Thank you all so much for the warm welcome. I have been looking around the area for some time now but it has been hard for me to step out and immerse myself in the local scene here in Portland. This has been a very interesting journey for me. I am a wife and mommy and though I eat vegan my husband does not. This is not a point of tension for us because when I started to make changes in my way of eating I realized that I do not live to eat and I refuse to let food control any area of my life...especially my marriage. With that said recently my husband has made some very big changes in the way that he eats. He eats mostly raw thought the morning and afternoon only eating a limited amount of meat with his dinner. Together we are becoming a more active family and focusing on just living! So this is an exciting time for us. In looking back over the journey thus far I am at a place now that I never could have imagined that I would be. I was born in Idaho and come from a family of hunters. As a kid all my uncles and father would hunt in the fall and gather enough to last until the next fall. Our staple meal was meat (usually fried), a boiled potato, and a canned veggie. We weren't a family that gave much regard to exercise at least not consistently and we were not active, as in enjoying outdoor activities together. We did diet but it was always done in the way of crash dieting...never lifestyle changes. We did it if some sort of event was coming up and so the family would do an all protein diet or the cabbage soup diet. It wasn't until I was older when I started researching and reading studies that I came across on my own that I started to look at changing my lifestyle and not just dieting. Over the course of time things started to change within me and thus here I am. I would love to be more involved or at least have more communication with others that are in my area however it is a little different for me because I have a family that isn't fully vegan and I don't like to do a lot of activities without my family. I am really enjoying reading the different conversations on here and look forward to participating. I recently have been trying to challenge myself to step out a little more and try to get more involved. This may be a great place for me to do so. Thanks again to all of you that have welcomed me I very much appreciate it!