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December 29, 2013

Boys

I am going to tell you a secret.

I know it's not a secret once it's in the internet, but here goes.

I wanted girls.

What, couldn't hear me?

I wanted girls. And not because I wanted to dress them up like dolls and put them in ballet to make them the girliest girls alive. I'm not saying that's wrong, I'm just saying that's not me. I am not a girly-girl. While I danced for a long time growing up, and was even a cheerleader, I was no where close to a girly-girl.

No...I wanted girls because I felt prepared for girls. I have a really great relationship with my own mother; I was a women's studies minor in college; I studied a lot of female adolescent issues; I knew the bad things that our society was impressing upon our girls like poor body image and lack of self-esteem and the need for acceptance from the opposite sex.

HWS18MOT: family

We could not have survived my pregnancy and the first 18 months (and counting) of our twins lives without family (or people who were willing to go above and beyond to help).

From the time I was put on bed rest we had all sorts of help. From Husband's brother driving down from Charlotte to help assemble the cribs; to my mom pretty much organizing the nursery while I supervised; to some friends helping Husband move the existing double bed and frame in the boys' room to our storage closet on New Year's Day. We took real advantage of people offering help and could not be more grateful.

I had a few moms (my sister-in-law and a couple of close friends) who were just a text away and willing to answer any and all questions I had. I asked them all sorts of things. They made me feel better when I thought I was doing an awful job. They commiserated with me about how hard the first few weeks and months are. They sent encouraging messages out of the blue that would make my day. One of them even made a laminated step-by-step instruction sheet on how to bathe a baby (something I was particularly freaked out about for some reason...a wiggly-slimy-fourandahalfpound-baby was the scariest foe I could imagine at the time...later it was the sleep reaper. He would take all your sleep and then mock you when the babies were sleeping and all you wanted to do was sleep but all you could do was think about sleep).

I have to thank my sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and my own mother for mostly dressing the boys. Of course we have bought clothes for them, but my SIL has three boys, so we get some of the best hand-me-down play clothes and shoes. My MIL and mom have filled in a lot of the rest.

As the boys got older my parents were always willing to come down for an afternoon to watch the boys while Husband and I went on a day date. There was one day when my parents looked at us and said, "we want the boys once a month!" What an incredible gift. The best part is that they don't consider it a gift at all.

We are so grateful for all the help and support we have received.

December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Perrys

Wishing you a very Happy Holiday Season!lindsaymac20131115_10_b lindsaymac20131115_01_ lindsaymac20131115_02_ lindsaymac20131115_07_ lindsaymac20131115_12_ 4x9_rackcard_front4x9_rackcard_backChristmas Card designed by me.


Photo Credit Lindsay Mac Photography

December 13, 2013

HWS18MOT: pediatrician

In this episode of How We Survived 18 Month of Twins, I'm going to talk about our pediatrician.

I cannot stress the importance of choosing the right pediatrician for you and your child (the doctor him/herself as well as the office).

The hubs ran a summer overnight camp for many years (and now runs the center where the camp takes place) and I worked at that camp for 6 years. During that time, we got to know one of the local pediatric offices because they were our Physician of Record. I think we were really lucky in this matter because we knew the doctor, we knew the staff, and they were familiar with us as well.

I know that can't happen for everyone, so here are some things that have been particularly helpful and great with our pediatrician (in no particular order):

#1: Get to know your pediatrician.

Call ahead of time and ask questions of the pediatric (or family care) offices in your area.  Obviously, make sure that your health insurance is accepted there.  Even though both parties (the office and us) were familiar with each other, they offered me an orientation to tour the office and get to know the staff, nurses, and doctors.  I was unable to do so because I was on bed rest, but it was so important to me that this was offered.  The office should welcome you with open arms.  I asked questions about twins and nursing and beginning baby stuff and I was able to talk to nurses who worked there who had had twins.  This resource was priceless.

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#2:  Speak up

Our pediatrician's office has multiple doctors, nurse practitioners, physician's assistants, and nurses.  I like that.  I have no problem having my kids seen by someone other than their primary pediatrician for things like ear infections and colds.  The times when I DO want them to be seen by their primary pediatrician (ie. physicals, check-ups, progress stuff) I speak up and tell the scheduler that I will wait to be seen by our Doctor and not by someone else.  The first time I had to do this was when the boys were first born.  The first two days, we had gotten a fantastic report by one of the doctors in our pediatric office (we'll call that doctor Dr. Marc).  Dr. Marc said that the boys were great and that they'd be discharged before I was.  The boys were born at 4.5 lbs at 35.5 weeks.  They were small and I was trying to nurse.  In the end, Dr. Marc was wrong.  And, way wrong.  The boys ended up losing too much weight and had to stay in the hospital for 9 days.  And, when we heard the news that they weren't doing great, we were so confused because we had been told by Dr. Marc that they were great.  Eventually I told our primary doctor (we'll call her Dr. Trip) that I was disappointed with Dr. Marc's bedside manner and false sense of hope and that I only felt comfortable with her writing discharge orders.  At the time, I didn't realize that both doctors were part of the same practice, but I was, and am, still proud of my first mama bear moment of: "don't nobody mess with my kids, or overlook them, or tell me a lie that they're healthy when they're almost on death's door!"

Ok, so I'm sure that Dr. Marc was being genuine when he gave us the report about the boys' fantastic health.  I just wish he had framed it in a different way like another pediatrician (the one who was on-call when their sugars and temperatures dropped to a scary level) did: "You're twins are healthy for 4.5 lb, 35.5 weekers.  That doesn't mean that you're out of woods, yet.  They are still premature.  You have to make sure they are eating, and eating well, without expending too much energy.  They are small and need special attention."

If I had been told that, I want to believe that I wouldn't have been so devastated when all that scary stuff happened (that, and the raging hormones that were running through and out of my body didn't help).

Anyway, back to the point (there was one, I swear)...speak up.  It couldn't be more important than when speaking with your child's doctor.

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#3 Advice line

The thing that I can say I've used THE MOST when talking about the pediatrician's office is the advice line.  They have a nurse, every day, that is there to only answer questions.  You call, leave a message, and they call you back. That, alone, has saved me hundreds of dollars in co-pays (hundreds, you ask?  Really?  YES, REALLY.  Co-pay times 2, because, no, I don't get a discount for twins).  I remember a few weeks after the boys were home that I was so proud of myself that I HADN'T called the advice line that week.

I've had the advice nurse come out to my car to look at diaper rash.  I've even had a nurse stay on the line with me while I was in Wal-mart looking for the right type/dosage of medication.  If I just needed a little re-assurance that I wasn't going to kill my kids from not knowing how to care for them, they were there...and could usually tell a story of their own.  They are always willing to offer a little sympathy (which, let's be honest, is sometimes all we need when everyone's been up all night long with the stomach bug). They are fantastic.  I really don't think I could have made it without them.  Seriously.

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#4 Hours

This is a big one too.  Our pediatrician's office is open every week day from 8:30 to 5:30 AND Saturday mornings AND evening clinic hours during the school year.  This has been a life savor so many times.  It's Friday evening and I pick the boys up from daycare and they both have pink eye?  Saturday office hours!  It's been 6 days of awful sleep and we can't figure out what's wrong and it's Saturday morning?  Saturday office hours!  The boys have been sick for months and I've missed more work than I'd like to admit and it looks like they might have ear infections AGAIN?  Saturday office hours!

Do you catch my drift?

#5 Re-evaluate

I think this is super important.  At some point, and I hope not, our needs as a family might change.  Or, maybe, the staff at the doctor's office rolls over to not as helpful, not as sympathetic staff.  I don't think there's anything wrong with re-evaluating your situation and looking for a new pediatrician if that's what you need to do.  People change and people's needs change, there's nothing wrong with either of those things happening.  We just need to be able to adjust.

I have to say...if we didn't have our pediatrician, we would NOT have survived the boys' first 18 months.

Enjoy your weekend!  It's a cold one here.  This Christmas is going to be VERY different from last year.  We're excited!

September 20, 2013

How we survived 18 months of twins

Well...hello again.

We're going to have a series here on GBTS! I'm pretty excited about it.

It's called "How we survived 18 months of twins" or HWS18MOT.

Thing is...there are plenty of blog posts on the internets that involve survival guides for new parents. I'm not going to say that this one is different. But I will try to talk about some things that really helped us, especially in the first few months, that are not going to be the advice that every new mom gets. I'll go ahead and run through those right here.

"sleep when the baby sleeps"
"forget about chores and cleaning"
"get/ask for help"
"enjoy every minute" (this is one that really gets my goat. really? You want me to enjoy the minute in the middle of the night when the hubs and I realize that both twins have spit up in their beds and one of them has had a blow out after we changed the sheet...that moment? Thanks, but I don't see a need to enjoy that particular moment. We did laugh about it...later...much much later)

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"go easy on yourself" (I really love this advice and wish it were tattooed on every visitor's forehead when they visit a new born)

I could go on, but you get the point. I'm, hopefully, going to talk about a few things that made a real difference in our lives during the first 18 months of our boys' lives.

Stay tuned.

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September 13, 2013

waking the sleeping giant

OK...I'm not saying this space is a giant, per se, but the giant that is my internal narrator is waking up. And guess what that means!!! More writing...or at least posting pictures of my kids ;).

It's been a while since I've been here. Most of the summer was the same old same old. It was a lot of what I wrote here. And with two toddlers, that's enough for me. For a few weeks it was A LOT more. And then it kind of evened out a bit. The funny thing about living at the beach is that the summer is our busy time. It's when everyone wants to come visit (I'm using the royal everyone in this moment...as in everyone and their mama wants to come to the beach in the summer). There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, I'm so thankful that everyone wants to come to the beach in the summer because if they didn't, we probably wouldn't be living here. And, please believe that I am NOT complaining about living at the beach. I live at the beach...who could complain about that.

What I am saying is that I love the beginning of May and September and October at the beach. These are the times when the beach feels like ours again. The traffic slows down and thins out. It's still warm. If we didn't have toddlers, we'd be sitting out on the dock for hours reading (now we're just outside running around...but that could be a lot worse, too).

So, now's the time when we regroup and start to plan things instead of living day to day.

Now's the time when my internal narrator kicks back into gear.

So...here's to the end of summer, cooler days, fewer mosquitoes, and the lonely beach.

Boys water play

May 17, 2013

this is fantastic

I usually ignore/avoid things passed virally around the web (especially facebook).  There are only a few of them that are good enough to watch an share.

I had seen this one around for a while, but didn't want to waste my time.

I'm glad I watched it.  Because this is what I believe about higher education (and education in general).  Going to school is not just about knowledge...it's about learning how to be with/work with/play with/interact with/understand other people that aren't like you.  It's a skill that is learned best through experience.

David Foster Wallace says it brilliantly.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/65576562 w=500&h=281]

THIS IS WATER - By David Foster Wallace from The Glossary on Vimeo.

April 26, 2013

Blessings

Two weeks ago, the hubs and I were watching The Real Housewives of Orange County (feel free to judge. we love that show for its ridiculousness and hilarity and stupidity and its not-being-able-to-turn-away-from-a-train-crash quality).

There's a new housewife, Lydia. She was introducing herself on the show and, as most new housewives do, she was trying to make herself look more "real" than her cohorts. She was talking about her family money and how they "live within their means" and how her parents taught her that she was no "different than anybody else" and how they were "blessed".

I could expound on the "differences" between my upbringing and hers. I can promise that they were different. I could also talk about how Joe Kennedy (the father of JFK and Bobby Kennedy and seven other kids) taught his kids that they WERE different. They were lucky because they had money. They had opportunities that others didn't...that A LOT of others didn't. He taught them that it was their responsibility to make their life's work about others. To work hard for people who were less fortunate than they. But this story is for a different day.

What I want to talk about is what I heard on the radio the next morning. I was listening to NPR in the morning...it was a Friday. On Fridays Morning Edition picks a story from StoryCorps to share on the air.

This was the Friday after the Boston Marathon bombing. This was also the Friday after the explosions in West, Texas. Morning Edition chose to share a story told by a father, who happened to be a leg amputee, to his daughter. The father, Jack, explained that when his daughter was 2 months old, his leg was crushed by a forklift at work and had to be amputated. He talked about how scared he was as a new father to this baby. How was he going to provide for her? How was he going to be a good father? His daughter then starts to describe her father as she was growing up. She said that he was always doing good things for other people and never wanted recognition for it. Her father responded with this statement:

"You know, you are truly blessed when God gives you the opportunity to help someone else," Jack says. "That's our purpose in life."


I had a moment of clarity after I heard that.  He is completely correct.  I realized the thing that bothered me the most about what housewife Lydia said was not that she had a ton of money growing up (I don't begrudge her that at all) but it was that by her saying that she was "blessed" because they had money meant that others weren't "blessed" because they didn't have money.   I could take that in a bunch of different directions...but it led me here:

What Jack, from StoryCorps, said really made me think about all those people who ran TOWARD the blast after it happened...to help others.  I asked myself if I would have been able to do that.  Would I have been able to react for others and not for myself?  And then I started thinking about my kids and what I want to teach them.  No matter how much I want to protect my children from any pain, as any parent would, I want to teach them to be helpers.  I want to teach them that they are lucky and blessed to be able to help others.  Because I do believe that is our purpose in life.

Parenthood never fails to teach me...even though I may not be super interested in learning right at that moment.  I feel I'm always walking the tightrope between failing and succeeding.  As long as I have just a few more successes than failures I feel pretty good.  But I do think I would feel most successful as a parent if my kids end up happy, know themselves well, and are helpers.

the perfect client

Internet....I need to spread some love.

This love is for somebody who has really believed in me and my abilities for a while now.

I call her the perfect client. Her name is Nicole and you can get to know her at her blog Mr. & Mrs. Hines.

I really just wanted to throw a shout out her direction because she is the client that contacts me with ideas and lets me run with them and is NOT afraid to give me her opinion always in a respectful way.

We started working together for her wedding and I think we developed some pretty awesome wedding paper if I do say so myself. The flower was based off of a swing that her then boyfriend bought her and proposed to her while she was sitting on it.

 

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Since her wedding, Nicole has come to me with all sorts of ideas and projects. We've done baby shower invitations and well wishes for baby. My favorite we've done so far is this awesome construction themed well wishes. The inspiration was taken from the bedding and room decorations for Baby Hardee. So fun!

hardee baby well wishes

I'm telling you, to have a client who is so supportive of me and who, most awesomely, recommends me whenever she has the chance, I could not be more thankful.

Have a happy Friday and a great weekend!




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March 06, 2013

I don't know if you know this or not....but my child, Win, loves to dance. He's got it in his heart. And that's pretty fantastic (takes after his mama, see below).

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I just realized I look like a pregnant zombie dancer in that picture...unintentional. I thought I was a zombie then with the insomnia, but I had NO IDEA what I was in for.

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I wish I had other pictures of me dancing...but that all happened before the digital world came to the tiny town of Kinston, North Carolina. Instead I have a few pictures of me dancing while pregnant with twins...It's different. I'll say that.

Anyway, we have recently discovered that Win loves to dance. And not only that, he loves to dance to Led Zeppelin.

Here he is getting his groove on (it's got that polaroid look cause I thought it was appropriate...you know, with Zeppelin and all):

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And now...on to the show you've all been waiting for (I promise)

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/60878032 w=500&h=667]

Win gets the led out from Heather Perry on Vimeo.

February 28, 2013

We're 1!!

Yeppers...the boys are 1 (and almost 4 weeks...so I'm a little late with this post).

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Their birthday (and all the days after that) was fantastic. They slept until 6:40!!!! It was their present for us...and it was fabulous. We went to our favorite restaurant and they had their first dessert: yellow cupcake with chocolate frosting.

Now, I'm going to try to embed the video I made (of course I made one almost a month late). We'll see how it goes. Sorry if you see a bunch of code after. I'm going to blame it on my lack of coding skill.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/60794035 w=500&h=281]
first birthday from Heather Perry on Vimeo.

January 26, 2013

videos

So...here is the first video from the new camera.

It's about our Christmas.  But I feel like it's been just enough time that you're not going to vomit from overexposure to red and green and you might actually laugh at the little people that are our children.

Please excuse the unmentionables.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/58249654 w=500&h=281] <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/58249654">Christmas 2012</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user15122983">Heather Perry</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

January 14, 2013

Beach time

Yesterday we took the boys to the beach for the first time...officially.

You might be asking yourself why is it that parents who live, literally, a 5 minute walk to the beach haven't taken their twins to the beach yet.

Well, you can see their first trip here.  It wasn't much of a trip...they were tiny and the walk was probably less than 5 minutes.

One of the challenges that we've had with the twin babes was conjuring up enough energy/courage/insanity to take them somewhere...anywhere.  It's a lot of work and most of the time doesn't seem worth it.  So we haven't gone a lot of places with the boys.

This summer, some or all of us were mostly ill at one point or another and the boys weren't old enough to wear sunscreen and we didn't have an umbrella and there is a HUGE set of stairs to get down to the beach.  I kept having these nightmares of me walking down the stairs behind my husband, each of us carrying a young wiggly babe in one arm and whatever else we could carry in the other.  In the nightmare, I trip and bring the entire family down with me.

So....we just haven't been.

But the weather here has been SO beautiful and we didn't need an umbrella or any of that non-sense.

And it was awesome!

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We were nervous about the boys being afraid of the loud roar of the ocean and not wanting to touch the sand. We didn't have to worry about the sand thing...in just a few minutes they were both eating away (it was disgusting).

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The beach is a GREAT place to practice walking. Holt walked holding on to me from our blanket almost all the way to the ocean (about 50 feet). He's really getting the hang of it (no pictures due to the whole two babies eating sand vs. two adults).

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YUM!

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We only stayed for 20 minutes or so, but it was a HUGE success. I can't wait for the summer when we'll be spending much more time there. Considering the last two summers for us were spent barely outside at all (me being pregnant two summers ago and the summer of illness last summer), we are ready for a summer of outside (in the shade of course...those boys got my sensitive skin. Sorry boys).

January 04, 2013

new year new house

Well...not exactly.  I mean...not at all.  But it feels "new" if new means that it feels like it's not ours anymore.  Our house has been overrun and stolen from us...by stuff.

Let me explain.

I knew kids accumulated stuff (I mean I accumulate a lot of stuff!).  But I am flabbergasted by how much STUFF our twins have accumulated in their oh-so-short lives.  It's amazing.  We don't have two of everything...but we do have two of A LOT  of stuff.  And the thing is, we don't have tons of room in our house.  We live in a townhouse in a neighborhood that is meant for vacationers so there isn't tons of storage...no garage, no accessible attic, a small storage room outside that includes the storage of our water heater.  (Don't get me wrong...I LOVE where we live.  We are a 1 minute walk from the sound (the body of water that separates our island from the mainland) and a 5 minute walk to the ocean...we've got it pretty great in terms of location, see below...so I really should shut my mouth...I know).

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So we have had to come up with some very creative storage methods in our house and we are STILL running out of space.  We've got closet organizers in all of our closets.  We bought a sofa table with tons of storage.  We try to hide the kids' toys behind our couch and on the shelf under a coffee table so our house doesn't look a complete wreck too cluttered.

The kids got presents for Christmas...of course they did.

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But by the time we had gone to multiple family gatherings and they had received just one gift from each family member (so that's one gift from a whole lot of aunts and uncles and grandparents...times two) I had decided that we were only going to give them our one big gift instead of the big gift and some other small stuff we had picked up.

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They were awesome gifts those big ones: two stride and ride lions that look and sound hilarious.

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Thankfully the kids loved them.  And, also thankfully, they didn't miss those gifts they didn't remember getting.

This is Win holding what is actually a cat toy. I believe it was a McDonald's toy that someone gave to my husband a long time ago because that person thought that my husband looked like Bert...and now it's a cat toy that my kids love to play with.

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And yes...on Christmas morning I dressed my identical twin boys exactly alike. But, I mean, did you see those super cute Santa's helper sleepers? No...you didn't? Don't worry, I've got some other good shots.

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But...I digress.  I know I'm sounding a little ungrateful right now. Please know that I adore all of our family and I adore that they love our kids so much to give them presents. I really do. I know we and our kids are super lucky because we really want for nothing. I think I'm just in shock a bit. I think I'm just amazed at how much space all those toys take up...and how big of a mess our two 11 month olds can make.

After Christmas, as in THE DAY after Christmas, I packed up all our Christmas decorations.  I also took half of the boys' toys and put them away in their closet to get out in a few weeks (I think I'm going to rotate toys every other week or so so they seem new and exciting...it's so great when your kids live in the ever present now).  I couldn't stand it anymore.  All I could see was clutter around the house.  It was driving me crazy.  And if you ask my mother or my husband they will tell you how surprising this is.  I am not a cleaner...as in...I secretly like a mess.  At least, I used to.  Not anymore.

The problem is...I've never been a cleaner, so this is new territory for me.  I'm not quite sure how to do it.  I know, right now you're thinking, "seriously?  it's just cleaning...not rocket science".  But I've never been good at developing a system.

In the new year, I really want to make some changes: purge, organize, clean, keep clean.

I'm excited about it.

I've found a few places to help me out.  I'm sure you've seen all those lovely pins that display some awesome organization.  The thing I DON'T want to do is spend a lot of money to organize...that seems silly to me.

This is possible the BEST POST I have ever read about cleaning.  It's all about using what little time you have in your day, throughout the day, to tidy and clean.  A Girl and a Glue Gun is one of my favorite blogs and she really took it with this post.  It's long and thorough and exactly what I need to start developing a system.

Here are some nice images/sites I've pinned recently about the topic.


 

 

This is a great idea for a small craft area...maybe even on the inside of a door?



 

 

I just love this tiny wall storage. It doesn't stick out very much...again would be nice on the back a door.


Source: flickr.com via Nomi on Pinterest




 

 

Could I be interested in any more craft spaces right now? You can tell I have a ton of crafts stuffed somewhere in the back of a closet that are screaming to get out and replace all the junk books crap ugh...whatevers on my shelves.

For now...I must purge some things to make room for that stuff stuffed in closets. Hopefully, I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime...here is our super sweet Christmas picture of the boys and our Christmas Card.

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January 02, 2013

CHEERS

So here we are in a new year and I'm super excited.


 

Here's to my boys turning 1...going places other than work and the doctor...walking and talking...snuggles and books and library time...hilarity...hopefully better organization in our house...300 miles run by me (but not at one time)...happiness...more blogging...gratefulness...a new couch...beach time...pool time...family time...more photography and graphic design...maybe yoga or a dance class???...quiet time and loud time...aquariums...weddings...And very soon...our very first Perry Christmas video.

Happy January Second!