Blogging from the Campaign Trail, Eleanor Baumgartner, wife of U.S. Senate candidate and State Sen. Michael Baumgartner

Summer greetings from the Baumgartner family!

I was sorry to miss last week’s blog post; I’m currently writing a book and I was working to a deadline to finish a proposal to send to publishers. The book is called “Love and Opium” and it’s about the two years I lived in Afghanistan. It describes the fight against opium, the struggles of Afghan women, and of course it culminates in meeting my fantastic husband Michael! It’s been fun for us both to reminisce about our time there as I work through the chapters, although it turns out that writing a book is much tougher than I’d anticipated!  I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

Celebrating Father’s Day

We took some family time last Sunday to celebrate Father’s Day. Conrad and I treated Michael to ice-cream and he made his dad a card with lots of smeary handprints. I was reflecting on how much I appreciate Michael when he was carrying a howling Conrad around the room at 3am on Tuesday morning (teething pains), before heading off for five hours of driving and a string of campaign meetings later that day.

A big “thank you” to all the great fathers out there for your love and hard work!

I wonder how many Washingtonians know that Father’s Day was actually started here in our state?  A Spokane woman, Sonora Smart Dodd, began the tradition in 1910. She was inspired by her own father, who raised Sonora and her five younger brothers as a single dad after the death of her mother.

It was fascinating to visit Sonora’s former home in Spokane two years ago, soon after the current owners, a great local couple, completed a painstaking restoration project. Yet another aspect of Washington State of which we can be proud!  If you’re over in Spokane, you should check out the house where Father’s Day began.

On the Campaign Trail Again!

We’ve covered hundreds of miles around the state in these last two weeks!

I enjoyed speaking to the South Kitsap Republican Women in Port Orchard on Michael’s behalf, while he was away in Georgia advising US troops heading to Afghanistan. They gave Conrad and me a warm welcome!

Two days later were all back together for the fantastic Prospector Days celebration in beautiful Republic; we had a warm reception there and a fun time at the parade. Later that day we met enthusiastic folks in Colville for a campaign social in the park. Then on Flag Day last week we were delighted to catch up with our longstanding friends at the Ponderosa Women’s Republican Club in Spokane.

I particularly wanted to thank everyone who responded to my fundraising letter coinciding with Conrad’s first birthday. Michael and I were so touched by the contributions and the thoughtful notes that you sent. I’m working through ‘thank yous’ for everyone; if you haven’t received my thank you note yet, it should be with you soon!

Question of the Week

“I read your article on Mike’s website about your 200 mile desert ultramarathon in Africa. Are you still running while pregnant?”  – Jackie, Pullman

We’re at 28 weeks now, and so far I’m still running…..very slowly! Most of the time I’m out with 1.5 babies, since Conrad comes along in his jogging stroller. In Republic we enjoyed taking part in the Gold Rush fun run, although I chose the shorter option and let Michael do the full 10km course.

I’m hoping to keep going as long as possible. The key is to make sure that I don’t push my heart rate too high. My doctor says it’s good for the baby and good for mom as well!

In fact, as a youngster I used to be on the same cross-country team as Paula Radcliffe, the current world record holder in the marathon. Paula now has two kids and she ran almost all the way through her pregnancies, so that’s a great inspiration – even though I’m moving at a fraction of the pace. Thanks for the question Jackie!