Wednesday, September 16, 2015

It's been a while...

I have been fighting coming back to writing for a long time. My family has nudged me. I think the Lord has nudged me. But writing like I want to— throwing out the raw emotions on my heart— is scary. It isn’t always well received. 

We lost a baby today. Actually, according to the ultrasound, we lost it almost two weeks ago. It just took until today for my body to finally get with the program. It is a devastating thing, losing a baby you’re excited about. I had this precious photo of my boys wearing matching “Big Brother” t-shirts. I couldn’t wait to post it on instagram and share our news. Dane was so excited to have “a cute little baby” to play with again. He was calling it Spiderman. We have no idea. He doesn’t even like Spiderman. 

At 8 weeks, the baby only measured 6 weeks, but there was a heartbeat and the doctor assured us our dates were just wrong. Our dates were not wrong. In my heart I knew they were not wrong, but we went along and changed our due date and prepared to come back in two weeks for a recheck. 

Tevie has only missed one OB appointment- it was a routine late term one with Cooper and I wanted to spend the day Christmas shopping and he did not. On September 4, we decided it was better for him to take the boys to play while I went to the doctor, then we’d head straight for a fun Labor Day weekend away camping. I laid there on that table waiting for that little flicker of a heartbeat. For the tech to say, “Oh! You were right! You are, in fact due March 31 (on my birthday).” Instead, she didn’t say anything. She turned and walked out of the room, and after an eternity (but probably more like 2 minutes), she brought my doctor back in. He placed his hand on my leg and walked me through what we were looking at. 

No blood flow. No heartbeat. Our baby was gone. 

I spent the weekend questioning it. I mean they could be wrong, right? Sometimes they screw up stuff like this. We decided to let my body deliver it naturally, instead of scheduling a D&C. 

For the last 48 hours or so I have been in labor. It’s not period cramping, it’s contractions. The kind of pain that ibuprofen won’t touch because it hurts too deeply, on too many levels. I have begged for it to be over. As fast as possible, Lord, let it be done. And this morning, as quickly as it came on, it was over. The pain is gone and I’m not pregnant anymore. Five years ago today my parents’ lost their home to a devastating fire. Today I miscarried what should have been my third sweet baby. I think we’re going to skip September 16 from now on. 

I got pregnant with Cooper in May 2013 and didn’t wean him until about 6-7 weeks into this pregnancy. My body has been sustaining another life for over two years and now I have no idea what to do with myself. Do I even own a bra that doesn’t have nursing snaps? Am I actually allowed to have an afternoon cup of coffee without fear of over-caffeinating someone? You mean I can have more than one beer AT A TIME. It feels so strange. 

In our time of sorrow and weakness, our friends, family and church family have stepped in and fed us, physically and spiritually. They really are Acts 2 in action. It is community and brotherhood exactly the way God meant for it to be. 

I have been hopelessly out of the Word in recent months. I claim to be busy. Motherhood is loud and requires all of your mental energy as soon as their tiny feet come racing down the hallway each morning. I stuff in a verse or devo here and there, and trust that the Word is Alive and is taking root, but I’m not digging in and being fed. And, while I DO NOT BELIEVE FOR ONE MINUTE that it was the Lord’s will for us to lose this baby, I do believe that He works ALL THINGS for Good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28), and this is a perfect example of that. 

In sadness, I run to the Word. And the first place I opened to earlier this week was Psalm 34. 
(9)Hear the LORD, you his godly people,for those who fear him will have all they need.(10) Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing.
And I sat there sobbing at my kitchen table. “BUT I AM LACKING A GOOD THING, LORD. A very good thing.” Verse 18 says: 

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. (19) The righteous person faces many troubles,but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.

The Word is alive. It convicts and heals. He binds up our wounds each time. Praise Him for that. 

I’ve also reread Psalm 139 about a million times. 

(13)You made all the delicate, inner parts of my bodyand knit me together in my mother’s womb.(14)Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.(15)You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.(16)You saw me before I was born.Every day of my life was recorded in your book.Every moment was laid outbefore a single day had passed.

I am sobbing again as I read that again. Every moment was laid out. This baby never knew one moment of life outside of the presence of God. How incredibly beautiful is that? How much peace and comfort in a time when I want to scream out loud in frustration over the unfairness of it all. 

If you know someone mourning through a miscarriage, say something to them. Tell them you’re sorry. Hug their sweet necks. Bring them food, because that mama just endured labor and there was no fat little baby to hold at the end of those painful contractions. We don’t talk about it because it’s sad. It’s awkward because if you’ve never walked through it, you kind of can’t see what the big deal is. I mean, they didn’t know the sex, they already have two kids, she was only 10 weeks along, etc. But those were 10 weeks spent dreaming of names and mentally rearranging your three bedroom house to fit three kids and a guest room for your out of town family. The gender was never determined, but you dreamed it was a little boy and that he wore a striped onesie and little soft grey pants home from the hospital... and that you named him Everett and he had fuzzy brown hair like his brothers did at birth. 

Thankfully, there is JOY in the morning and we serve a Great God. As we pray for and pray over pregnancies in our families, we can rejoice WHOLEHEARTEDLY with them because we know the blessing each little baby is, to their parents, to the Kingdom, and to the Lord, because He has knit them together with a great purpose. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015


I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that you are 4 years old. You're such an amazing kid, Dane.

You say "Chill up" instead of "Chill out".
You have memorized the names of more sea creatures than I could ever hope to, or would ever want to. ;)
You pray for us at every meal, and instead of saying the little prayer we taught you, you like to add "my family will be". You took that from I'll love you forever: "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be." Sometimes people look up like they didn't understand what you said, but we know. And it makes us melt every time.
You share with Coop about 70% of the time, and the other 30% I am screaming down the hallway to LEAVE YOUR BROTHER ALONE.
You dance to fun music, you memorize movie quotes like a boss, you're a friend to everyone, and you already ask all the time, "Does that show God's love."
I don't know how we got so lucky, but man, did we ever hit the kid lottery with you, bud.

Happy 4th Birthday!

Special Birthday morning breakfast: donuts!!

Going to his very first movie theater experience: Minions.

He could pick any where for lunch... and he chose McDonald's. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Super Cooper Turns 1!

One year ago today you entered the world with a bang! You didn't want to wait for your scheduled delivery, you broke mama's water and chose your own birthday. That was our first indication of your rough, tough (sometimes brute), determined little personality. Your big brother took to calling you Coopie and it has stuck! But it seems like such a silly nickname for a boy as big and tough as you! An early crawler and walker, there is no stopping you when you put your mind to something. We love to watch you play-- you copy Dane's movements and stick with something until you've mastered it. You laugh when you're being disciplined (Lord, help us!). We call you a hurricane because you leave a wake wherever you go! Yet, you are the most tender, loving child I have ever seen. You cover us in big, wet kisses and sweet hugs all the time, usually when we're least expecting them. You love to be snuggled and you maul your brother with big, adoring bear hug/wrestling take down moves (It's all out of love, we think). Your warm, toothy, cheesy grin melts my heart. Your easy going temperament is the calm to Dane's wild. It's hard to upset you and your face shows sheer joy almost all the time. We pray over you daily that you grow strong in God's word and love Him all the days of your life. With your determination and big heart, you're going to do amazing things for the Kingdom, kid. We are so very blessed to watch you grow. We love you to the moon and back, Cooper Scott Gooden Baby (another Dane nickname)! Happy 1st Birthday! 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

On The Day You Were Born...

For you, my sweet Cooper. To always remember your birth day and the wonderful, blessed day that it was. 

What they say about women nesting before going into labor is true! At least it was for me. In preparation for your scheduled arrival on Monday (2/3), I was cleaning and getting the house in order. I put the finishing touches on your nursery and we had maternity/family pictures taken by our friend Lindsay on Thursday afternoon. I even mentioned to her and daddy that I was having contractions during our session.

On Friday, I cleaned like a mad woman. :) If there was a surface in this house that could be scrubbed, it was scrubbed. Daddy came home at lunch and that's when I had the first contraction that actually hurt a little bit.  I stopped in the hallway and caught my breath. Daddy asked if he should go pack a bag and I told him no. I thought it had just caught me off guard.  I took a shower and watched an episode of Nashville while Dane napped, waiting on Papa and Granna to get here. Thankfully Papa and Granna had already made plans to be here for the shower Ms. Cali and Ms. Jaynee were throwing for us that evening. I met Papa and Granna in the driveway when they got here. I hugged Granna and cried. I couldn't explain it then, but I was just so relieved she was here.

They had picked up Sonny's BBQ for supper. We ate together and then Granna and I got ready to go to Ms. Cali's. The shower was so perfect. It had a storybook theme: very hungry caterpillar fruit tray, goodnight moon sandwiches, etc. Those girls are so thoughtful! Gran and Aunt Meagan were there, and momma’s friends Elisha, Christah, CJ, and Hollie. You got lots of diapers and a few sweet outfits and other necessities. I had contractions off and on but thought they were Braxton Hicks and nothing to worry about.

We got home about 10:30pm and headed to bed. Daddy and I talked until about 11pm and then went to sleep. A contraction woke me up about midnight. I got up and went to the restroom and fell right back to sleep. Another woke me at 1am and then again at 2am. I was laying there thinking it was odd that they hurt enough to wake me, when Granna brought Dane to me. He had woken up crying for mommy. :) I snuggled him up, downloaded a contraction timer app on my phone and started watching contractions.

From 2:30-3:30am they were 8-10min apart. At 3:30am I got up to charge my phone, get some water, and call the hospital. I told the nurse that I had a c-section scheduled for Monday but was having regular contractions. She asked if they were making me uncomfortable and I said, "Well, I can't sleep!" She said I could come in and get checked by a doctor, but if I wasn't in labor they'd send me home. The hospital is 45 minutes away and I knew I couldn't be in labor (ha!), so rather than wake anyone I sat on the couch timing contractions. I decided I'd wake Granna at 6am, if they were still regular. By 4:30am, they were about 7 minutes apart and I was uncomfortable. I thought I might get some relief in the bath tub, so I tried to sneak into my room. Dane, who hadn't been sleeping well all night, popped up and said "Mommy!" I told him to go back to sleep and decided I'd just use the restroom and climb back in bed. Dane followed me to the potty. I picked him and carried him back to our bed. I put him down and climbed into bed myself...and my water broke! I breathed a big sigh, which was more like a cry because all of sudden I was scared! I really was in labor! Daddy said, "Momma, are you OK?" and before I could finish saying "I think my water broke" he was out of the bed and had one foot in his jeans. :) He woke up Granna, Papa got Dane, I put on dry clothes and then we were out the door! Daddy forgot his wallet and everything! We really should have packed beforehand!

Daddy did 100mph (no kidding) to get to the hospital. We got there in about 20min and by this time my contractions were about 5 minutes apart and hurt! They got me settled in pre-op and we waited on the doctor to come in. We were right between calls so we had to wait for a the doctor who was coming on call next. From the time we got there until you were born was about two hours, but it felt like forever! I don’t know how girls labor without medicine! Those contractions HURT and I knew I had a spinal block coming my way soon! 

The hospital couldn't get in touch with my doctor, Dr. Crosslin, so you were delivered by another doctor. Papa even called one of his doctor friends to call the hospital and get Crosslin's personal cell phone number! Dr. Priddle came in to meet us and talk to us. He was so kind and put us at ease. The nurses rolled me into the surgery room while daddy waited outside. They did my spinal block--which hurt this time! It didn't hurt with Dane, but I had sharp pains in that spot for a while after he was born. This time no pain afterwards, but man did I feel it go in!

Daddy came in and the surgery began! After a few minutes, Dr. Priddle asked if daddy wanted a picture, so he stood up and got a picture of you being born! The doctor held up your sweet, squishy face over the curtain so I could see you! The curtain with Dane's birth was a lot higher and the doctor didn't hold you up for me to see. Dr. Priddle left the cord long for daddy to cut, so daddy went over to the little place they had prepped for you, cut your cord and took lots of pictures. Then he wrapped you up and brought you over to me. You were so sweet- all slimy and new! I loved everything about that moment. Daddy went with you to the nursery while they finished my surgery. Just about 20 minutes later we were together in recovery where I got to nurse you and snuggle you. We didn't want you to have a bath (mommy wanted to keep the vernix on and see you all gooey and smell your sweet newborn head), but the nurse didn't listen when Daddy told her no bath. Honestly though, that was our only complaint about your entrance into the world, so I'll take it.

Papa and Granna arrived shortly after with Dane! Daddy brought him in and we got to be together as a family of four for the first time! I got to hold you as they rolled me to my room. It was all so wonderful. Dane's birth day wasn't at all like we had planned, even though it was scheduled. Your birth was a healing experience for me- getting to labor, seeing you as soon as you were born, daddy cutting your cord, holding you so soon and nursing right away was so special. Even if we didn't have pictures and video, I'd remember every moment because they mean so much to me. Even now, six weeks later, I'm still crying thinking about that perfect day. 

You were so wanted and you are so loved, Cooper Scott. You complete our family and fill a void we didn't even realize we had. As I held your sweet 9lb 7oz frame, it felt like you had always been in our family. You were always meant to be with us. We prayed over you before you were born. And we continue to pray that you hide God’s Word in your heart and come to know Him at an early age. Before you were born, I found a sign that reads “someday I will change the world”. I stood in the aisle at Hobby Lobby and cried like a baby. It was the most perfect sentiment to have hanging in your room. Beyond a doubt we know the Lord will use you to do BIG things in His Kingdom and for His people.

You are the calm to Dane’s wild. Not only do you look like your daddy, you act like him too. Sweet and gentle, unless you’re hungry or tired. :) We are so blessed to parent you and watch you grow. Our hearts are full and so is our bed—we’ve all been sleeping together since you arrived. Big brother doesn’t want to miss any of the action, apparently.

Welcome to the world, Cooper Scott. We love you to the moon and back.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dane's 2nd BDAY Monster Bash

I said I wasn't going to get carried away with Birthday Party #2... but I have this disease and I can't help myself! 

Dane loves Monsters Inc, so it seemed like a natural choice for his birthday celebration. Here are some pics from his big birthday bash!

I come from a family of cake decorators. You may remember that last year my Gramma saved the day when I smudged Dane's baseball cake, but she wasn't here to help this year! So, for my first amateur attempt at cake decorating, I was pleased! It didn't taste great, so there' still room for improvement. :)

We also had Mike Wasowki Cupcakes!
 For a July day, the weather was pretty good. And consider it had called for rain all week and we didn't get a drop, we thought the weather was perfect.
 All set up and ready for kiddos!
I found a recipe on Pinterest for Tiffany Punch, but the color was perfect for Sully, so called ours Sully Punch instead.

 Some of the little details:

 I made the "scream canisters" and my mom brought my baby brother's Sully costume (from the original release of the movie in 2001) so we could stuff it with pillows. Sully ended up looking like he'd thrown back a few though. :)
 We kept the menu simple: BBQ Chicken and Pork-- both cooked in the crockpot all day so no one was standing over the stove.

We were so blessed to be surround by family and friends to celebrate our sweet boy. But next year, momma's taking a party break. ;)


Monday, April 15, 2013

Our freakin' amazing Disney Vacation!

Apparently my public has been waiting to hear about our Disney trip. :) For those of you traveling with toddlers or young ones in the near future, I hope this helps!

For Christmas, my amazing parents planned a week-long Disney Vacation for our whole family. Four parks in five days + Disney Dining Plan + staying on the Disney grounds= perfection!

Since the drive to Orlando is a lengthy one, we decided to make it a two-day drive. We stopped the first night at Tevie's brother's house. We celebrated my birthday a few days early and got to visit with Dane's Poppy and Gran, Uncle Jess & Aunt Meagan, and Aunt Theresa before heading to Florida.

The next day vacation began!! We started the day with a new, special toy for Dane to play with in the car: a Monsters Inc play set. Really, it only needed to consist of Sulley (Suzzy) and Roz because they are his favorites. Sulley I get, but Roz? Who knows. :)

A dear friend from college lives in Birmingham. So even though it was going to add another 90minutes or so to the trip, it gave us a place to stay and the opportunity to break up an otherwise long trip. If you're traveling with a little one, I would recommend this. Two shorter days are easier for us than one excruciatingly long one (we ended up with two painfully long days on the way home, but I'll get there in a minute.)
I folded down the seats in our Expedition and brought lots of pillows and blankets so we could stretch out. This ended up being crucial especially when Dane was begging to get "down" (out of his seat) while we sat (literally with the vehicle in park) in traffic for long periods of time. That is my one caveat: NEVER GO ON VACATION DURING SPRING BREAK. The traffic was miserable!

Thankfully, movies and playing wore our little guy out and he napped pretty well in the car.
So after a night with Uncle Bruce (and a super nice dinner, thanks again!!) we were headed for Disney! Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning! (Props to you if you can name that Disney movie!)

Dane got carsick for the first time EVER while we sat in traffic in Atlanta. Thankfully we were close to an exit so Tevie pulled off. We got him cleaned up, let him run around and breathe fresh air for a minute and then got back on the interstate to sit in that traffic again. :( It may add more time to the trip, but, for us, stopping along the way is hugely beneficial. We love Chik-fil-A and since we live in a depraved area of the country where there isn't one on every corner, we take advantage of eating there when traveling. They are usually close the interstate, always clean, and the Christian music on the overhead radio is a major plus. Dane also enjoyed his first Five Guys experience on this trip. He is a ketchup-lover just like every other Gooden boy.

After 9 hours and some less than awesome traffic, we MADE IT!
We stayed at the Ft. Wilderness Campground. Dad and my sister, Brynn, met us in the golf cart at the main entrance and we followed them to our site. Dane was happy to see them, but really he was just glad to be riding the golf cart. :) It was the one thing he asked for over and over again all week... lucky for him, he can ride it at Papa and Granna's any time he wants!
I wish we had planned for a day to just hang out at the campground. It had so many cool things that we didn't get to do because we were so worn out by the end of the day.

Sunday morning was our first day in the park (and my BIRTHDAY!). It was Easter Sunday, and as you know, we celebrate that day a little differently: we Forget the Frock. Here we are in our Orphan Tshirts at Magic Kingdom.
 On your birthday, you get a pin to wear that reads "Happy Birthday" and has your name written on it. ALL DAY LONG Cast Members wished me a happy birthday. Not gonna lie, it was pretty cool!
birthday lunch at "Be Our Guest". Worth the wait!!!

I've lost count of the number of times I've been to Disney World/Land, but I felt like this was the first time because I was seeing it as Dane saw it. Disney with your child is truly magical. But, he was a bit overwhelmed with everything!
taking in all the sights on Main Street USA
riding the carousel with daddy
Riding Dumbo with Mommy and Daddy & It's a Small World with Papa
I asked them to "lean in" for a picture, and this is what I got. My brother is very funny!

When you stay in the park (meaning at any of the Disney resorts), you get to the opportunity to be a part of Extra Magic hours. So you're in the park before the commonfolk every day! This was crucial with Dane, especially on our first day at Magic Kingdom. We hit the park first thing and had finished all of Fantasy Land before the lines started. We walked right on to the new Little Mermaid ride and even Peter Pan. We even got to run over to Tomorrow Land and ride Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin before the crowds got too bad. 

The best part of our first day at Magic Kingdom (other than it being my birthday!) was Dane's FIRST HAIRCUT! The sweet woman who cut his hair deserves a sainthood. Thank you, Beverlene, for making it such a special occasion! Dane didn't want to sit in the chair, so Papa bribed him with a Mickey-shaped rice krispie treat. That did the trick!

 With the Disney Dining Plan you eat like kings all week. It's a good thing you walk so much, other wise we all would have been sick. Apparently we chose the more popular restaurants, because even 3 months in advance we either couldn't get in or got a weird reservation time. Mostly we ended up eating a really early dinner (like 3:45pm), which was great for the little guy. After getting up early to get to the park, it was nice to eat early and go back to rest and recoup for the evening. Because we visited Magic Kingdom twice, on our second day at that park we slept in (well some of us! The men were ready to hit rides early, so the Toddler and his entourage slept in and took our time) and hit the park late, took a midday/early evening break and then went back for the 9pm parade and fireworks. So worth it! Dane had so much fun that night! 

Dane has never been a great napper. I was really worried about how that whole thing was going to go. We brought out Chicco stroller. It's ginormus, but reclines and he likes riding in it. We thought we might need midday breaks for naps, but Dane would inevitably pass out in someone's lap on a ride or during a show and take a good hour-long nap in his stroller. Even with all the noise and commotion, he napped like a champ.

riding the People Mover...sound asleep!
So, Sunday (and Wednesday) was Magic Kingdom. Monday was Hollywood Studios. Personally, other than the Toy Story Midway Mania ride (use Extra Magic hours, be there waiting in the line for the gates to open and then RUN for it and grab a FastPass--worth it!!), I could do without this park. But it might have been one of Dane's best days. He got to meet Mike &Sulley from Monsters, Inc. In general, he was all about waving hello and giving high-fives to the characters, he did NOT want to be hugged for touched. :) 

The Disney Junior Live show is at HS. I would have PAID to see just that. Dane's faces were absolutely priceless. I used up all the memory on my phone taking video in that show. He was in heaven!
Tuesday was Animal Kingdom. This was the hottest day of our trip, but because the park is so shaded with trees for the animal enclosures, it didn't feel bad at all. Dane is the biggest animal lover. I don't think there was a section of this park he didn't like!

We started with breakfast at the Tusker House. The secret is to book an 8am reservation. The park doesn't open until 9am (unless there are EMH) so you can be the first people on the Kilimanjaro Safaris! 

That white smear all over my dress is dried hand sanitizer. Looong story, but let's just say this germophobe haaated being in a theme park all day without hand sanitizer!

Dane seemed particularly fond of Daisy Duck

rockin' Aunt B's shades at the Bird Show

looking for Nemo while we waited for Finding Nemo: The Musical to begin!
After a full day at Animal Kingdom, we had dinner at Animal Kingdom Lodge. My favorite meal of the week!

Our Epcot day was cute waaaaay short due to rain. :( We enjoyed a few of the sights before the rain hit though!

 We walked to Japan in the World Showcase for lunch... and then the rain hit. Dane fell asleep (midbite!) during lunch. So, we folded up the stroller and I tied up the Moby wrap and carried my sleeping toddler (who is HUGE and killed my back!) through the rain back to the car. We laughed the whole way and had fun though! It wasn't raining too hard for my parents, sister and brother-in-law though-- they grabbed a beer in Germany before meeting us at the car!

Feeling guilty about cancelling dinner reservations at Epcot, and because the rain finally stopped, we decided to head back out for one last evening of fun before heading home the next day. Tevie discovered the Boardwalk had a bunch of restaurants and shopping, so we loaded up in the car and headed there. Take my advice: skip Downtown Disney and head to the Boardwalk!!! Awesome atmosphere, lots of restaurants and cute gift shops and (at least for us) NO CROWDS! It was the perfect ending to a perfect week!

My parents are AAA members, so we had a ton of perks associated with that like seating for fireworks and great parking. Other than the spring break crowds, I wouldn't change a thing! We originally booked this week because my brother's high school jazz band was supposed to be playing at Disney during this time. Their date was changed to the summer, but we kept ours. The weather, minus some rain, was beautiful and everyone is so stinkin' nice at Disneyworld!

The trip home included another night with Uncle Bruce and lunch at a little greasy spoon that makes te BEST Philly Cheese steak sandwich I have ever had. If I ever come up missing, look for me in Homewood, AL. The downtown was full of more cute little shops that I could handle and the homes... o.m.g. Absolute preciousness.

 Unfortunately, after leaving Birmingham, our trip home was not the icing on the cake of our awesome week. After 4+ hours in crazy I-65 traffic, we booked a hotel room and pulled off that parking lot that was the interstate that day. It ended up being a super-fun night for us. Eating take-out on the floor, drinking wine out of a coffee cup and watching Final Four basketball was just what the doctor ordered.
We were finally in the homestretch, just 40 miles from home, when our battery died. PRAISE THE LORD in Tevie's home town so his parents could come to our rescue. An impromptu ice cream date with Poppy and Gran made it a not-so-bad stop. :)

Our trip was truly magical, traffic and breakdown included. :) Dane was a total rockstar the whole time. When mommy and daddy were tired of being in the car, he was still ready to power through and watch another movie on the DVD player! We can't wait to go back!