Neal Freeland

Engineering/marketing manager, family guy. My personal blog with a few work thoughts mixed in.

Merry Christmas

with 2 comments

Here’s our Christmas card letter:

House remodel complete. Our old kitchen was cramped, outdated, and cold, and with two young kids we wanted something easier. So Julia created a design, drew up engineering plans, managed the contractors and found an entire cabinet set with granite counter tops for one third the normal price. The kitchen is now an incredibly warm space for family and friends to gather, and it’s my favorite in the house. What a gal.

Poker nite teaches life lessons. I’m the Kommissar for a monthly poker group, which has taught me a few important lessons: you have to bet to win, bluff once in a while to keep people guessing, and appreciate your friends. It’s a great group of guys and helps make Seattle feel like home (Julia has a monthly “book club” that seems to be more about food and gossip than literature but also fills the same role).

Internet career at MSN advances. I’m still very happy with my choice of Microsoft and the technology industry. Though we’re still behind Yahoo! and Google, we’re catching up. I’m also making progress on my career goals, chalking up another small promotion despite maintaining vigorous work/life balance (I took 3 months of paternity leave and vacation in the last year).

Grandchildren trump Hawaii: Opa and Nana Freeland move to Seattle. Imagine you have a cozy town home on a beautiful Hawaiian resort, membership in a fun yacht club, and plans to cruise the islands on your Santa Cruz 52. Sounds like the perfect retirement, so what would cause you to trade the tropical sun of the South Pacific for the grey drizzle of the Pacific Northwest? That’s right, grandchildren.

Zack walks and talks. Nearly 2, Zack took his first steps this year and is rapidly expanding his vocabulary. He is a gregarious toddler who loves his coffee shop (“Zo-ka!”), neighbors (“Hi!”), and sister (“Ah-mee-ah”).

Amelia Rose lives. We had a close call this summer when our daughter Amelia was born with three congenital heart defects. A fall trip to the Cleveland Clinic reversed her decline and the long-term prognosis looks good. Now 5 months old she is a big-cheeked, squiggly little girl with the lungs of a diva. Her parents are bone-tired from early morning caretaking but just so, so, so thankful.

Neal+Julia+Zack+Amelia

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Written by nealfreeland

December 18, 2005 at 9:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. I just read the story of Amelia in the Cleveland Clinic Foundation Newletter that is sent to us frequently. We were also in Cleveland in October 2005. My daughter completed her 5th open heart surgery since her birth in August of 2003. I think we were next door to each other in ICU  during this time. Once I read your story moments from that time started to fit.  I couldn\’t help but to post  a message because your story touched my heart and reminded me of our struggle of heart sugery on our then 2 month old little girl. Five surgeries and MANY catherizations later and she is doing wonderful. We  owe our everything to Dr. Mee, his staff, and the CCF.

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    June 22, 2006 at 7:47 pm

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