2017 04 Family Letter – Growth Spurts!

Family,

Life and season seemed to rush forward at an accelerated pace this month. California went from a pleasant and breezy 70 degrees to a scorching 80, then 90 for a week or so, about at the same time that Oliver’s post-MBA plans took solid form, and the little baby in my belly started pushing his (her?) way up and out at a faster and faster pace …our little plastic fan could hardly keep our 600 square foot apartment cool at all, and the rest of life decidedly marched forward with no thought of ever looking back. At toasty times like these, all three of us pile into the bedroom, put a cardboard box under our standalone fan to raise it up to just the right height, and blast it full speed directly at our hot cheeks while we try to work (Oliver) plan (Me) and either nap (Mozzi), or cover any exposed toes in ceaseless licks (Mozzi). 

Oliver’s answer to the frequent “what are you doing after graduation?” question was crowned with a newly sure-footed response this month. Instead of keeping his cards close, talking about all the potential avenues he was exploring, he started giving it to everyone straight. “I’m starting a company” he now says, looking the person straight in the face, with that kind of quiet, determined resolve mixed with a mischievous glint that makes you feel like he is keeping some delightful secret…only in the way that Oliver can. And indeed, he is. Incorporation docs are being drawn up, progress is pushing onward and onward, founder discussions and work keeps growing and growing, pitch decks are out and out, and fundraising is just around the corner. He handed off the reigns at Embraer to another, turned down a handful of very temping job offers, and piled all of his classes for his final term at the GSB intentionally onto one day, Thursday, where he is tied up on campus in class from 8am-10pm, so he would have the rest of the week to work on the startup.  If you know Oliver, you know that when he builds, he builds big. Knowing that there are no guarantees and that competition is serious business has not slowed down their momentum at all. I am so grateful for his commitment to work for the next 40 years of his life and provide for our family…and I am all too familiar with feeling, shall we say, a little….dissatisfied… with work, and that is the LAST THING I would ever want him to feel like, especially for 40 years! So naturally, I am very supportive. GO OLIVER!!!! Build your empire! If it works, great! If it doesn’t, or plans change in the end, we will be just fine. Things will always work out. Needless to say, life has been pretty exciting these days. 

Baby is doing well, kicking and jumping and tickling in a way only Oliver’s child could. I am counting down (literally) the days until our ultrasound when we will find out if this little bean is a boy or a girl! Work continues on, life continues on, I continue spending my evenings taking Mozzi on walks, doing a little sewing, making lots of lists, or, more recently, going to bed at 8 PM. 🙂 Oliver started talking to the baby this week and has now felt a nice handful of solid kicks from the outside. I can’t wait to see this tall strong man of mine with a tiny newborn in his arms (only 5 months from now!).

The other day while I was tidying up, pattering from room to room, I wondered aloud to Oliver “What we will look back and think about all of this in 30 years?” I was half chuckling, mulling over our little apartment, chipped dishes, aggressive financial plan written up in sticky black marker on a whiteboard slanted against a wall…thinking of life now, when going to the drive-though carwash legitimately feels like a treat, when life is so uncertain, unsettled, and so wide open at the same time. When trying to think even 4 months down the line is like sitting square in front of a heavy black velvet curtain, tilting your head just an inch, wondering quietly what exactly is waiting for you on the other side.  Oliver thought for a minute, smiled, and said “I will remember how happy we were”. I thought how much more I loved him for saying that as we finished folding the dish towels and plopped them back into the perfectly squeaky kitchen drawer.

🙂 Life is good.

Love,

O+R+M+baby P

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  • Oh, me being a serial entrepreneur I am anxious to hear about it and little Ollie’ sex. Love you guys so much. It’s
    my first Great Great.
    Michael S. Bradshaw

  • I love your letters. They are always full of interesting information and personal insight into your life. We wish Oliver the best in his new venture and hope that he will always remember that his family is more important than anything else. I think I told you about Louie’s daughter Edie’s friend who put his employees on a 5 hour a day work week. His observation was that people waste a lot of time at work, including but not limited to lunch and regular breaks The stipulation was that they needed to do as much work in those 5 hours as they had been doing in 8–and they receive the same salary. After 90 days it was working great, his employees loved the extra free time and all the work was getting done. He was in the second 90 days the last I heard. I will have to ask Edie how that went. I also want to put in a word for Faith as a first name for a cute little girl. I won’t be hurt if you already have other choices. I know it is Sarah (also Morgan, McKinley and oddly one of Chris’s daughter-apparently he liked the tradition) who has it as their middle name. I love you bunches.

    • Can’t figure out how to change the remark above. I meant to say know, not hope re his allotment of his time. I know he understands the importance of family time. You picked an amazing young man.
      I am going to try your scrub. One of our tenants made me some with salt & coconut oil and I liked it, but never made any for myself. Pocatello weather is very drying, even more so than SoCal.
      Love you guys.