June 1st, 2012

As we head into another very busy weekend, I made it a point this morning to just sit still and take in everything that is going on right now. It is sometimes hard to not just let the schedule rule our day, and it takes purposeful effort to actually focus on the small important events of each day. Events that Frank and I have both missed for so long - giving kisses to the puppy before putting her in her kennel, looking and talking about the art project that was brought home the day before, and sharing an omelet for breakfast instead of racing to the car with a cereal bar in your hand. These are the moments the kids remember, and the moments we need to take the time to notice.

Growing up, Frank and I both came from smallish towns. Although very different socio-economically, there was a core set of values in those communities that shaped who we are today. Small town values that included always helping a neighbor in need, doing what needs to be done in the neighborhood, and lending a helping hand. Frank has always been that person - mowing a lawn, plowing a driveway, pushing a car out of a snow bank. It is part of his core values to do for others, which makes him the police officer that he is today.

Currently, we live in a community that still lives and breathes those values. A few months ago I was asked to meet with part of this community to describe Franks accident, and to talk about what I thought the future might hold for us. After that meeting, I was informed that the Cottage Grove Lions were going to spearhead a community benefit for our family. The Lions, along with many other local organizations, came together to combine forces and create the "We have your back" benefit. The benefit, being held this weekend, was put together by the coordinated effort and hard work of so many people.
Although the event has not even taken place yet, I can tell you that we feel the love and support from this community like never before. And as the event and festivities unfold this weekend, and we are swept away in the moment, I want to assure everyone that we are eternally grateful for your support. If you are attending the event, please say a special thank you to the organizations that worked so diligently to make it a fun family event. And please come say hello to us - we both want every person to know how much we appreciate each and every note, letter, prayer and word of encouragement.

Thank you - Cottage Grove Lions Club, St. Paul Park/Newport Lions Club, Cottage Grove Crime Prevention Board, MN FOP #1, Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest and the Cottage Grove Department of Public Safety. You make us proud to live in this community. You solidify our believe in the good and the strength of this great city. Thank you

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