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Reason to Live Friday #29 I am ______ Who are you?

I am ____________ Who are you?

 

 

I’m stealing this idea from my friend Tara and her blog You Know It Happens At Your House Too, who took inspiration from the Self Worth Action Project from the blog Craughing- “Here is what I want you to do today.  Sit down for five minutes.  I know that is not always easy, but this could be the best five minutes you have spent on yourself in a really long time.  Open your computer, grab a pen and a piece of paper (ACK!  What is that???), open up an app on your phone. It doesn’t matter what you use, just use something that you can save.  This is NOT a mental exercise.  You must put this on paper (either real or virtual) so that you can refer back to it on those bad days.  Set a timer for five minutes and write.  Write using the prompt I AM ______________________.  Don’t edit, don’t proofread, don’t change it.  You are not required to share it with anyone, even though I hope you do, but keep it close by so that on those days when you are feeling really horrible about yourself (we all know that we have those days), you can look back and remember all the things that make you wonderful.  I will start, here is my list;” (text quoted from YKIHAYHT)

I am Rebecca

I am a daughter, sister, mom and wife

I am proud of the little people I made and their lives thus far.

I am a loyal friend and try to smile any chance I get. Unless it’s before my first cup of tea in the morning.

I am unassuming and will trust you unless you prove me not to.

I am generous and charitable. If you need it, I will get it to you.

I am a sucker for a cute furball. Even the uncute ones. I have rescued countless lost dogs and have even driven across county lines to get a stray cat to a shelter.

I am happy of the life I have made with my husband. Making that first phone call to him so he would finally ask me out was the smartest thing I ever did.

I am never getting into politics despite what my mom thinks I should do.

I am grateful and honored for the life my parents gave me and the people they are.

I am fiesty and proud of it. I annoy people I’m sure, but I’m pretty happy with my gumption.

I am proud of this blog and the people it’s brought me to and the possibilities to come.

That was fun! Now you try. I took five minutes is all and ignored the oven timer and the dog barking. Just kidding! I did this after the kids went to bed.

 

And you know the cool part? I could’ve added more. Yep, I guess I’m cooler than I thought.

Now share with me yours if you’d like. You can put the link of your blog in comments, but only after you’ve done the exercise. You can email me at frugalistablog@gmail.com or message me through my Facebook page.

I want us to feel our worth. Not get hung up on resolutions and shortcomings. But be happy today with the person we are. Right now.

I’m guest posting In The Powder Room

 

Today I am so tickled, so pleased as punch, so EXCITED to have my debut at…….DUN dada DUN…..

In The Powder Room! Confetti cannons- pew pew pew pew!

I have been a huge fan of this site so today I feel like the new kid at the big girl’s lunch table. They feature fabulous women, hilarious articles and blush-worthy topics. It’s like girl talk in the bathroom. Hence- the Powder Room reference.

So run on over there already, why are you still here??

Today’s post- What happens when you buy something that doesn’t fit but you can’t return it?

I’m not talking about a shirt, or a nightstand, or even a pair of shoes. Something more personal ….

read HERE for the full article

 

 

 

No resolutions for this girl. Okay, maybe a few.

Here’s to 2013. It feels surprisingly just like 2012 did. Kind of like when I turned 40 and it felt a lot like 39. Except when I tried the pogo stick on Christmas day. Then I felt like I was 60. Old and unbalanced.

I have some promises I’ve made myself this year. It’s pretty much like last year. Get more fit. End world hunger. Bring peace to the land.

Buy my first unicorn.

Okay, those are very much like everyone’s resolutions, right? Except maybe the unicorn one.

But I also am including these resolutions I’ve listed below. And goshdangit. They’re pretty good.

So won’t you join me too? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all did these? I think so.

I was going to put on there, “Make sweet love to McSweetie more often”, but that just didn’t seem very ‘pinterest’ing.

Tell me what you’re going to do this year for YOU and the ones you love that will make you happy. And are do-able. Not that losing weight isn’t do-able, but we’ll just go with baby steps, shall we?

 

Guest Post- A brave friend

Today’s post was not written by me. This is a true account of a friend of mine and her fight to keep her friend alive. You see, I know of suicide. I know children of parents that have committed suicide. It’s an ugly bitch. It leaves the people behind confused, angry and grieved. When my friend asked if she could use my blog as a space to share her story, I didn’t hesitate. I want her story to be shared without any worry of identities being discovered.
If this story speaks to you, then message me or her and we can get you help.

**************

First, I want to take the opportunity to thank Frugalista for allowing me to post anonymously on her blog.
You see, I am a blogger, however, given the nature of this situation, I could not post this on my blog, but I
had to get it out. I needed to get it out. For my own personal mental health and so maybe, just maybe
if you are having thoughts of ending your own life you will read my words and know you are loved and
that you are not alone. If you think you know who I am, please do not post anything about my identity
publicly. Instead, email me at youarelovedalways2012@gmail.com.
My best friend, Mary left her abusive, sociopath of a  husband earlier this year and her already precarious
mental health started to spiral downwards rather quickly after she left. She has always suffered from
depression. So this summer, when I received the first call for help, I was expecting it.
What I wasn’t expecting was to see someone so sad and so hysterical that no amount of words could get
through to her. She was convinced that her daughter would be better off without her. She convinced
herself that she was a burden to everyone and that she was worthless. She couldn’t work; she couldn’t
get out of bed. She was in a completely irrational state of mind. I tried everything I could to make her
see the devastation and destruction her daughter would face if she killed herself. It didn’t work.
Nothing worked. I have never in my life experienced someone in this state of mind, with so much raw
pain that it seemed to just emanate from her soul. It was heart-wrenching to experience and we didn’t
know what to do.
We got her to bed that night and in the morning after the pills and the booze wore off she seemed to be
okay. In her sober, rational state of mind, she knew she couldn’t kill herself, she knew it would destroy
people. She knew the pain would go away. We tried over and over to get her to seek counseling. But,
no matter what we said, she repeatedly stated that therapy wouldn’t work.
After that incident, we considered an intervention to force her to get help. It didn’t sit right. I can’t
really explain it, except to say, I knew it wasn’t the right time.
Over the next several months, we tried to brainstorm with her to figure out ways for her to make an
income, because her asshole husband refused to provide any support. We got her an attorney. Her
parents provided for her financially. She cashed in a 401K to support herself. We had a plan for her to
take some classes. Most days she felt good and positive. But it was just a mask.
Then, just a few weeks ago, she stopped returning my calls and texts.
Friday night our other friend, Carrie, called; she was the one I was with during the above episode. Mary
had called her wanting her jewelry out of the safety deposit box. Carrie was concerned and so I called
Mary and thankfully, she answered.
I asked her why she wanted her jewelry. She wanted to sell it so her daughter would be provided for.
She said she had found a place for her beloved dog and was giving up custody of her daughter to her
daughter’s father. She also stated that she was meeting with her attorney to make sure her will was
updated so that her soon to be ex-husband would not receive any of her assets, “in case something
happens.”
“What do you mean, in case something happens?” I asked, already knowing what she meant.
“Well, I’m not going to kill myself. But I just can’t do it anymore. I don’t want to burden anybody
anymore. My daughter will be fine. She doesn’t need me.”
The most terrifying and disturbing part about that conversation was the nonchalant manner in which
she was saying these things. She had a plan. She wasn’t the hysterical crying mess that she had been
previously. She was sober and serious. I knew that night that no words I could possibly say would make
a difference. I told her I loved her and I would talk to her tomorrow.
Saturday morning we got on the phone with her parents and conferenced in the suicide prevention
hotline. After repeating the conversation from the night before, he was understandably concerned and
advised us to dispatch a crisis van. He also informed us that if she didn’t go voluntarily then we could go
to the courthouse, file a petition and have her involuntarily placed in a treatment facility. We were
prepared to do that.
We met the crisis van at her house and she was pissed, angry and betrayed. It took nearly 2 hours to
convince her to go with them. We did have to threaten to file the petition, but she went.
I spoke to her that night and she said the place was miserable. She didn’t get a bed and she had to sit in
a room with 25 people, mostly men. She did not sleep.
She met with the nurse practitioner the following morning to be evaluated. She refused to say that she
was a danger to herself and they had no choice but to discharge her.
After learning this, I immediately starting searching for hospitals. I got on the phone to make payment
arrangements, as she does not have health insurance and cannot qualify for state or federal aid due to
the fact that her divorce is not final. I found one and I met our friend Carrie at the facility Mary was at
awaiting discharge. We sat down with her and a counselor and, again, tried to talk her into staying. She
refused. We then told her we found a hospital with a women’s unit. She refused. She didn’t care what
we did, she wasn’t going. She didn’t need counseling or therapy. She just needed to be left alone. She
slammed out of the room.
The counselor followed. And I have no idea what he said, but within 2 minutes she agreed to go with us.
I can only say that our prayers were answer.
We got in the car, chain smoked cigarettes, all of us nervously awaiting the next chapter. We arrived at
the hospital and began the 4 hour intake process. We stayed with her the entire time. She almost left.
She almost left again. But she didn’t.
At this point, she had been awake for nearly 30 hours. She was so tired. She agreed to stay. That’s
what matters. She is right where she needs to be to get better. To learn how to cope with what
happened to her. To deal with the ugly and the nasty. To learn how to prepare for the future.
I visited on Tuesday. It was difficult and a little awkward. But she seemed better.
I have no regrets about what I did. Nor am I concerned with the state of our friendship. I’m not sure
that she will forgive me. I’ve made peace with that.
I would rather her be angry with me than be dead.

*******
If you or anyone in your life needs help- please contact these organizations-

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

1-800-273-8255

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Warning Signs

Reason To Live Friday #19

Okay, so what if it’s Monday. I was tired. See previous post.

But thank you to those who noticed that Friday’s RTLF was not posted. And you kept me on my toes. So four days late, here it is.

My RTLF gratitude ranges from friendships, James Bond, and brunch.

Friendships come in so many varieties and packages, it’s really very exciting. I realize as I get older that I constantly make new friends. Through Facebook, my blog, other friends, my kids’ activities, there’s people everywhere who will be a friend. When you’re a kid you worry if you are going to make friends. Now, I am excited wondering what people life has in store for me.

I have friends I am still in touch with from 30 years ago. My best friend, Kristi, actually. We met in 5th grade. But then I have a dear friend Jen, who I met not even 2 years ago. And then there’s all my blogging friends, who I haven’t even met in person, but are near and dear to me through the interwebs. Who knows, I might meet someone tomorrow that could end up being an amazing part of my life. I’m open to anything. Thank you people, for being my friend. Even if I do chew loudly.

James Bond. HELLOO!! You don’t have to like all the movies to know that this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the franchise. And dang bless it, if I’m not a lucky girl that Daniel Craig just happens to be the Bond of the moment now so he’s everywhere. Saturday Night Live, 60 Minutes, Jimmy Fallon. How fabulous will it be as that release date in November approaches? Swoon.

Look who got to snuggle Daniel. If only!

Brunch. I would watch Sex in the City and be jealous of Carrie and her gal friends and their standing Sunday brunch date. How fun to swap Saturday night date stories, sex romps and career anxieties over eggs and mimosas? Maybe it was because my Sundays were always about packing the gold fish crackers and the coloring books in the church bag for the kids and then swinging by Denny’s on the way home for pancakes.

But this weekend I got to go on a real live grown-up Sunday brunch with friends. My friend Jen had a 40th birthday celebration over the weekend and some friends flew in from Chicago, Alaska and Florida to celebrate with her. I missed the party because I had my show, but she had me join them for brunch in the big city on Sunday to catch up with them. I didn’t know what to be more excited for, the mini French press pot brought to my table, or the grown up chit chat that did involve sex, snow blowers, and organic chemistry. It was a varied group of people! The pommes frites were fabulous. I only had to fight the pregnant gal for them across me at the table. I went easy on her, the rest of the group was imbibing with mimosas and bloody Mary’s and she just got an orange juice.

Once again, I’m full of gratitude, sentiment, and food. Hoping you are too. Namaste.

I have it really good.

But that doesn’t mean I have it easy.

Does anyone have it easy? I mean really now. Life is a struggle. There is probably a very small, hmm, can we call them the 1% of people, who have few worries. If you relate your worries to your finances I guess.

I figure, if you are a loving, warm blooded human- you have worries or problems.

Here is why I have it good. And yes, I’m an appreciative type so I will focus on the positive for now. ‘Bout damn time I stop complaining about PMS and cellulite anyway.

  • I am a stay at home mom. Yep, I said it. Proud of it too. I ADMIRE WOMAN WHO WORK AT PAYING JOBS TOO! so there. I am just happy in MY shoes. Don’t judge me for not ‘working’. That’s bullshit. I work all the time. I volunteer too. Which is working for free. So that means, I do two jobs and don’t get paid. I raise my kids and I volunteer. Bam.
  • My husband is a good man. He really is. I give him crap. He can’t load or unload the dishwasher or put his socks away. But God bless him, he works hard for his family and puts us FIRST. Which in my book, is what makes a man a man. He loves us, even if he has shitty communication skills. He trusts me. He let’s me be me. He lets me have fun with girlfriends, blog about shit, fill our home with beauty products and copious amounts of tea. I love tea. He doesn’t give me a hard time for going vegan-ish. He even secretly is trying it himself.
  • My kids are healthy. Gee whiz. I can’t say enough how this makes me feel warm fuzzy and guilty as hell all at the same time. Yeah, I know. I’m pretty effed up to feel guilty about healthy children. But between the friends I know whose children have suffered through cancer or the families I know with Asperger’s and Autism, I feel like I dodged a bullet somehow. Now, if that cannon were to fire in my direction one day, I would maybe change my tune. But I really appreciate my children and all the milestones they’ve accomplished.
  • I have great friends. I have great ‘real’ friends and great ‘virtual’ friends. I’ll explain. I have girlfriends that I have known for years, have been there for the births of my children, my wedding, my ugly shoe phase in college, my bed rest during pregnancies, my children’s baptisms, at the bus stop to be there when I couldn’t, for carpooling, for birthdays, coffee dates, dinner dates… the list goes on. I also have friends who I have never met in my life. They see me only through my blog and my Facebook blog page. They give me accolades and validation that I feel I don’t deserve sometimes. But I always appreciate it and drink it in. Because it feels so damn good to get appreciated!
  • I have complete use of my faculties. Okay, this might not last forever, and except for the slight tinkle when I laugh, sneeze or jump on a trampoline- I am so grateful to be upright and functioning!! I am not 600 pounds lying in a bed for a forklift to take me to the doctor. I do not need a wheelchair or a speak n spell device like Stephen Hawking to communicate. I can go for a run. Play with my kids. Dance a spaz dance to LMFAO. Cuz you know I do!
  • I don’t have to go to a well for water. Gosh darn if I don’t complain about chores on a daily basis. And wouldn’t it be grand if the cat would just poop in the toilet instead of the litter box? But really? I have machines that do most of the work. Water comes magically out of a faucet. The washing machine beats and spins my clothes until they are clean. All I have to do is fold them. Although, by the length of time they sit in laundry baskets in the hall way, you would think that was the hardest task in the world.
  • I have freakin’ Amazon Fresh delivering groceries to my door! Yes- people. I can sit in my $100 Lululemon yoga pants and buy organic kale at my computer and it comes the next morning. The beauty of the USA people!

Now let’s not get all mistaken by this sunshine and unicorn post. There’s shitty shit going on in the world. Even in my neighborhood. I buy supplies for needy kids at my son’s school. There’s a frickin’ SWAT team in my city today, actually because some asshole shot at someone in a home. This ain’t Beverly Hills folks!

But I’m going to smell the roses, AND the freshly ground espresso. I’m going to try and be happy that I CAN cook dinner for my family because I have the food and the appliances to do so. (although sometimes that shit gets so old…)

Yep. That’s my Mr. Rogers post for you today. Won’t you be my neighbor? Remember, he always sang- “It’s such a good feeling, to know you’re alive…” Sing it my friends!

Banjos, ponies and Crystal Gayle

Or also titled, Things I wanted for Christmas as a Kid and never got:

Remember my post on Cher? (Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves) I coveted that Cher Barbie and wanted her hair for myself. So I wore my nightgown on my head and pretended it was my long hair. I totally forgot about Crystal Gayle. How could I? For practically my entire elementary school years, my friend Stacey and I (if you’re reading this Stacey, call me- miss you!) secretly listened to her parents’ records (yes, records) of Crystal Gayle. She had the longest brown hair. Past her butt. That was what always got us jealous. If you had hair past your butt, then you were so cool.

You remember, “Don’t it make my brown eyes blue”. She had a really famous song with Eddie Rabbitt, “You and I” (it’s on Youtube). Eddie Rabbitt- oh my God- remember him?? No? Me neither.  Okay…

So Stacey and I would pretend that we were Crystal Gayle. We took turns who got to use the hairbrush and sing along to the record.  When I said we ‘secretly’ listened to her parents’ records, it wasn’t that we weren’t allowed, it was, we didn’t tell any of our friends. I’m sure they were listening to Thriller, The Flashdance Soundtrack, Devo… SHE wasn’t allowed to listen to THOSE records. So we made the best of Crystal Gayle. AND Anne Murray. Snowbird is a beautiful song. Just sayin’.

So my other thing besides the Cher doll, that I always asked Santa for, was, a horse. I know this isn’t very unusual. Many girls want horses. It didn’t make it any better that my English cousin Clare, had her own pony- Beau Brummell. I will never forget that summer we went to visit my dad’s family in England. Clare is at least 8 years older than I am. I was 5 at the time. She had been competing in shows on Beau and got a gabillion ribbons and trophies. They were all over her room. I was SOOO jealous! Honestly, I don’t remember if it was the horse or the ribbons I was jealous of more. I got to ride Beau for just a bit. The whole famly did.  We took turns up and down this strip of pasture while she lead him. There’s pictures of us wearing “Britain is Great” t-shirts with the Union Jack on it, and wearing her riding cap. You know those cute velvet ones? They’re helmets really, but they look so cute.

I remember begging my parents for a pony of my own. I did this every birthday and Christmas for at least the next 6 years. I’m not sure why mom said, “we’ll see”, when I asked her. How about just ‘no’. The ‘we’ll see’ was torture. That meant, there was actually the slightest, POSSIBILITY I was getting a horse. Mind you, we didn’t have any place to put it and couldn’t afford to board it. My brother left for college the summer after I turned 7. I figured his room would make a really good stable. My parents didn’t go for that idea.

Now don’t laugh. Okay, you can laugh.

I want a banjo.

This isn’t a childhood dream. I want a banjo now. If you do, ‘deendeedeer, der, der, der, der’ in that banjo-ey voice, I will scream. Because that’s what anyone does when I tell them I want a banjo. They’re mocking me. So I like Steve Martin. I like the Dixie Chicks. I want a banjo. I want to shred a banjo like Slash on the guitar. Like Jim Neighbors on the ukelele or was that Captain Kangaroo?

Maybe it was when I was 6 and I saw Kermit the Frog in the Muppet Movie play his banjo by that pond. Oh it was so cute. And I wanted to sing about rainbows and happy things. I can’t even play the guitar. But I’m sure I would learn the banjo in a jiffy. And yes, James and the children think I’m out of my mind.

Anyway… if anyone out there has a banjo- and lessons to go with it- I would like that. I’ll pay you in cat bubble pictures. Or I’ll just sing Crystal Gayle for you… That’s a gift in itself.

Dedicated to Ashley

It’s been two + years my dear friends, the Lefkows, have endured a battery of Leukemia treatments for their little girl, Ashley. I’ve blogged before about cancer since I know many who are fighting cancer, have lost the fight to cancer, or have lost a loved one to cancer. So this is for Ashley and her journey. Normally I would say, “Hey cancer- knock, knock, mother f****r”, but this is about a 6 year old girl so I will keep the swear words to potty talk only.

Hey Cancer, you’re a poopy headed, boogery fart-face that needs to go down the toilet!

This week marks the end of her treatment, the end of daily chemo pills and weekly/monthly  trips to Children’s Hospital to access her port. The end of a lot for her mom and dad and big brother. But the start of something wonderful. Life as it should be.

I remember September of 2009, the text I got from her mom, my good friend Christin- it said, “she has Leukemia”. My knees buckled and my head started to swim. I have no idea what they were going through on that day. I can’t imagine getting that call from the doctor. Immediately they began her treatments, surgeries and making Children’s Hospital in Seattle their reluctant, second home.

There were late night fevers and trips to the ER, oh, on Christmas EVE mind you. There was the ongoing and whole summer of surgery and C. difficile. If you don’t know what it is- Google it. Nasty stuff. There was the steroids. Which was like having a pot smoking teenage wrestler in your house in the middle of the night with the munchies- 2 am nachos, sliders, ramen noodles, scrambled eggs, hash browns and waffles, for a SNACK!

The good thing about something awful happening to your life is that there’s a bunch of people that will come to help you. The Lefkows used all their connections and community that was there for them and turned it into a foundation to help others. Within months after starting treatments at Children’s, they began Ashley’s Team. A non-profit that gets video games, dvd’s, iPods, and other games and toys of entertainment for patients and their families. It’s not research, it’s not ground breaking medicine, but it makes those 72 hours, 12 hours or even 4 hours, that much better for everyone involved with the treatment of a child. Can you imagine what it’s like sitting in a hospital for 8 hours while your child is waiting for test results and you have their siblings with you bored out of their minds? Me neither. And God help me that I never do.

They used their company, Bacon Salt to promote a Bacathalon fundraiser that raised thousands of dollars for Ashley’s Team! It was a crazy bacon-eating contest, tricycle riding obstacle course of madness and Makers Mark, but hey- it worked!

Ashley today with blond, luscious locks, and her new kitty, Payton.

Little girls should be able to play, to wear their hair long and pretty in braids and pigtails if they want to, instead of wearing non-itchy fleece hats on their bald little peach-fuzzed heads.  They should get to go to a playarea or a birthday party without worry of infection.  They shouldn’t  have to worry about the sore on their leg that’s gotten infected. (oh that’s a whole other story!) But there’s millions of families dealing with this very crap. And for that I am truly sorry.

The blessing of Ashley’s story is that all her treatments at Children’s worked with textbook effectiveness. They can gratefully say she is cancer free. Which is like telling Leukemia it’s a poopy-headed fart-face. See ya Mother Fucker. Oh crap- and I was SO NOT going to swear!

But for today, it’s hooray for Ashley and her family of Christin, Dave, and her super awesome brother, Dean (7) to say- We did it.

I love you guys.

********

If you want to contribute to Ashley’s Team check out their website www.ashleysteam.org

Families need financial help for uncompensated care, if you’d like to help with this you can donate to www.miraclehouseguild.org

If you’d like to check out Bacon Salt, they’re pretty cool too. www.baconsalt.com

Hey cancer, knock knock mother f***er!

Remember my friend Molly? Six weeks ago I posted when she started her radiation and chemo treatments for her brain tumor. Well today she finishes those treatments. Happy Dance times 10!!

How fitting for Thanksgiving week to mark her final treatments. She can revel in the gratefulness of knowing she kicked cancer’s ass.

I had the honor of driving her to a treatment session, bringing her dinner, rescuing a broken tooth stray cat from her doorstep and just reconnecting after 20 years. I’m sorry Molly that it took your 3rd brain tumor to get us together! (shame, shame on me)

Yesterday I posted about the sadness of the holidays when you’ve lost a loved one. Today I’m posting to be glad you have the loved ones near you to celebrate the holidays. Another lesson to be had from this, don’t leave it for something awful to happen to let people know you appreciate them.

There is always someone with more heartache, struggle and desperation than you. It’s the circle of life (cue Lion King music).

So today, be furiously happy, the good always outweighs the bad. Always.

Get a pair? (caution, this post contains a lot of I’m not sure what, and you will either love it or hate it)

So a bit ago my friend Molly (the same Molly battling her brain tumor)  posted a status on Facebook about why mens’ balls are really overrated. People are always comparing having courage to having a set of balls. Or, saying phrases like ‘gee, you’ve got balls to say that’. ‘That took balls to do.’

Right?

My question is, what have balls ever done?

I hope you don’t think I have an obsession with balls. After my Schweddy Balls post for Ben & Jerry’s I realize this is getting ridiculous. However, my purpose here is to give credit to the brave women I know. And Molly in particular. So…

You know what really does the work? Vaginas. Yes, I said it.

They push life into this world, endure all kinds of intrusions and are really the work horses (so to speak) of mother nature.

So the next time someone does something really brave, courageous or you know, ballsy… say, ‘wow, you’ve got vagina to do that’.

Men, I mean no disrespect. Everyone, I’m sure you think I’m crazy.

And Molly, you’ve got vagina for sure.

Even Betty White agrees:

It's like I can't love her even more!