you choose us, we will give your child all the love and care that we have to give. If you decide that we might be the parents you could imagine raising your child, we will be forever grateful for the gift you choose to give to us. We will do our best to let your child know the strength you had and the sacrifice you made. We cannot wait to be the ones to share our love for life with a baby. We look forward to meeting you! Nicki and Mike
2: Let's start with Mike and his family
3: I grew up in Lancaster, PA, Amish country. My Mom grew up in Harrisburg and my Dad in Philadelphia, so they decided to settle in the middle. Looking back I have realized that, with the exception of the normal trials and tribulations of growing up, I had fantastic childhood. My Mom stayed at home with my older sister, Michelle, and I until I went off to first grade. I guess I was a bit of a “Momma’s boy,” because I have a vivid memory of crying my eyes out when my Mom dropped me off at first grade. Being smack in between both my grandparents, I also have great memories of family parties, for birthdays and other events. My parents were always very loving and supportive of me and my sister, and despite the fact that we are pretty different people, they always went out of their way to make sure we each were treated fairly and equitably. While my sister and I are different our relationship has only gotten better with age, and Nicki and I always have fun when we get to see her and her husband, along with her husband’s wonderful, and hilarious, family. We weren’t rich growing up, but my parents were smart with their money and made sure my sister and I always had what we needed. They lived in the same three bedroom ranch house from before I was born until I was 27. They shuttled me around to countless soccer and hockey games and were always on the sidelines or in the crowd no matter what activity was going on. I have also been fortunate enough to have made some amazing friends in my life. I have several close friends who I have known for over 20 years. We call each other brothers from another mother. While all these wonderful people are still back east, we see most of them a few times a year and converse by phone often. It also seems that at every stage of my life I have been lucky enough to make at least one friend that will stick for life and my time in Utah has been no different. sometimes I am stunned that so many amazingly cool people actually want to hang out with me.
4: Now, Nicki and her family
5: I had a childhood full of love, comfort and exploration close to the Chesapeake Bay, in Maryland. I can best describe my family as a family shrub, rather than tree. My parents (Patricia and Tom) married young, had 2 kids (Casey and me, Nicki) and divorced when I was 3. My mother married my step-father, Bruce, when I was 5. From the start, I was taken with Bruce. He worked as a carpenter, and he would often pick me up after my naps (before I started school) and take me to the job site to ‘work’ with him – I had my own nail belt and everything! My Dad married Katy when I was 8; she was very influential in our upbringing – weekends with her were very fun. My Nana and Poppop were also very influential in my life. They just lived a few minutes away, and Casey and I would often spend weekends with them. In the summer, we would spend weeks sailing with them. I remember being lulled to sleep at naptime by the rocking of the sailboat. Casey and I were close playmates as young children. We still have a very close bond; although she is now married to Scott, with a 12-year old boy, Weston. When I was 9, Mom and Bruce had Jeffrey. When I was 11 and 13 Dad and Katy had Anna and Johnny. I adored my younger siblings. As a pre-teen, and later as a teen, I enjoyed helping my parents with ‘the kids’, as we referred to all the younger siblings. For example, on Saturdays, I would get up with Jeff, change him, feed him, and spend the morning watching cartoons with him. As a teenager, it was common for me to watch Anna and John after school –taking them to the playground and the pool, and just having as much fun as possible. When I was in college, my Dad married Kathy. So, my family now lives in bunches throughout the mid-Atlantic US. I’m still really close to all of my family. It is hard to be far away from them, but we use Facebook to keep in touch and call as much as we can.
6: Nicki and I met while I was in graduate school and she was an undergrad in West Virginia University. We became fast friends and one day it just turned into something more. After almost 14 years our relationship is better than I could ever have imagined it could be. I feel like we are true partners that share the load and pick up each other’s slack when the going’s tough. Not only that, but I get to live with and be married to the person I most enjoy spending time with and am in love with. Nicki is still my favorite person to hike with, ski with, travel with, and just hang out on the couch with. We have very little drama in our relationship and are pretty darn good at talking out the little issues that come up when you live with someone for over 12 years! I truly cannot imagine a better partnership than we have and it just seems to get better with every year that goes by. | You're my best friend
7: Mike and I met in college and spent a few months as friends before his buddy threatened to ask me out on a date if Mike wasn't going to. Once we had our first date, we kept dating for 8 years. Then I finally agreed to marry him in August 2004! We were married 5 days later! Our marriage is great; friends frequently comment on how they envy our relationship, but it just seems normal to us. We have fun with each other all the time. Instead of yelling and pestering each other, we tease each other and make fun out of our faults –in a good way, so that we can discuss them without feeling defensive. I hate yelling, and almost never do. I find it disrespectful and unproductive. When Mike and I have a problem with each other, we talk about it. Not that we never get angry at each other, we just try hard to walk away until we have settled down, and then we talk about our issues with respect to each other’s feelings. We enjoy every day with each other, and never go a day without telling each other how much we love each other. My life with Mike has been filled with fun, love, and adventure. I cherish every day I have with him.
8: Nicki has always been a kid magnet. Jansen, our 6-year old next door neighbor has been yelling “Nicki!” from across the yard whenever he sees her since he could talk. Nicki just exudes Mom. She is sweet, patient, loving, caring and kind. | She is also ready to have all kinds of fun with kids. She still colors in coloring books and loves reading children's books. Nicki has always seemed to know how to handle every kid situation. I can not imagine a better mother for our child. | Why we'll be good parents | Mike about Nicki
9: Mike gives 110% of his love, time and energy to the people that he cares for. For him, nothing is more important than being there for family. The people that are loved by Mike, are spoiled by him, and we love him for it | I can't wait for Mike to be a father. He is so loving, patient, and fun with all the kids in our lives. He has such a great way with our friends' children, they all love him. The boys love to be wrestled and chased by him, and the little girls love to flirt. It's so sweet to watch him show the kids how to look for frogs in the ponds, throw a frisbee, or climb a tree. With the little ones, he encourages imagination through coloring and story-telling | Nicki about Mike
10: MORE CUTE KIDS
12: Our friends are our extended family, especially those we've had since high school. Our friends are welcome at our home at any time, and can stay as long as they want (as long as they start doing the dishes after a couple weeks!). Some of our best memories are of when friends have showed up unannounced and created a fun, spontaneous weekend -- or week! We know we can count on our friends to help us when ever we need it and vice versa. | Friends
13: Friends are the family you choose to have
16: Mike works as a fisheries biologist. He monitors stream fish, like cutthroat trout, and implements projects to improve their habitat. He helps manage the health of streams for other animals too, like toads and frogs. | do what you love...
17: Nicki works as a Wildlife Biologist. She gets to do research on animals like grouse, foxes, and prairie dogs. She also gets to work with kids, teaching them about wildlife ecology. | ...love what you do
18: Not all who wander... | Our favorite hobbies are hiking and skiing/snowboarding. But we also love to travel. Here are some pictures of our adventures | are lost....J.R.R. Tolkien
22: Dinky | We have 2 cats that we love dearly, Dinky (12) and OC (3). They are spoiled of course. Dinky is tolerant, even protective of young ones. OC, being younger, is less sure. He just hangs on the fringe and checks out the scene.
23: OC (the other cat)
24: Here are some little friends waiting to meet our new baby!