Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from the McElderry's!

 We are so grateful for our friends and family and all of their support in 2014. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Everyday Photos

 These day we don't take many photos, unless we are with my family. We don't carry any camera besides our respective phones, and just snap photos on a whim. We don't have many glamour shots, but we do have many day to day moments captured. Often they are simple pleasures or fun finds. Rarely are they breathtaking or well shot.  But, they tell the everyday stories of our lives and I think they are beautiful.

I wanted to share some of these with you that I just pulled from John's phone-- they contain many stories and share a glimpse of the "day to day" in the McElderry lives.

 John calls this one "Nude cow reclining". Do you see it? This is on our trip in Florida recently for Thanksgiving.

I see advertisements for my company everywhere in airports and can't help but take a quick shot. I sometimes think Accenture advertises in the airports just to raise the morale of their people (who basically live in airports).

 We occasionally  take photos of delicious food, since we love to share and savor yummy food. This is a Belgian waffle John had while in Belgium for work. He swears it is the best waffle he has ever eaten. They eat waffles as a late night snack/dessert, and not for breakfast.

This is the Boston Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. John and I have a goal to see all of the temples in the world, so we often have many photos of temples on our phones. This year we saw 4 new temples. 

This was from a Family Home evening bike ride to see the U.S.S constitution in Boston. We barely missed a huge rainstorm. We try to have a family night every week and try to always do something fun and enriching for our little family of two.

John in the pursuit of the elusive perfect blazer. There are a surprising amount of photos of John trying on clothes -- he is a lot more fashion conscience than I am. 

What do you take photos of day to day?

50th Birthday!

In July and August, my parents both celebrated their 50th birthdays! John and I went down for the weekend and we had a nice family dinner. Below is the yummy and delightful food, as well as the pretty decor done my mom, sisters and I put together.

I am so grateful for my parents. They have accomplished so much in the last 50 years. I am constantly learning from them and having those "Aha!" moments where I realize they were right all along.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Birthday Dinner + Heather and Randle visit Boston!

September marked another birthday. My sweet sis heather and fiance Randle came the weekend before and we celebrated by hanging out all over Boston. We had a lovely candlelight dinner in Boston's Italian district, way too many cannolis, went on a duck tour, hit Newport, RI for a day, and also went to Martha's Vineyard for a day trip. It was a fun birthday I will remember for a while. I hope they come back soon!

Birthday dinner! We ate at the tastiest tapas restaurant in Cambridge.

View from The Breakers, in Newport, RI.

We went to Newport, RI and toured some of the mansions. 

This place was so much like Downton Abbey!

They got engaged while visiting Boston!

I love this girl.

Menu Monday: Soup + Halloween Food!

I am working from home all week -- so let the cooking begin! It is starting to get pretty chilly here in Boston, so when I began meal planning it was all about the soup!

Here is what is on the docket:

Monday: Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup  - Just ate a bowl. This is going on my frequent rotation!

Tuesday: Spicy Turkey Lettuce Wraps - My fave lettuce wrap recipe. I frequently eat just the filling sans lettuce.

Wednesday: Potato and Leek Soup - One of my all time favorite soups. 

Thursday: Halloween! We are having a get together and will be making lots of appetizers. We will be making meatballs, brain cupcakes, and maybe a 7 layer dip? I also may make these delicious oreo pumpkin cheesecake bars again.

What are you eating this week? I am still addicted to Plan to Eat and use that as my one stop shop for planning, cooking, and shopping lists.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My fun Family!

A great one I had to share from my parents 50th birthday this summer. So grateful for all they have, and continue to do for me.

Tips for Travelling from a Frequent Flyer

As some of you know, I have been “on the road again” for a while (*cue cheesy music*).  I have been traveling for an out of town assignment in Little Rock, AR and am travelling back and forth between there and Boston at least three weeks a month. This should be wrapping up in a few months. I am bummed to be away from John, but grateful to have a good job. It is also really great that John is from LR so instead of twiddling my thumbs in a hotel room most nights I have been hanging with family. In fact, I have been staying with family instead of at a hotel and it has made such a difference.
But - my feelings about traveling again aside, I thought I should finally write a post on travel tips since I get more air time than your average joe. I also regard myself as an expert packer even among my travelling peers.  So without further ado, below is some of my best advice you should consider when hitting the road.
1.       Just Go Lighter. You can do it. You don’t need your entire wardrobe in your suitcase. I feel like most people have the tendency to over pack, and it is just a pain. It is more to carry, more to wash later and more to deal with in general. Heaven Forbid you really ruin something and are in need of clothing, you could always go to a store and get something. In 3 years of heavy travel, I have only had to hit the store for emergency clothes twice.
2.       Don’t be afraid to re-wear certain pieces. My average week’s packing is as follows:
a.       1 sweater or jacket (I wear on the plane)
b.      1 light scarf I wear on the plane (doubles as a blanket when the plane is freezing)
c.       1 pair of slacks and/or 1 skirt
d.      1 blouse per day
e.      1 pair of casual clothes
So generally I re-wear my sweater, scarf and pants/skirt throughout the week.  Seriously people, who really wears a different pair of pants every day? I am not that person.*
3.       Wear similar colors that week so you can use the same color shoes and accessories. I I usually do 1 pair of heels and 1 pair of flats which I wear on the plane. I also throw some non-bulky casual shoes and maybe gym shoes in if I am feeling motivated.
4.       Wear your heaviest/clunkiest/largest item the day your travel. If I bring gym shoes, these are the item.
5.       If you travel frequently, have a separate copy of most toiletries so they can just stay in your luggage. I also keep my makeup in an easy container for using at home or on the road.
6.       Carry on if at all possible! You save a lot of time since you don’t have to get to the airport as early and you don’t have to wait around afterwards.
At the Airport
1.       It will be OKAY. Even if something unexpected happens..
2.       It is not the airlines fault. Most of the time. But be patient with them anyway.
3.       Get there with appropriate time. I usually only arrive at the airport 1 hour prior to my flight, but it depends on your airport and time of day.
General Recommendations
1.       Always keep a snack in your bag. Being way too hungry can lead to bad airport food choices.
2.       Wear layers while traveling. Temperatures vary a ton on the plane (frigid cold to the a/c is out) so you need to be flexible.
3.       Smile and thank those who work in the travel industry. They see millions of people a day who don’t do this. This will help you when you least expect it.

*I am also not a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Forget Yourself and Go to Work

Today I was having one of those no-good-rotten bad days I have spoken of before. The details don't matter, but generally I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I was starting my pity party and feeling overwhelmed, and broke down in a CVS parking lot and just cried. You know those days where you just feel pitiful and just want to cry "Woe is me!"? Well you may not have those days, but I do sometimes. And I am not proud of it.

In the midst of this mini meltdown,  I needed to find my way to a sister's house to pick up and deliver a meal to someone who just had a baby (this sister does not have a car). After many wrong turns, and a prayer for my phone/gps battery to last, I made it to the sister's house. Once I arrived, she came out with 4 HUGE trays of food. I piled the food in my car, and just sat dumbstruck.

I remembered learning that this sister had been out of work for a while and just barely started a new job. I remember how my husband told me of the humble living space she had, and how she had told him it felt inadequate next to our nice home. I was so overwhelmed and humbled by how generous she was. Even with the little that she had she gave so much. I know she spent a lot of time and what limited money she had cooking this feast.

So life isn't perfect all the time. The perfect-ness is not what matters.What matters is loving the lord, and serving others. Forget yourself and Go to Work.  This is where true happiness is, and this is how we can leave our daily, and sometimes even petty cares.

Although I often forget, this is the best cure to a pity party. May we all be more humble, lose ourselves in service, and follow the example of this generous sister.

Kitchen Pegboard

In the past few apartments we've had, we used this nifty hanging rack that John made to organize our pots and pans. Upon moving to Boston, we realized there just wasn't the "right spot" for it to hang, and we also had WAY too much kitchen stuff and WAY to little storage (3 drawers, just a few cabinets). So we have been scaling down our kitchen appliances and electronics to only the essential (so long, rice cooker! I had to figure out how to survive/make rice without you!) and also come up with the organization solutions to make up for the lack of space.

To help solve some of our kitchen storage issues, I decided to hang a pegboard. I roughly used these instructions, but pre-measured and had everything cut to scale at home depot. Since this photo was taken, I have added more large baskets, as well as a paper towel rod which I love.

Like all overly ambitious projects I do, I did this while John was out of town for work. I invited the sister missionaries over for dinner, then they got an hour of service in heping me get it hung up and a few boxes unpacked. We then went out on splits, which is another story for another day! I really loved working with the sister missionaries here.

If you are considering something like this, all I can say is JUST DO IT! I love it, and think I will be definitely implementing in future kitchens. It is so handy when cooking, and also makes putting away very easy. One day, I may paint the peg board a different color, but I was in such a rush to get it up (and get my stuff put away!) that I didn't finish it.

Blessings in Little Rock

I am still travelling to Little Rock 3/4 weeks a month. It looks like I will be done travelling in December, and hope to find something in Boston at that time. I miss being around John during the week, but I feel grateful for the opportunity to be in Little Rock right now.
Coming home to these kids is so fun
Instead of staying in a hotel each week, I am staying with my brother and sister in-law and their two children. I cannot tell you enough how this has made all the difference. I love coming to their home each day and hearing my sweet niece yell "Kistin!!!" Even though I am not that exciting, they both never cease to be happy to see me, it is invigorating. I love staying up late talking with my sister in law, talking finance and business with my brother and law, and getting the opportunity to go to family events. I sew with my mother in law every few weeks, and see other family frequently.

Doll making night with the family. So much fun...
It is hard to be away from John. We are both our best selves when we are together. But if we have to be apart for a little while, this is the best way to do it. I feel spoiled rotten by his family, and am so grateful for their kindness and generosity. It is such a privilege and honor to be a McElderry and to have been taken in so literally into this family.

Beautiful flowers sent from my love to cheer me up.

We try to video chat often. I think this was while John was in Belgium for work.

I also have some great colleagues, which makes travelling a lot more fun.

Couch Breaking and other East Coast Adjustments

Moving to Boston has been such an adventure. Slowly I am beginning to fall in love with this city and all of its strange oddities.

 The first two months we lived in Corporate Housing downtown -- which was a real treat and gave us time to find something more permanent while exploring the city. While we were there, it still sort of felt like a vacation, it had definitely not sunk in that this was a "move". I walked around this historic town with the song "Boston" in my head in the cool rainy spring, almost summer weather. I often laughed, because  the lyrics almost held true... "where no one knows my name...."

 We rode our bikes to Bunker Hill, went on evening walks near Paul Revere's house, got our hair cut right next to the Boston Massacre site (odd, but true!) It has been fun to be in an area with such rich history.

Finding housing was a fairly frustrating process. If you are looking for small/old/out of date housing for triple the cost of your last place, move to Boston! It was really hard to stomach. We probably looked at 25 places before making a quick decision to go with our current place. We still feel a little bit of buyers remorse at the cost -- but we are overall very satisfied with where we live and now our getting all settled in.

Once we finally moved in we realized, even with the fairly spacious place we have for Boston, none of our furniture fit! As in --  the only room we could  get our couch was our bedroom (just painted purple...only room with a closet that fits hangers...). This would mean the only room we could have as our bedroom was our living room (no closet, no door to the room....eek!)

I posted something on facebook about this and got the suggestion from a friend to look into couch breaking. And since we are adventurous (and cheap), we decided to do it ourselves. So here is our brand new couch in pieces as we got it down our narrow hallway!

Do you know the only thing holding your couch together is staples?

Arm of the couch we took off.

Even with the arm off, it barely fit in our doorway.

There was a point in the process where John and I were stuck between the couch in our narrow hallway and it seemed like there was no way it was going through. We tried numerous options for about 30 min, were sweating profusely and about to give up. Then, we decided to say a prayer. We knelt across from each other with our massive, hallway consuming coach between us and pleaded for Heavenly Father's aid. And what happened next? It was like our couch shrunk 4 inches. It went through the hall immediately without any issue.

It always amazes me how Heavenly Father is involved in the details of our lives. I have such a testimony that he hears our prayers, and is always with us. We just need to humble ourselves and ask.

Our couch is now in one piece, and already has been enjoyed by many visitors. We will have to pull apart when we move, but I think it was worth it if only for the spiritual lesson learned.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Until We Meet Again

I feel like I don’t know where to begin. Life has been full and rich for the last few months, but it also has been bittersweet.

Our holding pattern finally came to an end, John was offered a job in early May in Boston and a few weeks later our small apartment in Little Rock was packed up and we were off. Just a week before the move, John and I went on a Caribbean cruise for a week. We really enjoyed the trip, it was fun to spend a week together in the sun before moving out to Boston.

Visiting Myao before we left for Boston
Shortly after we got home from the trip, we noticed our kitty was not acting normal. He was not moving much or eating, and started breathing heavily. He had been well cared for while we were gone, but a day after we got back we noticed he seemed a little off. We took him to the vet to be extremely alarmed that he had very few red blood cells. It looked like his immune system was attacking himself. Just for some context, this was the day before the movers came to pack us up!

We visited our sweet Myao at the kitty hospital the rest of the week, but his condition seemed to worsen. Ultimately Friday came and we had to head to Boston without him. I would be back the following week after Memorial Day for work, but it was definitely with a somber heart that we arrived in Boston. When I landed in Boston, we had a voicemail from the Vet. His kidneys were failing, and they were trying to get an IV without much luck. This poor kitty was very sick.

He loved being held like a baby.
When we arrived at the temporary apartment the company organized for us, there was a kitty bed waiting for us in the living room.  It was a little too much for me to handle. I really struggled enjoying Boston that first weekend, because I felt like we had left a key member of our family behind.

The following Tuesday came around, and I was back in Little Rock. I made it to the vet, and oh, my poor boy. How he was suffering. At this point, the vet told me he had a kidney disease that is sometimes hereditary in long haired cats. His heart wasn’t contracting fully, and there was no turning back for this guy. He needed to be put to sleep. John and I had been preparing ourselves for this over the weekend, but this still was so hard to hear. Not our sweet Myao? Our full of energy and love and snuggles Myao? The swing in his health happened so drastically.

So I cried and cried at the vets. I had brought his brush with me and I spent about 20 minutes just loving on him and brushing him. Even though he was extremely weak, and could only lay on the table and not even purr or stand up, I could tell he was so happy I was there and felt my love for him. Whenever I would put the brush down for a moment, he would struggle his little head to nudge it to encourage me to keep petting him.

Finally, the time had come. The doctor brought in the injection,  and as I pet and held him he drifted peacefully to sleep. I was so distraught the whole day, to say I was a wreck is a major understatement.  I made arrangements immediately with John’s parents to bury him that evening in their back yard The burial was simple. John’s mother and father and myself attended. John wished he could be there, but it was just not practical. John’s father read a poem aloud, and we said a prayer together. I wrote a sweet note to Myao, and buried it with him. We planted a rose bush over his body.

As much as it was such a hard day, I felt so much peace after burying him. It has been a few weeks now and I honestly haven’t cried at all until just writing this out.  I am grateful to have had such a great friend in my life, and especially for the time we were able to have with him even if limited. I am so grateful for my understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that I can find peace and comfort in hard times through my understanding of life after death. I strongly believe that we will be with this sweet little kitty again, and I find comfort knowing that he received so much love while he was in our home.

Slowly I am adjusting to life in Boston.  Our big challenge right now is finding housing, but we are hoping to find something this weekend. Things are definitely looking up, but we sure do miss our kitty. As John likes to joke – I am sure he is in Heaven preparing our celestial home, and probably getting fur all over it.

So farewell sweet friend, until we meet again. We miss you. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Weekend Sewing

This weekend I had the chance to do some much needed sewing. Not that I really "needed" to do any of it, I think I just needed it therapeutically. The first project I tackled (with help from my mother in law), was creating a cute lunch box. I am trying to pack healthy lunches more often, and I decide my normal plastic baggie needed an upgrade to help encourage me to pack lunches. Life is just easier when things are cute, right?

I used a tutorial from Stumbling Blocks to make it, along with some vinyl fabric from Moda. I made mine a bit larger so I could pack snacks and dinner in too if needed (for those long days, hence the need for sew therapy).

I also made my first hexi flower this weekend, after doing all of that cutting last weekend. I think this is just adorable, and am really excited to see where this project goes.

Sewing these babies together took a little bit of work/ripping out stitches/gnashing of teeth, so I am confident this will not be a very large project.

I also made this cute pillow case for a friend. When my mom and I were at quiltcon last week we got to make pillowcases for the 1 million pillow case challenge, and the method they used was so easy I just had to repeat. This may be a gift idea I use more often in the future, as they are so quick to make and really cute.

John is out of town for two more weeks, he is currently helping taking care of our nephews in Wisconsin while their sweet mama is on bed rest in the hospital awaiting a new baby. I miss having John with me every evening and weekend, but I am glad he is getting to help our family in need. In the meantime, I have converted my kitchen dining area into a sewing room to help keep me busy. Hopefully I will get to tackle a few more creative projects while I wait for him to come home.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hexagons... or Why I quilt

Sometimes when I tell people I quilt they look at me like I have 3 eyes. What? But you're so young. Isn't quilting something old grannies do?

As much as it bothers me when people say things like this, when I reflect on it further I think the tradition of quilting is part of the reason I quilt. I grew up in a home filled with quilts made by... you guessed it,  my great grandmother.  They are some of the most treasured heirlooms in my family.

Quilting is an American Legacy. Quilting first became popular in colonial America when women would take scrap pieces of fabric and make blankets. When I made my first quilt top years ago, I was drawn to quilting because I thought I felt like it was a dying art that was being lost in my generation.

cutting some hexagons for a new project/experiment
Many projects later, I still enjoy quilting. I love the idea that my children and their children's children may get to snuggle under blankets I made. I love making quilts for other people; there is something about the labor of love in handmade gifts that I really enjoy. I love the creative process of picking out colors and fabric, deciding on designs, and getting to create something new.

Today, after enjoying a quilting convention with my mom all day, I jumped into a new project with some of the fabric and tools we got at the convention. I began laboriously cutting tons of little hexagons to make a pillow . It was pretty labor intensive and I am still not 100% sure how they are going to be sewn together, but am excited to try something new.

hand made quilt by my great grandmother
When I finally headed upstairs to go to bed, I immediately noticed the beautiful quilt lying on my bed. I have seen this quilt thousands of times in my life, but suddenly it took on a whole new meaning for me. Hexagons. Cut individually and sewn together  (by hand), by my Great Grandmother Myrtle Mullins.

I wish my grandmother was here with me today and I could ask her all of my questions as I venture into this new project;. Until then, hopefully she can laugh from heaven as I make mistakes and smile in knowing I am helping carry her legacy forward.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Finished Project: Americana Baby Boy Quilt

One big perk to settling down in one location and no longer travelling is that I have had time to craft a lot more than last summer/fall. I did a paint by numbers project over Christmas (surprisingly easy and relaxing), I started a scrapbook/smashbook that features highlights from 2012, and I have been quilting up a storm. Below is a project I just finished for a colleague at work and his upcoming baby boy. Their primary nursery colors are creme and red, with "rustic americana" as the theme.

This quilt was very similar to one I made about this time last year for my friend Erin. I think this might be my favorite kind of baby quilt because they are so easy to put together but also are a little more personal than a swaddling blanket (which I also make a lot of). My favorite way to make them is to applique a monogram or word on the back to give it a little bit of personality.

As usual, as soon as I set the quilt down to take photos, Myao Ming decided I was on his turf and he needed to check things out.

A little  bit of the detail. I have a tendency to be a bit too "matchy matchy" with my quilts, but I think this one came out nice. I also used a friend's machine quilter for the first time which was really fun and also makes for such a nice finished product.  I am now in major machine envy and dream of owning my own (I just need a few, say 10 or so... thousand dollars!)

And here the kitty has claimed his spot for a nap. Hopefully no one who receives gifts from me is allergic to cats... yikes! But in all truthfulness, I did dump him off the quilt shortly after this photo was taken.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Window Treatments

Since we moved to Little Rock, I have done a bunch of fun house projects. I volunteered to host a baby shower man shower* for a colleague, and since the whole team was coming over I wanted the house to look nice. I am not the only one who has crazy nesting urges before entertaining, right? I sure hope not.

Anyway, one of my first projects was to figure out some window treatments. I knew more or less what I wanted them to look like, and since I couldn't find them in a store I decided to make them myself. For the living room drapes I followed tutorials from the House of Hepworth's,  They were fairly simple to put together, and came out nice. I bought the fabric fairly cheap from one of my favorite spots in Dallas, Best Fabric Outlet.

We also got some new furniture shortly after moving in, but yikes were the pillows that came with them ugly. So, with the help of John and my Mother in law, we bought some fabric and made our own pillows. 

This is our dining area - I went back and forth about how I wanted to do these, but decided to go with a valence. These would have been beyond easy if I had done them, I initially just slapped some fabric on a styrofoam board with some masking tape. John knew better, and did some fancy hole drilling and stapling to make them more secure.

*I don't have a ton of female colleagues. So I get desperate and throw the men I work with "man showers" when the time comes.  This one was mustache themed and so much fun...will have to follow up with another post.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Weekend with Dad in Dallas

John and I just returned from a long weekend in Dallas. I guess I spoke too soon last post -- unfortunately my dad's cancer has made another appearance. He had surgery on Wednesday and we arrived later that night to spend a few days with him. He was in high spirits all weekend, my dad's attitude through trials is nothing short of incredible. He kept joking with us before the surgery "What does a guy have to do to take a nap?", when referring to being put under and finally getting away from work. Through giant incisions,big scars, the potential of more grueling treatments, and a lot of uncertainty, he is almost all positive energy and smiles. He is an incredible example to me of faith and perseverance through trials. And Oh! How I love my sweet father.

One of the highlights of our weekend was enjoying a yummy chicken pot pie.  My dad saw the recipe in the Dallas Morning News before his surgery, and wouldn't stop talking about it until he was eating a bite (and even after, he referenced how great it was daily!). It was pretty tasty, though I recommend substituting thyme and rosemary for the tarragon. This is how I cooked it anyway -- not sure who would want a pot pie that tastes like black licorice?

 When I go home to Dallas I often do a lot of cooking, sleeping, reading and resting. This weekend was no exception, I spent many hours just chatting with my family or going for walks. I hope your weekend was just as  peaceful, relaxing and refreshing.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Catching Up & Slowing Down

Today is one of those great catch up days. I decided to work from home today, and it has been really relaxing. Enjoying music, leftovers heated in the oven, and plinking away on my keyboard as John works on some house projects in the background.

Life has been so full lately. I still haven't taken enough moments to pause and reflect on the past year. What I do know is that we are enormously blessed and watched over. Even if we don't know the exact course all the time, God has an incredible plan in mind for each of us.

I have seen this unfurl so much this past year. John defended his thesis and graduated with a PhD from the University of Michigan.  My dad was diagnosed with cancer and has since received a clean bill of health. I continued my amazing job at Accenture. We spent time with good friends, took many fun trips, and had the blessing to visit (and be visited) by family often. In December our chapter in Michigan concluded and we headed to Little Rock, AR where I have been working since June. I feel like the stars aligned for us to come here, but I know better.  These are blessings from on high and no small coincidence.

John is looking for a job in the pharmaceutical/biotech/bio-medical industry. He has been busy job hunting and using this time as an opportunity to develop new skills (woodworking is his current passion!) We are also enjoying the chance to be so close to family. My parents are just 5 hours away, and much of John's family is here in Little Rock.

I know this may seem so obvious to some people, but it is really refreshing to come home to my home, John,  our home cooking, and my sweet kitty each day. Being on the road and away from loved ones takes a toll. It has been so wonderful and easy being here with John each day.

Speaking of that great man -- we celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary a week ago. Our celebration was eating delicious steak and fixings at a little dive in Little Rock, and playing chess by candlelight. That may seem a little understated and perhaps even mundane, but to us it was magical.

I once read on a friends blog that 97% of life is the mundane.  I am just beginning to understand and appreciate that. I am too frequently guilty of scheduling every moment, overburdening and committing  and generally just being a little too stressed. Lately life has been a lot slower -- this has been a refreshing and welcome change.

So despite more normal tendencies for constant "busy-ness", my wish for 2013 is that I take the time to slow down, embrace the moment and enjoy the more simple things in life.
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