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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Of course, there are pictures!

You didn't think I was going to write a post about all of Sarah's ailments leading up to her piano recital and then not post pictures from the recital did you?  What kind of blogger and mother would I be?

Sarah wanted a special hair style for the recital and Aunt Cathy was just the one to help her!

I love this girl!

Don't you just love this dress? So pretty and we only had to try on 15 dresses to find it!

Yes.  Sarah got 3 bouquets of flowers after the recital.  One from me, Dan, and Peter.  One from Grandma and Grandpa and one from Aunt Cathy.  And yes, I felt a little embarrassed with the amount of flowers she had.  And yes, it was worth it to see the smile on her face when she got them!
Humor me with just one more picture of my cutie and all her flowers.

Mrs. Malloy and Sarah.  Mrs. Malloy has been teaching piano since 1985.  She's a great teacher and Sarah loves taking piano from her! Too bad she wasn't teaching piano in 1979 because I might not have stopped after a month!  :)

I've been trying to upload the video that I took of her performance but Blogger won't upload it and it won't tell me why.  Wrong format maybe?  

We enjoyed the recital.  It was so neat to hear everyone play.  There was a nice mix of talent. There was one student who had only been taking lessons since January and one student that has been taking lessons for 8 years.  She was fabulous.  She played I Dreamed A Dream and Dancing Queen. (Two favorites!)

It was a great recital but I must admit, I'm glad it's over.  And I think Sarah is too.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Anxiety, hives, and stomach cramps. Oh my!

My sweet little Sarah has been taking piano lessons for almost two years now.  She loves to play and she even seems to like to practice.  I usually have to remind her but she always does it willingly (most days).

In February, she brought home a note after one of her lessons that said there was going to be a recital in April.  She was thrilled!  She picked out her recital piece and we shopped for a new dress and new shoes, and Aunt Cathy was going to be able to attend the recital.

Sarah was on cloud nine.  She practiced the recital piece along with her other weekly music and life progressed as normal until a couple of weeks before the performance.

She started complaining of stomach pain usually at bedtime.  I figured this was just an excuse to stay up later or to get me to stay in her room for a while.

Also right around this time she had a sleepover with Cheyanne (she's slept at her house too many times to count) but had to come home at midnight because her stomach hurt. 

A week later she had a 2 night Brownie camp out and on the 2nd night complained about her stomach aching and missing me.

Anxiety?  Separation anxiety?

This past Wednesday night she complained that her stomach hurt at bedtime and I asked her if she was worried about anything.  She said her teacher would be out the next day and she was worried about having a substitute who wouldn't know the right way to do things.  She also admitted (after I did a little prodding) that she was nervous about the recital.  I was volunteering at school the next day and told her I would be there all day.  That seemed to calm her down and she went to sleep with no problems.

On Thursday night she had what I would call a mild panic attack.  She complained that her stomach hurt and she was going to throw up.  She started freaking out because she did not want to throw up.  (We all suffered through the stomach bug a month ago and I think that was fresh in her memory.) She complained that she felt like she had throw up in her throat but she never threw up. I finally got her calmed down and her stomach stopped hurting and she went to bed.

I sent her to school on Friday because I just knew all of this was related to the stress of the piano recital.

Of course, I got a call from school on Friday.  She was crying in the office because her stomach hurt.

I whisked her off to the doctor where she was diagnosed with acid reflux.  (Which can be brought on by stress.)  They based this diagnosis off the place her stomach pain was coming from and the fact that the night before she felt like she had something in her throat - acid coming back up.

So we got a prescription for some meds and she felt great for the rest of the day.

My sister-in-law arrived that afternoon, I went out to dinner with some friends to celebrate Jennifer's 40th birthday and the rest of the family went out to eat as well.

When I got home from the birthday dinner, my family was eating their dinner from take out boxes.  Apparently Sarah started crying in the middle of the dinner that her stomach hurt and she was going to throw up.

Cathy had a conversation with her where Sarah revealed she didn't like to be away from me.

More separation anxiety. 

As she was getting ready for bed she broke out in hives!  She had about 15- 20 hives on her back!  We gave her Benadryl for the itching.  I did some research online and found that stress can cause hives.

On Saturday evening, she got a few new hives and the hives from Friday night flared up again. 

FINALLY and Sunday arrived.  Sarah was nervous most of the morning but no stomach ache and no new hives.  She focused most of her attention on her hair and her dress and her shoes. 

We made it to the recital and she was WONDERFUL! 

And for the rest of the day on Sunday she had no stomach problems and no hives.

I am praying that all of her ailments are gone for good now that the recital is over. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

It's been a crazy busy week so 7 Quick Takes Friday is just what I need!

1.  Last Friday evening Dan, Sarah and I went to Chick-Fil-A.  Peter was with my parents.  It was a little chilly so I threw on my new white denim jacket.  I got it about a month ago but for some reason have yet to wear it.  Perhaps because it's been so darn cold and rainy lately that white denim just seemed out of place with my parkas, rain gear, gloves, etc.  Okay, I'm exaggerating a little but not much.

When we got home from dinner, I took off the jacket and hung it up.  Do you see what I see?

Talk about being embarrased.    Dan assured me at home that it wasn't noticeable. But he did call me Minnie Pearl for the rest of the evening.

2.  And it's not my first Minnie Pearl episode.  Check out this old blog post for a similar yet completed dissimilar incident.

3.  Poor Peter's allergies have been giving him a hard time the last couple of weeks.  On Sunday morning, he complained of an ear ache and a sore throat.  I had Dan whisk him off to Urgent Care because we had a track meet later that afternoon and I didn't want him to go if he had an ear infection or strep throat.

The doctor said his ear looked fine and his throat looked fine...most likely just problems caused by all of his coughing and congestion.  He prescribed an antibiotic and off we went to the track meet where Peter proceeded to run faster than normal!

4.  Fast forward a couple of days when he needed to use his asthma rescue inhaler twice and then the next day after school covered himself up with a blanket and took an almost 2 hour nap. I decided enough was enough so we headed to the allergist the next day where he got...

A nebulizer treatment. 

5. He's had those before and they usually seem to do the trick but it didn't seem to work as well as they normally do so we got to stop by the pharmacy and bring home these....

Not shown - the Zyrtec that he takes daily that doesn't seem to be helping him in the least

6.  He's doing much better now thankfully.  He's able to breath without so much wheezing and his congestion seems to be clearing up.  He hates taking all this stuff but luckily he is old enough now that he can swallow pills which are must less disgusting than all the "flavored" liquid meds for little kids.  Plus I let him chase the pills with a shot of Coke which he thinks is the coolest.

7.  Another busy weekend on tap...birthday dinner for my BFF tonight, 5k tomorrow morning, Sarah's piano recital (stay tuned Monday for pictures of her in her cute little dress!), track practice, oh! And a visit from Aunt Cathy!!

For less price tags and medicine, head on over to Jen's place for more Quick Takes!

Monday, April 22, 2013

And we're okay with that!

My parents got the kids tickets to Carowinds for Easter instead of  toys that would get tossed sooner rather than later into the bonus room or as I like to refer to it, the land where all the toys go to die.

Carowinds is a large theme park about an hour from here.  Peter has been begging us to go for the last few months saying that he wants to ride the roller coasters.  He's never been on a roller coaster before so I was skeptical.

I hate roller coasters.  I am afraid of heights.  I get nauseous on rides that spin around and around.

So basically Carowinds is my worst nightmare and honestly I was afraid we would get there, ride one ride and Peter would be petrified.

Typically if you would ask me which kid is more brave than the other, I would say Sarah.  However, after a trip hiking last summer, I discovered that Sarah has a fear of heights.  Check out the last two pictures in this post for visual proof.  Or for fun, just go ahead and read the whole post. 

We got to Carowinds right as it opened on Saturday morning.  As chance would have it, we entered through the gate nearest Planet Snoopy which is the kiddie section of the park.  We decided to ride on the Woodstock Express which is  only one of two roller coasters I have ever ridden in my life.  Interesting fact: when I rode it as a kid, it was called The Scooby Doo.

I sat with Sarah, and Dan and Peter sat in front of us.  I held Sarah's hand and basically kept my eyes closed the entire time because did I mention?  I hate roller coasters.

After the first hill, Sarah screamed, "Get me off of this thing!!!!".

And when we thankfully pulled back into the station, Sarah decided that just like me, she has a fear of heights and a loathing of roller coasters.

We managed to get her on the Red Baron which is a swing ride where all of the seats look like Snoopy's plane.  You can hold a rudder straight to keep the plane from swing back and forth as the ride is going around or you can move the rudder to make the plane go crazy.

I promised Sarah I would keep the plane straight and off we went.  Since I get nauseous on rides that go round and round I kept my eyes closed except for the two times I peaked to see what Peter and Dan were doing in front of us.  But when I did, I could see that they were wildly moving their rudder because their plane was going up and down and sideways and every which way but loose as we were spinning around.  And just looking at that made me want to throw up.

We got off that ride and Sarah realized that like me, she gets nauseous swinging around in a circle.

At this point, the boys went into the big park and Sarah and I stayed in Planet Snoopy.  I convinced her to go on a few more rides but they were all geared towards very young kids.  And we were both very happy.

Peter LOVED all the roller coasters and he already wants to know when we can back because apparently 7 hours of roller coaster fun is just not enough for him. 

I'm not sure when he will get to go back, but I am sure that when they do go back, Sarah and I won't be joining them! And we're okay with that!

Happy as a clam on the slow moving boats!

Even happier on the slow moving carousel!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Where else is it going to go??

Last night Sarah and I were hanging out on the couch waiting for a new episode of American Idol to start.  I always let her watch a little bit before her 8:30 bedtime.  (Which is such a joke because she is always still awake when I go to bed at 10:00.)

The boys were outside tossing the football and I suppose Sarah and I should have been outside enjoying the beautiful evening but her allergies, or maybe it's a cold, had her feeling a little under the weather so we were plopped on the couch.

We had just finished watching the last 10 minutes of The Voice that I had recorded earlier in the week and it wasn't quite time for American Idol to start so I started flipping channels.

I landed on The Brady Bunch and told Sarah I used to love to watch that show when I was a kid.

She watched with interest and then exclaimed, "Oooooohhhh! Their house is so pretty!"

I think she liked the openness of the floor plan and the floating staircase.  At least I hope that's what she liked and not the horrible paneling! 

Marcia was talking to Carol and Mike about her latest woe - not be chosen to be hostess for the end of year banquet and Sarah said, "I do NOT like her hair!" (referring to Carol Brady)

We laughed about how horrible it looked and then finally it was time for American Idol!  Out walked the judges and Sarah immediately said, "I hate her dress Mommy!"

And I had to agree.  Cover yourself up Nicki Minaj!  Good grief. (Thank goodness Peter was still outside!)

But I think Sarah summed it up best when she said, "It looks like her butt is coming out of the top of her dress!"

I guess when you've got a butt that large crammed into a dress that tight - it's got to go somewhere!

Monday, April 15, 2013

We were busy and now it's done.

Busy! That was us this weekend. 

On Friday evening I dropped Sarah off with her Brownie troop and they headed for a weekend of camping fun at Dan Nicholas park.  She was excited and ready to go!

Sarah's in the blue shirt with the pink shorts and next to her in the pink and black is her BFF Cheyanne.

Then I sent Peter to Grandma's and Grandpa's house and when Dan finally got home from work we went out on a date night.  Good food.  Even better company!

Dan mowed the yard on Saturday and I cleaned the house.  Good times. 

Sunday afternoon we picked up Sarah and headed to a track meet!  The kids did great.  (I do have to note here that Sarah is fast and poor Peter is not as fast. I guess he gets his slow running skills from me! Sorry Pete.)

I am the assistant to the track coach - which is not to be confused with assistant track coach.  Remember how Dwight Schrute was the assistant to the regional manager but thought he was assistant regional manager?  Ha!  Poor Dwight!  And don't worry...I have no aspirations to be assistant track coach.  Assistant to the track coach is fine with me.

I just handle all the emails and paperwork and forms, etc. so that the coach doesn't have to  deal with all of that.  Our track team is pretty big (90 kids all together) so there's a lot of "communicating" that has to go on. 

Also yesterday I was working at the track meet.  After I made sure all 90 kids had their track uniforms (can we say crazy?? luckily I had two people helping me!) I was writing times and getting them to the ribbon table. 

Let's just say that after 4 hours of standing on my feet in the hot spring sun I have never been so happy to have one of these...

And tired Sarah had to put the finished touches on her government project.  She felt like there was too much white space so after much brainstorming and many rejected ideas, I called in the big guns.

That's right.  I called my mom.  They decided that adding plastic flowers and little flags was just what the project needed.  Unfortunately last week was just too crazy to get it all done before last night.  I'm not one to complete projects at the last minute but sometimes that's the only time.

Here she is before she left for school this morning:

And yes, she's taking that pointer to school to use when she makes her presentation. 

And yes, I was mad when she wrote her name in the middle of the tree and crooked to boot!  And yes, I got over it.

Peter said, "Nice nature project, Sarah!"

Ha!  He may not be fast but he's funny.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

WIWS - The Oh My Gosh Spring Is Finally Here and I Have Nothing to Wear Edition!

All right.  It's Sunday.  Spring has finally arrived here and as I was getting dressed for church I realized that I cleaned out my closet in the fall and don't have a lot to choose from in terms of spring and summer pieces.  I guess that means it's time to go shopping! 

I managed to cobble this outfit together:

Seriously,  do I even need to put the store details down any longer?

Tank: Kohl's
Shirt: Kohl's
Pants: Kohl's
Shoes: Target
Jewelry:  Target

Here's a close up of the jewelry from when I wore it with another outfit:

Can we talk about those shoes for a minute? 

I got them at Target and wore them with this dress on Easter. And I think they are so cute. And I hoped they would be a versatile pair of shoes that I could wear frequently to church this spring.

I wore them for the second time with this outfit and y'all.  I hate them!  They are a little too big so I had to stuff the toes with cotton balls to keep them on (which worked, by the way) but they are so uncomfortable that I don't think I can wear them again.  Boo. Hiss.  Insert frowny face here.

Head on over to Fine Linen and Purple for some real inspiration. I know I'm going to be checking out the other ladies to see what pieces I need to be adding to my closet this season!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How to go from Sarah's project to Steve Jobs in a few short paragraphs.

Now that Spring Break is officially over, and spring has officially arrived, and Dan is home for a few weeks, we are back to normal around here.

And that's not a bad thing except the kids are so ready to be done with homework, tests, projects and school in general.  But that's not going to happen until June 7th so until then...

Sarah has been hard at work on her latest school project....

Three guesses as to what it is.

Yep.  That's right.  Her project is on the three branches of government and yes, she is being cliche and painting a tree with three branches on her tri-fold display board.  But never fear. Sarah is not one to be too cliche - she sprinkled glitter all over it while the tree was still wet.

I'm hoping that she can get all of her information glued onto the board this afternoon and we can be done with this project.  She did all the research (looked in two library books so I guess it can be called research) and typed the information into Word herself.  It was excruciatingly painful for me to watch her do that because it would have been so much faster for me just to type it up for her.  But as she reminded me as she was glittering up her tree, "It's MY project Mom!"  And she is taking keyboarding at school so she is slowly but surely learning to type.  (With the emphasis on slowly.)

And I feel like such a dinosaur because I still refer to it as typing.  When I do the kids look confused until I correct myself by saying "keyboarding".  And then there's the time when I told my kids that I didn't even see a computer until 9th grade and all it had was a black screen with a flashing cursor and in order to get it to do anything you had to type paragraph-long commands.  Which takes me back to a computer class in college where we had to write programs using page-long commands.

And most of the time my friend and partner in the computing lab could never get the programs to work - even after hours of work and lots of help from the geeks in the lab.

Thank the Lord for Steve Jobs and all the rest of the computer geeks.  Or this blog would just be a diary scratched out into notebook.  But that seems so cliche now.  Perhaps it needs some glitter?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Fruit Pizza Tartlets Recipe

I had my parents over for dinner on Saturday night.  I served a basic ziti, salad, homemade bread and sauteed broccoli.  Nothing fancy (and I didn't even make the ziti myself - I bought it from the kid's school as part of a fundraiser.  Every few months you can order entrees from a local restaurant and part of the proceeds go to the school) so I wanted to at least make the dessert.

Ziti and bread is very heavy so I wanted to make something light and sort of springy so I decided on a version of fruit pizza.

I have always loved fruit pizza.  In fact, I requested that mom make a fruit pizza for my birthday one year instead of a cake.  I was probably 13 or 14 at the time.

And while I love fruit pizza, I am always left wishing there was less cookie and more white "icing" and that's where Mini Fruit Pizzas come in.  It is the perfect mix of cookie, icing and fruit.  Just perfect!

And because I like to pretend that I'm the Pioneer Woman, here are a few pictures I took as I was making these delicious bites of perfection!

Roll the sugar cookie dough into 3/4 inch to 1 inch balls and place in ungreased mini-muffin tin.  I preferred the 1 inch balls. There is no need to press the dough down.  As they bake they will take the form of the muffin tin.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes for the 3/4 inch balls or 8 minutes for the 1 inch balls. 
After they cool and firm up, run a knife around the edge and gently remove them from the tin.

Get a cute little helper to help you combine the cream cheese, Cool Whip and powdered sugar.  And try to keep her from sampling large spoonfuls of the mixture.  And try to keep her from watching you sample large spoonfuls!

Assemble your favorite fruits and cut them into small pieces.  I used kiwi, strawberries, blueberries and peaches.

Put frosting into large Ziploc bag and clip the end off.  Then pipe the frosting into the cute little sugar cookie cups.  So easy and so cute!

Aren't they adorable? 

I really need to get some white plates if I'm going to pretend to be the Pioneer Woman because my plates detract from the cuteness.  (I guess I also need a cattle ranch ,a blog that's visited by 100,000 people a day,  a show on Food Network and a couple of cookbooks if I'm going to pretend to be the Pioneer Woman!)

Put on a cute plastic platter from Target and serve!

Mini Fruit Pizza Tartlets
  • 1 roll Pillsbury sugar cookie dough
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large container cool whip
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • diced fruit of your choosing
Roll dough into 3/4 inch or 1 inch ball, place into mini-muffin tin and bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes. (There is no need to press the dough.  The dough will take the form of the muffin tin as it bakes.)
Let cools cool and firm up before running a knife around the edges and gently removing from pan.
Whip softened cream cheese, then add in cool whip and powdered sugar mixing until smooth.  
Place mixture into Ziploc bag, cut off tip of bag and pipe frosting into cups.  
Decorate with fruit.

Makes approximately 36-48 cups depending on the size you roll your cookie dough.

Linking up with Tasty Tuesday.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

WIWS: The Barney Edition

It's Sunday and here's what I wore.

This is my typical foot pose for WIWS photos.  I never know what to do with my foot so I always point it out like a deranged ballerina.

My brother told me the other day that he thought the way I put my foot out looked strange.  So I tried several different poses but didn't know what to do with my foot. This is my "trying to pretend I don't feel stupid with my foot NOT poked out" pose. 

This is the sweet rose detail on my cardi. My fashion photographer thought I needed a close-up of this.


Tee-Shirt - Kohl's
Sweater - Target
Pants - Target (On clearance - $7.49!)
Shoes - Target

I got these pants on clearance at Target for $7.49.  Which was a great deal...until I got them home and wondered what the heck do you wear with purple pants?!

I have a purple and black striped tee shirt that is the exact same shade of purple as the pants but when I put it on I had to laugh. The whole outfit felt very Garanimals so I just couldn't do it - especially not to church.

So I went with the only other thing in my closet that felt safe with purple....and I'm even questioning this.  I think I need to pull out some old Barney VHS cassettes to see what he would recommend... a green vest perhaps?

Head on over to Fine Linen and Purple to see what else everyone wore to church today! 

Friday, April 5, 2013

A little bit of this and a little bit of that cobbled together to make a post.

Out of the last 26 days, Dan has been in Ireland for 16 of them.  But he returns home tomorrow and will hopefully be home for a few weeks before the next round of trips begin.

I'm not complaining. (Too much anyway.) I'm just stating facts. 

I am extremely thankful that Dan has a job, that he's not in the military and gone for a year or more (in a war zone!), that the kids at 8 and 10 can pretty much do everything for themselves, and that we live next door to my parents.  In fact, I thank God for those things daily. 

But I prefer it when he's home.

The kids have been on Spring Break for the last week and a half and we have kept  busy.  In addition to shopping for Sarah's recital dress, we have had multiple play dates, gone to the local trampoline park, had more play dates, gone for frozen yogurt (while it was sleeting and snowing outside! Mother Nature must be PMSing or something!), gone shopping for shoes to match that recital dress and slept in. 

Sleeping in was by far my favorite thing.  Oh sweet sleep, how I love thee.

The kids probably preferred the trampoline park.  Even though we have a trampoline in our backyard which gets used almost daily they had a blast here. The boys loved the dodge ball court most of all and the girls jumped until they were sore.

Trampolining (spell check is screaming at me for this one but I think it sounds like a real word so I'm sticking with it) is great exercise in case you've never done it. I got on the one in our back yard for a few minutes the other day and thought I was going to die.  Running three miles or doing a Jillian workout seemed like a walk in the park to the trampoline!

And now, after two very cold dreary winter-like days,

it looks like spring my finally, finally be here.  We are expecting sunny weather and 70s and low 80s for the highs next week!  Which is a good thing  because I don't like it when I have to cross my arms, stomp my feet and poke out my lower lip.

Oh, and another reason I'm glad spring is here?  All of Peter's pants are waaaaaay to short.  His favorite pants are a good 3 inches too short and he looks totally ridiculous wearing them.  But he doesn't care so I don't fight him about it. If only capris were in style for 10 year old boys we'd be golden.  But since they aren't, I'm hoping that the weather will cooperate so he can finally switch to shorts.

All right.  Enough about the weather, have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

There's a reason I get everything from Kohl's and Target.

Yesterday Sarah and I went dress shopping with my mom. Sarah has her first ever piano recital at the end of this month and my mom wanted her to have a new dress.  And new shoes.

So we started with an early lunch at Jason's Deli and then headed to the mall.  If you are a regular reader of my What I Wore Sunday posts you know that most of my shopping is done at Kohl's and Target. 

And yesterday I remembered why.

The mall is big and I think I should have eaten more at Jason's Deli to sustain me for the whirling shopping dervish named Sarah.

She picked out and tried on 10 dresses and then picked out and tried on 4 more.  She was in hog heaven parading in front of the mirror, twirling around, posing like a model. 

We finally narrowed it down to 5 dresses.  We each had a favorite and she was torn.  She ultimately although I think reluctantly decided on the one I like the best and we headed out to hang to dresses back on the racks. (At Kohl's and Target you do not have to hang up your merchandise.  I'm just sayin'.)

As we began the hunt for the cash register (At Kohl's and Target the registers are conveniently located by the entrances.  I'm just sayin'.) we all stopped in our tracks.  Hanging on a rack out in the middle aisle was a dress.  It was so pretty. It was navy blue with white polka dots.  It was just the right mix of sweet, stylish and dressy without being too dressy. It was just perfect for a piano recital.

It looked out of place hanging on a rack with only all white dresses.  I am assuming someone just stuck it there because they didn't want to hang it where it belonged. (Another Kohl's shopper perhaps?)

We all looked at it and said, "What a pretty dress!"  Sarah smiled when we said, "You should try it on."

So we went back into the dressing room and tried on dress number 15 and we all agreed it was "the one."

If only the shoe shopping had been as smooth. 

We went into store after store and continued to come out empty handed.  I had enough of the mall and decided it was time to head home. The mall had beaten me down. Worn me out.  Made me hungry. I felt like I had just done a Jillian workout.

So on Friday I'm taking Sarah to Kohl's and Target. 

I'm just sayin'.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The best.

The Easter Bunny come yesterday morning even though my kids have their doubts.  They both even wrote letters for the bunny.  Dan and I suspect that Peter was doing it for our sakes although I think deep down he still really, really, really wants to believe.

The baskets were filled with mostly non-candy items.  But don't fill too bad for my kids because Grandma and Grandpa always have another big basket for them full of good chocolate. 

And then the bunny does what he normally does....he continues to hop through our house all afternoon leaving little chocolate eggs for the kids to find.  It's a continuous egg hunt around our house all Easter Sunday...

I hope everyone had a great day celebrating Easter - which truly is the best holiday of all!