A Labour (Day) Of Love

Sun setting on summer 2015.

Happy Labour Day! (That’s Labor Day to all my awesome American readers!)

We might have to give up our lazy, hazy, crazy, days of summer, but we sure as heck don’t have to let the joy of summer fizzle. We took the weekend and made the most of it and just like we try to do with most of them, we carpe-ed the heck out of this diem!

There was an epic board game last night, a movie in the theatre today — complete with extra butter on the popcorn and peanut M&Ms, followed by a special dinner out and ice cream for dessert. Stick a fork in this Labour Day weekend. It’s done!

We are saying goodbye to our beautiful summer break and even though my Things have already started back to school, I am well aware that lots of children are starting their school year tomorrow morning, bright and early.

Oh, it is never easy, is it?

Even if your kiddos are great students and love all things scholastic and extracurricular, it is still a bit daunting to have to say goodbye to summer.

Of course summer isn’t really over, you still have until September 23rd to check those things off the summer bucket lists. Yes. Yes, I am here to bring you a loophole. sings That’s what friends are for! You’re welcome.

Anyhoo!

Where was I?

Oh yes! Even the happiest little pupil might not be so thrilled with Labour Day and the unofficial end to summer, so I am here to bring you hope! (Also, loopholes. We can’t forget the loopholes.)

You may or may not have noticed my absence here this summer. It was not intentional.

I was on a technology-fails-us-all-just-when-we-need-it-most sabbatical. It was, as you might imagine, not planned.

I will expound on all things technological (I may even have my IT Department contribute to a very techie blog post about the trials and tribulations we have been going through) in the not too distant future, but tonight, dearest, darlingest, readers I just wanted to say hello and let you know that I am here and I am going to be here every single day from now until the end of days. So, I hope you are happy and feeling like some chatty blog action because that is what I am in the mood for and that is exactly what I am going to do. I am sure you will let me know if you want something else. More photos. Fewer words. More words. More cowbell. You name it. I will deliver!

In the meantime, thank goodness for excellent blogging friends who allow me to contribute to their amazing blogs.

Just in time for my kids to start school, I wrote a post for Life In Pleasantville about how we can lessen the stress associated with back to school in a post called “6 Steps to Ease Back to School Stress“. Since many of you have children starting school tomorrow, you might find it helpful. I’d absolutely love it if you made your way over there to read my post. As always comments are greatly appreciated. I make a point of replying because I love the connection and conversation that can emerge from a simple comment. That is the whole point of my being here, there, and everywhere.

So, now that I have written nearly 500 words, I feel slightly less terrified about posting tonight. I will be posting earlier in the day, eventually (maybe), but until I get my blog mojo back, frankly, getting something posted – at all – is way more important than what time of day it is posted. SEO be darned!

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As if I know anything about SEO.

Two questions:

  1. Are you ready for back to school?
  2. Do you want more cowbell?

May I confide in you? I kinda-sorta, really-really, hope you missed me.

There. I said it.

Phew! There goes a weight off my shoulders.

After you read my post over at Life In Pleasantville, why not come back and share something about your summer and maybe a hope for the new school year?

I’d love to hear what’s on your mind.

 

Everyone Needs To Know

Sorry Shania.

It’s been a long time and the whole “no one needs to know” thing worked for nearly 20 years, but the time has come.

The jig is up.

Everyone needs to know what a sweetheart my husband is.

EVERYONE!

We have weathered a number of storms and we even had a few close calls with actual tornadoes when we lived in Austin, Texas (Stay weird, y’all! It’s so beautiful on you.), but we have been together for almost 20 years and even though we both would like to change approximately one million things about each other on a daily basis (as every married couple will NOT tell you – Hah! Hi! Have you met me? We tell the truth ’round here. All you have to do is ask or not ask, as it were.) we wouldn’t change a single thing.

On our first date we went to the movies to see “Twister”. Yup.

I own a copy on Blu-ray. OH YES I DO!

You want proof?

No problem.

Ta daa!

Twister w/ Blue Sky

See? (Also, please look at that gorgeous blue sky! That is happening in real life right now in Bedford, Nova Scotia. I am so thankful. We were beginning to forget what blue sky looked like ’round here. Hopefully this is the start of summer v. 2.0 because v. 1.0 has been a doozie thus far. Time to upgrade!)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes! First dates. This was ours and though to some people it might seem like a really bad omen to go to a disaster movie about a divorcing couple on a first date – and furthermore to move to a city in a state where actual tornadoes happen – clearly we fear nothing, because it’s been great!

Twister will always have a very special place in my heart.

Consider this song. We did almost nothing in it in the traditional sense of having the “whole darn thing”, but we have a little girl, a little boy, a tall, dark (haired), handsome man and we are all still busy making big plans. We have thus far survived the storms of life – though we almost never go chasing them on purpose – and we are happy.

What more could we possibly want?

Okay. Okay. Maybe, if you are pressing, we would all love a little Benji (or Lassie, or Corky, or WishBone, or Murray) to call LeRoy, but on that point, no one needs to know right now.

 

Too Much Looking. Not Enough Leaping.

This is an actual road in New Glasgow, PEI. There's a street sign and everything. AACK!

This is an actual road in New Glasgow, PEI. There’s a street sign and everything. AACK!

I have to go for it, right?

I have been tiptoeing around things and you know what? I am not much of a tiptoe-er in any other aspect of my life, so what the heck is my problem when it comes to asking for what I want?

I dunno!

I don’t even care* right now.

All I know is that it’s over.

I’m only popping in here for a minute to tell you this.

I felt you – of all people – should know.

So there you have it!

It’s time to leap.

Why not? Right?

Life has a way of working out, when I do.

I mean, we survived our adventure down the road** pictured above. That was a miracle of sorts. The Things were sufficiently freaked out and in all honesty I wasn’t sure we would make it out alive. Having an active imagination is a wonderful thing – until you turn down a one way, red dirt road, after dark, relying on a GPS (whose prowess thus far – let’s be honest –  has proved to be sketchy at best) when you know darn well that you could have found your own way home. I asked Daddy-O to take a picture because no one would believe it otherwise and well, if we met our untimely doom, there would be, what? Evidence of our blind faith in technology? It was hard to capture what we were actually seeing. It was so dark. There were downed trees or large branches on the road along with deep grooves on either side of the car and a lot of deep puddles. It was as if the road was brand new. Like, we might be following the bulldozer – new. Frankly, it felt like a scene from a cheesy, scary movie. It was fun though! Lots of laughs and shivers and “Whoa!”s coming from inside our teeny car.

Maybe we are a bit more invincible than we thought?

Could be.

I intend to find out.

Oh! And there will be more PEI posts to come.

I think everyone should come to the Maritimes and visit many places (all the times!), but Prince Edward Island has a special place in my heart (that I can’t even really explain), so I will be sharing some serious PEI love this week and maybe, if I am fortunate, even more into this blog’s future.

So, let’s see where this all leads, shall we?

Tell me, are you a looker or a leaper?

How is summer going, so far?

Are you hot or cold?

We are a lot chillier than we should be, I think, but hopefully it will be warmer soon.

*That’s a lie. I always care.

*Mt. Tom Road. FYI. Look it up. Fun! I dare ya!

 

It’s iCal Day!

Happy iCal Day!

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Are you aware of this fact? Did you ever notice the calendar is always on a specific date? July 17. Yup. It’s true. Go look. I’ll wait here. * drums fingers on desk *

No. No I don’t know why the little icons for Apple calendar app reads “Jul 17”, but it does and that’s today and that’s reason enough to celebrate, isn’t it?

No. You mean you need more?

Okay. I’ll find out.

Look!

Now you know!

Should we eat cake?

No.

  • shakes head *

No that would be a silly reason to eat cake.

Though, one might argue that any day is is a good day to celebrate a thing with cake, but I digress …

Wait.

ical-cake

Oh! Ho ho! I knew it!

Oh sure! The number is changed to reflect a birthdate or anniversary or something worthy of cake, but that is most definitely an iCal cake!

This person and I could be friends, I bet.

Anyway!

Happy iCal Day! Happy Friday!

I know it is very silly, but I wanted to pop in and say hello and now we have all learned something, so there’s that. What can I say? I’m a giver.

How is your summer going?

Ours is going great!

We seem to have struck a nice balance so far of outings …

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and down time …

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… and activity!

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I am enjoying the laid back nature of it all and I am managing to blog a bit or contribute a bit to other places.

The Peady #PhotoADay challenge is in full swing and more than halfway over. Have you been seeing the daily posts? I have very kind friends on Instagram and some of the photos are really fun! There’s still time to join in. Come on! The more the merrier!

I really do love summer.

Next week Chez Peady is hitting the road for a little getaway. I’ll try to write a bit from the road when I can.

So, tell me, what have you been up to?

Are you enjoying summer so far?

Do you have any little vacation plans? Or BIG ones?

What’s been your favourite thing so far?

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Our Canada Day Cancellation Was Ignited On Independence Day!

It is always a goal of mine to capture at least one decent fireworks shot during Canada Day celebrations. Well, that was tricky because this year’s Canada Day fireworks were cancelled.

Thankfully the very smart people who are in charge of civic events in Halifax always build a rain date – or in our case a fog date – into their schedule and this year Bedford’s rain date fell squarely on July 4th. Yes, American Independence Day! Perfect.

Especially great for all the Canadian-Americans who just so happen to live in Bedford.

The Things and I made our way to DeWolf Park just after dark and found a place to watch the show. It was really amazing!

I wanted to get a decent shot, but I also always want to be truly present at these things and not completely distracted by the cameras I happen to be carrying, so I decided to try and get a couple of shots with my iPhone and then I put it away. Most of the photos I took are utter garbage, absolutely destined for the trash, but I managed one decent iPhone shot in part by following some tips I read earlier in the day.

For the record, I still feel that it’s mostly dumb luck.

Then I enjoyed the fireworks with my kids and when it was coming down to the wire and I knew the finale was about to happen I took out my trusty point and shoot and tried my best to capture a big one!

I did it!

Not only did I manage to take a photograph that wouldn’t offend the eyes of everyone who was forced to look at it, but I think I did a pretty good job at conveying the whole feel of this fun family event and annual tradition.

Look how pretty!

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What do you think?

Did you attend a Canada Day or Fourth of July fireworks display this year? How was it? Did you take lots of photos? How did they turn out? How many did you snap (as opposed to the number you’d be proud to share)?

Go ahead and leave a comment! I’ll share my numbers if you share yours.

Do you have any fun family traditions that go hand in hand with summertime?

What are you most looking forward to this month?

At the very least, I hope your July has started with a bang!

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Jump For Joy! It’s July! (A Peady Photo A Day Challenge)

Summer is great. We get to take a break from the everyday routine. We’re able to relax a bit more. Maybe we even get to go on a few little adventures. You know what’s really great about summer, though? Taking extra time to tap into the childhood skill of using our imagination more.

Let’s try it, shall we?

Okay, you pretend it’s July 1st and I’ll pretend that this was published then as I had intended.

Ta daa!

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Yay! We are very good at pretending!

So, there it is. July’s Peady Photo A Day Challenge.

You can jump in anytime. Interpret the prompt that corresponds to each day as you see fit and share a photo on Instagram* or your preferred social media platform, use the hashtag #PeadyPhotoADay, and we can all enjoy the summer through our shared memories. Fun, right?

I think so.

Speaking of July, it is off to a great start. Canada Day (That’s July 1st for my International readers.) was lovely and low key. It rained off and on for much of the morning, so we stayed home instead of heading downtown for the parade. We watched the noontime concert from Parliament Hill on CBC. I made homemade poutine (and hot dogs – because kids!) for lunch and it was perfection. Thing 2 and I painted our nails in the utmost patriotic shades of sparkly red and opalescent flecked white (They look really cute, actually. We even did a top coat and Thing 2 has little maple leaves with a jewel on each leaf on four of her nails. I’ll have to try and snap a photo.) so we would be all set for the fireworks show at 10 pm, but alas, the fog came rolling in and the fireworks were cancelled. So, like any good Canadian-American family we spent the remainder of the evening watching American Ninja Warrior**.

All is not lost though, the fireworks have been rescheduled for July 4th. Isn’t that fun? We will be there wearing our red shirts, skin stickers, and Canada Day headbands. Oh, I love it when a backup plan comes together!

How is your summer going so far?

Wait. Don’t answer that.

Show me!

Here’s to a very joyful July and a spectacular summer!

*Follow me @peadypics, if you’d like.

**Remind me to workout forever and ever and ever. Mmmkay?

STOP Signs

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So it’s about 3 PM and I have pretty much consumed a day’s worth of food.

I don’t really even know what happened or why, but there you have it.

Now I have to figure out how the heck to make a burrito for my dinner (It’s burrito night, don’t you know?) and somehow not go completely off the rails while doing it.

I won’t be derailed. I can’t be. Staying railed is crucial to my health and happiness. I need to follow through.

One bad choice cannot be the end of a good pattern. I can’t take it back, but I sure as heck can acknowledge it, stop my crazy train, and redirect it, right?

Going off the rails in a crazy train is not a part of my plan. It’s hard enough to keep this crazy train chugging along. Can you imagine the weight of lifting a whole train filled with crazy back onto the track!! It’s unbearable.

Not going to do it.

So now what?

Well for starters, I’ll be drinking a metric boatload of water.

Wash away the sins of the world. Yeah, I have magical water apparently.

I will also go for a walk tonight. I tried this morning, but it just wasn’t the right time and really 175 things were irritating me all at the same time, so after 15 minutes I stopped and went home. Sad, but true.

I will have a smoothie for breakfast tomorrow. A good start leads to a better day.

I will forgive myself right this minute for a bad day.

STOP!

It’s over.

Move on.

The kids will be home soon and I will not waste a second on beating myself up. Nope. Nope nope.

Do you listen to your stop signs?

Do you occasionally miss one and crash?

Any advice? For me or anyone reading?

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Sometimes You Should Just Do It Anyway

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I decided against posting a blog every single day for the month of June.

The timing just isn’t right.

Besides, I already did it in November and that seems a better time for such insanity. (It was no easy task, I assure you.)

There’s no reason to put that pressure on myself. Silly! I actually stopped for a second and thought about what I would do. I contemplated all the last minute stress it can cause when I already have a busy schedule. Then, like a grown up, (Who am I?!?) I told myself no.

It’s very freeing to say no – even to yourself. Try it.

I did it again last night, actually. I was peckish after dinner and  – even though dinner was delicious – I went in search of a little something sweet. You know how it is.

Anyway, I got halfway there (I’ll just wait here while you finish belting out the lyric and I told myself to do the right thing.

Me: Do the right thing.

Me: But we need something sweet.

Me: Listen, no one needs something sweet.

Me: Shadap!!!

Me: * stern look *

Me: But

Me: * raised eyebrow and head tilt of righteousness *

Me: * glance towards the cupboard of sin *

Me: You bought some yummy good-for-you Greek yogurt today. 100 calories. Good protein. Not too sweet.

Me: FINE! * mumbles “I hate it when I’m right.” under breath *

Sometimes I adult very well.

Speaking of doing things that are good for me (and you) I will be going for a short walk in a few minutes and as luck would have it one of my favourite radio stations played one of my favourite songs, “The Walker” by Fitz and The Tantrums. I think it’s a great walking song, actually. It’s an excellent tempo and it’s also (if you take it literally) about walking so it’s a fun fit for getting fit!

I had never seen the video and I have been wanting to post a song* so I went to YouTube to find it. I like it!

So, here it is!

Do you use music for motivation?

What song gets you up and running?

If you were to make a playlist for a 20 minute daily walk, what songs would absolutely make the cut?

*In fact, I was just talking about song posts yesterday with a friend. I hope she sees this! It made me think of her and her work in the online world and the lyric “can’t keep up with my rhythm, though they keep trying” brought her to mind because she is faster than the speed of light!

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Best Laid Plans

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Hello!

I planned the bajoopees out of last week and you know what? For the most part it really helped me. It also helped my family, though they might not realize it, because you know fairies and elves do most of the things around here. Just like at your place, right? (Ooooohhh! Maaaaagiiiiic.)

It was a crazy-busy week and some events I hadn’t even accounted for popped up then happened and I would absolutely have been flailing had I not put a basic plan in place last Sunday.

I intended to pop in and blog a few times throughout the week, but I simply couldn’t squeeze in any time for myself.

Now, don’t go getting all “but you said” on me. I eeked out some time for myself, of course, because that is essential to health, happiness and – let’s just tell it like it is – sanity. Plus, I put it right into the plan. Which is brilliant, if I do say so myself. (And I do!)

I said I would walk more and I did.

I said I would drink my required amount of water (Every. Single. Day.) and I did.

I said I would go to a new fitness class and I did AND it was awesome!

Here’s proof.

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Dinners were planned out and written on my snazzy chalkboard menu*, but were late every single night (except for Monday and Thursday) and some were even swapped out for better (or more convenient) choices on the crazy-busiest nights. The beautiful thing about a meal plan is that what you think might work on a Tuesday might just work better on Wednesday and since you planned and shopped, etc. you can easily adjust to suit your needs in the heat of the moment. Whew!

Frankly, I’m impressed. There was nothing different about last week except for the fact that I really made an effort to plan, to tell you about my plan, and then actually followed my plan.

It works!

So much so, that I did it again.

I have a few things that will carry over week after week and a few new things that need to be done, but the basic plan is in place and I can fill in gaps as the need arises.

I even have my menu for the week. That’s a huge help, plus it saves a lot of money when you shop once with a plan in mind. I highly recommend it.

Now, this week will be different for me in a lot of ways because, as I said, last week was cah-ray-zee-busy and this week has fewer Spring Fairs and Coffee Houses for instance, but it also has a lot more car maintenance. Blech. I mean, really. It’s life, though, right? There’s always going to be something pressing to get done. All the more reason to plan**.

I will make time for the important things (and Things!) like I always do and I have a bit of a new adventure I am embarking on, plus I really want to try and blog every day in June. Is that insane? It might be a little bit insane. I am giving myself until noon tomorrow to decide. I’ll let you know***.

I hope you have all had a great week. Have you?

I also hope the week ahead is a good one for all of us.

Ready?

Let’s go!

*So cheap! We should really talk about this someday soon.

**See how that just keeps coming up?

***Or, you know, you could come back and see for yourself, I suppose.

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Set It Up Sunday

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Good morning*!

It is Sunday morning and the coffee pot just beeped and as happy as hearing it makes me, I can’t help feeling that yucky sense of dread. Sunday stresses can only be a matter of minutes away.

They don’t always come when expected, mind you. Sometimes they can be held at bay for a really long time. A whole day. A week or two. Rarely longer.

Sometimes on a long weekend they magically disappear. In summer they are practically nonexistent. I love summer.

Or contrariwise they morph into Monday Stresses and no one needs that on a Monday because let’s face it some of us already have major issues with Mondays.

Poor Monday. It gets a bad wrap. It’s just another day. Logically, we all know this, but if the traffic is bad or you forget your morning coffee or there is a pop quiz or the grocery store is out of that awesome bagged salad you so desire and desperately need, chances are it’s going to happen on a Monday.

At the very least, that is how you’ll remember it.

Tuesday is terrific. It’s got it made in the shade with it’s, ‘Yay! I’m Taco Tuesday! Everyone loves tacos. Go ahead and add some guacamole!’ swagger. Everyone loves Tuesday.

Wednesdays are weird. They are either completely wonderful or the worst. It’s all a matter of perspective, I suppose, but some Wednesdays are all Peak Performance, eat all the right things, go for a great walk at lunchtime, skip the chocolate, take the stairs, do one more lap, days. While others are more, what’s for dinner, why didn’t I thaw that, oh shoot I have an appointment, I have to sign how many forms immediately, the bus is late, I might as well just eat that now anyway because I am already doomed, days.

Thankfully, over the years, I seem to have gotten a handle on Wednesdays. I will them to be wonderful, more often than not. Typically, Brinner*** has its moment to shine during Wednedsay’s dinner hour. So easy and satisfying. Wednesdays, also tend to give me a WHAM! mindworm. If you are a WHAM! fan, I bet you know what I am talking about.

Thursdays. Well, Thursdays have always usually been good. Once upon a time it was “Must See TV” day and who could possibly deny the awesomeness of that? Habits. They really can work in your favour, you know? Plus Thursday is Friday Eve and everyone is excited to welcome Friday back into their lives at the end of a long work week, right?

Friday. You beautiful, happy-making, party all the time, sight for sore eyes, you. Are we ever glad to see you! You make the work week worth it and the school week tolerable. You make the secular among us religious – that’s power – if only for the time it takes to utter the letters T, G, I, and F.

I love Fridays. We always take the time to make Fridays fun. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but there are more Fridays than not, that are Friday Family Fun Nights at Chez Peady. We do enjoy our traditions. Sometimes it’s a movie night or a make-your-own-pizza night or a family game night. Sometimes we just relax and do our own thing, but Friday night is sacred. We try very hard to respect it and not make plans away from our Peady peeps!

Saturdays are best, though. Hands down. Zumba, time to get stuff done around our space, relax. Even laundry feels like less of a burden on Saturdays. Now that’s saying something, because we all know how I feel about laundry. Saturday is the freest day. There’s enough time left in the weekend that even if you have a lazy start to the day you can ramp it up in the afternoon and evening – especially as the warmer weather starts to grace us with it’s presence. The peepers are singing. The air is warm. You can take a late night stroll. Go have some froyo (yo!). Pick out a movie to watch even though bedtime is approaching. On Saturday all bets are off.

Oh dear.

Here comes Sunday again. It happens every week. Sigh.

So what can I do to make Sunday less of a bitter pill?

I can take a few minutes and set up my week so that Sunday is just another day, falling in line with the others, with a plan in place most stresses can be minimized. For me, for my Things, for all of us.

I have not been very good at this lately, but the time has come.

Today is Set It Up Sunday.

Today I will make a plan for my week and I will reap the benefits of that basic plan all week long – including next Sunday when I do it all over again.

I have taken a few minutes throughout the day today to set the week – and myself – up for success.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Filling in any and all grown up events for the week on the Mom CPU
  • Asking Things for any notes from school
  • Adding any and all remaining school events to the Mom CPU
  • Thinking about, researching, and then creating a menu for the week
  • Taking stock of the contents of the freezer
  • Making a grocery list
  • Planning to exercise/walk more
  • Committing to attending a fitness class on Monday with my NS BFF
  • Planning an earlier bedtime for myself
  • Recommitting to drink 4 litres of water each day
  • Finding and buying new sandals and sneakers
  • Avoiding sugar like the plague
  • Writing more
  • Learning how to set up a proper editorial calendar
  • Going outside to play. Every. Single. Day.

So that’s it. That’s my pl****. It’s not quite a full plan, but it is certainly better than nothing and way better than my flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants approach of late.

Set it up Sunday!

What do you think?

Are you a “Fail to plan, plan to fail” kind of person?

What happens when you make a plan?

Do you follow through?

100%? Kinda sorta?

Tell me about your approach or what you find works best for you and yours.

Have a fabulous week!

*Or afternoon or evening or night depending on where you happen to be.**

**Now that I brought it up, where are you? No really. I’m asking. Feel free to let me know in a comment.

***Breakfast for dinner! Brinner FTW! Try it! Here, here, or here!