Friday, January 31, 2014

Maybe the Dog Did It?

The problem with being a blogger is that everything that happens each day is evaluated to ascertain if it is blog-worthy.  Is it appropriate?  It is interesting?  Do I have a photo that could accompany it?  Is it even my story to tell?  Will it come back to haunt my children in ten years?

Case in Point:  I got back from running my son to preschool the other day and had a small window of time available to cross about fifteen things off my To-Do list before we had to run out the door again to go to the doctor.  I emptied the dishwasher and refilled it, emptied my coffee cup and refilled it, emptied the washing machine and refilled it, all while Thomas was enjoying the antics of a very curious monkey who was struggling to hit a pinata at a birthday party.  Yes, alert the Parenting Police.  I allowed my baby to be entertained by TV while I did chores.  Anyway, once all the essential cleaning jobs of the morning were completed, I sat down at the computer to try to finish the writing I was under a deadline to finish.  Time was of the essence and I was able to work right up until the very moment we had to leave.  I trotted off to the bathroom for a quick potty break before we started the process of leaving the house which I have taken to calling "The Epic Shoe Hunt."

When I walked into the bathroom, I was horrified to find that whatever little boy had taken care of business that morning had failed to flush the toilet and we're not talking just a little #1 action.  In fact, there was additional evidence smeared all over the seat in case I needed additional confirmation.  As I crossed the floor to flush away the evidence and start trying to erase that image from my memory, my bare feet were suddenly.....WET.  I looked down and sure enough, I had stepped in pee. 

So, to recap.  Standing in pee, staring at poop, a toddler behind me with his head cocked to the side and asking, "Mommy?  Where are you? What doing?"  The little voice in my head responded, "Trying to keep myself from screaming expletives," but I am proud to say that I did NOT in fact scream them.  I merely muttered them under my breath.  Not the same thing. 


I did not take a photo in this moment to share on the blog (you're welcome) nor did I even think it was interesting enough to even write about, but the best part came later when my severely frazzled self finally showed up to pick Micah up from preschool.   I asked him if he was the one who had made the mess in the bathroom that morning and he quickly denied it, blamed the dog and asked to listen to the Frozen soundtrack. 

Guess you just had to be there.  

And now I give you a completely unrelated photo of who I actually suspect was the Non-Flushing Poop Culprit:

If you've made it to the end of this post without rolling your eyes and grumbling, "Ugh.....she's blogging about poop again," I want to congratulate you while I simultaneously question your sanity.  It's a strange brew, folks.  Maybe someday I will be blogging about dinner parties or the proper etiquette to follow when asking a celebrity for their autograph, but today is not that day.

Hang in there with me for a while, ok?  I still have one more kid to potty train.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fourth Day

We are currently at home for the fourth, yes....FOURTH time from having school cancelled due to cold.  Not snow, but cold.  I've run out of ideas, patience, and fluffy socks.  The wind chills today have been in the range of -44 to -45 degrees.  As in, below zero. 

I just can't take it anymore. 

The air stings your lungs when you breathe.  Getting gas requires long underwear.  Boogers freeze inside your nose in a matter of milliseconds. 

To make matters worse, I am not THAT mom who has all the fantastic paper crafts for the kids to work on where they can use Popsicle sticks and glitter to create a diorama depicting a snow-scape complete with woolly mammoths and a Spiderman action figure dressed up as their mother still wearing her yoga pants and yesterday's eyeliner.  I'm the mom who lets my kids rot their brains all day long with Curious George cartoons, Wreck It Ralph on the Wii, and about two thousand PIXAR movies.

Now this guy has the right idea.  Curled up on a fuzzy blanket and giving the stink-eye to the evil person who dares disturb his slumber.  That sounds glorious, doesn't it? 

When is the last time you had a NAP?  That is one thing I remember fondly from the days I only had one child.  When Isaiah was a baby, I was a huge fan of the whole "sleep when the baby sleeps" mentality and I napped often.  It was the only way I could survive the long nights full of nursing and walking and more nursing and rocking and more nursing.  What nobody tells you is that one the second child shows up, that whole concept gets thrown right out the window.  That second child becomes incredibly skilled at waking up at the exact moment you land on the couch with a satisfied sigh after laying the baby down in his crib with ninja-like skill.  Sorry mama.  No nap for you!

Wait!!  I remember the last time I took a nap!  It was when I was in a hotel.  Traveling alone.

If you need me, I'll be checked into the Holiday Inn in the next town.

I'm sure the kids will be fine while I'm gone.

Yup.  They've got this under control. 

Hiding under my fuzzy blanket,

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Five Kids Blog: The Very Real and Necessary Dangers of a Secret Chocolate Stash

We all have weak moments in the parenting battle, don't we?  Those times when we are just so DONE with the whining, the stomping, and the tantrum-throwing in the middle of Target that we abandon all principles and opt instead for desperation.  

Defeated, you blurt out the "T-word."  You know the one.


That's right you darling child whom I seem to remember loving so dearly this morning as he kissed me good morning and then wiped his snot on my pajamas who now is about two seconds away from being traded to the nearest shopper in exchange for their Starbucks gift card....if you can stop acting like a lunatic so we can finish shopping for our toilet paper and votive candles in relative peace and quiet, I will give you a treat when we get home.  And not like a "look it's a carrot stick!" kind of treat, but a very real and very sugary kid-crack kind of treat.....

To read the rest of this post, hop over to Five Kids is a Lot of Kids, one of my FAVORITE blogs on the entire Internet where I am guest posting today.  You may even get a breakfast/dinner/brinner recipe idea.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Birthing Laughter and a Short PSA

Things have been a little heavy around here lately, haven't they?  I've been writing from the heart and sharing a lot of things that are going on with me personally, but I know my typical humor has been absent for a little bit.

For this, I apologize.

I want you to know that I wish everything I write could be hysterical.  Nothing makes me enjoy writing more than feeling like I can't type fast enough to get all the hilariousness out of my head, through my fingers, and onto the screen.  Of course, sometimes what actually comes out was waaaaayyyy funnier in my head, but that's the risk we must take!

I shared this feeling with a friend recently and her response astonished me.  When I explained how I felt compelled to be funny in every post, she observed that it was in my very nature to expect that of myself.  In fact, it was revealed in my name.

What now?

Remember Sarah from the book of Genesis?  When the Lord told her she would give birth to a son in her old age, how did she respond?  She laughed.

And when that promised baby was born, he was named Isaac which means "he laughs."  In fact, Sarah even says in Genesis 21, "God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me."

Sarah was a woman who responded to unbelievable things with laughter.  So much was laughter a part of who she was that she literally birthed laughter.

My dear friend described all this to me and I was dumbfounded.  Of course I feel responsible to be the bringer of laughter!  Of course I'm most at ease when I am making others laugh and smile!  Of course I feel a responsibility to bring forth laughter in everything I do!

Isn't that cool?

To follow up the somewhat serious tone of my earlier post, I give you this one to lighten the mood.  After we watched the AFC and NFC championship games yesterday (and both the teams I was cheering for won!), my husband passed me his phone so I could watch this video.

I nearly died from laughter.

So if you have ever found yourself contemplating jumping off a bridge, even for a split second when the commercial for the ASPCA comes on with the Sarah McLachlan song comes on....this is for you. 

(Yes, I realize the irony that this particular Sarah is not so much interested in birthing laughter, but far more interested in birthing guilt and self-loathing so that you run out the door and adopt a dozen shelter dogs.  I never said my friend's theory was perfect.)

(Not that adopting shelter dogs is a bad thing, quite the opposite in fact.  I'm just saying I'd rather not have to drive to the Human Society through hysterical sobs while on the phone with the suicide hotline because of a commercial.) 

If you have ever cheered when Tom Brady throws an interception....this is for you.

If you've ever felt neglected, abandoned, or rejected with your palm or fist suspended mid-air....this is for you.

And if you are my mother-in-law, this is especially and most definitely for you.

So please.  If you find yourself shopping at the Whole Foods in Boston and happen to run into this slightly-scruffy elite quarterback shopping for some coconut water for his supermodel wife, give the dude a high five.  It's the least we can do, folks. 

Money can't buy high fives, friends.  Be an angel.

(I can't even handle it.  So so soooooo funny.)

When Your Father Means Business

My paycheck this week was abysmal.  I spent 12.2 hours on my feet on Saturday and I earned more than $110 less than one of my co-workers made on just the dinner shift, on ONE table.  Not that I'm upset with her or trying to take anything away from the job she did or claim that she doesn't deserve it (because she is awesome and totally deserves it), but I'm just saying it was kind of a bitter pill to swallow.

As it turns out, God isn't playing games with this whole LESS thing.  A polar vortex (seriously?  How foreboding does that sound?) causing historic cold temperatures that keep people at home in front of their fireplace rather than out at a restaurant for pecan-crusted grouper or a plate of pork fries.  Snow falling every other day, keeping the roads slick and the people away.  Holiday credit card bills arriving and causing people to panic and suddenly get a tight, tight grip on their budgets.  It's felt like I've been working really hard for not a whole lot of return so far this year. 

January is a notoriously slow month for those of us in the food service industry, but that's not the only area of my life where I am seeing God work on me in this regard.  There have been opportunities presented to me lately that I have felt very comfortable saying "yes" to and now there are others that I am feeling strongly led to decline, mostly in the name of trying not to keep taking on more and more so that my performance or health suffers.

Because I have been feeling more and more depleted lately. Not just in terms of energy or stamina, quite the opposite in fact.  I've started working out regularly again so my physical health is actually on the upswing.  No, it's the rest of me that has felt stretched, sore, and weary.  My patience, joy, and passions.

We sang a song of worship in church on Sunday that I have sung many, many times before without it really resonating much, but it struck a deep and painful chord with me this time.

This is my prayer in the desert, when all that's within me feels dry.
There is a faith proved of more worth than God, so refine me Lord through the flame. 
All of my life, in every season, you are still God.  I have a reason to sing; I have a reason to worship.
I know I'm filled to be emptied again; the seed I've received I will sow. 

And most importantly, I WILL BRING PRAISE.  


I'm not entirely sure yet what He's up to, but I can tell you with certainty that I am feeling the discipline of a loving Father right now.  I've been clawing for more more more for so long that he's now forcing me into a season of life where I feel like I am being emptied.  My natural inclination is to retreat, to hide, to quit and to despair.

But He is calling me to fight that instinct.  He wants so much more for me.  Instead, He wants to teach me in this trial, to refine me and draw me nearer to Him.

I will bring praise.  
I will bring praise.
No weapon formed against me will remain.

I'm going to fight this.  I'm going to get off my chair and take a break from writing a blog post to play Peek-a-Boo with my two year old and his stinky Blankee (because that's totally what just happened).  My hair may be a hot mess now, but there is a smile on my face because the delight that little game brings Thomas makes me melt.  

I accept that I am entering into a season of Less.  In fact, I'm excited about it because it proves that my Father is sincerely interested in me, loves me, and delights in me.  Just please remind me that I wrote this the next time I am about to go on a rant about the table that just left me a $7 tip on their $60 check.

Thanks.  I knew I could count on you.


Friday, January 17, 2014

One Word

All the cool bloggers are riding this "One Word" train in lieu of new years resolutions and I totally get it.  Resolutions are daunting, overwhelming, and in most cases very ineffective.  Resolutions have a way of burning brightly for a week or two before we realize that our resolution is not a fast fix, not something we can revolutionize in such a short amount of time.  Setbacks hit, frustrations slow us down and we come to a grinding halt.  Just like that, we are right back where we started.

One word sounds so much simpler, doesn't it?  One word to focus on, one word to pray about, one word to change the way we live every arena of our life.

I've seen people choose such wonderful words.






It's such a neat concept and I thought about jumping on the bandwagon as 2013 drew to a close, got in the way.  Before I knew it, the calendar page had flipped and I hadn't really thought or prayed about what my word might be.  Of course, my over-anxious catastrophic personality jumped right to the extreme and I decided I just wasn't meant to have any resolutions this year, not even a single word.  And I most certainly did not fall into the category of the cool bloggers who would be able to create an entire series of posts about their word and how it was revolutionizing their world, right down to the shampoo they use and the food they eat.

And then the whisper came.  So quiet and subtle I could barely hear it.

"No," I said, "that cannot possibly be my word."

I heard it again, louder this time.  And far more insistent.

Sometimes I try to brush away the voice of the Holy Spirit as lightly as one might wave away a fly on a warm summer afternoon, not really paying it much mine other than to acknowledge its presence.  Every so often, I discover that the Lord has something that he really, really needs me to hear and it doesn't matter if I'm reading my Bible every day, spending an hour in prayer every morning, or memorizing new scriptures every week.  As it turns out, God knows my tendency to try to DO more and more under my own power to achieve acceptance, love, success....even GRACE.

It was time to do something about it.


The whisper that started so gently became louder and stronger every day before I couldn't ignore it any longer.

Worry less - trust and pray more.

Be content with less and stop being jealous of others or unsatisfied with what you've been blessed with.

Spend less money, less distractions, less excuses.  

Think less about yourself and so so much more about others. 

Less relying on my own power and more submission to the God who never fails.  

I could go on and on.  The more I thought about it, the more I could see this word permeating every area of my life I felt unsettled in - my family, mental health, faith, health, career (or lack thereof), and more.  I'm not going to try to write a big series about it where I get all deep into how this one word is changing my life this year, but that's not my goal.  I guess I just wanted to get it out, to move all these thoughts from inside my head and heart out through my fingers.  It's just the way I process things.   

So this will be my year of learning to be less.  It reminds me of how John the Baptist responded when people started to question how he felt about all his followers switching over to Jesus' camp.  His response was this: "This joy of mine is now complete.  He must increase, but I must decrease."  (John 3:29-30)

May that be what the Lord works in my heart this year....that He will increase and I will decrease.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Danger of Believing the Lie

I gazed out my kitchen window as the kids happily shoved their faces full of mac and cheese with hot dogs.   I took another bite of my Funfetti cupcake complete with green garland icing and snowflake sprinkles as I watched a women jog by, her breath puffing out in tiny clouds in the 18 degree weather.  Munching on my cupcake, I thought, "I'm a failure."  

A couple years ago, during a particularly difficult season of parenting with my middle son, I vented on my blog about how the kid was driving me crazy.  As in, straight up want to go on a bender, hide under my covers, drive to town for milk and never come back NUTS.  I was completely over it and at my wits end, so I wrote about it.  I was frustrated, angry, and defeated.  A little while after I pushed "Publish," someone commented that clearly my children would be better off being given up for adoption because I was being a terrible parent.  She pointed out that I should never have had a third child because clearly I was unfit to even take care of my first two.

So how did I respond to such harsh words from a total stranger?  I'm ashamed to admit that I had the craziest, stupidest, most ridiculous response to the comment.

I believed her.

All the hugs, kisses, and "I love yous" in the world weren't enough in that moment.  Suddenly I was convinced that the sleepless nights, the struggles to breastfeed, the hours I spent making baby food, the poop I had cleaned from butts, sheets, walls, faces, and bathtubs.....none of it mattered.  I was an unfit parent.  A failure.  I was doing everything wrong and my kids were clearly suffering because of my incompetence and I would forever be indebted to this complete stranger on the Internet for pointing it out to me based on the thirty seconds she spent reading my sleep-deprived rant because she would be the rescue my children so desperately needed.

Did anyone else just throw up in their mouth a little bit?

I mean, COME ON.  I believed this garbage?  How could I have even for a second given those hurtful words even a second thought, let alone allowed them to take over my mind and convince me they were true?

I'm a great mom.  I might not be a great mom every day, but even on the days when I am struggling to put on pants correctly without a cup of coffee, I'm still the one my kids will turn to immediately when that bump on the head stings more than anticipated, when the kid on the bus hurts their feelings, or when they just really need a good snuggle.

I lose my temper, get frustrated over insignificant things,  and spend what can only be described as an unhealthy amount of time in my pajama pants.

But I heard the little saying recently that "Having a bad day does not make you a bad mom."

Now that's some truth right there.  Even if that one bad day turns into three bad days and that three bad days turns into a very real and very discouraging and difficult season of life, it doesn't have to define us.  That season with Micah was HARD.  Very hard.  I thought he would never sleep again and that I, in turn, would never sleep again.

He sleeps great now.

He also poops his pants several times a week, constantly has his finger in his nose, and got in trouble at school for trying to throw a chair at his teacher.

But none of those things really matter all that much.  What matters is that I love that kid like crazy and he thinks I'm pretty great too.  And I'm choose to put far more faith in what that stubborn little pooper thinks that what any random Internet commenter has to say to the contrary.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Gift Boxes

We all know how the saying goes: A picture is worth a thousand words.

I highly doubt I'm going to be able to write a 1000 word post on this one photo, but the people who know stuff about blogging say that you aren't supposed to write posts that long anyway because then people won't want to read them, so I guess I'm all set!

Because I'm very on top of things, I just emptied out my son's take-home folder from Kindergarten on Thursday of last week because it was threatening to erupt with all the drawings and handouts and projects that were still in there from Christmas.  I have a terrible habit of not looking in that folder every day like I am supposed to.  And when I do actually open the folder and empty it, I tend to just dump half of it in a pile of the kitchen counter and the other half goes right in the garbage can while Isaiah is at school and can't bust me throwing his stuff away.  I know, I know.  I'm that terrible mom who doesn't keep every. single. paper. her kid ever wrote on with pencil, pen, marker, or crayon.  I admit it.

But this one I kept.

I'm not entirely certain of the context of the assignment or what the prompt was to help Isaiah choose what to draw, but I love how this paper speaks volumes about my kid.

1.  He makes simple mistakes when he gets excited - just like Mommy.
I promise you, my kid knows how to spell his name.  There is no doubt in my mind that Isaiah was so jacked up to either start drawing the pictures in the boxes or because he had just finished creating what he knew was straight up awesome, so he got all caught up in alternating the green and red markers instead of focusing on actually spelling his name right.  I smiled and rolled my eyes a bit when I saw this because I'm the same exact way.

2.  Sounding out words is really clicking in his head.
He might not be able to nail the spelling, but the whole concept of "sound it out" makes sense to my boy.  He thinks about what the word sounds like when you say it out loud and he is usually able to come close to getting the letters right, at least to the point where someone can tell what he's trying to spell.  This makes me very, very proud!

3.  He loves his Mommy.
There is a third box that isn't shown in the photo above, but it has a "nekles" in it.  And see that middle box?  It has "eren" in it.  Translation: Necklace and Earrings.  And if you look really closely at the gift tag up in the top left corner, it says that these gift boxes are to "Mom from I."  My guess is that the teacher asked the kids to draw in the boxes the gifts they would like to give to someone for Christmas and my son chose me.  He chose to give me jewelry because he sees me wearing those items a lot.  I love that he picked up on those details and drew them because he knew I would love them.

4.  We are successfully raising a Nerd Child.
Please direct your attention to that first box.  My face lit up like a Christmas tree when I saw what Isaiah drew in the first box - it is a book labeled "Hobet."  Yes, friends.  Yes.  My heart leaped and I did a little happy dance because it proved to me that the times we have spent snuggled on the couch while I read aloud from "The Hobbit" have not been in vain.  He is engaged, interested, and connecting with the story.  He is enjoying it and appreciating it.  Proud mama right here.  PROUD.  

As much as I am frequently the mom who throws things in the garbage on the sly, this is one masterpiece that I won't be parting with anytime soon.  At least, not until I have had a chance to scan it and print it out at a reasonable size to put in his scrapbook. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Five Minute Friday: See

In case you haven't noticed, I'm in a bit of a blogging rut.  Things just haven't been clicking in my brain like they usually do so I have just stopped writing rather than pushing through and clicking the keys in defiance.  Well, no more of that.  What better way then to thaw the icy grip of writer's block than to just WRITE?  It won't always be the funny little witty quips so many have come to expect of me and it won't always be the poignant hallelujah moments others have taken to anticipate.  Even I don't know what to expect.

And we're starting here.

Five Minute Friday. 

Here are the rules as laid out by Lisa-Jo:

Basically, you set a timer for five minutes and just WRITE.  No editing, no stopping to second-guess yourself, just a free flow of your thoughts hitting paper....keyboard....whatever.  She gives the topic and then you just GO.   Then you link back to Lisa-Jo and invite others to join in.

Today's prompt is: SEE

I hope you get to be someone's knight in shining armor someday, kiddo.  With any luck, you'll be the one who changes the way she thinks about love and perhaps even the one who makes her feel like a princess for the very first time.  If your childhood temperament holds true, I see you being sensitive to her feelings, but stubborn to yield your desires for hers.  You long for approval and praise and you will be blind sighted when suddenly it is her opinion that matters to you the most.

Just promise me you'll still call me sometimes.  After all, mine was the first face you saw when you came into this world.  I know you'll never be the same once she enters your life, but I've never been the same since you entered mine.  You taught me what it means to be selfless and how to sacrifice.  You showed me a whole new kind of love that I never imagined possible.  Because of you, I see the world differently and I pray that someday you will hold the tiny one in your arms that changes everything.

And please God, let me around to see it when you find out first-hand what it's like to have to give a Time Out in the middle of the grocery store surrounded by broken glass and pickle juice.  Please.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Socks and Songs

As I stood there in my bra and underwear wearing only one sock, I pawed through the laundry basket in search of my elusive quarry - the other sock I needed to put on my other foot so that when my manager did a uniform inspection at work I wouldn't be sent to the corner for a violation.  Sure, I maybe could have just grabbed the somewhat similar random black sock I found on the top of the basket, but that would have bothered me all evening because I would know that I was secretly walking around wearing one ankle-high sock and one calf-high sock and that......well, that would just be ridiculous.  So instead I dropped everything (literally) and threw item after item onto the counter in an effort to locate the only black sock that would do - the partner to my husband's black sock that I had stolen from him last week when all mine were dirty.  Well joke's on me because now I prefer the stupid things over mine.  Anyway, it hit me all of a sudden as I pulled a useless ankle-high sock out of the basket.

I haven't heard the song today.

Suddenly woozy, I realized I was also very cold so I trotted back to my room to put on some pants and two layers of shirts before returning to the laundry area to find that stupid sock.  While I got dressed, I confirmed to myself that today was in fact the first day in two weeks that I had not listened to the song that has taken over our lives.  The song that has infiltrated our home.  The song that has taken my eldest son by storm to the extent that he coughed up $1.29 of his own money so I would download it on iTunes and then listen to it over and over and over again.  The song that is so conveniently located on YouTube complete with the video from whence it came.

That song, of course, is "Let it Go" from Frozen.

What?  You haven't yet partaken of the Frozen Kool-Aid?  (Thanks for that little nugget, Jenn.  I totally stole it.)  Where. Have. You. Been???????

When Evan was home from work on New Year's Eve we decided it would be a good idea to bring all three kids to see the movie, since it was $5 Tuesday and they were giving away free popcorn, after all.  Unfortunately every single other parent in our area had the exact same idea and the theater sold out.  Like, every show for every movie - ALL DAY LONG.  We were lucky enough to get there early and got seats to the show.

Every single day for the next week, Isaiah could be heard singing the ballad of Queen Elsa as sung by the incredible Idina Menzel.  He sang while he ate.  He sang while he read books.  He sang while he pooped.  By the time $5 Tuesday rolled around again and school was cancelled due to extreme cold, he had convinced me to let him buy the song on iTunes so he didn't have to belt it out by memory anymore.  Now he had graduated to legitimately memorizing that sucker.

Well.....I just HAD to take them again.  I warned Isaiah, "Now remember son....not everyone in here has seen this movie yet so do your best not to sing along when Queen Elsa's song comes on, ok?"

No problem, Mom.

It took all of four seconds for her little ice-inducing feet to hit that mountain and I could hear the little falsetto of my boy's voice traveling down the aisle in the crowded movie theater.  Aw, heck.  Who was I to tell him to stop?

Sing it, kiddo.  Just let it go.

Sweet, I found Evan's my sock.  

P.S.  In case you haven't seen the movie yet and want to see the scene that has been re-playing in our house like a broken record, here you go.  You're welcome.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Micah is working on a puzzle of Disney supervillians.

Isaiah is doing math homework on the iPad.

Thomas is sleeping.  

Evan is in the kitchen preparing beef stew for supper. 

As for me, I am sitting in the living room watching the last few minutes of an AFC playoff game while I anxiously await the Wild Care match-up between my Packers and the 49ers.  I have also been staring at a blinking cursor on a white screen for the last 20 minutes because I feel like someone snuck up on me in my sleep and drained every single ounce of creativity out of my body like some kind of weird metaphoric organ theft. 

I haven't scrapbooked in months.  Obviously the blog has been quiet. 

The intentions are there, but I just can't seem to make it HAPPEN.  Somehow I am just not finding the inspiration to write or create, and I can't even understand or explain why. 

I'm blaming the cold.

Speaking of the cold, GO PACK GO.

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