For more than one reason, I wanted to just take a moment and make a post saying thank you to everyone….so, THANKS!

I’m actually pretty amazed at how many of you have been reading this blog. We’ve had a lot of family, extended family and friend interactions lately between the holidays, the wedding and now the funeral and many of you have mentioned that you’ve been reading the blog. I was actually a bit taken aback by that fact because, while I had certainly told a good chunk of you, it’s been spread around a bit, too, and that’s been kinda cool. I started it, like the first post says, to be a place to just get some of my feelings out, but also to help communicate with everyone while we’re figuring all of this out. It’s been wonderful to know that so many of you have taken your time to keep up with it all, so for that I am thankful.

I also want to thank everyone for your well-wishes and sympathies on the recent passing of my grandpa. It’s nice knowing a lot of people care about our family like we’ve seen the last couple of weeks. I’ve learned more from that man than maybe anyone in my life. In more recent years I was even able to have meaningful conversations with him about his darker days, days which I know are probably hard to talk about, but the lessons from those days are important to me. Alcohol has played a negative role in our lives from the most part. While I never really had a problem myself, I made the decision over 4 years ago to stop drinking completely. It was about the time we started trying to have kids and I decided that I would make a promise to always be in control of myself as a parent and would never let alcohol be an excuse or reason for anything. Had my grandpa not had his struggle, I am not sure I would have been able to see the value in my decision. Had we not been able to have real conversations about what he had been through in his life, what he had missed out on and ultimately what he gained when he gave up drinking, I may not have had the motivation or power to make the decisions I made. I’m grateful for his strength and, certainly, my grandma’s loyalty, love and commitment to him that gave him the strength and reason to clean up. Aside from all that, the guy was just fun to be around. Sure, he was a cranky old fart sometimes, which is EXACTLY where I get it from. He was just a really great guy and we’ll all miss him and I appreciate all the love and support through this time of loss.

Lastly, thank you to the many wonderful and generous folks who have donated to my Polar Plunge fundraiser. This weekend on Saturday, I am jumping into the lake…the lake that’s been freezing in sub-zero temps for months. I am doing this for the Special Olympics and many of you graciously supported the cause by pledging. I wanted to raise $1000, which was the highest goal in the area from what I could find from all the plungers, but I knew I could do it.  Well, as of today, I have more than doubled it!!!! I have over $2000 and our team, the aptly-named “Plungin’ 4 Parker” is the top-earning team, as well. I have come to find out that the team we are leading is from the next town over, has around 12 plungers and their leading earner, who is in second place to me for the individuals, is a young adult with Downs named Sarah. Ironically, I found out that Sarah is the daughter of one of the nurses at the hospice where my grandpa was staying…small world  But get this, her mother, the nurse, put in on our super bowl pool and won the jackpot!  Lucky gal!  It’s too bad that I didn’t find out about her until after my grandpa had passed away, or her and I could have talked about her daughter and about parenting a DS child.  I’m gonna look for her this weekend at the Polar Plunge as I’m sure she’ll be there cheering on Sarah.

There is still time to pledge and every bit helps a lot. I would be so glad to show up on Saturday with a big pile of money to help this great cause. Click here to go to my Plunger page and donate.  And, seriously, thanks so much to everyone who’s supported me.

So, thanks all. I’ll keep writing if you keep reading ;-)

And, one last thing…. Chelle’s feeling like Parker is gonna be here early. Lydia was 3 weeks early. Our due date is March 25. I am gonna say March 6th isn’t out of the question. I have a feeling… ;-)

-CH

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