“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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