Merry Christmas from the Porath family! There was so much to be happy for in 2018.
Nichole was promoted to Director of Finance at Bethel Lutheran Church. She has really enjoyed transforming their finance department while also enjoying the flexible schedule that only a church job (and 30 hours/week) can provide. She is also pursuing a Church Business Administration certificate through Villanova University to help her to better utilize her MBA and corporate finance experience in a church setting.
She also completed her 2nd year as head coach for the Northfield High School boys and girls cross country teams. The team has really transformed over the two years she has been with it. They are excited by the results they’re seeing, working hard together, and -of course- enjoying some fun cross country shenanigans along the way. The team is incredibly young, so watch out for Northfield in the results over the next few years. They’re up and coming! Nichole is absolutely in love with her job as head coach!
As her coaching reputation has grown, and as a Nordic ski head coaching position sat unfilled, Nichole was convinced to take over the NHS Nordic team as well. In turn, she convinced Nate to cut back his clinic hours to join her 3 days a week, and also convinced Craig and Eva (their two best friends!) to help as well. It has been a challenge time-wise (so many logistics to manage!), but it is also rewarding to work with another group of student athletes.
Then, as if that wasn’t enough, Nichole still coaches about 10 runners from around the country through her own coaching business, TNC Endurance. Some of the best compliments she received this year:
- I swear, you have a 6th sense!
- I had to look back at my training logs and yesterday was my fastest half since I ran in August 2012!!
- Yeehaw… that would be the sound of me getting another 2mi PR 😉
She has had no problem keeping her coaching roster full, which is another huge compliment.
Nate continues his work at Midwest Dental in Faribualt. The office staff has grown to 10, including a second dentist. He continues to find his work rewarding, challenging, and ever-changing.
Both Nate and Nichole try to stay as fit and fast as they can, which is easier said than done. Nichole reset the world record in the “1/2 marathon while pushing a double stroller” this Spring. The girls are definitely heavier, but Nichole is just in better shape/faster than she was last year. Hopefully this new record is hard to beat! Nichole also ran two marathons this year: Grandma’s and Twin Cities. She finished 15th at TCM (and top 10 American) in a new post-pregnancies PR of 2:52 – with a gross green-gunk cold, even! She wishes she could have been healthy, but looks forward to Grandma’s next year where she hopes to break that 2:50 mark.
Nate continues to ski very competitively. Last winter he competed in a number of ski races including a unique opportunity to race in the Masters World Championships in Minneapolis (in the US for the first time in a decade). He finished top 3 American in his age group and 6th in the World in the 30k Freestyle race. He was also able to win the Mora Vasaloppet 35k for the 5th time and finished his 14th Birkie. Wow!
Greta and Anna are growing so quickly! They are both at the Montessori school in Northfield and loving it. Greta is the preschool classroom and Anna in the Toddler room. Greta will start MYSL (Minnesota Youth Ski League) in January of 2019 where Anna will tag along too.
They also alternate gymnastics classes with swimming lessons. They love their grandparents and love playing with their cousins.
Greta turned 4 this October. It is so fun to watch our sweet, smart, and silly girl grow up! It’s hard to believe she still has two years before Kindergarten… she has long mastered her numbers, colors, upper and lowercase letters and sounds, cutting, etc.
She is really into making her own books now. She’ll ask us how to spell all of the words she wants to write in it and then diligently writes those down and adds illustrations. She is starting to sound out words, is doing simple math, and is amazingly quick at logic-type thinking. Things like: “I’m sorting the cards down from 7… I have 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 in order, but I need a 1! Oh, an Ace is a 1? Ok, now I’ve counted down.” She loves to practice gymnastics, create art, play in her box fort (it has grown impressively over the holiday season!), go on bike rides, run, catch bugs, and care for others. There were a few firsts for her this year: a first haircut, a first day of preschool, and finishing her first kids race (at the NHS XC Alumni race this year).
Anna turned 2 this October as well. If Greta is our “lover”, Anna is our “fighter”. She has a more stubborn side to her, although we are told we are the luckiest parents as even Anna is a super easy kid! She loves anything her sister is doing, singing (and knows an impressive number of nursery rhyme songs!), music and dancing, cleaning, practicing gymnastics, and eating (especially meat… who would have thought?!). She will follow along and try anything, fall numerous times and get right back up, smiling and laughing as if nothing happened. She also has the best (contagious!) laugh!
During the summer we try to get up to the cabin several weekends as well as get down to “the farm” (Nichole’s parents farm outside of Marshall). Nate and Nichole went to Chicago this Spring for Nate’s dental convention where he was one of the few Midwest Dental doctors to earn a “Diamond Club” award. They visited Leighton and took in the “Hamilton” production while there. We camped for the first time this summer. Yes, the tent was just in our backyard. Yes, Anna still slept in her crib in the house (utilizing the baby monitor’s range!). Yes, we slept on a blow up mattress. But – Greta thought it was the coolest thing ever :).
Sad news this year: we said goodbye to Mesa right before Christmas. Who would have thought a dog adopted free off of Craigslist would have been such a perfect fit for our family?! Nichole estimates that Mesa logged over 5,000 miles with her in the 8 years that we had her. She won numerous 5ks with Nichole (including pulling to a 16:58!), was the first individual in our house to secure a running sponsorship, and was featured in the famous dog lover magazine “Dog Fancy”. She lived a wonderful, long life. We love and miss you, Mesa!