Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year & Resolutions

We didn't get a chance to send out Christmas cards this year, so I thought I'd post the infographic that I planned to include with them.  (You can click the image to make it bigger if the fine print is a little too small).

For the past few years, I've tried to come up with some realistic New Year Resolutions for myself.  Things that I really believe I can do and that will help me be a better person.  This year is no exception, and I've had a lot of fun coming up with a few things that I hope to accomplish by the start of 2016.  

Most of my goals this year center around my anxiety & panic disorder.  If you know me well, or you've read this blog, you might know that I have struggled for some time with panic attacks and periods of anxiety of varying intensities.  Over the last year, I have made HUGE strides in this exhausting race to beat the anxiety.  My counselor (who experiences anxiety herself) has helped me leaps and bounds and taught me ways to keep it at bay, and with help, I've been able to finally get some relief from it.  I tell you all this, because anxiety and panic are silent problems that affect so many more people than we realize.  No one talks about these problems.  It took me YEARS to work up the courage to get help for my anxiety.  I was embarrassed that I was so terrified to do things that other people did everyday without thinking twice.  I was convinced I was crazy.  I was afraid people would say I needed to be "sent somewhere".  Anyway, I'm here to tell you, MANY MANY people struggle in the SAME WAYS.  Now that I'm in a place where I can think more clearly, I've become passionate about the continuous healing process that I'm in (it truly takes constant, vigilant effort to keep moving forward), and about encouraging others who are experiencing anxiety or panic, and helping people who don't to understand this disorder so they can learn to be more understanding toward the people who do struggle with it.

ANYWAY.  That was a bit of a deep bunny trail.  My resolutions for this year are all actually pretty lighthearted.  And that's kind of the point of them.  To lighten that 'heavy' pressure of the anxiety when it tries to creep its way in! :)

This year, I really want to focus on being more positive.  Positivity, gratefulness, and finding joy are so important for keeping the anxiety at bay.  :)  

This has become one of my favorite verses.  And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. - Philippians 4:8 (NLT).

It's one of those verses that I love to look at all the different translations of the Bible to understand better.  There are SO many (all happy and positive) things that the different translations command us to keep our thoughts on.  Whatever is: true, authentic, honorable, proper, gracious, noble, reputable, respected, worthy of reverence, honest, right, just, fair, good, clean, pure, holy, lovely, and loveable, the beautiful NOT the ugly, the best NOT the worst, friendly, amiable, admirable, winsome, gracious, excellent, commendable, worthy of praise, and virtuous.  Wow! How much better would I feel if I would dwell on these things? If I focused on the beautiful, not the ugly? The best, not the worst? If I didn't just jump to the negative conclusion, and instead focus on the positive in each bad, sad, or difficult moment?

So, I decided to use this verse as a guide to start "a-photo-a-day" challenge for 2015.  My goal is to take 1 picture every day of something that follows the qualifications of Philippians 4:8.  I hope to periodically have these pictures printed and combine them into some sort of photo journal of all the happy, quiet, lovely moments that happened around me in every day of 2015.  I have had my eye on some gorgeous Project Life albums and kits that I think would be an awesome outlet to showcase these pictures.  And it would help me with the second part of my 'positivity' resolution, which is about gratitude.

I saw this awesome idea on pinterest, to keep a gratitude jar and fill it with jotted down recollections of happy moments as they happen.

I think it would be more effective for me, though, to do it in journal form, and the Project Life albums will be a great outlet to jot down these moments to remember.  I love the adorable little cards that you can buy (or download) to jot these moments and memories and happy thoughts on.

So together, I think the photos and the journaling cards will come together to make a great 2015 gratitude album! :)

One last easy thing that I'm hoping to do this year (since I will be having a baby and will be home a lot more) is to keep myself busy (not that I'm expecting to just be laying around all day after the baby is born! haha!).  But I want to keep my myself distracted from overthinking (a big anxiety producer for me) by entertaining myself with other outlets.  For this I decided to make a list of books to read.  I LOVE to read, and I always say I want to read more, so this will be a good way to follow through with that!  I saw a similar idea of this on Pinterest, but I went ahead and made a category list of my own that was more suited to my tastes (and to staying positive). (I'm having trouble making this picture big enough to read, but to see it bigger, you can right click on it, and then click "view image".  You can then click on the picture again to make it even bigger.)

This list ended up feeling a bit ambitious, so we'll see if I actually get ALL this done!  I have a feeling, at least the Children's book portion of the list will fly by after the baby's born! ;). 

Here's to a lovely, beautiful, pure, and excellent 2015!!! Happy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Halfway There!! (Merry Christmas!)

It's been a month since we announced Baby Frey was on its way... here is a little update on what's been going on, just in time to wrap up 2014:

How Far Along?  20 weeks down, 20 weeks to go! I am so excited that we're halfway thru!  (I can't wait to be done and have this little one in my arms!)
Baby Size:  Banana - about 10 inches long from head to toes :) (and weighing in at about 10.5 oz)
Gender:  It's a secret!  We're planning on spilling the beans, though, sometime in January!
Movement?  I wish!! I thought I'd feel more by now, so I've been disappointed not to, especially since they tell us at the ultrasounds that this baby is really active!  Sometimes I think I feel something, but I just can't really be sure its baby.
Weight Gain:  About 9 lbs!  Which I'm pretty pleased with considering we just indulged in two very delicious and filling Christmas meals!
Maternity Clothes?:  I've been wearing maternity pants a good bit now (I feel like I got big so fast - ugh!), but some days my belly does seems smaller and I can still get away with my normal jeans.  Just bought a few maternity shirts for the first time, but I really don't need them yet. :)
Stretch Marks?  Nope! None yet.  Someone gifted me a jar of belly butter and I will probably start using that pretty soon to help things along.
Cravings:  Over the past month I've had some random ones including donuts, fun dip, and Chinese food.
Aversions:  I've been enjoying some sweet things again... for the longest time, I couldn't stand candy and couldn't even think of eating chocolate (which most of you know I usually love).  Carrots are the only food that still makes me kinda queasy to think about... (had a bad experience with those in my 1st trimester).  I've also started to drink coffee again occasionally.  That was another horrible aversion for a long time (and I really looooved me some coffee before that...).
Symptoms:  For the past week or 2, I have been ravenously hungry pretty much all the time.  It's not even really that I feel like eating, I just get soooo hungry and if I don't eat I get sick! /  My nose has been super stuffy ever since I got pregnant, I have pressure in my ears, and I sneeze a lot.  I found out that this is probably because of Pregnancy Rhinitis.  /  I have been having some pretty horrible headaches on an off over the past month. /  A little bit of heartburn, especially in the evenings... Tums have become my close friends :)  /  I have been tiiiired - I know they say there is usually more energy in the 2nd trimester, but I often get really sleepy throughout the day and need to take a nap. / My prenatal still makes me queasy sometimes.  /  My back gets really sore, usually when sitting, and I have pain under my ribs a lot - the doctor said that the top of my uterus is up there pretty far (I guess normally it's about even with the belly button right now... but not mine!)  And the poor ultrasound tech had such trouble getting to see the baby because it was curled up near my ribs the whole time.
Sleep:  Ugh... didn't sleep great before the pregnancy, I'm sleeping even worse now, and I have a feeling after the baby is born sleep will continue to evade me. It's been really difficult to get comfortable at night, and my hubby is constantly rolling me onto my side since the doctor says I shouldn't be on my back anymore.  I'm still sleeping on my stomach though :) My in-laws gave me a Snoogle body pillow for Christmas which I have been really looking forward to, so I'm hoping that will help me some now!  I also simply just wake up all the time. I joke with Chad that I'm already getting up for nighttime feedings... it's just me that I'm feeding! lol! I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night so hungry that I feel like I'm going to vomit.  That's definitely been a part of this pregnancy I didn't expect.
What I Miss:  I'm not going to lie, I miss having a drink now and then. :(  /  I miss just eating without questioning what's in things.  There are SOOOOO many things that the experts warn you not to eat when pregnant - deli meats, soft cheeses, store made salads, leftovers from restaurants if they don't get straight to the fridge, certain seafood, dippy eggs, certain teas... I mean the list just goes on an on and I feel like I'm constantly google-ing to find out what's okay or not.  I am pretty lax about eating some of those things anyway within reason, but it just feels like it's a constant job! Plus eating out has become more difficult!  Did you know that Carrabba's makes nearly ALL their salad dressings with raw eggs?!  Sigh. I can't have those (unless they are pasteurized). /  I miss the medicines I'm not allowed to take - ibuprofen, I wish you were here.
Favorite Moments So Far:  Working on the nursery.  We got a crib!  It's been fun to get everything designed and planned out.  /  Seeing the baby on the ultrasounds.  We had one at 16 weeks to find out the gender, and we had the official anatomy scan done at the hospital 2 weeks ago.  It took more than an hour and it was interesting to see the little one moving all around.
Least Favorite Moments So Far:  Our anatomy scan showed everything was measuring good and developing well, except they saw a bright spot on the baby's heart called an Echogenic Intracardiac Focus, usually caused by small calcium deposits.  It in no way hurts the baby's health or heart function, but they did explain to us that these are considered a "soft marker" of chromosome abnormalities like down syndrome.  So, because of that, they scheduled us to have a more detailed ultrasound at Maternal Fetal Medicine, which will happen next Friday, where they will check to see if the bright spot has gone away (it usually does eventually) and if there are any other soft markers present.  There's only a very small chance something is wrong - We're believing and praying that Baby Frey is completely normal - but it's a very nerve-wracking thing to find out!
Looking Forward To:  Friday's Ultrasound, and (hopefully) hearing great news that will ease our concerns! / Getting the rest of the nursery furniture, working on some DIY projects, and starting to decorate!  / The gender reveal get-together we plan to have sometime in January to tell our family (and the rest of the world, too) the baby's gender.

We hope everyone had a lovely holiday!  Chad & I had a fantastic time celebrating with our families the past few days (My sister and her boyfriend got engaged on Christmas!!! AHHHHHH!!!! So so exciting!!)  AND, of course, it was wonderful to officially make it halfway through this pregnancy as of Christmas day!  Baby Frey even got in on a little Christmas action this year.  Aunt Tanya & Uncle Brandon got us an adorable little onesie that I can't wait to see on this little one! :)

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Surprise!!  We're baking up a 'Small Frey'.  That's right, we're pregnant!! 16 and 1/2 weeks to be exact! I'm due May 14, 2015! :) Here's our pregnancy story (the short version):

Friday, September 5th, 2014.  Nothing special about it.  It was just my normal long day of cleaning and working.  Chad would be home in an hour or so, and it was time to switch gears.  Shower then dinner.  Get out my towel.  Think about my monthly schedule yet again.  It's almost Day 40.  Longest wait ever.  Took a "just in case" test 1 week before.  It was spectacularly negative.  Of course.  Wasn't really expecting anything else.  Maybe I should just take one more test though... just to be sure.  So I pee on a stick.  Set it down... right beside the trash can, because obviously, that's where it's about to end up as soon as it shows up negative again.  Turn on the shower water and let it warm up for a minute.  Glance down at the test.

Two pink lines.  Two.  Pink.  Lines.  Grab test off counter and stare at the result, with jaw on the floor.  Obviously, must be wrong.  Reread test.  Start shaking uncontrollably.  Step into shower.  Possibly do normal shower procedure??  I have no recollection now of what happened in there.  Mostly because as the hot water ran over me, the whole room started getting darker and darker and darker.  I remember realizing I was about to pass out.  (Unfortunately, this happens to me quite often when I have medical things done.)  I realize I really need to get out of the shower. Step out, blindly; everything is dark.  Grab towel.  Wrap haphazardly around me.  Walk out to bedroom.  Lay down on floor.  Put legs up onto the bed to elevate them.  Apparently I had the clarity of mind to remember that you should elevate your legs if about to faint.  Lay there half-conscious for who knows how long.  Carpet is soaked.

Still shaking, but the room is starting to get brighter again.  Feeling better, I stand, find my phone, and manage to select my husband's number.  He answers, and voice shaking I ask, are you coming home soon?  He knows something's wrong.  But this isn't the first time I've called him upset.  Yes, he tells me.  He needs to run some work errands after he leaves the office in a few minutes, but he can come home first and then go back out.  Great, I tell him.  I need him to come home.

I find a picture of us at our wedding, and with a white chalk marker, I draw a little baby belly over my image.  And above Chad's I write 'daddy'.  At the bottom I add 'We're growing! I'm pregnant!'. I set up my camera to record.  Chad gets home and I ask him to come sit down on our bed.  He does, confusedly.  He wants to know what's wrong.  I hand him the picture and the pregnancy test.  He stares at it for a moment... and then he looks up at me, joy and shock on his face and says "You're PREGNANT?!".  Lots of hugging and smiling commence.

Then I took two more pregnancy tests just to be sure.  Definitely pregnant.

For the first week or two after we found out, we were pretty much in a state of disbelief.  Of course I was happy, but I was also: terrified, nervous, completely unsure if I could handle being pregnant for 9 months, excited, very overwhelmed, "oh gosh, what if I hate motherhood?!!?", back to ecstatic again, and overall just plain confused.  There was so much emotion in those first weeks that it all ran together in one big overloaded feeling-fest.  Haha!

But things have evened out since then and I'm glad to say, I am simply feeling 'ready' now.  I'm feeling so excited to be a mom!  I feel very content knowing that everything happened in God's perfect timing. I believe God knew I was ready even if I didn't know myself! And I'm confident now that I can do this and that I will love it!

So far, I'm not one of those happy, glowing women, who tells everyone how much they love being pregnant.  I was nauseous ALL THE TIME (horribly so in the evening and overnight), and I did my fair share of hanging over the toilet... pretty much until just last week.  I am just FINALLY starting to feel back to the 'normal' me again, and I'm only occasionally getting nauseous now.  The food aversions were so bad that I pretty much only ate cereal for weeks on end.  I am breaking out constantly. I've got acne like a teenager again... ick!  I can't get comfortable anymore, no matter how I sit or lay, and I toss and turn all night long.  I tell Chad probably every day, I'm so ready to hold this baby in my arms and get it out of my belly... and I'm well aware that I'm just in my 16th week and I've got more than half way to go.

But I'm also excited beyond words.  I'm really starting to show now (more now than just a "oh, she looks like she's been having a little little too much to eat") and it's feeling more real and more special all the time!  Chad & I are thrilled to see where this pregnancy journey takes us, and what our 'Small Frey' turns out like!  Please pray for us as we make our way haphazardly into parenthood!  :)  And stay tuned to our blog... we'll be sure to post more updates as the pregnancy progresses!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Homemade Taco Seasoning

In general, I'm not a Mexican food fan.  I think it's mostly because I can't stand spicy foods.  At all.  Hate them.  If it has any amount of "heat" in it, count me out.  I guess my older brother took the last gene that allows you to enjoy eating spicy foods because he can eat hot peppers like candy.  But me, if I look at a hot pepper directly, my eyes will start smoldering.  No, I'm not exaggerating.  I have something of an epic level of intolerance for all things spicy.  Words like "ridiculous" and "pathetic" have been thrown around in regards to it.  I always ask my family if something is spicy before I try it, and they respond, "For a normal person, not at all... for you, yes, don't eat it."

Lucky for me, my husband isn't in love with Mexican food either so I'm never forced to make/eat much of anything in that category, but we do enjoy the occasional taco salad.  Most of those packets that you can buy at the store to season taco meat are a little too spicy for me, and besides those things have a bunch of questionable ingredients in them anyway.  So I started making my own at home.  It's completely customizable, much healthier, and much much easier than running to the store.

This is our favorite blend of spices... It has a sweetness to it and just the smallest hint of spiciness.  For me, it's the "hottest" I want to go.  I think it's got just about the perfect amount of spice to sprinkle over a nice cool bed of lettuce and then smother with a nice cool layer of ranch dressing (no salsa for me, that's just too risky).  Hope you enjoy!

Homemade Taco Seasoning

1 tbsp Chili Powder
2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Paprika 
1 tsp Oregano 
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp White Sugar
1 tsp Pepper (more or less to taste)
1 tsp Salt (more or less to taste)
(...and if you must, I suppose you could throw in some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes... if you want it to be ruined... bleh...)

Put all the spices into a airtight container and shake or stir together until well-combined.  I usually use between 1-2 tablespoons per 1/2 lb of ground beef.  But you can use more or less to taste.  I often double or triple or even quadruple this when I make it so I have it for a long time.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

DIY Spring Door Wreath

(This post may contain affiliate links)

I love winter, and it's always a little bittersweet to say goodbye.  This winter stuck around for a particularly long time, and while many people feel like it has worn out its welcome and are glad to see it go, I feel like I'm sending off a good friend for a long vacation.  But I'm also thrilled for the warmth and light of spring to starting to show itself again.  I am not a fan of the intense heat and humidity of summer, but spring (for the usually short time it lasts) is perfect and lovely.  Everything turns from pale and brown to bright and green.

To celebrate the flowers, finally peaking their heads out of their beds (these hellebores are very late this year...), I made a wreath for my front door inspired by a few ideas that I'd seen on Pinterest.  It was a really simple DIY project that took a minimal amount of time and cost very little.  And it's perfect for all these "April Showers" we've been having so far this month.  For the most part, I love rainy days... they remind me of my VERY rainy April wedding day! :)

I used a cute umbrella that I found at Target for less than $20.  The best part is, I didn't do anything to it... it's still just an umbrella!  So in a month or so when spring has left us, I can still use it.  As an umbrella! :)

Here are a few other white umbrellas from Amazon that would make this project absolutely gorgeous!  Click the images below for product information.

I looked at faux flowers from Hobby Lobby & Michaels when they were on 50% off sales, and I was very close to buying different stems at each place, but I kept changing my mind about what I wanted.  The wreath that I originally saw on Pinterest used the quintessential spring flower, Tulips.  I loved it and thought it was gorgeous, but I just couldn't get the color and the shape of the tulips to look right in my arrangement.  I finally looked at some hydrangeas, which is a flower I actually like a lot more than tulips anyway, and I loved the striking color of the blue petals with the crisp white umbrella.  But these were a little pricey for my taste, even 50% off at Hobby Lobby.  This was supposed to be a cheap and easy project that I didn't need to worry about "weathering" from being outside for a few months.

Finally, by accident really, I saw some pretty hydrangea stems at Wal-mart, that were definitely much cheaper (in look and price) than the ones at Hobby Lobby, and I still really liked the color and was glad I didn't have to worry about really nice flowers getting potentially ruined from being outside.

All that this project required was flipping my umbrella upside down and arranging the hydrangeas in it.  I added a little length of transparent & white-rimmed ribbon that I had left over from Christmas to tie a little bow on the front, and that was that!  I really like it and it looks really cute hanging on my front door, welcoming in these rainy April days!

Happy Spring to you!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

DIY Entryway Bench

(Disclaimer:  This post may have affiliate links.)

When Chad & I talked about redoing our basement, I knew I wanted some kind of entryway bench.  I love halltrees and the cute cubbies systems that you can buy from pottery barn and other similar places, but I do NOT like the price tag.  Here is one really cute bench from Pottery Barn that costs $400. AND it doesn't even include the baskets or the cushion (or the matching shelf above which is entirely seperate).  The baskets and cushion together cost about another $170 (on sale).  So to buy it like it's shown in the picture (not even including the shelf), I'd be dishing out more than $570.  I just can't see myself spending that kind of money for a bench.

Potty Barn's Samantha Collection

UPDATE! I still looooove this DIY projected we completed, but I have noticed in the three years since we built this bench, many much more affordable options have become available.  If a DIY project like this is just out of your realm of comfort, check these out.  In the spirit of honesty, of these benches are cheaper than what we spent to build ours! Check them out:

We had a console made for downstairs to set our ginormous new TV on because we ran into a similar problem finding one.  All of them were crazy expensive and none of them were the length as we wanted or really looked like what we were hoping for.  So, we decided to check out a local furniture maker, and I am SO glad we did.  We had to wait a little on it because he was really busy with other projects, but he built us EXACTLY what we wanted for less money than almost anything we found in big box and local furniture stores (and actually also in really remote furniture stores that we spent hours driving to hoping to find something that would work).  Life Lesson: Custom-made does not always mean overpriced.  Check out ALL your options, even the ones you think may be out of your price range, before you make a decision.  You may be surprised!

Anyway, I explain all that to say that we briefly considered having this furniture maker also make us an entryway system (and every other piece of furniture we ever wished we had), but we examined our priorities and decided that we just didn't want to spend the money this time around.  We aren't sure how long we'll stay in this house (but it's looking like we may move sooner rather than later), so we don't want to be rash and spend money on a bunch of custom things that we can't end up working into a new place.  But we definitely want to enjoy this house and make it as functional as possible for as long as we're here.

So I decided that we were going to build a bench Chad was going to build me a bench. :) Just kidding.  (He wished I was just kidding about the whole project at first). I am proud to say that I helped out on this project quite a lot and that after we got started, it turned out to be not-so-difficult to build.  We had a lot of fun and we feel quite accomplished now.  And Chad had a great time using many of the Christmas presents he's received over the past few years (AKA: tools).

Here's how we did it.  I found some awesome plans HERE for free that we modified to fit our space.  Then we headed to Lowe's and bought a sheet of MDF and two 1x3s also made of MDF.  The lumber cost us $45.  (MDF is the same material that the Pottery Barn bench is mostly built out of).

Then we got our saw set up and made the necessary cuts and started assembling... this took us a few hours one weekend afternoon.  The plans and pictures of other similar projects that I found on Pinterest helped us figure out exactly how to assemble the bench to our liking.  Chad pre-drilled all the holes for the screws to keep the wood from splitting and countersinked the holes so the screws would be recessed into the bench and could be filled with putty to make them virtually invisible.

Here's what the bench looked like when before we added the trim to the bottom or the backing:

Pretty simple so far!

For the backing, I used a left over piece of wall paneling that we pulled out of our basement when we remodeled it just a few months ago.  I primed it with the dreaded oil-based primer and then we attached it to the back, and also attached the 1x3 trim pieces around the bottom of the front and two sides. (...apparently I forgot to take a picture of us doing this...)

And then I painted the whole thing.  Just one coat.  Yep.  Usually you should do two.  I probably should have done two.  Did I wait and take the time to do two?  Nope.  One was good enough for me.

Here it is:

Close up of the backing here:

So with the main bench assembled and looking pretty good by itself, I was really excited to dress it up a little!  

Chad and I scrounged up some plywood that was left over from some other projects and cut that to fit the top of our bench. Then we made a trip to Hobby Lobby and bought a roll of 1 inch foam that cost less than $5 for the amount I used, and a yard of some home decor fabric that we both liked which I cannot remember the price of now, but I believe it was about $8.

We did the good ole stretch and staple method to upholster the bench.  First I cut the foam to fit on the plywood with just a little overhang on all sides to make it a little padded on the edges so that it wouldn't hurt anyone's legs if they plopped down on the bench.  

Then we laid the fabric out on the floor upside down, placed the foam over that making sure to line it up so that the fabric print would be centered, and laid the plywood over the foam. Here Chad is painstakingly lining everything up so that it turned out perfect:

Usually, you'd want to glue the foam onto the plywood to keep it from shifting.  Did I take the time to glue it? Nope.  It worked out just fine anyway!  I stretched the fabric while Chad stapled.

Asher guarded the left over fabric. He cracks me up. :)

Pretty cushion all done and in place:

I am really thrilled with how well this bench turned out! Not to mention, the satisfaction of knowing that you built something from scratch by yourself!  And best of all, the crazy amount of money that we saved by sacrificing a few hours of time and building this ourselves!  All in all we have this bench built and finished with cushion and crates in the cubbies for just over $100! That is just so much cheaper than the inspiration piece from Pottery Barn!

Asher loves it, too.  He thinks we built it just so that he'd have another cozy spot to lay.

If you're wondering about the crates in the bench cubbies, I got them from Michaels for less than $20 each.  I originally wanted to use baskets, similar to what was shown with the Pottery Barn version, but I ran into these crates at the craft store and they were cheaper than the ones I was considering from Target.  Plus they pretty much PERFECTLY matched the color of the console that we had professionally built for out TV downstairs, and the color also tied in very nicely with the gray fabric of the bench cushion.  Easy decision!

I am so happy with how it turned out!  Chad and I definitely plan on building a matching shelf, too, eventually, and then it'll be a complete set and we can hang our coats!!

I made a little chart of some of the main materials and products I used on the bench, if anyone is curious where some of the things came from!