Day in the Life: Office Mom Edition

Aloha! So, the last time I wrote up a Day in the Life post, Penny was only 2 months old and I was still on maternity leave. It kind of feels like I just wrote that post up, but clearly it’s been a while! And since I’ve returned to work and Penny is now almost 6 months old, I’d say that more than a few things have changed, haha. Because I work from home 4/5 days a week, things still look pretty different from one to the next. There are just so many factors that inform my daily schedule: who I have helping out with Penny (our part-time nanny, my mother-in-law, or my parents), if I have in-person meetings or calls scheduled, if I have an Elite Event that evening, etc.

So I’m thinking I’ll be doing another day in the life post sooner rather than later to try and give a picture of what things are like for me when I’m at home vs. going into DC, but since yesterday was an office day, you get the latter first!

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4 AM: Our day starts bright & early (or, more accurately, dark & drearily), as Penny wakes up happily in her crib at 4 AM after having gone to bed at 7 PM the previous night. She’s just chat, chat, chatting away, petting her unicorn, and being adorably AWAKE. After a little while, I go down to her room and replace her pacifier with foolish optimism, but she has absolutely nooooo interest in going back to sleep. Oh well! I go back upstairs and watch the monitor hoping in vain that she’ll fall asleep again eventually… spoiler alert: she doesn’t.

4:45 AM: She finally starts to fuss, so Sean goes down and brings her upstairs to me so I can nurse her. She nurses for like 20 minutes per side and we both fall back asleep when she’s on the second side — whoops! We snooze until almost 7:30.

 
7:30 AM: Time to get up! I nurse Penny again (just for 5 minutes), change her wet diaper, and then go downstairs to let the dogs out. I also pick out her outfit for the day and get her dressed, since her room is on our downstairs level.

I also toss a load of laundry in the machine while we’re downstairs, as I’m trying to make a habit of doing small loads of laundry more often. Y’know, instead of my previous way of doing it, which was to wait until I’m literally wearing my last pair of clean underwear and then spend two days doing like 6 separate loads, lol.

When I come back upstairs, I feed the dogs their breakfast and supplements, Penny and I play a little bit, and I take her daily #OOTD photos, hehe. She’s sitting up SO well these days — self-correcting when she starts to teeter to one side, and even pulled herself into an upright sitting position when I placed her leaning back on the pillow! So proud of my strong little girl. <3

8 AM: I place Penny in her new Bumper Jumper for some self-play and sit down at my desk to go through my emails.

JUST KIDDING! My computer has decided to update itself all on its own because Skynet is nigh.

So I fill out my Panda Planner for the day, check my email on my phone, and get myself ready… giving a little extra attention to my hair & makeup since I have the time, lol. I am going into the office today anyway, I guess I should make myself presentable?

 
Penny lasts a good half hour in her jumper (!!), but when she gets tired of it, I give her favorite teether to her and hold her in my lap while I put my newly-perfected one-handed typing skills to use and respond to a few emails.

9 AM: Penny is showing signs of tiredness, so I go try to put her down for her first nap of the day.

She is pretty fussy once I lay her down (she has been fighting this morning nap pretty hard for the past couple of days), so it takes some extra time and some extra nursing (3 minutes) to get her calmed down. I lay her back in her crib and she finally falls asleep at 9:30.

9:50 AM: My mother-in-law arrives, so it’s time for me to head out! Typically, I’d have taken Penny over to my parents’ house before going into the office, and Sean’s mom comes and helps out on a different day. My parents are out of town visiting my sister and their other grandchildren this week, however, so Kim to the rescue! She texts me while I’m en route to work to let me know that Penny woke up at 10:15 — her classic short 45-minute nap.

10:45 AM: There was an accident or something causing a ton of traffic, so it takes almost an hour to get to the office even though rush hour was supposed to have been over by the time I left. Womp womp. Oh well, eventually I do make it to Yelp’s brand spankin’ new Chinatown office! H/T to my coworker Kimberly for the rad pic of our reception area below:

10:50 AM: I dump my stuff at my desk and head right to the Mother’s Room and pump first thing.

 
Somehow, I managed to remember to shove my pumping bra into my bag but forgot pretty much everything else, including extra containers to hold my milk. Thankfully Yelp is awesome and the Mother’s Room is not only stocked with the pump itself (every pumping mama gets their own set of flanges, tubing, and milk storage bottles), but also has spare parts for exactly this type of situation. I make a note in my planner to bring some storage bags to keep here at the office next week, though.

11 AM: I make a quick trip to the kitchen to grab some coffee and hodgepodge together a super late breakfast, since I haven’t eaten anything yet today. Definitely not a good habit… something I’m definitely trying to work on! I make myself a piece of toast with nutella and banana, and grab a strawberry Chobani, a hard-boiled egg, and some coffee. Yeah, our office kitchen is pretty boss.

I finally have a few minutes to bang out some actual work — responding to messages, queueing up emails, setting appointments, doing backend work, etc.

 
11:30 AM: Time for my weekly 1:1 with my boss. This used to be done on the phone, but now we can meet in person whenever possible and it’s so nice to get time to catch up and discuss what I have going on work-wise. Our meeting lasts half an hour, and afterwards I head back to my desk and keep plugging away at my to-do list!

Having Penny around has definitely taught me to be much more efficient with my time when I have work to do. A few hours of uninterrupted time at my computer probably doesn’t seem like much to most people, but I’m able to fly through my task list because I’m so focused on making the most of my time in the office.

I do have two more calls on my agenda today — our weekly team call at 1 PM, and a call related to a special project I’m working on at 2:30.

2:45 PM: After my last call of the day, I enjoy a late lunch with my coworkers in the office. This is my favorite part of having an office to go into — getting to see my colleagues on a regular basis! I’m already one of the lucky ones in the Community Manager program at Yelp, since my coworkers in DC and the MD Burbs are so close by (plus our boss, who also lives in DC), and we’ve been able to get together relatively regularly over the years. But having the office now means we see each other on an even more frequent basis! Forget the Coke Freestyle machine — getting to spend time with my work fam is 100% my favorite office perk.

Anyway, after we finish eating, I go back to my desk to wrap up a few more things with the intention of going to pump again, but my laptop’s mystical powers suck me in and I totally lose track of time. Womp. My mother-in-law lives in Stafford (an hour away without traffic), I want her to be able to head home before she gets stuck in the worst part of rush hour, so I decide to skip pumping and head out.

4 PM: I leave the office to go relieve my MIL from Penny duty! Alas, traffic is already pretty heavy, but that’s DC for ya…

4:50 PM: Reunited and it feels so good! My mother-in-law tells me all about Penny’s day: she napped twice, pooped twice, drank her bottles (hooray!!), and had baby oatmeal and carrots. She unfortunately threw up some of the carrots, but I think otherwise she was pretty good for Grandma! It’s a big relief to know she wasn’t too fussy, and also that she drank her milk since she’s occasionally weird about drinking frozen milk / from bottles (not sure which part is the issue). And of course, it’s also just a huge relief for me to get to snuggle mah baybeh again!

As if watching our little Lucky Penny wasn’t already enough, my wonderful mother-in-law also finished up the laundry that I started this AM. We say bye-bye to Grandma Foxy and I nurse Penny pretty much immediately — it’s been 6 hours since I pumped! She nurses for 11 minutes.

 
5:30 PM: We play together for a bit, before I try to put Penny down in our room for her last catnap of the day. She’s a little distracted though. Hmm, wonder why? 😉

I shoo her brothers away but the DockATot still isn’t cutting it. I can tell she’s really tired though, and if she doesn’t nap soon it’s going to mess with bedtime. So I snuggle up with her and she falls asleep pretty much instantly curled up against me. ::heart eyes emoji:: I certainly ain’t mad about it. Penny cuddles are pretty much the best thing in the entire world, after all.

 
Sean comes home while she’s napping, and because miracles do exist, I’m able to extricate myself from the bed without waking her to say hi to my husband.

6:20 PM: Penny naps for about 40 minutes (the last nap of the day is always a short one), and when she wakes up she is so excited to see her Daddy! It’s the most heartwarming thing ever.

6:45 PM: Sean plays with her a little bit while and then goes to prepare her bath. Penny is a total water baby and looooves the bath! She’s starting to get pretty big for our Schnuggle tub, though — when she splish-splashes, it goes everywhere now! Might have to move on up to the real bathtub soon ::sniff::

We wrap her up in a little bunny robe that her nanny gifted us — is she not the cutest little somebunny you ever did see? <3

 
7 PM: We normally try to get our little bunny in bed between 7 and 7:30, so we’re still doing pretty well on time. I nurse her one last time (just 5 minutes), and we get her into her jammies. I’m crazy for this unicorn footie sleeper that we recently picked up at Target (it’s Carter’s Just One You brand). My squeaky clean li’l unicorn!

 
7:15 PM: It’s bedtime! Sean and I have been trying to alternate nights putting her to bed, and tonight it’s my turn. Our bedtime routine is simply to put her in her magic sleepsuit, give her paci & her Zoe to her, and walk out of the room. Half the time she’ll fall asleep within a minute or two, and the other half of the time she needs a little bit of extra TLC. Tonight it’s the latter, but she’s not too bad. She fusses on and off a little bit and loses her paci twice, but I plug it back in and she’s down for the count by 7:30!

7:30 PM: I let the dogs back outside and it’s dinnertime for Sean and me. We eat and watch an episode of Altered Carbon on Netflix — we’ve been really digging it! I definitely recommend if you like sci-fi, murder mysteries, or futuristic thrillers.

8:45 PM: We clean up a bit after dinner and it’s time for some meeeee time! Sean plays a video game, and I throw a face mask on, toss some Friends up on the TV, cuddle up with Daxter by my side and Harry at my feet, and start writing this post!

 
12:00 AM: Sean went to bed at 10:45, but I really wanted to finish this post so it’s looking like a late night for me. Which, honestly, is basically business as usual for me. When you’re trying to balance work & blog & household & self-care, something’s gotta give, and for me, that thing is usually sleep, haha. So anyway, if you see me posting about decluttering my house and momming it up and working and still finding time to do my makeup, just know that being productive, for me, does not come without at least this sacrifice, haha. But whatever man, I’m sure I’ll more than catch up on my sleep when Penny’s a teenager and sleeping until 2 PM every weekend like I did. 😛

One last thing to do before I get ready for bed: pump, as I’ve been trying to build my freezer stash back up (and since I only pumped the one time at work today.) I pump for 9 minutes and get 6 ounces, so I’m really glad that I did!

12:45 AM: Daxter wants to go out one last time, so I wake Old Man Harry up and let both dogs outside while I quickly go through my own bedtime routine: wash my face, put on moisturizer, brush my teeth (accidentally putting facewash on my toothbrush… so maybe this whole sleep thing is taking more of a toll than I thought, eh?) and put my PJs on. Then I bring the dogs back in and crawl into bed a little after 1 AM.

Now we get to wait and see if Penny makes it straight through ’til morning (it’s happened before!) or if we’re in for another 4 AM wakeup call.

Cheers, everyone!

(Morning update: She did not, in fact, wake me up at 4 AM! She woke me up at 3 instead, hahahahacry. Thank goodness for coffee! 😅)

28 Years Young

So, I know it’s been a minute since I’ve been back in these parts, and I don’t even have a single excuse (other than, well, y’know, life). I truly, honestly, genuinely meant to get back to blogging much sooner than this, what with all the wedding DIY projects I want to share, various trips I’ve taken, and additional hair colors I’ve gone through.

So I apologize for taking so long to get back to my blogging roots. But today I make my triumphant return to the interwebs and we begin again!

First off, some updates:

  • I chopped off my hair basically the minute I returned from my honeymoon, and have proceeded to dye it varying shades of purple and also shave designs into the back of my head. I’m kind of loving it.

  • I got a new tattoo about a month ago. It’s a vial of Felix Felicis, the liquid luck potion from Harry Potter, and I think it’s pretty rad. I got it done at Patriots Tattoo in Fairfax.

  • Sean’s grandfather sadly passed away at the end of February, so we took a quick trip down to San Antonio to be with his family. We are so grateful that he was able to be at the wedding and that we got as much time with him as we did. <3

  • We had our annual Yelp regional conference a few weeks ago, which not only gave me the opportunity to learn from and be inspired by my coworkers (our team spans from PA to NC), but also to bust out my trusty Pikachu onesie. (#bestjobever)

  • My niece/goddaughter Mia also turned 3 at the end of March! Unghhhh, look how little she used to be…

  • And finally, speaking of birthdays…

Today is mine! Huzzah! I am 28 years young today which means it’s time to update my bio and start thinking about what to put on my before-I-turn-30 bucket list, heh. Fun fact: I don’t know if I’ve already shared this, but Sean’s mom and I actually have the same birthday! So did he luck out or what? He only has to remember the one date for both of us! 😉

I spent this past weekend in Macon, GA with my family for my baby niece Kira’s baptism, but we also snuck in an early birthday celebration while we were all together. We went to Dovetail, this awesome hyper-local farm-to-table concept — my kinda place.

I know I probably say this every year, but I think that 28 is shaping up to be my best year yet! I mean, I’ve already got a blizzard wedding under my belt, so pretty much everything in life seems easy breezy in comparison. I’m still loving my kickass job with Yelp, I’ve got a rad family, a home into which I can pour all my post-wedding extracurricular energy (a post on my obsession with my new bar cart is forthcoming), and my awesome grumpy old man pups (plus I basically timeshare my brother’s dog Pixel).

And as a perfect birthday present, I just received my wedding video! So please, feast your eyes on the wonderful video that the wonderful Doug Stanford created, which really showcases just how awesome and crazy and sentimental and special our wedding day really was.

Those last shots at the end are my favorite. 🙂

With that, I leave you for now — with the promise that much more is to come soon. (Although, I realize that my promises mean essentially nothing to you, since I’ve been promising to blog more for like, a year. Hahahaha…haha…ha.) I fly back to DC tonight (still in Macon for the day), so I’ll catch you on the flip!

Exciting Announcements

Hi there, amigos! I hope you all have had a great weekend/week so far. I had yesterday off from work in honor of our brave veterans, and today I have a couple of exciting pieces of news for you all!

So first off, I have some relatively exciting (day)job related stuff. Part of the reason I’ve been so busy, and not blogging as regularly/in as timely a manner lately (er, beyond the whole “I’m publishing a book thing“, hehe) is that I’m actually transitioning into a new position at work! I’m not 100% in my new job yet, I’m in kind of a dual-job limbo right now, but that means there’s a lot of running back and forth (my new position is in a different building a couple blocks away from my old one) and a lot of training and whatnot. Still, a lot of changes and things to keep me busy, which is kind of a good thing!

My second piece of news may actually be a little upsetting to some of you. See, for years now, I have been a devoted Apple fangirl. Early adopter of each new iPhone model I’ve been eligible for, I’ve also been in love with the Macbook I got my senior year of college (even after I accidentally cracked the glass display with the heel of my foot… oops), Apple has never let me down. And yet, this weekend, something happened…

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Whoops?

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Yep, I am now the proud owner of an Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook. 13.3″ screen, white and aluminum, and like, 3 pounds. Sa-weet.

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Complete with Windows 8, I tested this puppy out for the first time a week or so prior, and was immediately smitten. I thought I’d had my heart really set on getting a Macbook Air, as my old Macbook has been increasingly slow (and, you know, cracked…) but was going to wait a while before doing so. As it turns out, however, my old laptop had other intentions. Recently, the wifi stopped working on my laptop, so I knew it was time to start the replacement process.

Sean and I stopped in the Microsoft Store at Tysons a week or so ago, to check out their new Surface tablets. While we were there, I started looking at the new laptops, all fitted with Windows 8, and was seriously blown away. The new system is really intuitive, looks GREAT, and was just a lot of fun. Plus, the aesthetics of some of their new machines (especially my new Acer), really give Apple a run for its money. I know that for some of you, looks are the least important part of a computer, but c’mon, nobody’s immune to a really sleek-looking comp. We left the store that day and the cogs were already turning, trying to weigh what I already knew about Macbooks (sleek, fast, great design, reliable) with what I liked about the new PC Ultrabooks.

We went back to the store this past weekend to check them out some more, and after spending over an hour in the store (and watching a Windows 8 demo, etc), I knew what I wanted. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the best part!

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Yep, my new ultrabook has a TOUCHSCREEN. A super responsive and awesome one, too. They say that Windows 8 really was made for touchscreen, and I believe it. I love getting to scroll through things with a swipe of my hand, and it really feels seamless. That said, if you are considering getting Windows 8 installed on your non-touch computer, I’ve heard that it’s a fairly disappointing experience because all those buttons just scream “TOUCH ME!” (Um, in a non-sexual way, obvi.)

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I painted this WITH MY HANDS. Well, and with a ridicuslouly overpriced touchscreen paintbrush that I couldn’t NOT get. I mean, c’mon. I know I’m no fine artist, but dang it if touchscreen doesn’t make it fun to try.

So, there you have it. A couple of exciting snippets for you. Oh, I had a third one, too. Slightly less exciting to normal people, but to people like me who are obsessed with food, this one is a good’n. I’ve officially started testing out new Thanksgiving recipes, which means it is GOOD EATIN’ TIME in my casa.

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Last night’s dinner extraordinatire involved a new recipe for mashed potatoes that I’m trying out (I determined that my Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes recipe is still the reigning champ though).

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I paired the ‘taters with a side of maple and bacon brussels sprouts (amazeballs as always!).

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And a pork chop with a cinnamon apple and onion chutney (or something). Which was effing delicious.

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NOMs all around!

Are you a Mac or a PC? I like to think at this point, I’m a bit of both! I’ve got my PC desktop, my old Macbook, my new ultrabook, and my iPhone 5. Not to mention my brother has his PC dekstop, plus an 11-inch Macbook Air, plus an iPad (and an iPhone 5 as well). Our house is not only biracial, but bicomputersal as well.

Okay, that was lame. I’m done.

Fashion Friday: Work It

Whew. We made it! My legs still don’t work, but we made it to Friday! Let the weekending commence!

To ease you into your weekend after what can be referred to as the heaviest (no pun intended) post I’ve ever written, here’s a fashion post. Hooray?

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I hadn’t really posted any work-appropriate outfits yet, so I figured that since I actually put some effort in yesterday it would be a good opportunity to showcase the kinds of stuff I wear to the office. It was really nice outside, so I made my friend & coworker Rachel take pictures of me right outside of a federal building where I’m sure I didn’t look ridiculous at all.

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Especially not when I essentially stripped. I’m so glad she caught this on camera.

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Oh well. Worth it? Obviously while at work the cardigan stays on for the most part. But it was hot and sunny and I wanted to show off how cute this LBD is so I made the decision to shed a layer temporarily.

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And of course, no Fashion Friday would be complete without an awkward look-how-candid-I-am totally un-posed (ha!) shot. But can I just take a second to talk about the camera on my new iPhone 5? I used to loathe posting pictures with my phone, but as I am lazy, I don’t enjoy toting my DSLR with me absolutely everywhere. I mean, a phone camera will always be a phone camera, but I’m still pretty impressed. But if you were wondering why all my photos are not quite up to par lately, that’s why.

Anyway, here the outfit deets, just in case you were curious. I got almost everything on sale, so unfortunately I can’t find links to most of the products anymore. But with the kinds of places that I shop, generally similar things are always in rotation anyway.

LBD: Old Navy
Cardigan: New York & Company
Shoes: Payless (comfiest flats ever, btw, and they come in a few different colors)
Belt: Forever 21
Sunglasses: Armani Exchange (birthday gift)
Necklace: Gift from sister
Bag: Kate Spade

It’s too bad I don’t do Fashion Saturday posts, since tonight I’m going to a costume party for my freshman roommate Joanna and her twin sister Aileen. It’s actually their birthday today! Personally, as you all know I am OBSESSED with my own day o’ birth, I cannot imagine being forced to share it with anybody. Not even someone with whom I also shared, you know, the womb. (I may or may not have already threatened Jenny’s pregnant belly that if her baby is overdue and encrouches on my birthday month — she’s due at the end of March — there will be some seriously ‘splaining to do.)


Twinsies on the left

The party is Mean Girls-themed (!!), and since Aileen and Jo showed up at my own (Harry Potter-themed) birthday party in some pretty fetch costumes (a golden snitch and Dobby the elf respectively — see above), I figure I owe them at least a moderate effort. Right now I’m thinking about going as a “Cool Asian“. Unless anyone knows where I can get a purple tuxedo at the last minute.

Have a great weekend!

Flake

There are many things that I’ve learned about myself since I’ve started this blog. Sure, it all began as a way to document my food intake, fitness, and subsequent weight loss, but I think we can all recognize that it’s become a lot more than that. The process of putting all my crazy thoughts into some semblance of order is not only incredibly cathartic, but eye-opening. It’s helped me to see patterns in my behavior, identify why I do the things that I do, and has helped me grow because of (or in spite of?) them.

In fact, insane though it may sound to some, I’ve come to depend on this blog quite a lot. Organizing my thoughts, writing these posts, and hearing feedback from you guys, I really value it. I don’t base major decisions in my life on what I write and read within the confines of this website, of course, but I do give a lot of weight to what I discover about myself here.

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I’m wishy-washy. I’m a flaky person. I don’t like to commit to things, and I don’t like to be held accountable for things. I don’t know if that’s because I’m young or lazy or just a brat, but it’s something that I know about myself now. And in knowing, I do my best to counteract that. I know that I tend to flake out on things, so I actively force myself to stay in them. That internal push is what made me complete the relay race when I didn’t think I would be able to, when I thought that my spot on the team would be better suited for someone else. Even on days when it feels like it might be easier to give up, it’s what makes me eventually come back to face the music when it comes to my stalled weight loss. It’s what keeps me from tossing in the towel and kicking the bucket when I know it would be easier just to give up.

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The only thing is, another thing that I know about myself is how I tend to get slightly overzealous. Things that start out with the best of intentions can easily be taken too far. I touched on this in my last post about trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life career-wise. I know that I tend to be wishy-washy and change my mind a lot and have a hard time finishing things, so in trying to counteract that, I just fail to pull the trigger at all. I tried to instigate some forward motion in starting to take classes in pursuit of an eventual teaching degree, but now I’m starting to doubt that, too. Which is stressing me out because now I’m not sure if I feel like I should continue down this path because I want to, or because I feel like I’d be good at it, or because I feel like I have to because I’ve already publicly declared my intentions. It makes me anxious to even voice these concerns, because I don’t want to add to my change-my-mind, wishy-washy tendencies any more than I already do!

I know that I never said for sure that I was definitely going to teach. I’ve never claimed that it’s my calling, that it’s my destiny, that I want to inspire a younger generation. Actually, I mostly hate the younger generations, haha. They’re punks. (YOUTHS!). No, I know better than to make broad, overly-committal statements like that anymore. I said that I would try taking some classes, seeing how they go, and seeing how I feel about it. Well, despite my very recent post about how much I’m enjoying being in class (true) and working towards something (also true), I’m not so sure that WHAT I’m working towards is really the right choice for me.

Teaching is a practical choice, and it’s a very, very respectable career, but given all the other factors in my life — how much I already live in a semi-public eye, how much I enjoy that aspect of my life, and how what I really want to do is write — is it for me? But if it isn’t, then what is? The job that I have is fine for now, but it’s not a career. What I really want is to just magically have enough money to not have a job, write my novel, take photographs, blog, and freelance. Ahhh, to dream.

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With all the questions still up in the air, and all the unknowns that are constantly looming over my head, however, all I want to do is follow suit with my furrier halves and hide under the covers until the answers become clear. Or until I start to care less. I think I’d take either at this point.