How did you two meet? Was it love at first sight?
– It was for me! Like I said before, she was intoxicating when I first met her. I had to distance myself from her – we were both in relationships when we first met. We didn’t talk to each other for almost a year after meeting, maybe even a little longer. When we both had separated from our previous relationships, I begged a friend of Amanda’s who worked for me for her number, with no success…So, I did what any guy would do…I stole it from her phone! (Yes yes, I know, a little creepy), but I’m ok with that. I sent Amanda a text telling her I stole it from her friends phone, and she didn’t seem to mind much! We spent a few weeks texting, then shared a phone call while I was in NY for work and she was in Miami for swim week. I’ll never forget that phone call. We both were traveling a lot, but I was persistent and knew we had something special, so I chased her around the world, literally. She was in Paris, I needed to go to Tokyo, so I said, “I’ll fly AROUND the world to Tokyo if you can give me 2 days in Paris while you’re there”. I think she thought I was joking, but I wasn’t. We met up in Paris, I got robbed, and then went with her to a shoot in a French castle with Ellen von Unwerth. Quite the interesting first few months, but it prepared us for the whirlwind of life we have together now.
– He said it exactly how I remembered it too! Expect he left out the part that before Paris, he met me in Pennsylvania for my Grandfathers funeral (the one that was my anchor during my childhood). When we got there, there was a flood. My brother was getting married a few days later, and we wouldn’t have been able to get there if the water didn’t recede. We looked after his two babies the night before his wedding, and he came home about an hour before the ceremony with a black eye. So, there was a funeral, a flood, and a wedding in one week. I figured if he was cool to stick around after all that, we would be good to go!
What is your favorite things to do together?
– Surf! it is probably the number one thing we do together when we have time. The smile she has after catching a wave is one I strive to give her daily! Other than that, I enjoy reading her lines with her. She constantly has auditions for TV and movie roles and love helping her however I can. I like pretending that I’m in the movie with her sometimes. we also grew up listening to the same music, so we try to go shows whenever we can. We’ve struck out twice seeing bands we loved as kids that have since realized like 3 new albums, and all we want to here are the first two. We saw Cursive play and only knew 2 songs the entire night. We were the two people over 20 in the crowd shouting “Play something off The Ugly Organ!”. Now that micah is older, we’re getting back to camping and exploring the outdoors. we lived in a van for three months about a year after we started dating, so we like that sort of close intimate living. Micah didn’t have the best times early on when we would try camping, so we put it old, but he’s warming up to it now. Lastly, I LOVE taking her photo. she might not think, but i love watching her through the lens.
On a perfect date night, what do you do?
– I’m super simple! I love dinner and a movie. I even settle for just a movie! Watching something in theaters is my absolutely favorite thing to do!
What do you appreciate the most about each other?
– My favorite thing about Mike is his attitude. He just gets stuff done! He never harps on things. He’s really good at solutions. If something can be fixed, or bothers you, or needs to get done he just finds a way. That really translates well with having a kiddo with special needs. He doesn’t settle for anything less that great. So, with Micah, if he needs more of something he finds a way to get it. If he needs to be pushed harder, he pushes. If we need to stick up for his rights, he’s the first in line.
When are you at your happiest?
– I’m at my happiest when we are all together, without an agenda. When we can take the moments to enjoy each other, and allow the world to buzz on by.
What do you fear?
– At this stage, I fear my own death the most. I worry about who would take care of Micah in that event. We aren’t at a place yet where we can really know how independent he will be, so the thought of him feeling lost ever, is at the top of that worry list.
How do you turn a tough day around?
– I throw Micah in the air, because that gets the biggest laughs out of him. His smile would end wars, I swear it would. And wine. Definitely wine.
Favorite place in the world?
– Anywhere that’s by a body of water. I am a water baby through and through. My birthday is in July. My first job I was a lifeguard. I swam competitively for ten years. I surf. I also think it’s safe to say I’ve passed my appreciation and love for the water on to Micah. He would sit in the water with his watering can for hours if you let him…
Best places in California?
– That depends on what you’re looking for! We love the beach, but aren’t really the biggest fans of crowds. We try to go a little more north towards county line area to enjoy the surf and sun. Micah absolutely loves the water. We really like being outdoors, so hiking in the mountains around us when can is always welcome. Right now, there are so many great cafes and shops opening up all around us that everyday it seems like theres a new place to try.
What is your life philosophy?
– Man, that’s tough. The golden rule never seems to do too much harm, and always feels right. The whole “do onto others” point of view has a way of humbling you if you feel your actions creeping to the selfish side. With how crazy the world seems to be getting day by day, I think we feel like just treating everyone like humans might be the best thing to do at the moment.
What do you dream of?
– I dream that humans can start taking responsibility for themselves, and learn to grow a pair! We’re all so damn sensitive these days. I just wish people fought for others who cannot fight for themselves, and worked to be the best self they could be. That we can get out of each others business, and just get back to the basic stuff. I also wish that the medical community would catch up to what living with Down Syndrome is like right now. So that other families can have the strength to experience the life I believe was meant for them! I also wouldn’t mind booking a movie finally. That would be great!
Your defining moments in life?
– Amanda will think I’m bullshitting, but it had to be the first day I met her. She was intoxicating. We didn’t share many words, and actually didn’t start dating for over a year or so after, but that first moment was intense. After we got married, and had Micah, i realized the immense influence to do better she had on me. I’ve always worked hard, tried to be true, and been thoughtful in my interactions with others, but she had a way of elevating that. She always is caring for others, wanting to help, and holding this family together. Meeting her made my outlook on how to be human change in a better way i never thought imaginable.
Where do you find yourself in five years?
– 5 years seems like forever and lifetime from now. I’d hope we are somewhere with Micah thriving, doing the best that he can. We talk about moving further north, somewhere a little slower, to hopefully always work towards a better work life balance. We’re both have been so career orientated the past decade-plus that we’re hoping to put ourselves in a position where we can continue to work hard, but be together more as a family. So, hopefully 5 years from now we’re somewhere in Oregon and being the best family we can be!