“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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