We Are (UNMC) Family

Even though I’m a writer, I have no words for what happened in Newtown, Conn., last Friday. What I do know is that the first thing I thought of when I heard the news, probably like many of you, was my family. How much they mean to me. And how quickly all that can be taken away. I have a husband, a 2-year-old daughter and another baby on the way. But they are not my only family.

During the week, I spend just as much time at work as I do at home, not counting when I’m asleep of course. Five days a week for the past five years, I’ve been greeted by the same faces when I arrive at 8 a.m. each day. So it’s no surprise that my co-workers are like family members to me. Just as I’m sure yours are to you.

Sure, there might be a “Crazy Uncle Eddie” or a weird cousin, but at the end of the day they’re still family. And I wanted to take this opportunity to tell my second family how much they mean to me. I encourage anyone else reading this to do the same. Sort of a “happy holidays/pay it forward” project if you will. You could send a quick e-mail or please feel free to write something in the comments below and send them a link to this story.

Without further ado, I’ll get to it.

Bill: I’ve never had a boss who asked a question about my personal life and actually cared about the answer until I met Bill. Also, my daughter is in love with his son, Jack, so this “work family thing” could be an “actual family thing” if she has it her way. πŸ™‚

Chuck: Not everyone gets to work with a comedian. I feel fortunate to have Chuck as a friend who makes me laugh out loud on a daily basis. And yes, Chuck, you kind of are the Crazy Uncle Eddie.

Dawn: Dawn is fairly new to the family, and I’m still getting to know her, but I think the best compliment I can give her it to tell her she’s “vital” to us.

Jake: It’s always great to have a reminder of your youth in the office. Jake’s ability to eat fast food at any time of the day and be up at odd hours keeps us all young.

Jessica: Jessica is someone we should all strive to be more like. I really respect and admire her work ethic, but am most moved by her kindness to others.

Jo: I love swapping kid stories with Jo. Our children were born just two months apart and she is truly an amazing mom.

Julie: This woman makes the world’s best brownies. I couldn’t help but break the news to my stepmom once. Honestly, I want to nominate them for Guinness.

Kacie: My running buddy. Thankfully, Kacie is able to talk when she runs, so our jogs on Field Club Trail are a lot less boring. She also knows how to spice up a photo. Here’s us at the Color Run last summer.

Kalani: Without him, I wouldn’t be able to keep this blog going. I envy his writing style and am just glad he didn’t apply for the opening I did five years ago!

Karen: If you need a good book recommendation, or just an article that will make you cry, Karen is your supplier. She’s also a fabulous listener who manages to look like this after a half-marathon.

Lisa M.G. My fellow pet-lover. When we thought we might have to put my dog down last year, Lisa was the one I turned to. Her support got me through that tough time.

Lisa S. Most holidays, I get a text message from Lisa telling me “Happy Thanksgiving” or what not. A lot of my friends send mass texts like this, but Lisa’s reminds me to give my daughter a hug for her, so I know she wrote it just to me.

Liz:Β She asked the toughest questions during my interview here five years ago, butΒ Liz has the softest heart. Here’s the hat she knitted for my daughter that came with a matching blanket.

Mary: This is a woman who never stops smiling. Every day when I enter the office, she’s got a grin for me and everyone. All employees on campus should be so lucky.

Ryan: During the Spirit Week scavenger hunt, this pregnant lady on our team was getting really hungry, almost to the point of low blood sugar. Ryan zoomed into a building and up a flight of stairs to get her a candy bar. That girl was me. Thanks, Ryan. And yes, you’re the weird cousin. Kidding!

Stacie: Not only did Stacie orchestrate the picture that makes me crack up every time I look at it, she also brought me back the sweetest souvenir scarf from her trip to China.

Tom O’Connor: Tom would probably prefer I use this space to promote the Omaha Press Club, but I gotta tell him how much he’s taught me about PR and just being a good friend.Β  And thanks for always rooting for my Cyclones Tom O!

Tom Waples: Not only is Tom a professional designer (whom I credit with my last year’s Christmas letter) he also has a knack for guessing the size of a pregnant woman’s stomach with caution tape.

Vicky: Vicky’s done many things for me over the years here, but giving me a Prilosec before our office holiday party so I could eat the Cheesy Irish fries at Barrett’s is the most recent.

So that’s my work family. Aren’t they great? I couldn’t have asked for a better one if I hand-picked them myself. Hope you all have a very happy holiday. Please consider telling someone in your work family how much they mean to you!



  1. Liz Kumru says:

    Your fresh perspective and beautiful writing style has brought your work family a vitality all its own. Thank you for your inspiration and enthusiasm. I will be happy to knit your new baby a blanket of his or her own. Just let me know what color to make it.

    1. Nicole Lindquist says:

      Thanks, Liz! You are too sweet! I’ll let you know the color after Jan. 11 πŸ™‚

  2. Jessica Brummer says:

    Nicole – Super mom, super writer, super funny, super friend. We are so lucky to have you in the “family”!

    1. Nicole Lindquist says:

      Awww, thanks Jess! You’re very close to making me cry πŸ™‚

  3. Stacie Hamel says:

    Thanks for welcoming me into the family, Nicole! Can’t wait for our next photo-booth moment. πŸ™‚

  4. Tom O'Connor says:

    Wow…what a cool story! What really makes it great is that it applies to every department at UNMC. This is such an awesome place to work. We all need to count our blessings! Job well done, Nicks. Sister Sledge would be proud. Go Cyclones!

  5. Fran Higgins says:

    Care to adopt another crazy relative? πŸ˜‰
    Happy Holidays to all my PR peeps!

    1. Nicole Lindquist says:

      Always! You are definitely extended family, Fran πŸ™‚

  6. Barbara Harrison says:

    Thanks Nicole for sharing your stories and feelings! I also remember the first time I met you and shared my story. Sometimes things in life have you look at things just a little different.
    I am also blessed to have my family, friends, work friends and square and round dance and line dance friends that I consider my family. LOL.. .yes even the funny cousins and uncles.
    When I started here 16 1/2 years ago, I wondered if I would feel lost in this big company as I had never worked in this large of a population. UNMC for the most part makes you a part of their family. There are a lot of opportunities, if you look for them and take them.
    I am thankful for my job and my family at UNMC that I work with.
    Merry Christmas Nicole to you and your family!
    Merry Christmas UNMC Family and Friends!

    1. Nicole Lindquist says:

      Thank YOU, Barb! Merry Christmas πŸ™‚

  7. Dawn Nevarez says:

    It’s a great feeling when you are part of such a supportive work family. I am so lucky to call PR mine!

  8. Jill Carson says:

    Great blog, Nicole! I miss my “second family” reading this!

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