Monday, December 28, 2009

Kim's Time in America

In one of Kim's classes, she was instructed to create a presentation regarding a life-changing experience.  She chose to chronicle her time with us in America, living as a foreign exchange student.  She put the presentation on a DVD and gave it to us as a Christmas present.  We were so pleased with it, and wanted to share it with everyone.  (It has audio, so turn your speakers on!)  Enjoy!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Super Secret Gifts

Ever since Jeremiah and I got married, "super secret gifts" for birthdays, anniversaries, or Christmas have been pretty non-existent.  Call me boring, but we're both content with telling the other what we'd like, and then going out and buying it.  Usually it's hard to even think of ideas for gifts around holidays because we tend to buy the things we want at the time we first desire it.  (No, we don't have kids.  Yes, we have disposable income).  In addition, all of our financial accounts are intertwined, so there's really no such thing as a secret purchase.  I keep up with all the bills, balances, payments, etc, so I see all the activity that takes place.  If a charge came through to Zales a few days before my birthday, that would give me a heads-up of an upcoming jewelry receipt!  I'm perfectly fine with this arrangement, because I don't really need to be surprised.  My joy comes from giving and receiving gifts, with no regard for whether I or the other person knew it was coming.   

Jeremiah threw me for a loop this past year, however, when it came to my birthday.  He plays in a poker game every other week, which requires a regular cash withdrawal from our account.  He usually withdraws a little more than necessary for the buy-in, and uses the excess or any winnings to cover trivial expenses throughout the week.  Unbeknown to me, Jeremiah had been storing away the excess in a secret place for months leading up to my birthday.  On the day of, he handed me a wad of cash and said, "Happy birthday.  Go shopping."  That was cool because he had thought about my birthday far in advance, and found a way to sneak money for its purpose without alerting me.  Besides doing that, though, how do you keep gifts secret from a spouse?  I'm sure it's easier for wives to buy gifts for their husbands because more than likely they keep up with the finances.  What do husbands in this situation do?  (Or vice versa if the roles are reversed?)

This year, like all others, we discussed the top items we wanted to buy around Christmas.  Luggage, a Chi, a backpack, a suit, etc.  So over the past couple of weeks, we went together and bought - you guessed it - luggage, a Chi, a backpack, a suit etc.  No surprises there, and we both came out with the items we desired.  For some reason though, over the past week, I decided I wanted to do something a little different.  Jer's favorite football team is the 49ers, and I started thinking about how cool it would be to get him tickets to a game.  Living in Dallas, the 49ers are hardly ever televised here.  He's never specifically asked for tickets, but I knew he'd enjoy watching a game in person.  So I worked my magic and found awesome seats on the 3rd row on the 45 yard line for the game against St. Louis in a couple weeks.  I went on Southwest and booked us some cheap flights to Missouri.  Boom!  Super secret gift achieved!  Jer had no idea I was planning on doing this (heck, I had no idea until 5 minutes before I did it).  It's not a box on Christmas he gets to open with awe-filled surprise, but it was a phone call he received that started with, "Can I do something crazy, which would require us to take a day trip?"  Haha.  So there was an element of surprise, and there certainly was an element of joy on both of our parts.  I'm fine with going back to our normal routine next year, but this year I let my wild streak take hold for a few minutes.  :)       

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

California Trip 2009

This year for Thanksgiving we decided to take a vacation.  We thought it would be fun to take Kim on a tour of California before she heads back to Germany next month.  Jer had never been to California either, so we knew it would be a lot of fun for everybody!  My nephew David joined us as well. 

Our first stop was San Francisco.  We stayed at the Omni Hotel near Union Square.  The location was perfect and the hotel was beautiful.  We met up with our friends Brett and Lena and they graciously showed us around the city.  They were the best tour guides ever!  We were able to take some fantastic pictures of the skyline and the famous bridges from ideal spots, thanks to their insider knowledge.  We visited Union Square, Downtown, Chinatown, Coit Tower, Haight-Ashbury, Japantown, Castro, the Bay Bridge, and the Golden Gate Bridge.  Our second day there, we took a cruise out of Fisherman's Wharf to Alcatraz.  The boat ride there was foggy, but once we arrived on the island the fog lifted and we were exposed to some ridiculously beautiful scenery.  We spent a couple of hours touring the island and learning about the prison.  If you are ever in San Francisco, I recommend taking this tour.  It was well worth the money.  Here are a few highlights from that part of the trip:


After spending two days in San Francisco, we headed down south to Hollywood.  Right when we drove up, the valet guy pointed out that Reggie Miller was across the street at Saffore's luxury grooming salon.  I snapped a quick photo of him, paparazzi style.  We stayed in a really cool suite at the Andaz West Hollywood Hotel on Sunset Boulevard.  It faced the strip and had an additional sunroom sitting area complete with chaise lounge, loveseat sofa, mini flat screen television, and floor-to-ceiling windows creating an unobstructed view.  It was an awesome place to sit and relax.  While in Hollywood, we checked out Grauman's Chinese Theater, the Walk of Fame, the Kodak Theater, Rodeo Drive, Mulholland Drive, the Grove, Melrose Avenue, the Beverly Center, and of course the famous Hollywood sign.  One day for lunch we dined at The Little Next Door Cafe and it was awesome!  The atmosphere was really neat and the food was great too.  One afternoon we took a drive out to Santa Monica to get our beach fix.  We strolled along the pier and walked down by the water.  Right before we left, we noticed a film crew and realized they were from the show Criminal Minds.  That was really cool to see!  Some of the main actors from the show were there, and we got to watch them film a scene.  Here are some photos from that portion of our trip:


After we departed Hollywood, we made stops in Seal Beach and Laguna Beach.  It was a whole different world in LB!  The weather was beautiful and we were extremely jealous of the people playing sand volleyball on the beach in late November!

From Laguna Beach, we traveled further south to San Diego and Coronado Island.  Coronado was a really fun place, with a beautiful beach.  We experienced an amazing sunset there.

In San Diego, we stayed at the Omni Hotel, right across from Petco Park.  The view from our room was of the San Diego Bay and the naval base.  While there, we visited the famous San Diego Zoo.  I'm an animal-lover, so of course I enjoyed this experience!  They have more exotic animals than my local zoo, and more of each species.  It was cool to see the panda bears, the koala bears, and the polar bears.  There was a neat viewing area where you could watch the polar bears play underwater, and we were treated to a hilarious wrestling match from two of the playful bears.  On Thanksgiving, we found a restaurant serving a traditional turkey dinner so that Kim could still experience at least a little of an American Thanksgiving!  We ate at Suite & Tender and really enjoyed it.  It's a really fancy, schmancy restaurant, but it was worth it since it was a special occasion!  On our last day of vacation, we ventured into Tijuana, Mexico.  That was an interesting expedition!  We walked across the border with no trouble, and took a taxi into the heart of the city.  We were hounded by shop owners and restaurant owners, but it didn't bother us too much.  We tried a taco from a little road-side stand and it was probably the best one I've ever eaten!  We spent a couple hours there, and then decided to head back into the US to catch our flight home.  While we were waiting in the line to get through Customs, a guy walked along selling passports and driver's licenses.  Interesting.  We politely declined, and made our way across the border.  I think we all breathed a sigh of relief once we were back on American soil!  All in all, our trip to California was a blast and I'm so glad we went!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Bone Marrow Donation Update 2

I spoke with the NMDP today, and they informed me that the results of my physical were good.  That means the donation is happening!  We set the date for Friday, January 15th.  I should be checking into the hospital really early that morning, and then getting released that evening.  I believe they are telling the boy and his family very soon since we just got the all clear.  Up to this point, they had no idea the doctor even found a potential match in the registry.  Hopefully their Christmas is a little more joyful knowing he's about to receive a transplant.
Right before my donation, the boy will receive high doses of chemotherapy and possibly radiation therapy. It will destroy the diseased cells in his body, destroy the blood-forming cells in his bone marrow to make room for new cells and destroy his immune system so it cannot attack the donated cells after the transplant. The doses of chemotherapy and radiation therapy are much higher than would be used to treat the same disease in a patient who was not getting a transplant, and they may last four to ten days.  Upon completion of the preparatory treatment, he will receive my bone marrow within one to two days.
Keep him in your thoughts the few days before my donation, because I'm sure it will be a stressful experience for him and his family.  I am very much looking forward to January 15th, though, and I hope everything goes as planned.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bone Marrow Donation Update

I spoke with the National Marrow Donor Program again, and was given a little more information. They test 6 antigens and I matched all 6 with a 10 year old boy with leukemia. They call this a "perfect" match. I went in last Thursday for a one hour information session, followed by a physical. They drew more blood, did an extensive health history, urinalysis, EKG, and chest Xray. (There was no cost to me for any of this). After evaluating the results of those, and assuming I'm healthy enough for the process, they'll schedule a donation date. Tentatively we are shooting for mid-January.

There are two ways to donate - a bone marrow donation or a PBSC donation. The patient's doctor has requested a bone marrow donation, but ultimately it is my decision. I've read their materials, watched a video, and asked a lot of questions, and I think the bone marrow donation is the route I will take. I will make the final decision after the results of my physical are known. The bone marrow donation involves anesthesia and it is a surgical procedure. It typically lasts less than 2 hours, and the donor can usually go home the same day. Soreness and fatigue will usually occur, and may last weeks. The PBSC donation requires that you get injections of a drug called filgrastim for five days preceding the donation date. Your blood is then removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells. The remaining blood is returned to you through the other arm. This process is similar to donating plasma. Depending on the amount they need to extract, it can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, and might be separated out into two days. There is no soreness, but you may experience headache or bone or muscle aches for several days before collection, a side effect of the filgrastim injections. These effects disappear shortly after collection.

With everything I know right now, I think the best and least scary/uncomfortable situation for me would actually be doing the anesthesia and getting it over with in less than 2 hours. I already fainted the first time I tried to give my blood samples, and started to feel a little queasy the second time I gave my samples, so I just think 4 - 8 hours hooked up to needles in my arms would be torture. I would hate to get hooked up and then faint and then not be able to complete the process (and possibly have it happen repeatedly). I'm a little scared about the actual donation, but I'm not wavering in my commitment to go through with it. Survival rates after getting a transplant range from 30 to 60%. Without a transplant, 0 to 15%.

More to come....

Monday, November 30, 2009

Headache-free and Happy Now!

About three months ago I started getting debilitating headaches daily. They would almost always hit in the afternoon, and they'd last a few hours at a time. Some days they made working (or any other activity) pretty unbearable. A few times they would last longer than a few hours and I'd just go straight to bed after work because I couldn't handle them. In the beginning I would take two Excedrin migraine, and that would help. As one month of this turned into two, however, the Excedrin stopped being effective. Some days I had to resort to Hydrocodone to bear the pain. It was a miserable feeling knowing that every single afternoon I was probably going to get a headache. A couple times I actually had to miss an important event or activity because of my horrible headaches.

I first thought it might have to do with staring at a computer screen for hours every day at work, but I was getting the headaches on the weekends too. I had heard before that some people would get headaches if they went a couple hours without caffeine because they had built up an "addiction" to it. I didn't think this applied to me, because I was drinking sodas constantly and doubted it was withdrawal. But, this did raise another possibilty - maybe my constant caffeine intake was causing the headaches. I had increased my Sonic visits over the past few months, either stopping for a drink before work or during lunch most every day. I decided it was worth a shot to give up caffeinated drinks to see what would happen. The first few days were typical - still headaches in the afternoon. I was taking Excedrin to alleviate them, before realizing that Excedrin has a pretty high level of caffeine also. I stopped doing that and switched to a pain reliever without caffeine. A couple more days went by and the headaches were still pretty bad. I think those days might've been me experiencing withdrawal. After about 9 days of this, I had a day without a headache. It was amazing!  I had forgotten what those days felt like.  And then, another day and another day. After 5 days in a row of no headaches, I almost cried from joy. I can't believe I suffered through months of  unnecessary pain, but I'm so thankful it was an "easy" fix. Now I strictly drink decaffeinated sodas, or water if none are available. It's kinda crazy to think about the harmful effects I was experiencing from something as "tame" as a diet soda. I'm just glad I figured this out and cured myself!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My (October), November, and December Selection

If you've read my blog in the past, you know that we typically pick a different organization to send a donation to each month.  It's fun to research charitable pursuits and find ones we really believe in.  In October I decided to change my approach, and I'm ready to share the details!  Instead of sending smaller monthly donations to a charity of our choosing, we are going to switch to a quarterly schedule.  My company has a wonderful matching gift policy, and the minimum donation amount is higher than what we've been sending to our monthly selections.  So, we will now pick one organization a quarter to support, and then submit proof of our donation to my company for matching.  This will help our donation go even farther.  It's silly not to take advantage of an opportunity like this!  If your company has a matching gift program, I strongly encourage you to participate, even if it means rearranging the timing of your donations so the amount meets the minimum necessary.  It's free money that goes to a good cause!

For the last quarter of 2009, we have chosen to support the North Texas Food Bank.  From their website, "The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) is a nonprofit hunger relief organization that distributes donated, purchased and prepared foods through a network of feeding programs in 13 North Texas counties. The NTFB supports the nutritional needs of children, families and seniors through education, advocacy and strategic partnerships. Close the Gap is the NTFB’s 3-year initiative to unite the community to narrow the food gap by providing access to 50 million meals annually."  A dollar donated to the NTFB represents 4 meals.  Based on Charity Navigator's research, the NTFB only spends $.02 to raise each $1, so they utilize donations efficiently. They are very focused on ensuring the funds they raise support their mission.

There are other ways to support NTFB besides just donating money.  You can volunteer your time, donate food directly, or sponsor a canned food drive.  In just a few days, I'll be volunteering in the warehouse with my coworkers.  My company has graciously allowed us to take time off from work to help this worthy cause.  We'll be boxing and sorting food for distribution to the NTFB's 260 member agencies.  If you aren't available to participate in something like this, I encourage you to take part in a canned food drive.  There are numerous companies, hospitals, grocery stores, and schools holding them right now.  Take a moment to imagine what it would be like to be hungry, and then help put an end to that problem in someone else's life!  Have a great Thanksgiving.        

Monday, November 16, 2009

Just a Reminder

Life can change in an instant. Cherish the time you have with the ones you love. Don't put off something you've always wanted to do.  Take that trip, run that marathon, paint that picture. 

Various people around me have received unsettling news lately, and while I am very hopeful and positive they will overcome their setbacks, I am reminded to not take anything for granted.  This is your friendly reminder to do the same. :)


Monday, November 9, 2009

The Komen 3 Day

The Komen 3 Day Race took place in Dallas this past weekend.  I didn't participate as a racer, but I helped in other ways!  The race path passed in front of my sister Jo's house on Saturday, so we set up shop outside to cheer on the racers.  Jo had an awesome spread available to the racers - bowls of candy, beads, kleenexes, anti-bacterial soap, and lawn chairs for breaks.  We cheered, took pictures, shouted words of encouragement, and thanked the walkers for being a part of something great.  Livy even participated too - she zonked out after an hour of cheering, so she napped on Jo's 3 Day T-shirt blanket and provided smiles for the racers. 

On Sunday, the racers made their way through Downtown on the path to Fair Park where the race finished.  Kim, Jo, my mom, and I all volunteered at Pit Stop 4 with Komen employees.  We handed out buttons, cheered the racers, replenished water bottles, answered questions, distributed snacks, and helped tear down the Pit Stop after it was over.  At that point, the racers had just 2.9 miles left on their 60 mile journey.  Many were tired, but their spirits were strong.  It's so fun to be a part of something like that, because the vibe is just so positive.  Everyone is hopeful for a cure, and knows they're playing a part in making it happen.  The most interesting part to me is just how grateful all of the participants were to us.  I hope they realize just how thankful we are for what they were doing.  Maybe next year I can be a racer instead of a volunteer. 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Be The Match - I Hope I Am!

A couple months back I joined the National Marrow Donor Program Registry, now called the Be The Match Registry.  It is a registry of people willing to make a bone marrow transplant to patients with leukemia or other life-threatening diseases.  After undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation, a patient needs healthy blood-forming cells from a donor who is a close genetic match.  According to the website, seventy percent of patients needing a transplant do not have a donor in their family who is a close enough match.  This is where the Be The Match Registry steps in. 

Upon joining the registry online, you are sent a kit for collecting a swab of cheek cells.  You ship that back and your information is added to their database. Doctors query this database to try and find a match for a patient in need.  If you are identified as a potential match, you are called and asked to give a blood sample for more testing.  At this point, you are probably one of several people being tested to find the best possible match.  The chance of you being selected from here is 1 in 12.

If you do happen to be a close enough match to the patient, you are asked to attend an information session to make sure you are comfortable with the process.  A physical exam is also given to make sure you are healthy enough for a donation.  If all is well, you can donate through either a bone marrow donation, or a PBSC donation.  You can find out more about those here.  The patient's doctor chooses the method that is best for the patient.

When all is said and done, you will have participated in a life-saving transplant.  Think about that.  You saved a life.  Imagine if that person with leukemia were your parent, your sibling, or your child.  Imagine if no one in your family was able to donate, and the only option available for saving your family member was finding an unrelated donor.  Think of the impact it would make if YOU could be that person for another family.  That's what prompted me to join the registry.

As it turns out, I received a call last week that I was a potential match for a 10 year old with leukemia.  I went in to a bloodcare center and had blood withdrawn to be sent off for further testing.  Embarrassingly enough, I fainted halfway through the extraction process (I had 4 of 7 tubes filled), and couldn't complete the sample.  But that won't faze me!  I'm going back next week to finish the job and then it's a waiting game to find out if I'm a match.  It could take as little as a week or as long as 60 days to find out.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  Yes, the process might be daunting and painful, but that pales in comparison to the reward.

Join the Registry and save a life.   


Friday, October 16, 2009

My October Selection

This post is a little late, but my selection this month is unconventional.  I originally didn't plan on doing an official selection for October or November because of a matching gift program my company has.  The minimum donation amount is a little high, so I was going to forego a couple of months of selections and just do a large one in December that my company would match.  I still plan on doing that, but a charitable opportunity presented itself this month that I still wanted to help with.

A friend's dad's house burned to the ground this month, and he is basically starting over.  He lost everything in the fire, and is staying in a hotel until his house can be rebuilt.  This is a great opportunity to do some "spring" cleaning and find things around our house that we're not using.  We decided to buy new couches this month, so we'll be donating our old ones to him.  Jer will also be going through his closet to see if there are any clothes he can pass on since those are more of an immediate need.  I told some friends in Austin about his predicament and they responded by sending me a huge box of items they wanted to donate.  (Thanks, guys!)  I'm sure he's got a long road ahead of him, but every little bit of help along the way might make it more bearable.

Tomorrow we're participating in the Dallas Komen Race for the Cure and I'm looking forward to it!  I'm glad we'll be able to show Kim a cause that's important to my family.  I hope to see you there too!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's Race Time Again!

The Komen Dallas Race for the Cure is happening soon!   This year it is being held on Saturday, October 17th.  For more information, visit here.  The 5K begins at 8am at NorthPark Center, and there are always fun booths and activities to check out afterwards.  This year I've recruited my husband, Jeremiah, and our foreign exchange student, Kim, to join me.  We hope to see you out there.  Come be a part of something special!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Skate Party!

This past weekend we celebrated a friend's birthday with a fun outing at Red Bird Skateland. The rink was rented out for us for two hours. I can't remember the last time I roller skated, so I was pretty hesitant to get out there! A couple of us decided to make it even more festive by dressing up in tacky 80s outfits! We scoured Target for the cheesiest shirts we could find and the obligatory knee-high striped socks. Jer even got into the spirit by cutting off some old jeans to make them jorts. Yeah, he was a sight to see! It was a blast. Kudos to Shawn and Pappy for the great idea, and to Mike for the awesome photos. Enjoy....but don't laugh too hard!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My September Selection

I got a lot of great suggestions from friends on which organization I should sponsor as my September selection. As I began to write this post, however, I remembered that I had already selected one for September (in my mind), and had just forgotten about it! So I'm saving their great ideas for next month, and I'll choose one of them then.

For September, I've chosen to support Kiva. In a nutshell, it helps provide "loans that change lives." It's a micro-lending website that lets you choose an entrepreneur in need of funding. As explained on the website, your loan to a person in need can help them gain economic independence and improve their lives and the lives of their family members. You start by browsing through profiles and selecting a person you'd like to support. Kiva (and its partners) distribute the loan and often provide training and assistance to help the person succeed. The entrepreneur is required to repay the loan eventually and lenders are provided updates on the status of the repayment. When the loan is fully repaid, the lender can support someone else, donate the money to help Kiva's operations, or simply withdraw the money.

I think this is such a neat idea, especially when you start to peruse the profiles of people requesting loans. Many of them are for such small amounts (in our eyes), yet could make a huge difference in their lives. Take Marcelo Dicang from the Philippines, for example, who is requesting $125 to buy farming materials. This amount could stimulate his production and grow his business, and it's less than I make in a day. ONE DAY. It's amazing to think of someone actually needing a loan for that amount. With that said, I can't wait to dole out my first loan! I really hope it helps make a difference. I'll give status updates as the loan repayments begin.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Recap

This past weekend, I participated in a volunteer effort coordinated by Habitat for Humanity with my mother and my exchange student, Kim. We arrived at the location (near Hwy 175 & Rochester Park in South Dallas) at 8am. The assignment was to paint the exterior of a house from top to bottom. It wasn't a "Habitat" house, but instead was an existing house in the neighborhood where they were building multiple Habitat houses. Their idea to spruce up a neighboring house was to hopefully make it less obvious which houses were Habitat ones, so that the entire neighborhood started to improve. It was grueling work in the hot, hot sun. (I've got some sore muscles and a sunburn to prove it!) We worked until about 3:30pm, when the house was finally complete. We never got to meet the homeowner, but we did get compliments from neighbors telling us what a great job we had done.

It's funny how a fresh coat of paint can make such a difference. Using supplies provided by Habitat, 15 of us spent about 8 hours of our time and we completely rejuvenated a previously dilapidated-looking house. That's not too big of a burden on any one person. But, just imagine how impossible it would've been for the homeowner to attempt to pay for and coordinate getting new paint on his/her house. I'm sure it would've taken much longer and been very costly. It was cool to see what we were collectively able to do in a relatively short amount of time. I have no doubt the homeowner was pleased with our efforts. I'm glad Kim was able to be a part of such a wonderful experience!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Let's Learn Some German!

Kim brought a hilarious slang book with her from Germany, that helps you learn "hip" or "modern" phrases in other languages. It shows the translations in English (American & British), German, Spanish, French, and Italian. I don't think it's possible to peruse this book without laughing out loud. Some of the phrases it teaches you are just ridiculously funny. Here's a sample:

1) hella, mad "The movie was hella exciting."
German: abartig "Der Film war abartig spannend."

2) to take a deuce
German: abappeln

3) to chill, to hang, to chilax
German: abchillen

4) sweet, the shit
German: abgespaced

5) hairy pits
German: Achselkatze

6) Bummer! Crapola!
German: Alter Latz!

7) rad, sick, off the chain: "This song is really sick."
German: amok "Der Song ist echt amok!"

8) barking spiders
German: Analsturm

9) homie, dawg
German: Digga

10) hard core chillin' "My hobbies are soccer, hard core chillin' and listening to music."
German: Extreme Gammling "Meine Hobbys sind: Fussball, Extreme Gammling und Musik horen."

11) party for people over 30
German: Gammelfleischparty

12) male anorexic
German: Hunger-Harry

Monday, August 10, 2009

Birthday Celebrations

This past weekend we had a party at our house to celebrate Kim and David's birthdays. Hers was on 8/7 and his is 8/13. Even though Kim has only been in America for a couple days, she's already a part of our family and we definitely wanted to celebrate her special occasion! My nephew David lives in Austin, but he and his girlfriend Meredith were nice enough to drive up so we could celebrate his day as well (thanks guys!). Jer's mom was in town on business, so we were excited to have her over for the party too. The menu was delicious! We had brisket, ribs, cole slaw, potato salad, waffle fries, baked beans, Texas toast, pecan pie, and chocolate cake! And, what get-together with my family would be complete without 7-layer dip? We introduced Kim to it and she loved it!

My young nephews got to meet Kim for the first time, and I'm pretty sure they're smitten! All in all, it was a very fun day and I'm glad so many of our family members were able to share in it together. Enjoy the pics!