Book Released Today!

book cover

I am so excited. After four and a half years, my memoir is being released today! This is the story that has given me the strength, passion, and ambition to become all that I am today, including an ultrarunner. The book is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook check it out here.

Here is an overview of the book

Nikki’s story is terrifying and heart wrenching, but most of all it’s full of hope.  Readers will move between Nikki’s life on the streets and her life in the courtroom representing the state in a trial to terminate the parental rights of a mother stuck in a cyclone of drug use, violence, and life on the street so similar to her own.


Nikki’s trials began at the age of thirteen when she decided drinking alcohol, sloughing school and having sex were her new path in life. She attempted suicide and began running away from home soon after. By fourteen, she had created a new identity within an alternate reality full of vampires, werewolves, elves and magic. She joined a vampire coven running the streets in the heart of Salt Lake City, Utah.


She was raped shortly after her fourteenth birthday by a rival coven member and in order to gain a sense of security and protection Nikki began a relationship with a man who was ten years her senior. He became controlling, intimidating and violent.


She latched on to hippy boy who freed her from the violent relationship by stealing a car and fleeing to California. They hitchhiked up the western coast selling drugs, using acid, and following the Grateful Dead. Sometime after her 15th birthday, she returned to Utah only to run again within two weeks taking her older brother along. She continued using, selling, and believing she was destined to change the world in some remarkable way.


Shortly after her seventeenth birthday, she realized she was pregnant. The tiny fingers and blue eyes of her son brought her back to reality and propelled her on the journey to becoming an assistant attorney general for the state of Utah, author, and ultrarunner.

Anti-Bullying 5k

anti bullying

Many 5ks are to raise money for charity, which is why I broke down and ran a 5k this last Saturday. I tell many of my friends who want me to run 5ks, “It takes me longer to get dressed than it does to run the 5k!” which is mostly true in the winter. The cause for this 5k? Anti-bullying.  The only way I do run a 5k is if I can hit the starting line at or near the end of my long run and the cause is something I can really get behind.

Bullying is a huge problem in our schools and any gathering spot for kids and teens. Social media has only made the problem worse because kids can’t get away from those that torment them. At its most extreme, it ends in the death of a child, either through murder or suicide. Unfortunately, many adults think that kids should just suck it up and deal with it because of a belief that, “We all get bullied at some point.”

The children who are bullied are the ones who are the least able to deal with the emotional harm bullying causes. Many of the children are different, disabled, powerless, alone, and unpopular. There is no one to stand up for them. Most believe that adults won’t do anything about it or they won’t believe them.

The truth is, the solution really won’t and can’t come from adults because there isn’t much adults can do when they don’t hear it or see it. They are just taking one child’s word against another. The ones who have the power to make a difference are peers. It’s the popular kids, student officers, and school sports teams who have the authority and power to change what happens in the halls and on the internet.

As adults, I think that we can support the students who do stand up for others. As parents, we can teach our children tolerance for those who are different and to stand up for the voice less.

I have had my children on both ends of the bullying issue, being bullied and bullying. I felt powerless when one of my children was being bullied to the point that he would tell me he was sick and miss school. He didn’t want to give names of the children who were mean to him because he was afraid it would get worse. We actually moved out of the school boundaries and I enrolled him in a charter school, which solved the problem for him.

It is heartbreaking to send your child to school when you know they will not be accepted, will be called names, and will hurt by the end of the day.

When I found out that my other son was bullying another student, I was furious and hurt that he would treat another person that way. I took his privileges away at home and told the school to take whatever action they felt they needed to in order to protect the other child.

Bullying happens for many different reasons, but no one students, teachers, or parents should stand by and not do everything they can about it.


Walking Away from Hope


Parenting is hard. There is no instruction manual. What works for one child, does not work for another. Everyone, including strangers on the street, wants to tell you what you are doing wrong. Excellent parents have kids who are out of control due to a variety of reasons: mental health, physical disabilities and disorders, drug abuse, gangs, and other criminal activity.

There is nothing more heart wrenching and infuriating than a parent who throws up their hands and turns their back on their child. In parenting, failure is not an option. Your child did not ask to be born. Your child did not choose you as a parent. You, the parent, chose the child. From the day you took that baby home from the hospital, you chose.

Until that child is eighteen years old they are your responsibility to house, feed, educate, and love. No matter how hard the going gets, it’s your job to always say yes to them being your child and to never lose hope that it will change and that things will get better in the future.

Hope begins and ends with the parent.

In my day job, I watch parents (biological and adoptive) walk away from their children. Place the child in the custody of the State and wash their hands of the child. It’s not every day, but even one is too much in my book. I’ve heard every reason: “We’ve tried everything,”  “They are ruining our marriage,” “the other children are afraid of them,” “They are destroying our home,” “They are stealing from us,” and “They are physically assaultive.”

teens 2

I know sometimes kids have to be taken out of a home and go to treatment programs, but their always your child. As a parent, your efforts to visit, love, and care for your child should never cease.  The child’s issues may prevent the child from living in your home, but it doesn’t end your responsibility as a mother or a father.

Kids are hard. I understand. I really do.  I know, you’ve tried everything, every type of therapy, every medication, every consequence, every parenting class, every assessment, and every treatment program known to man.

Well, try them again.

Never walk away from hope.



Men in black and grey suits stood on the street corner across from the stone white courthouse checking their phones and watches. Rays of sunlight streaming over the peaks of the mountains ricocheted off the curved glass windows. The walk light blinked on. The dong of the clock tower sounded 8:45 am. I stepped off the curb tugging my rolling briefcase behind me.  It rumbled across the red brick crosswalk. My hand tightens around the handle as I step over the train rails and pull my briefcase across.

A few steps from the curb, a boy and girl hand in hand rounded the corner. A smile tickled the corner of my mouth and erupted in my eyes. So young. So innocent. To me, they are perfect and out of place.  They weren’t be more than fourteen years old.

His brown hair was short with a rounded neckline.  He wore a light blue button down short sleeve shirt with flecks of sea green, untucked from his khaki shorts that hung below his knees.  My smile widened to impossible depths when I noticed he was wearing almond dress shoes with black laces, no socks.

She wore a white short-sleeved dress decorated with crimson poppies that hung just below her knees.  Her brown hair swept past her shoulders and fluttered at her elbows. She had rouge on her cheeks and light blue eye shadow, makeup that was wrapped in pink princess wrapping paper for her birthday.

Despite it being late summer, both are pale skinned without any tan lines. Not sickly pale, but pale as innocence, one who has not been burned by the world passing around them.  Christmas morning fills their expressions as they glance around and at one another.

It’s a full court calendar this morning, a parade of what goes wrong in children’s lives drugs, violence, poverty, and worse. I watch the two cross the road away from white stone of the courthouse.  Locking their image away safe in my mind, I drag my case files up the ramp to the revolving door. I lift my briefcase up on the conveyer belt to go through security.

People in front of me set off the security sensors, but I don’t. I’ve been through it too many times. Nodding to the police officers, I set my briefcase on the floor and pull out the handle to its full length. It clicks out a familiar rhythm as I cross the marble tiled floor to the stairs.

I lean to the left to offset the weight of the briefcase as I climb the stairs to the second floor.