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[The Wife! She speaks! Unsatisfied by occasional appearances in the comments, Gretchen wanted to offer a guest post on the part of BN she finds the most impressive: you. She ties it in to the ongoing BN Blogathon fundraiser for Make-A-Wish, and puts her money where her mouth is there at the end. She hadn't even discussed it with me; she simply sent me the post, and asked if I'd consider putting it up. She's good people.]

I always tell Brett that I love everything I read on Bleacher Nation, with the notable exception of anything that’s too baseball-y. (You read that correctly.)

Thanks to our marriage, I’ve gotten smarter over the past few years and can now identify news that’s worth pulling over at McDonald’s, articulate roughly what’s happening in a game, and respond somewhat intelligently when people ask me how the Cubs are doing. During the magical – and fleeting – moments that I’m the nap whisperer and the children’s naps are simultaneous, I occasionally pop in to BN to get an idea of how Brett’s day’s going, and to see what’s buzzing in the community.

And while the BN content is, of course, thoughtful, rich, and prolific, I’ve found that there’s something I love about BN even more (sorry, dear): that community. Since 2008, this community has exploded in size and in profile. When our family took a leap of faith and abandoned the financial certainty of the big law track shortly after Zoe (aka, “The Little Girl”) was born, I had no idea what this passion project would become. It’s amazing to run in to BN’ers at the grocery store, to have a BN family member deliver our second child, and to see people on the streets of Chicago rocking their BN t-shirts. (PS. I’m still waiting on the tank.)

More importantly than the growth, though, is that the soul of this place has stayed that mix of smart/sweet/sarcastic/funny/passionate. You’ve challenged, cheered on, and supported Brett in this crazy media space we call the blogosphere, and, on the most trying days, I know that you take care of him and of each other. This community is rich with smart, thoughtful, supportive folks, and I am grateful to share significant portions of my husband’s life with you.

In my personal and professional lives, I consistently come back to the same principle: the community is the thing. BN is no exception.

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Back in the spring, when Brett and I discussed this year’s Blogathon, we had the sense that this year had to be different. You’ve been through a lot together this year, and you’ve shown us that, with your passion, you can move mountains. This year’s Blogathon isn’t about the Taylors. This year, in addition to being about crazy nonstop coverage, it’s about taking this special community and moving those mountains – showing the world the difference a group of passionate people who are otherwise strangers can make.

Without giving away too much, I can tell you that people are noticing you, and they’re noticing the work you’re doing. They’ve noticed the sheer volume of donations — from $10 to $1,000 – as well as your tremendous social media efforts to spread the word. We’re halfway into July, and you’ve already raised enough to sponsor a child’s wish and then some! As of this moment, we’re at $7,520 raised. Brett agreed to blog for 30 hours straight at the Trade Deadline if you donated $6,000, and then another hour for every additional $1,000 you donate (up to 36 hours – a necessary cap for my sanity as much as his). So that means you’ve pushed him up to 32 hours already!

This week, let’s do the next push. Tell your family and friends that your community wants to help grant wishes to children through Make-A-Wish. Send an email, post a Facebook message, send a tweet, Instagram something, and let people know that you’re raising money for Make-a-Wish.

Last week, I took a big step and added an avatar (!). This week, I’ll do a much more significant thing for you, too. For every dollar you raise between now and this Friday, July 19, I’ll match up to $500.

For more on the Blogathon and Fundraiser, see this post. To donate, please go here.

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