II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I did it! I crossed over to the other side!!!

Well, ya'll aren't gonna believe this but I did something today I've never done before. SOOOO many (almost all) of my friends do it...addicts practically. But not me. Not ever. I've been proud throughout my 29 years that I am different than the rest of the world in this way...but curiosity got the best of me and I decided to just give it a try. I bought my first cup of coffee today!!!! Technically it was a Carmel Mocha Latte, I believe--to which I added a sprinkle of Swiss Chocolate Creamer and a whole packet of Sweet-N-Low...but once I got it all swirled and stirred up, it was actually pretty good!! I'm just shocked that I liked it. I've always HATED coffee. Even just the smell of it grosses (ed) me out...but here lately, when I walk through the coffee isle at Wal-Mart and if someone is doing that fresh-ground thingy...ahhh..it smells so good. WeIrD!
I won't become addicted to it though. Here's why: The medium sized one I bought today was $3.70!!!! That's CrAzY! I can get a whole combo meal for that much money..but just a drink?!? Also, who KnOwS how many calories that thing had in it. I'm thinking a LoT! Plus, instead of giving me an energy boost, when I finally put the thing down (after I drank about 1/2 of it) I had a stomachache and felt like I was sloshing everytime I took a step. Too. Much. Liquid.
I might give one of those fancy-schmancy places a try sometime though...like Starbucks or Panera or something...since this one just came from a little hole-in-the-wall place that is connected to Subway in our little town.
I would still classify myself as a non-coffee drinker..but at least now I can hang out with all my friends and drink something besides soda or boring old hot chocolate!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sermon malfunction

Here is a follow up video to the one I posted last week where the preacher slips up and says that Lot "pinched his tits" instead of "pitched his tents." Turns out a group of people pretended to be the FCC and fine him $50,000 = poor guy looks like he's gonna cry!~ but it's funny anyway -
Thanks to Mr. Zig who sent me the link!
Ps. This video is a little longer---around 8 minutes I think---so if you have to fast-forward a little bit, go ahead...but just be sure to catch the last minute or two where they FINALLY tell him it's a joke!
This preacher seems like a lot of fun!

4 mini pages = 2 long hours

It's 12:40 am and I am up scrapping. As it turns out, for the past 3 Wednesdays in a row, I have recorded Biggest Loser which is on from 7-9 and then watched it after everyone else goes to bed. This works out great because I get a couple of hours of scrapping in while I watch it AND I get to fast-forward through all the commercials. I am working fast-n-furious to try to finish up this "Home" book so I can get back to my regular scrapbook. I don't really know why I am posting pictures of all my completed pages now....it just seems like the thing to do when I finish a page---take a picture, post it and then I'm done with that one and can move onto the next.
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So here are the last 2 pages of the "construction phase" of our home. The rest of the pages in this book will be of the improvements we've made to our property (trees, shop building, pool, etc.) as well as the "construction phase" of my parents home (which is a few acres behind ours). It's a boring book to most....but for us...it'll be our history someday.
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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sugar's not all bad...

Did you know that you can exfoliate your face with sugar to get rid of that dry, winter skin and reveal the fresh, vibrant you living underneath? I didn't....but I heard about it on What Not To Wear this past weekend and figured I'd give it a try. My skin gets so dry in the winter it almost looks as though I've been sunburned and I'm peeling! (especially my face)
So this morning I tossed a tbsp. of sugar in with my face cleanser and scrubbed away. As soon as I rinsed it off...I could tell the difference. My face felt like a baby's bottom...soft and smooth! Wow!
Anyway, just thought I'd share the tip....

Top of the Tuesday to ya...

Good Morning! Whew...what a day I have ahead of me. I have 4 days worth of work for the dr.'s office waiting on me, 5 loads of laundry folded and laying all over the living room floor waiting on me to put them in their appropriate homes, 2 kids who need baths before school this morning and 1 whole meals worth of dishes laying on my kitchen counters. Also, the dishwasher needs to be emptied and the sheets on our beds haven't been washed in ....well, we're going on about day 16 now (gulp!!)
In addition to that, we may be getting a puppy today! Yesterday when I took Sam into the groomer, she mentioned to me that they are looking for a home A.S.A.P. for a 10-week old registered golden retriever! The owner, an older gentleman, found out he has cancer and has a very short life expectancy. He isn't able to care for her and needs to find her a home immediately---and would I be interested. Well...let's see. I've been looking for the "perfect" puppy for about a year now. One of the requirements I had in my head that I was believing for was that I wouldn't have to PAY for a puppy...but that the right one would come TO ME and it would be FREE. The only thing that doesn't perfectly line up about this deal...is that I really had a small, white dog in my mind...and we all know golden retrievers aren't small (or white)! But, I will admit, Amos's Beau stole my heart the first time I saw him and since I've had the pleasure of spending some time with him (while they go on vacations), I realize what a sweet breed of dog that is. Plus, Matt's all for a big dog and it's a double bonus that he could use her for a hunting dog too! Anyway, I called the Amos family right away for some advice and also to see if they might be interested if we decide not to take her, and they were. So...we'll see. I am just waiting on them to call me to come and see her.
I'm not sure a puppy is what I need right now...as busy as I am...but I don't see things slowing down very much for the next...oh....15 years (not till Grant is 18 at least) so this is probably as good a time as any. Besides...I am totally trusting God with this whole thing. If this is "THE" puppy, then this is God's timing and that's perfect. Anyhow, I gotta get off this computer and get busy with my day...but I'll let you all know what happens with the puppy!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Glory to God!!!

It's 7:40 on Saturday morning. I woke up 20 minutes before my alarm was set to go off and I feel GREAT! I am completely stoked about going to the gym this morning (and getting to finally get back to kickboxing after missing for the past 2 months give or take a time or two!) I feel totally rested, energized and my heart is pumping at a little faster rate than usual. Don't ask me why or what...I have no idea. All I know is this is TERRIFIC! If I could wake up like this every day...Ahhhhhh...!!! I feel ready for the day, excited, in love, happy, confidant and strong. It's like sometime during the night, someone flipped a switch inside of me. It's actually pretty ironic because Matt and I had the house all to ourselves last night (both of the kids slept over somewhere else) and instead of having the steamy, romantic evening I had hoped for, we sat and talked for hours about how insecure I've been feeling and acting and how that is hurting our relationship. Then all of a sudden today, I wake up feeling completely opposite.!?!?! Huh!? Who knows, maybe I just needed to get it all out (say it to him). Whatever but I'm sure glad I'm feeling better today!
Anyhow, I just wanted to take a second to post since it's rare that I #1: wake up early, #2: feel like this.

So, I hope you all woke up feeling the same way and are ready to tackle your Saturday with a big smile and lots of energy!
Love you all!

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Plethera of Pictures

Hey ya'll...I've been compiling pictures for a while now and I am finally gonna take a minute to post them all.

These first ones are of Brooklyn on her 7th birthday. We had them taken at The Picture People in the mall. I had some good coupons/credits so I only paid $5 for these two 8 x 10's and a page of wallets.

These next 2 pictures are of Grant reading his favorite books, the "David" series by David Shannon. (they are a MUST-HAVE if you have little ones...they are SO cute!) But I took the pictures because I wanted to show ya'll something funny. Ever since Grant has been old enough to point at things...he has always used his middle finger! It looks like he's giving the "bird" every time he points. We find it hiarious but for him, it's just the natural finger to use. Ha Ha!

This picture is of our dog, Sam, wearing one of Grant's T-shirts. He looked SO funny and he wouldn't move. He just layed there stiff as a board until we took it off of him. Poor guy...we had so much fun laughing at his expense!Here are a couple of pics of my mom and dad. They came over last week one night to play cards with Matt and I while the kids watched Underdog. As usual, I got camera happy.And finally...I will leave you with some scrapbook pictures. First of all...here is my work station. It's quite a mess at the moment since I have been scrapping my little heart out this past week. These are all pages I completed in the past 7 days! (ps. if you blow this picture up and look at that picture hanging on the wall...you can see my big, fat pregnant belly!)

Oh and by the way....I was too lazy/in a hurry to take the pages out of the book....so these aren't the greatest pictures...and sorry about the glare! That one that is black and white with the car is one of my favorite pages but you can't see the detail in the pic. The little block letters say "How We Roll".

And lastly, I have begun a new mini-album to scrap the pictures of our house being built. It's just a 6 x 6 album...so not a lot of room for embellishing and I am going through it FAST. I am doing about 6 pages in it a night! Here are a few of them...

Okay...so that's it for today. I hope you're enjoying your Friday and have a good weekend!

I can't believe I'm showing ya'll this...

Many of you never knew the "before" me. My mom gave me this picture here recently of her and I taken on Mother's Day almost 4 years ago. I was pregnant, so I have a little bit of an "excuse" but really, this is about how I looked for several years while I was at my heaviest (202). My friend Teya reminds me to look at these pictures when I start feeling down about how I look now...and she's right..I really have come a long way from then. BUT...I could also show you some pictures of before this when I was in my 120's and THAT is where I am trying to get back to.
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Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Fold....!!!???

Fold = Fat & Old

Two comments heard by me in the past week:

1) (from an 18 year old girl) "You're only 29???"
2) (from a girl at the gym who in my opinion looks MUCH bigger than me) "You weigh 146? Wow, I only weigh 135!"

Two more comments received by me today by e-mail, both from the same person, someone I've just met recently and who is around my age:

1)"I was reading your blog yesterday and it was funny (ironic not haha funny) about how you were talking about your self image and how you feel about yourself. I see you as confident and thin and you always look so good."

2) "Here is a scripture that I really like...Psalm 45: 10-11 "Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear: forget your people and your father's house. The King is enthralled by your beauty; honor Him, for he is your Lord."

Hmmm....these things have certainly had me thinking....

(BTW Kate...I am still holding at 146 with my weight...but I do feel like I will see a loss by next Wednesday (weigh-in day) because I KNOW I've been working out a lot more and eating a lot better. As for BL, I'm kinda bummed about all the "game-play" going on and not very much focusing on exercise/eating right. I wish they'd show more about what kinds of foods they are eating to lose that kind of weight. I think the earlier seasons were much more focused on the real goal and now it's more focused on who's gonna win the money, it seems. Also, I wonder if they take any supplements? How's you're weight...? You still neck-n-neck with me or have you left me in your dirt? ha ha)

DISCLAIMER: I just want to say that I am adding this disclaimer to this post because I like to think I read my blog objectively sometimes and I realize that to other people, I probably sound like I am completely consumed with weight and looks. I do not post things like this so that I can get lots of sympathy and pats-on-the-back from all of you (although I certainly appreciate all your kind words). I don't want to sound needy. It just happens to be what is on my mind at this particular moment...and so viola...that's what my post ends up being about. I don't want you guys to start rolling your eyes and thinking...oh boy..here we go again...her whining about her weight and me having to try to convince her she's not fat. I don't think I'm fat...but I certainly don't think I'm thin either. Oh golly jeepers...here I go again...diarrhea of the mouth....I think I've said enough.

The results are in---sex is good!

Hey guys...as most of you know, I've been conducting a poll about (shhh...sex!) Here are the final results:
13 people voted total
ONE of you said it was better when you first got married
ONE of you said it was good for a while and then leveled off
TWO of you said it has stayed the same throughout the years
SEVEN of you said it is WAY hotter now
and TWO of you said What sex life?

I am thrilled to report to my young married friend that, in fact, I was right...there is HOPE! That aspect of marriage really does grow and intensify the longer you are together and as you come to know one another more deeply and more completely. I am tempted to say though that this may not be quite the same for non-Christians. I think as Christians, we are more commited to making this part of our marriage a priorty (at least some of us are anyway). Obviously we are not going to be looking to the world to satisfy our physical desires.
Anyhow, I know this is a sensitive subject and I tend to be a blabber mouth so I'm gonna make this short to ensure I don't overdo it.
I just thought I'd let you all know what the verdict was.
Also, as you can see, I am now doing a poll on tattoos. I am interested in finding out what you all think about them. Some (Christian) people I know think they are perfectly fine and great and some I know think it is a complete SIN to get/have one. I'm curious what you guys think....and why. Feel free to leave comments on this post and elaborate on your poll answers.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

young preacher and his slip of the tongue

Oh My GOSH....you HAVE to listen to this. I tried to keep my cool...but I couldn't...I CRACKED up!---and I'm still giggling...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Today was Brooklyn's turn to say the announcements at her school over the intercom. This is a BIG deal to these kids. They only get one turn per year and every person in the entire elementary school is listening. We practiced with her last night what she would have to say which was a pretty lengthy introduction as well as leading everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance and the state pledge. Last night as we were practicing it with her, I noticed that she says "Indivisible, with Liverty and Justice for All." so I corrected her and told her that actually it's "Liberty". She took note of that because she certainly didn't want to say it wrong and have everyone laugh at her. So, finally this morning comes and I decided to go into the school with her and hang around to hear her do the announcements. I was SO PROUD! She did SUCH a good job remembering exactly what to say. She remembered not to talk too fast and to pronounce her words clearly. She did everything PERFECTLY ...that is until she got to that part of the pledge again and said "Liverty". Thankfully though, instead of getting embarrased about it...she just looked at me through the glass window of the principals office and giggled. It was SO cute! She's growing up in SO many ways...but I am so thankful that in someways...she's still just a sweet, innocent little girl!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Scrappy Hangover

So, it's 11:17 Saturday morning. I've been up for about 2 hours now. That's a record (me sleeping until almost 9:30 on a Saturday morning). But...I have a good excuse. For the second Friday in a row, I stayed out with my friends past midnight scrabooking! Last night, I actually got home at 2:37 am. I turned off the TV and passed out at 3:17 am. It was some time during the 6 o'clock hour that I heard little things entering my room. I think it was the kids and the dog...but I'm not positive. All I know is that my sweet husband took them all out, shut the door and let me snooze on. When I finally did wake up to a sweet little face saying "Mom are you gonna get up yet? Brooklyn needs to talk to you!" I was in a totally great mood despite the pounding headache and "sand" in my eyes. I made sure to tell my hubby that I would marry him all over again right now if I wasn't already married to him. That's like the nicest gift ever...getting my bed all to myself when I'm that zonked and knowing that someone else is feeding and taking care of the kids. Ahhhh.......
Anyhow, I know I haven't posted much lately...so I thought I'd tell ya'll what I've been up to. Maybe later today, I'll post my finished scrapbook pages for you all to see. They turned out pretty cute, I think.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

So, I took some time from my busy life to scrapbook this morning. I am pretty happy with how this double layout turned out. What do ya'll think? I've got a long way to go still...but this is sure an improvement over the stuff I've done in the past!
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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

An "almost" disaster...

I have an unusually large amount of work today...so I have been busy at my desk while Grant is bored out of his mind this afternoon. He got an idea that he wanted to "fix mommies hair" so I thought...sure, what the heck! He got a chair to stand in behind me (while I am sitting here typing) and went and gathered all the brushes, combs and clips he could find. He's been staying busy, busy, busy brushing and clipping. I was thrilled he found something to do! I was able to keep my concentration on my work and everything. That was UNTIL I looked up and saw he had SCISSORS in his hand!!!! AUGH!!!

Thank God I caught him before he actually cut anything! Whew! That coulda been REAL bad!

You'll be seeing less of me...

More of HIM. As I decrease, HE will increase.

I am actually using this in two different contexts: By "less of me" --first of all I am talking physically. I am on my WEIGH down (to 135) 146.4 today. I have decided to begin a journal. Not just of what I eat and how many calories I consume, but also of what exercise I do and how I am feeling about my body and myself each day. I've realized that part of what's changed in mine and Matt's relationship is the amount of self-confidence I have. I have gotten so self-concious that I try to hide from him if I am naked or in my undies because I am so ashamed of how I look. I don't feel pretty nor do I feel healthy and energetic. It's time for that to change. I know it's "carnal" but it makes an enormous difference in how I handle myself--especially with him. I am going to write down a "Game Plan" this afternoon. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, I will go to the gym and do my classes as always. On the other days, I am going to have a little work-out session at home WITH THE KIDS. We will do lunges, jumping jacks, push ups, crunches and jump rope as well as a few other fun (hard) moves I've learned recently. I am going to turn up the music and set the timer and we are all going to work out as a family on these days. I am also going to limit the desserts in our house. We have gotten so bad that everyone expects a dessert after lunch And dinner EVERY DAY. That's unnecessary and certainly one peice-of-the-pie so to speak of why we are all getting a little chubby around the middle. My goal is to bake only one dessert per week.
Now...the other "less of me--More of Him" I am talking about is emotionally/spiritually. I am so consumed with how I FEEL and how I LOOK and how I stack up against other moms that I am forgetting who I am in CHRIST! My value is found ONLY in HIM. Without Christ, I am nothing. I can do nothing. I am a failure...but with Christ, I can ONLY triumph. I can ONLY be victorious. There's no chance of losing when you're on God's team! Hooray! Everybody breathe a big sigh of relief because you can hang up your boxing gloves and let God fight this game of life for you! (You woulda lost anyway!) I am gonna quit trying SO hard to show God how capable I am and let HIM be the one in charge.
One way I plan to do this is by following the lead of my friend Teya @ www.itsyourbffteya.blogspot.com who challenged us to all read the New Testament in a year. Since it's only January 15th today...we are just a teensy bit "behind" but it will be easy to catch up. All you have to do is read a chapter in the Bible 5 times a week beginning in Matthew and you'll have the whole thing read by Dec. 31st! I am going to make this a family devotional time where we all sit together and do this as well as have some family prayer time. I want the kids to take a minute to pray for their friends at school or whoever they want while Matt and I show them (by praying aloud) the things that we are hoping/believing for also. It may be tough at first, but I would also really like to take a few seconds to pray in the spirit together as well. It should be second nature for us (and the kids) and not something we feel awkward about...so we're gonna work on that.
I am going to attempt to de-clutter my life some by not committing myself to SO many activities and duties. I know that schedules work for me...so I am going to really try to adhere to a cleaning schedule at my house so I can quit feeling like I need to be cleaning 24-7. If I have a schedule and I know what day it has to be done..I can be "off the hook" on the other days.
Okay, well, time to get up and get all this stuff planned out and put on paper!
I hope some of you will join me in these endeavors!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Brooklyn (a.k.a. Hannah Montanta) blowing out her 7 candles.
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Brooklyn was so polite with every gift she opened. I was very proud of her. She made everyone feel special and let them know how much she liked each gift! She's growing up!
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Our friend Rich...being Hannah Montana!
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All the kids gathered around watching her open gifts.
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Brooklyn swinging at the pinata...till its death.
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One of my other BFF's Amy smiling for the camera. This is SUCH a cute picture of her...and notice the adorable scrapbook page in front of her! She is so talented!
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My BFF Teya holding her birthday cake at the scrapbook store. She and Brooklyn share the same birthday, so after Brooklyn's birthday dinner, I met the "girls" at the scrapbook store for some cake and scrapbook fun.
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My birthday girl blowing out her candles. (notice her handsome daddy beside her!)
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Lauren, Faith, Brooklyn and Grant
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Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Brooklyn!
It's hard to believe she's 7 already. Last night we watched her "coming out" movie. (as she calls it--I call it her "being born movie) Boy was life different then! I can hardly remember the days before kids now. I certainly can't remember what I did with all that time! ha ha So much has changed in these past 7 years that I almost forgot that she's still my BABY. She's so mature sometimes that I tend to treat her like my equal more than my child. I hope this next year I will spend more time hugging and kissing on her than fighting with her. She's strong willed, that's for sure...but there must be a way to nurture that rather than supress it. She's so much braver than I was at her age, and much more confidant and I am so proud of that. She's not afraid of anything (well, except the dark! ha ha) and she know's whose child she is! The girl can say a mighty good prayer and talking to God about things is her first reponse when a problem or sickness arises. She has the potential to be a mighty woman of God if we be careful to guide her down the right path. I can't wait to see how she's gonna grow up...but for now...she can just be my darlin' little angel.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


The other day while Brooklyn was making out a couple of last-minute birthday party invitations (for kids she forgot she wanted to invite at school) I was telling her what to write on the lines. When she got to the line marked WHERE: I rambled off our address to her, which is quite long with lots of numbers. I told Matt "it'll be a miracle if those people can read her writing and actually make it to the right house!" So, finally she finishes and she's onto the next one. Again, she gets to the WHERE: line and I tell her, "Just copy what you wrote on the last one" to which she replies, "I was going to, but I can't read what I wrote!"

Ha Ha

Matt and I CRACKED up! She really needs to work on her handwriting. Anybody got any suggestions on ways to motivate her to take her time and write more clearly?

The smartest thing I've done all day...

So, I had this idea the other day when I was digging in the bottom of our coat closet trying to find a pair of matching gloves. I bought this organizer at Wal-Mart this afternoon for $6.76 and believe me, it's worth every penny!!! I am so excited! ha ha (ps. I don't want any comments on how MESSY this closet is! believe me....it was WAY worse before I got the organizer thingy and all that stuff was in the floor!! ha ha)
Now when we get ready to go somewhere, all our coats, hats, mittens, gloves and scarves are in the same place and easy to find. I put Grant's stuff on bottom, Brooklyn's in the middle, mine above hers and Matts on top.
Just thought I'd share this idea with you in case any of you want to do it too!

Ps. I just wanted to mention that while I was at Wal-Mart today, I did buy the nice razor blades I was talking about in my last post...but they were even more expensive than I thought!!!! It was $12.76 for a pack of FOUR!!! AUGH! I put them in and out of the cart about 5 times before I finally reminded myself of that NASTY cut on my woo-hoo and decided to buy them!

A turning point...

So, I've reached a point in my life where I am deciding that I am worth it. I am worth the $15 for good face moisturizer. I am worth the extra $$ to buy the healthier foods. And today...I am worth the extra money it takes to buy GOOD RAZORS! After a great workout at the gym, I was ready to hit the shower. Everything was going great until I decided to do a little extra grooming THERE. All of a sudden the razor slid sideways and SLICED ME OPEN! Immediately blood starting splurting out. (are you getting light headed yet?) I thought I was going to faint. Literally. I had to hold myself up against the shower wall to keep from going down. I was seeing stars. I've cut myself PLENTY of times shaving...but this was no ordinary cut. It would NOT stop bleeding. As soon as I got out and dried off I could see that it was about an inch and a half long! I put a band-aid on it and instantly the blood soaked through. Ugh!
So...of course, I was using a CHEAP razor. The cheapest of the cheap. The kind that come 10 for a dollar I think. Well NO MORE! I am throwing ALL of the rest of them in the trash and I am going to get me the BEST of the BEST (which in my opinion is the Gillette Fusion 5 blade flexible/swivel ones.} They are actually for men and they are supposed to contour to the curves of a guys jaw. I got a free sample one in the mail a while back and I was blown away by the thing. I could shave any curve or bump (like my knee) and the thing would NOT cut me. Anyway, when I went to buy refills for it..I about freaked cuz they are like $10 for a 5 pack! So, I went with the horrible 10/$1 ones. After this episode, that won't be happening again! I herby vow to never buy a cheap razor again! he he

In other "news" Matt brought me a surprise home last night from work! This BRAND NEW AB lounger! A buddy of his was throwing it in the TRASH! It has never even been used...but he said it was taking up too much space in his house and he wanted to get rid of it. Woohoo for my hubby who grabbed it up for me!! I can't wait to start using it! Do any of you have one?

Okay, that's it for today...
Tomorrow is the BIG DAY--Brooklyn's 7th birthday (as well as my BFF Teya's 32nd birthday!) I have a crazy schedule that starts at 8:15 am and goes until midnight!
Here's a glimpse into what my day will be like tomorrow:
8:15 - Drop Brooklyn off at school
8:45 - Pick up check from Dr. office downtown
9:00 - Hair appointment and pick up balloons for party
12:00 - Pick up birthday cake from grocery store
1:00 - Take cupcakes to Brooklyn's school/drop Grant off at Mom's, Get Brooklyn "fixed up"
4:00 - Picture appointment at The Picture People in mall
6:00 - Dinner with Family for Brooklyn's birthday
8:00 - Scrapbooking with my buddies and celebrating Teya's birthday
12:00 midnight---drive home and fall into bed!

Then on Saturday we are having Brooklyn's birthday party at our house!

I'm sure I will have lots of pictures to share with you all when it's all over with!