Sunday, May 16, 2010

A decade and a diagnosis

I've had a headache since June of 1998 that has never stopped. I've been to doctors of all sorts. I've been CT scanned, x-rayed, and psycho analyzed. I've been prescribed sinus medication, muscle relaxants and anti-depressants. I've been treated by optometrists, dentists and headache specialists. Nothing worked.

In the last six months my pain has spread throughout the rest of my body. A month ago I went in for a massage, and the massage therapist referred me to a physiatrist because I was hurting so bad she couldn't work on my back. After some poking and prodding, and some lab work, he diagnosed me with fibromyalgia.

It's been an interesting diagnosis to come to terms with. I'd always hoped that sooner or later doctors would come up with a diagnosis so they could make all the pain go away. Now I know that this is a life time condition. They can treat symptoms, but there is no cure. I have to accept that I have physical limitations. I am starting to learn that I am going to have to take care of myself to a degree that I haven't before. Learning to manage my symptoms is going to be a process.

I talked to a friend who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia a few years ago, and she said the hardest thing was to accept that she effectively has a disability. Once she came to terms with that, though, she figured out how to work around it. That's what I'll have to learn how to do now.

This whole thing kind of sucks. It's nice to finally have a diagnosis, though, just so I have a word to put on what I've been feeling for so long. And besides, I got this really cool picture of my brain out of the process.

I think I'll frame it and hang it in my office. Every professor should have a picture of her brain.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A thought about political behavior, in which I do not endorse any particular policy, ideology or agenda.

Maybe I am just becoming a cranky old woman, but I do not find it particularly funny, or patriotic, or Christian, to pray for the death of a president, even if it is in supposed jest.

Most of you know that I’m moderately liberal. That’s no surprise. You know that I was opposed to the war in Iraq, and supported the war in Afghanistan. I don’t think health care reform is “teh evil”, or is going to kill grandma, or a form of Nazism. In fact, I don’t think health care reform went far enough.

I was opposed to the war in Iraq. I knew we were going in under false pretenses, and even with a little brother being sent into combat, twice, I never once prayed for President Bush to die.

I think the Glenn Beck/Rush Limbaugh/Keith Olbermann version of political discourse is more detrimental to the project of American freedom than health care reform ever will be, because they spew hatred, intolerance, and self-righteous justification through vilifying those with whom they disagree. And yet I have never prayed for Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or Keith Olbermann to die.

I have turned off my television. I may hope that they move to a foreign country. But never once have I prayed for any of them to die. Even as a joke.

You know what happens when I read the Bible? I find these words in Luke:

But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

That’s the call I hear in the Bible, from Jesus Christ, to those who would be his disciples. Love those with whom you disagree. Bless those who hurt you, and hate you, and use you to evil ends. Give to those in need, regardless of whether or not they are deserving. Treat others as you would want to be treated.

Why? Because even sinners can love those that love them in return. But we, as believers, are called to live a higher law. We are called to love those who hate us. If we only love those who love us back, we are a sinner. If we only serve those who are capable of serving us back, we are a sinner. If we only give to those who can pay us back, we are a sinner.

It’s nice to think that the world is so clear cut that poor people are poor because they made bad choices or are lazy or are evil. That’s nice to think about, because that means that I am rich(er) because I am a good person, or made good choices, or worked hard. Rarely will anyone admit that they are rich(er) because they won a genetic lottery that rewarded them with a beneficial socio-economic portfolio that pays dividends that seem, to the recipient, to be rewards for their supposed labors rather than systemic privileges to which they have no moral desert. Self-congratulatory narratives may make it easier to sleep at night, but they are detrimental to our ability to treat other people with the respect and dignity to which we claim they have an inalienable right.

We need to stop hating in this country. We need to stop hating people because they disagree with us. Even if we are adamantly opposed to the policies they propose, the people they have sex with, the color of their skin, the taxes they pass, or the wars they get involved in, there is no room for hate in this country. We are too great for that. We have in this country a legacy that should shine forth like a city on a hill, but instead of burnishing the flame of freedom that we have inherited, purchased by generations of effort at so great a cost and immense an effort, we are tarnishing it through our actions with a thousand little jealousies, and a million petty acts. We have used that flame to light the torches of an angry mob, rather than candles of example that should illuminate the good within ourselves and in each other. We should be ashamed.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

First Day

And the promise of perfection is gone.

How old I do I have to be for students to realize that I really do know what I'm talking about?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Last Day

Today is the last day before the start of the new semester. I love this day. Stacks of syllabi are in neat rows on my desk, calmly waiting, with the promise of a perfect semester wafting off of them like the fumes from old mimeographed copies.

They hold the possibility of a perfect semester, of the perfectly designed assignment, of the perfect learning environment.

Tomorrow, or the day after that, the syllabi will be stuffed in backpacks, creased and forgotten. At the end of the semester students will bewail their lack of knowledge of deadlines and guidelines, having long forgotten these few pages and their hope for a new leaf being turned in the pursuit of academic excellence. Students will become more than a name on a sheet, a photo on a printout, a head to count. There will be irritations and frustrations; dropped classes, dropped books, dropped balls; reluctance, refusal, and remonstration.

But today, there is still the possibility of perfection.

Today, it's just me and my syllabi.

Tomorrow, the real world begins again.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My revising process

1. Day one: Rip apart everything I have written using feedback from advisor as guidelines. Develop a plan of attack. Outline points to be addressed in each section.
2. Stare at what I've written. Think it all sucks. Stare some more. Write three sentences. Think they suck too. Ponder what non-sucky writing would look like.
3. Dive in. Make breakthrough. Write concise, intelligent work.

I always forget that my revising process always involves a day of suckitude. When I'm in it, I feel kind of despondent, but that time of sitting and staring at my work really helps me focus on the weaknesses that need to be addressed, and gives my subconscious time to work on the problems I've identified.

So, note to self, plan for days of suckitude in the future, and know that it will be alright.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weird things that happened today

I got in to my office to find that someone (I am assuming a colleague) left ten five year old phone books, two comparative politics texts, and two old issues of National Geographic in a stack on my desk.

I had a student tell me in an email that my intellect isn't the only reason he loves me.

I fell in love with a house in a snooty new subdivision.

I bought dark blue eyeliner, and it looks really good on me. (This is only weird if you know that I've been basically wearing the same neutral eye makeup for the last decade.)

I broke a stapler and an ink pen within 60 seconds of each other.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Almost done

It's been a long week of grading and exams and presentations, but now, except for three papers that I'm still waiting to get turned in, I am done with this semester. I have a week before the next semester starts, and I'm going to write write write the whole time.

My goal:

Finish substantial revisions to chapter four.
Outline chapter five.
Finish data collection.

I can do all that in a week, right?

Monday, April 5, 2010

One of those moments

I had one of those moments today that make all the grading, and whining emails, and entitled students worth it.

I had students design and complete an experiment in their research class this semester. They ran a classical experimental design with a control group and two different experimental groups. They are analyzing the data now, and I'm so impressed with the work that they have done. They are presenting their research in class on Thursday, and I want to talk to them about presenting it at a conference. Their findings are really interesting and relevant, and I think it would be great for them to get some additional exposure. Watching undergraduates turn in to researchers has been exhilarating.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Top Ten Books

There is a book meme making its way around the internet, which I saw most recently at Dean Dad's place, and I thought it sounded like too much fun to pass up. So here, in roughly chronological order of when I read them, is my list of the top ten books that influenced me the most. I've left out holy writ.

  1. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss – “I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees.” This book introduced me to the idea of speaking for something else that did not have a voice, and the importance of nature and appropriate use of resources.
  2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle – “Equal is not same.” I didn’t realize how much this book had influenced by thinking until I went back and reread it as an adult, and realized my dissertation that I am writing is about the issues raised by Meg Murray.
  3. A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold – I still remember sitting in my dorm room on a California coast, reading about an oak tree getting cut down on the prairies, and knowing I would never look at the world the same way again. This book set me off on my own journey to find my place.
  4. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis – I think this is one of the greatest philosophical expositions of the potential power embodied in the Christian tradition ever written. His gift with analogy is rarely equaled.
  5. Policy Paradox by Deborah Stone – This book explains the way people use narrative in their own lives, and the way narrative is used as a policy tool. It completely changed the way I view the news and the political process.
  6. The Imperial Presidency by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. – probably the source of most of my disdain for modern politics. It is a biting critique (exhaustively documented) of the expansion of executive power, and diminution of Constitutional structures. I have multiple editions of this on my shelf.
  7. Orientalism by Edward Said – I hated this book when I started it, and thought it was completely wrong. By the end, I was convinced Edward Said was a genius, and now am highly conscious of the way we as a society construct the Other.
  8. The Art of the Commonplace by Wendell Berry – This book is kind of like a sequel to Sand County for me. Berry’s critique of modern society’s disconnect from each other and from the land is penetrating, thought provoking, and beautifully written.
  9. Democracy’s Discontent by Michael Sandel – the first sustained critique of the liberal project that I read in graduate school. This book made me change my area of emphasis to political theory.
  10. Basic Rights by Henry Shue – the book that sparked my dissertation. If Shue is right about the idea of basic rights, and I would argue that he is, how do we implement it?
What books have influenced you?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

And today you are three

Cooper is in the bathtub right now, after a day full of cupcakes and ice cream and presents and song. He is three. Three! Though he kept telling everyone he is five. Three years old. I wish I could take a snapshot of him right now to just keep him forever perfect and happy and young. But since that is impossible, I will try to capture him with words so that he might see the Cooper that I see now, when he is 15 and surly and thinks I am the meanest mom ever.

Dear Cooper,

If you wake up yourself in the morning, you come upstairs, trailing your blanket behind you. If I have to wake you up, you groan and cover your eyes with your hands, or pull your blanket over your head. I don't think that will change much in 12 years.

Your favorite foods are macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, peas, papaya, every kind of rice, and anything you can dip in something else. You eat feta, and wasabi, and duck, and spinach,(and I just stopped for a while to go clean up the the blood from you chasing Shiatsu - the cat - through the house, taking a corner in the kitchen too fast and landing on your face and splitting open your lip. You're welcome.) and have a particular fondness for eating your food by spearing pieces of whatever it is with toothpicks. You have an adventurous palate, and have eaten Thai and Japanese and El Salvadorean food with gusto. You hate mashed potatoes.

You help open the car door, and then pat my seat and say, "Have a seat."

You say "please" and "no, thank you" at the table.

Your favorite books are Gossie and Gertie, and just about anything written by Sandra Boynton. You "read" Doggies, and Moo Baa LaLaLa and But Not the Hippopotamus to me on a regular basis.

You love to sing and dance. You hate for me to dance with you. You can sing "I am a Child of God," and "Twinkle Twinkle" and "How Firm a Foundation." You love to repeat the Standard of Truth with your dad. You take a flashlight to bed with you, and point it at the ceiling while we read Goodnight, Moon.

You hate the vacuum, but you built one out of blocks and play with it.

It bothers you when I don't have my glasses on, and you go find them and give them to me.

You are fascinated by trains and cars and basically anything with wheels. You love building things. Any sort of blocks fascinate you. You build structures and call them your castles. You told everyone you were five today. You are king of the slide at pre-school. You mime putting on a seatbelt when you get on your tricycle.

You love church. Monday morning you start counting down the days until you get to go to church again.

You throw yourself at me when I'm sitting on the couch, and lay on my chest, and whisper, "Nice and comfy." I am required to give you kisses before I leave for work in the morning. If I kiss daddy after I kiss you, you insist on "last kisses." You yell, "Momma is awesome!" and throw both of your hands over your head in a cheer.

I am recording this so you know that no matter how you feel at fifteen, you loved me once. But I love you now, and still, and always. You are my joy, child of mine, and later tonight, I will go into your room after you have fallen asleep, and tuck your blankets back in, and turn off the music, and kiss your forehead and whisper, "I love you." I will whisper a little prayer over you, the same way I have for every night for three years, that you will know happiness, like the happiness I feel from being your mother; that you will know peace, like the peace I feel when I hold you in my arms at the end of the day; that you will know love, like the love that I have for you.

I love you, Cooper.

Now and always.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Three preps

I teach a 4-4-4 load with three preps a semester. Next semester I have assigned new texts in two of my preps. I am adding substantial new readings to the other prep. Two of the classes will have completely new assignments. The third class, in which two of the three texts are new, also has new minor assignments.

My life would be so much easier if I didn't have a commitment to pedagogical excellence.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Next steps in greening my life

We've been recycling pretty well for the last few months. Now, my next step is to reduce the amount of stuff I bring in to this house that needs to be recycled. This is going to be difficult for one major reason.

Most of the stuff we end up recycling is food packaging. I buy prepared foods to make dinner faster in the evening. I know it will be cheaper, and healthier if I cooked more, and I love cooking in general, but there are nights where it is just nice to know that all I have to do is open a bag of tortellini and throw it in the water, and heat up a frozen vegetable to go with, you know?

So, my next goal: cook meals, from scratch, at least three times a week.

And maybe start a compost pile for the food scraps.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Adventuring

Things that made me happy today:

Cooper helping sort out the recycling to go drop off at the bins today.
Cooper insisting that we go the library after we dropped off the recycling.
Cooper getting his own library card so he can check out his own books.
A pair of robins, the first of the year, courting in a tree in our front yard. I wonder if I would be lucky enough to have them nest there.
Homemade mac and cheese with bacon in it. Yummmmy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Happiness, day 2

I have a cocoa mug that I bought in college. It's handthrown pottery, and it fits perfectly in my hand, and it warms up from the hot chocolate. After a day like today, when spring still feels so far away, it's nice to sit with a warm mug of hot chocolate, and let all my stress melt away.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Woman's search for happiness, day 1

If you don't live under a rock, you've probably heard of The Happiness Project by now. While I'm less than enamored with some of the ideology behind it, I'm going to see if I can make this my own year of happiness. Day 1: throw out that lipgloss I hate but feel compelled to use to not be wasteful.

I feel happier already.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Research based teaching practices

I teach at a university that has a heavy teaching load. This semester I'm teaching four courses with three preps. One of the things that I am constantly trying to do is improve my teaching. I am always willing to innovate in my classroom. Some things have worked, some things haven't. I try and be up front with my students about why I am doing what I am doing, and let them know that I am trying to implement the results of research that I have read in the scholarship of teaching and learning. I think it is good for students to see professors grapple with research and new ways of learning. It encourages them to see the importance of having research and things that you learn actually affect the way you think and behave, and not just be filed away in that part of your brain that only gets checked during games and when watching Jeopardy.

I'm contemplating using a reading journal in one of my theory courses next semester. When I tried it last time, it flopped greatly. I couldn't see how to make it not appear to be busywork. So, I'm turning to the blogosphere. What journaling practices have you seen work in your academic career, either as faculty or student? And what journaling practices haven't worked?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Doubt not, fear not

We got to church this morning, a few minutes late, and Cooper walked right up to the front of the chapel and sat down in the second row. GeekBoy and I sat next to him, and as I opened up the hymnal, I looked up to determine what page number I needed to be on and realized that my university president was sitting on the dais. Nothing makes you realize how unkempt your kid's hair looks like than having your boss's boss's boss's boss sitting in front of you.

One of the interesting things about working at a church university is that the university president is also an ecclesiastical leader. He presides over a huge area - somewhat like what I imagine a Catholic cardinal to be, though I have no idea how accurate that is. Having these two aspects of my life - work and faith - interact in this way is challenging at times. The political science part of my brain and the faithful part of my brain have very interesting conversations about belief and bureaucracy and obedience and oppression. The Mormon part of me and the Marxist part of me don't get along really well. I constantly am discursively creating and recreating my role as an academic of faith.

That said, I love my university president. He really preaches with the Spirit, and I find that he focuses deeply on the responsibilities we have to bring ourselves in line with the teachings of Christ, and doesn't shy away from the difficulty and necessity of exact obedience. Along with the constant call for self improvement, he also focuses on our call to reach out to others in charity, and our responsibility to care for the poor, needy and oppressed.

Every time he talks, I learn something new. Today's talk was on the story of Christ calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee. This is a story that I have read more times than I can easily count, and yet today I learned a new perspective on the story. As the disciples come to Christ in fear and wake them, Christ calms the storm, and then asks them why they were afraid. In the KJV, the words are "Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" The point that was emphasized today was that Christ is actually in the boat with the disciples as they were going through this storm. Even though they were skilled sailors who had probably spent their life on this body of water, this storm was so extraordinary that they were afraid, because they forgot who was in the boat with them. It demonstrated a lack of understanding of who Christ is, which you see in the next line, "What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" They are afraid because they don't know who Christ is. As we know Christ, we fear less. It doesn't protect us from the storms, but He is with us in our trials, and we do not need to be afraid.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What are we going to do tonight, Brain?

Same thing we do every night, Pinky! Try to take over the WORLD!

That's what I'm feeling like right now, like I'm planning to take over the world. I have a multi-step plan. One that involves much potential awesomeness for all. First step in my plan of awesomeness: Choose where to go for our ten year anniversary this fall.

1. Small-ship expedition style cruise in Alaska.
2. Four days at the Utah Shakespeare Festival - plays by night, national park exploring by day.
3. Four days in Chicago. Cubs games, Rick Bayless's cooking, art museums, fancy hotel.

Anyone have opinions? Or additional suggestions?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Where I spent my morning

Cooper had his tonsils out this morning. We had to be at the hospital at 5:30 this morning. He's a great little patient.

Recovering from anesthesia.

Feeling better and listening to his favorite show on the speaker built into the television remote.

We've spent the afternoon at home. Other than being a bit more cranky than normal and with a bit less energy, it's been a fairly normal afternoon. Cooper passed over the jello, pudding and yogurt in the fridge in favor of grilled chicken and chocolate cake for lunch. He had macaroni and cheese for dinner. He's drinking a glass of water right now by way of medicine dropper because he finds it fascinating.

He's playing, he's laughing, he's dancing. We're so blessed for him to recover this quickly. There are times of crying and crankiness, but the pain so far has been manageable. The nurse who brought him back from post-op said he was the best kid he's ever taken care of. He didn't cry at all the entire time he was coming out from under anesthesia. When we left, the nurse who took care of him in the recovery room thanked us for sharing him with them today. He's an amazing kid.

It's times like this that I am even more grateful for the priesthood than normal. Our home teacher came over last night and helped GeekBoy give Cooper a blessing. Cooper was promised a complete and speedy recovery, an ability to understand the purpose of the pain and therefore tolerate it easier, and many physical blessings as a result of the operation. Everything that was promised in the blessing has been realized to the fullest.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Why people need to stop abusing antibiotics

I have caught a penicillin-resistant strain of strep bacteria. My throat feels like it's been attacked with razor blades. The swelling is so bad that it is affecting my eardrums. It's like someone is stabbing me in the ear with an icepick. I'm taking 1600mg of ibuprofen every three hours to keep the pain manageable. I'm hoping now that they have started me on a second course of antibiotics that I'll start feeling better soon. As it is, I can't even have chocolate to console me, because it's like rubbing sandpaper on my throat for some reason.

As it is, I have nothing left in my Hulu queue to watch, and I've worked through the backlogs of several different websites (cakewrecks, passive agressive notes, you suck at craigslist, etc.) I'm too tired to hyperlink. Anyone have other fun websites that don't require thought?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I didn't teach him that

We have been working with Cooper on not hitting. Sometimes he hits, and sometimes he just gets overly enthusiastic in expressing himself. When he is hitting, we say, "Only happy hands!" When he gets carried away I remind him that he needs to do gentle touches. We were playing today, and he started poking me in the face. I reminded him, "Only gentle touches." So he started holding his finger half an inch from my face and laughing. He doesn't actually say, "I'm not touching you," but I can hear him thinking it.

Where do they learn these things?

Friday, January 15, 2010

No, it is not that easy.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

No sleep for the mommies

Cooper has decided that sleep is for suckers. About every other night for the last week he's been coming into our room around three o'clock in the morning, wide awake and wanting to play. Trying to get him back to sleep two nights ago resulted in me finally giving up at five am and just bringing him to bed with me. I spent the next hour and a half with GeekBoy pressed up against my back, and Cooper patting me on the face every few minutes and asking if we could go upstairs and play. I hate being touched while I'm sleeping, so between the two men in my life pushed up against me, a little hand patting me face, and my cat taking advantage of the bedroom door being left open to come stake out a place on my feet, that was a long night.

Early this morning, Cooper walked into our room. "Hi, Daddy!" I have to admit I was glad he wanted his dad. About 40 minutes later, GeekBoy returned from finally getting Cooper to go back to sleep. His fervent prayer that it would take was unanswered when Cooper walked back into our room a few minutes later. "Hi, Mommy! Time to go upstairs?" I opened bleary eyes. "No, Cooper, it's time to sleep." He wordlessly turned around and walked out of the room. I thought I was going to have to go get him off the staircase when I heard him walk down the hall, go into his room, and shut the door behind him. He slept the rest of the night.

Can it really be that easy?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Low hanging fruit

One of the things I am trying to do this year is become more environmentally friendly. I used to be much more granola crunchy than I am now, and miss that part of me. I'm trying to start easily and make simple changes first. Here's what I've done so far:

  • Got a reusable lunch bag and sandwich wrap for my office lunches. I have a stack of cloth napkins that I use as well that just get tossed in the laundry.
  • Set up a recycling station in the back entry to collect recyclables.
  • Purchased cloth shopping bags.
  • Started using stainless steel water bottles rather than plastic.
  • Buying organic and local produce at the grocery store.
What are some other easy suggestions to re-green my life? I figure I'll pick off the low hanging fruit first, and then work my way up from there.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

It's a new year

All the cool kids are doing decade retrospectives, so I guess I will too, though the nitpicky part of me wants to say that this is actually the end of this decade, rather than the start of the new one, but oh well, I'll give in to peer pressure.

2000: Met the man who would become my husband, turned down law school and got married just under six months later. Pick up and move to a new state.
2001: Newlywed bliss. Perfected my salsa recipe. Dated my husband without having to use an airplane.
2002: Buy house. Get driver's license. Miscarry twins.
2003: Miscarry twins. Hate my job. Apply late acceptance to grad school. Quit my job, take out loans, go to graduate school. Promise myself I am going to work my butt off and get funded next year.
2004: Get fellowship for next four years of graduate school. Get pregnant, find out the baby has a fatal genetic disorder, decide to carry the baby as long as possible.
2005: Give birth. Say goodbye to my son. Speak at his funeral.
2006: Graduate with master's degree.
2007: Sit for my doctoral comps. Go in to labor 24 hours later (a month early.) Give birth to Cooper. Rejoice.
2008: Deal with health problems from Cooper's prematurity. Start the physical therapy routine. Watch him blossom.
2009: Get job teaching college full time. Love my life.

This has been an amazing decade. A year ago right now I was waiting for law school acceptance letters, had never heard of GeekBoy, and lived in a different state. Now I'm married to the most wonderful man in the world (who is currently alternating between playing trains with Cooper, and giving him horsey rides around the living room) and writing a dissertation in political science. I never would have predicted this life, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I can hardly wait to see what the next ten years bring.
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