My Kids – Posers?

One of the things I love about Facebook is the ability to meet others who share the same interests as me. I belong to many different “fan” groups and have connected with some very cool people through those groups.

Some time ago, I saw a painting of Moe Howard that I thought was very well done. I’m not sure exactly where I had seen it, though it may have been in Moe’s book. At any rate, through one of the Three Stooges groups, I found that the artist was a member. Her name is Belita William and she painted the amazing portrait when she was in her teens!

Moe, Belita, and her painting.

She and Moe became friends and they were in contact with each other until he passed away. Moe liked her work so much, he had her paint him a portrait of President Kennedy.

Moe, JFK, and Belita

I was surprised to find out that she had also painted a portrait for Larry Fine, as well. This is another picture I had seen somewhere prior to learning she painted it.

Larry and his painting

Belita is very talented and I am in awe of her talent. She has painted portraits of her children, church members, and many others. Here are just a few examples of her fantastic work.

To make a long story short, Belita and I became Facebook friends shortly after connecting through the Stooges group. She has often commented on photos of Ella, Andrew, and my kids. I was truly surprised when she reached out to me privately recently.

“Hi Keith. Your kids are gorgeous. Maybe you might consider portraits.”

I won’t lie, it is certainly something I would love to do. She talked about pricing and such and it is something that I definitely want to save up to do. It may take a while (thank you highest inflation rate since 1981!), but I really think this would be an amazing and one of a kind way to capture the kids. I am sure that she would do a wonderful job.

When Ella was first born, one of my co-workers said we should enter her in a “Cutest Baby Contest.” Others have said the same about Andrew. As a parent, you are biased. I mean, you KNOW how cute your kids are, right!? Sure they are “model” material! Sure they would be perfect for a portrait! Absolutely they could be in a magazine ad! You always think that, but when someone reaches out to you and actually asks to paint them (as Belita has done) or asks to use them in promotional material (like Andrew was by the place where he got his helmet), it makes you feel pretty darn good!

Thank heavens they got their good looks from their mommy! LOL

I’ll Skip This One …

June will mark 34 years since I graduated from high school. My class has never had an “official” reunion. I’m not really sure why that is. It doesn’t really matter. The only time our class had some sort of get together was a combined event with the class after us. They held it at a local bar and I remember it being very loud. It was great to see some of the faces from the past, but I felt like it was hard to catch up because you were screaming at each other.

I’ve DJ’s many high school reunions, and they are difficult to do. Not many people want to dance, because they are busy catching up with their old classmates. One reunion organizer told me to play 70’s songs (they graduated in 76) and to keep the volume down “so we can talk.” That really is what reunions are about – catching up with old friends.

This coming weekend, there is another Alumni Get Together being held. It will again be at a bar, and this one is open to pretty much anyone who went to our school. There was a Facebook invite sent out and the event is in my calendar. I can look at who is attending, but can only see those people who are my friends on Facebook.

Just yesterday, Facebook reminded me of the event again. I glanced over the friends who are going and believe me, I would love to get to hang out with them for the night. However, I decided early on that I am going to stay home. There will no doubt be many pictures taken and posted from the event and I will anxiously await seeing them.

A high school friend and I chatted on my way to work this week. She asked if I was planning on going this weekend. I told her I was not, and it isn’t because of where it is going to be or anything like that.

What it all boils down to is that there are too many possible people who could show up that I would rather not see. I have many former friends who have bought into the lies and stories that have been told about me and quite frankly, I don’t want to give anyone anything to talk about. Many former relatives went to my high school. They have their opinions of me and that’s fine. They have written enough “bad press” about me and continue to do so. Yeah, no thanks. I certainly don’t want to see any of those people, or the ones who took what they said as “truth.”

As I look back over the list of those going to the event, I know that I can message or call them at any time. Many, I do. Thanks to Facebook, I can keep in contact with them. I am sure there will be some friends not on Facebook who will be there, and I’ll miss reconnecting with them, but I keep hoping that one day my class will have an actual reunion.

Another Weekend Wrap Up

On Friday, my son told me that he wasn’t coming over for the weekend. Sam and I decided that we’d take Ella somewhere to burn off some energy (Andrew came along for the ride). When I got home from work Saturday morning, I stayed up and we all went to the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum in Saginaw.

I’d never been there before, but I was impressed with it. There was plenty of stuff for Ella to do. We thought she would spend more time at the “water area,” but she was only there for a short time. She was running from station to station and I probably lost a few pounds chasing her around.

We got there right when it opened, so there wasn’t a lot of people there. The longer we were there, the more crowded it got. Both Sam and I felt our anxiety levels rising, so we wrapped things up with a trip to the gift shop. Ella found a stuffed kitty cat that she hasn’t really let go of since our trip.

On our way home, we stopped at Halo Burger. Halo Burger is a Flint area restaurant that is known for their Olive Burgers. They are SO good!! They are also known for serving Boston Coolers (It’s like a shake with Vernor’s ginger ale and vanilla ice cream). We don’t go there often, but when I do, I always get a Boston Cooler. I brought it home and Sam had Ella try it. She called it “Ice Cream Pop.” Needless to say, she finished it off for me.

Later than night, we took the kids to see Sam’s grandma. She loves her great grandbabies. She is in her 90’s and sharp as a tack! I am so glad that the kids have had the opportunity to know her and love her.

Andrew has been scooting all over the floor now. I’m sure he is trying to keep up with his sister. I know that it won’t be long before his is crawling and walking all over the place. This week, he actually got himself sitting up. It’s not consistent yet, but he seems pretty dang happy when he is sitting up and able to look around.

He was recently evaluated by the doctor and he will need a helmet. We’re hoping that he will only have to wear it for a couple months. The helmet will basically help to make sure his head is shaped properly. We’re hoping that the helmet won’t slow down his progress by weighing him down. He should be getting it this week.

He is such a happy baby. He always seems to be wearing a smile. Sam has been playing a game with the kids where she makes Andrew “get” Ella. They both laugh out loud and I love watching them!

I just love the outfit Andrew has on …

All of my kids are pretty awesome, there is no doubt about that.

A friend of mine posted something on Facebook that was 100% true and really struck a chord with me this week. It said:

Your first kid teaches you how long the days are. Your last kid teaches you how short the years are.

Powerful stuff! That’s why I try to take advantage of all the time I can with them.

Grief

I saw this twice on Facebook today and it really hit me. It is SO very true. I’m sure that collectively, you and I could easily add more true statements to this. I wish I knew who wrote it to give them proper credit.

I am reposting it here, so I will always have it and so that anyone who may stumble on this blog will find it useful as well.

Whether it is because I am getting older or the fact that we are in the middle of this whole Covid pandemic crap, the truth is that I have seen more death in the past two years than I care to. I’m not just talking about the overabundance of famous people who are dying, but the normal every day people in life – classmates, parents of friends, spouses, teachers, fathers, mothers, siblings, grandparents, co-workers, etc… My Facebook feed provides at least two to three links to obituaries a day now.

Many of my friends are still trying to cope with losses that are VERY fresh in their minds. I hope that this helps you or someone you may know who is currently dealing with grief – or has been dealing with it for some time.

Grief

Grief doesn’t just show up the day they die

Grief shows up on a random Monday night

Grief shows up in aisle five at the grocery store

Grief shows up when they’re favorite song comes on the radio

Grief shows up at the dining room table

Grief shows up at your graduation and wedding

Grief shows up in the delivery room when they aren’t by your side or in the pictures

Grief shows up on those sleepless nights

Grief shows up when the phone rings and it isn’t them

Grief shows up when you go to dial their number and realize they’ll never answer again

Grief shows up time and time again always unexpected and never invited

Grief doesn’t just show up the day they die

This chart could not be more true….

Post Holiday Lesson

I hope that it is ok to post this. I would think that it is, as many others shared this on Facebook after he re-posted this. A pastor friend of mine, Richard Jordan, re-shared a blog that he wrote over 10 years ago. I shared it on Facebook, and my buddy Max commented on my Christmas recap blog wondering if I get depressed on December 26th. This blog from Pastor Jordan hit home and certainly helped me shift my focus … Here is his Facebook post:

FB posted an old blog post on my private feed this morning. Since it posted on this date in 2009, I thought I’d put it here as a reminder to us all.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After Christmas

Christmas night often finds folks in a bit of a melancholy mood. After weeks of anticipation, the celebrations have flashed by and are suddenly gone, fading into the night.

This is natural, understandable and probably the best teaching moment of the whole season. As long as the beautifully wrapped gifts remain unopened and the celebrations still future, they appear to be the hope we are waiting for. But when all are opened and the merriment past, we sense we are still longing for something more, something lasting.

I had one of those teachable moments with my granddaughter, Hanna, yesterday. After opening gifts and eating a good meal, she was sitting on the stair in a rather pensive mood. I sat next to her to talk about what she was feeling. I’ve learned that children don’t know what is happening to their emotions or why, so I generally don’t ask the “Why?” question but rather explain the “What” to them.

I pointed out to Hanna that she was learning lessons many grown-ups haven’t yet grasp:

1. Gifts and events can’t fill you soul. They are expressions of generosity but are not designed to satisfy. They’re designed to point us to the Giver.

2. Putting our hopes in gifts will leave us empty inside. We will ask, “Is that all?” because we know deep down that’s not all there is. We are designed to treasure a Person, not things.

3. It is more blessed to give than receive. What makes you feel richer, getting the presents you wanted or making someone else happy with something you gave to them? A greedy heart lives in a small, lonely world. A generous heart lives in a wide world of love.

I hope she remembers some of grandpa’s sagged advice! I learned it from someone; I pass it along in hopes it helps others as much as it helps me.

It is just the way of God’s grace to let the glitter and flash of celebrations (even in His honor) pass and then even in the melancholic void they leave teach us once again, “It’s not I, but Christ.”

Marantha!

This is just perfect!

My Christmas Wish To You

With Christmas just days away, I thought I would take a moment and write a Christmas wish to you. Yes, you. Many of my followers are friends on Facebook, however, there are many of you who only know me from this blog. I wanted to be sure to extend holiday wishes to you before I got too busy with Christmas things.

I really had hoped to come up with some deep and meaningful wish, but I can’t seem to find the right words. Let me start with this: For my blogger friends – I appreciate you. I am glad to have made your acquaintance through mutual likes (movies, music, TV, etc…). I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy reading yours. I may not get the chance to comment or “like” each one of them, but I do find time to read them.

For my family and friends who are connected through Facebook or social media, I am grateful for you, too. Even though we do not get to see each other face to face, I laugh at your funny posts, I smile at your family photos, I pray when you request special prayers, and I cry when you experience sadness or tragedy. I send my love to each of you.

For Christmas 2021, I wish for you:

C – Carols and music. May the sounds of the season accompany your holiday gatherings.

H – Health and happiness. May you be blessed with good health and an over abundance of happiness!

R – Rest and relaxation. May you find time to rest, relax and recharge before heading back to the grind.

I – Innocence. May you take in things that are so often overlooked with the awe, wonder, and innocence of a child. Notice those things – and treasure them.

S – Surrounded by family and friends. May you share all of your holiday season amongst those who mean the most to you.

T – Traditions. May you enjoy old traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation as well as start new ones to pass down next year.

M – Memories. May you make many happy memories together and recall memories from Christmases gone by.

A – Appreciation. May you celebrate this Christmas with an appreciation for all you have, no matter how big or how small.

S – Savior. May you celebrate the Savior this Christmas. Yes, the world is celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, but it is also important to remember that the Baby in the manger grew up to be a sinless Man. That sinless Man, was crucified for you and for me. He bore all of our sins on the cross so that we could have eternal life.

I Corinthians 15: 1-4

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

A Musical Wish

I have never heard of Katherine Jenkins. She is a Welsh opera singer who  performs operatic arias, popular songs, musical theatre, and hymns. I was scanning through channels of Sirius XM and heard this song this week. I felt like it was a good one to share and conveyed what I might not be able to put into words.

I wish you starlight on fields of snow
The winter’s morning light and evening’s glow;
I wish you candles that shine from every tree
So all the world can see
The light that there could be


I wish you music, I wish you song
With voices echoing, Joyous and strong;
I wish you church bells, ringing true and clear;
I wish you Christmas, a merry Christmas
A merry Christmas to remember all the year


Old friends smiling
Thinking of times gone by;
Young friends laughing:
Christmas is here
Spirits are bright
And hopes are high


I wish you loved ones around your fire;
May Christmas bring you all your heart’s desire
I wish you children to make the season new
With dreams you help come true
Just like it was for you


I wish you blessings, I wish you love
The sound of angel choirs from high above;
I wish you laughter, happiness and cheer:
I wish you Christmas, a merry Christmas
And may its joy and peace be with you through the year


I wish you music, I wish you song;
I wish you harmony your whole life long;
The warmth of memories that long remain:
I wish you Christmas, a merry Christmas
And may God bless you till we all shall meet again

Merry Christmas from your nostalgic Italian friend,

Keith

“I Miss Us”

Today, our baby boy is one month old. Ella turned 21 months old yesterday. Where did that time go?

As you can imagine, life at our house is constant chaos. It’s a whole new ball game with two under two. Now that I am back to work, Sam is getting the bulk of the chaos and she is exhausted. Tonight she posted this on her Facebook page:

“Keith is at work. Ella has her first cold and is extremely whiney and has cried the majority of the day. Andrew is in his ‘witching hour’ of the day. Cocomelon has been on repeat on the TV for the past two hours… Pretty sure this is a preview of what hell is like!”

While that is very funny – it really isn’t. I have never understood why both parents do not get leave after a baby is born. In some countries, the father and mother each get a full year off with their newborn. I’d be happy with a few months to help with mom’s sanity! There are so many pressures that mom is going through with just one baby, let alone a second or third child on top of that.

Breastfeeding is a sure way for a mother to snap! It is a constant need for the baby. Dad really can’t do anything until mom starts pumping, so until then – it’s all on mom. I felt so helpless. I watched Sam sit up in our bed utterly exhausted from no sleep. I tried to help by taking the baby to the couch in hopes that Sam would be able to sleep, but if the baby fussed, she heard him and couldn’t sleep.

We recently switched to all formula for him, which has allowed me to get up with him at night and feed him. Sam is finally able to sleep when I am home. However, for four nights a week, it is all her while I am at work. When I come home I try to help with breakfast and such , but then I have to go to bed for work that night. I try to set my alarm to get up and help, but some days I am just craving every second of sleep. I really am no help to her, which I hate.

Amongst all of those changes, there is the change between us. We long for a ‘date night,’ but really aren’t that comfortable going out to eat yet. We’re heading into the colder weather, so it makes it hard to even go for a walk outside. We are both craving that “us” time!

Sam sent me something via Facebook tonight. It really hits home. I had to walk away when I started reading it because I knew I would tear up. I wanted to share it here, not only for me, but for some of my friends who recently had babies who may be feeling the same things we are ….

This was on The Birds Papaya Facebook page:

I miss us.

Can I say that?

I think in a way and as I’ve always done, I romanticized the situation. I romanticized what a baby would mean for us.

How we would swoon, how much closer we would get. Being bonded forever. How you’d look at me through new eyes.

This all feels real and true, and yet the complete opposite. It doesn’t make sense sometimes.

We are both here.

We share a common goal.

We swoon and bond over this being.

But, I miss us.

I miss who I was before depression and a troubled pregnancy. I miss the energy I exuded. I miss not mumbling things under my breath (I’m sorry for that by the way).

I miss being the center of your attention, an impossibility with a little human who happens to be louder and more commanding than I am (go figure that that’s the part of me she reflects).

I wonder what parts of you that you miss.Or, do you just feel the same? (is it just me?)

Are we getting weaker or are we getting stronger? Perhaps both?

This is temporary, right?

What parts will last forever?

Why does nobody talk about how hard this is sometimes? Or just how weird it is?

Why do we just show how sweet it is, in the moments that are oh-so sweet?

Can it be both? I need it to be both.

I miss us.

But, I am proud of us.

Minute-by-minute figuring out what it is to be a couple with boundless energy and ambition transform into a couple that is tired and at capacity and yet leading with love…and some mumbled words.

Why is this not romance? Or did I just misunderstand it all, all along?

When you rub my back in the middle of the night knowing I’m struggling. When you get up at 5am with her so I may sleep a little longer. When you feed me while I feed her. When we carve out time in the chaos for us. When we just sneak a moment in the middle of it *air high five*.

When we just are doing the dang thing. All of us are. A family. Us, a family.

Remember when we were just coworkers with a crush? Look at us now.

My gosh. Look at us now.

Maybe I miss us, but… I love what we have found.

There is so much truth to that.

Thank you, Sam, for sending it. I completely feel the same way. We WILL find “us” again and along the way, we’ll enjoy what we have found together as a family.

For the record, my wife is pretty “right on” with the description of Cocomelon ….

…. or Little Baby Bum

URGH!!!

Just Running in the Rain

I shared this on my Facebook page today, and thought it worthy to share as a short blog entry.

I had a doctor appointment this morning. There were some sprinkles and rain showers on the drive there, but they had pretty much stopped when I arrived. They must have been busy, as I didn’t end up leaving my 9:45 appointment until around 11:30am.

As I exit the waiting room, I looked outside and could see that it was a full blown thunderstorm and that it was pouring rain. As I walked out the main door, I stood under the huge awning protected from the rain. There are about four or five people all standing there pondering what they are going to do.

There were older people are sitting on benches saying there’s no way they are walking to their cars in it. One husband said he would go get the car and pull it up for his wife, but she insisted he stay. This led to him saying he wasn’t “going to melt.” There were a couple people my age debating whether to make a break for it, and discussing it with the older people, who encouraged them to wait for it to let up.

As I am observing this, a young mom with two girls about 4-5 years old walk out and the girls are squealing in delight. They are thrilled that it is raining cats and dogs. They both yell, “Yay! It’s raining!” They are not wearing raincoats and have no umbrella. There mom looked at them playfully and says, “Here we go,” and they run out into the parking lot holding hands splashing and laughing together.

My car wasn’t parked to far that a little rain would hurt me, so I followed their lead and rain in the heavy rain to the car. The parking lot was full of puddles and my shoes and socks were soaked by the time I got into the car. For 10-15 seconds, I was 5 years old running in the rain! “Yay! Rain!”

Photo courtesy of iStock by Getty Images

Be careful for nothing …

I needed to read this verse tonight. The Greek word translated “careful” in verse 6 is (μεριμνάω) merimnáō. It literally means “to be anxious” or “to be troubled with cares.” Anxious is defined: experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. So the verse is saying “Don’t be anxious about anything!” “Don’t be full of worry!” It is easier said than done sometimes.

I haven’t really said anything on here or really anywhere about this, but I think my anxiety level is starting to rise a bit too much. Ever get that feeling like things are closing in on you? Feel like you are surrounded by things that are just out of your control? That’s kind of where I am right now. I’ve been in this place before, and have been able to get it under control. It just feels like the things I was able to do to get them under control, aren’t helping like they did before.

Admittedly, there are things that I know contribute to this. Lack of sleep, for example. I am just not getting enough, and won’t be getting enough for some time. With a baby on the way, and a toddler, I’ll be grabbing sleep in little chunks for a while. What is bothersome to me about sleep is that instead of getting my usual 5-6 hours, I am waking up a lot, usually from weird dreams. Then my mind won’t shut off long enough about other things to let me fall back to sleep.

I made the choice some time ago to stop watching the news. This really helped eliminate much of the barrage of Covid stories that I was seeing. Covid and just the fear and uncertainty that came with it led to me having a breakdown a year ago. Staying away from those stories helped. However, my phone continues to “ding” throughout the day and night with Covid stories from Yahoo News and other apps. Then there is the constant stories that friends share on Facebook.

Let me put it this way, I can see why many people are choosing to leave Facebook. There is so much misinformation, countless arguments, and hatred within my newsfeed daily. I have muted or snoozed many people because of it. That doesn’t stop it, though. Any time a post mentions “Covid” or “Vaccine” there is a link that automatically shows up.

Then you have the fight between people who are pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine. This falls into the same category as whether you should wear a mask or not. It is amazing how polarizing this is. It is almost as polarizing as what we saw during the past few elections. Pro/Anti Trump. Pro/Anti Biden. There has always been divisions in our country, but it seems that it in society today, if someone disagrees with you, it leads to hatred and violence. I know way too many friendships that have been broken because of the failure to “agree to disagree”

I digress. If I am being honest, I am beginning to feel overwhelmed again. I know that I shouldn’t, yet I do. I need to take those verses and focus on them. I know that is where I will find peace.

Remember the opening of the Twilight Zone where all the things are spiraling around?

That is how I feel on a daily basis and it is taking my focus away from where it needs to be! I feel like I am surrounded by Covid and cancer and the deaths that they bring about. I feel like the vaccine is being talked about everywhere – whether the talk is good or bad. Then we have all the stuff that is going on in the Middle East, Earthquakes and natural disasters. I seem to have daily conversations with people about whether or not we are in the Biblical End Times. It is overwhelming.

THEN factor in that my wife and I are are expecting a baby and the pregnancy has had its share of scares and worry. Those worries outweigh ALL of the others. As mentioned in a pervious blog, those worries were put at ease to some degree with the latest ultrasound. However, we have 8 weeks left and I still have some concerns.

My mind is one big muddled mess at times.

I am struggling to remember things. I zone out during conversations for no reason at all. I can listen to something or read something over and over and not comprehend what I just heard/read. I’m scared about some things right now. I will spare you the details of that.

I’m hoping to dig myself out of the rut and get back to normal. I have the support of my wife and family. I have the support of my Christian friends. I have God on my side. I will do my best to “let go and let God.”

Thank you for allowing me to vent.

Birthday Recap

On Saturday, I celebrated birthday 51. I worked the night before, so I came home and literally went to bed. Sam and I had plans, so I wanted to get some sleep before we left.

Even before the clock struck midnight, my Facebook was blowing up with countless birthday wishes. When I woke up, there were over 300 wishes and more continued throughout the day. I always joke that without Facebook I might not remember somebody’s birthday. Remember when we used to put them on a calendar and actually made a phone call or sent a card to someone? Not that it bothers me, it is nice to be remembered.

Anyway, Friday night, my coworkers helped me celebrate with home made brownies and cannoli from my favorite Italian bakery (Tringali’s). Another co-worker bought me an instant ticket and it actually was a winner, which never happens. It wasn’t the $500,000, but enough to buy another lottery ticket…

Visit to the Zoo

Ella’s first trip to the Detroit Zoo. Had to get a picture by the famous fountain.

For Ella’s birthday, Aunt Margaret got her a year membership to the Detroit Zoo. The weather was going to be perfect, so we decided that we’d celebrate both our birthdays there! We almost weren’t able to go, because you have to reserve tickets in advance. There were only two times available on Saturday and I took the first available, which was 4:30pm. That only gave us an hour and a half to walk the zoo.

It actually worked out perfectly. We didn’t stand in line for the kangaroos (it was quite long), and we didn’t do the reptile house. Instead, we walked and saw the animals that were outside. We saw lions, tigers, giraffes, rhinos, monkeys, and the polar bear. Sadly, the penguin exhibit is closed for remodeling and the otters were off sleeping somewhere (those are Sam and my favorite animals).

Doesn’t that tiger look real?!

Every so often, we’d take Ella out of her stroller and tried to get her to walk with us. We tried holding her hand, but it wasn’t gonna happen. As soon as her feet hit the pavement, she was off like a shot! She was running everywhere. She was so excited to see other kids and other people. She just wanted to roam around! We got our exercise in chasing her around the zoo!

Sam had asked me what I wanted to do for dinner earlier in the week. Our favorite steak house is almost impossible to order a carry out from these days, so I thought we’d try Mexican food. After a few attempts, and getting a busy signal, I was at a loss. Then Sam reminded me of the Roadhouse up the street from us. They have the best burgers! That actually sounded really good, and I was excited to order. Sam was craving nachos, so she got an order from there (it probably could have fed 4 people – that thing was huge!). The burger itself was a treat, but I also decided that I’d splurge and get an order of fried pickles! Yummy!!!

Ella was exhausted by the time we got home and pretty much went straight to bed. Earlier in the day, she helped Sam make my birthday cake. She cracked the eggs and helped mix it all up. Because she went to bed, we never really got to sing Happy Birthday and I didn’t get to blow out the candles and make a wish. However, my wish had already come true that day – I got to spend my day with my two favorite girls!!