Friday, October 29, 2010


Jack will be sporting two different costumes this year, one for Saturday, and one for Sunday.  I know...high maintenance much?  Such a little dictator.  Here is Saturday's costume...

Here he is commanding you to have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Parenting Anecdote

Alternate Title: Things my son will never forgive me for writing when he is 14. 

It was Tuesday.  Matt, Jack, and I had gone out for dinner and an evening diaper run, and upon our return home we realized it was only 15 minutes 'til bedtime for Jack.  We decided we should just skip his bath, and let him have his nightly nudey time.  (He gets wicked diaper rash so we like to let him air out every night.  He, too, likes this.)

As usual he walked and crawled excitedly around the living room while babbling in his own little language.  Matt and I puttered around, folding laundry, paying bills, etc.  We were there with him, but we were each sort of doing our own thing.  Jack made his way over to the bottom of the stairs where he likes to stand and yell at the dog.  Suddenly I heard Matt say "Oh my gosh" in a tone that could only mean one thing.


Matt has a poop tone.  In the last year I have come to know his poop tone very well.  I hurried over and sure enough, there was our dear little boy proudly standing over his...accomplishment.  I rushed to grab my camera because, hello, I need to document this! As I got my camera up to my eye Jack moved. 

He stepped on it.  In it.  Matt shrieked.  Jack slipped.  I laughed.  As Matt struggled to pick him up, Jack more or less body painted in his own excrement. 

Poop happens!

Needless to say, we pushed bedtime back a few more minutes to squeeze in a thorough bath. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Better Homes & Gardens

I'm sure you have noticed by now, but I'm not real big on giveaways here.  I don't seek them out and although I do get occasional review/giveaway offers from different companies and or individuals, they are those mass emails that go to a ton of bloggers and all I can think is 'Dude, you clearly don't know who I am if you are asking me to review your software program.' 

However, recently I got a letter in the mail informing me that my Better Homes & Gardens magazine subscription was running out, and the time to renew was now.  Isn't it always?! Part of the offer includes two gift subscriptions, but pretty much everyone I know that would be interested in reading that magazine already does.

And after your responses on my last post about our bedroom, I realized...hey they have homes! And gardens! And they like to make them better!

So, instead of just letting those subscriptions go to waste and only renewing mine, I thought I would do a little giveaway with them here on my little website. I feel like I should make if clear that Better Homes & Gardens magazine is not sponsoring this giveaway.  Aside from sending me my monthly magazine, they have no idea who I am.


Up for grabs -  a one year subscription to Better Homes & Gardens.

Winners - 2

How to enter - all you need to do is leave a comment.  (You don't need to have a blog to enter, just leave a valid e-mail address in your comment.)  Feel free to enter for someone else if you know someone you think would like a one year subscription to BH&G.  You don't need to be a follower to enter, and you don't need to pledge your firstborn to me either. 

Closes - Monday, November 1.  I will announce the winners shortly after, and I will also contact you through e-mail.

And should I only get two entrants in this win!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Eight Dollar Room Redo

As we get settled in to this new place, we have been going room by room to get things set up the way we want them to be.  We sort of left our bedroom behind as the rest of the house took shape, and although we had great new furniture, we had trouble figuring out where to go with our room, and we were also working on a pretty tight budget.

So, for about two and a half months...this is more or less what our room looked like.  We did move the bed to the other wall so it was facing the windows to make more room for our dresser, but that was about it.
Sad right?  For that reason, I have spent a good bit of this month slowly working on helping our room take shape.

I fell in love with the look of floor length, sheer, patterned curtains, but most of the ones I found for sale were either not quite what we wanted, or way out of our price range.  So, I saved this picture in a folder on my computer and started scheming.
I can't find the source for this photo anymore, I originally found it through Google.
A few weeks later I happened to find a bolt of fabric on clearance at Wal-mart, so I scooped it up and took it home.  I went to a craft store, got a rubber stamp and a tube of paint, spread out all my supplies on the floor and started stamping.
The finished product! While they certainly aren't perfect, you cant beat the final price tag.  Four 96-inch panels for $8!
Next I raided the basement for some inspiration.  I found some dusty blue shutters that I had had for years.  I had been given them by my Aunt, and although I always loved them, I never knew what to do with them.  I glanced around until my eyes settled on some metal sconces we had hung in our old kitchen, and I knew just want to do!

I scrubbed the shutters, hammered in a few nails, and voila!

 I gotta say...I really like it! It's different, but it's us. The birdcage was used in our wedding as a cardholder, and the typewriter has been in our home for years after I found it covered in dust in a building at my Nanna's farm. We still need to hang the mirror, but that is one thing I can't do on my own, and after I made poor Matt move the curtain rods (twice) to suit my liking I wasn't about to ask him to grab his drill again!

The room is not fully finished just yet, but eight bucks and a little muscle sure went a long way!  I really love taking one thing and reusing it for a completely new purpose, like the shutters.

Have you re-purposed anything in your home? Care to share?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Weekend Snapshots

Like all weekends do, this one flew by at breakneck speed.  Here is the abbreviated version of the weekend, mostly in snapshots.  I realized that we only have one more weekend until he turns one, and that one is Halloween weekend, so basically, this was the last weekend of just hanging before the big day!
The boy can eat!  Also, he can stain clothes really, really well!  I know...TALENT.
Are his eyes green?  They look green(ish) to me.
Despite my inability to capture in on video, he is really starting to walk now.  He motors around a lot, usually preferring walking to crawling, which has led to a rash of injuries since he still walks like a drunk (see bottom of post for his latest!).
Have I ever told you about the way Jack's lips stick out when he talks?  No? Oh, they do.  It's hard for me to not interrupt him with kisses, that's how dear they are!
Ahh yes, this one.  So...we have these Adirondack chairs, and for a while they have been at my mom's house because we don't have a front porch to sit them on here, but this weekend I decided that we weren't going to get much use out of our patio furniture on the deck now that the weather has cooled down.  We thought it would be nice to sit our big chairs out there (and Jack's pint-sized one!) and drink our coffee and just enjoy the cool days.  Apparently we (I) underestimated how large the chairs actually are! Eventually, Matt muscled it through with only minimal damage to the chair, but needless to say we will be lowering them off of the deck when the time comes to moved them again!
Here Jack is enjoying goofing off with his Aunt Emily.  He loves all three of my sisters, often he lunges out of my arms to them when he sees them, I can't say that I blame him though, they are pretty cool if I do say so. 
Oh and this! This picture itself is rather unremarkable, but look closer, and you can see what Jack did on Saturday evening...
...he chipped his tooth! And that, kids, is why we don't stand in the bathtub!

Ugh.  I's minor (as in no one but me would notice), but still!

So that was our weekend, chipped tooth and all!

How was yours?

Friday, October 22, 2010

He's Kind of a Big Deal

Before I had Jack I used to wonder about those parents that were constantly whipping out pictures of their kids, coworkers who plastered the walls of their offices with pictures of them, professors who put their pictures up on power point presentations, the dentist with the pictures all over the walls, you get my point I am sure. Why do they think THEIR kid is automatically the cutest?  Why should their baby be staring at me from the wall while I am getting my teeth cleaned?

However, now that I have joined the ranks of parents, I totally get it.  An explanation so simple, so straightfoward, I can't believe I missed it. 
We are all insane.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

When You Fall Off Your Dog...

Yesterday was rough, really rough.  It was the perfect storm of a cold, teething, a previous sleepless night, and monthly hormones.  Jack spent the morning clinging to my leg with his lower jaw stuck out in a near constant whine, and I spent it in a pool of self-doubt and self pity.

Eventually we went to the park, and I would really like to say that I turned my attitude around and had a great time, but in all honesty that is not what happened.  Sure there were parts of the day that were fine, some that were even great, but in the back of my mind I kept hearing my inner fourteen year old muttering 'ugh, can today just be over already?'

Seven o'clock rolled around, Jack went to bed without a peep, and I flopped dramatically on the couch.  As I vegged there and thought about the day, I suddenly felt a sense of loss.  I realized that there is a limited period of time when I can change the course of my child's day.  Right now, I am the center of his day.  I make the schedule and like it or not, I set the attitude.

And yesterday? Mine sucked.  I spent the day blaming it on Jack, but I didn't try very hard to get past his teething fussiness.  I didn't focus on how funny he looked in the hat I got for him the day before, I didn't focus on the way he walked like Frankenstein's monster as he followed me around the room.  I saw those things, but if you had called me up and asked how the day went, I would have immediately launched into an explanation of why it was such a bad day.

All I can do is learn from yesterday.  I know more days will come that will drive me to my limit, that there is more to come in the crabbiness department, but I want to remember that I can only determine the course of the day for so long.   I won't get a do-over.
To quote a middle school inspirational poster, 'it's not how many times you fall, it's how many times you get back up."
It's a new day, and it's going to be a good one.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Birth Story - Part 2

When we last left the birth story, the doctor had just given Matt and I a run down on birth control.  You can catch up here if you didn't read it. This post is very very long, and I apologize.  I didn't want to cut it off in the middle, and I don't want to forget the details, and I threw in some pictures I don't think I ever shared here 

Soon after the doctor left the room, my mom and sister arrived at the hospital to keep me company.  My mom saved the day by thinking to bring chapstick, cough drops, and a menthol stick to help me breathe a little better, since my cold was still very bad.  My contractions were steadily intensifying, and I played Go Fish with my sister to try to distract me from them.
You know, because you can totally distract yourself from a full-body cramp with a pre-schoolers card game!

My contractions started hitting me like a wall (I'm told this is due to the Pitocin), I don't know how else to describe it, and although I didn't actually time them, they were right on top of each other.  The nurses started coming in to ask how my pain level was, and then they started turning my Pitocin down to 'give me a little break between contractions'.  Around 2:00pm I finally asked(begged!) them to check me again, and as I laid down in the bed to be checked, I just kept praying 'please be progressing, please be progressing'  I was terrified that I would not be able to have my baby in the allotted 24 hours after my water had broken.   The nurse checked me, and sure progress.

I nodded, then the nurse left me with Matt, my mom, and my sister again.  I lost it.  I just broke down, all this work, all this pain, and a c-section was still looming in the not too distant future? I felt like I was already failing my child.  My mom was such a comfort in this time, she prayed the sweetest prayers of encouragement for Matt and I.

In an hour or so, another nurse came in, and asked me if I wanted an epidural.  All I wanted was to make some progress, and I told her that.  She said it wouldn't hurt my progress.  So...they called the anesthesiologist.

I got my epidural by 4:00, and I was then promptly put on oxygen.  They said that because of my cold, they were worried about the baby getting enough oxygen. Somewhere in here God sent me an angel in the form of Jess, a  nurse.  She was incredible, she was the person I needed to have in that room on that day.
Around 5:30 I was checked again, and I was finally at six centimeters! I again started sobbing, this time because I felt like maybe I would be able to deliver this baby the way I had planned to all along.  I tried to rest a little, but they kept coming in to take my blood pressure (and somehow I didn't catch on that they were concerned).  Around 7:00 I started to feel an intense sharp pain in my abdomen on my left side, and by intensely sharp I mean...holy crap.

They gave me a bolus in my epidural, and then they checked me. I was at 10cm.  I looked frantically for my older sister, motioned her to the bed, and told her that I didn't know what to do.  I didn't think I knew what to push with, and due to the bolus in my epidural I couldn't feel a darned thing from my ribcage down!  She assured me that I could do it, and she gave me a few pointers.

I don't remember why but it took a while for them to let me start pushing.  I was told later by my family that they were talking about my blood pressure, and my oxygen levels.   About an hour later they let me start pushing.  Because I was having trouble breathing through my cold, they only let me push on every other contraction, but by the second set of pushes my mom, sister, and Matt were excitedly telling me that they could see his head, and he had hair!

After about 20 more minutes of pushing, our doctor came back into the room, along with a resident in training.  He watched one push, and told the nurse to get everything ready, because we were going to have a baby.

All I remember was Matt holding my leg for me, and jumping up and down saying "there is the head, there it is! So close! You're doing good baby!" His excitement totally fueled my next push.  I don't remember who said what or who even told me it was a boy, all I knew was that there was a tiny wiggling body placed in my arms and he was making the loudest little squawks.  At 8:37pm on November 6, 2009, my son was born.
Nurse in blue?  That is Jess, our L&D angel
I looked through my tears at this tiny little person.  He was perfect.   I held him and kissed him and cried big fat happy tears.  I told him I loved him and I marveled the workmanship of God in this tiny being.
I excitedly showed my mom that he has the same dimple in his chin that she and I share.  Eventually all the people who waited hour after long hour in the waiting room were allowed into the room and got to meet Jack as well.  I have no concept of how long everyone was in there, but eventually a nurse came in and suggested that they take Jack to the nursery to be weighed and checked over, and everyone else leave to let me get some rest.

After the room cleared, Jess came back in and sat down beside my bed. 'Okay,' she said. 'here is the deal.  You have protein in your urine, and your blood pressure is higher than we like to see.'  In the sweetest possible terms she explained to me that I had developed pre-ecclampsia, and that I would need to be put on Magnesium Sulfate for 24 hours and stay in the Labor and Delivery hall where doctors would be nearby at all times, and that Jack would be staying in the nursery until I was moved into the maternity ward.

With that, I lost it.  I had worked so hard to get him here, and all I wanted to do was to be with my baby.  I hated the thought of him spending his first night on earth away from me, his mother. I called Matt, who had gone with Jack to watch him get weighed and bathed, and asked him to come back.  Jess explained everything again for him, while I basically just sobbed in the hospital bed.

Jess left our room, and all I could do was cry and watch the video Matt had taken of Jack getting his very first bath.  I tried to calm down, to tell myself that this was not to take Jack away, but to help me get better faster, to enable me to mother him properly. 

Our door opened again, and all I could think was that I had to try to act okay for whoever this was coming to check on me, to convince them that I was ready to have Jack back with me, that they didn't need to keep him in the nursery.

Jess peeked around the door, then backed in wheeling Jack's bassinet.

She brought him to me, she said she could see that the best thing for me was to have him.  Again...I sobbed.  But this time out of gratitude. He stayed with Matt and I that night, and every night after that. 

The rest of our stay continued to be kind of rocky, with my blood pressure topping out at 189/118, which I am told is kinda high.  But those details aren't the ones I want to immortalize, I want to remember the wonder of looking at his hairy little body (he had sideburns!), counting his fingers and toes, memorizing the look of his face, laughing at the first poopy diaper, and watching my husband become a father. For the majority of our stay all I could do was stare at my beautiful little boy.  My son.  The story of our family was just beginning.

If you made it this far, thank you for bearing with me as I, once again, tried to find words for an event that I can't possibly describe.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Camping Weekend

I promise to get back to the birth story tomorrow, but I wanted to quickly share some picture from our weekend! We took a short camping trip up in Jim Thorpe, the town that Matt lived in and proposed in three years ago.  It was their Fall Foliage Festival, so it was a little more crowded than we would have liked, but it was great to return to our old stomping grounds and take our baby to the places we used to frequent.  We even ran into some of Matt's friends, his old students, and his old landlord, all of whom were rather shocked to find out that he now has a child!

Jim Thorpe is such a charming little place, it almost doesn't seem real.  It is one of those places that has multiple art galleries, musicians playing on the streets, funky paint, and enough emphasis on history to pique your interest without making you feel like you are at a Renaissance Faire.
For those who are curious, the sign in the center is detailing the executions of several Molly Maguires. One of those stories in history that totally draws you in and makes you wonder how have I never heard of this before?! Sean Connery sure thought so!

We were excited to take Jack to the rocky little creek bank where Matt dropped to one knee and made this whole thing official. 
Oh Jim Thorpe, how we have missed you. 

So there you have it, a fun-filled, kinda chilly weekend in the Poconos.  In retrospect, the bright orange vest looks a little Life Jacket-ish doesn't it? 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Birth Story...Late

I realize that I never wrote down the story of Jack's birth, I just was not (still am not) able to justly articulate the day that transformed me from a child into a mother.  However, I fear that I will forget, that as the years pass, as more children (probably) come along, the beauty of that day will fade into a short two or three sentence event.  Oh, yeah...Jack was born at 8:37 in the evening, after 15 hours of labor.  He weighed seven pounds, one ounce, nineteen inches long.  I cried.  Not that there is anything wrong with that story, but there is just so much more.  More to remember, more to celebrate, more to learn.  Jack's birth, while beautiful, was not what I expected.  There are many things that I will do differently next time.  I don't regret a single thing that brought my son into my arms, but I do believe things could have been handled better. And I need to remember that day.  In as much detail as I can. 

So for my own sake, here goes nothing. Taken about a week or so before I popped!
I was still two weeks away from my due date, and I was starting to feel incredibly worn out.  Due to what my doctor called an irritable uterus, I had been having contractions every 5-10 minutes for SEVEN WEEKS, and then I developed a cold. I broke out the baby's humidifier, which helped me get an almost decent nights sleep on the 5th.  Early the next morning, I woke to feel the baby kicking.  He was always wild in the early morning, which I loved, but this morning I suddenly felt a thought I had wet myself.  I went to the bathroom, and the trickle didn't stop.  It was 5:33 in the morning.  I went to our room, but just stood in the doorway for a minute, because I suddenly had no idea what to say.

How do you tell your husband that he is hours away from becoming a father? All I could do was turn on the light.  He sat up and squinted at me, and I finally spit out the words "Matt? I think my water just broke."  He smiled...the covered his head and tried to go back to sleep.  Needless to say I put the kibosh on that!  I called the doctor on duty at the hospital, who told me they would like me to come in to be checked.  I had met him several times throughout my pregnancy and I liked him very much.

I promptly called my Mom and my sister, who I had asked to be in the delivery room with me throughout labor and delivery.  Then I called my Dad, who was on vacation in Virginia for his fiftieth birthday.  I apologized for cutting his trip short, but told him he might want to head home to meet his newest grandchild.

Matt and I prayed together, then off we went!  We stopped on the way to the hospital for a hot chocolate and my last Devils food Krispy Kreme, then headed in to the hospital.  I won't go into too much detail (you're welcome Dad) - the doctor confirmed that my water had indeed broken, but that I was only a fingertip dilated.  In the weeks leading up to the birth, my blood pressure had been rising slowly, for no apparent reason, and when they took a reading there, it was once again a little higher than they would have liked.  They tested me for proteinuria, but I would not hear the results until after Jack was born.

I was hooked up to the monitors, and within an hour of being there the nurse on duty started talking to me about the possibility of a c-section if I did not deliver my baby within 24 hours.  I was scared.  Very scared. They started a Pitocin drip, then the Doctor came into our room.  Surprisingly...this was a different doctor.  One I had never met.  He sat down, and talked to Matt and I for a full hour about birth control.  Birth control.  When all we wanted to think about was this baby we were so eagerly awaiting!

Not what we expected.

Okay you guys, this is getting long...I will have to continue this in another post. If you made it this far, thank you for bearing with me as I try to get this jumble out into written words. 

The Pumpkin Patch

On Monday my sister and I loaded up the boys and took part in a fun fall staple - pumpkin picking on a small local farm.  We have been planning to take them for a while now, and after hunting down the perfect place, we waited until mid October so it would truly be fall when we went. 
 In my head the scene played out with a breeze, a light jacket, and just a hint of cold in the air turning my little ones nose pink, but in reality, it was hot.  Like...really hot.  Sweat trickled down our backs as we hauled the wagons through the pumpkin patch, bugs flying pell-mell into our faces as we tried to keep the bees off of the boys, squinting in the sunlight for the perfect pumpkin. 
It may not have been quite the October ritual we were anticipating, but it was fun, even if we did both smell a little funky by the end of our excursion.  We hunted through the patch for the perfect pumpkins, and snip, snip, snipped through their prickly stems to claim them as our own. 
Despite the heat, nothing could keep my handsome fella from having a good time, he thought the pumpkins we amazing, the wagon was a blast, and all the bugs were a new adventure.  
 And he was right.   He reminds me daily to remember the excitement of childhood, how the simple things become adventures and how it doesn't take money and elaborate plans to delight a child. 
To be content with simple things like pumpkins, wagons, and family time.  To discover the fun of playing with gourds (which are still the go-to 'toy' two days later).  He spends quite a while just taking them out of the bucket, putting them back in the bucket, and occasionally trying to eat one.   
 In, out, chomp.  In, out, chomp.  However, I do think we might need to start teaching Jack the difference between gourds and octopi. 
He seems a little confused.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Warrior Dash

Well you guys, I did it! I made it through the Warrior Dash in mostly one piece, and I had a blast while doing it.  Not only was the Warrior Dash my very first 5K, this bad boy had twelve obstacles to get through as well, including a (frigid) bog, a pit of mud, climbing over trucks, leaping over fire, and much more!

I tried to back out the night before, but Matt wouldn't let me, he knows how I get when I am nervous.  I'm glad he made me go through with it! I had a great time, and it felt really good to run again (no, I didn't run at all in advance, 'cause I am a planner and all).

Here is our group before the race.

UPDATE: Our local news had a little blurb about it, and they focused on our group for a few seconds in the beginning.  You can mostly just see Sean (the cow) I was hiding behind Nelson (the bald dude).  If you want, you can check it out here.  Next year I am going to have to talk more girls into running with me! I was way outnumbered!
 Much to our surprise the race kicked off with some flames!
This is us going through the mud pit, which was actually the second to last obstacle.   (I am the farthest person to the right, Matt is probably too deep in the mud to see at this point.)   Despite the many people on the sidelines encouraging Matt to dunk me in the mud, he was smart enough to know that was a BAD idea.  Wise husband. After the mud pit came the final obstacle, the Warrior Roast.
Since we were carrying what felt like ten pounds of mud by this time, it was actually kind of hard to summon the energy to jump over fire!
Matt, Me, Nelson, Scott
This is the group that finished together, I'm sad to say the cow and company from the original group photo left us in their dust, despite many promises to stick together!
As an unexpected bonus Matt got a nice mud mask out of the deal.  His skin feels dewy and fresh, much like a baby's a very dirty diaper.

Here we are before and after being hosed off with a fire hose.  We had such a fun time doing this together, Matt patiently waited for me despite my snails pace, and I sweetly boasted after beating him through the bog and over the cargo net.

After the race we celebrated in true warrior style with some enormous turkey legs.
The girl you see here is Ally, whom I met for the first time at the Warrior Dash, she is also the source of any of the photos of me.  Thanks!!

If this event comes to your area, I encourage you to do it.  It is SO fun.  And you know the best part?
You get a kickin' warrior helmet out the deal!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Knit, Pray, Love, Cure

Any other knitters out there?  Yes? Okay good, listen up.  Matt listens to this particular morning radio show on his commute to work, and today he told me about this program through Cure International, and I would like to pass this on to you.  Here is a little bit about Cure from their website:

"It’s not an overstatement to call ourselves CURE International. Our goal is to bring 100% physical and spiritual healing to children with disabilities in the developing world.  We are transforming the lives of children with hydrocephalus, cleft lip and palate, spine deformities, clubfoot and other crippling orthopedic conditions. Their conditions are treatable, but without CURE, they have nowhere to turn for proper care.  These children and their families often feel great shame and face rejection from their relatives and communities. At CURE, they find acceptance and hope as our hospital staff members express God’s love for them."

So, knitters, here is your chance to actually make a physical contribution to a newborn baby in Afghanistan.  Having recently had a baby, I know now there is nothing like the worry you feel after they are born, the worry that something might not go right, that you can't give them everything they need, and I can't imagine how that fear must be amplified for someone who does not have the physical means to run to Babies-R-Us for an extra blanket or another sized newborn hat.  

You can make a hat, blanket, or booties (dude, if you can make booties I take my hat off to you! My booties? More like a large knot. Anyway...) and send them to the CURE Office in Lemoyne, PA.  All the information you need is on this website, plus so much more.  
So, next time you sit down to watch your favorite TV show, get those needles clacking, you can pump out a hat in a half hour! For instance, the hat Jack is wearing in the picture above?  I made that on a single morning between nursing sessions when he was a newborn, because no hats I had fit his tiny noggin. 

In case you haven't read the website yet, the hats need to be mailed before November 1st, so that they can be vacuum packed and taken over to Afghanistan. 

Let's go! Clack, clack ya'll!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Yesterday was October 6th, a date that I kind of forgot about.  Jack turned 11 months old, and I am sorry to say that in my mind that eclipsed what else happened on October 6th, 2007.  Matt proposed on a little rocky beach in Jim Thorpe, PA, where he lived at the time. 
I have no idea what we are doing, this photo is from shortly after we were engaged
But someone else didnt forget. 
I've said it before, but God really blessed me when he led me to Matthew. 

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