I am writing this week’s story from beautiful Coeur d’ Alene. Ryan is competing in the Ironman event, so Justin, Cassidy, and I are up here to support him. I am so happy all of us can be here together.

   Justin and Cassidy left earlier so they could check out some of the colleges. The thought of our little girl going to college in a few years is unbelievable! That left me driving up by myself, and gave me a lot of time for reflection. I thought about the first Ironman Shannon and I came up for in 2003. I remembered how much we loved the drive from Missoula to Coeur d’ Alene. I will never forget how beautiful the lake was. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

   As soon as I got into town, I went down to the resort where they had everything set up. As I was walking to the displays, I noticed Ryan. “Hey, Flyin Ryan!” I yelled. (That’s his nickname with all his racing buddies.) It was great to see him. He said he needed to get a bike and run workout in. I told him I would get Justin and Cassidy, and we could meet up for dinner.

   I caught up with Justin and Cassidy, and we walked around the Ironman displays. It has become a tradition that anytime we are at one of Ryan’s races, we buy a t-shirt to commemorate the event. We each picked out a t-shirt, and Cassidy bought a beach towel. I thought how great it is that small things like this can make me so happy.

   We met up with Ryan and his friends for dinner, and had a wonderful time. I am now back at the hotel where as soon as I post this story, we are going to make our signs for tomorrow. Please send your loudest cheers this way tomorrow for Ryan!

   The best thing about today is knowing our Angel Shannon is here with us and is so proud of our family. I will always LOVE AND MISS YOU sweetheart.

P.S. Cassidy has already told us her sign is going to read “RUN, RYAN, RUN!” Where does she get this stuff?