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Got the biggest compliment today....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


So my mom called me a couple of hours ago, and we are chatting, filling each other in on all that is going on, good and bad.

When she went to say good-bye, she told me she "just wanted to call and see how things were going." And that she needed encouragement. She said that she gets down a lot (she deals a lot with depression and anxiety) and she said:

"I always feel uplifted when I call you. So that's why I called, because I needed encouragement...." and she chuckled.

That was sooooo sweet and totally made my day!! My mom called me because she finds talking to me uplifting and encouraging!

So, if any of you need a pep-talk, just give me a call! HAHA!

I guess I should add, there have been many times, when I have gone through extremely difficult, heart-breaking times, and have leaned so much on my mom. Calling her at crazy hours, bawling my eyes out on the phone, and she was ALWAYS there for me, listening patiently, loving me, giving me a "hug" through the phone, praying with me over the phone.... It feels good to give back and be there for her.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMILESRME 1/14/2011 4:07PM

    What a blessing that you were able to be a blessing for your mom. It's not often that we can do that as adults to our parents.

My mom is in assisted living and dealing with Alzheimers. I am her encourager and lifter-upper too!

Thanks for doing that for your mom! Keep being a 'balcony' person, instead of a 'basement' person for those people in your life!

Julia : )

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RAYNAC3 1/12/2011 9:14PM

    Everybody needs a kind word or a pick me up and she chose YOU!! That's so cool!

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APIRLRAIN888 1/12/2011 4:56PM

    that's so nice! usually we need our moms! guess our mom needs us too ;p

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RB5656 1/12/2011 3:57PM

    that Rocks!

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CAROLYN1213 1/12/2011 3:53PM

    That is awesome!

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BUTTERFLYBLUE67 1/12/2011 3:01PM

    it's amazing how we mirror our parents at times. Happy you were there for her when she needed you.

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REMEMBER2BME 1/12/2011 1:21PM

    That is absolutely wonderful. And yes.... I was trying to figure out who I might be able to call on Saturday during my 1st marathon if I get discouraged. My man needs to stay home with our dogs so I will be going it alone. Send good wished and i should be fine. It may be a bit difficult to call long distance.

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REFOCUS92711 1/12/2011 1:07PM

    That's awesome!!!

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NIKKIG125 1/12/2011 12:47PM

    That's mom is my favorite person to talk to!!

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AOGOAE 1/12/2011 12:42PM

    it sounds like it's something you learned from her :)

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TAMTAM64 1/12/2011 11:16AM

    Isn't it nice when we can give back to our parents...

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CARLA-216 1/12/2011 11:13AM

    To me, that would be one of the very best compliments ever! It's nice that you can give back to your mom for all she's done for you! :)

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SEEHOLZ 1/12/2011 10:58AM


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KIMPOSSIBLE82 1/12/2011 10:56AM

    That's a special bond between you and your mother. It's so wonderful you're there for each other. emoticon

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SDTALLY 1/12/2011 10:50AM

    Too cool!


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DEVILISH4TAZ 1/12/2011 10:50AM

    That's wonderful to hear

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I think I got a job!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Several weeks ago, I posted a blog about my struggle with being a SAHM. I have a hard time with the lack of social contact with adults. Plus, we are so broke financially right now, and I WANT to help, but me working a "real" 5-day-a-week job is just not worth it with the cost of childcare. So, it seems like an endless cycle....

BUT, I am taking classes from a German trade-school, preparing myself to possibly have my own cafe or party service/catering business??? Not sure which. I just know I LOVE this sort of stuff, and especially cooking!! But I also lack a great deal of experience in the professional kitchen.

There is a cafe in my little tiny village that I live in here in Germany, and they are only open on the weekends. I wanted to possible get a job, just work a few hours a week, gain experience in the field, since that is what I am interested in, and have fun. Plus, it will give me an opportunity to get to know some other adults, especially people from my immediate area, which I think is GREAT!! My neighbors know the 2 owners (2 ladies from our village) personally, and spoke to the owners about me, putting in a good word for me! Of course, everyone in this village knows EVERYONE!! And my neighbors also gave me the names and phone numbers of the owners, so I could contact them.

So, this morning, I am out running. I had done my 4-mile tempo run, came back, changed into my Vibrams, and went out for another quick run. I am running along, when I noticed someone coming up behind me on a bike in the dark (very common occurance, really.) So, I moved to the side of the trail, and kept running, when I heard the lady say, "Excuse me, do you have a minute?" in German. I turned to see a lady who, oddly enough, I had seen quite often over the last 2 years while out on my morning runs. She was always riding a bike, and would always greet me with a friendly smile, like we knew each other, even though we didn't!!

As it turns out, SHE was one of the owners of the cafe!! She asked me if I was the one asking about the job (my neighbors told her I was the one who is always running!), and told me to definitely come by on Sunday evening! She said, I could work for a few weeks and try it out, see if it is a good fit. They don't pay big $$ or anything, but the cafe is a WALKING distance from my house, less than half a mile, and my husband would be home with the kids, so no child-care costs!!

This is going to be a great opportunity for me!! I am going to go in on Sunday, and see how it goes. This is also going to be such a HUGE help as far as my schooling program goes!! One of the owners (not sure which) is a "master" (as Germans call it) in the field I am studying, so she will have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share.

On a different subject, though job-related, my husband might have some MAJOR, MAJOR changes coming up in his job. MAJOR. DRASTIC. He works for his aunt and uncle (horrible people to work for, though we stick it out and make it work), who own a BMW dealership here in Germany. My husband is the "heir", so to speak, of the family business, though he has not always been sure if that is what he wants. Anyway, the BMW corporation has made some stipulations on their dealership that his aunt and uncle do not want to do, that is basically forcing them to either hand the business over to the younger generation (a.k.a. MY HUSBAND) or lose their BMW contract......

Not sure what is going to happen with this... We are supposed to get an answer on Friday about what my husband and his aunt and uncle will have to do to keep the BMW contract. As of now, it looks like my husband will have to start an entirely NEW dealership in a different city in our area, so he wouldn't even answer to his aunt and uncle anymore... This could be the break we have been waiting for... It's all very uncertain at this point, though...

Ugghhh. I hate the anticipation and uncertainty.

Anyway, Off to the gym this morning, my SparkPeeps!! Gonna go get my some ST in!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLEEPYDEAN 1/12/2011 4:41PM

    Can't wait to hear how it goes at the cafe and what ends up happening with the dealership issues.

Congrats on your new adventure!

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JILLIANPRNCSS 1/12/2011 2:23PM

    I can just imagine the germans talking about that lady that runs all the time now in those crazy pink shoes. Exciting time.

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REMEMBER2BME 1/12/2011 1:18PM

    Wow. What an amazing story. It sounds like such a wonderful opportunity for both you and your husband. I also have to add you are so inspirational t be following your dreams and also sticking with running & ST.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Best wishes to both of you. Keep us updated!

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REFOCUS92711 1/12/2011 1:13PM

    Congrats on your opportunity! It's exciting to be able to do something you really enjoy!

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LOREENYK 1/12/2011 11:17AM

    Looks like 2011 is going to be an exciting year!

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CARLA-216 1/12/2011 11:10AM

    Sounds like the perfect job at this point for you! Best of luck to you, and to your hubby as well!

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SEEHOLZ 1/12/2011 10:57AM

    WOW! You got lots going on--- soooo awesome about the job! Herzlichen Glueckwunsch!

Keeping my fingers crossed for Jan, too.

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MRS_LOOMIS 1/12/2011 10:40AM

    wow---major for the whole family!!

Looking forward to hearing more. (How are the Vibrams?)

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CAROLYN1213 1/12/2011 10:05AM

    Congrats on the new job! I hear you on needing more adult interaction and social outlets! This job will also help you with meeting new people and networking for future purposes!

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ABETTERBECKY 1/12/2011 10:01AM

    Good luck on your new job - hope that it ends up working out well for you. I can certainly understand the need for 'adult' time and I don't even have children!!!

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LASHERTHECAT 1/12/2011 8:55AM

    Big Changes coming up for both of you!! Congrats on the job and good luck!!

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JAKENSAMSMOM 1/12/2011 5:28AM

    Congrats on the job!

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Marathon Training & VFF Update!

Monday, January 10, 2011

My VFFs:
I ran just that one mile on Saturday with my new Vibram FiveFinger Bikilas, immediately following my normal run. The shoes felt great! Yesterday, I definitely had some tenderness in my calves!! But the soreness wasn't overwhelming, just a bit tender. It was about 42 out, and although I stepped in a bunch of ice-cold puddles, my feet didn't feel cold at all, even without socks. I did the same thing this morning, running my normal planned 7 miles, then a mile with my VFFs. This morning was colder - 34 or so - and frosty, but my feet were not cold. I think the fact that my feet are already warmed up from running helps greatly. I also like doing it right after my normal run, because my muscles are already warmed up, and I am already dressed for running. So, so far, I am very pleased!! Of course, it has only been 2 miles.... But I am optimistic.

Let's see, I am just starting Week 12 out of 18!!! Really, I only have 4 more weeks of real training before my TAPER! I am really feeling like I can do this. The training has not taken nearly as much out of me as I thought it might. And with only 4 major training weeks left, I am feeling very optimistic that I can do this.

This past week, I did a taper week - I kept my mileage lower, and just enjoyed the week.

Here's what I had planned, and my actual, for Week 11:
Sunday: Rest (Yep!)
Monday: 6-8 miles running, BodyPump
** Actual: Ran 5 mi, then did BP
Tuesday: Rest (Yep!)
Wednesday: run 4 miles
** Actual: Ran 5 miles, and did BP
Thursday: Run 5 miles
** Actual: Ran 6 miles
Friday: Rest (Yep!)
Saturday: Run 10 miles
** Actual: Ran 10.6 miles in normal shoes, then 1 mile in VFFs, so 11.6 miles together.

Plan for Week 12:
Sunday: rest (Yep!)
Monday: Run 7 miles, Pilates
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: Run 6 miles with Strides, BodyPump
Thursday: Run 6.75 miles with intervals
Friday: rest
Saturday: Run 23 (?) miles

I am planning my LONGEST training run this Saturday. I put a question mark by the distance, because I am not sure exactly how far it is. I have picked a loop, and measured it with my car, but it is just an estimate. I strategically planned this run following my taper week, and also far enough before my race that I (hopefully) have a little time to recover and it not hinder me. I will take it VERY SLOWLY, and do the first half or more in strict Galloway 4/1 intervals, and then see what I feel like from there. So, that is my plan!!

Wishing everyone a wonderful week!! Happy Running!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHUBBYSISTER1 1/11/2011 5:26PM

    Thanks for the VFF updates. I've really been eying these up. So inspired by your training. Still contemplating a full this year. Thanks for sharing.

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FRANCLYN 1/10/2011 12:41PM

    Keep up with the updates! I love hearing from someone trying the VFFs the way I would try them at first...a bit at a time, starting when I'm already warmed up. Never been an all or nothing kind of gal.

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SEEHOLZ 1/10/2011 10:00AM

    Wohoo on feeling so great! That's an awesome sign!

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RAWKNRUN 1/10/2011 8:10AM

  Great job girl! I have a client who loves her VFF! Enjoy them!

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

I know, I know, I already blogged today, but THIS IS SOOOOOO IMPORTANT!!!

I have been missing my wedding ring since a couple/few weeks before Christmas. I normally wear it RELIGIOUSLY: to bed, to work out, in the shower... ALWAYS. But I am taking a schooling course here in Germany where we are learning cooking, and proper food prep.

Well, the last time I distinctly remembered having it was my last cooking class, on Dec. 7th, when I took it off, and put it in my pocket at school. I thought I vaguely remembered having it in my pocket the next day, but could NOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME remember putting it back on after that, or anything...

It made me extremely sad. I looked everywhere, stip searched my bedroom, the bathroom, the kids rooms, the livingroom, everywhere I could think of. I was beginning to think that it was gone forever. I have woken up several different nights thinking about it, and wondering where it was. I even dreamed about it on several occasions.

I kept thinking, "ok, right, it is just a possession, just a piece of jewelry. The ring is of less importance than my love and commitment to my husband. Besides, we can always get another one... well, someday when we have some extra money."

But I knew it would not have the same value that my original ring has. I prayed that God would help me find it several times. I mean, we are not talking just a few days here. It has been almost a MONTH!! I knew that God knew where it was, even if I didn't. That helped calm my spirits soooooo much. But I was still sad.

Last night, I had another dream about my ring: I dreamed I found it. I even SAT IN CHURCH THIS MORNING and TOLD my husband about my dream. I told him I was really worried that I wouldn't find it....

Then this afternoon, we were working on putting away all of our Christmas decorations. My hubby brought the boxes for the Christmas stuff out of the attic. I opened a box that had packaging paper in it, and some Christmas plates that I had not used... And THERE WAS MY RING!!

I have no idea HOW it got there. I would have NEVER thought to look there. I just started screaming... "Jan, guess what I just found!!" Almost hysterically. And I started crying. I can't believe I just found my ring. I really thought it was gone.... Forever.

Just thought I would share that special moment with you all today. "Thank you, Lord, for helping me find my ring...."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAZZLINDANCER 1/13/2011 11:35PM

    I am so glad to hear that you found your ring. I know how it feels to lose a wedding ring. I freaked out when I lost mine, I tore my room apart looking for it, my puppy and cat thought that I was nuts.

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MOMONTHERUN1 1/10/2011 2:48PM


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SEEHOLZ 1/10/2011 2:02PM


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FRANCLYN 1/10/2011 1:17PM

    I have been there! When my oldest was little, I was going to be uing some strong chemicals so I took off my ring and put it where I THOUGHT it was out of reach of a small child (it was my first kid...I had yet to realize there is no such place). I came back in 5 minutes to find it gone! I searched and searched our small apartment - so small we never fully unpacked, there were boxes everywhere all 4 years we lived there. When we moved, 2 YEARS later, guess what I found...stuck to the packaging tape on one of those boxes! Yup, I had moved that box several times while looking for my ring, totally unaware I was moving the ring! I had given up on ever seeing my wedding ring again.

I feel your pain and your joy. Congratulations.

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REFOCUS92711 1/10/2011 9:58AM

    That's awesome!!! I couldn't imagine losing mine!!! Well, and Mike would probably kill me.. LOL!!! YAY!!

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ELYMWX 1/9/2011 10:54PM

    Awesome! As luck would have it, I also found mine today; I hadn't been missing it for as long (just a week) and in the end I ended up finding it exactly where I left it - the problem was I had forgotten where!

Oh, and in my case, it's not the original - both my wife's and my original rings are in her jewelery box until we decide to get them re-sized; we purchased matching silver bands this summer to fit our new hands :-)

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TWINSMOMMY607 1/9/2011 3:31PM

    I'm glad you found it :o)

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CASILAYNE 1/9/2011 3:06PM

    Praise God!!! That's awesome!!

My momma always has me quote "Let all things hidden be revealed" when I lose something. I don't even know the reference.

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AOGOAE 1/9/2011 3:01PM

    that's very weird- I would have probably jumped up and yelled too, haha. Great news!

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SQUINKLY 1/9/2011 2:05PM

    I am super happy for you! I felt my heart sink just thinking of losing mine! I bet you won't keep your eye off of it for a while! LOL!

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LAUROCHKA 1/9/2011 1:26PM

    Glad you found it!

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LZY0108 1/9/2011 12:40PM

    That's awesome! emoticon

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Rachel Mac Progress Picture Challenge

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Little late getting mine out this week. But I actually got a bathing suit!!! Since I live in Germany and don't need one that often (sadly), I only had a couple from 5-6 years ago that were too big and had saggy butt. So, here are my pictures:

Photos taken Dec. 4th:
Weight: 121 lbs

Photos taken today, Dec. 31st:
Weight: 125 lbs

Photos taken Jan 8th:
Weight: 122

Yes, that is right - there was a 3-4 lbs GAIN from the first pictures to the second, so I have no idea why the second look so much better. Just goes to show you, you can't always trust the scale!!!

My whole goal with this challenge is to tone up my tush and abs more. My rear is quite flat, and has plenty of "cushion", shall we say? I would really like to shape and define much more, and lose some of the fat, BUT I am NOT looking to lose weight. However, I still have not changed my exercise program at this time, since the package I am waiting on has not arrived. Right now, I am doing 2 full body ST sessions a week, and would like to be doing 3, and I also want to add more ab workouts in....

So, those are my goals and my pics!! Happy Sparking, everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEASH119 1/10/2011 11:32PM

    your doing amazing!!!!

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ABETTERBECKY 1/10/2011 4:26PM

    Proof that the scale is silly - muscle weighs so much more than fat :)

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REFOCUS92711 1/10/2011 11:55AM

    Great definition!!! You probably gained muscle and is why you looked more defined but still gained a bit. Good job!!!

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LASHERTHECAT 1/10/2011 8:19AM

    Wow AMAZING changes from the first photos!!

You look so much more fit! Congratulations!!

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BELIEVER104 1/9/2011 7:15PM

    You look so strong and lean!! You are doing an amazing job-- keep up the great work, it shows all over!

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SACGIRL 1/9/2011 7:08PM

    You look awesome girlfriend!!!

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SQUINKLY 1/9/2011 2:10PM

    Great Progress! I love your calves! The scale is not always an indicator of progress!

Keep it up!

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NYC_NATIVE 1/9/2011 1:55PM

    What kind of strength training program will you be doing? When it comes to glute training, I recommend reading Bret Contreras' blog:

One of my online friends in another fitness forum site I'm on is his client, and she's been progressing in her glute journey. You can probably incorporate some of his training tips - I do hip thrusters, and yeah, they fire up your glutes in a major way!

Nice progress photos, too.

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CURVYDIVA86 1/9/2011 1:54PM

    This is totally amazing progress! You're a lean, muscular machine!! And I love the new bathing suit, btw!

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LZY0108 1/9/2011 12:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FLYFIGHTER 1/9/2011 11:48AM

    AWESOME progress!!!

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STARSTRUCKJEN29 1/9/2011 11:45AM

    You look great! Huge, amazing changes everywhere! emoticon

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PUPSALOT 1/9/2011 10:59AM

    Cute suit!!! Looks like your legs are smoothing out! Keep it up!

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SHAYGETSFIT 1/9/2011 10:00AM

    you are soo right you cannot trust that darn scale! you look awesome!!!

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ERINBEAR1876 1/9/2011 9:28AM

    Holy moly! You are doing a fantastic job! Even from the second to third pictures I can see a paring down of your inner thighs. Your biceps are popping more, too! You look just great!

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CAROLYN1213 1/9/2011 8:51AM

    Love this kind of progress!!!! Once I started taking weekly progress pictures, I quit worrying about what the scales said! I could see the difference and I could feel the difference in my clothing. You are looking lean and healthy girl!!! Keep up the good work!

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FIREFLYBRIDE 1/9/2011 1:40AM

    You can tell a HUGE difference between the first pics & now! GREAT JOB!

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