“But Daddy can’t go to a wedding…

…he’s already married to Mommy for a long time!” argued Maddox. You see, we were talking about plans for the weekend and I mentioned to Grammy that Eric and I were going to a wedding – of a friend that works at Eric’s winery.

Honestly, I’d have to agree that Maddox’s logic makes perfect sense. 🙂

There’s been a lot happening at the Nelson household this fall, winter and (now) spring. My apologies that it’s been so long since the last blog post. Embarrassingly long. Since September. Good grief. Hunter has lost four teeth, I’ve been able to work from home on Fridays and Mondays (woo hoo), Maddox is getting older and wiser by the day, and Eric (as usual) is killing it at the winery!

Speaking of Maddox, he’s going to be four years old on the 8th. Four! Years. Old. What?! How did that happen? We joke that he’s four turning forty! He is wise beyond his years and his one-liners just kill us some days. He pays attention to everything. Doesn’t necessarily “listen” and react the way we want him to. But, that’s all going to be better now. Why you ask? Because at our house when you turn four years old you automatically gain your BIONIC LISTENING EARS! Yay!

We started that when Hunter was this age and listening was NOT his favorite subject either. When Hunter turned four, we made a BIG deal of the bionic ears and it actually WORKED…for about a week. But a blissful week it was. And, we can still use the bionic ears thing to this day … and he’s almost seven.

Seven!? What?! How did that happen? (But that’s a future blog post)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. Maddox and the bionic listening ears. We’ve (again) been making a big deal about his upcoming ear-transplant surgery. It happens magically in the night when you’re sleeping, you know? Well, he’s pretty excited. So are WE! I’ll keep you posted on how this goes. It’s only four days away! Woot woot! 🙂

In other news, Hunter is really doing great in the 1st grade. He’s made big, BIG strides since September. Reading in that hesitant, staccato, new-reader sort of way. But man. It’s so awesome to hear him sound out those words and to see the proud look on his face when he reads a whole book. He got 100% on his first-ever spelling test in the universe! (Proud mama moment!) Eric and I (and sometimes Grammy) have spent countless hours sitting beside Hunter as he works really HARD on his spelling words, preparing for that Friday spelling test. He’s got a great mind for numbers (must have come from Daddy), so math is going well, too. Hunter is very much a techie! Their classroom does a lot with computer learning games, and those are his favorite. Recently he taught Daddy and I a trick on the computer that we didn’t know. Yikes. It begins….

The winery is busier and busier every day. And, now with summer coming on they’re sure to hit astronomical new highs. They’ve been cooking up the four-course food and wine pairing dinners every Friday and Saturday night since last fall. A food reporter from the Statesman Journal (the newspaper from Salem, Oregon’s capital) attended one of the dinners recently and wrote a nice article. Check it out here. Sometime soon, Eric is going to do a cooking event with chef Michael Symon from the Food Network (you know, the bald guy)! So proud of you, honey! 🙂

Hope things are going well in your world. Hugs and kisses until the next post.

P.S. keep your fingers crossed that the bionic ears work! And, those of you with smaller children (or grandchildren) you are WELCOME for the idea!

Get ready for a time warp as the photos begin October through all the holidays to the present! Click

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The Growing Ups

Maddox has taken to calling everyone whose an adult “the growing ups” – his take on “grown ups,” we believe. Super cute every time he says it. (But I’m a bit biased.)

I’d say, however, Maddox’s pet name for all of us older folk is a great theme for this post…and our entire summer. It’s certainly been a busy one. Not unlike usual, it has been full of family, friends and fun. We are so very blessed!

In July, Hunter turned six. Six! Can you believe it?! We had his birthday party at the theater. We watched the new Disney Planes movie in 3D. The first time all the kids had seen a 3D movie and it was fun to watch their expressions as the planes came straight at ’em.

I also had a birthday. I’m a little older than six. Enough said.

Eric and I just had our eighth anniversary. To celebrate we used a (nearly expired) overnight stay at the Oregon Garden Resort…complete with spa package, dinner, bottle of wine and a live musician in the lounge. It was fantastic. Relaxing. And, just what the doctor ordered. 🙂

Also in July was the WebMD company picnic at Oaks Park Amusement Park. You may recall we went last summer. But I’d only been with WebMD for a month. Now I’ve been there more than a year and I’m still really enjoying it. Learning something new every day!

The winery is pumping along. Busy. Busy. Busy. Eric and his small but mighty team have been wowing folks with their culinary creations. The Oregon weather has been marvelous this summer and people are really digging their wine and food pairings served out on the gorgeous deck. Many a glass of pinot is shared taking in the amazing valley views.

In August, Nana and Papa came for a weeklong visit. We took a jet boat ride up the Rogue River, played in the ocean, ate great food (suprised?) and truly enjoyed some wonderful weather and family time. Nana, Grammy, the boys and I went to the Enchanted Forest – a little amusement park near Eric’s winery.

Toward the end of the week, Aunt Layna and Great Gramma Marjorie came down from Seattle. We all went up to Eric’s boss’ cabin on Detroit Lake. Jim has a multi-room hotel/resort right on the marina. It was amazing. Jim has a giant cruising boat, a speed boat, two jet skis, two paddle boards. Well…you know, all the fun toys! We had a blast.

When we got home, Cousin Carol Bath came to town and we walked down to our local Park. The park was full of tents, as they were holding a huge art fair. Everyone really enjoyed walking around and seeing what the artists had to sell. It was a nice way to end the week.

Summer was coming to a close and it wouldn’t be summer without a day at the ballpark. So, we grabbed Hunter’s BFF, Liam, and went to a Keizer Volcanoes game. The Volcanoes are a minor league team with a field located near us. It was a perfect evening. Hot dogs, red licorice, and watching the fellas take few laps around the bases. Eric was a trooper and kept the boys entertained in the side yard (when the baseball game became WAY too boring). Grammy and I caught a few more innings and enjoyed a nice cold beer! Thanks babe…you’re a team player! 🙂

Grammy had a birthday, too. Since I’m older than six…. Hmmm…she must be…a growing up!

It’s September. In the last couple of days you can feel the change in the air. Labor Day has come and gone. Hunter officially started first grade. Yep, folks! We have a first grader! He’s doing really well and he seems to like his teacher, Mrs. Freshour. She looks like she’s in her mid-twenties. Funny to see that and recall memories of elementary school myself.

Not to be out-done, Maddox officially started pre-school. He’s been working so hard at potty training, which he chooses to do himself…on his own terms. (Good grief it couldn’t happen soon enough for all of us.) This weekend we may have had a breakthrough! (fingers, toes and everything else that crosses) He’s decided to ONLY wear underwear. No more pullups for him! He’s “a big boy” now.

This morning he woke up (after having only wore his favorite superman underwear to bed) in a puddle of pee. Poor little guy (thank goodness for waterproof bed covers). He got so mad. He bolted up in bed and said in his gentle little voice (those of you that know Maddox well know that he only has one volume: LOUD!), “Hunter peed in THIS bed and now I can’t sleep here anyMORE!”

It took him a while before he would believe me…that it wasn’t Hunter who peed the bed, but Maddox. After his little brain processed this reality for a while he put his head down and said, “It’s okay Mom. It was a little accident.”

“I know buddy. I know!”

Becoming a “growing up” way too fast! 🙂

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Fun Times

Spring has gotten away from us…since today marks the first day of Summer. How did that happen? It’s called life, she mutters under her breath.

Much has changed in the Nelson household since our last post. Let’s do a running tally:
– Hunter is now officially a first grader! Yikes!
– Maddox had a birthday and became a busy (sometimes bossy) three year-old.
– Maddox has transitioned to the pre-school classroom at daycare.
– Because he’s officially a big boy now, Maddox has informed us that he is going to marry Faith – a girl at daycare that’s a year older…following in daddy’s footsteps :).
– Maddox tells us nearly everyday that he can’t wait to be a daddy. Double yikes!
– Hunter is about to turn six years old. The birthday party planning is underway.
– Upon measuring Hunter against the height and weight board last night, he is almost four feet tall.
– With a new perspective in his “older” eyes, Hunter decided he is no longer going to marry Carly. Now he is going to marry Sayler. Good thing he didn’t get that “Carly” tattoo he was talking about. (Just kidding about the name part, but he does talk about getting tattoos a lot…why? Unclear!)
– I have been at WebMD for one year and am still loving the job. The best news is that I’m able to work from home on Fridays now. It’s a great way to end the week.
– Eric’s restaurant (that isn’t a restaurant, but a winery that just happens to have food…wink wink) had its grand opening in May. It’s gorgeous and they’ve just begun two seatings of a four-course food and wine pairing event every Thursday through Sunday. Ya’ll come out and have a taste!
– In May, Eric was a part of the Mid Atlantic Wine & Food Festival in Delaware. He was one of 90 chefs from around the world serving various wine-paired courses to guests. Each meal was served at different locations, ranging from casinos, resorts, restaurants, and other places throughout Delaware. His final event was a five-course affair for 100+ people served in a rustic barn. He met some amazing chefs (including Chef David from QVC) and thoroughly enjoyed himself. We are so proud of him!
– Over the course of about 48 hours, we thought we were going to lose Sadie lady. Turns out she had some weird 48 hour bug. 😦 She was lethargic, wouldn’t eat or drink, and had a very sad look in her brown eyes. The night that we thought was her last, Eric slept on the floor beside her. (So sweet!) Magically, the next morning she was all better and she’s returned to her normal self. Hooray!
– Over spring break, we had a super fun visit with Uncle Brad, Aunt Jen and Cousin Payton. We went hiking at Silver Falls and stayed two nights at a condo right on the beach. The cousins got along like peas and carrots, and can’t wait to hang out again.
– A couple of weeks ago we all headed back to Iowa. We went to remember Great Grandpa Buechler. It was so wonderful to be together with our family and friends. We are grateful that the boys met Great Grandpa over the years. They have fond memories of riding the John Deere gator with him on the farm.
– Speaking of farm, our “back 40” (feet) is growing great…sporting some corn, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, kale, blueberries, strawberries, yellow and green zucchini squash and various fresh herbs. We’re hoping for a nice yield and a summer of goodness for our bellies.
– We’ve also seen some amazing growth of our flowering bushes. It’s like an overgrown tropical garden. We definitely need to find some time for weeding and trimming soon or it may take over the house!
– And, last but certainly not least…I’ll leave you with a child-inspired chuckle. Maddox and his fellow classmates were playing outside at daycare. Maddox had gathered a bouquet of flowers that he proudly carried inside. Teacher Jean Marie said it was time for everyone to do their potty job. Maddox walked into the bathroom (still holding his bouquet…with both hands). He looked at the teacher. Looked at the toilet. Looked at the flowers. Then he said, “Teacher, can you please hold my penis, because my hands are full with these flowers!” (Goodness sake! At least he used his manners.)

Enjoy the photos!

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“Call the cops and ask ’em…”

“…if you can speed, Mom,” said Hunter from the backseat. It was Maddox’s last day of daycare in Silverton. I was late and still picking up at two locations. Commuter traffic was exceptionally bad that night. I barely made it to pick up Hunter in Mt Angel before 6pm, let alone drive the additional 6 miles to Silverton in order to retrieve Maddox. I was explaining to Hunter that we had to hurry before they locked the doors. As we drove, Hunter looked out the window and thought about it. Then he suggested that if I needed to speed, I could just get permission from the cops to do so. If only it worked that way! 🙂

It’s been a while since my last post. Many a day has gone by, and there’s been multiple holidays. Rather than continue to put it off, for lack of time to write, I figured I better just get these photos posted before Hunter is driving himself!

The quick version of the past several months follows…. We spent Christmas in Iowa this year. We met up with Scott’s family: Cheryl and Walker (who turned 1 year old just before Christmas). Brad and Jen got married in a beautiful, intimate family ceremony. Hunter and Maddox had a blast with their new cousin, Payton (Jen’s son whose 6 years old). Snow sledding, sugar extravaganza, Ninga Turtles…oh my!

Eric’s kitchen is finally completed at the winery and they’re serving food again after about 9 months. It was the biggest “baby” Eric has ever delivered. Worth it too, as the new tasting room is absolutely gorgeous. Come out and enjoy a glass of vino…or two!

We transferred Hunter to a new Kindergarten and school. He is doing so much better now. And, he LOVES his new teacher, Ms. Mannix. (Not to be confused with Maddox!) Hunter draws her pictures all the time and writes his name in red (“because that’s Ms. Mannix’s favorite color”). Hunter has kissed Karly on the playground and they are going to be married soon. (Note that Karly is a couple of years older than Hunter. He takes after his daddy in more ways than one!)

Maddox is now back at the old daycare in Mt Angel as well. He is loving being back with Teacher Jean Marie. He’s learning his ABC’s, singing songs, creating art masterpieces, learning to share, etc. Basically all of the great things an almost 3 year old is supposed to learn.

My job at WebMD is going great. I really enjoy it and am learning so much every day.

I’ll leave you with one last giggle before sharing the photos. One night after walking home from dinner at Grammy’s house, the boys, Eric and I stopped to chat. Our good friends (and neighbors) were out in front of their house. The kids grabbed scooters and were scooting up and down the sidewalk.

Maddox pointed at Hunter and in his loud, singsong voice and said, “Look! Hunter’s riding a dirl tooter! HA! HA!” (Translation, “Look, Hunter’s riding a girl’s scooter!) We had several rounds of laughter about that one. Could have been one of those had-to-be-there kinda things. But man! That was funny! 🙂

Enjoy the photos. Warning, they span Halloween through Valentines!

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“Own Your Space,”

said my coworker. “That’s what you have to remember about NYC streets and subways. You have as much right to be here as any one else,” he continued, after I told him I was heading to New York City for the weekend.

He was right. The bright lights, shoulders brushing together as you walk along, aromas (some pleasant, others not quite so nice), the laughter, music, and interesting outfits. It was amazing. Thank goodness Deb (Eric’s mom) was willing to come with me on a week’s notice. We had a fun, event-filled weekend back in late August.

Here’s how it went down. I texted Deb on a Saturday, to inquire about her interest in going with me. It was about 1 1/2 weeks before my trip. And, I had just learned that Eric would have to stay home and work. I was heading to NYC for a business meeting, and I hated the idea of flying clear across the country just to stay overnight and head home after a 3-hour meeting. So, two red-eye flights into JFK airport later, and these two Nelson ladies were off and running.

We saw ground zero, the statue of liberty, walked the Brooklyn Bridge, strolled through Central Park, road the subway systems, survived crazy cab rides, laughed and cried our way through a Broadway show called Kinky Boots and enjoyed amazing food (thank you, Yelp.com). All of this in one long weekend. It was a trip of lifetime and we had a blast. Thanks Deb! It’s a weekend I won’t ever forget. 🙂

In other news, Hunter started Kindergarten. At first he was excited about it. Then, he came home after the first few days and reported that he “doesn’t like all the work.” Well honey, sorry, but that’s life! Since starting school one month ago, he’s come such a long way. He can write his name like a champ. He’s really good at math/numbers. It’s amazing to watch his progression and see his confidence bloom. Just this weekend, he said, “I really like homework.” Who knew!? (And by the way, who KNEW there was homework in Kindergarten!? Jeez!)

Maddox is doing well in preschool. He will randomly sing his ABCs and count his version of 1 to 10. He loves to sit and read books with any one who will have him. Emulating his big brother one minute…then fighting with him like his life depends on it the next. He’s a sweet little guy with the same deep “manly” voice he’s had since he was a baby. One of Maddox’s favorite things to do is hold a dance competition with Hunter in the living room, to “Gangum Style”…they both sing their own version of the song and then explode into these Studio 51 dance moves. It’s quite hilarious entertainment.

Eric’s kitchen at the winery is finally finished. He and his chef’s assistant are practicing their art, and learning the tips and tricks that are possible with the high tech kitchen equipment. As far as I understand the latest plan, the winery will host the grand opening over Memorial Day weekend 2014. Meanwhile, Eric continues to sharpen his skills and plan his culinary vision throughout the wine-paired menus. Stay tuned, folks!

My job is fantastic. I learn so much every day, and I’m able to employ so many of my past skills I’ve learned in previous positions. The commute is a bummer (averaging 2 1/2 hours per day round trip). But we’ll see what the future brings. If I have my way, we’ll think more seriously about moving out of Silverton and head a little further north, toward Portland. We’re in the beginnings of this discussion (Eric is taking some convincing). But, a little community called Wilsonville is right along I-5 and would equate to the same number of minutes for Eric’s commute. Mine, however, would decrease by at least 1 hour per day. We’ll see. Perhaps in the spring time we’ll be looking for that fresh start (crossed fingers and toes). Onward and upward to the next adventure.

Our late summer days and early fall were spent hanging at the beach whenever we could get a free day, hiking at Silver Falls, playing with our cousins (The Marabs) in Seattle, riding carnival rides in Idaho and hanging out together as much as possible. Making memories every chance we get.

Ya know, I found my coworker’s words to be extremely helpful as I was walking along, “owning my space” on the sidewalks and in the subway cars of NYC. It’s been a month since Deb and I were there, and I can’t get that sentiment out of my mind. It’s so noteworthy.

In fact, when you think about it, those aren’t just good words of advice for meandering in an unfamiliar city. They’re just smart words. If you’ll let me opine a little, I’d argue that you have to OWN your space not only in a vacation destination. You have to own your space in your own town. You also have to own your space throughout your life. And, ultimately in the world around you. It’s a good life motto. What do you think?

“It’s Your Space…Own It”

I like it. I like it a lot!

Happy fall….

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“Hey Maddox…check out my peacock!”

…said Hunter in a singsong voice.

Translation: Hunter just got out of the bathtub and asked Eric for a peacock. Eric, being a little confused, and trying to stifle his laughter, did our usual discovery session questions to gain clarity. Shortly thereafter, Eric determined Hunter was requesting a mohawk. Peacock. Mohawk. What’s the difference!? 🙂

When last we spoke, Hunter was only 4, Maddox had just turned 2, I was unemployed and one year younger, Eric was just starting construction on the restaurant. That was so last spring!

Since May:
– I landed an awesome new job at a great little company. Maybe you’ve heard of ’em. WebMD. Yep, the ones you go to when you want to research those weird symptoms you’re having, to determine if you need to go see your doctor. It’s them. I work in the Health Services division up in Portland. We partner with employer groups and health plans to create health and wellness strategies that encourage employees/members to improve their health. In my role, I serve as an account manager for my health plan clients. I advise them in developing strategies and launching health and wellness incentive programs. These annual programs are geared to: 1) inspire people to better understand their current health and long-term risks, 2) pair them with a telephonic health coach who partners with them to set goals for healthier eating and increasing their levels of exercise, 3) encourage them to compete in fun walking challenges, and 3) ultimately to decrease the cost of healthcare (not only for the employee/member but also for the company/health plan). It’s so wonderful. I feel like this job is the culmination of my entire working career. It’s positive, personalized to the individual, inspiring people to take charge of their health (rather than be a victim of it), decreases health care costs and changes people’s lives. Did I mention that I LOVE it?
– Because I’m commuting to Northwest Portland everyday (100+ miles roundtrip), we decided to buy an economical car. I got a VW Passat turbo diesel. It’s so fun! It gets 45+ miles per gallon of diesel – which by the way is a little cheaper than gas right now (at least in Oregon). Can you say, Fahrvergnügen? (It means driving enjoyment in German…oh ya, baby!)
– Hunter turned five…yes 5! So, this means he’s starting kindergarten this fall. I KNOW!!!! It’s crazy. How can this have happened? For his party this year we took him to Chuck E. Cheeses. It was an afternoon of chaos, squealing and fun (oh, the boys had a blast too!).
– I had another birthday. Nothing major. Just another year. Eric and I did get a date night with a wonderful dinner up in Portland, then walking along the waterfront and people watching (oooooh what fun!)
– The Kroupa’s came for a weeklong visit. We went to the coast and had a fun time. Despite the crazy winds, it was sunny and beautiful.
– Eric and I celebrated our 7th anniversary. Doesn’t seem like it’s possible that it was 7 years ago we had that incredible summer of parties across America! But with a five year old and two year old, time sure does fly.
– We’ve been to the beach a few times this summer. Camping once (good times, folks; good times). We also spent a weekend at the lakeside cabin of our good friends, Troy and Megan Stoops.
– On 4th of July, we went to the St. Paul Rodeo for the first time. Neither Eric nor I could remember how long it had been since we’d been to a rodeo. But, it was the first time for the boys. They enjoyed it…for the first hour. Then, after that it was this scene: “hey guys, don’t kick the seat/back of the person in front of you, that’s not nice” followed by, “hey guys, keep your hands to yourself” followed by, “hey guys, let’s just sit still and look at the cowboys” followed by “hey guys, please stop kicking the seat/back of the person in front of you, that’s not nice” followed by, “no, we can’t have anymore snacks” followed by, “no, cotton candy is bad for you (and you definitely don’t need anymore sugar)” followed by, “hey guys, don’t kick the seat/back of the person in front of you” (you see the pattern here?).
– WebMD held their summer family picnic at an amusement park in Portland, called Oak Park. We had never been before. But we spent a Friday afternoon riding rides, playing putt putt golf, eating cotton candy (I know…bad idea), riding rides, etc. All four of us kids had a great time.
– Willamette Valley Vineyards is coming along in the build out of the restaurant. The new kitchen equipment has started coming in, including the woodfired pizza oven. Eric is just chomping at the bit to get it all installed and get a chance to start playing. The latest plan (if I have it straight yet) is to do a soft opening on Labor Day weekend. Then do a grand opening next Memorial Day weekend. If you’re in town folks, plan a visit. Should be one heck of a party!

I’m sure there’s more that’s been going on at the Nelson abode. But, I’ll just let our photos speak for themselves. Enjoy.

Happy summer!

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“…I sure am gonna miss you…”

…said Hunter from the backseat of Eric’s truck.

“Oh…why’s that?” Eric inquired.

“Well…I’m gonna marry Raegan and move out…and I’m just really gonna miss you,” explained Hunter.

“Hmmmm…so, you’re gonna marry Raegan, eh? Let’s talk about that,” Eric states, holding back a laugh.

“Yah,” Hunter answers with hesitation. Silence…deep breath. “No. I change my mind. I’m not gonna marry her. I want to live with you guys forever,” Hunter states pensively.

“Okay,” Eric answers, grinning broadly.

And, they go about their day.

Many similar conversations happen in our household on a regular basis. 2013 has proven to be quite a life-altering few months.

– Maddox turned two, with all the amazing, yet challenging circumstances that can bring. (You parents out there know exactly what I’m saying.)
– I got snagged in the last round of layoffs from the hospital. So, I’ve spent the past two months seeking my next great thing. I’ve scheduled a few interviews in the coming weeks. And, I’m hopeful that May is my month!
– Eric’s winery has officially begun construction on the new tasting room/restaurant. Eric has been directly involved and responsible for the design, budgeting, procurement, etc. of all things kitchen related. It’s been a challenging and educational experience for him…allowing for great exposure to things some chefs never get their hands on.
– And, as mentioned, Hunter has deep thoughts in the backseat of our cars. He also will start kindergarten in the fall, which has thrown me for a loop. I’m NOT ready for that! Hunter is. When we went to the pre-K introductory night a few weeks back, he was most excited about the playground. HA!

Spring has finally sprung at our house. My flowers are in bloom…including the miniature yellow roses on the driveway trellis. It’s been a two-summer battle with the neighborhood gang of deer. I am eager for the roses to bloom. The deer are eager for salad! There is no compromise there. Luckily, Eric found these wonderful little deer repellent thingies (technical term) at Ace Hardware, which seem to be doing the job. Hooray! Jodi 1. Deer 0.

With a solid week of sunny, 70s weather, we also made the decision to plant our raised bed garden. Orange and purple carrots, lettuces, kale, beets, snap peas, yellow and green squash, green onions, and corn. We’ll see what the garden angels have planned for our crops. Yum yum!

Speaking of yum, the four of us headed out to the beach with the boat. Our goal? Crab for dinner. It was a fun day for the Nelson crew. We only brought home one. Not the crab dinner extravaganza we had envisioned. While we caught about 30 crab in the pots that day, they were mostly females or too small. All said, it was nice to be on the water. And, we tried something different this time. We brought the crab home alive in a bucket of sea water. Eric cooked it fresh and made a delicious concoction of crab and artichoke dip. Can you say, “wow?!”

Another excursion included truffle hunting in the small forest at the base of Eric’s winery. We took our great friends Troy and Megan Stoops, along with Eric’s chef-friend, Quentin and his family. It was the first “hunt” of this kind any of us had been on. For being novices, we did quite well…coming away with about 8-10 nickel-sized truffles. Eric figures they were worth upwards of $500 if he had to pay for them from a restaurant vendor. Not a bad haul.

Uncle Tom and Aunt Diane came back through town on their way home to Seattle. One afternoon we took a hike up at Silver Falls state park. It was a nice day for sun and breathing fresh air.

Other visitors have included our good friends, Matt and Kaylee. They were in town for Madalyn’s soccer tournament in Portland. It had been a while since we’ve seen them. So, there was fun to be had.

We also visited with Brian Baker, Eric’s chef buddy from Keystone, Colorado. He was in town staying with Ben Jackson, another chef friend from Keystone, who now lives in Portland. We headed with them to wine country. What a fabulous day. Glorious weather, good wine, and great friends. It really doesn’t get any better than that.

The promise of a warm and wonderful summer is upon us. Let it be!

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