Family finds Wausau an easy place to call home

Meet Eric, Jill, Julia, Cal and Hazel Hauan

The Hauan family's motto is tied to their faith, "This is the day the Lord has made we will rejoice and be glad in it!"

"We moved to Wausau last June after Eric accepted the call to serve at St. Mark’s." said Jill.

Eric is currently the Senior Pastor at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and Jill is currently a kindergarten teacher at Franklin Elementary, both in Wausau.

Eric and Jill are both graduates of the University of Northern Iowa located in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Jill graduated with her Bachelor's degree in elementary and early childhood education, and Eric received his Bachelor's degree in organizational communication. In college, Eric also wrestled and was a four-time NCAA qualifier and two-time All-American. Upon graduation, Jill later earned her Master's degree in classroom instruction and k-12 reading from Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota while Eric was a Branch Manager with US Bank in Rochester, Minnesota. In June 2012 the Hauan family sold their home, packed up toddler Julia and baby Cal, and moved to St. Louis, Missouri for Eric to begin his Master of Divinity degree at Concordia Seminary.

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Eric is originally from Sturgis, South Dakota and Jill is originally from Hubbard, Iowa.

"My parents live in Colorado now." said Eric. "We head out west every summer for an extended vacation with my side of the family."

The couple met in college, while attending the University of Northern Iowa, during a heated game of sand volleyball.

"Over the years our versions of who actually won that game has changed depending on which one of us you ask." said Jill. After the game they sat and chatted for over an hour, but went their separate ways at the end of the afternoon. College courses and work continued for Jill, and college classes continued and wrestling season began once again for Eric. The two of them didn’t meet up again until nine months later. The second encounter ended up in a relationship that has been going strong since April of 2004. They were married on June 17, 2006.

Eric and Jill are involved with their church and enjoy lending a helping hand anywhere that is needed. Eric also enjoys staying up-to-speed with the college wrestling scene. Their family has quickly become Packer fans as well.

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Julia enjoys volleyball, arts and crafts, playing piano and playing in the snow. Her favorite subjects in school are reading, science and gym.

Cal enjoys building with LEGO, Star Wars and his favorite subjects in school are gym, reading and recess.

Hazel enjoys princesses, singing, dancing and her favorite subjects in school are playing and reading.

The family has a pair of pets, a cat, Nala, and a beta fish, Jake.

The Hauan family lives in a neighborhood close to Stettin Elementary.

"We love our neighborhood," said Eric. "We know very well that moving to a new state and a new city is challenging – we have done so five times in the past seven years. The neighborhood that we have landed in in Wausau has been really great to us and has truly helped our entire family out with the transition. Our house seems to be a revolving door of neighborhood children coming and going, and the same can be said for our neighbors’ homes as well. Playdates are frequently occurring and we watch out for one another’s children."

"Everyone is so friendly and kind. We couldn’t have asked to live in a better neighborhood!" said Jill.

"We enjoy various social activities with our neighbors," said Eric. "Whether that be a firepit, yard games or a dinner at one of our homes."

One memorable experience for the Hauan family occurred in November 2014 while on their Vicarage Assignment (Eric's internship through Concordia Seminary) in Orchard Park, New York. The Hauan family’s claim to fame was enduring the great 'Snowvember' snowstorm which dumped six feet of lake-effect snow in just three days.

"We were thankful that Hazel decided to make her grand entry into the world two weeks later instead of during the storm." said Jill.

The overall total of snow for the family's year in the greater Buffalo area was 216 inches.

The family’s transition to Wausau has been smooth.

"We love the 'outdoor-sy' opportunities Wausau has to offer and we can typically be found out-and-about in the community exploring." said Jill. "We purchased cross-country skis for our kids at the great local ski swap and look forward to embracing the winter activities with our children. We greatly appreciate the friends we were able to quickly make in our church and neighborhood alike."

"We are thankful to have landed in Wausau!"

This article initially appeared in Wausau Neighbors magazine, Best Version Media

Photos by Natalie Helen Photography

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