My first contraction!  This morning I woke up at 6:15 to a strange feeling!   At first I thought I had to use “the facilities” if you know what I mean.  But then one look at my tummy and I knew!  I woke Greg up and we both just watched and waited…

Turns out just a normal thing…my body is practicing for labor now! Braxton-Hicks they call it.  Hope I spelled that right!

Weird, it actually made me kind of excited.  I’ve been wondering so much about what a contraction might feel like.  Now I know, I feel more prepared for the real thing. 

Total different topic now: 

This weekend my Grandfather passed away, and I can’t be there for the funeral because of how far along I am in my pregnancy now.  It’s tough to get closure by not going to the service.  It’s tomorrow in Illinois in the same church my Grandparents were married in over 60 years ago.  Since I can’t go, I wrote something for my sister to read during the service and I even picked out all the scripture and the hyms.  I’d appreciate your prayers for my family during this time. 

Here’s what I wrote: 

One life ends…another begins.  As we mourn and celebrate the death of our Grandfather it’s a bittersweet time for us.  Our family is also anxiously expecting the birth of the first of the next generation.  Appropriately enough…another girl!   

We will remember our Grandpa as an active…outdoorsman…loving…chocoholic. 

 

Grandpa had a knack for always making us giggle as little girls.  Maybe it was how his belly shook when he laughed like Santa Claus or just his low chuckle and trouble making grin that came to his face…whenever we were with Grandpa…fun was around the corner. 

 

Grandpa taught us to enjoy and appreciate the outdoors.  We feel so spoiled that almost every summer and winter vacation as kids we got to go to Jackson Hole.  When we stayed at the cabin or later the condo in Teton Village…we’d wake up to elk sausage, and any other mystery meat wild game, plus Grandma’s coffee cake.  Then, he would take us on hikes with his walking stick, big grey canteen, and for a snack, a bag full of chunks of chocolate that he bought at the Moose General Store.  We liked to take breaks when Grandpa was hiking with us!  He called them “siestas” 

 

One summer, my sister, Amanda, lived the summer with Grandma and Grandpa in the condo.  She was in college and had an internship at a newspaper.  During that time, she actually witnessed Grandpa get Grandma out of the kitchen (an amazing feat for any man).  The only time this happened was when Grandpa fixed his signature dish, Hot Fudge Sundaes.  He’d take those same chunks of chocolate that he bought at the Moose General Store and slowly melt them down on the stove…then he’d poor it over Moose Trax ice cream.

 

Going to the pool:  Grandpa loved to swim laps…and entertain the young female lifeguards at the pool with his jokes.  They loved him!   In the summer in Jackson Hole, he went to the pool every single day.  He took his own kickboard and would swim back and forth…back and forth.  We would tag along and swim beside him.

 

Grandpa was never without 2 things in his pocket.  A handkerchief and a pocket knife.  Sometimes he used his knife to eat, at Christmas he used it to open his presents…usually more chunks of chocolate.  After presents we’d usually spend another hour posing for pictures.  Grandpa LOVED to take pictures.  We held up every gift, and were posed in every conceivable order, we were patient, because Grandpa loved it. 

 

As Grandpa aged it was harder and harder for him to be as active as he once was, but he still managed to stay busy.  Before Amanda’s wedding in 1999, Grandpa was 86 years old.  He and his older brother, Don, were together and decided before the wedding Grandpa needed a fresh haircut.  So, instead of going to the barber they just cut each other’s hair.  He had the biggest grin on his face when he told us the story.  Even Grandma laughed. 

 

Grandpa’s house:  Growing up we thought that everyone’s Grandpa’s house had elephant foot bar stools, tusks that welcome you into the front entryway, a polar bear rug in the formal living room, and a zebra skin drum in the corner.  It wasn’t until we were teenagers that we realized how cool it was that our Grandpa had been so many places and brought back so many unique pieces from his hunting trips.  He even let us play with them.  I remember sliding down the head of the polar bear rug like it was a slide and hiding things in it’s open mouth! 

 

Grandpa was the best.  He never told us “no”, he let us explore, and discover, he taught us how NOT to be prissy little girls all the time, but still spoiled us rotten.  He’s what all Grandpa’s should be.  Always ready to laugh, hug, and give us chocolate. 

 

We can just see him in heaven now.  Not hanging out in a mansion, but rather, we think God had waiting for him a cabin in the woods, full of a fresh new wilderness to explore with his canteen, walking stick, and chunks of chocolate.

 

We love you Grandpa and can’t wait to hike with you in Heaven.

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