Presidents’ Day Weekend

Presidents’ Day weekend has been synonymous with hockey tournaments for the past decade. Often, we’ve been separated by garages, cities and even country as we divided and conquered our hockey schedule. This Presidents’ Day weekend was the first time we’ve been together since our travel hockey days started.

This weekend we’ve been in Charlotte for Myhockey’s Carolina Cup. A couple quick observations. The weather completely sucks here. It’s been in the high 30s with rain every day. Its’s also strikingly brown and gloomy. Perhaps.l, we’re a bit spoiled by the perpetual sunshine and greenery in Florida. Also, the traffic is horrendous. We’re from South Florida, so we’re used to traffic nightmares. However, we didn’t anticipate that the traffic would be insane here in a Charlotte.

As I write this, we’re stuck on a tarmac weighting for clearance to take off. This is obviously one of the less glamours parts of travel hockey. We have a connecting flight in Atlanta, so here’s hoping we get to ATL with plenty of time to spare. Oh snap, we’re finally pushing back. I was beginning to think I’d have enough time to write the Grapes of Wrath as we waited for takeoff.

Goalielocks and I got upgraded to First class, which would be even more cool if the flight have beverage service. Unfortunately, it’s too short for any of that action. Thankfully, it has afforded a lot more room to relax in as we waited out the delay on the tarmac. Sadly, I think our nice layover in Atlanta just changed into a short one with this delay. We had hoped to grab a drink and dessert before the second flight. Oh well…..

Well, we’re about to take off, so this will be a two part post. More to come on our trip to Charlotte!

Game 1 is in the Books

Game 1 is in the books here in Charlotte. The Mayor scored two goals and had two assists. His line continues to gel incredible well together. The final score was 6-2 Hawks with all three offensive lines making the scoresheet. Overall, it was a solid team effort this morning.

Game 1 is in the books!

It was a fun game to watch. In fact, you can find it the videos on my Facebook. My commentary is colorful, so if you’re easily offended, you may want to skip the feed. If on the other hand, you like a good gong show, then my feed is perfect for you. I’ll be live from Pineville ice arena at 3:15 and live from Extreme Ice at 8:40.

What Goes Up

What goes up, must come down. Or so goes the saying. In this case, it’s mighty true. While the arrival of my airman caused elation, his departure caused sadness. I guess I had hoped that the goodbyes would get easier as time goes by, but this has turned out to be false. True, I have more peace of mind now that he’s comfortably in his role, yet it doesn’t change the fact that I miss having him home. The myriad of emotions that the military parent goes through is like the tallest roller coaster at Universal. It’s one hell of an exhilarating ride. The goodbye is so tough, but we couldn’t be more proud of what he’s accomplished.

His visit, unlike most Mondays, went by in the flash of an eye. Like seriously, I’m pretty sure he just landed yesterday. At any rate, it was so good to have the house full again. Our sweet Anakin, albeit shy at first, took quite a liking to Jake. Athena and Maya were stoked to have him back home again. Unbelievably, Athena seems to know when he was leaving. As we prepared to go and took the last few pictures in front of the tree, she sat on the couch looking downcast and depressed. She’s quite the perceptive puppy. When saying goodbye, I try my best to be stoic. He’s the kind of kid that would feel guilty and that’s the last thing I’d want. Admittedly, this time I failed in my attempt to be stoic.

Truly, the best gift was seeing my three boys together. Since Jake’s left for the service, his relationships with his brothers have shifted dramatically. After he left, the first question I asked Jake was if he missed his Siamese twin. Throughout his visit home, the Mayor had attached himself to Jake’s hip. If we went anywhere or did anything, he had to sit next to Jake or ride home with Jake. Previously, he would have balked at the suggestion. Meanwhile, Goalielocks and Jake also spent quality time together. Perhaps my favorite memory from his visit home was his brothers fighting over who got to ride home with him from Uncle Jon’s.

And now, here we are the first Monday in 2021. The boys are back in school and I’m working late. There’s been no grandiose shift since the new year has started. I’m still working my way through BBG, which is amazing. In the midst of Jake’s visit, I didn’t get all the workouts down last week, so I’m repeating week 33. Fortunately, I really enjoyed the leg workout from work 33, so I’m looking forward to the repeat. I had hoped to run this morning before work, but the weather and my stomach were not so accommodating. Oh well, I shall try again tomorrow.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Red and The Black, by Stendhal

*It’s day 1 of BBG 3.0 week 9, which means it is leg day.

*Still trying to get the Mayor a rapid COVID test. This whole thing sucks.

*Today I thought about running two miles and that’s as far as it got. Somes days it’s just not meant to be.

*What goes up, must come down. Unless of course, you’re talking about my, post thyroid disease, weight, which only stays up.

*Today’s word of the day is galavant. I cannot wait to go galavanting through Europe once this pandemic is over.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Here Comes the Sun, by the Beatles.

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The Day is Finally Here

The day is finally here that special day we have all longed for. The end of 2020. To be certain, 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year, but that’s not to say there weren’t some bright spots. It’s become too easy to focus on all the negative 2020 has brought, mostly because it’s omnipresent, but 2020 has also brought us some blessings. First of all, we got a chance to slow down the pace of life. The pandemic brought a hard stop to the incredible business of our lives. Since our kids started travel hockey a decade ago, every weekday and weekend has been incredibly busy. It was nice, for once, to not have anywhere to go. Obviously, the novelty of nothing to do wore off really quickly.

Unquestionably, 2020’s greatest blessing was watching our son graduate from BMT. Having a kid far from home with no way to contact them was a test of strength for us. His graduation couldn’t come fast enough for the hubby and me. When we caught our first glimpse of him during the Airmen’s Run, we could tell he had changed. The way he carried himself was completely different. In fact, I would say we dropped off a boy at the recruiter’s office in December to be reunited with a man at BMT graduation. Truly, the change was that dramatic. More importantly, it was obvious that he was where he belonged.

His class was one of the last classes to have public graduation ceremonies before the pandemic shut them down. In fact, our first clue at how severe this pandemic would become while on base for his graduation. We just happened to be on base when the Americans evacuated from Wuhan arrived on JBSA Lackland and the base hotel. It was surreal seeing the CDC folks there in their contagion suits. I shudder to think of how I would have felt if we had been denied the opportunity to see him graduate from Bootcamp. Undoubtedly, his BMT graduation will forever be one of my best and proudest memories.

Of course, he left BMT for tech school and his transition continued. Now he’s at this FDS and in his first “real” job. I have no idea what he does, but I’m sure it’s pretty spectacular. Nevertheless, 2020 gave us the gift of watching our child launch from unsure teenager to mature and gainfully employed adult. That’s pretty awesome! There will be no “Failure to Launch” parodies inspired by this kid. Now our oldest has started his career in a growing field, which will always be in demand, and continues to develop in his role in the service. Moreover, he’s taking advantage of the resources provided to continue his education and broaden his skill set. I’d say we’re pretty proud of him, but that would be a gross understatement of how we feel about his accomplishments.

2020 also brought us our newest addition to the family, Anakin. It’s been almost a year since we’ve added him to the family. Athena and Maya love him dearly and he loves them. Amazingly, all three dogs get along very well. He and Athena have the best time playing together, while Maya basks in the joys of being left alone. Albeit, Maya does like to join in on the play from time to time. She does, however, enjoy the fact that Athena no longer harasses her to play all day every day. All three dogs are happy to have Jake home for the holidays. They also enjoy our new normal of work from home and virtual school.

Anyway, the day is finally here. We’ve waited since March for this dreaded dumpster fire of a year to be over. While I sift out the negativity that 2020 brought, over and over and over again, I count the blessings that the year brought. I reflect in gratitude at how much good came out of a year that was so very bad. Here’s to 2021 a year full of love, gratitude, health, and opportunity!

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Red and The Black, Stendhal by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 4 of BBG 3.0 week 8, which means it is cardio day. However, I still have to complete the arm workout.

*I’m so excited!!!! He’s here!

*Our NYE’s plans have completely blown up as our youngest was exposed to the virus. He won’t be playing in that 3v3 tournament after all. Bummer!

*I will, hopefully, finish my baking again. We’re doing a brunch 2.0 for Jake.

*Today I ran two miles and walked a quarter of a mile. I’ve started running with Anakin outside since the weather has been nice. He’s much faster than me, so it’s been quite the adventure.

*Today’s word of the day is turn. I cannot wait for the year to turn as I watch the countdown in understated elegance (aka my pajamas.)

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is How Great Thou Art performed by Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill:

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours. As I write this, we’re still celebrating with family at my brother’s house. I thought I’d write while we wait for the the steaks to be finished. Lord knows I could use some protein after carb loading this morning. Speaking of morning, I started my day early since I decided to make a double batch of caramel rolls.

Before we opened presents, I started the second batch of caramel rolls. Meanwhile, I set out the first batch to bring the dough back to room temperature. Fortunately, the boys sleep in later on Christmas morning now that they’re older. I even managed to make a quick trip to Dunkin to grab a coffee before we opened presents.

It was awesome having Jake back home to open presents. We definitely missed him last year. Although he was the highlight of last year’s brunch when he called us from BMT to wish us a merry Christmas. I know having him home for the holidays is the equivalent of winning the military lottery, so I’m cherishing our holiday all together. I was definitely filled with jubilation when I heard his leave had been approved.

We had a wonderful brunch with family and friends, who have become friends. In addition to our traditional mimosas, I added a peach Bellini to the drink menu. Additionally, my sister-in-law added some coquito to the mix. Unbelievably, we went through more than 40 rolls, a pan and a half of cholesterol bake, hash browns and countless cookies. Needless to say, we were all in a carb coma after the meal.

Afterwards, we cleaned up the leftovers, while the Roomba vacuumed up for us. The hubby took a quick nap and then we headed over to Mel’s house for games. At Mel’s we played dachshund themed Monopoly game followed by poker. I lost badly at both games.


Now we’re finishing the day at my brother’s house with another awesome meal. Fortunately, this one is heavy on the protein. Albeit, I couldn’t pass up Brandi’s incredible hash browns. Consequently, I have now eaten enough in one day to meet my calorie requirement for the rest of December. For the love of humanity and my clothes, I should probably fast all day tomorrow. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Still Don’t Know What Day It Is

I still don’t know what day it is. Early into the pandemic, I wrote a post about having no idea what day of the week it was now that everything is on a from home basis. Flash forward to now and I still don’t know what day it is. You would think it would have gotten marginally easier as time elapsed and some normal activities have started again. But alas, I’m still lost. In fact, I spent much of today thinking it was Friday. However, as my calendar so painfully reminded me, it is only Thursday or Friday eve.

It would be magnificent if it was Friday as it would mean my new fridge would be here and the workweek would be almost over. As it happens, I’ll have to cook one more dinner traipsing between the garage fridges and the kitchen. Our fridge is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow between 7:00 am and 1:00 pm. If there anything like AT&T, they’ll arrive in January. Obviously, I’m hoping that there on time and nice, professional people. Honestly, I’m a little fearful of having them deliver a fridge without the hubby home. After all, a delivery man employed by Best Buy’s delivery contractor murdered a woman last year when delivering an appliance. If you haven’t read the story, it’s horrific.

Also, if it was Friday, I’d be one day closer to Jake being home. I mean, the countdown is on! I cannot wait to have all three of my boys back under the same roof even if it is only for a short time. As for the younger two, they’re pumped that Jake will be home for Christmas. We are all looking forward to seeing how Maya and Athena react to having him home. Athena is quite perceptive. Every-time he would come home from the recruiter’s office, she would be depressed. It was like she knew that recruiter was going to her Jake away from home. Needless to say, I think she’ll be beside herself when he gets home.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 4 of BBG 3.0 week 6, which means it cardio day. However, I was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday, so I’ll be completing the upper body workout today.

*I’m so excited!!!! I’m counting down the days until my oldest boy comes home for Christmas! His arrival is getting closer!!!!!

*I still don’t know what day it is…..

*Today I ran a mile and walked a mile. It went well today.

*Today’s word of the day is bomb. I hope I don’t bomb my life insurance licensing exam tomorrow. Instead of decorating with rustic simplicity, I’ve been studying the nuances of life insurance.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Forever (Garage Version) by Mumford & Sons:

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Adulting 2, Me 0

Adulting 2, me 0. At least that was the score of yesterday’s game of life. As you know, our fridge decided to die unceremoniously during the holiday season. Unceremoniously might not be the right word. After all, the dogs rejoiced as they licked up the spillage from the freezer. Ultimately, I pulled the trigger on a new Samsung fridge courtesy of Best Buy, which will be installed on Friday morning. In the interim, our two garage fridges are packed to the gills!

The day took another left turn for me as I cooked dinner. Apparently, I am no allergic to carrots, scallions or mushrooms. This, my friends, is quite problematic as I really enjoy all three. As I begun to heat the oil to sautee the chicken, I noticed I too was heating up. Shortly thereafter, I felt that my face was burning. A quick peek in the mirror confirmed my suspicions, I was having an allergic reaction to something I had just touched or eaten.

You may already know that I have an anaphylactic allergy to mangos, which started out as an allergic reaction on my skin. Naturally, the progression of my mango allergy from rash to anaphylaxis gives me pause when it comes to cooking with the three suspected items. It’s also a reminder of how allergies can pop up randomly throughout our lives with varying severity. Consequently, I ended my night early courtesy of some Benadryl and a quick shower. Surprisingly, I was able to read two chapters in my book before I felt like passing out.

So far today has been better, although the allergic reaction has left me feeling a bit fatigued. I also had to scrounge up something for lunch as my planned meal contained mushrooms. Obviously, I’ll be employing an avoidance strategy until I can get tested at my allergist’s office. I seriously hope that I had an allergic reaction to something that was on the food and not the food itself. Honestly, I hated giving up mangos and gluten. I’m not looking forward to giving up something else. To be honest, however, I’m not super good at giving up gluten. That is a work in progress.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 2 of BBG 3.0 week 6, which means it arms/chest and back day! I am not looking forward to the broad jump burpees!

*I’m so excited!!!! I’m counting down the days until my oldest boy comes home for Christmas! His arrival is getting closer!!!!!

*Today I ran a mile and walked a mile. It kicked my butt!

*Today’s word of the day is festive. I may have used by charge card a little too liberally on Christmas decorations, but I really wanted to give the house a festive look.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. Today’s footprints may have included some ashes since they knocked over the grill. There are, however, no kitties in this house.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Creep covered by Weezer in fantastic fashion: https://www.facebook.com/weezer/videos/209217593716628

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Normal Saturday

For the first time since early October, it’s been a normal Saturday for me. It’s nice not having to work and being able to relax and get stuff done. The Mayor and I started the day off at BJ’s picking up some groceries. Surprisingly, the store was pretty empty, which made the shopping experience quite easy. Normally, I find BJ’s to be utterly unbearable. This, of course, is why I only go there once a month. Also, I don’t think my freezers could hold all the food if I went there more often. Needless to say, I’m happy that I checked that trip off my December to-do list.

Yesterday we started working with a trainer for Anakin. It’s been hard to get him socialized and trained properly due to the pandemic, but Gari will be great for him. He did really well with her once he got comfortable. Unfortunately, he’s a bit of a nervous dog around new people, so it took a while for him to warm up. We quickly figured out, however, that as long as Maya was out of the crate with him, he was more comfortable. Our session yesterday was a consultation and to see how he would respond. I liked Gari’s style and felt that I learned a lot from her. We didn’t cover a lot of ground yesterday, but we’ve been practicing his new skills a lot today.

I had planned to run today, but my body is just not feeling it. After all, it’s my second week back to working out after a six or seven week hiatus. My goal is to get back to running every day for at least a mile. Additionally, I’m back to practicing yoga daily, which is helping a lot. BBG continues to deliver week after week of great workout. Since I took a break, I’ve definitely regressed a bit. Consequently, I’ll be repeating BBG 3.0 before moving on to 4.0. BBG 3.0 is significantly more difficult than 2.0, so I don’t feel bad at all about having to repeat it.

This afternoon, I mixed up some cookie dough for Christmas cookies and ordered more decorations. Like many Americans, I find myself decorating the house more this year. After all, 2020 has been such a gloomy year, why not brighten it up with some Christmas cheer. I’ve also been working on my memory book for Jake’s Air Force journey. It’s so fun to look back on the pictures from the past year. Hopefully, I’ll finish the book later today or tomorrow. This evening we’re headed to my brother’s for dinner. Again, since I’ve gone nowhere in like seven weeks, it will be nice to leave the house.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 6 of BBG 3.0 week 4 and I’m doing nothing. I decided to rest on the 6th day because I’m a rebel like that.

*Today I thought about running a mile and decided to take the day off. It was good thought.

*Today’s word of the day is share, which is why I write this blog. To share my thoughts great and small with all of you.

*I’m enjoying my normal Saturday with absolutely nothing on my to do list.

*I’m headed to my brother’s tonight for dinner and board games.

*After today, my running streak stands at 0 days and I’m not mad about it.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. Today’s footprints may have included some ashes since they knocked over the grill. There are, however, no kitties in this house.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them!

Today’s song is Superheroes by The Script, enjoy!

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One Year

One year ago, we said our goodbyes to Jake at MEPS Miami. We headed home, while he awaited his departure to basic training. It’s amazing how quickly the year has gone, but also amazing how the memory of all those emotions comes flooding back. Last year, I felt I had left a piece of my heart at MEPS as my boy went off into the unknown. We didn’t really know what to expect as he began his journey in the service, which left us with a bit of anxiety and fear. Of course, all of those emotions were mixed in with the immense pride we felt in seeing him take the oath.

Now here we are a year later, we’ve fallen into the rhythm of what it means to be a military family. It took adjustments. Particularly, it took a lot of adjusting in the beginning. His time in Basic was definitely the worst since we rarely heard from him. Once he graduated Basic and headed to Tech School, it got a bit easier. I say a bit because it’s never easy to be away from your kids. Also, his tech school was really rigorous and a lot of people don’t make the cut. Not surprisingly, he soared through tech school as he soared through Basic. I had worried that he’d sound sad or upset when calling from Basic. You can imagine my surprise and relief at hearing him sound happy, confident, and knowing that he was now where he belonged.

When we left him at MEPS, he was our boy. When we saw him again at BMT Graduation, he had transformed into a man and world-class airmen. Without a doubt, the young men and women that serve are given an incredible gift. They’re given the gift of understanding an objective that is bigger than themselves. Their Instructors teach them that under no circumstance is a wingman left behind. Moreover, the military teaches them responsibility and discipline. Imagine if more people lived by that credo. Maybe we wouldn’t have people fighting over wearing a mask to protect others. Perhaps people would learn to see the world through a wider lens instead of being so self-absorbed.

As for the present day, I’m now on a whole new countdown. Now, I’m counting down the days until he comes home for leave. That’s right my friends, my boy is coming home for Christmas!! Best present ever! Before he arrives, we have some decorating to do. I finally have all my photos framed and ready to hang for my Air Force wall. We also got a new Christmas tree today, which we’ll be putting up shortly. I’m curious to see if Anakin likes to hide under this one as much as our old tree. Our old tree finally gave out after fourteen years of service. It was starting to look like an extremely tall version of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*I can’t believe it’s been one year! I’ve been looking back at photos and blog posts from last December. It’s fun to look back at the pictures and see how shy he looked. The transformation from December to February was amazing!

*Today I ran one mile and walked a mile today.

*I spoke too soon the universe continues to correct me.

*I’m looking forward to crashing on the couch after work with my beloved puppies!

*Before I crash with the puppies, I will be cooking up a delicious meal courtesy of HelloFresh.

*After today, my running streak stands at 3 days. Today’s run really challenged and frustrated me.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. The only challenge is when the muddy footprints continue onto the white tile.

*BBG 3.0 week 4 day 4: running! After taking a six week hiatus from BBG, it’s really kicking my butt.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them!

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A Different Holiday

It was a different holiday this Thanksgiving thanks to the second wave of COVID, but the virus didn’t stop us from spending quality time with the family. Thankfully, technology allows us to be together even when we’re miles apart. It was awesome to see Jake, my folks and my brother’s family on Thanksgiving.

Naturally, I would have preferred to see them all (especially Jake) in person, but this was a great substitute. Jake, by the way, looked great, which warms my heart and lessens my anxiety. Unfortunately, the younger kids don’t like to be on the Zoom. It was like pulling teeth to get the Mayor and his cousin on the call. Goalielocks was a little better, but he was still fighting it.

Obviously, we ate entirely too much and continue to do so thanks to leftovers. Fortunately, my daily uniform continues to be yoga pants, which are mighty forgiving. I was, however, able to re-start my BBG workouts after changing the my schedule and getting the blood pressure under control. It has felt good to log some serious work outs this past week.


Tomorrow I’ll be back to work while the Mayor plays in the championship game. He’s had an awesome tournament this far leading his division in points and points per game. I’m proud of how hard he works for his team on and off the ice. Unsurprisingly, his hard work is paying off. It’s a lot of fun to watch him and his team play.

Lastly, help me wish Our Sweet Anakin a very happy first birthday! For his birthday, he got a new chewy bone, some raw hides, a Christmas collar and some Christmas outfits. Naturally, I also got his sisters some goodies too. I’d hate for them to feel left out. So even though it was a different holiday, we have a lot to be thankful for including our sweet birthday boy!