Another Reason to Celebrate!

Hiya friends, welcome back. March is totally a celebration month for me, let’s see…my dad’s birthday, Hobbs and I celebrated 10 years (I wrote a blog post about this one, check it out here), and I get to celebrate two years of sobriety. Oh, and if you’re wondering because you read that post, yes, I will have a cheeky glass of alcohol-free wine every once in awhile. Trust me, those two bottles Hobbs brought home Wednesday are now at a bottle and a half.

That’s right, my friends, I quit drinking alcohol two years ago today. It was a decision born from a few really bad months of nonstop panic and anxiety attacks, and a very personal conversation with a family member. I figured in celebration I would give you a little explanation of my decision, the hell that followed, and the realizations I found out of the bottle.

I’m not going to say this was easy by any means because holy shit it was hands down the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. This story is full of anxiety and uncomfortable emotions and in the end a deep sense of accomplishment. This is the story of how I quit drinking.

Two years ago, I was drinking probably a bottle and half to two bottles of wine a night…alone. If we went out with friends and my anxiety got the better of me I could put away quite a few rum and cokes in a night. In turn, I woke up every morning with a hangover that always prompted me to say, “never again.” Ultimately never again never happened before this night.

 

Keep Calm Wine
Or in my case another bottle!

 

It was about 10:30 and I had been drinking since noon (wow that sounds bad to say). I got a phone call from a family member and I just remember hanging up and vowing to never drink again. I looked at Hobbs and told him that no matter how much I begged he was not to buy me anymore. I also made the decision to hole up in my house until I was certain I could be trusted around alcohol without temptation sneaking in.

The first few weeks were…rough. I felt horrible and my anxiety was at an all-time high. I barely got out of bed and when I did it wasn’t for very long. My head was spinning, my heart was racing, I felt sick every day, and I was barely sleeping through the night, but I had made a promise to myself to stop and there was no way I was gonna let myself down.

Within two weeks I had made my decision known to everyone in my life who mattered. I kept thinking that by doing this I had not only more support but also people to call me on my bullshit. I knew by having Hobbs, my parents, and my closest friends in on my new journey they would keep me honest and accountable. Looking back on this now I can remember being really proud every day that I wasn’t breaking. I took the embarrassment out of it and I was really open with people. “I don’t know if I’m an alcoholic, but I do know that I have a problem with drinking.” See, my grandfather was a drunk, so people would tell me that it runs in the family, but I knew I couldn’t let it get to the point of no return.

 

Pink Clouds
Pink Clouds of lies!

 

Inside of six months, I was feeling better, I didn’t think about drinking and I honestly didn’t even miss it. It was right around this time that I did have the thought that I could drink and never let it go there again, but I never did, I didn’t trust myself. After some research, I found out that this is what recovering alcoholics call the “Pink Clouds.” You start thinking that you can drink without going back to that place, but when you do it’s a slippery slope. I decided to stay away from it altogether.

I was also still struggling with these bouts of feeling great and then going right back into feeling shitty. My anxiety was still being a dickhead, I was panicking at least once a day (and that was a good day). I came to this sudden realization of why I drank like I did, I was coping. I was using the alcohol to be “normal,” letting my brain take a break by getting drunk. If the brain was pickled no one could see my struggle. If I dumped enough alcohol down my throat I could mingle and talk without this nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach that at any second something could go terribly wrong.

I had a shrink tell me once that everyone has coping mechanisms, it’s just some of them are better than others. She then told me that I was the proud owner of two, a good one and a bad one. On one hand, I was never really uncomfortable making jokes at the expense of my anxiety, I used then – and still use now – humor to keep people at a distance. I figure if I make the joke before you can, I win and no one will ever know how anything is for me. Humor became my escape and ultimately became the “good” way to cope. On the other hand, I drank like a fucking sailor during Fleet Week. (For those playing the home game, if you don’t know what Fleet Week is, it’s a week when the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard dock active duty ships in a port and spend the week ‘sightseeing’ which is code for drinking.) And in case you haven’t figured out where this one falls on the spectrum of coping mechanisms, it’s a bad one.

I knew drinking gave me a sort of false bravado, to be the person everyone knew, the girl who wasn’t afraid of a racy joke or who wasn’t afraid to tell someone to go to hell and the quickest route there. But underneath that was just me, the girl who was both of those things but just wasn’t sure if it was alright to be. I had been through some shitty things in the years leading up to the anxiety and drinking and it definitely changed my perception of the world and I can say with all certainty it changed who I was as a person. Now don’t you go feeling bad for me, this isn’t a sob story, and we all have some shit in our past that changed our future, but I digress.

 

Friends
Good friends are hard to find.

 

When I quit drinking I also realized a few things about me that my pickled brain hadn’t really had time to see, mainly because I didn’t give it the time it needed before my next drink. The biggest thing I learned was when you change, people change. I made this decision for me and my life, I don’t know if I expected everyone to jump on the new bandwagon but I definitely didn’t think they’d all jump ship together. I guess I’m not too shocked, sober me is quite different to liquored up me. I have less tolerance for ignorance and stupidity, I’m also an adult sober so there’s that. The next thing I figured out was that I like me, granted I can be difficult and I never turn down the opportunity for a pun, but I like being me, anxiety and all.

I think something that really did shock me was just how much booze can cover. It’s a liquid, but damn, you pour enough of that on and you’ve got yourself something of a buffer. Being sober made things clearer, I saw the good and the bad in my life and I set about finding a way to actually fix it. Bandaids weren’t working anymore, I needed to dig out the infection and clear the wound. (Gross analogy, but you get the picture, right?) In the end, I learned that I was tougher than I thought. I learned to face things that I was too afraid to deal with, and I stood toe to toe against them and sometimes I failed. But a lot of times, I walked away the victor with the battle scars to prove it. I’ve never regretted my decision or the things and people I lost because of it. I mean, I still have my humor to get me through such traumatizing events as losing a few fake friends because I don’t drink anymore.

Well, there you have it, my friends. That is the story of how I quit drinking. Please feel free to ask me any questions you might have. Until next time…

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Spotted Dick, Build-a-Bear, and a Parking Lot.

Hiya friends, welcome back. You’re probably wondering what the hell I could be posting about judging by the title. You wouldn’t think that those three unrelated things could somehow create a pretty epic love story huh? Well, they did.

Hobbs and I are celebrating TEN WHOLE YEARS! I figured I’d make a big shout out post for the man that puts up with all this crazy. He really deserves a medal.

I met Hobbs when I was 23 and had gotten a new job working with my cousin (Ohhh, yeah I don’t think I’ve ever said how old I am, welp now ya know). We were both working in the same place and I had just gotten out of a really shitty relationship. It’s pretty safe to say I wasn’t actively looking for anything. I can remember my first thought about him was “holy adorable.” He had tattoos and a beard and I’ll never admit it to him but I might have been a little smitten.

It was right around Valentine’s Day when I think either one of us really thought that maybe something could happen between us. But in true Hobbs fashion, he took his sweet ass time trying to get your girls number, so he needed a little push. (Funny story here, and I LOVE starting it the same way) Whenever you’re with someone, people you meet will inevitably ask “How did you two get together?” and I get to say my favorite thing ever, “Spotted Dick.”

 

Spotted Dick
Not the actual requested dick pic.

 

That’s right people, a can of Heinz Spotted Dick started this love story for the ages (that is not a sentence you get to write every day). Hobbs had taken a picture and was in the process of cracking up with the guys over it when I overheard the laughter. Being the calm, cool and collected woman of the world I am, I asked him to send me the photo (Tiff calls this the one time a dick pic was ever requested, she’s not wrong). His response was less suave, “uhhhhh, I can’t if you don’t give me your number.” *cue girlish giggle* “Oh, yeah, well, here ya go.”

Five seconds later, I received this incredibly original text: “Hi!” And the rest, as they say, is history. Spotted Dick brought me the man of my dreams. (Again, not every day that someone can say that.) We were inseparable after that.

Two years later, on March 23 – chosen so he’d never forget the date – I’m sitting on the couch at my parents house and this goober pulls out a stuffed grey cat from Build-a-Bear dressed in a tux. I was so busy fawning over the cutest stuffed animal I’d ever seen, I completely missed the ring box in his hand. Hobbs, being a man of few words, asked me to marry him in a very non-fanfare way, with a simple “Will you?” Obviously, I said yes (otherwise this would be a very different post) and then proceeded to call everyone I knew.

 

Build-a-Bear
Kitty Suave

 

A year later, in August of 2011, I got to marry the boy who can always make me laugh even when I’m planning my episode of Snapped.

Now the best part of our wedding was that it was all us. There was no big fancy dress or suave tux, there were shorts and sneakers. I mean, I wore a dress but it wasn’t one of those Cinderella style ones, and it paired nicely with my all white Air Force Ones. I’ll let you guys in on a little secret, we technically got married in the parking lot of our apartment building about an hour before the ceremony everyone else saw. It was the two of us, my best friend and his, and another friend who we had ordained to perform the ceremony anyway. “Do you?” “We Do.” “It’s done.” It was fucking legal and I have the paperwork to prove it. I don’t even know if our families know this part….(sorry Mom).

An hour and a half later we were repeating the vows in this park near our apartment in front of our parents and a few select friends. The reception that followed was pretty much perfect. The table names were characters from our favorites shows and movies. The favors were keychain music notes. The flowers were simple, three gladiolus on each table as a silent nod to my uncle who passed away two months before. We ate hamburgers and hotdogs, drank way too much with our family and friends, and danced to a long ass song. All I really remember is lots of laughing and camera flashes. It was simple and the best day of my life (I didn’t even mind the dress).

 

Pretty Much
This picure is the perfect visual representation of us.

 

The was almost seven years ago and not much has changed. We still laugh at inappropriate times, still argue over dishes and laundry, and still love each other stupid. Leading up the wedding I got a lot of unsolicited advice on how to sustain a marriage, some of it good and useful, while some of it just sucked. The one thing no one ever told me was that there would come a time when you couldn’t see life without the other person. My life wouldn’t be nearly as fun without him, nor would it be nearly as messy.

Hobbs is a good guy, and I’m a lucky girl because I get to call him mine. He’s made life….interesting. I was already a fully formed person by the time he came around, but there was definitely something missing. I found that something in the form of a tattooed and bearded cyborg (he’s a diabetic…he has a pump…therefore he’s a cyborg, ask anyone).

So this is my very public adoration post. I love him with every fiber of my very anxious being. Here’s to the past ten years of laughter and fun with some annoying habits and arguments over the dishes thrown in, two furry children and a whole slew of imaginary ones, three shitty ass apartments, and a new house. You make me happy, and a better person, thanks for loving me even when I’m crazy. (Side Note: As I’m writing this he just walked in from work with two bottles of alcohol-free wine, pretty much his version of this post, don’t tell me this man doesn’t know the way to my heart!) And here’s to ten more, Hobbs! Until next time…

Dear Guys!

Hiya friends…welcome back. So I wanted to do a follow up on my post that went up about relationships (I called it…Relation-shits! Cause I’m punny). This is some more advice from my odd brain to you, whether or not you take it is completely up to you.

I’m going to make this really simple, and no I don’t mean to oversimplify women at all, but sometimes I think you guys just make it too damn hard. Are we complicated as all hell? Oh, yeah. Does that mean you can’t figure out the puzzle? Nope! Buckle up gents, here is your crash course on all things female.

Five Things Girls Want Guys to Know

We aren’t as complicated as you think.

Puzzle Piece

Seriously, why do you insist on making it harder for yourselves? Girls are NOT as complicated as you think, I repeat, NOT AS COMPLICATED! I’m about to give you the holy grail of tips dude…are you paying attention…we give you the answers. When you ask “I don’t know what you want.” Chances are you do, she probably told you. When a girl is angry with you she will give you ALL the information you need. Seriously, the who, what, where, when, and why…most times she’ll even tell you how to fix it. I’m telling you, man, it’s like an open book test, you already have the answers.

We know we can be crazy.

We live this shit…we know we have our moments. Show me a girl who says “I’ve never acted crazy” and I’ll show you a liar. (See, I’m not blaming you for everything) Every girl out there can recall once when she flew off the handle and knows that her reaction did not fit the offense. It’s a fact of life, dude. People have strong emotions at times, what makes us adults is that we recognize this fact and will apologize (unless there is a legit reason you deserved it). But when you say “girls are crazy,” it’s so much fun for us to remind you of the time you threw the Xbox controller because Master Chief got sticky bombed AGAIN. Crazy happens, and not just to women.

We hate the period as much as you (if not more).

Period Chocolate

This one really annoys me. I’m lucky Hobbs gets it, seriously, the man has no problem buying tampons or pads, it’s amazing. If you’re still unclear on this, let me defog it for ya, WE HATE OUR PERIOD. There is nothing fun or good about it, it sucks. Between the sneeze leaks and the cramps that make us wanna dig out our uterus with rusty spoons, it’s just not our idea of a good time. We also are aware that Satan’s waterfall will inevitably start at the most inopportune time. Here’s the issue you need to work on…stop acting like a baby when it’s brought up, or when it happens. We got over it, and you can too. Join our club, it’s more fun and we ALWAYS have chocolate.

We need to feel with you.

I don’t just mean this in the physical sense, what I mean is that we’re a team. It’s us against the world, or at least that’s what it should be. Decisions are difficult to make alone, imagine if you had someone who was interested in seeing you succeed, oh wait…you do! Don’t shut us out, when you’re in a relationship you should never feel uncomfortable being vulnerable with the person you’re with. Trust me, it’s not easy but in the end, it’ll create a stronger, tighter bond. Isn’t that what we all want?

We want to be your place.

Home is you

This one is difficult for some people and I think I get why. Let me try to explain. You know the saying “Wherever you are, that’s my home?” We want to be your home, we are a safe place to land. If you let us we can and will give you the world, and the only thing you need to do is show us love. It’s really simple, you’re our home, our life and love all wrapped up in one incredibly handsome package (we’re biased, we know). We want you to know that we are there, the ride or die that you’ve been looking for? Well look no further my friend, you’ve found her. All ready to be the woman you can count on through anything….just add love. Simple recipe, you should try it sometime.

So there you have it, my five tips for all the guys out there. It’s a pretty simple thing when you take all the complicated shit out. Relationships are tough work, but there is absolutely no reasons to make them harder. Until next time…

Relation-shits!

Hiya friends, welcome back. I’m not really sure how to start this so I’m just gonna jump right in. No relationship is perfect, and the worst thing you can do is compare yours to someone else’s.

Whoa, wait…maybe I should back up and start from the beginning. I have a friend who has a girlfriend, well I guess she might be an ex by the time you guys read this, but I digress. For the past year, actually probably longer than that with more than just this girl, he has been asking me for help or advice or an ear to vent to. Which in turn has inspired this new idea of mine. I’m going to put my thoughts on relationships, or sometimes what I like to call relation-shits (see what I did there?), on here and then I can just refer said friend to the page that applies to his current issue. It’s a purely selfish attempt on my part to get more views…and y’know I’m a nice person so I like to help people and stuff.

Now back to what I was saying. I am absolutely by no means some relationship guru, but I’ve been married for almost seven years so I’d like to think I have more than just a rudimentary knowledge of how relationships work. I’ve kept this one chugging along without any major breakdowns, so that’s gotta count for something right?

The first thing I learned quickly is…stop comparing yours to theirs. (I swear I don’t mean that in a sexual way) Get your mind out of the gutter and hear me out. The quickest way to kill something wonderful is by wondering why Tammy down the street got a car for Valentine’s Day, while you only got the .99 cent card they picked up at the last minute. Why did they grab something at the last minute? Because they were busy, it happens. It doesn’t mean you aren’t important to them, jeez calm down. My big question here is why are people equating their value as a person with the value of a card? That’s not their problem, it’s yours homie. Side note, a big fancy gift doesn’t equal a big fancy love.

Which is a nice way to get to my next lesson…the movies make big fancy loves look glamorous and almost unattainable. In reality, my big fancy love looks like a Star Trek flag for our house because he knew it would make me laugh. It looks like me sitting through hours of Ancient Aliens because he really is a nerd. It’s sweatpants, video games, ridiculous movies, and stupid gifts. It’s the .99 cent card because he says he loves me every day. (So much cheese but it really is the truth) Big fancy loves are tailor-made my friends, be the tailor.

How about this one…fighting happens. No one goes through a relationship without a little turbulence. Honestly, this takes me back to the first one if you think one of your friends lives in perpetually happy relationship bliss, you’re wrong. Every couple fights, some are just better at hiding it than others. Hobbs and I have a rule, we fight in the four walls of our house. If we have plans we put on a happy face, play the happily married couple for two hours, but then second we walk back into our house…dude, it’s on like Donkey Kong (I’m so bringing that back). We don’t fight in public, but if you’re in our space you will hear us argue. And I can tell you this with all the certainty in the world, we will not hide the arguments from our children. I think it’s important for our family to understand people fight, but that doesn’t mean we love each other any less. Arguments don’t mean a lack of love, and no arguments don’t mean an overabundance of love.

Let’s see what other wisdom can I share? Oh, your significant other does not determine who you are. You share a last name, or a home, or a family, you do NOT share a body, or a brain, or a soul. You are who you are, don’t be afraid to be different than them. My meaning is this…you’re two separate people, stay that way. I don’t know where people got this idea that they needed to love all the same things to love each other. I love Hobbs but I love him because he’s nothing like me. He’s laid back, I’m anxious, he’s not too talkative, whereas I don’t shut up. It’s just a nice balance, and it works really well for us. Being half of a couple doesn’t mean giving up yourself.

If I could only give one piece of advice I could give to someone whether they’re married, in a committed relationship, or just looking for love, it would be this. Finding the person you’re meant to be with is hard enough, don’t make it any harder than it has to be. Be in love, have fun, enjoy the adventure. Stop making little things into big issues. If it’s a big issue, talk it out. If it doesn’t work, it wasn’t meant to be. These are simple things that we all need to hear. Trust me, I’m guilty of every single one of these things in past relationships. But alas, hindsight is 20/20.

Phew, what a rant that was huh? I dunno if anyone agrees with me, if you do let me know. If you don’t, let me know. I’m gonna post a few things on this because seriously I have so much to say here. (See, I told you I was talkative…) Until next time…

A New Frontier

Hiya friends. Have you ever tried to step out of your comfort zone and try something new? I’m betting you have, BUT have you stepped so far out that you need to create a whole new world to inhabit? (Sorry, my brain went totally Aladdin here, and I’m on a flying carpet with a petty thief. But hey, he makes the fezzes are cool!) Okay, I’m back, wow, that went from Aladdin to the Doctor real fast.

I decided last year to try my hand at a completely different genre. See usually, I tend to write in the crime/murder mystery genre. Not this time peeps. My crazy ass friend Tiff (you guys might know her as Tiffany Crystal, check out the blog. I recommend Say ‘No’, you won’t regret it) talked me into giving sci-fi a try. Well, I’m an alien nerd (I mean, I have an alien in a jar, if that doesn’t prove my love for all things extra terrestrial and sci-fi I’m not sure what will), so I jumped at the chance. .

What I didn’t realize was just how much work I was signing on for. Who knew creating a world complete with religions, people, wardrobe…yeah now that I’m writing it out I’m not sure what I thought, but it definitely wasn’t going to be easy. Thank goodness for Tiff, otherwise I’d have drowned in the ocean off of Tecre (ahhh, inside jokes). Honestly, I have pretty much been lead by the hand through all of this world building, so much so that she actually got excited when I asked about trading and exports. She tells me she was quite proud, like I was a little birdie learning how to fly. (Hmmm…hold on while I make a note about animals on an alien planet)

It’s funny because I know how to create storylines with a plot twist (and sometimes some holes), characters, and setting, but the setting is usually REAL, or at least on Earth. Having to create literally everything not only can give one a bit of a God complex *lightning bolts and smiting* but it’s also really daunting. Oh, and let’s not forget the planet is just one hoofin part of it. Ever tried to create a language? Let’s just say I now have a newfound respect for George R.R. Martin and David J. Peterson for creating Dothraki, or Tolkien and his how many freaking languages, or Marc Okrand (if you don’t know that name look it up, but the title of this post should give you a hint).

It’s fun, and it’s definitely interesting and I know that it’ll be worth it when everything comes together and you guys are reading the end result. But right now it’s tough, and A LOT of work….and I haven’t even started on the actual writing part of it yet! Wish me luck, peeps. I’ll keep you updated on my progress and when you can expect to be able to read it. Until next time, my friends.

Our House, in the Middle of our Street.

Hiya friends….welcome back! (Please tell me you sang that title, I won’t lie I definitely did.) I know it’s been a hot second since I’ve posted, but remember when I told you there was a good reason? Well, as I write this I am sitting in my office in our new house. That’s right, we took the plunge and are now homeowners! Holy shit, that’s weird to write!

Okay, so first things first, the particulars. It’s a three bedroom, one and a half bath colonial built in 1900. There’s a decent yard (for the still imaginary children and a very real dog to run and play in). It’s all beautiful, but if I’m honest it’s the stairs that sold me, they’re hoofin fancy. The second I saw them I knew I was meant to live in the house with the Charmed stairs. I may not be a charmed one or part of the power of three, but dammit I wanted the fancy stairs.

Excuse the vacuum, but hey at least you know I clean, right?

Remember when you were little and your parents would take you to buy sneakers (trainers for all you Brits out there playing the home game) and they bought them a little big and said that you’d grow into them? Well, we took that Mom-logic and applied it to buying a house. We wanted plenty of room for all the possibilities. Y’know like those imaginary kids or pets (again very real)…or BOOKS!! Let’s be serious, it’s me so it’ll probably be books, but I’m not ruling out cute little baby biblios. Does anyone else hear that clock? No? Just me then? Cool.

We have redone the kitchen so far. Nothing fancy just some new paint on the cabinets and walls, a new refrigerator and stove, and that’s pretty much it. Now that I’m looking at it, that’s actually a lot. Hobbs was really proud of himself for picking the colors we used in there, mainly because he’s colorblind. He did alright if you ask me, but I might be partial, and I just couldn’t tell him no….he was so proud people.

If you stay tuned I’ll be updating about the house as we go through it make it more…ours? In case you’re wondering what’s up next in the Hobbit/Biblio house makeover: living room, entry room, and MY OFFICE!!! Can you tell which one I’m really excited for? Wait till you see my hoofin vision and you’ll understand why. Until next time…

New Year, New Me (STFU)

Hiya friends and Happy New Year. I know I took a bunch of time off but like I said before it was for a good reason, we bought a house (am I the only person who says that like the line in “We Bought a Zoo”?). I’ll be explaining more about that in my next post. But right now it’s a new year, and you know what that means…it’s resolutions I won’t keep time. *insert cheers and applause or maybe boos here*

I don’t know about you guys but I never succeed in keeping my resolutions and I think I’ve finally found out why: I make impossible resolutions. Example one: a couple years ago I wanted to “get healthy” so I went on this crazy diet and was ALWAYS hungry!!! In case you’re curious a hungry Nikki is a very scary Nikki, it’s not pretty friends. Then there was the year I decided to exercise every day, and the only thing that got any skinnier was my bank account from that stupid gym membership. I mean, both times I started off with the best intentions but still failed within the first couple of weeks.

I’ve come to the conclusion that resolutions like that just aren’t hoofin feasible. That’s why I’ve decided to switch things up a bit this year, and the first thing is no more using the word “resolution.” I have shaky resolve at the best of times, BUT I am pretty good at taking suggestions. That all being said, my 2018 suggestions are as follows:

  1. Be mindful of what I’m eating. (No more soda for breakfast, don’t judge me!)
  2. Wake up at a single digit time, lazy ass. (9:55 am, here I come)
  3. Try to move my ass a little bit more than usual. (Dammit!)
  4. Give meditation a fair shake. (Focusing isn’t easy for me)
  5. Speak less and listen more. (I think the Hobbit will like this one more than me)
  6. Participate in the 500 words a day challenge (not counting chatting or text messaging…dammit again!)
  7. Read about more than just smutty ranchers/bikers/billionaires. (I might have a problem here)

Six pretty simple things, at least in theory. I will say though that generally making “resolutions” can send my anxiety into a fucking tailspin, especially when I don’t stick with it. It ultimately makes me feel bad about myself and that is never fun. This year I’m gonna add in a STFU clause. If, that’s right I’m saying IF, I fail at sticking to one of those suggestions I will tell my anxiety to shut the fuck up and let me give up in peace. Being hard on myself isn’t going to make me stick to something. If I know me, and it’s pretty safe to say I do, if anything it’ll make me fail before I even start. I’m hoping that by adding in that little clause I might be able to hang on longer than three weeks.

Do you guys have any resolutions/suggestions/intentions that you have for 2018? I’d love to hear some of them. One more time, Happy New Year from my family to yours. Until next time, my friends….