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Remodeling is a Pretty Good Workout!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

This past week, my DH and I took off work for our annual vacation, although this year we decided to stick around and do some much needed remodel. We have been remodeling our home since we got married, and can only work on it gradually as we rebuild funding and time to do it. We hadn't done anything in a year, but that's because we have been having fun else-wise....

So, here we are starting the biggest remodel of the house. Our original thought was, "Yeah! Bathroom remodel time! We have a whole week to focus on that! Woo hoo!" I think a month wouldn't have been sufficient....Let me explain in pictures.

When we started, this was our bathroom...

Not too bad, right? Yeah, it's pretty plain and the tiles needed to be redone, and the floor replaced. The walls were already partially done and the door was previously refinished. No biggie!

We first removed the vanity and sink. Pretty easy!

Then, we removed the laminate flooring. In order that we even things out, Justin felt that it would be best to go ahead and take it down to the sub-flooring, because the stuff in between was pretty old and worn out. When we got to that, some of the sub-flooring came apart too.

This should have been the first sign that things were wrong in our bathroom, but Justin remained positive that this was such an easy fix!

Then, we started taking tiles down from the shower walls! That was fun, but again, the ease of those tiles coming down started to worry us a little.

After those came down, we pulled down the backer boards to find this....

A rotten mess all the way to the framing of the house! Whoever had replaced the tiling before did a shoddy job, and failed to adhere backer boards, or put up a vapor barrier. Thus, rotting wood. This meant that we had to remove a 53 year old cast iron tub, which we intended to keep and refinish...but after a back-breaking move of the thing, we found the floor beneath it completely rotted out, (a piece of it even fell away once the weight of the tub was lifted) and the tub was rusting out like crazy on the bottom.

That was what we found under the tub. Last night we removed all of that rotted flooring, and I haven't taken pics of that yet. So, after an entire week off from work, this is what we are left with. Thankfully we have a gym membership and there are several locations, so we can shower there.

I can't believe how hard the work has been on this bathroom. I mean, honestly we knew it was going to be a task, but really, we weren't expecting it to be this bad. It has been long days of working and feeling like we are getting nowhere. However, I think we now have it to a place where we can start the rebuilding process. It's going to take a while now that we have to go back to work. We will have maybe two hours max to work each night due to Clark's bedtime. Outside of that, it's good-bye weekends for a while. I really am thankful that we chose this time to start it though, because I honestly don't know how much longer that floor under the 300+ lb cast iron tub was going to hold up. What a giant mess that would have been in a cold winter, not to mention the dangers of it. Ugh.... makes me shudder at the thought. emoticon

Anyway, so that is what things have been like for me lately. I will still be sparking as much as I am able. I miss everyone tons! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VEG954 7/12/2014 11:35AM

  Did you ever see a movie called The Money Pit?
Your blog really reminded me of that movie.
I can relate... When I bought my condo I had a mini disaster.
It was easy to remedy and felt I was done.
Then came a hurricane and had many leaks, a blown out window, broken beyond repair central cooling and heating unit. and soaked carpet.
Along with all that the upstairs condo had both toilets leaking thru my ceilings, then their hot water heater caused another leak.
About half of my ceilings had to be replaced after the mold was removed.
Carpet was replaced and closets were rebuilt.
A few years go by and am grateful all is well.
Then a car drove into my kitchen and entry.
Had to move out for 9 months.
Reconstruction took forever.
Now fast forward... Insurance paid for all of the crash repairs!
I am back home and am, once again, a happy camper.

Wish you and yours the best!

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Coming up with a Plan

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

For the past several weeks, I have been so busy with so much. Work this time of year is always very crazy for me as it is the end of our fiscal year. That means lots of extra hours (sometimes even at night) and not a lot of time to dedicate to me. Add on that I had company for about two solid weeks, and it has been a pretty crazy month.

I'm very ready to get back to my daily routine again. During this time, I haven't been eating the healthiest, nor have I had the time to exercise the way I would want. I did do well during June about not eating out constantly though. I'm just afraid to step on the scale. I believe I have come up with a plan that will work for me though.

I think one of the reasons I hit a wall with everything is because I tried to take on too much at one time. I felt invincible, and then I hit rock bottom when it all caught up to me. I had this huge realization all at once that there are foods that I just don't need in my life anymore. So, when it caught up to me, I felt helpless, and I turned to all of the foods I knew I didn't need for comfort. Since then, I have gotten back into counseling and that has helped me tremendously. One of the things I have done through that process was sit down and compile a list of memories attached to food to discover the source of my food addiction. Thankfully, it wasn't so much an issue of food attachment, but emotional attachment that just happened to be surrounding food times, so to speak. Once again, my dysfunctional familial relationships are haunting me from afar through another avenue. Ugh. Nonetheless, my counselor said that my seven pages, single-spaced memory recollection that dated back all the way to age 4-ish was remarkable, particularly since it is related to food. She also stated that I was able to do the one thing counselors BEG people with eating disorders to do, which is relate to food situations and recall all environmental factors. I guess I'm closer to healing than I really realized.

All that being said, I have not shared too much publicly about what my future plans are for my journey to total health. I have kicked it around, and for now, I feel like it is mostly a private matter, (although I am willing to answer any questions if my sparkfriends want to know.) emoticon I don't want to share for a few reasons; one, my insecurity level right now is through the roof. Here I was at the beginning of the year, doing remarkably well with weight loss and fitness, then BOOM...total fall out. I became depressed, withdrawn, and found myself lacking interest in my health. I haven't mentioned here, but I was so down-trodden for a while, I even kicked around smoking again! emoticon Now, that's LOOOOOW. I think I am through that for the most part now though. Another reason I hesitate to fully share my plan also is because it is extreme. I will write a disclaimer and say that I have been given the go-ahead by my doctors, and have also been told that my plan will be fully overseen by them. But, it is extreme, and I know that for it to work for me, I will have to fully trust in God. I know this from my experience of quitting smoking--can't do it without Him.

Once I feel comfortable, I will definitely share my plans here openly. For now, I would really just like to get back on track with everyone here, pick up reading blogs every day, and just checking in with my friends. I hope this blog finds all of you well!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIGERNREZNOR 7/7/2014 8:03PM

    Are you going to try raw? A friend of mine at work is eating raw now and is doing great. She's had some recent cancer scares, so I think that's part of it, for her. I was personally thinking of trying it for a week to at least detox and see what it does for my energy levels. I may wait until I'm done nursing, however. Anyhow, that's one of the most "extreme" food movements I can think of, so yeah. Are you still nursing?

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DNJEN471 7/7/2014 11:20AM

    Your awesome! And will achieve your goals, I'm sure of it!!

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DNJEN471 7/7/2014 11:20AM

    Your awesome! And will achieve your goals, I'm sure of it!!

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DSHONEYC 7/2/2014 11:08AM

    You got the right first step...

4 So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Prov 3:5

When discouraged, frustrated, hurt or angry I give it to Him. The burden is lifted and I can move forward, trusting that the Lord will show me the way.

Whatever you need ... emoticon

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JSPIN74 7/2/2014 8:58AM

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POOKASLUAGH 7/2/2014 7:08AM

    I'm sorry things have been so low for you, but I'm glad to hear they're starting to look up. I wouldn't mind hearing more about the plan you've worked out with your doctors, privately. :)

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JD394471 7/2/2014 12:55AM

I know you can do it.
We all have set backs but you are a strong woman, and I have a lot of confidence iny you. (just please do not go back to smoking)
anything I can do, just let me know.

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_LINDA 7/2/2014 12:33AM

    Wow! I am so glad you are supervision by medical personnel and have their approval for this extreme plan of yours!! Every time I read about Spark friends going on strange diets I worry for their health. But you are at least being smart about it! You are determined to get on track and it sounds like you have a great team to help you along the way!
Keep us updated if you can!
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THEEXERCISER 7/1/2014 11:47PM


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Putting the Scale Away

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Good morning! It's a lovely Tuesday morning after a nice long weekend of MUCH NEEDED rain. It rained off and on all weekend long and it was amazing! emoticon We have been in a serious drought for a long time now, and with the threat of wildfires and blazing temperatures in the summers, it's always welcome to rain as much as it wants!

The past week has been amazing for me in every way--physically, mentally, spiritually...just great! I can't believe how much better I have felt just by eating the foods I know will heal me. My joints are starting to not ache as much, my stomach is feeling much better again-no antacids in three days, my allergies are going away again. What a giant relief and when I feel better physically, everything else pretty much falls into place.

One thing I have decided to do for a while is to put the scale away. It is literally under my house. Justin hid it there because he knows the temptation to get on the scale will surpass at the thought of me having to climb in a tiny confined place just to get to it. Could I go weigh myself at the gym? Certainly! But, I usually stay away from other scales because they all vary so much. I know for me personally, weighing on a constant basis is detrimental for my emotional health. So, I'm eating healthy, I'm getting exercise, I'm taking all of my supplements, and I'm in a better place. No emoticon needed to make me feel any better.

I also cleaned out my wardrobe this long weekend. I got rid of all the clothes that are much too big for me; as tempting as it is to want to hide underneath loads of fabric, it doesn't help my emotional stability. Additionally, I cleaned out clothes that are much too skinny for me. While I always believed that it was a positive thing to hang on to "goal" clothes, I'm not too sure I feel this way anymore. I really think that wearing clothes on my body the way it is in the present is the healthiest thing for me to do.

Anyway, I hope everyone has an amazing week ahead of them! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RIDMYCOCOON 5/27/2014 12:45PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DNJEN471 5/27/2014 12:38PM

    I need to go through my closet as well. It's not doing me any good to wear big baggy clothes. emoticon

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_LINDA 5/27/2014 11:04AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
You have taken a great burden off your mind and releasing all those cages of clothing too big too small and the scale. Accepting yourself for who you are now is the best thing you could have done. Getting back to the healthy eating that is making you feel good is more motivation to continue! Was very happy to see this great news this morning, brightened my day!
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    It is good not to be a slave to the scale when there are so many other benchmarks against which to measure oneself

Make Today the Greatest Day of Your Life

emoticon Until Tomorrow!

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SAASHA17 5/27/2014 10:39AM

    good thought process...u can do this!! woohoo...

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Starting Over Again

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

So, yesterday I worked on this blog for a while, and then I put it aside for a while. I thought on it, and contemplated it overnight, and this morning, I had a renewed sense of what I wanted to REALLY say. I think what I really need to say is much simpler than what I wrote down yesterday, and honestly, while I think yesterday was good writing, it was probably more for me than for the rest of the world to see.

I have had a rough few weeks, as many of you know from looking at my last few blogs. To top things off, last week, my uncle lost his home in a terrible wildfire that wiped out more than 100 homes. This affected me more than I expected it would. For those of you who haven't known me a long time, my aunt died suddenly and tragically two years ago, which is what really set me in motion on improving my health and wellness. Knowing that everything that ever represented my aunt, ever was her, that she is but a mist of a memory on this earth, deeply affected me. Over the weekend, I lost it. I stayed in bed all weekend crying my eyes out. There were other things that happened over the weekend, that I won't even bother to mention, but one thing I learned from this experience is that I need to get up and fight. No one is going to do this for me. I thought over and over about the things I have learned about endurance, personal strength, willpower, and perseverance. Here was what I came to:

1) I am not perfect, nor will I ever be perfect. I can only make changes for the better. Each day is another opportunity to make an improvement.
2) Depression does not make me a bad person. It just means that something isn't right in my body and I need to push on to find out what to do to fix it.
3) It's ok to take it easy when the going gets tough. I am not super-human and I can't compare my situation to others. What I choose to do affects myself and my family, no one else.
4) Instead of being angry with God about the things I feel He hasn't helped me with, I need to thank Him for the things he has helped me with. When I look back over the past two years and the massive changes in my life because of Him, I bow my head in humility and give thanks, for it is He who gives me blessings each day whether or not I choose to acknowledge those.

So, I thought about these things, and I thought about what I have overcome. I like to compare the journey back to health with climbing a mountain. Justin told me about this strange phenomenon before I actually ever set foot at the bottom of a mountain, but I never truly realized it until I did it two years ago. If you have ever hiked a mountain, you will know exactly what I am talking about. You get to a point when hiking that seems like you are ALMOST to the top. You feel triumph and greatness and you kind of sprint towards it!
Let me give you a better picture of what I'm talking about:

You see at the very "top" of this trail, it looks like the finish line, right? Then you actually get there only to find another really long path upwards.

When I was hiking this mountain, I went through this at every peak. I would get to going really well, and then boom....another long journey up. After a while, my mind got trained to think this will never end, so my body gave in to the mind and slowed waaay down. Finally,I found myself sitting on a rock nearly pouting. "I will never make it to the top of that mountain because obviously the top doesn't exist! And I'm in no mood to move from here and go back down because I'm too tired. I will just sit right here!" But eventually, I had to move. I had to get up and keep going in one direction or the other. I knew that if I went back down, while I had given some effort, I hadn't given my full effort to finish what I started. Continuing to climb is what I had to do. And, I'm glad I did! Because the next thing I saw was one of the most breathtaking things I have ever seen.

A gift from God. It was the most captivating thing I have witnessed. The picture doesn't represent the moment even by 50% of how great it was in real life. Just as I got to the next peak, there was a clearing of trees, and these clouds parted just in time to look out and see another part of the mountain in the distance. I have seen some amazing things in my life, but this one moment was just what I needed. And I kept going, because I knew that if it were that beautiful in the middle, imagine what the end would look like.....and I was correct in my rationalization....

Perfect, peaceful, calm, and beautiful.

This was two years ago, but I still reap realizations from the experience. It also reminded me that I completed a 5k Color Run when I was 4 months pregnant last year (walking of course)

And later last summer, I hiked UP out of Carlsbad Caverns 850 feet after walking through the entire caverns for two hours prior. I was 7 months pregnant then. I also hiked a little locally where we were staying for that trip.

I am no stranger to endurance and willpower. These accomplishments and many others are just a few of my better achievements over the last couple of years. And I'm not here to pat myself on the back, because I know that God gave me the power to persevere. Climbing this next part of the mountain of my journey is just another step in the process. I know that when I get to the next part, it's only the top of another peak in the mountain. I'm going to have to keep going. But sitting on the rock and giving up is not an option. emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOTGVGUP83 5/22/2014 3:52PM

    beautiful blog that projects health at any stage of life! You can do this...we all can!

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SAASHA17 5/22/2014 7:49AM

    emoticon u can do this Ca....u know this....and yes climbing to the peak is what life is!!! take care...love to Clark!!!

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LILYGAL 5/22/2014 6:58AM

    Every day is a climb up some mountain! emoticon emoticon God never said it was easy. I think some of our "trials" are to show how strong we can be. YOU ARE ONE STRONG LADY!! Never forget that!!! Good luck.

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_LINDA 5/22/2014 12:21AM

    I am right there with you climbing away.. You have come to some great realizations! Acting on them will be the challenge! Keeping on every time you hit the wall!
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JUSTINSUN 5/21/2014 11:47PM

    I have to say the story of this journey we made up this mountain was only one of the many things that God helped her to accomplish at this point in her life. It was in February of 2012 that we quit smoking by the grace of God. It is because of this that she was able to breath deeply enough to hike this mountain. Even though he gets the praise you are still a trooper no matter what my love. You have strength and endurance for the long haul. I am glad to see that things are changing and you are able to view things in a more positive light. When we are 80, 90, or a 100, we will reach the top and be able to look at all the great beauty that will be our lives.

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LIVEDAILY 5/21/2014 8:04PM

    VERY well said! Lots of introspection, and I really liked how you came to realize some important truths that we generally tend to lose sight of. I'd print out #1-4 and put it in a couple of places just to remind yourself. Good job Caiti!

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POOKASLUAGH 5/21/2014 6:20PM

    We're both climbing these days. Keep going, Caiti. We can do this.

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DNJEN471 5/21/2014 4:29PM

    Awesome blog!! Thank you!! It's good to know I'm not the only one having struggles! But you're right- sitting around gets you nowhere!

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Still been rough...

Monday, May 12, 2014

I would love to say that since my last blog, things have totally improved, but they haven't. Life has just been crazy lately.

For one, it is nearly impossible to go exercise outside. It's not even pleasant to get out and go to the gym because the weather has been so crappy. The wind blew up to gusts of 44 mph--which is tame compared to many of the other days we have had. emoticon The only real break we get SOMETIMES is in the evening, and since we are still in the most horrible draught, I'm doing everything I can to make sure my yard gets enough water so my trees don't try to take a drink from my pipes. That could get pricey. And since watering is time consuming, (at least one hour of my time each night), that leaves me with just enough time to do the thousands of chores I don't get to do each day because of working full time. It's highly stressful and depressing.

We even voluntarily went to floater status on the BLC because there just wasn't enough time. We really did try, but we were running ourselves into the ground trying to keep up with everything every single day. We are both so run down and tired, it's unreal.

To make matters worse, we have been eating all the wrong things. Admittedly, this is mainly due to my severe depression I have been dealing with for weeks now. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do for depression except magnesium and counseling while breastfeeding. I would say that the source of my depression is actually due to never having enough time to do everything. Even now, I can feel the anxiety rising within me thinking of everything that isn't done yet. emoticon How can I improve my physical health if my mental well-being is so far off track? I just feel stuck right now. I am back on eating right today, and I'm just going to take this one day at a time. Justin is going to put away the scale until I can get better. I'm on a six week plan of counseling, at least for now.

Some days I just don't feel like I'm ever going to get where I want to be. If I focus on one area, many others suffer. I can't give my all to everything, and I desperately want to. I NEED to be better. I'm sorry for falling off the radar here at spark. I have been trying to at least read some blogs and comment here and there. Please forgive my absence and know that when I get my head back on straight, I will be back on and raring to go.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAS92687 5/20/2014 10:54AM

    Caiti, Hoping you and Justin are doing well .. and finding some time to enjoy each day with each other and with Clark. Time is relative ... we all get 24 hours a day and, believe it or not, it IS just enough.

Maybe there are some things you are doing that need not be done, to make room for the things that are most important. I am sending prayers and all good thoughts for the healing of your depression. My DD struggles with it, too.

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JSPIN74 5/16/2014 12:00PM

    Don't be sorry for fall offs anywhere...just be kind to yourself & do what you can...which isn't everything. You just can't plug up all your holes/cracks at once...

Life is extremely fast changing at one moment then there are periods of such slow change ya know what I mean?? (does that make any sense to you too?). It makes it even harder to adjust to ANY change at all...add to that that we are animals driven by chemistry as much as anything else...

Sending you best vibes I can find for good rest & patience with yourself(selves).
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DNJEN471 5/14/2014 1:27PM

    I had a stint off the wagon too! Jump back on with me! We can do this!

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LIVEDAILY 5/12/2014 9:48PM

    Caiti - Depression is insidious. I'm glad you are getting counseling. There are quite a few very good articles here on SP that discuss depression. I like what Linda says about prioritizing. Do what you can-and omg, your body just made another human being!! Take care of YOU!! We'll be here, and we'll keep a place for you!

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ELSAT137 5/12/2014 5:38PM

    Praying for you Caiti! I have a feeling the enemy wants you in this place so you will be ineffectual. I am praying God's strength on you, balance in your life, His peace that passes understanding!!! God is your source - even when he feels far away and everything feels like it is falling apart. Do what you can to seek Him - He is more important than anything!!!

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SUZECOOKS 5/12/2014 4:14PM

    I hope your counseling is helpful. I love the comment above. One day at a time. We will be here when you are ready. Taking control of your health often leads to other parts of your life falling in to place. It helps anyway. Hugs to you.

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_LINDA 5/12/2014 1:04PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
So very sorry to hear you are struggling with depression :(( You need to get some help to deal with this overwhelming workload. Any chance friends or a neighbor could do this watering? Usually when there is a severe drought, the city asks everyone to cut back on their water use.
You also have to ask yourself is doing this one thing (fill in the blank) useful to you well being and survival? Be as efficient with your time as possible -buy frozen veggies, pre cut fruit. Cook big batches of healthy meals on weekends for the week. Don't be a Polly Perfectionist. The bed doesn't really have to be made in military precision or at all -I read dust mites don't like exposure to air, so leaving the covers off is better.. It won't hurt if the house is not cleaned every day. Just spot any messes. Look for time stealers. For some, its checking their smart phone every few minutes. You get the idea.
Take care of yourself, your time is precious, make sure you are giving yourself every possible minute..
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RIDMYCOCOON 5/12/2014 12:47PM

    Breath deeply and be patient and keep loving you! emoticon

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DEBSZOO74 5/12/2014 12:05PM

    Caiti, I've been missing you and Justin on the Falcon thread. I'm so sorry that you're struggling, but glad you're making decisions and taking steps to take care of yourself. emoticon

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SAASHA17 5/12/2014 11:54AM

    take care KAtie...

U will be fine..just relax!! dont over think it....

baby steps...

take care

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ODDMENTTWEAK 5/12/2014 11:49AM

  You're in a tough spot with all the stressors in your life. Don't worry about cutting yourself some slack. Your six week counseling plan and the support of your husband are both great factors - wishing you the best of luck.

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ANDREWMOM 5/12/2014 11:45AM

    One Day at a Time... emoticon

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