Tuesday, November 30, 2010

RANDOMLY KILLING ME SOFTLY

Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday.......like a Phoenix rising from the ashes.
After the destruction of Monday, there is always Tuesday........
and that means RaNDoM!
Don't you love Keely?
Well, get on over to The Un Mom and tell her!

* I might have to stop blogging.
Brian had a nightmare and it was bloody and violent!
Someone was stalking me....
and it all started with this blog!

Because it's just THAT interesting!

* Don't you love trash day?
Especially after a holiday!
Say goodbye to the turkey carcass!
Say goodbye to whatever leftovers are hanging out in the refrigerator!
Good riddance!
I love an empty refrigerator.

* I couldn't decide what to have for dinner last night.
Left over turkey?
Left over ham?
Soup and a sandwich?
And then Brian walked through the door with a plate of mint brownies.
Someone at work made them for me.
Dilemma solved!

Guess what I am having for breakfast?

* I may or may not get out some Christmas decor today.
I may or may not wash all the sheets now that all the "guests" have left.
I may or may not run errands.
I may or may not hire (okay, give my input. I'm not THAT powerful!) a new lacrosse coach today.

If I decide to NOT everything, what should I do?

* Do you think it is bad that I was reading blogs at the same time as taking an online quiz on how to be a Boy Scout leader?
Really, I'm pro at multi-tasking!

See!  Everybody knows the answer to "True or False? Light hazing is acceptable with adult supervision."
Boy scouts is just like being IN MY family..........where light hazing is ALWAYS acceptable.

*I never told you what we had for Thanksgiving.
I'm kind of bummed that I don't have a picture of the heaily laden table.
But then again..........it is kind of embarrassing.
Talk about gluttony.
But I will give you a hint - 2 turkeys, 1 ham, 3 kinds of potatoes, 5 pies and cheesecake.
I won't tell you how many people were here.  I'll let you think it was about 45.

* If you ARE stalking this blog and plan on taking it to the next level and showing up here with a knife,
could you please give me a little heads up and comment?  Thanks!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 29, 2010

OUT WITH THANKSGIVING!

I guess I never showed you the finished Glitter Corn centerpiece project!
Unfortunately, I don't have any really good pictures of it either.
It did provide hours of entertainment because guests, like small children, cannot NOT touch the glitter corn.  As a result, by the end of dinner, nearly everyone.....except for me of course, had glitter on their faces.

But Thanksgiving is over!  it's time to move on.
Out with the old and in with the new:
Aren't I cleber?
I changed up the tablecloth, got rid of the glitter corn,
kept the candles and glittered gee gaw and added gold mistle toe and glittery birds.


If only, that was ALL I had to do to pull Christmas off.
Wouldn't that be amazing?
I always hesitate to START dragging out the Christmas "stuff" because it's like an avalanche of tinsel and trinkets that take over the house.
I wish was Cindy Lou Who on The Grinch and I had that Christmas Light Cannon that could shoot the decorations whereever I wanted!

I can dream can't I?

Friday, November 26, 2010

I HAVE A STOMACH ACHE

Sorry, I can't post.

My stomach still hurts.....not from eating.
From LAUGHING.

Somehow, we ended up in Asia, okay it wasn't really Japan, but it looked like it, last night at 10.
We went to Black Eye Thursday/Black Friday at the outlet mall with about 25,000 of our closet Asian friends.

We didn't stay long.
We hit up our target store - Ralph Lauren.
Hit up a couple of others and left.

As we were weaving our way out of the parking lot,
we witnessed a driver speed out of a side lane, almost hit another car and careen off almost into a pedestrian.

Line of the night:

" She couldn't help it.  She's high on COACH!"
And then Garrett launched into squealing girly voice monologue about getting an incredible deal on a clutch.

I could barely drive, myself.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

TECHNOLOGY IS COOL! Every once in awhile....

When the stars are aligned and everything is working just right,
I LOVE technology.


Most of the time,
technology is a blessing.
And today, it was a blessing in many people's lives.


This morning, I received a phone call from an old friend who lived in our neighborhood and moved to Utah several years ago.  Her 22 year old daughter is serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Rome, Italy.
(The same mission where my parents are serving.)


My friend told me that she had just recieved an email from her daughter
and that she excitedly wrote that my parents were coming to her town and taking her out to dinner tonight.
Italy is 8 hours ahead of us and we figured that at that very moment
her daughter could be hanging out with my parents.


Missionaries only email home once a week.  And they only call home twice a year.
Senior missionaries (like my parents) don't have those kinds of rules.
My friend knew that thanks to Magic Jack and Skype,
I speak with my parents on a regular basis.


Okay - so my parents have a hard time with technology and when both the Magic Jack and Skype are plugged in at the same time, we only get every third world.
But that's not technology's fault!


So my friend asked that if I talked to my parents,
find out how her daughter is doing and if she is happy and healthy.
Moms of missionaries crave any kind of info on their babies who are far away!


So, about 5:30 (my time), I'm at my computer when I see my mom log into Skype.
My first thought is "What are they still doing up at 11:30?"
But I dial in and we spend 20 minutes talking about their dinner.
As we're talking, my dad uploads the pictures they took of my friend's daughter from their camera and emails them to me.


After we hang up,
I call my friend up and relate every word that my parents said about her daughter.
And as we are talking,
I downloaded the pictures and forward them to her.
She has pictures of her baby who is thousands of miles away and they are just a couple of hours old.


How cool is that?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

GOBBLE GOBBLE!

I'm running around here like a chicken turkey with his head cut off.
Good thing it's Tuesday - so we have TWO more days to get things done for Thanksgiving!
And good thing it's Tuesday - cuz my head's full of RaNDoM!
Go see Keely, the Queen of Random and link up!


* My turkey is brining.


* The sheets are in the dryer.


* Garrett is home from college.
* Trammell gets home this afternoon.

 * It's been TWO years since we've had everyone together for Thanksgiving!  TWO YEARS!
(my bro, Trammell and Allen - circa 2008)
*And this is our LAST Thanksgiving together (immediate family) for awhile because for the next two Thanksgivings, Garrett will be on a mission

* I blogged a list of a FEW things I was thankful for on Sunday.
IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER
#21 was "Brothers - Crazy brothers who make me laugh"
Hey - it #21.
ABOVE cupcakes!

My brother commented:
#21? I would like to request that I be separated out from the other brothers and moved up on the list. After all I can make you laugh and remove a mole. Seriously #21. My people will contact your people about moving me up the list and separating me out from the others, who just draft off me anyways.


Love you.
JJ


Now you know why I'm thankful for them!
I'm waiting for my mom to comment that she was below my brothers.
NO PARTICULAR ORDER PEOPLE! No particular order.

* I am SOOOO HaPPy!
There is NOTHING I need to go shopping for on Black Friday.
No "toy of the year," no gadgets, no electronics,.....
Nothing!
Oh, we'll still go out........but only to make fun of other shoppers fighting over IPads and TV's.

Well, there's all those fun things to go do - make beds, hang up clean towels in the bathrooms, make lists!
Have a wonderful, wonderful THANKSGIVING!

GINA

Monday, November 22, 2010

NICE PEOPLE DOING NICE THINGS

So if you've been around her very long,
you know that my kids are not normal.


Back in August, Garrett had an impending birthday
and asked for this:
Yes, an expensive fountain pen.  And he even found someone to teach him calligraphy.

Garrett's enthusiasm trickled down to Parker.
Parker eagerly anticipated his birthday in October and he knew just what he wanted.
While most soon to be 16 year olds are begging for a car,
Parker asked for this:
A few weeks ago, Brian was on an airplane and just before landing,
the man next to him struck up a conversation.
He noticed Brian's pen and asked him if he enjoyed it.
Brian replied that he had owned that pen for more than 20 years and loved it.

The man lamented that "writing"was a lost art.
Brian told him that surprisingly, our two boys loved pens and had a fascination with fountain pens.
This made the man's day, as he is an avid collector of pens.

He asked for our address and told Brian that he had some pens he would send the boys.
Brian thought the man was very kind to say that, but who would really go home and send pens to strangers?

A couple of weeks later,
we received these in the mail:
He sent these to the boys.
He also wrote up a brief history of the pens for them.
They are antiques from the 40's an 50's.
The boys were so surprised and excited to double their fountain pen collections!
We were surprised that the man actually took the time and cared to share his passion with us - strangers.
There are STILL nice people doing nice things all around us!
Once again, my faith in mankind is restored!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving


What are you thankful for today?


What am I thankful for?
1. A Heavenly Father who knows me and STILL loves me.
2. The Gospel of Jesus Christ

3. The Atonement
4. My wonderful husband
5. Family
6. That my boys will be home for Thanksgiving

7. My home - a refuge from the world
8. Peace
9. Butter
10. Donuts
11. Bacon
12. Technology - so I can talk to all the crazy people in my life
13. A refrigerator full of food

14. A warm bed
15. That we get to go to church today
16. That we get to come home from church today and hang out with each other
17. Good friends
18. Prayer
19. Miracles
20. The scriptures
21. Brothers - crazy brothers who make me laugh
22. Their wives - for putting up with them
23. My Parents

24. Snowstorms, rainstorms, lightening, thunder, sunshine...but not wind.
25. Fall leaves
26. Blue skies
27. Cupcakes
28. Books
29. My life!

Friday, November 19, 2010

WHAT HOLIDAY IS IT?

I'm so confused!
I don't know what holiday it is.
At least I know it's Friday.
Yea for Mrs. 4444 and yea for FRIDAY FRAGMENTS!

Anyway -
I'm holiday conflicted.
After glitterizing the corn for my Thanksgiving table decor,
I started hauling out the Christmas Village.

* The other day,
I was in line buying something and I almost wrote "July" on my check.
But out of the corner of my eye,
I saw someone in a Halloween costume.
I did a double take.
It wasn't a costume.
It was an old wrinkled Rastafarian.
He was 75 with dreads.
It was Jimi Hendrix come back from the dead.
See why I'm confused?
People lookin like it's Halloween all year!


*Should I iron the Thanksgiving tablecloths and set the table,
or should I deck the halls?
Should I plan my Thanksgiving menu,
or should I change all the sheets for the impending arrival of guests?
Should I make a shopping list
or just sit around reading and eating the platter of Christmas cookies on my counter?
So many decisions!


* Have you seen the new Harry Potter?
Come on!
It's been out for 8 hours!
What are you waiting for?


* We DID NOT go see it at midnight.
We will see it as a family over the Thanksgving holdiay.
Like THAT won't add to my confusion -
a scary movie about witches at Thanksgiving.


* My niece is an "over the top" Harry Potter fan.
I received a text message from her that "someone" was at my house in a cloak
and they were taping signs on my door.
I opened my door and found this:
 It's my nephew!  Look at that face!  HOW could you call him Undesirable?
That's it!  I'm taking him away from his mean, mean family!

* Guess what I did yesterday!
Not blog!
My back is KILLING me.
I spent the ENTIRE day setting up this:

Well, back to the chore list!
Have a great weekend!
GINA

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

MARTHA STEWART'S GOT NOTHING ON ME!

Today, I'm sharing a beautiful, easy and fun craft that will not only grace your Thanksgiving table,
but will last throughout the holidays!
And it's a project that's so easy, the whole family can be a part of it.


GLITTERIZED CORN


What? It's a classy, glamorous name!


You'll want to do this project BEFORE you shower or get dressed - like early in the morning.
Trust me.


Scoot the kids out the door to school.
Go ahead.  Send them 15 minutes early.
It's only November.  It's not THAT cold.


See - the kids are participating.
They're staying out of the way.
NEVER let kids play with glitter.  NEVER.


Assemble your supplies:
You'll need 3 colors of Martha Stewart Glitter - Yes it's expensive and hard to find at Michaels (the only store that carries it, but it really is the best,  Elmer's Glue, a paintbrush and some paper plates for glitter containment.
Anyway, you'll need three coordinating colors and then one regular container of kid's normal glitter that you scrounge out of your craft closet or laundry room when you realize you don't really like one of the colors you bought.
Indian Corn - in a variety of sizes in colors.
They all come completely husked, but if you soak the husk in warm water (thanks Margaret) - or if you are in a hurry, just get it wet, you can pull some of the husk down to give variety to your Glitter Display.
Squirt the glue directly on the corn.  I tried to do it the neat and dainty way of putting a puddle of glue on a paper plate and "painting" it on with a paint brush, but then, the glue isn't thick enough and the kids will be home from school before you get done.
So squirt the glue on about two thirds of the corn - so there is a clean side to put directly on your table cloth.
Now, even out the glue with the paint brush.
Starting with your main color - which of course, should be Gold, sprinkle the entire cob like you are salting it.
More.
Then use your "accent" colors to give it dimension.
Don't be too heavy handed with the accent colors.
And remember, Martha's glitter is fine, unlike that crappy kid's craft glitter.
Go easy on the chunky glitter.
 DON'T touch the glitter!
Oh geez.......now you will have glitter everywhere - the phone, your cheek, the faucet, the glue bottle, the door knob, every piece of material you touch. FOREVER!
Especially don't touch the glitter if you cut your finger last week and should have gotten stitches, but didn't.
Now you'll have to get the tweezers and pull glitter out of the cut.
Now the tweezers have glitter on them.


Oh shoot.  Your husband's leaving for work.
Well, give him a little pat on the butt and a quick kiss on the cheek.


Ahhh.....now's he's in on the craft.
His co-workers will be commenting all day.
"Is that......uhh....glitter....on your cheek?"


"Ummm.....I think you have something on your pants."


He'll have glitter on his behind until May!
Told you not to touch the glitter!
Told you this project would last well into the OTHER holidays!

Well, it's too late now.
Don't say anything.  Just let him go.
Cuz, we've got to finish up.
 Use the paintbrush to paint glue "highlights" on the husk and sprinkle just a tiny bit of the main glitter color on them.
 Allow to dry while you attempt to clean up the glitter.
Not even a shower with a firehose will get that glitter off.
But hey, it's the holidays.
You're supposed to look festive.....
at 8 am on a Wednesday!
Happy GLITTERIZING!


Gina

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

OLD & BROKEN DOWN

Wow!  I'm NOT THAT old,
but lately, I'm feeling every minute of my 29 years!


You know who never gets old?
Keely and her RaNDoM THouGHT TueSDaY FESTIVAL
Go to The Un Mom and check her out!


* You know you are getting old when you walk downstairs to get something, you get there and you can't remember what you came down for. You stand there for a couple of minutes hoping that it will com to you.  It doesn't.  You go back upstairs and few minutes later, you remember exactly why you went down.


You know you are getting EVEN OLDER when you go downstairs to get something and forget what it was.  You don't even wait for it to come to you.  You know it won't.  You just go back upstairs and wait for it to come to you up there.

* I just carried two cases of soda downstairs.
It was soooo heavy.
Do you know how much 64 X 12 fluid ounces weighs???
Me neither, but it's heavy.

* Do you know how hard it is to text with dish gloves on?


* Ummm...why is Borders BOOKSTORE selling Christmas trees?
These Christmas trees -










for $199

* On our flight to Chicago,
Parker looked at the SkyMall Magazine and decided he needed one of these
At the TOP of the basement stairs. With HIS name of course. Why?

 
* Is it weird that I am suddenly a little leary of soup cans?
I decided to make chili last night but was afraid to open the cans of beans and tomato sauce.
It could be because the last time I opened a can (five days ago)I cut myself so badly,  I needed stitches.
Not that I got them.
I preferred to suck on that finger while I finished making the soup with my left hand.


* Garrett's Facebook Status:
"Some of you may have seen my status posted last week, regarding the faulty disney site and wanting it to be fixed so I can watch Phineas and Ferb. Straight up, im angry, and still waiting..... SOMEONE FIX IT! DONT JUST LIKE THE STATUS!"
Yes, he is a college freshman.

* Thanksgiving Countdown!
Garrett - Home in 5 Days. 
He can watch all the ICarly and Phineas & Ferb he wants!
Trammell - Home in 7 Days. 
He can pick up those coats he forgot to take to school.  I guess after living in Cambodia for two years, he forgot that it is 25 degrees in November.

Happy RaNDoM!
GINA

Monday, November 15, 2010

Good People Doing Good Things

Trammell called last Saturday afternoon.
He was walking home from the BYU football game.
He wasn't feeling well.
You know he had to be feeling sick to leave a total blowout game in 70 degree fall weather when he had seats two rows up on the 50 yard line.


An hour later, he called back and he was walking BACK to the stadium.


He was going to go clean the stadium after the game as part of a service project.
"I decided it would help me take my mind off my own problems, if I went and helped," he said.


There is a guy in his condo complex who has the opportunity to do this great internship.
But he has to pay to do the internship.
The company offering the internship sponsored a contest - to clean the stadium.
The student who gets the most people to come clean the stadium, doesn't have to pay for the internship.
I'm getting the details wrong - but you get the idea - get your friends to come clean and you don't have to come out of pocket for the internship.


This boy was recently in a freak accident and broke his back a few weeks ago.
He can't lift or bend.
He can't clean the stadium.
He didn't dare ask his friends to clean the stadium.


But the kids at Trammell's condo complex heard about the situation and decided to rally around and get as many people as they could to go to the stadium clean up for him.
TWENTY FIVE kids showed up.
They all cleaned for him.
He had the most people show up.
He won!


And those 25 kids won!
And I won because hearing that story lifted my heart, gave me faith in young adults and reminded me that there are a lot of good people doing a lot of good things and we don't hear enough about them.

Friday, November 12, 2010

What is WRONG With Society?

What's NOT wrong is

Mrs. 4444 is the best.  She's hooking us all up at Half Past Kissin' Time for fun times and frags!



* According to news sources (like TMZ), Lil Wayne had a paternity suit filed against him.
Shocking! Just shocking!
He has four kids by four different mothers (should they be called that?).
And now, there is evidently a fifth.
This is all so hard for me to believe! ;)
What is WRONG with our society?


* Trammell told me he's figured out what's wrong with our society.
He volunteers in a kindergarten class helping kids read and write.
He overheard one of the kids singing:
"First comes LOVE...
then comes the baby in the baby carriage."


Yeah - that's what's wrong.


* Another thing that is wrong -
is this pretend global warming.
I WANT fall/winter weather!
We got ripped off yesterday.
It was supposed to start snowing Wednesday night
and we were supposed to wake up to 3-6" of snow.
Yesterday morning at 5 am, Brian lept out of bed and threw open the shutters
and then proclaimed "Liars!"
Not a flake!
Those stupid weather forecasters!


* Tonight is the LAST football game of the season.
What is wrong is that the last game SHOULD have been last week.  Our team is horrible and they somehow managed to win the first game of playoffs.
So we're advancing.
They will LOSE for sure tonight (spoken like a TRUE fan.)


So it's the LAST game for the Flag Boys!
EVERYONE is going out into Antartica (because even though it didn't snow, it's FREEZING) to cheer them on.
Except for me.
Sorry Parker.
I will not be able to support you.
I'll be somewhere warm - like a movie theater.........or my bed.


I will send you with handwarmers.
And I'll make you hot chocolate when you get home.
Cuz, I'm supportive like that.

 
* I have a pile of prescriptions to mail my parents.
They are on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Italy.
Rumor is: packages frequently don't get there.
They are plundered or "go missing."
I'm trying to think of ways to ensure my package arrives.
Hot tip: Don't write "Drugs" on the customs form!
I'm thinking of writing boring stuff that no one wants like - "socks"
My dad says that packages marked "Candy" usually make it.
I guess drugs are kind of like candy.
Hmmm....what else can I write?
"Poison" - no that would have the Postale workers opening it right away.
Something gross like "Hemorrhoid cream?"  No, because of translation, it would get opened just to see what it is.
Give me your suggestions!


* I am reading the WORST book right now.
It's stupid!
It looked cute.
There's no sex or violence or bad language. (That's good.  Did it look like a complaint?)
The characters are poorly written.
It's contrived.
It's not even remotely realistic.
I can't wait to finish it.
Yeah - I have a problem.  I can't just put it down and walk away.
I have to finish it.


* Thanksgiving Countdown!
Garrett comes home in 8 days.
Trammell gets home in 11 days.
And my friend Allen who is like family and comes nearly every year, arrives on Thanksgiving morning.
Thanksgiving will be EPIC!  Okay, maybe not as epic as when Allen, Margaret and I went out at midnight to "rearrange" those light deer in people's yards.  But hey, we're not 42 anymore.
It will still be EPIC!

Have a great weekend!
Gina

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Man Behind the Counter

Garrett was given the assignment to interview someone "unique" on campus.
When you go to a religious university in a small town, the diversity just isn't really there.
Finding someone unique could be a problem.

He sent me his ROUGH draft.
I thought I'd share.

THE MAN BEHIND THE COUNTER
Apparently he knew me from somewhere. Standing across the counter with a soft, friendly voice the Asian man asked me what I wanted on my salad. After handing me my order, he mentioned that he remembered me from the Ping Pong tournament. I’m pretty good with faces, but he had me this time. Since he was at the ping pong tournament, I figured he liked to play and asked him if he would like to play sometime. I got his number and put it in my phone, along with his name: Denis.
As we played ping pong at my apartment, the conversation flowed naturally. He seemed like the average BYU-Idaho student. However, the more we talked, the more I found that he was not at all “typical” and his life did not mirror the average student’s life at all.
Denis Tang was born and raised in Hong Kong, China and his childhood was pretty typical for China. But his entire life’s course changed when the missionaries tracted him out. Rather than following the family norm and remaining Buddhist, albeit non-practicing, he ended up breaking away, and converting to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Denis delayed telling his family about his devotion to his new church. of  He hid his new religion, but they got the idea when he chose to serve a mission a little over a year after his baptism.


His family was not happy about his decision and did not offer any kind of emotional or financial support. He mde his own arrangements and prepared for his mission alone. Upon returning with honor from his mission in Salt Lake City, he only stayed home for a year until he decided to continue his education. Denis had previously received his associates’ degree in Hong Kong coincidently offered by The University of Utah. Already having an associate’s degree and being a member of the Church, helped him get into Brigham Young University- Idaho.


Leaving behind his family and much of his traditional Chinese culture, Denis packed his bags and headed BYU-I. Today, Denis studies communications with a purpose; he intends to build his international connections.
Besides taking 14 credits, Denis manages to fit 18 hours of work into his schedule as well, and excels in both. Often, Denis’s homework carries over to the weekends. However, this doesn’t discourage him or hinder his dedication to school, his job, or church service. Denis manages to get it all done.


Serving others has always been a priority to Denis. Before his conversion to the Church, he wanted to become a Priest because it involved helping others. While Denis is unsure of his future profession, he wants a career helping others. A benefit Denis believes he brings to the table, when it comes to helping others, is the perspective he has. He believes that people can learn from his life and decision to value dedication. His choices to convert to the Church, serve a mission, and further his education can illustrate to his peers the value of independently being proactive, even without a family backing. Denis proves to be an example of allowing himself to follow his heart and make difficult choices. This trait is special because Denis is able to help his peers appreciate the fact that they have the Church and are at BYUI obtaining an education. People like Denis Tang who have sacrificed so much to join the Church, get to America and work for an education, help others appreciate these things so much more.


The educational system in America inspired Denis to study in here rather than in China. He felt that education in Hong Kong was more competitive and less about giving back to society. The fact that the choice to pick our educational path is a freedom Denis believes America offers that schools in China do not provide. Denis recognizes this advantage and encourages those around him to be grateful to have such choices. Denis finds himself at an advantage among his peers because he believes that American students tend to have a lower appreciation for their teachers. Since he grew up being held to a higher standard of respect for education and teachers, Denis has an edge among his peers which shows in an increase of dedication towards his schooling and academic achievement.


Perhaps the uniqueness of Denis Tang is not the fact that he is from Hong Kong, but all that lies behind his story: his drive, his courage, his sacrifice. When one meets Denis, they find that he is a down-to-earth guy, but when one finds out his whole story, they find he his inspiring. Denis completely re-wrote his future when he discovered the Church as young adult. Denis Tang’s story helps us appreciate things we take for granted. A student with the feeling of entitlement can be reminded that there are people out there who gave up family and a culture to have the Church and be at BYUI receiving an education. His life inspires people to find their path in life, and to follow it. When someone acts as if they are entitled to an education, I think of Denis and what he left behind. Personally, Denis makes me thankful for the fact that I had the support to get where I am today and at the same time, I respect people like him who independently have the will power to make the right decisions in life without much aid of others. I respect the fact that he has independently chosen to do the right thing even when it was hard.