Tuesday, October 16, 2018

I can totally handle four Tuesdays


I woke up with a general feeling of dread yesterday, drug myself out of bed and stood on the train the whole way in. Last week I worked long days, and this weekend I worked over eight hours on campaign stuff both days. I've ramped up my involvement in the campaign as was the plan since the start, but I hadn't figured on it taking up quite so much time. You see the candidate out there doing going going doing, trying to get to as many people as possible. Unseen in the background: the partner and kids if they have them holding on for dear life. When the campaign originates in your house, there is no escape from it. I've been getting less than five hours of sleep a night, not drinking enough water, not eating well. I spent half of the train ride feeling like this particular season in life would never end.

I logged onto my knottie facebook group (women who got married the same month/year as me and were on theknot.com monthly board at the time) as I have daily since 2010 to check in. My report was not typical for me. I expressed worry about surviving this year and said I felt very crawl in a hole-ish this morning.

They saw me (see people, if you can, where they actually are) and sent strength from afar. Bless these women and my other circle of trust people. And AEB said, "Four Tuesdays til Election Day. You can totally handle four Tuesdays."

That's the stuff. That's my language. Because you know what? I fucking can. I can totally fucking handle four Tuesdays.

And Rachel said, "You're closer to the end than the beginning."

I am closer to the end. I AM CLOSER TO THE FUCKING END.

I try to imagine what will happen when this is over, but I can't remember what it's like to live normally without people tracking what you're doing and saying and keeping tabs on you and questioning your motives and your life and always doing everything alone and running the entire life show while MFD is out pounding the pavement.

The attack mailers started coming out last week against MFD from the Pennsylvania Republican Party. If I got them in January, I would have cried and obsessed over 22,000 people receiving hateful shit about my husband that just finely enough walks the line between true and false to spread the GOP's particular brand of fuckery mailed to their homes two days in a row. Last week? I laughed and then stopped thinking about them. Neither were 100% false or true, and neither are worth rebutting.

Melissa said to me in a text, "It's one thing to see dirty, false info and be disgusted. It's something else altogether when it's directed at your friend." True true. I got a good laugh out of that because let me tell you it's something else over that when it's your husband, your household, your life.

I mentioned in an Instagram story that I don't know if I'm numb to it or if I've risen above it but now I wonder if I'm just too fucking exhausted to feel anything.

I have never been this tired, and I've been this tired for months. No nine month time period in my life has ever felt so continuously hard, and you will please recall that I am married to a man in recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction who suffers from depression and that he was in active addiction for about 11 of the 16 years we've been together. Did I have soul crushing times in those years? Yes. Were they for nine months in a row? No.

The stress is tremendous. When I report in on the campaign trail, I’m never looking for sympathy. I’m showing you my personal experience in a situation 96% of you will never find yourselves in. This is what it's like at the lower levels. I don't know how spouses and families survive campaigns up the food chain. Making a choice to do something does not mean you can never say it’s hard or parts of it really hurt. I was sort of taken aback by people saying what did you expect, this is politics in response to MFD posting about the mailers. Yes, they were expected. But please, have nearly 25,000 things mailed to your neighbors in an attempt to attack your character and let me know if your response would be the same. People are allowed to acknowledge things that suck even if they happen on a chosen path. We can’t stop being human because it’s easy to just be type on a screen. 

Anyway that tangent aside, I do feel a very similar disconnect between us that existed when MFD was abusing substances. It's the lack of time spent on the same plane of existence. Shit MFD Said didn't stop because he's running for office. It stopped because we don't talk about anything not related to this, work, or the business of surviving. If we are together for more than 10 minutes we are either both dying for silence or breathing through it. I am worried about the pace he has kept for the past nine months.

We've reached the point in this campaign where every single person on both sides is punching down, wanting more or better or to scream at you or direct their frustration at you. People also want to tell you what you have in common and what your willingness to stand for something means to them and both of those things are 100% positive but are received very emotionally because you're used to hate and rage. I have never been reluctant to open my own messages but those campaign accounts...lord. It's enough to drive me off of social media in general.

As I write this I glance at notifications coming up on a facebook post for the campaign page and the vitriol and rage directed at democrats in general and sometimes towards MFD in particular is...a lot of things. Disappointing. Upsetting. Alarming. Things no one would ever sit in front of your face and say calmly to you as a human being in a sober setting. We delete some of the more menacing posts and I keep a list of names in case something happens.

I never thought I'd appreciate spaces and places and people that allow anonymity so much. That has made coming to write in this space more difficult, which it has never been. When you feel so exposed on every angle, it's hard to share the things you want to even in your own controlled spaces.

That's this month's check in from the campaign trail. Still here. Totally fucking able to handle four more Tuesdays. Totally closer to the end than the beginning. Still fucking standing.

Always still standing.

Monday, October 15, 2018

TWTW - the one that slid into a meltdown

Friday was some time spent with my niece and nephew, a trip to the grocery store where I forgot two key ingredients, and reading a beta copy of an old friend's book while dining on cheddar jalapeno cheese curls due to ingredient fuck up.

Saturday I was up early making soup because MFD got the missing ingredients for me. I also changed and washed the sheets and quilt, ran and emptied the dishwasher, painted my nails (OPI humidi-tea which is now missing because Bruce attacked the three polishes on the coffee table when we were out and I found two but am still missing that one) and successfully made a little order out of life before heading to the campaign office.
Two door knocking shifts in the shell as fuck campaign office. I did hang some signs up in between first and second shift and I ran errands for food and modem etc. We had great volunteers. If you ever want to join us on weekend, let me know! I have a new full time job of recruiting and organizing volunteers until Election Day. If you can't get out to knock doors but will phone bank, we need help there too. Also campaign donations help. And if you want to help us personally, if you know anyone buying or selling a house who needs a realtor in PA or NJ, refer them to MFD! Yes he is still a realtor,  even now. I'm not sure if people think we are independently wealthy but we are not. He does not get paid to campaign - that's not what you are allowed to use campaign donations for LOL. Trying to keep all balls in the air and stay afloat over here. The stress is incredible but we've been through worse and made it. We'll get by on no sleep, hard work, and a little help from our friends. 
We went to the Welcoming the Stranger International Dinner for the second year in a row as guests of our friends at McCarthy Real Estate. The food from all over the world was fabulous but the best part was hearing from the immigrant students Welcoming the Stranger has helped learn English as a second language, find jobs, gain citizenship, etc. I truly fail to understand the fear of immigrants that has been encouraged in America. These people are so proud and happy to be here in this country and the hatred they get from some is heartbreaking. We are all just human beings trying to live. Back home by 9 to deal fight more fires and do more campaign work. 

Sunday I was up by 7:15 after less than five hours of sleep, did some food prep and processed my iced coffee, and was doing campaign shit and this blog by 8:00. I went out with Melissa for a short door knocking stint then back out again with a volunteer I hit it off with really well. I freaking love so many of the people I've met. It helps buffer the bad stuff and there is a shit load of bad stuff.
Unfortunately I did a series of not wise things - I didn't eat, I drank too much coffee, I didn't drink enough water. When I walked in the door at 6 pm for the last time (campaign office is less than a mile from home, I'd been in and out all day), all I wanted was to put pajamas on, eat soup, sit in silence, and be in bed by 8 pm. But alas there was trash and recycles spread across the first floor. When I finally got in bed the dogs were fighting. MFD was home and loud downstairs. I smelled pee. I couldn't find the pee. I played pee and go seek. It was on MFD's fucking pillows. So at 11:25 pm I nearly lost my shit screaming. He came up and changed the entire bed and tried not to laugh at me because I had seriously lost all of my marbles. I took an hour to calm down and chill out so another night of not great sleep. Bruce had exercise, play time, we were both home a bunch during the day. Whyyyy. More and more I think a friend is the answer.

Weekly food prep: breakfast is scrambled eggs and a power breakfast muffin, lunch/dinners are buffalo chicken spaghetti squash and Italian wedding soup. The spaghetti squash thing looks terrible but it's good.



I'm all out of anything witty or interesting to sign off with. Have a good day my friends! 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - I'm so tired of my mood and sleep comes with a knife, fork, and a spoon

1. Coming at you live today, and I like that because this morning I'm cruising. Last night laying in bed awake at 1:30 am, I was in the mood to set the world on fire just to watch it burn and tell people all the truths, even the unnecessary ones. I don't shy away from confrontation and am happy to tell you frankly about yourself if you put me in the position to, but I don't go knocking on people's doors to tell them they're assholes, unprovoked and out of the blue. I felt like doing that last night though.

2. Philly's looking great this week.
3. Tuesday Kim treated me to dinner at The Continental. It was nice to just relax and talk. We work close to each other yet haven't met up since July!

4. When I came home after that, my house felt totally off. Then I realized what it was. For the first time since January, my dining room table was not campaign headquarters. MFD's campaign moved into an office for the final push. I cannot tell you how much my heart was singing. HOT DAMN HOT DAMN I HAVE A DINING ROOM TABLE AGAIN HOT DAMN

5. Speaking of the campaign, sorry, this makes me laugh - photoshopped (original photos included) and no mention of what he was arrested for. Murder? Theft? Nope. Civil disobedience (which is the equivalent of getting a traffic ticket) exercising his First Amendment right to protest things like the complete disregard of victims of sexual assault as a man accused of the same had his Supreme Court job interview (not a trial, you know...a job interview) and the attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act which will hurt so so many people (but not politicians or the 1% they protect so they don't care). Yes, he did get arrested railing against the government on those things and has no regrets. He won't stop standing up for people if he gets elected. Like hey, just issue a mailer talking about where someone stands on issues. No? Drag the opponent instead using lies of omission? Seems productive. What the people actually deserve is representation LIKE Mike Doyle, who will stand up for things that are right for regular citizens, including the right to assemble, not the 1% or the republicans and corporate dems who are slaves to those interests and don't give a shit about regular people. If our elected officials - MFD's opponent is an incumbent - send out misinformation like this or don't speak out when it's sent on their behalf by entities not associated with their campaign, how can we trust them to represent us honestly?

6. In addition to doing volunteer stuff for MFD this weekend, I am looking forward to getting my house in order. I scheduled a Vietnam Vets Pickup so the shit I've had laying around waiting to go is really going. Time to get shit together.

7. Anyone want to join me volunteering? Sign up here for Saturday and here for Sunday

8. Thanks to everyone who linked up for the fourth anniversary of Show Us Your Books! I am still finishing reading the end posts. I finished Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist. The title is a tiny bit misleading - this guy is not just any former white nationalist. He is the son of a KKK Grand Wizard and the founder of Stormfront and the godson of David Duke and he was at one time the future of the white supremacist movement. He built the language we are hearing echoed in our actual fucking government today, built it so that white supremacy was more palatable to regular people and gave them a way to be mainstream racist without using slurs or wearing white hoods so they could always claim not to be racist and taught them to turn racist accusations back on others. I am just...fucking whoa. All of this is by design and if you don't think so, read this book. Today I start a beta copy of a book written by an old friend from school. I am sure that will not make me want to vomit.

9.  Reminder: Yesterday was World Mental Health Day. Today is the 30th anniversary of National Coming Out Day.Today is also International Day of the Girl. I see you all. I support you all.

10. E-card of the week:

I'm out.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Unusual Technology Gifts for Busy Dads

I am not a great gift giver so I tend to like gift list posts. This one from James Daniels, a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.

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Finding the best gift for a dad can be a challenge. The traditional fall-back gifts are ties, socks and aftershave lotions. Dads are probably getting a little tired of this type of gift, so the task for any loving offspring is to find something different. If your dad is into gizmos and gadgets, you’re in luck because there are a wealth of unusual things to choose from, and more are added on a regular basis. If there’s one gift area that seems to keep on expanding, it’s technology. Whether you’re looking for a gift for Father’s Day, a birthday or just a gift that shows you care, here are some suggestions.

Golf Sensor
There are plenty of dad’s that enjoy a game of golf. Take his game to the next level with a futuristic golf sensor. This handy gadget attaches to a golf glove and is a motion sensor device that allows the player to see their swing in 3D from any angle, on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The app that comes with it also tracks a range of different important golfing data such as club head speed, club plane, tempo, backswing, hand path and hip rotation. All of which will help him improve his game.

Minikin Electronic Box
For dads who are into the whole vaping experience, the minikin vaping device has some interesting features. For a start, it’s exceedingly compact. It has a temperature control function, easy to access battery compartment and a rubberized finish. The gadget-loving dad will also appreciate the touch screen and the information it provides. It can be found at many online vaping stores including ultimatejuice.co.uk.

E-Reader
If your dad enjoys relaxing with a book, he’s going to love an e-reader. Batteries in these gadgets last for weeks and the white screen technology means there’s no strain on the eyes. They are simple to use, comfortable for using for hours on end and the library of books available is massive. Many devices and e-reading software allow users to share books back and forth.

GPS Sports Watch
For the dad who is a fitness buff, a GPS sports watch will mean he never gets lost when out on a run. As well as GPS, a sports watch will be able to monitor his heart rate and provide real-time metrics to help him understand what’s going on with his body while he’s exercising. It should also be able to track time, distance, pace, speed, and calories burned.


Buying gifts for dads can be a challenge, but it’s always going to be worth the effort. Finding a gift that he’ll be able to use for years to come is bound to be rewarding. To help you find the best possible gift think about what he enjoys doing. There are so many gifts to choose from you’re bound to be able to find a gift he likes. When he opens your gift, he’ll be able to tell the amount of work that went into choosing it. Which will make it all the more special.

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Do you have any to add? 


Show Us Your Books Fourth Anniversary - October 2018



Four years we've been doing this damn thing. When we started, Jana and I were all I wonder if people will do this with us? Now we regularly get almost 50 people linking up and it's awesome. Some of you have been with us from the beginning. We've lost some people and gained some people. We've all been reading the exact same things in cycles or totally different things. I enjoy being a part of this reader community and seeing you post things on Instagram about what you're reading. Thank you for being a part of this either as someone who links up with us or someone who reads the Show Us Your Books posts every month or someone who chimes in on Instagram with what you're reading. We have five prizes although we should have four to go with the year but whatever and in order they are $25 to Amazon or book retailer of your choice, $10 to Amazon or book retailer of your choice, and three bookish mugs. Enter here and then get down to the reading stuff below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next linkup is Tuesday, November 13, 2018
1. Visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me
2. Display the button and/or link back to us on your blog post
2. Visit other blogs who've linked up and talk books as booknerds are wont to do (if you are a late linker upper and I haven't commented on your post within two days, please shoot me a tweet or email and let me know I'm an asshole)


Here's what I've been reading since the last linkup. 
-Title link goes to Goodreads
-Buy link goes to Amazon and is an affiliate link - pennies that are made from you buying through it pay for the running of this link up and prizes such as these

Engrossing Reads

Last Woman Standing by Amy Gentry - In the year of time's up and me too, Gentry is pulling no punches and I love it. A quick read and interesting premise. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Book comes out on 1/19/19, pre-order here

Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone - Someone recommended this to me in the comments in the last linkup because I like nutter characters and I ordered it that day. No regrets. This was a quick read and a good one. Paperback, own Buy for kindle 99 cents or paperback

Watching You by Lisa Jewell -  like never knowing what I'm going to get with a Lisa Jewell book but always ending up liking it. That was true here. Lots of different angles and I was back and forth the entire time. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Book comes out on 12/26/18, pre-order here for kindle or here for hardback

Passed the Time Just Fine

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult - I always appreciate Picoult books and her willingness to take on subjects that rankle. This is no exception despite my zero tolerance for anyone thinking they have a say over what a woman does with her body. I had a lot of issues with the way the story was told though - backwards. I have enjoyed books told like that before. Not this time. Not a favorite of hers. Still a quick read. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review Buy hardcover or kindle

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton - I like Kate Morton novels but always walk away feeling 150-200 pages could be cut out. They are brilliant and tie together so exquisitely and with such care but I rarely fail to get antsy at some point. This book was the same experience. Still a good read but felt forever-ish. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review  Book publishes today. Buy kindle or hardcover

Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love (Lola Vasquez #1) - This Lola is a badass and a criminal and I really liked how the author laid women's issues and latina women's issues as a backdrop to this story. Not your typical female lead.  Philly library hardback Kindle edition is $1.99, hardcover under $9

The Best Bad Things by Katrina Carrasco - I read this back to back with Lola, and this has another unusual female lead in Alma. Alma was a very unique character and I loved that. She reminded me a little of the Kopp Sisters but on the other side of the law. The book seemed slow in spots so it took a while to get through. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest  review Book publishes on November 6. pre-order Kindle version

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite - Is this a me title or what? Super quick, dark read. Almost more like a short story or novella. I typically don't share the actual cover on here, just a pic of me reading it, but I like this one. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book comes out November 20 pre-order Kindle version

Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida - I've had this for quite a while, it was actually part of an exchange from SUYB with Bev. Nothing easy about a lot of the subject matter in this book, but I really liked the writing and the author took great care to build the main character poised on the precipice of what you hope is not a total breakdown. I was fascinated by her rashness. Up and leave it is always an interesting topic to me. Paperback, own through a trade

Not Worth It
She Lies in Wait (DCI Jonah Sheens #1) - So I really liked this story and was going to put it in the category above, but since I am not super likely to read the second in the series, I stuck it here. I liked this story a lot but the pacing was not good and the weird relationships among the team were unnecessary and made it all seem longer. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review


Did Not Finish



What have you been reading? 



Monday, October 8, 2018

TWTW - the one with the girls

Friday was sunrise, dogs officially allowed back on beaches, and a trip to Dog Beach anyway so Bruce could run free. Gus wasn't doing great so he stayed back which meant Mae was allowed to stay since she hates the beach. Lori also helped me deal with a trash can maggot situation which had me dry heaving in the driveway. Thank God she moved up north many moons ago and has all of these new skills she's had to acquire. LOL
Breakfast at OC Surf Cafe (I had the Old Salt), meandering down Asbury with Lori and Mom and Bruce, a walk on the boards, dinner at Ike's, and finishing a book. And a million dog walks Lori accompanied me on.
Saturday the dogs patrolled the porch as the Block Party set up. Debbie arrived around 11:30 and we set off to eat and browse our way down Asbury Avenue. Mae got to go for a block when we were done, she loved being among the people who adored her and other dogs she was obsessed with. After that we hit the beach and boards for a long walk. Lori bought me a purse and a new large art statement piece on clearance which you'll see in the spring when I repaint the frame and get it hunt. At some point I painted my nails, I think in the morning?
Sunday Lori left early for her long drive home. I was doing the sunrise thing and just missed her. Debbie, Mom, and I sat on the porch before meandering to Ocean City Cafe for breakfast outside. We walked back home via the boardwalk then took Bruce to the beach for about an hour. Plus multiple walks with my mom and los perros. It was nice and warm and felt like summer. I wasn't planning to go to the beach but I couldn't ass up an hour there in the nice weather. A quick clean up and we were on the road before 2.
I dropped my Mom off and went to Redner's to pick up a few groceries. Laundry, dishes, marveling at how gross my house is, and eating fried chicken followed.

I love this weekend so much and spending easy time with my people. They treated me to a million things and I appreciate it.

Weekly food prep: breakfast is breakfast burritos from the freezer, lunch is PB&J and black plums. Dinner is veggie pasta and turkey tenderloin with mashed sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli or cauliflower.


Today we celebrate Mae's birthday. Happy birthday Maedoll.

Tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of Show Us Your Books and there will be prizes. See you there. 

29 days until Election Day. I'm about to ramp up. You? 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - Rise up and take the power back, it's time that the fat cats had a heart attack

Getting side eye from Bruce.

Applying to a short nose rescue. They keep your application on hand for a year. I have adopted two dogs but never had luck with actual rescue organizations. I certainly want prospective owners vetted but adopt don't shop would be easier if the rescue people looked at current dog owners like okay...her dogs are all over the Internet living a better life than most humans, her vets say she's good, and her references and home check out. That's not been the case in the past for me. Bruce needs a younger dog closer to him in age. If you know any younger pugs in need of care I wish I had, holler at me.

Enjoying posting Instagram stories much more than I thought I would. It's like Thursday Thoughts every day over there. Meaningless shit you don't care about but I feel like sharing in no cohesive manner. Winning.

Eating everything from El Changarro in Bensalem. Local friends, it's authentic Mexican in the back of a Mexican grocery store in the Staples/Ross shopping center on Street Road at Knights Road. Go there. No website and I don't have a menu but it's delicious.

Tiring quickly daily. With my father in law's funeral services and things to do around that over the past week+ and my stepmom in the hospital in serious condition last week/still and trying to be everywhere and do all the work and keep up with life and smash the patriarchy and zzzzz. We came home after the funeral lunch on Monday and just vegged out in a house that looked like who did it and ran.

Heading to the shore tonight for girls weekend and I really need it. I also really need to clean it since I did not get to clean the house after last weekend's renters and I was supposed to clean my filthy apartment two weeks ago but had to run home early to head to hospice.

Celebrating Lola Jean's third birthday earlier this week. I stopped to see her at my Mom's since I was working from home Tuesday.

Thinking I posted blog posts Tuesday and Wednesday that I actually didn't post. So, more for next week? LOL

Putting my first of two fall doormats out. I fucking hate how doormats fade and die quickly.

Hoping everyone recognizes this and is familiar with why some white women uphold the patriarchy. We say I don't understand a lot, but if we think about it and do a little research, it's pretty easy to understand or find resources to help you understand. I lived in a bubble for a long time. Once you see what’s going on outside the bubble, you cannot, in good conscience, un-see it. If you have not read Audre Lorde, please check some of her writings out. If you don't follow Shaun King, please do. Check out Aja Barber on Instagram too. Systemic racism and systemic misogyny are connected and both are needed in order for the patriarchal system to remain in place. Don't ever forget that. Our liberation is bound up in each other. If your feminism is not intersectional and inclusive, it is not feminism. If you can't recognize that yeah, responses to the Kavanaugh hearings mean we're all fucked and called to rise but if the tears of white women do not do anything, women of color are TRULY fucked, you are not seeing the connectivity. I am no feminist scholar, but we're clearly not further along because at every point white women have pushed ahead on our agenda to get things marginally better for us and allowed the women of color we asked to stand on the line with us to be pushed back. We cannot let that happen anymore. We hold the line together and none of us get across until all of us are across. I don’t usually share blatantly partisan musings like the below left but the second and third paragraphs nail where some people are coming from and I think it’s important to know what we’re up against as we take a pickaxe to the walls of the patriarchy. White women protecting white men’s privilege and feelings at all costs (even to the cost of other women/their own daughters) after they’ve fucked up are just foot soldiers of the patriarchy. 

Appreciating these men trying to break this sexual assault thing down on a level people who were not understanding can maybe understand: Trae Crowder and Beau of the Fifth Column

Loving this post from Jane Roper: It's Smash the Patriarchy Season, Motherfuckers. Thanks for sharing Wendy!

Reading:  Show Us Your Books is Tuesday. It's our fourth anniversary and there will be prizes, including mugs from TeePublic, a site new to me but I got the mugs and a Dirty Dancing tee from there.

Counting down the days until this election is over. 33. 

Reminding myself:
Reminding the world: we can't still love each other if you are really digging your heels in with your "opinion" that only serves to uphold the oppression of others and is against basic human decency. Yes, you are always allowed to have your precious opinion. No, I do not ever need to listen to it again if I choose not to and if I tell you that, it doesn't mean I am afraid of other people's opinions. It means I do not give space to people who feed into the oppression of others. 

E-carding: I hate the rushing

What's new with you?




Linking up with Kristen

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