Throughout the month of November, I want to take time to share about people or things I am grateful for over the past year. Previous entries: Jeremy BoumanPublic LibrariesFuel SaverEric CarpenterWellCare/MedicaidThat One Jimmy’s Egg MealBeth Katz & Lonnie MichaelMark Rober, Running.

(presses play on The Music of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child)

My Harry Potter fandom? It started as part protest, part curiosity with fellow Christians freaking out over the books. If it weren’t for the hysterics, I don’t think I would have started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone back in 2001. I did, and the rest is history.

Like any number of parents, reading the books to my children has been a joy. Seeing my boys then take the books and read them entirely on their own makes me smile. It was during one reading, while Jana was pregnant with our fourth boy, when I came across the name “Charlie Weasley”. The name clicked with me, and when Jana liked it we had the name for our fourth boy.

Duncan finished reading the books this past year, spending almost every available moment he had to read through Harry’s Hogwarts years. For his birthday party he wanted it to be Harry Potter themed. Duncan and I had fun concocting food and drinks for the party. He was so happy. (That’s his party in the featured image.)

This past July, we were in Colorado with Jana’s family. Jana and I took some of the boys, and one of their cousins, on a hike around the Alvarado Trailhead. We could hear another group of hikers in the forest. I can’t quite recall how it happened, but we start shouting Harry Potter spells at each other. 9000 plus feet up, on different mountains, amongst the rocks and trees, a valley between us, and Harry Potter.

I can’t recall why I checked it out on audio, but I decided to give The Cormoran Strike novels a try. I enjoy listening to books while running, and I heard the new detective novels JK Rowling had written, under the pen name Robert Galbraith, were good. As I ran, I would try and solve the case before the ending. I could never quite nail it, but what enjoyable books as I ran. As a writer, I’m enthralled by the passion, attention to detail, and story elements JK weaves throughout the Cormoran Strike novels. Two books down, two to go (and counting) in the series.

Last night, I took Jana on a date to see the latest Fantastic Beasts movie. Regardless of the quality of the movie (meh) it’s not an uncommon thing for Jana and I to go to Harry Potter events. Midnight book releases, movie premieres, Halloween costumes, local Harry Potter themed events…we will side with Harry.

For all the joy and entertainment JK Rowling has brought to my family, I am grateful.

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