Tag Archives: Dad

Grown-Up Weekend

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You may or may not be able to relate to this, but do you ever feel like just because you’re in your 20s, in professional school, working, or living independently, that you’re not quite a grown-up?

I’ll be 25 in December, I will begin the third year of my M.Ed. program in 25 days, I have my own apartment where I attend school, and I am planning a wedding… but I still do not feel like a grown-up.

Maybe it’s because I still call my mom to ask, “What do I do?!” for the simplest of queries.

Maybe it’s because I will wait until I’m on my death bed to see a doctor. (Though the way I hear it, a lot of grown-ups do the same thing!)

Maybe it’s because I conveniently seem to forget about appointments I’d rather not go to (e.g. the OB-GYN).

Maybe it’s because I have chosen to live with my parents (from the time I graduate in May) until Ian and I are married in October.

Whatever the reason, I, A.K., do not self-identify as a grown-up. Nevertheless, Ian and I decided to engage in some “grown-up” activities this weekend. For example, we hosted our first cookout at his apartment. We invited several close friends, including two of my favorite heterosexual life partners whom I have known since freshman year at Longwood, Rachel and Charlotte.

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We carefully prepared our menu: blue cheese-infused turkey burger sliders with all the accoutrements, baked beans, and curly fries. Our couple-friends, Mark and Heather, brought one of the most delicious and unique cheese balls I have ever tasted! Plus wine. It’s definitely not a grown-up cookout unless there’s wine involved 😉

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We asked our guests to arrive around 7, so we began preparations at 5:30. Ian had done the grocery shopping earlier in the day. As nervous as I was about someone who doesn’t eat tomato or avocado choosing the perfect ones, he did splendidly with the insanely detailed thorough grocery list I gave him.

He caught me a bit off-guard while I was trying to slice and dice the perfect little onion and tomato wedges and figure out the sliders:

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[Don’t worry; I usually cut vegetables with my eyes closed, so I’m a bit of a pro.]

Ian and Mark manned the grill while we ladies waited for the beans and the fries to be ready.

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The men must comment on the status of cooking meat, in addition to the size and heat of a fire, the poor gas mileage on cars, what good time they’re making on a road trip, and the score or status of any sports event imaginable, amiright?

The sliders turned out much smaller than I had anticipated and the blue cheese flavor wasn’t as prominent as I hoped, but everyone proclaimed the meal a success. I considered it a success myself afterward when everyone sat around moaning about how full they were 😉 I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I was glowing when Charlotte complimented my ability (read: luck) to have the sliders, the fries, the veggies, and the beans done simultaneously.

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A wonderful evening was had by all! I was sad to see everyone go, but it was 11:30 before I knew it and Ian and I were fading fast. We finished cleaning up and hit the hay. Asleep by 12:30 on a Friday night? One of the most grown-up bedtimes we’ve had since I met this HSC gent.

Saturday morning, we slept in and did absolutely nothing. It was positively glorious knowing we had nowhere to be and nothing to do. Ian made me a breakfast of scrambled eggs, Chobani Flip, toast with apricot jelly, and apple cinnamon oatmeal. We did a little wedding-planning business, and then we settled in for the Harry Potter marathon. My lazy butt needed a nap toward the end of the first movie, and I awoke at the beginning of the fourth thinking, How long have I been asleep?! Turns out, the movies were being played out of order. Momentary panic.

Around 3:00, we packed up and headed to my house. We ate an early dinner and then Ian and I, my parents, my sister, and her boyfriend piled into the car for the 90-minute drive to Spotsylvania. My dad and I ran in the Spotsylvania FCHC Twilight 5k at 7:30. Ian served as my gracious photographer as I stretched, got prepped, and tried to get “into the zone.”

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You probably know by now that my dad and I run races together, and we keep pace with one another. I am the watch-wearer in this relationship. Our goal for months now has been to finish together in ≤34 minutes.

We started off fairly strong with a 10:37 first mile. We lost a good bit of speed as we rounded the halfway point on the out-and-back course at 17:14. We hit mile marker two at 22:25, and I was pretty certain we weren’t going to make our PTR. To say the course was “rolling” was a gross understatement. There were some hills, man. Plus the humidity was killer.

When we rounded the last turn leaving the neighborhood and I could see the finish line in the distance, I said, “Let’s go, Dad!” and he said, “Go!” I didn’t think I had much left in me, but somehow I took off. I sprinted toward that finish line, hearing our four supporters calling my name and cheering me on.

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Dad finished strong just behind me:

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I clocked myself at 34:36. I couldn’t find the “stop button” immediately as I crossed. The chip I wore strapped to my right ankle clocked me at 34:38, finishing 118th out of about 200 runners. Dad was clocked at 34:53, finishing 119th. According to my official time, I averaged 11:09-minute miles, so we should have been right on pace to finish within our goal.

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As soon as I caught my breath — which I never thought I would between the humidity and pushing so hard at the end — Ian and I headed toward the snack tent for a banana (and the requisite post-race pics).

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After the race, we celebrated with custard from Carl’s, a Frederickburg favorite, as evidenced by the crowd snaking around the building. For a shop with only five flavors, the place sure was hoppin’ at 9:00 on a Saturday night. I was too pooped to snap pictures, but Ian and I split a chocolate sundae with chopped nuts. The custard hit the spot with my sweet tooth and wet my whistle, but it can’t hold a candle to Sweet Frog or Coldstone.

Things got a bit silly on the drive home as Rob, Caroline, Mom and I cracked up at the Instagram account @youhadonejob. If you’ve never heard of it, check it out. These ridiculous mistakes will have your sides hurting!

It was to bed early for everyone as soon as we got home at 10:45. Yet again, I felt like such a grown-up: splitting a sundae, participating in an out-of-town race, and getting to bed at a decent hour in preparation for church today.

Needless to say, it was a wonderful, fun-filled, adult-like weekend. Talk to you again soon!

What were you up to this weekend? How did you get out and move?

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Richmond Firefighters Beat the Heat 5k [Race Recap]

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G’day, blends!

I fully realize that it’s been a week since we last “spoke,” but I have a good excuse! I was in an eating disorders education class Monday through Friday from 8:30 until 5 on the button. I came home, made a quick and easy dinner (let’s play ‘Can You Spot the Repetition?’),

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and dove headfirst into my work until 10:00 or so. I was lucky if I remembered to condition after shampooing before I all but collapsed into bed. (I’ve been watching season three of PLL, so I’m channeling my inner Hanna with the drama factor.) After all, that’s the mark of a quality education, right, Dr. P? 😉

Yesterday, I left immediately from the ‘Burg and drove straight to P.F. Chang’s at Stony Point for dinner with Ian and one of his groomsmen, Mac. Dinner (ahem, and drinks) put me home after 10, which barely gave me five minutes to greet my family before pouring myself into my inviting bed.

This morning, I was awakened from some gnarly dream at seven… to run for the first time in more than a week!

[Timeout for a second.]

I don’t want to make excuses, because those women who get up at 4:30 to hit the gym before work, and those women who run up bleachers and staircases because they don’t have the extra bucks for a gym membership, put my grade-A whiny butt to shame. But–in my world–last week, there simply wasn’t time to get buff and lean, nor was there time to spare to blog.

[Okay, time in.]

Dad, Mom and I piled into the car still half-asleep at 7:30. We got down to Shockoe Bottom and somehow found a place to park in plenty of time. Within five minutes, here came Ian and Mac, the other two-thirds of our cheering section 😉

Dad and I stretched out and joined the crowd at the front of the race. We are by no means among the first to finish, but we like to get a good start rather than trip over people’s dogs and strollers.

We started well, and the first mile breezed by in 10:40. It’s between the first and the second when I’m like, where the hell is mile-marker 2?! Finally, we crested a small hill, and two came into sight. We passed it with about 12 minutes left to make our goal of 34 minutes. If you will recall, 34 minutes was our goal last month, and I missed it by 12 seconds.

I thought, this is literally the best pace we have ever kept, and it didn’t feel like we were slowing down much. I was especially grateful for the extra time we had built up at the end, because the concluding segment had a slight incline, and I was really feelin’ eight days out of my workout regime.

When I saw that beautiful American flag come into sight, I gasped out, “Is that the finish line?” Dad said, “Yep!” and we both knew what we had to do. We picked up our pace even more, really kicking up our heels. At this point, we had two minutes left to meet our goal, and time was ticking.

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I slowed down a bit when I reached the American flag suspended from the fire truck because I thought that was the finish line, but we were corralled single-file into the narrow finish where the timer was. Dad and I crossed together in 34:11.30.

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I was immediately disappointed that we hadn’t met our goal, especially since we had kept a faster pace than ever, and we had had extra time at the end to allow for zapped energy, the heat, and the incline. Ian spun it like this: even though Dad and I didn’t precisely meet our goal of 34 minutes, we did beat our previous time record, and we did run the entire distance, and we did finish together. When it’s put like that, I guess we didn’t do so bad after all 😉 Not to mention that we earned these snazzy medals!

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In the spirit of full disclosure, I L-O-V-E earning a medal at a race. Call it my need for extrinsic motivation, but wearing that sweet thang around my neck for the rest of the day makes me feel like the biggest rock star.

After the race, we celebrated with breakfast power sandwiches, fruit smoothies, and even a shared Cobblestone at Panera.

I want to add that even though this morning’s race kicked my ass a bit in the legs department, my clean eating all week certainly supported me nutritionally.

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I was thanking myself in leaps and bounds–literally–as I struggled through mile three.

Well, that’s pretty much it for today. Also, welcome to those of you who are new to SWASOV! For the next two weeks, I’m gonna do it all over again. Well, sort of…

Just Because I Can

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Guys… I have Internet. For the first time in 12 days. Twelve.

Somehow, our home computer contracted a Trojan which affected the entire shebang, modem and Wifi included. The computer was repaired almost a week ago, but we weren’t able to get someone out here to fix the wireless Internet until today. The poor guy was here for almost three hours, but he fixed everything!

I can blog, I can check my email (for real), I can at long last conduct wedding business, I can obsessively check my grades… Life is good 😉

So I’m blogging at 8:30 on a Wednesday night, just because I can.

Rather than try to tell you everything that’s been going on — because honestly, it hasn’t been much — I figured I’d show you.

Monday night, Mom and I made my version of “spaghetti” with meat sauce, consisting simply of minced fresh garlic, EVOO, sautéed onion, browned lean beef, diced tomatoes, and spaghetti squash.

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On Tuesday, I won’t say whom, but Dad someone was walking around the kitchen not-so-quietly, so I was hopelessly awake at 6:15 a.m. Since I hadn’t been feeling my best on Monday, I decided to be productive Tuesday morning. I snuck out of the house, trying not to wake anyone, but stopped short when I saw that it was sub-40 degrees outside. I actually had to use my ice scraper to clear my windshields and windows before I could drive!

I kicked my own ass at the gym by accomplishing a mind-boggling PDR: seven miles!

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I planned to break my run down like so: run 1 mile, walk 30 seconds, run 2 miles, walk 30 seconds, REPEAT until I reached 7 miles… completely forgetting that the treadmills at this Y automatically throw the user into cool-down mode at 45 minutes. I had to alter my run a bit, including completely stopping and restarting the machine. All in all, I ran 7.34 miles (warm-up, running portions, walking portions, a 3-minute stop, and cool-down) in ~91 minutes.

My legs felt like jelly when I finally stepped off the treadmill, but I felt incredible. Those 13.1 miles are looking less and less daunting with each new PDR! 😉

This morning, I awoke to a (literally) answered prayer:

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Y’all… THE BACKSTREET BOYS ARE DOING A REUNION TOUR!!!

Finally. Nick, A.J., Brian, Howie, and Kevin [#notweirdatallthatistillknowtheirnames] have heard my prayers, and they’re even cruising with fans. AND, it’s the Millennium album. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

Except that the cruise is in October. And I’m not 11 anymore. And probably everyone who is 11 and would actually be interested and available to go on this cruise is like, The Whatstreet Boys? Who?!

*Sigh.*

I guess Nick Carter really isn’t ever going to serenade me… even though now, he could serenade me while I sip a marg!

In other more realistic news, Dad and I signed up for our second 5k-a-month-all-summer 5k: the Richmond Firefighters Beat the Heat 5k in Shockoe Bottom.

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In glancing over last year’s results, it looks as though only about 350 people participate in this event annually. I’m completely fine with that, because we are looking to improve our time and just get out there and move. I ain’t lookin’ to make friends, ya dig? 

I kid.

Lastly, I finally satisfied my week-long craving for my favorite Tropical Smoothie smoothie, Mango Magic. I’ve been running errands with Mom all week, and we haven’t been anywhere near a Trop-Smooth. Today, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore, so I indulged. Mmm, mmm, mmmm!

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In all honesty, I thought I deserved a little treat for having eaten so cleanly this week, kicking ass on my run yesterday, and cross-training today by swimming 40 laps in 30 minutes. That half-marathon is not gonna know what hit it!

That’s about all that’s been happening around these parts. Thanks for hangin’ around Sarcasm while my little old blog was out of commission, and welcome to those of you who are new!

Question: What have you been up to this week?!

The T-Shirt Collector

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This morning dawned perfectly perfect in Richmond, Virginia.

I was up at 7:00, unfortunately, but it was for good reason: the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k!

This was my very first 10k; thus, a PR and a PDR 😉 See how I did that?

Dad and I were out the door by 7:50. We parked at the old University of Richmond football stadium and caught a shuttle to just a few blocks from the Start line. Dad pointed out that as we boarded the shuttle, the fastest Ethiopian and Kenyan runners had already completed the race!

We clung to our granola bars and our paper cups of water as we weaved our way through nearly 40,000 people — not including spectators. We finally found our time bracket group, UC, behind a young soldier carrying the UC sign. We made our way toward the front so we could be among the first of our bracket to begin running.

After what seemed like an hour, it was finally our bracket’s turn to begin! We crouched on the Start line, my hand poised and ready to begin Dad’s watch that I was using to time us. There is an official clock timing the race, but that began when the entire race began, with the men who completed it in under 30 minutes. We also had plastic strips on the back of our bibs that kept our official time and could even notify our loved ones of where we were on the course. As the countdown began from 30 seconds, I couldn’t help jumping up and down and waving like a maniac at the news cameras.

…and we were off!

We started slowly and steadily, and we maintained our pace for the first two miles. Our goal was to complete the race in 70 minutes, because we complete 5ks in 35 minutes. Because Dad hadn’t run a 10k in quite awhile, and because I never have, we decided to break the race into 2-mile segments and pause after each segment for water.

At the 2-mile marker, I thought about blazing right on through the water station. My legs felt great, my breathing felt great, my energy was high, my adrenaline was flowing, and I wasn’t one bit hungry. I decided at the last second to pause at the water station to cool off and get myself a little sip.

We continued like that throughout the race. Rather than trying to run the entire thing without stopping, we paused (still moving) at the 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-mile markers for about 15 seconds each, to get a cup of water and relish it without choking. At the halfway point, we rounded a curve and started back the other way. We had completed 3.1 miles in just over 38 minutes, so I decided that completing the race in under 80 minutes would be our new goal.

We were running about 12.5-minute miles; we would have needed to run steady 11-minute miles in order to complete the race in 70 minutes, but I was thrilled with our progress. Wearing Dad’s watch and giving him periodic updates was perfect for me. I need to know the time and how we are doing pace-wise. Besides, we were enjoying ourselves and the entertainment too much to be disappointed about our time.

I continued to feel energized, excited, and proud of us throughout the race. At the 5-mile marker, I suddenly got hungry. Not oh-shit-my-blood-sugar-is-dropping hungry, but boy, was I craving Panera! I turned to Dad and asked, “Can we get Panera after this?” as if we were on a light jaunt instead of approaching the 5.5-mile mark of a 6.2-mile race. His affirmative answer and my craving for a Mediterranean Veggie sandwich and an Asian Sesame Chicken Salad propelled me through the last half-mile of the race. Of course, with bands, rowdy and drunken spectators, sports teams, sororities, dance troupes, and sign-wielding supporters on every block, there was plenty to keep me occupied throughout.

As we crested the 6-mile marker hill, I started to get really excited. Not only were we going to complete the race, with little more than a minute spent at four different water stations, we were going to cross the Finish line together!

The crowd got louder and louder as we neared the giant Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k banner and the official clock. I said, “Okay, we put both arms up!” instructing him on how to cross the Finish line. A few seconds later, as we subconsciously picked up our pace to a near-sprint, we put our inside arms around each other and raised our outside fists, victorious!

Just after we crossed, I stopped our personal timer: 1 hour, 18 minutes, 35 seconds.

We didn’t meet our original goal, but that doesn’t matter. We completed the race in under 80 minutes, we completed it together, and we nearly ran the entire thing. I don’t remember the last time I was so proud of accomplishing something. It’s truly amazing how humbling a long-distance run can be, and how simultaneously the crowd can make you feel as if you are a celebrity, the only runner they came to see.

We wound through the crowd again, picking up bottles of water and fresh bananas as we moved. We sat down for a few minutes to catch our breath and enjoy the beauty of the day. It was neither too cold nor too hot, and the sunshine was bright but not blinding.

Not thirty minutes later, we were dining at the Carytown Panera — and I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling since we crossed the Finish line.

My heels are impossibly sore, the left side of my face and my left arm are sunburned, and I ran holes right through one of my favorite pairs of Underarmour socks… but none of that matters, either. What we accomplished and the morning we spent together will always be glorious memories for me.

I’ll have official race photos available soon, so check back! 🙂

P.S. Did you run the 10k this morning? If so, how did you finish?

[I titled this post as such because my growing collection of race T-shirts reminds me of each race I’ve completed and each new PR. I plan to continue to collect, and you can look for my race recap of the upcoming Susan G. Komen 5k on May 11!]

Fresh Powder, Brah

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Boy, have I missed blogging the past five days! I’ve been receiving update emails from my favorite bloggers, and I felt so behind on posting! So full of new ideas! I haven’t been sitting on my bum for five days, though. No sir.

On Thursday, most of the great state of Virginia got dumped a surprising amount of heavy, wet snow. The kind that falls in huge, fat flakes, and that makes driving (and attempting to go anywhere near a grocery store) treacherous. I truly thought that the previous week’s 60-degree temps would have made the ground far too warm for snow to stick or accumulate, but it turns out that my logic is every bit as unpredictable as VA’s weather patterns.

My dad and I took full advantage of the only substantial “fresh powder” Charlottesville has had all winter by skiing at Wintergreen Resort. Well, he skis; I snowboard 😉 Anyway, I was rushing around like a mad woman in the days preceding this ski trip in order to succinctly pack 6.5 weeks’ worth of clothes, Christmas gifts, acquired add-ons, and stuff that had been slowly and sneakily taking over every square inch of my room at home. I knew that when we got home from 4 hours of driving, 4 hours on the slopes, and more than a little anxiety and adrenaline over the impending “blizzard” predicted for the state, I wouldn’t want to do anything but pour myself into bed. Check.

There is nothing in this world quite like the feeling of flying down a mountain at what feels like Mach-3, the wind whistling in my ears, snowflakes being sucked past me, gliding over hills and valleys, dodging flags and fence posts, hearing the crunch of snow beneath my board when I finally spray-snow-to-a-halt at the orange flags approaching the lift. It literally feels like I am defying death, defying everything that seems humanly possible with regard to speed and balance and precision. My knees burn, my fingers tingle, my lips are so chapped they feel like they’re not a part of my face, and my heart races. Snowboarding is one of the most incredible things I’ve learned.

I must admit, I have spent so much time learning to snowboard and working on my technique on icy, synthetic snow that I didn’t quite know how to handle the real deal. I’m not fond of the words “I can’t” in the context of what I am physically capable of accomplishing, but there were multiple runs down the mountain when I literally could not move my board forward an inch. Twice, I ended up unbuckling my ratchets and walking the rest of the way to the lift. [If you’ve ever seen a snowboarder walk attached to his/her board, it is as exceedingly uncomfortable as it looks to walk with one leg twisted 90 degrees toward the other.] Sometimes, I fell in pockets of powder so deep, the drifts came up to my knees and the snow covered my board, making it impossible to gather momentum. Some of the slopes Dad and I are accustomed to skiing weren’t open because the resort hadn’t been able to blow or retain enough snow to cover the grass. No matter — Mike and I tore it up!

There were pros to it snowing while we were skiing, too. (Aside from the beauty of fresh, clean, white snow. I’ll always be in awe.) When I wiped, the fresh snow was refreshingly cushiony; I’m used to bruised hips and swollen knees and tender wrists after a boarding trip on icy slopes. I boarded off the lift successfully every single time. Because the weather wasn’t looking good for the mountain, there was hardly anyone at the resort. I’m sure it’s overrun right now, though, with it being a holiday weekend. Perhaps best of all, I measurably discovered how much more in shape I am than when we skied last year! Usually my entire body is sore for days afterward, but this time I just experienced some stiffness in my upper arms and my thighs. I was also impressed that we stayed on the slopes for the entirety of our four-hour lift ticket, with the exception of a quick Gatorade-and-granola-bar break. We’ve still got it, Dad 😉 I wish I’d had a way to record photos and the miles traveled via boarding for my 2,013 in 2013 goal, but alas, my personal bank of athletic equipment isn’t that advanced.

Another reason I haven’t blogged is that I’ve been at Ian’s family’s home in Roanoke since Friday evening. We’ve been car-shopping for him most of the weekend. It is one of the strangest feelings in the world to be browsing for a “family-friendly vehicle” at 24 years old. [Let me clarify that we have no intention of needing Ian’s new car to be family-friendly within the next few years. But when we do require such a car, because mine is not, we won’t be able to afford to buy a whole ‘nother one.] We’ve also been working a little bit on the wedding-planning agenda with Bonnie, my future mother-in-law. I was really excited to show her all of the material I’ve been gathering and the research Ian and I have done; my mom and I have done a lot of tossing ideas around, and I didn’t for one minute want Bonnie not to feel a part of it all.

Lastly — and honestly, depressingly — graduate classes resume tomorrow evening. Yep. I have class on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. Guess that’s part of the total private-school package. I’ve been prepping as much as possible for the start of the semester, but mentally I’m not in the game yet. However, regular blogging, regular workouts, and regular clean-eating resume tomorrow (woooohoooo!).

Well, it’s dinner time between football games, so catch ya later, blends!