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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

He did it!

He did it!!

My son went to visit my grandmother yesterday at the nursing home for the fist time in over 6 months! For those of you who have followed our struggles, you know how much of a milestone this was for him. He's absolutely terrified of the nursing home. But, yesterday he looked OCD in the face and told it to go screw itself!!

He kept his hands in his pockets, and we only stayed for a short time. He looked like a bomb ready to go off, but he did it! I know he was happy to get there. When we left his anxiety was off the chart, but behind the anxiety he was smiling. There was a twinkle in his eye behind the fear. I know he was proud of himself.

My grandmother's face just lit up when she saw him. She knows how scared he is to go there. I've been dreading anything happening to her before he was able to face his fear. I would never what him to live with ANY guilt over not seeing her.

I hate OCD! It's such a tricky monster. He's really been struggling the last few days. I don't know why. OCD doesn't need a reason to decide to torture you. But, we've had to overcome some major meltdowns and I've had to fight for him. I've had to push him and I hate it. But, I'll keep doing it.

I'll keep fighting for him, and when I least expect it, God will reach down pick us up, and give us hope with something like a visit to my grandmother.

but those who hope in the LORD 
   will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles; 
   they will run and not grow weary, 
   they will walk and not be faint.

~Isaiah 40:31


It's no surprise that God has given me a tangible reminder of hope this week. Our God is good! He knows everything we're going through, and he knows just what we need just when we need it!
Hope: our first Advent candle





















Linked up with my favorite blogger, Shell

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Monday, November 28, 2011

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas...



I love Christmas! Absolutely everything about it!

Not the crazy, shopping, ridiculous part, but the miracle of the season part. It's a time that I cherish with my boys and I really try to make an effort to put Christ at the center of it all. This year I want to get caught up in the miracle of my Savior who came for all!


Found this idea on Pinterest.
Hot glue and ribbons. Done!
Hubs hung our lights, and I unpacked all the fun Christmas decor. I got our Jesse Tree set up and ready to go! I've been making a few more ornaments this year, and I'm looking forward to spending that devotional time with the boys.

If you're not familiar with the Jesse Tree, Google it! It's an awesome way to teach your kiddos the miracle of God's plan in sending a Savior.

Couldn't resist some beachy flair. 



















It ties Old testament prophecy and New testament truths in the perfect way to teach the lineage of Christ. It is based on the verse in Isaiah 11:1 which says, "A root will come up from the stump of Jesse, from his roots a branch will bear fruit." There's an ornament to hang on your tree that represents a daily devotional reading for each of the days of Advent. Sharing bible truths from creation to Christ, the Jesse Tree is special Advent tradition!

You can find devotions and patterns for your ornaments HERE.















I also made a paper chain for each day in December. I love those things. Written on the back of each link is the date and a special Advent activity we'll do that day. My little guys can't wait to wake up and rip the link to see what the day will bring. I try to do something everyday during December to remind the boys of the true meaning of the season. Even if it's something small, it's something!



We lit our first Advent candle last night, and I hope it's a memory my boys will cherish forever. I bought these candles last year, and have been holding onto them since. I just couldn't wait to use them! These colors can be hard to find at this time of year. I got mine at Yankee Candle last year, and I did notice Hobby Lobby has an aisle with advent wreaths/candles. Good to know!



Making memories and building traditions. I love Christmas!

What traditions do you love to do with your family?

What do you hope for this season?

Merry Christmas, my bloggy friends!!


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Monday, November 21, 2011

Thank you, Lord.

Yesterday at church the Pastor gave a message on gratitude. I'm sure the messages this past Sunday for many of us were on thankfulness. I expected to hear something along the lines of this topic given it is Thanksgiving week. But he said something that really hit me.

"What if all you had today was everything you thanked God for yesterday?"

Well, I'll be honest. I wouldn't have a whole heck of alot! I don't thank my Heavenly Father enough.

Thank you, Lord, for this life. Thank you for the precious boys you have entrusted to me to raise. Why you picked me I will never understand. But, I thank you for them. I'm doing the best I can, and I pray their lives will glorify you.

Thank you, Lord, for my husband. Thank you for bringing us together and helping us make this family. Thank you for the work that he has! He might not make a million dollars, and we might not have all the money in the world, but I am so thankful that I have a husband who is willing to work hard and provide for his family. Thank you for the work you are doing in his heart, and bringing him to church! Thank you, Lord, for all the lessons you've taught me through loving him, and equip me to keep our marriage alive and strong. Thank you for the plans you have for him. I know they are good!!

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of staying home with my boys. Forgive me for wanting to scream at them sometimes. Help me to remember that every second is a blessing. Thank you for the blessing of homeschool. It is just what our family needed and you make it work. Somehow? You make it work. Thank you!

Thank you for the progress my baby is making. Thank you for all the guidance and wisdom you have given to me to help him. Thank you for equipping me for the task for being his mom. Thank you for loving me even when I screw that up.

Thank you, Lord, for the food on our table, central heat and air, and the money to buy Christmas presents for my children and family. Forgive me for not thinking of those less fortunate enough, and help me lead my boys in having a heart for those in need. Thank you for helping us provide them with every toy and game they could ever want. Thank you for showering us with so much blessing I don't even know what to get my kids for Christmas.

Thank you, Lord, for my family and friends. My friends IRL and my friends online. Thank you for the special people you have hand-picked in my life to bring me closer to you, and thank you for all of the incredible women you have brought into my life through blogging!

Thank you for the courage to trust you and try a new church. Thank you, Lord, for getting my husband there too. Thank you, Lord for being with me. Always.

Thank you, Lord, for a marriage that's secure. Thank you for a faithful husband and a home with love still alive. Thank you for my attraction to him, and his to me. Thank you for being in our home. Thank you for never leaving us, even when we are ignoring you.

Thank you,  Lord, for your plans for me. Whatever they are! I love you, Lord. You are amazing!

Thank you, Lord, for your son, Jesus. Who enables me to have a relationship with you. He is Emanuel! God with us! Praise His Holy name!

And most importantly, thank you for your grace freely given to me. I do not deserve it.

And thank you, Lord, for loving me.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

I wanna know!

Yesterday I ran around 5:00PM, and sweat like a pig! 
I love sweating!! It makes me feel like I'm doing something with this butt I have. 


I had to come immediately in and start dinner though, so I just sort of dabbed off and started round 5 of my day. *ding ding ding*

While dinner cooked I helped my son with a science experiment.


I'm feeling good! I worked out, I've got dinner going, science experiment under way. 
Hubs must think I've really got it going on.

Then we ate said dinner. It was even good! Still feeling great! 


I cleaned up dinner, wrapped up the science experiment and my son was thrilled with the outcome! My super mom ego is in full gear at this point. I'm in my happy place where I tell myself things like motherhood is the most rewarding job ever, my kids are super fantastic, I love this life, You're doing a great job, girl! 

I'm exhausted, in dirty sweats and old tennis shoes, but in my medicated mind I'm Donna Reed. Thank you, Zoloft. 

Then...
I went to start a bath for my youngest and happened to pass a mirror for the first time in two hours.

AHHHHHH!!!!

I realized while my supermom ego was growing bigger than my house, I actually stunk to high heaven, had not had a shower after I drenched myself in sweat, and...get this...

I had mascara running down both sides of face! Both sides!! I looked like Alice Cooper!

WTH?!! Can you hear the high pitched whistle of my inflating ego?


After I scream, I walk out into the living room where three other family members are sitting. Ya know, the other people I live with? The ones who let me look like Alice Cooper for 2 hours and not say anything? Those people?

Me: Why didn't you guys tell me I looked like this??? (Pointing to massive amounts of black ink running down my face.)


Hubs: (blank stare) I thought it looked cool.


Really, Beavis?

13 yr. old son: (blank stare) I wasn't sure what to say. I didn't know if you wanted to look like that?


UM. Just for the record kid. If I ever look like that again, I wanna to know!


We all had a good laugh!

And PS: This really is the best job! Runny mascara and all.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-All I Want for Christmas



All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!

Having trouble keeping up with life this week. Enjoy this sweet pic of my baby who's lost both of his front teeth just in time for Christmas.

Linked up with 5 Minutes for Mom today, because I need 5 minutes!!

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Baby Fever {No, Puppy Fever}

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puppies vs. Babies for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I don't really blog about the topic much, but I will not be having any more children. For a long time I was sad about the decision to get things "tied up", but now that the boys are older I know it was the right choice. Two is our magic number, and I finally have a peace about it. However...

I have to fight baby fever every now and again. One cute baby will push me right over the edge of reality, and it's only minutes before I have tallied the expense of IVF or adoption in my head. I quickly call my sister and ask immediately if I can borrow my very active 2 year old niece to curb the irrational desire to have more babies. 

Cute babies are addicting!

Since I know I cannot have more babies, I have often let my mind go to the next best thing. A puppy. A cute, cuddly, sweet, innocent little puppy. I have yet to get hubs to give into my irrational hormonal desire, and thank goodness for that since my oldest is allergic! Somehow, this fact doesn't sway my thought process when I'm irrationally begging for one, knowing the answer will always be no

Cute Puppies are addicting!

But if you had to choose between the two-Puppies or Babies-which would win the cuteness crown?

PvB-CuteDar-Green-300x250-Backup.jpg

Puppies vs. Babies online contest

Animal Planet's adorable contest, Puppies vs. Babies, is weighing in! 

Get your say in who will win! The winning puppy or baby will walk away with $5,000! Votes must be submitted before November 23rd. 

Now, as far as who I think will win??? 

Drumroll....

Puppies!

Yes, that's right. I think puppies will win. Because 1. Let's face it. There are some strange looking babies out there. There are no ugly puppies. Even if a puppy is ugly, it's still cute. Ya know, that whole so-ugly-its-cute thing. Ugly babies do not get that free pass. Sorry ugly babies, but you know you're out there. 2. Babies invoke fear in many. C'mon. You know it's true. A lot of people cannot handle the whole little-person thing. It's just too freaky for them, and 3. Puppies do not have to go to college!

So there you have it. My vote. Puppies! 

If you had to make a choice, who would you vote for?

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

The county fair is one strange place!

My six year old has been begging to go to the county fair that's in town.  I cringe.

This might make me sounds like a stuck up, no fun mama, but I hate the fair. I do.

But, I knew we would inevitably be taking part in this strange activity that is part of our society before this weekend was up. You see, my baby boy has been counting down the days that the fair will remain open.

The commercial told me that the Fair is over on November 13th.

So every day for the last week, he's been telling me how many more days are left to participate.

6 more days.

5 more days.

Honey, we're gonna have to take this kid to the fair.

4 more days.

3 more days.

Babe, we're going tonight.
*****

So last night. I was at the fair. I was there with one teenager who begged to stay home (um, no. You will suffer with the rest of us.), one hubby who doesn't know how to dodge the game carnies at all very well, and one mesmerized little boy.

Seriously. He was mesmerized!

Lights.

Crowd.

Cotton candy.

Ferris Wheel.

If you take away all the people with no teeth, cigarette smoke, ridiculous prices, rip off games, deep fried butter (seriously, wth????), people spitting everywhere (I ignore the thought that they are probably spitting chewing tobacco-sigh...), the stinch of farm animals, and the sea of camouflage, you are left with a fun past time for a six year old who has never been to the fair.

After I showered came home. I was glad we took him, and stayed until 10:30 PM!

He even won a few stuffed animals after hubs shelled out a million bucks.

He had a blast.

So the next time you don't want to do something a 6 year old would think  is fun?

Do it anyway. Chewing tobacco and all.

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Kind of Gardening: Dig, Drop, Done! & A $5,000 Yard Makeover!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bulbs. Dig, Drop, Done. for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Curbside Chaos

Yard makeover? Yes, please. 

Here's a quick picture of my front "garden" I snapped with my phone this morning. 

Notice there's nothing in it!

So, when Social Sparks gave me the chance to talk about Dig, Drop, Done and Curbside Chaos, I took it!

Dig, Drop, Done is a fabulous website offering all the information you could imagine about planting bulbs. Something I knew nothing about. It's so simple. You literally dig a hole, drop the bulb, and you're done! Now that's my kind of gardening! 

If you're totally without a green thumb, like me, perhaps you're wondering-What the heck is a bulb?

"A flower bulb is really a self-contained flower factory. Within this marvelous little package is nearly everything the flower needs to come to life! Split a tulip open, for instance, and you'll see its baby flower bud, leaves, roots, stem and food supply. All bulbs need from you is to be placed in the ground at the appropriate season of the year, given a liberal drink of water then left to work their magic."

"Bulbs are a natural product. And, as such, follow a natural cycle of growth and rebirth. Enjoying their fabulous flowers means planting ahead; simply "dig, drop, done" in one season then "delight" in the next. Bulbs are among the easiest flowers to grow and also the most stunningly colorful to enjoy. Even the most novice gardener can create a breathtakingly beautiful spring, summer and fall garden with bulbs."

"Flower bulbs come in a seemingly limitless variety which makes them perfectly suitable for any garden design you can dream up. Planting just a few can easily provide beautiful color in your garden for several months. Daffodils are the first sign of spring and dahlias will bloom until frost hits the pumpkins."

Dig, Drop, Done also has tips on where to buy bulbs and when to plant them. That's key for me. I never know when to plant anything. PLUS there's a fabulous gallery of ideas that left me inspired to get planting!

Gorgeous, right?

Fresh flowers bring such beauty to a space! I'm totally trying these out as soon the season is right! 

Not sure when to plant? Well, Curbside Chaos has an awesome tool! The Garden Guru.

You simply pick your country, region, type of bulb you want to plant, and the Garden Guru will give you a planting guide including when to plant and how to care for your bulbs. LOVE IT!

Here's a shot of my guide. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curbside Chaos is also giving away a $5,000 yard makeover! The lucky winner will recieve a visit from Taniya Nayak, who will give tips on the best landscaping for your yard and tips on incorporating flower bulbs into your landscape. To enter visit Curbside Chaos, upload a picture  of your yard in need, and cross your fingers!

Gardening is something that I simply wish I did better, but never get to. I can so relate to Marcy's statement!

"Honestly, between the kids, the house, the dog and a part-time job, my life is pretty crazy. I'm always looking for simpler ways to take care of the things I have to do so I can spend more time on other things ... like time with my munchkins. To me, bulbs are probably the easiest way to bring some beauty to my life."

If bulbs are a simple and easy way to bring some beauty to the interior and exterior of my home, I'm in! 

 

For more information about bulbs visit www.digdropdone.com to learn more!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Alone

When she walked in he was sitting in the recliner with the remote in one hand and a beer in the other.
Lovely


He didn't get up. He just looked at her as if he was expecting her. Strange.
She thought for a moment of all the times she had come back. Of course he was expecting her.

She told herself to just get it over with.

As soon as the words fell out of her mouth he started with his whining rant.


"You're not having this baby!"


"I'm not going to be a father." 


"How do I even know it's mine?"


"I'm not doing this." 


"You're too young, how are going to take care of a baby?!"


"Don't screw your life up. Get rid of it."


It was over. He knew.

She left. This time she left knowing she wasn't coming back.

She didn't listen to anything he said. She told him that the only option she would consider was having this baby, and allowing him to be a part of it. If he didn't want the responsibility she was fine with that. Either way-she was having the baby!

She knew in heart she would have the support of family and friends. It wouldn't be easy, but she was going to figure it out. Even if she had to figure it out alone.

Perhaps this baby wouldn't forever connect them?

Perhaps this baby would be the one thing that could finally keep her from him?

As she drove home, she stopped crying.

She felt stronger.
*****

She couldn't ignore his phone calls anymore.

Silent tears fell from her eyes as she confirmed what he had already heard through the grapevine. She tried to catch her breathe in between the answers to each of his questions. It would be a miracle if she could get through this call without breaking down.

He was concerned. Loving and kind, as always.

Her heart crushed to a million pieces as the sound of hope in his voice faded with every answer she gave him.

I don't think so. 


Yes, I'm sure. 


You don't need to do anything. 


Reallly, I'm fine. We'll be fine. 


I can't see you anymore. I'm sorry. 


She hung up the phone and wondered if she really would stop seeing him.

*****

Linking up with Shell at Things I can't Say. Because these are the things I can't say.
If you want to read previous posts in order start below.
1. Exhale
2. Rehab
3. Lost
4. Afraid
5. Breathe




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Packit Lunch Boxes

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PackIt for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Picture 17

When I got the chance to talk about PackIt lunch boxes, I was so excited! I so want one of these!
The boys and I pack our lunch at least twice a week. We're always on the go! Between homeschool groups, field trips, and a few other things we are often out of the house for long periods of time. It's really hard to keep our drinks cold! Even with ice packs and a cooler.

With PackIt lunch boxes I wouldn't need to bother with the ice packs. The lunch box is the ice pack and stays cold for up to 10 hours. It's conveniently sized to fit in your freezer, use on-the-go, and fold up when you done! Being able to fold up the lunch box when you're done is so important! We often have things to do after we eat our packed lunches and carrying around a huge cooler is no fun!

The Packit isn't limited to just lunches! Use it for drinks, baby bottles, sporting events, or any travel.

The Packit is non-toxic and PVC free, sweat-proof, and lead free.

Check out the Packit website and take advantage of their current special! Buy one Packit for $19.95 and get one FREE! Love it! This is a great Christmas gift idea!

For more information on PackIt lunch boxes check out these YouTube videos.


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Visit Sponsor's Site

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Things I want!

So, I have entered into an unhealthy relationship with Pinterest in the last couple of weeks. Thanks to Pinterest, I have fantasized about received not one but two makeovers, redecorated my entire home with no money, shopped for the hottest fall trends, lost the last of those pesky 5lbs. and now look amazing in skinny jeans and leggings, and baked some of the most adorable goodies on the internet.

Reality: I probably gained 5lbs. sitting in this chair browsing Pinterest, neglected my family all week long, and only actually cooked once! 

So in honor of my new addiction, here are a few of the things I.must.have.now.

#1 Tall socks and boots. Love this look!



#2 These nails.  








#3 A fresh cut and color. 

















#4 Some creativity at home. 









Such cute ideas!!

#5 Something yummy!





I'm inspired!
I'm off to create a little freshness for me and maybe try some new things around the house.
What inspires you?

Friday, November 4, 2011

My most recent total #momfail!

We have bobcats! Yup, you heard me. Bobcats!

We've tried to capture some pictures of these scary felines, but no success so far. So, as always, Google comes through for me.

If this isn't a picture of our bobcat, it must be his twin. The cat we've been seeing looks exactly like this!




















So what's the #momfail? It went something like this.

My story takes place before I was aware of this natural threat we have prowling around the yard.


My husband came running in from the grill the other night screaming and yelling about seeing a bobcat.
Babe, I saw a bobcat! Get the camera!


He proceeds to tell me all about this " wild cat" that "must have been 3 feet tall"!
Um, no. I will NOT run and get the camera and come outside. Thanks, anyway.


In all of the commotion my youngest runs in to hear more of Daddy's exciting story.
Mom! I told you I saw a giant cat! Remember??


I, of course, do not remember.
What?


He starts recalling a very long and detailed story to my husband and I in which he told me all about the "half cheetah-half cat" he saw in the back yard.
Remember mom? I asked you, "what's half cheetah and half cat", and you said there was no such thing. You said that was impossible, and I told you I saw a half cheetah-half cat out your window walking on the wall.


Really?
Yeah, but you didn't believe me so I went outside to try to find it.


What?!
Yeah, Dad! I told her I saw one, but she wasn't listening or something. When I saw the big cat out your window, I tried to find it outside. I walked out the garage around back and looked around for it.


You walked around outside looking for a giant wild cat as big as you are, and I didn't even know it?
Yup. But, I couldn't find it, so I came back in.


Ok, let's make sure you're keeping up. My 6 year tried to tell me about a bobcat. I blew him off, DO NOT remember anything about his story, and apparently he leaves the house to hunt for wild animals without me even knowing. Got it?

Perhaps I had too much to drink that day? <=KIDDING! C'mon. Totally kidding!
For anyone that read yesterday's post, perhaps you got a laugh?

So, to sum up.
I'm a terrible mom because I do not listen to my children, and I let my kids hunt bobcats unsupervised.

There you have it.

Total #momfail!

*Bad Mom Disclaimer: My 6 year old never stops talking. Never. I would be some kind of alien if I could actually keep up with and comprehend everything he tells me from the time he wakes up until he passes out at night. I guess sometimes, I'm not listening.

Geesh! I do feel bad.

I cannot even tell you how much my husband is ragging on me for this one.

We've since researched the whole bobcat thing, and I guess they are residents of this area. Who knew? Bobcats at the beach? They are not endangered, but animal control will not move them, as this is their natural habitat. They really appear to be more scared of us, then we are of them. But, I also don't think it's a great idea if my son goes hunting alone.

Moral of this story: When you are not listening-you should be. Your kids could be hunting wild animals that might eat them.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Breathe

The roads were empty. She dreaded making this trip all day, but when nightfall came she felt panicked to cross this off her list. He wasn't expecting her, and she wasn't sure how her visit would be received. She didn't care. She just needed to tell him, and move forward. Whatever that looked like.

The last time they spoke he told her he never wanted to see her again. When he found out she had been with someone else he went crazy. She didn't want to tell him, but he wouldn't leave the subject alone. It was as if he knew. He said he could tell in the way that he looked at her, he could see it in her eyes. He could feel it in the room when they were all together. He knew, and she finally gave up denying it.

"How could you do this?"

"Why him?"

How could someone that had been unfaithful for two years have any right to be angry? She had no idea of knowing how many women he had been with behind her back! The actual number would make her sick! He stayed drunk, high, and disconnected from their relationship. He never gave his heart to her. He had no right to be angry! How could someone that had only ever dissapointed her make her feel so guilty?

Sure, maybe it was worse because he was a friend. She didn't plan it. It just happened. He was the best friend she had at the time. He understood everything about her. He knew how she was treated, and he was always there for her. Not expecting anything. Just there when she needed someone. He didn't question her like her girlfriends. She didn't have to pretend to be anything. She could just be herself when she was with him.

She let herself be vulnerable with him. It was safe and scary at the same time.

The attraction between them was undeniable. It was unexpected. When she was with him, she never wanted to be anywhere else. He gave her something no one else had ever given her. A piece of his heart.

Perhaps the "forbidden-ness" of it all increased the passion between them, but there was something else. Something safe. Something comforting. She had never been with anyone who cared about her. She only ever gave herself away. Piece by piece.

Being with him made her feel loved. He was her safe place to land in the toughest time of her life. The toughest until now.

As she drove down the dark road, she couldn't ignore the tug in her heart. The emptiness she felt when she imagined. Wished. Could this baby be his? The dates ran through in her mind like flashes of lightning. In her heart she believed it could be his, but in her mind she knew it wasn't. The sadness of that reality hurt. It crushed her chest to the core until she couldn't breathe.

She cried.

Hot tears streamed down her face so fast she couldn't wipe them fast enough. She felt like she was hyperventilating. She couldn't bear the thought that she would be forever connected to someone she only wanted to run from, and forever separated from the only man she wanted to be with.

*****
She pulled up into the driveway, and tried to clean herself up. That seemed to be a lost cause lately.

She took a look in the rear view mirror, and turned the key toward her until the car stopped humming.

She sat for a moment, and told herself to just breathe.


I'm linking up every week and sharing a piece of my past through Shell's awesome meme at Things I Can't Say. Because these are the things I can't say, and it's so much cheaper than therapy!

I hope you enjoy reading about a girl I used to know. If you want to backtrack, you can read from the start below.

Previous posts in order:
1. Exhale
2. Rehab
3. Lost
4. Afraid

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