Two. Ack.

You may be wondering, two? I have two days until I leave for China! I am starting to get really nervous but I try to keep reminding myself that I’m prepared!

This past week has been a pretty difficult one. We lost my grandpa on Saturday and he was the lifeline of the family. It was really hard on me and my cousins, but he lived a very long and happy life. He was 89! He got to see 2 great grandchildren born. He was the most kind and humble person I have ever known and I can only hope to be half the person he was. I’ll be racing in Beijing for him. My grandpa was really excited about my race and that has kept me focused on training over the past week. The week has been full of time with family, especially my cousins. My cousins are very important to me and I treasure the relationship I have with them. Its going to be weird coming back to LA after China and not Having them around all the time. My grandpa would be very happy to know how much fun we have had together over the last week.

9 out of the 10 cousins. A good looking bunch!

On to other business- A few days ago, I had a really great surprise waiting for me when I got home. Leslie, who is one of my best friends from high school and college, has been super supportive through the training and also was aware of how hard my grandpa’s death was on me. She and Callie, another best friend from high school, mailed me an AMAZING gift. I cried when I opened it. Is that pathetic? These two have been there for me through SO much and I am incredibly grateful to have them in my life. Their families (the Christofferson’s and Coffin’s) have been very supportive of me as well.

My gift from Les and Cal. Definitely going to get this framed with my race bib.

I’d like to give a big shout-out to Karen Deakin, a very special second cousin who used to give me peppermint ice cream when I was a wee lad; Catherine Byer, another second cousin who has done  a lot for our family this week; the Hawkins, close family friends who I love seeing around and who’s restaurant (Green Street in Pasadena) makes the best Zucchini bread in town. Oh ya, and thanks to Maddie (Madeleineeee) McLaughin for the silliest car rides around this past week, moral support and putting the pressure on me to start packing.

Finally, I’d like to add that today Oregon will be playing LSU at Cowboys Stadium. College football makes me REALLY HAPPY and I am elated that it is back! My cousin, Jeffrey Palmer (click here for his profile), plays long snapper for Oregon so the family will be rooting them on today from Texas and Los Angeles. GO DUCKS!

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