JUSTIN & MELISSA
Hi! We are Justin and Melissa. Thank you for reading our letter and getting to know a little more about us! We have been married for 12 years, but we have been a couple since junior high school. That’s over 21 years of love! We are proud to say we live in the same small town we grew up in, and even happier to say that we live very close to all our immediate family (Melissa’s parents are our neighbors!). Justin is a diesel mechanic and Melissa teaches Readiness Kindergarten (year one of a two year kindergarten program) at a local elementary school. We have two awesome dogs, Bailey and Clyde. We enjoy going out to dinner together, working in and around our house, watching Colts’ football, cheering for our niece and her volleyball team, spending time with our family, and a nice evening bonfire in our yard. We are so excited to add a little darling to our wonderful family.
THIS IS US
We met in junior high during track season and quickly became friends. Justin was Melissa’s biggest cheerleader, even though she wasn’t the fastest runner! Our first official date wasn’t until Melissa turned 16 (her dad’s rule), but we spent our high school years forming a strong friendship and relationship. Justin asked Melissa to marry him before she started college, and three weeks after her college graduation, we got married! During our 12 years of marriage, our friendship has grown. We have had our ups and downs, including endometriosis and failed fertility treatments, but we feel this has only strengthened our communication, relationship, and love.
MELISSA ON JUSTIN
Justin is an amazing person and husband! I am so thankful every day that we met at such an early age and were able to build a strong, loving relationship that has never wavered. Justin is hardworking, honest, funny, stubborn, and playful. He balances me in so many ways – I am a planner, he is more laidback. I can be a little shy, he can talk to pretty much anyone. I have very little “mechanical” skills, he can put an old Jeep back together and lay flooring in our house. Justin is my protector. He takes care of me when I am sad or sick (I even have a “sick meal” he gets for me when I need it), and I know he will be the same for a child. I have been able to watch Justin with his nieces, our friends’ children, and other children in our family. He is always making them laugh, is quick to play a game or build an awesome Lego creation, and gives a great hug. He is also very nurturing and supportive in his role as track coach for throwing events. I cannot tell you how excited I am to see him become the dad he is meant to be!
JUSTIN ON MELISSA
Melissa is the love of my life. I have no idea where I would be without her. She is hardworking, strong willed, shy, playful, goofy, and can make up a song to almost anything, from exercising and then heading to the shower, to feeding the dogs. After being together for 21 years, she still finds ways to make me laugh. She loves her job, and is very committed to after school activities like Girls on the Run (helping young girls with low self-esteem, which she has done for 21 seasons). Being able to see her with the children in our family has always warmed my heart and made me look forward to parenting a child with her. She is very supportive of my niece, going to volleyball games and track meets. Melissa is also someone both my nieces can just talk to. I also love watching her make pizza and play games with her cousin’s son when he spends the night. Melissa will be such a loving, fun, supportive, encouraging mom!
Fate was on our side when we “found” our home. It was one of those gems hidden in plain sight – right next to Melissa’s parents. We love our location! We are in the country, but still close to town. We feel blessed to own four acres of beautiful land, and Melissa’s parents have 10 more acres next door that we can play on. The outside is our favorite place, and we think it will be perfect for a child…it’s already fenced in and everything! Our house is cozy and inviting. The main area is open, so when we have family over, we are together. When we moved in, we repainted every room, laid new flooring in almost every room (well Justin and Melissa’s dad did), and have added pictures and favorite quotes to make the house our home. We are really enjoying the process of turning one of the guest bedrooms into the nursery! Melissa loves the beach, so we are decorating with a nautical theme that will be great for a son or daughter. We love that our child will go to school with Melissa when he or she reaches school age. The school is small, but offers many great opportunities, and the teachers are awesome!
We love our dogs! We have two wonderful, silly, loving fur-babies, Bailey and Clyde. We rescued Bailey from a local shelter, but really she rescued Melissa, since we had recently lost our first puppy-love Leo (we got him as a puppy a month after we got married and had him for 9 years). Bailey is a 4 year old boxer/beagle mix that loves to give hugs and snuggle. Clyde came to us from a friend who could no longer keep him. He is our guard dog, always watching for squirrels and bunnies playing in the yard. He is a 2 year old boxer who likes to give kisses and play.
OUR EXTENDED FAMILY
Our family is awesome! As we mentioned, Melissa’s parents are our neighbors. Melissa’s sister and her family live 5 minutes away. Her first baby is due in December, and we are thrilled that our child will have a cousin close in age. Both of Melissa’s grandmas, Justin’s mom, dad, stepmom, and his oldest sister and her family live within 15 minutes of us. Justin’s other sister is the farthest away, almost 30 minutes (!), but she teaches and coaches at the local school. We see all of our family very often. We love to go to dinners together, cheer at volleyball games, play games (Apples to Apples is a favorite!), and celebrate birthdays and holidays. Most of our extended family lives in our area too. Many of our aunts, uncles, and cousins are within 20 minutes of us, with the farthest family members only being a little over an hour and a half away. Our families are very supportive of us and are excited to welcome a new little member to our family. Our moms are already buying clothes and other baby supplies!
US AS PARENTS
We have dreamed of being parents since we were dating in high school, and we are so excited our life has guided us to where we are today. As parents, we are going to try our best to be good role models and maintain consistency in our parenting. We want to teach the importance of hard-work, but also make life fun and full of laughter. We want to teach honesty and kindness. We also want our life to always be family-centered and full of love.
We are excited that Melissa will be able to take off work for several months to stay home with our child. Justin also is looking forward to taking off for a couple weeks so we can spend some time together as a little family. When Melissa goes back to work, we are looking into small, in-home daycares. We are hopeful that our child can go to the same sitter as Melissa’s nephew. Melissa’s career as a teacher also allows her to stay home during school breaks and every summer. We are looking forward to sharing our life with a child, adding them to our family traditions, like Christmas Eve together as a family eating lasagna, everyone (and we mean everyone) at our house for Thanksgiving dinner, going to Colts games, and creating new family traditions like family vacations, Jeep rides, and so much more. Our hearts are full of love, and we have so much more love to give. You have been in our thoughts and prayers since we began this journey, and we cannot wait to meet you!
Fun Facts about Melissa
- I LOVE pizza and ice cream. Our local pizza place makes the best chicken bacon ranch pizza.
- This is my 11th year teaching, but my first year with windows to the outside world.
- I love to read. I’ve read every Nicholas Sparks romance, but I also enjoy mystery books.
- I try to exercise at least 5 days a week. I love Beachbody programs like T25, kickboxing type workouts, and yoga.
- I don’t like my food to touch on my plate.
- I randomly make up songs and sing them to Justin, our dogs, and my students.
- I love being outside! I like relaxing on our porch, swimming at my parent’s house, working in my flowers, basically I will find any excuse to be outside.
- I still have my first car. My dad and I worked on it to get it ready to drive, and I just cannot part with it.
- I love the smell of sunscreen.
- I make a lasagna every year for Christmas Eve dinner with my family. My dad used to make it, but I took over shortly after getting married.
Fun Facts about Justin
- I coach the throwing events (shot-put and discus) for my local junior high track team. My sister is the head coach.
- Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are my favorite, and Melissa bakes delicious ones.
- I love Colts football.
- I am a history buff. I like watching history shows and movies and reading history books.
- I am good at fixing things. I am currently working on a Jeep with Melissa’s dad.
- I collect G.I. Joes, and even still have a few from when I was a little boy.
- I also collect coins. I like finding older wheat pennies, old quarters and bicentennial quarters, and anything I think is special.
- I enjoy having ALL of our family over for Thanksgiving. When I first suggested the idea to Melissa in 2015, she was a little stressed, but it went so well, we have been doing it ever since.
- I can sew and have helped Melissa make chair pockets for her classroom several times.
- I met my best friend in 5th grade, and we have remained friends ever since.