Friday, March 13, 2009

Alexander & The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Anyone ever read the book Alexander & The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? Well, in about 4th grade, it was one of my favorites. Compared to children's books now (hellloooo Stinky Cheese Man), the pen and ink illustrations were a little ho-hum. But the content of Judith Viorst's book was, at the time, so fascinating to me that I remember reading it over and over again.

Alexander is just a normal little dude, who one night goes to sleep with gum in his mouth. The next morning, well.... let's let Alexander tell it:

"I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there's gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day."

Oh Poor Alexander. The day just goes downhill from there. As the day goes on, he faces bummer after bummer - getting squished in the middle seat of the car, a dessertless lunch bag, a cavity at the dentist's office, witnessing kissing on television (I totally agree... if it's not happening to me live, I just don't want to see it). Throughout the book Alexander recommits his resolve to move to Australia. After all, everything in Australia is upside down, so maybe a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day can be come a terrific, really good day.

The Kennedy Center's Story Time Online website lauds this book by saying "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a great antidote to bad days everywhere, sure to put a smile on even the crabbiest of faces."

I need me some Alexander today.

You're never too old to revisit the books of your childhood, for in them are found the fondest of memories and the long-forgotten emotions that they're tied to. I'm sure that if I could read Alexander & The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, today, it would put a smile on my face. And I really, really need that right now.

It's been a bad day. And I hate bad days. My hair is overgrown, and too long (granted Michelle is going to fix it Monday, but today it looks like the Shaggy Dog is sitting on my head). I spilled all down my shirt today, so I'm walking around with a left boob Chai tea stain, for the whole world to see. Then Baja Sol at the Eden Prairie Center botched up my lunch order, causing me to have to pay $40 for nachos, a cup of soup & a salad (I didn't eat all of it, my crazy friend Barry & I were splitting it). Sadly, they won't refund the difference either. The greasy little turd, Lorenzo, behind the counter actually used the phrase "Sorry lady, that's your problem, not mine" on me. Multiple times. I wanted to punch him right in the babymaker. So then I called the owner (it's a franchise), this guy Raj Mystery (what kind of name is Raj Mystery anyways??) from work, and guess what he said? Yep, that's right, "Sorry lady, that's your problem, not ours. It not our fault. I guess you learned your lesson, next time you pick up your online order on time huh?" Oooooh.... I really wanted to punch him. He was so rude! Mohammedjihadderkaderka!!! May the fleas from a thousand camels infest themselves in his Raj Mystery-parts!


And here comes the real clincher - Work is very stressful. Not just stressful - VERY stressful. As we all wait in anticipation for the dispelling of rumors that more layoffs are coming, every day feels like a terminal cancer unit around here. Our outside guys call in on the phones, and the first thing they say is "So, anyone laid off yet?". Ouch. Every little nuance in the way people talk to me or email me has me reading hidden meaning into it, wondering if what they're really saying is "Nevermind, I know you won't be here in a week anyways.". The other night I actually dreamt I got laid off. I dreamt that I had taken a PTO day, and then during my day off, my friend Krista texted me, saying "Trinette, you got laid off!!". So I came in, to pick up my stuff, and then the next thing you know I was making out with this dorky guy used to kind of have a work crush on. Well nevermind that part. But anyways, I woke up in tears, shaking, and thinking "I don't have a job today", before I realized it was just a dream. This can't be a good sign.

It all reminds me of the wise words of Peter Gibbons, philosopher, entrepreneur and star of Office Space: "So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's the worst day of my life. "

Ok, maybe it's not that bad. But the fact is, I like to smile. Smiling is my favorite - Buddy The Elf. And today, I've tried everything to get a smile on my face. A Cinnamon Dolce Latte (always a Trinette pleaser). Putting on my sunglasses and driving with the windows down (YAY, I can wear my sunglasses again, now that it's not winter anymore. And it's not winter anymore, I'm officially protesting!). Listening to Aretha Franklin.... how can you not smile when listening to Aretha Franklin? In the spirit of Barney Stinson, I did my own "Gettin' Psyched" mix*, including....wait, wait for it, You Give Love A Bad Name! and Build Me Up Buttercup (the ultimate sing along, feel good song)**. I've been bathing in lots and lots and lots of "Candy, Baby" hand lotion all day (nummm, cotton candy and vanilla anyone?). I have been looking at "I Can Has Cheezeburger" cats for the better part of the day, laughing at their little faces and weird cat language (I can cheerz you up?). I even went for a walk outside in the brisk, sunshiny day, without my coat of course (I'm tellin' ya, I'm protesting!), and though the fresh air did a lot to wake me up, it still didn't quite put the smile on my face that I'm wishing was there right now.

Yup, nothin' is cheering me up. URGH! I just want to get happy again. Joy, that's one thing. I have joy knowing it won't last forever, and that God is good to me. But happiness, well I have to remember that's something we're not promised in this life, so there's just gonna be days without it. Just like Alexander, sometimes it's just a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

* From The Bro Code, here is the Official Barney Stinson "Get Psyched" playlist

01 - Bon Jovi - You Give Love A Bad Name

02 - Twisted Sister - I Wanna Rock
03 - Digital Underground - The Humpty Dance
04 - Journey - Don’t Stop Believin’
05 - Joe Esposito - You’re The Best Around
06 - Kiss - Lick It Up
07 - Guns N’ Roses - Paradise City
08 - Rush - Tom Sawyer
09 - Vince DiCola & Stan Bush - The Transformers Theme
10 - Billy Idol - Dancing With Myself
11 - Scorpions - Rock You Like A Hurricane
12 - Styx - Come Sail Away
13 - Lynyrd Skynyrd - Free Bird
14 - Van Halen - Panama
15 - Rick Springfield - Jessie’s Girl
16 - Poison - Talk Dirty To Me
17 - ACDC - Thunder struck
18 - Damn Yankees - High Enough
19 - Naughty By Nature - Hip Hop Hooray
20 - Mötley Crue - Dr. Feelgood
21 - Ratt - Round And Round

**Here is my In The Spirit Of Barney Stinson "Get Psyched" playlist
1. Bon Jovi - You Give Love A Bad Name
2. Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop
3. Aretha Franklin - Chain Of Fools
4. Jonny Lang - Anything's Possible
5. Crystal Lewis - God's Been Good To Me
5. Martin Sexton - Happy
6. Queen - You're My Best Friend
7. Deeee-Lite - Groove Is In The Heart
8. The Foundation - Build Me Up Buttercup
9. Paul Westerberg - Dyslexic Heart
10. Jars Of Clay - God Will Lift Up Your Head
11. Aretha Franklin - I Say A Little Prayer
12. The Bangles - Hazy Shade Of Winter
13. Guns N' Roses - Paradise City
14.. Sir Mix-A-Lot - Baby Got Back
15. Digital Underground - The Humpty Dance16. Journey - Don’t Stop Believin’
17. Britney Spears - Hit Me Baby One More Time
18. Common - Universal Mind Control
19. Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse Of The Heart (Saint Radio Remix)
20. Michael Jackson - Don't Stop Till You Get Enough
21. Eric Hutchinson - Rock & Roll
22. Wicked Soundtrack - Dancin' Through Life
23. Sheryl Crow - Steve McQueen
24. The Go-Go's - We Got The Beat
25. LL Cool J - "Round The Way Girl

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."

--Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) British-American Poet

A Few Days Later: Or My New Experiment In Postdated Blogging

So, in my most recent post, you may have noticed that I wrote it exactly a week & a day ago. This one isn't that different. I wrote it Monday.

A while back I started journaling every day, throughout the day, with the hopes of blogging it. I figured I could just email it to myself, and post it at night, from the Dunn Bros. Upon reading a lot of what I wrote, however, I thought it was way too personal, and transparent for me to post online. Who knows who actually reads this thing, right? So, there those posts sat, in my Drafts folder, waiting to be released out into the world. I guess today I'm feeling a little freespirited and daring. It could be the amazingly cool boho-chic Maxi dress I'm wearing, with an ivory chunky cardigan, a gold and agate multi-strand necklace and funky brown platform booties. It's totally an outfit out of the pages of Lucky........ if they did a Hippie Chick spread!!!

But I digress...... Here's what I was feeling/thinking/writing on Monday:

Most days I just want to write what's on my heart. I find it therapeutic, cathartic even. And yet there's so much holding me back for fear of discovery, for fear of retribution even.

Specifically, I want to write about all the ways that work has becoming increasingly more frustrating and discouraging. Rumors are flying around like stinging wasps, of more layoffs coming soon. It's hard not to listen to all that, much less not to speculate, and now, not to even get into how I feel about. The remembrance of hearing about people losing their jobs because their boss went on Facebook and saw pictures of them that were inappropriate or reading their blog and finding out exactly what they think about their coworkers is a driving factor in keeping my thoughts to myself. I think, how much am I really putting on the line, besides my inconsequential vulnerability, if I write down here all the ways that I'm saddened and frustrated by my work situations and the people around me?

I want to write about what's going on in my so-called love life instead. But what if someone I'm actually interested in reads this? Well, I've committed to living an authentic, open life..... I guess this is one way to do that. Is that a risk I want to take though? Am I cutting off my nose, to spite my face?

This past weekend I had the privilege to have some amazing conversations though. Saturday was such a spirit filled day, as I spent quality time with some amazing, God-fearing friends. My first appointment of the day took me to my friend Karen's house, where we sat and talked, literally for hours. During that conversation, I had the opportunity to share my feelings about being single. I really like it actually. I think I've come to a point in my life where it's not just something I have to get used to anymore. I enjoy my freedom, and see more and more what a selfless adjustment sharing my life with someone else would have to be. Not that I'm not up for the task. As a matter of fact, I'm starting to see how love and gratefulness are the best motivations for serving, and that is a nugget of truth that I think would serve me well in marriage. After all, what is marriage but dying to self? Along side another person of course, and often for the sake of that person. Even so, though I think I have a lot more maturity and grace to bring to marriage than I did, say even 5 years ago, it's not something that I long or pine for, as I see many Christian women doing. It's an unbelievably easy trap to fall into. God's grace alone has kept me from it, not my own self-doubting, pie in the sky self.

Even still, as I revisit my journaling later in the week (it's Thursday now), it's hard not to fall into those traps as I watch the last shards of hope for someone I might have or might not have been interested in, wisp away like fog in the increasing afternoon heat. Without even realizing it, in my mind, I had set this person up as my last shred of hope for ever finding love and companionship. I am embarrassed to say that I let the possibility of dating him, or even of him finding me interesting enough to get to know, build up in my mind, through the anticipation and excitement that goes along with that first date experience. I know better than that!! I'm usually so smart, so level-headed about not building up things in my mind, and creating unrealistic expectations. That's the main reason I don't like romantic comedies. The expectation grows like an out of control weed, so that the experience is almost always a let down. I don't want to be like those other girls who live life waiting for their prince to show up on his white horse. There are no white horses, as far as I'm concerned. Just average guys, with faults and issues of their own. And that makes the perception of a situation a horse of a different color.

Yep, that's my love-life story. Boring really. I mean, there's nothing new going on there. I could talk about the fact that I've been Gluten & Dairy Free for over a week now. This is a great accomplishment for me, and one I'm really, really excited about. I hit up the Wedge Co-Op the other day and picked up some great new products to try, including GF/CF Mac & Cheese from a blue box!! Who knew? I got some fresh produce, and can't wait to try a new recipe for Balsamic Glazed Brussell Sprouts. BTW - am I one of the few people around anymore who like Brussell Sprouts? With a little pancetta, and some roasted garlic? Mmmm. They're not just for Thanksgiving anymore. Back to the story, though... the other night I made (drumroll please.....) Garlic and Shallot Buffalo Meatloaf and Non-Dairy Garlic Mashed Potatoes. They were both delicious with a fruity, full bodied Merlot that I picked up. Though, here comes true confessions time.... I'm the kind of girl that grew up with Ketchup glazed meatloaf, and so, well, I couldn't help it. I had to slather that rich, red nummyness on top before it baked. The sweetness set off the garlic quite well, I must say.

Well, I guess, coming to the end of this post, trivial things like what I made for dinner, or how long I've been Gluten Free, are much easier to relate and share than the weight of things that really are on my heart at the end of another long day. In any case, good, bad or ugly, that's what's new with me.

Death, Taxes & Textual Purity

First Written Thursday, March 5th:

There are few certainties in life. They say Death & Taxes are two of them (not, they, Benjamin Franklin, to be exact). I guess after 6 years running now, we can put my mom's failure to come visit me in Minnesota in that category as well. This year she really did sound like she was going to come out here and visit. She had me check into tickets, and I took time off work already, and was planning a trip for her and Nathan to see Mt. Rushmore, and the whole shebang. I probably should have known she would flake in the end. But for some reason this year it seemed almost real. Strangely tangible, like she really was close. Hmph, maybe next year then. If death or taxes don't get her first.

I'm grumpy today - I don't know why, or for what, but I just am, and that's all there is to it. I really don't have much to be grumpy about. I've got a good life - I've got the Lord, I've got a good job. I've got amazing friends and family, all who love me. I'm going to see Watchmen on Saturday with a new friend, matter of fact. But here I am, inconsolably grumpy. It could be the fact that I hate salad without dressing (hello lunch), and the little slice of amazing, homemade cheesecake that my friend Lee brought in gave me a migraine (three cheers for Dairy!!). Or it could be that even though I really want to go to Happy Hour with the guys (a true honor to be invited out on Guys Night), I know that I have errands to run after work that I've put off for two days now, and I'm tempted to ditch them and go eat wings and drink Cider instead. Or could it be that I'm just sad over my mom not coming out here? I think that could really be it.

In other news... I have a confession to make. I'm not textually pure. Yes, I've hopped on the bandwagon of using that phrase, to indicate the fact that I love to text. Actually, it was my oh-so-creative & quirky roommate who first introduced me to this new figure of speech. I've been on the texting wagon for years now. I love text. Not that I don't love to talk, but after talking to a million people all day long for my job, when it comes to my personal life, I could get by without a lot said. Let's just say I covet my quiet time. A lot. So, texting is a perfect medium to communicate with people without all the blah-blah-blah. And since I'm kind of a "straight to the point" kind of girl, it works well for me.

But recently, someone I would never have guessed as a texter signed her & her families SEVEN (yes, seven) phones up for unlimited texting!! YAY!! Someone new to cultivate an abbreviated relationship with, as we text back & forth. I'm loving being able to connect, no matter where we are at, without having to even speak to one another. And yes, the grotesque irony of this is NOT lost on me.

In other texting news - said roommate called me today with a texting story, that I promised I would blog. So, here goes:

While out on a route today, R (for Roommate) was in a public restroom. Which, like most cultivated, civilized people, is a step of courage in and of itself. Like a lot of people, he shares a particular abhorrence for using public restrooms. Apparently enough so, to keep him away from sporting events, but the fact that he's an artsy-farts is probably more to do with that. Me, personally, I can't go if I'm camping. Just something about being in the woods freezes me up like a clogged drain. Anyways, while at the Pee Trough, because from what I hear, that's literally what it is, he happens to catch, in his peripheral vision, a glance of the man next to him. In his defense, I know he's not gay and wasn't checking the other guy out - I have to listen to the whole "man is she hot" thing enough to know, dude ain't gay! But anyways, he happens to notice, subtly & discreetly, I'm sure, that the man next to him has in one hand his phone, on which he is texting, and in his other hand, well, his business. You know? As Roommate tries not to stare in disbelief, the Texter finishes using the restroom, and walks out with, without having washed his hands, with his cell phone in the hand he was using to pee with!!!

Can I just get an Eww Gross for the male race right about now? I mean, wow. Apparently too, he was young, metro and totally good looking, with, what the roommate referred to as "that trendy spiky hair". I happen to really like that hair actually.... like Ted on How I Met Your Mother (which, if you've ever watched this show, you might agree with me that Ted's cute hair is about all he has going for him). Anyways, it just goes to show, that you can dress up an ill mannered jerk in all the Ermenegildo Zegna you want, and in the end, he's still just an ill mannered turd. Suit up bros - but do me this one favor, don't text me from a urinal.

Thinking about all this made me realize that I guess I lucked out, on the roommate front that is. He's clean, chill, hilarious, and shares an amazing taste in movies, music and books. And if I didn't know him better, that would spell gay as the day is long. It's all good I guess, since no one is perfect - he's not a texter. Urgh.

Well, another blog over and out. Time to hit the road, and go do .... well, whatever the mood strikes me for on the way home. Death and taxes are certain, but the night is full of endless possibilities.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

I'm so excited about so many things this week. I feel like I've been walking around with an ear to ear grin on my face. The Lord loves me, every day - I know that is a truth. But when things are going as peachy swell as they are this week, I have to marvel at how He get's excited to show me in tangible ways.

So, wow, where do I start? Ok - for the first one I'll keep it simple. If you live in Eden Prairie, you need to go to the EP Center and gush and stare at the ginormous poster for Wolverine: Origins that's hanging outside the AMC. You'll see me there, staring up at it like a little kid in front of the Grand Canyon. Completely in awe.

Dear lord am I glad they finally ditched that stupid Bride Wars poster too. Those chicks were getting a-noy-ing!!! First of all, what bride wears no jewelry, no veil, nothing? Puhleeze!! I mean, really they just annoyed me because Bride Wars was probably the lowest specimen of the lowest genre, in my opinion. A romantic comedy about women itching to get hitched. So itching, matter of fact, that they'd sabotage the wedding of their own friends for self-serving reasons? Hopeless, annoying, I-Can't-Live-Without-Getting-Married women. It's this kind of stereotyping that makes our gender appear so desperate and trivial. Sadly, it's this kind of behavior that generates stereotypes. Double Ew.

I know I said I'd keep it simple. And here I am diatribing about some stupid Bride Wars poster. Just trust me - the Wolverine poster is HOT! Smokin' hot. Like one of those creepy Calvin Klein ads but for comic book geeks!! Shiver.

Ok, secondly - I am loving being a Pampered Chef consultant. When I signed up, I really did think that it was going to be another failed attempt at a second job, in which I spend more money than I make on things I don't need. But so far, so good. In less than a month I've completed all the goals I set for myself initially. I've been working more than I expected, but it doesn't feel like "work". I've hosted two parties (besides my own Open House), and have a really high show average so far. The kind that is not expected of beginner consultants. Granted, I have amazing friends who are willing to host, and that really helps! So, here's a big shout out to the Johnson/Coulon girls & Katrina. Thank you guys!!

Seriously, I'm really enjoying being part of this growing business. The Pampered Chef company is really good to it's consultants, and my coach, Lisa, is a rock star! She's totally patient with me when I email her twenty million times a day. And the spark of passion I've had for cooking has been completely reignited as I bask in the excitement of trying out new products and recipes.

Speaking of recipes - one of the main reasons for this post, including one of the most exciting thing I've discovered lately is this: I've completely recommitted myself to going Gluten & Dairy Free. Part of my motivation is that I had a really, really bad reaction to some gluten this week. The kind of reaction that seriously sent me over the edge in a way I haven't experienced in a long time. I experienced everything from short term reactions (intense pain, throwing up, a migraine within hours) to long term ones (continued migraine, irritability, joint pain and stiffness, inability to concentrate for two days). This really threw me for a loop, and I was both angry at myself for thinking I could just be "normal" as well as frustrated at feeling so icky.

So, immediately the next day I recommitted to doing the whole Gluten/Casein (another word for dairy) free thing. It was like God answered my prayers, because that same day I found one of the best blogs I'd read in a long time. Karina's Kitchen - Recipes from a Gluten Free Goddess. I'm pumped to try her GF/CF Coconut Carrot Cake tonight. Yum!!

Not only does she have very well written posts, visually stimulating pictures of all her recipes, and great links, but she also tests GF/CF products and reviews them. No more bean-tasting bread, with her recommendations on baking mixes!! I must say, Karina is quite the food writer. She paints beautiful pictures, with her words, of her life in Santa Fe, her deep love for her husband and family, and her enthusiasm for being Gluten Free. She's the kind of writer I'd enjoy reading, even if she wasn't speaking on something so relevant to my own life.

In addition to finding Karina's site, I also received, via Amazon (oh, Amazon, where would I be without you??), my copy of the Kid Friendly ADHD/Autism Cookbook. Now, for those of you that really do know me, you'll know that in addition to being painfully ADD at times (oh look, a bird), I also, despite my extensive culinary background, have the same taste in food as a 14 year old boy. Chicken wings, chicken strips, tater tots, pop. I'm good. I could live off that. Oh, how I long for the days of pepperoni pizza with ranch dressing! Such fond memories.

Truly though, the reason for buying this book was more for my nephew Nathan, who really is a 8 year old boy with Autism and ADHD, than for myself. But that's not to say I won't be using A LOT of the recipes in the book. I am really pumped to read it (even though I'm trying to pound through Watchmen, before I go see it Saturday).

For months and months now, I've been trying to convince my mom of the importance of cutting out all fast food from their diet and going GF/CF, to benefit Nathan's high functioning autism. Like most GF baking mixes, this has met with mixed reviews and left a crappy taste in my mouth. Stubbornly she won't even try, though the words of "oh, that's such a great idea" mask her reluctance with an insincerity I see right through. After reading Jenny McCarthy's very moving books, especially "Louder Than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism", I'm convinced more than ever of the link between a GF/CF diet and combating (though for now, not healing) the symptoms of autism. How much better could Nathan be functioning through the simple steps of a few diet changes? That's not to discount the commitment and discipline it takes to truly live a GF/CF life. But I'm convinced that even a few steps in that direction could have a strong positive impact on him.

Autism is an issue that is so dear to my heart, and one I'm highly sensitive to. Because of Nathan, and my overwhelming love for him, and my desire for him to have a rich, fulfilling, healthy life, I've taken up this cause with fervor and great heart. Last year I participated in the Minnesota Walk For Autism, that occurred in September, at Canterbury Park. I was able to raise $400 to help research a cure, aid parents struggling with autism, and promote awareness of this mysterious disease. I plan on being there again this year, walking, and showing love and support to those who autism profoundly affects.

One of the statements that has stuck with me about Autism, through the walk, and my reading on it, is this "Autism is not a dead end diagnosis. It is the beginning of a journey into faith, hope, love, and recovery.", from Dr. Jerry Kartzinel. I have not yet begun my journey into dealing with autism on a daily basis, though lately I keep asking God for the chance to. More than anything I wish for lately, more than trivial things like Wolverine posters and new Gap jeans and finding new recipes to try, I really hope and pray and wish for my mom and Nathan to move out here with me, to Minnesota. In some ways it would be a death sentence to life as I know it, but after six years, six long, restorative, healthy years away from my unhealthy, dysfunctional family, I am ready to take on this challenge and welcome them into my life again. Not for my mom, not for me, but for Nathan.

When I stop to reflect on him, on who he is, his creativity and quirks and general awesomeness, I want so much to be part of his life. Not enough to disobey the Lord, though, for I know, in my heart, that Minnesota is where I'm supposed to be, and so I would not move back to Los Angeles to do it. How do I balance the conflict of wanting (and needing) to live out here, with the guilt and longing of wanting to be part of this little boy's life? Obviously his parents have never stepped up to the plate, and never will. Even my mom, who has taken on the raising and care of this little boy all alone, still struggles with the weight of this load. I can't imagine how hard it must be. How much harder would it be, then, if I were to move home to do it? Home that I ran from, to escape the madness, the hatred, the intolerance, the ingrained depression, the extreme, emboldened, willful dysfunction. That is not where I was supposed to be, and though I don't know the answer of where Nathan's supposed to be (yet), I can only imagine the wonderful ways his life would open up if he could just live out here, and share with me the joy of a life away from all that. A big, fat, Christ filled, Gluten & Dairy free life. Heeheeh!

These are prayers, I guess, too. Prayers that one day he'll be able to come out here and visit, and maybe even move here too. Prayers that I would keep on the right track with eating well, and treating my body like the temple it is. Prayers that I would do well with my new Pampered Chef venture. And just prayers of thanksgiving and praise for all the ways God is good to me, every day. In this walk with Him, there is so, so much to be excited about. Yay!!