To read the story of our precious Harlynn Renae, start here and follow the "next" links at the end of each post. Thank you for coming and sharing with us in this journey.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Weight of Seasons

It's another season of feeling the intense weight of Harlynn's absence. As we pack up our home and decide what stays with us, stores until we buy another home, or parts with us altogether, I'm tangibly revisiting every stage of our lives from the last eight (and more) years. Anytime I happen to touch anything having to do with Harlynn, I linger on it a little longer. I hold it close. I don't want to pack it into a box, but rather, cuddle up with it on the sofa and douse it with a good cry.

It's been almost 23 months. Just shy of two years. Yet, often even still, I have trouble accepting this is my life.

I have trouble believing that night ever happened. I have trouble believing it's possible for babies to die. I have trouble believing an active baby, who apparently loved church music and chocolate donuts, isn't here to trample her toys. Isn't here to be Anna to Little Miss's Elsa. Isn't here.

A couple of weeks ago, I was having a particularly difficult day with life in general. I was grumpy, I was tired, and I just wanted to take a nap. During lunch Little Miss hesitantly began speaking. "Mama..."  I braced myself for a bargaining session on what treat she could have if she finished all her lunch, or for an inquiry on the possibility of skipping nap time that afternoon. Instead, after I curtly answered "What." her thoughts were brought to light. "I'm missing Harlynn today."

Me too, sweetie. Me too.

I have a younger sister. I was so excited when I learned she would, too. The games of school, the imaginative tea parties, the car trips, the clothes sharing, the matching dresses and pigtails... It was going to be as precious as anyone could have hoped for.

Now Little Miss's younger sister rests in a cemetery across town. 

Our middle child. Her younger sister. The sister Little Man will never have seen. 

The picture taken that fateful day of Brent holding both his daughters is one that tears my heart to shreds. The beauty, for one, mixed with the evident sorrow - I can't quite handle it. So many dreams and hopes left unfulfilled. So many moments cut down to one. One moment. One picture. One.

Packing our home and moving is the beginning of a new chapter. A new adventure. That said, the story hasn't changed; it has only just continued. We don't turn this page and forget about all the pages previous. We don't leave her out of our story. We don't edit her out of our subsequent chapters. She shapes our story. She shapes our whole current purpose. Who we are as parents. As a family. As friends to fellow bereaved.

On what would have been Harlynn's first birthday, I was in the hospital, warding off premature labor with her younger brother. I didn't do any of the things I had planned in order to commemorate that day. This year, I hope to do those and then some. I hope to make a tradition for Little Miss and Little Man to remember Harlynn with us. There might even be cake. I find it important to celebrate her, and to remember the joy and anticipation she provided in our lives in the months leading up to her delivery. 

I find it important to remember how Little Miss would sing to her each night at bedtime. How she would pick out stuffed animals and tell us which ones she would share with her baby sister. 

I find it important to show that while we continue to grieve and venture this life without her, she isn't a source of pain for us. She never was. Her death has brought intense heartache and emotional turmoil, but her life was and is always a source of joy. Celebration. 

It's important to celebrate her.

I suppose that's part of why I'm struggling putting these mementos in a box. Packing these items makes her not being here feel so much darker. I find solace in the fact the packing will only be temporary. Not near as lasting as her absence. I know they'll be among the first of the boxes I unpack once we're moved.

And just as I let the moments and memories linger with each touch of her belongings now, I'll tarry on in unpacking the same treasures after our move.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

When Being Enough Isn't Enough

At least a dozen or more times a year, I see articles of varying phrases but similar points floating through my social media feed. The underlying theme is to not beat yourself up when you can't get it all done the way you wanted to, because "being Mom is enough."

The first few thousand times I read these articles I felt relief. Finally! Someone understands! Then I kept reading them, and the sense of understanding switched from giving myself a break once in a while, to just being okay with the mediocre. The kids are alive, and that's all anyone can expect of a stay-at-home-mom, right? Keep on keepin' on, and don't beat yourself up when you're all having Cheerios for dinner. Again.

Okay...but...really? The more I read these sentiments, the more bothered I became. Sometimes just being "enough" isn't enough. 

Working from home definitely has it's perks and bonuses, but it's no walk in the park, either. Children, home, and my personal life are constantly beckoning for me, needing my immediate attention. My phone calls or video conference meetings rarely happen without me having to get up to change a diaper, calm a crying child, or refill the goldfish crackers. Multi-tasking takes on a whole new meaning when you're feeding a baby, taking notes, and trying to create a marketing plan while not tripping over the mounds of unfolded laundry. 

I've said before that physical clutter gives me mental clutter. If my home is in disarray, so is my mind, which means I can't focus or function until the clutter is cleared. It's not because I'm anal about being clean, or I'm trying to impress others with any white-glove tendencies. It's because my brain shuts down if I don't pick up the toys or do the dishes. When those things can't get done, nothing else gets done, either. 

Clean gives me calm, and calm gives me creativity, and creativity gets me cash. I have to have an orderly home. 

Little Miss has a terrible time picking up by herself, but she loves to help if we're doing the same thing. I can unload the dishwasher with her, pick up toys from the floor with her, and even fold laundry with her. Not only are we being productive, but she's learning a lot about how to keep up after herself, and the importance of a clean, comfortable living space.

There are plenty of days where they only thing I accomplish is getting spit up on, stirring the cheese powder into the hot macaroni noodles, and praying for my husband to come home from work ten minutes earlier. Those are the days where I'm "enough". Sometimes no matter what I do, or how much I plan otherwise, those days just happen. And so long as it isn't every day, I can accept that. 

There are weeks I've spent my entire Saturday working, in an effort to make up the hours I couldn't be productive in work during the week. Being only enough to keep the family fed and clothed cost me a day to spend care-free with all of them on the weekend. 

There are times (only one time, I swear) when the laundry doesn't get washed, let alone folded, and the wife might have had to wear a pair of her husband's briefs because she had no clean underwear in the entire house. Only being "enough" doesn't get the underwear washed. That's something I don't want to have to experience again.

There are times we've made it through the entire day before I look up and realize I still have to feed everyone dinner, and I have nothing prepared and no brain cells left to think of something to cook. That's when the take out comes in, or the pizza gets ordered. Lately that's been happening more often than I'd care for, and my husband's and my waistlines are certainly paying the price. I lost so much weight after Little Man was born and felt so good about it - I don't want to gain it all back because I could only be "enough". 

I can't make every day magic. I'm not under the illusion (see what I did there?) that every day will be awesome and I can be Mommy, Wifey, and Employee perfectly at every turn. There are crap days. There are days where the unexpected rips the world from right underneath you. There are days you have to wear your husband's underwear. But I don't want those days to be the standard. I don't want to look back and say, "At least I got up and fed everybody today." 

I want to know I did everything in my power to be everything I wanted to be. I set out to get work done and gave that project my absolute all. I sat down to write the best article I could think of. I cooked a tasty meal for my family that will have positive bearing on our waistline and our overall health, for that matter. I washed and folded the daggum laundry, so we all had appropriate clothing to wear. I got up and read my Bible and said a prayer that was something other than, "Please God, let them go to sleep...." I want to close every day knowing I did my best, on purpose, for a purpose

Sometimes being enough is all we can manage. But it shouldn't be all we strive for. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a very important meeting with a Little Man who needs some pureed squash...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Stranger Danger

I feel like I might have told this story before, but instead of admitting to having a poor memory, I'm just going to say this is what we, in the blogging world, refer to as "repurposed content". Allow me to do some repurposing.

If you've been following this blog for any significant amount of time, you're aware I spent a majority of my working life in Wyoming as a server. My boss, Julie, was a powerhouse mentor and taught me so much about life - and I guarantee you she has no idea I consider her such an influence. She was just the real deal. The kitchen staff taught me how to take myself a little less seriously and be confident in my abilities. Yes, the kitchen staff. They weren't teachers; most of them were on work-release. But they embraced life, and while we didn't share the same choices or passions, we shared an enthusiasm for actively pursuing all we held important. 

When I wore that apron, I became not just a server, but a friend. When diners would come in, they weren't just hungry people. They were customers. Well, most of them. Let's be honest, there were some real doozies of tables, but there were some really special people who walked in those doors. There was one family who came each summer from Kentucky, and would request me by name to wait on them. I was their adopted family in their home-away-from-home. There were the regulars who shared jokes and trials throughout the week. There were friends who would come in for a burger and conversation. Few people were strangers by the time their meal was done.

The first year Brent and I were married, I called him from work one night to ask a very risky, out-there question. This is that story.

One Saturday evening, I was waiting on a table of three college guys. I remember one was named Pat, and one was named Eric. This was many moons ago, and I forget the name of the third guy. Jared? Alex? I suppose now I have to fess up to the poor memory thing. They were from somewhere in South Dakota (I think?) and on a poor-man's tour of the states, trying to take in the sights before heading back to school from break. It was either very late fall, or early winter, and it was cold outside. Not the most ideal time for travel, but they were having fun with their journey anyway. 

At some point in serving their meal, I asked them where in town they were staying. To my shock and horror, they told me they had planned to sleep in their car in the WalMart parking lot. I've never been great at hiding how I feel, and when they saw the look on my face, Pat grew a little concerned and asked, "What....will someone hurt us if we sleep there?" Probably not. But it was cold. And they were three guys. Sleeping in a car was just wrong. In the cold. In a parking lot (where I had quite an experience). I told them I had to make a phone call, and I would be right back.

I walked over to the cashier's counter and used the phone to call my husband. I started out with, "Please don't think I'm crazy." You know it's gonna be a good phone call when your wife leads off with those words. 

Y'all, as those guys were telling me their plans to sleep in a parking lot, I was overcome with a physical burden. A literal weight rested upon my shoulders, and this inaudible voice told me, "You know what to do." I didn't. I didn't want to know. These were strangers. Male strangers. They outnumbered me, and even with my husband, we were still outnumbered. "You know what to do." 

I told my husband I felt like the Lord was impressing upon me it was our responsibility to house these men for the night. In our two-bedroom apartment. With no way to defend ourselves should they turn out to be murdering psychopaths who were actually running from the law, and not on an innocent sight-seeing venture.

My husband, God bless him, said, "If you feel like this is what the Lord is telling you to do, I am in no position to stop you. I don't like all...but I trust you."

Heart Mountain: One of my favorite landmarks in Wyoming...home.

I walked back to the table and looking each of them in the eye, offered them the opportunity to stay with us that night. One of them responded with, "I don't know....are you like a murdering psychopath?" I took it as a positive sign we were both scared of that possibility of the other. That meant it wasn't likely anyone was going to die that night. I told them to talk it over, but that I had really felt like the Lord was prompting me to invite them. And we had heat. And they could spread out. And I would make pancakes for breakfast.

After work, those three guys piled in to their car and followed me home. They came in, we got them situated with bedding, and Pat called his dad. Brent overheard him saying, "I'm going to have to tell you the whole story later. But we're staying in a stranger's apartment right now. It's crazy. But it's good."

The next morning, all of us woke up (no one was murdered in the night), and I followed through on my promise of pancakes. We got ready for the day, and they followed us to church. I'm not sure how the invitation even came about, but they went with us to church. During church, the preacher invited us to turn to the book of Acts. Pat grabbed a Bible, started thumbing through, then turned to us and asked in a whisper, "Is this in alphabetical order or something?" I reached over and turned the pages to the appropriate place for him. 

Afterwards, we all had lunch together (I'm pretty sure my parents treated us - yes, they even met my parents) and they were on their way. 

I've never seen nor heard from them since. That said, I think of and pray for them often. Quite often. I pray Pat questioned why the Bible wasn't in alphabetical order enough to crack it open and read it for content rather than categorization. I pray they were touched by the church service that morning. I pray when they recount the events of their trip, they think "why would someone open their home to three complete strangers?" and the answer would lead them to Jesus. I pray they liked the pancakes. I pray, all these years later, that one night led them to a new life in forgiveness and freedom.

I pray, also, that I would continue to be open and trusting to the Lord's calling of hospitality. It is so important that we open our homes and our hearts to shower others with love and fellowship. Real fellowship. Not just coffee, or play dates, but intimate times of sharing and authentic community. Hospitality.

I don't recommend just inviting anyone and everyone into your home and putting yourself at risk of harm. I am suggesting, however, you trust God and His plans for who He places in your path and upon your heart. Those three strangers have no idea the lasting impact they left on this lady. 

And seriously, let's give a hand for my husband, who trusts the Lord leads his wife to do crazy things, and supports me in those wild ventures...

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Ten Things I Almost Stopped Hoping For

Oh boy. Here goes. I'm doing a study in Malachi right now. One of the previous assignments was to make a list of 10 things you've "almost stopped hoping for."  Almost stopped? Almost. The kind of hope that hurts when you admit you have it, but you don't want to give it up completely because you desire it with every fiber of your being. The kind of hope you just can't let go of, because it would diminish that dream and cause you to question why you ever hoped for it to begin with. The kind of hope that remains a flicker for those "just in case" possibilities. Ten things I almost stopped hoping for. Almost.

The assignment went on to suggest sharing that list with a few close Christian friends. No way, I thought. How embarrassing to let anyone in to the inner-most depths of my personal dreams.

Why embarrassing? Because someone else probably dreams better. Bigger. More relevant. More spiritual. More obtainable. More significant. Because someone else dreams different, and that makes me completely insecure.

So I'm blogging about it. For all. the. world. to. see. It's terrifying. And liberating. And out there. And making me a little bit nauseous. 

I wrote this list just over two weeks ago. Three days later, items one (a different house) and two (being debt free) became a stark reality, when our house sold without us even listing it. Two items - boom, boom - fulfilled. Please tell me that excites you a little bit, and you can sense the incredible significance? Items one and two, marked off my list, within days of putting down in writing I had almost lost hope for them completely.

Number three, a reliable vehicle for Brent. Our entire relationship, he has driven some doozies. I just want him to have a car or a truck or a tank or a bus that will keep him safe, that won't nickel and dime us, and that he can haul our most precious cargo - our children - in, without wondering if he'll make it across town.

Four. A book deal. I have no idea how to go about pursuing one. I don't have a book written. Or started. But I want to write one, and I want someone else to want me to write one. I want to tell God's story in a way that He has shown us His existence and presence. I want to put it in black and white. I want people to look past my author picture and see His bigger picture of love and life for them. 

Five. Being invited to speak. I speak at several events and gatherings, but because I volunteer, excitedly, and say, "I'll do it! I'll speak!" Some day, somewhere, someone will say, "You know who would deliver that message well? Val. Let's ask her."

Six. A sense of style. Lord help me. I don't know how to dress, accessorize, or shop. I text pictures of my outfits to friends and say, "Can I wear this?" and then they text back and say, "No. No, you cannot." and I try again. I just want to look as put together as the mannequins in the window, but that seems so much harder than it looks.

Seven. A trip to Ireland. One of the only countries I've ever wanted to visit enough to motivate me to get a passport. I still don't have a passport. But if I did, I would want the first stamp to be my trip to Ireland. Something about the green grass and the sheep and Riverdance. I don't know, I just want to go.

Eight. Taking a cruise. Wait, do I need a passport? The cruise I most want to take, and won't require a passport, is to Alaska. I just can't imagine. The beauty, the Bering Sea, the bears. Cruise me to Alaska.

Nine. Meeting Angie Smith and Mary Beth Chapman. Both married to men who I've always wanted to sing with (which I've totally lost all hope for; I just don't see it will ever happen.) and both mothers knowing the inexplicable pain of losing a daughter so loved and cherished, and finding a way to cling to God through the journey of life without her. I want to meet them. I want to hug them. I want to sit in Nashville, at the Pancake Pantry, and laugh and cry, and dribble my syrup in front of them. I want to take a picture of us, the three amigas, with our cute little scarves (that my friend texted approval of and said I could wear). I want to pray with, for, and beside them. I want to soak up their encouragement. They have helped me in ways they'll never realize, but their lives have been a completely palpable well of strength to draw from in my own journey.

Ten. A routine at home that always works. There won't be an always, because there is an exception to every rule. But I want a routine that actually stays a routine. I want to wake up in the morning by my alarm, and crack open my Bible before I crack open my Facebook feed. I want to have time to pray over and prepare for my day before getting breakfast ready. I want to shower and get dressed and have my hair dry before my 9:00 a.m. meetings. I want to play with my kids and read them stories. I want to be productive. With work. With laundry. With meals. With dusting. Lord, the dust... I want to have slotted time for snacks and Candy Land and baths. I want to not chase my tail and wonder, at the end of every day, why I'm so tired. 

So I was excited when the first two were seemingly knocked off my list! Maybe there is hope for the rest! Right?

Confession time. We hit a bump in our road. Since I'm an independent contractor (self-employed), we can't count my income toward a mortgage until I've been at it for two years. I've been at it for two months. The homes we were considering, we don't qualify to purchase. We'll be renting for a while. Perhaps a long while. This was a sucker punch. A blow to the ego. A deflating feeling. How could we have just sold our home and now not be able to buy one we need? I was frustrated. I was doubtful. I shook my figurative fist to the heavens and questioned how He could let this happen. The plan was to spread out! Give ourselves some elbow room! Now we may have to rent for more than six months? We may have to downsize even further and for longer? And all for information I would have loved to have known before we accepted an offer on our home!

I stopped. Right in my tracks, I stopped. I am the one who has been verbalizing messages of encouragement. To keep trusting. To keep hoping. To know God's got this. Got all of us. I am the one who was boasting of being enveloped in the peace of God, and trusting His mighty plan. And then I am the one not walking that walk. 

I had lost hope. Almost. All over again. I prayed. I repented. I'm trusting again. Hoping. The truth of the matter is: God is bigger than any amount of hope I lose. For that matter, He is bigger than any amount of hope I hold. There are no obstacles for Him. There are no bumps in the road. There is only the outcome. No matter what that may be, it's perfect. Whether in my time or His, it's perfect

I may have almost stopped hoping for things, but I will not stop hoping in Him. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Big Question

Our whole household is sick, which is a real bummer. We had several plans made for the remainder of the week that have since been cancelled so we can hunker down and concentrate on getting well. We've got multiple boxes of tissue open and strategically placed around the house. We're loading up on vitamins and snuggles, and hope for this to soon be but a distant memory. All the down time, though, has given me a lot of time to think. And question. And wonder. Uh oh.

The other night as Brent and I were headed to look at the first home in our search for a new dwelling, it struck me how life just happens - mostly without our consent or permission. So much of what has transpired in my own life is not at all what I imagined or anticipated. It's not all bad. It's not all good. It is what it is. It struck me, nonetheless.

I reflected on these truths as we were headed to a potential new home for us, wondering what stories the walls of our next dwelling would collect. I turned to Brent as he was driving and asked, "Did you ever think you'd be married to me and end up with kids one day?" It may have seemed an obvious answer, but I was asking in all sincerity. His answer, sweet as can be and without hesitation was, "Uh, yeah. Pretty much from the first time I met you."

And yes, I swooned.

But then I thought even more about it. I suppose upon more honest introspection I would have rephrased my question to ask him, "Is your life with me living up to all you anticipated or expected it to be? Am I living up to your hopes and dreams of spending the rest of your life with me?" Without hesitation he answered yes. It wasn't about the trials we have been through as a couple. As parents. It wasn't about the moves we've made, the choices we've been faced with. It wasn't about the fights we've had or the compromises we've made. His answer was all about the big picture for him.

He knew he wanted to marry me and be the father of my children. He didn't have to know more than that. He didn't know what that road would look like. He didn't know the obstacles he would face in that journey. He didn't know we would uproot and move to another state. He didn't know his wife would get lost in fits of rage, suffering from PMDD. He didn't know our firstborn would come two months prematurely. He didn't know we would lose our second daughter, Harlynn. He didn't know his journey to fatherhood would be such a treacherous one. He didn't know he'd have a son with a hearing loss. He didn't know any of it. He couldn't have known a single piece of it. But he chose it anyway. From the first time he met me. 

It doesn't matter what we've hurdled over, waded through, or found ourselves stuck in. What matters is the bigger picture: we're together, and that by the grace and mercy of God. We stayed together when either of us could have turned foot and walked away. When times got tough, we fought our way through. Together.

I was more than a little humbled by Brent's unrehearsed (and super romantic) answer. It was a special moment I'll forever tuck away in the folds of my heart. I asked a big question, and I got a big answer. 

I don't deserve him. I don't. I'm far from perfect. And yes, so is he. I sometimes cringe when I see the Facebook posts or other social media shares of ideas and ideals that encourage women to wait for the perfect guy, and here are several fantasy-laden, unrealistic traits you'll be able to identify him by... I am baffled there are people who buy in to the fact a soul-mate, who will never insult, hurt, or befuddle them, actually exists. We're people. We're imperfect. We'll always screw up. Every last one of us. 

Brent and I don't have the perfect marriage, or the perfect relationship, but we've got it pretty good. We both have a faith in which our relationship is grounded. We both are, and have been, continually surrounded and lifted up in prayer by others. We respect one another. We admire one another. We don't always enjoy the other's company. We don't always see eye-to-eye. We don't always like each other. But by golly, we made a vow. And when it comes down to it, we're crazy about one another. Because of the other, sure, but mostly crazy about one another. Our relationship is not always easy, but it's always worth it.

In the big picture, I struck gold with Brent. No doubt his reward is in heaven for sticking life out with me. Say what he will, he never could have imagined life would have him settled down with a mess like me. And for that lack of creative imagination within him, I'll be forever thankful. Well, for that, and for his spider-killing skills.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Peek-A-Boo: I See You!

To say it's been a crazy week would be a bit of an understatement.

About 3:00 on Sunday, my husband and I randomly came to the conclusion we were going to get our home ready to list by the end of the week. Through more random (though, obviously divinely appointed) events, we ended up showing the house and accepting an offer by Wednesday of this week, without ever having listed. Now, we're up against a six-week timeline to find somewhere to live while we bide our time in scoping out a new home to purchase.

Yes. In a matter of 72 hours, we went from staying put to sold.

I "vlogged" (can there be a better word for this, please?) about it. 

We hustled this week in so many ways, going so many different directions, and all while trying to figure out what in the world was going on. But it was awesome. Then I couldn't sleep. For three nights in a row. Then I kept forgetting to eat until I was ravenously hungry, grabbing the quickest things I could shove in my mouth. It was starting to get a little trying.

By Friday, Little Man started to act not at all like himself, and developed a fever. Now he's been crabby, clingy, and crying. We're not sure if he's ill or teething, but he's a pitiful little dude for sure, and it's heartbreaking to see him so miserable.

Brent was gone for a while Saturday morning and again in the afternoon. After the events of the week, and the emotional toll of everything taking place in such short order, I was spent. Absolutely spent. At one point just before dinner, I had finished feeding Little Man, sat at the table, put my head in my hands and cried. Sometimes you just have to cry a little bit. It was only a minute or less, and when I pulled my hands away from my face, Little Man was staring right at me and began to smile his big, toothless grin. He thought I was playing peek-a-boo. I had covered my face, after all, so naturally it was time to play.

I giggled. Oh child. Peek-a-boo.

The truth of the matter is, I can only harbor so much excitement or disappointment before I just start to lose it. I love what has transpired this week, I love that we get to start a new chapter in our lives, and I love that we'll be selling this house and hopefully finding one that will be even more awesome and special to us than this one has been. But it all happened so fast, so unexpectedly, and by dinner time Saturday, I was feeling worn out by it all. 

Then! Then, by feeling worn out by it all, I felt guilty. Like I somehow couldn't handle being blessed. So I should just stick my head in the sand and not deal with it, because obviously I can't deal with it, and I don't deserve to even have it to deal with!

Do you see what's happening here? There is one who will never be happy with your successes. Never be happy with your accomplishments. Your blessings. Your miracles. Your answered prayers. And when there's even a hint of opportunity to destroy you, he runs with it. He ran with it for me.

Don't let him steal your joy. Your momentum. Your faith. Give him an inch, and he'll take your whole life. Take it back.

I am completely bewildered by the fact that we have to find a place to live, pack up, and move there, in six weeks time. (By the way, if you'd pray for us in this regard specifically, we would be so appreciative.) But I'm not hopeless. I'm not scared. I'm not fearful or worried about any of the details. It's a lot, but it's fantastic. It's stressful, but for such a greater outcome. This is an incredible answer to a prayer we've prayed a long time.

I might cry again before this is all said and done. I'd put money on it. I'm a crier, after all. Regardless, I'm not going to hide behind my tears. Not in this. There will be tears of joy and anticipation mixed in with any of sorrow or nostalgia. Moving, from a home we've experienced so much of life in, will be a big event for us. I plan to face it head-on, and watch to see what's next. No, I'm not going to hide behind my tears.

I may hide behind my hands....but only because that's how one goes about playing peek-a-boo. And I see you, friend. Whatever you're up against, whatever kind of week you had, I see you. And I get it. And we're gonna go through this next one together, without giving the father-of-lies any room to wiggle in our psyche.