Changing Faces

Let’s not call this a pulse point….but I feel like Bill Hader always has the best ways of expressing my emotions through a work day:

 

When someone won’t let a meeting end because of all of their “great ideas”:

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When the dramatic girl busts into my office to tell me how she just got “chewed out for being nice” and I’m trying to hide my distain for being interrupted and underwhelmed (spoiler: they didn’t chew her out….at all)

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When she walks out:

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When turnover rates are already too high because of the plethera of overtime people work uncompensated, and corporate thinks we need to work on some of the holidays we are supposed to have off:

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When someone “jokes” that they could use a drink at an event:

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When the other new girl tells me it would be cute if we all wore “cute matching pink camo hats”:

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When someone tells me they can’t come to a meeting or function that has taken months to plan because of something trivial (I.e. “Isn’t there a thunderstorm that day? Is it safe to walk down the hall?”)

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When someone says something passive aggressive to me:

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When I leave for the day:

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A Post about a Hook

So…for the most part, I’m an adult now. By that, I mean I’m a 27 year-old homeowner, with a respectable job, that still laughs at “that what she said” and fart jokes. But let’s face it, they’re hilarious. I am also a 90s child. I love it. I love that we are bringing the 90s fashion is back. And just WAIT til that floral pattern for home decor comes back (ya better check ya’self before you wreck ya’self, chevron pattern!). Also…still waiting on my beanie baby collection to have value again…I will be SO rich.

rich animated GIFHolla, Richie Rich!

Back to 2014 for a second, I LOVE Emma Stone. And I really love that people tell me I look like her instead of Lindsey Lohan now. But sadly, after she straight up obliterated Jimmy Fallon in a lip-sync battle, I no longer feel worthy of comparison. Aside from her mad skills and overall awesomeness, she sang one of my FAVORITE songs- “The Hook” by Blues Traveler

Weird thing about this song, it was popular circa ’94, which put me at 7 years old (SWEET BABY JESUS…I just realized that song is 20 years old this year! whhaaaaa. Aging is for the birds). That’s right, a 7 year old jamming Blues Travelers…I was a cool kid. 

Except for one moment. I’ve know every word to the song since then, but I have never PROCESSED the words until my girl, Emma, battled it out. And I will be darned if that mindlessness isn’t what the song is about!

 

“It doesn’t matter what I say / So long as I sing with inflection /
That makes you feel that I’ll convey / Some inner truth of vast reflection / But I’ve said nothing so far / And I can keep it up for as long as it takes / And it don’t matter who you are / If I’m doing my job then it’s your resolve that breaks
/ Because the hook brings you back / I ain’t tellin’ you no lie
/ The hook brings you back
/ On that you can rely”

 

My face..wait for it:

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and I felt a lot like this.

I’ve been tricked. Now, y’all…one of my better qualities is that I’m a pretty witty lass. I over-think things and I’m fantastic with detail. So this realization caught me a bit off guard…how much mindlessness passes through me every day?

Don’t worry, this isn’t a “deep” post or anything, but I thought I’d throw that out there because I thought if ANYone would feel me, the internet would feel me. Help me. What other songs do this? 

 

On a Serious Note…

I’m going off the cuff from my ordinary humorous tone, to ask you all for your help:

As some of you may know, my blog title is  a pun from the Arkansas state motto, “The Natural State.” You may or may not be aware that an unofficial F5 tornado rummaged through Central Arkansas last night, and this is the first time in almost 10 years I couldn’t be there to help.

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I realize numerous tornadoes and natural disasters upset hundreds and thousands of people every year, this post is in NO WAY to diminish what you all are going through out there; I am merely speaking what I know, and hope you do the same (God forbid) when/if your community is affected. This is my home state. This is where my heart is. I have actually already come across two homes that my friends used to live in (the no longer do) that have been destroyed – homes in which I have stood and celebrated. With all walls down, I’m feeling lost.

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If I am feeling this way, I cannot even FATHOM the 1st person view from the videos I’ve seen – the woman screaming and whistling for her dog outside of her destroyed home while tears are rolling down her face; the 17 (and counting) people who have lost their lives and their families; the friends and family of those who still  cannot reach people and are desperate for answers, the loss of everything you have and countless years of everything you’ve worked for gone:

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Here’s where I’m asking you to pay attention: As bad as the images above are, there are some beautiful, beautiful things happening in this resilient state. My old church has been one of the few volunteer groups allowed into this disaster area:

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They made lunches for several hundreds of people in the area – each with a handwritten note of encouragement to the recipient (they are using #SERVErelief on Facebook and Twitter if you’d like to follow them)

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These incredible communities are showing ASTOUNDING resilience, hope, and courage.

I’m asking your help – Don’t say you can help, you can:

1. If you pray, pray for these communities, the families, the first responders, the volunteers, the answers, and most of all, divine peace over the matter.

2. If you can donate money, donate money. You can donate to the American Red Cross. (Also, we have already found one scam that raised $10,000 and was fortunately caught before it was collected. PLEASE be educated and careful). Samaritans Purse is another organization that has been highly praised in similar situations.

3. The American Red Cross has gathered some pushback over the years (I cannot speak educationally about the subject and in no way am condemning the organization) – BUT, if you are not comfortable with this, please consider local organizations and local churches. ANY of them will help but here is the church I spoke of earlier.

4. If you are in the area, and able to provide in-kind donations, here are some supplies needed: (from New Life Church) “If you are looking for ways to help with Tornado Relief, we are currently needing supplies: toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, new socks & underwear for kids, men & women, sunscreen, tarps, etc. Drop off at GLR or Conway New Life Church locations NLC.Conway New Life Church.” New Life Church is also host to the Arkansas Dream Center

5. Also if you are in the area, PLEASE, PLEASE consider fostering found pets until their owners can be found! If you are looking for updates on pets you can find them here and here (the latter is the organization that helped me find my dog when she was lost)

6. Donate AND spread awareness with this t-shirt. 100% of profits go to relief efforts. I have loved this company for a LONG time, their t-shirts and great, and they do so much for our community!

7. Stay informed with social media: Here is one Facebook page I have found set up to assist the Mayflower community

8. If you are someone you love has been affected by a tornado, here is a highly rated post of a victim paying in forward: “Dear friends here are few things I wished we had known immediately following the tornado to do.  1: call insurance company. 2: call a restoration/water removal company to come in and remove anything left to clean, itemize & store your belongings. 3: ask your insurance company to find you a temporary place to live ASAP. This is in your policy. 4: take pictures of EVERYTHING LEFT!! Take hundreds before you remove anything.  5: cancel all utilities. 6:go to relief centers & get clothing, food, toys etc. 7: register with FEMA 8: BUY TUBS TO PUT THINGS IN YOU NEED IMMEDIATELY.  9: board up what’s left of your home if the restoration companies can’t get to you immediately. 10: do not be afraid to ask, seek & beg for help!”

Someone also commented that you might get a binder to organize your files, and contact your bank for what you can do to protect your accounts.

I implore you to help in anyway you can. Even if all you can do is pray or send good vibes or words of encouragement – it makes a difference! I would also like to encourage each and every one of you to prepare yourself for these storms.  I highly recommend the “Tornado – American Red Cross” app. It includes tips for preparing for a tornado, as well as a warning system that will go off if a tornado warning is issued for your area.

Thank you for tuning in, internet. As always, you’re awesome. Stay that way.

t4

Pulse Point IV

Because I’m feelin’ it….

When I prepare to eat…almost anything….and we’re out of ketchup/ranch dressing

Utter Disbelief

When I’m on Facebook and I see someone post something that defies every bit of who they really are:

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When the sushi chef hands me my sushi plate:

James Franco

When someone snaps an unnecessary, rude/condescending comment to me:

John Wayne is sick of your shit

When I’m talking to pretentious people for business purposes:

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When “This Is How We Do It” comes on

House Party Dance

When the bubbly girl in the office is sucking up to our boss:

Big Whoop

When someone tells me I can’t dance:

Confused Lion King

psshh…I know I’m fly…..

have a lovely weekend!

Back by…well probably not popular demand

OK…so here’s my updates in a nutshell:

-I am one month and 1 day away from being a wife and official Texarkana resident (Mrs. Ross?!?)

-I have every intention of at LEAST weekly posts, I really do!…but…

-I was recently laid off from my job, immediately, my boss was not informed of it, and I even won a performance award that morning…. I hit an all time low. I also threw all my efforts into job hunting. Unfortunately, I’m relocating (earlier than planned, mind you), and moving from a town of about 150K to about 50K over two states (Texarkana rides the line of Texas and Arkansas). I can’t even go into the amount of unfortunate problems I’ve hit.

-I am fortunate to still keep in contact with the greatest Boss/Director/Feminist/Friend/Leader I’ve ever been fortunate enough to know. Although I called her for career advice (girlfriend has received national awards), she interupted me: “Ok, Lauren, You are saying everything positive and I can still hear the depression in you voice. I was once in your shoes and the best advice I ever received was fake it. I don’t care how your feeling, smile. Find something to focus your attention on, not this job, not the wedding, YOU, because your job and your wedding will never show how great you are if you’re in a bad place – and you are great, but you’ve got to hold on get it together for that to REALLY show. THAT is what makes you unique.” Incredible advice. she suggested I get a manicure and facial but HEY no job! Yay! Instead, I had one last good cry. I remembered how confident and innovative I was when I worked for her, and was determined to get myself back there. So I gave myself an at home spa night, movie with my boyfriend (fiance or husband…he’s always my boyfriend), had a good breakfast, had a great morning workout, DETAILED the house, and am trying to find things I love again (I’m forcing myself to blog right now, but I do love to write). 

 

So there’s that, it should explain why I’ve been M.I.A. I have done a TON to the house, but in order to keep the blogging momentum going, I’m going to break it up. Hopefully tomorrow will be full of pictures of before and after and what’s still left to do (which should leave plenty of posts). Promise things are going to get better, but I’ve got to prioritize. See you soon! Thanks for staying with me!

Pulse Point III

You’re Welcome

 

How I feel when I’m trying to communicate with a hysterical, unhappy woman:

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How I felt when our home seller said she would give us the lowest price if we closed quickly:

 

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How I feel about seeing Jason and closing tomorrow:

 

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How I feel about my hair these days:

 

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How I feel about losing my FAVORITE three-wolf-moon shirt:

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How I feel about moving, taking down wallpaper, texturing the walls, painting the whole house, working, attending my first wedding shower, and watching a 4 year old within the next week

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How I feel about my FAVORITE paint color for the front door not looking good in the photoshop version:

 

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How I feel….always….everyday….all the time:

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How I feel about my BFF, Brittany, not understanding the meme I was talking about:

 

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How I feel when someone said “Perfect place to make Gin and Tonics” when I showed them the picture of the bar in our new home:

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Closing tomorrow! Fingers crossed all goes well!

Home, James.

Ok, for this time. Last time I really blogged we had put an offer on another house. Quick recap to now: the inspection came back horrible at that house, and we pulled the offer. I was devestated because I loved that house so, so much. Jason loved it but not as much as I. Then we put an offer on a second house. Jason loved this one more than I did, but the lady flipped flopped “I’m not coming off the price!” “fine, I”ll accept your offer,” “No I can’t accept that,” “OK I want to reconsider,” “nevermind, I”m planning a wedding in this house, and I’m too overwhelmed to sell right now, maybe in 2-3 weeks!” BYE. Lovely how it worked out, because after some extremely lucky (on our part) happeneings, we have found THE house. We love this one equally the same and 10X more than the other 2. Funny how things work out? I will spare you the many, many details of how we got here, but we are set to close on Friday! (yay!) AND the inspection came back MUCH MUCH better, this time! So without further ado (and yes I realize I’m TECHNICALLY jumping the gun), our home: PS. It’s worth noting that these pictures were taken on my phone. Before I saw the house, the seller sent me a couple of pictures – these are clearly better quality. SO, the pictures with furniture in them are hers (and will give you a better size perspective, too), and the empty house pictures are what it actually looks like today. Behold:

Front

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This will be the only shot that I can actually SHOW you the plans we have for it (well..some….landscaping still pending). So big thanks to Brittany Murray for photoshopping the two colors we were choosing between:

Traditional Red

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The shutters WILL be black. We love how the trees frame the house, so it definitely needed a pop of color on the front door. I wasn’t crazy about red, but It was the only thing that seemed to fit. I thought Jason would be completely on this, but suprisingly, he was not, so he sheepishly (I say “sheepishly” because he thinks he’s not supposed to do home design, but y’all, he’s actually pretty good, and I really love everything he’s suggested so far. My man.) suggested this color:

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It actually looked more mint on the swatch, but I’m digging how the photoshop job turned out. It has a more subtle pop, but is inviting and more earthy. I think this just may be “the one.” Update: Jason still isn’t sure about it. Stay tuned.

The Entryway

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Not much to see here. Although that wallpaper will be removed A.S.A.P. and the light fixture will be upgraded eventually.

The Sitting Room

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At least, that’s all we know to call it. We have hardly any idea what we want to do to this room. My generous parents bought us a upright piano (yes, I used to play) so it will definitely go here, and a lovely Christmas tree for the window for people to see from the road when the time is right. Otherwise, I’m sure this room will develop as we place things.

The Dining Room

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This lovely room will be the formal dining room I have dreamed about! Yes, I’m soooo 90’s and still love a formal dining room. I love that growing up my family had dinner together nearly every night, free of technology, and forced to actually BE together. I want to continue that. Especially since that’s how Jason and I started dating really. He cooked for me one night and instead of going out as planned, we just ended up enjoying a glass of whisky and coke after dinner and talking the night away. So now, that is our Sunday night ritual: we cook, have a drink, and take on the world’s problems. I have to thank Jason for making this a tradition and making sure we never get away from it because it is absolutely one of my favorite things in this world. But I digress. Not shown in this picture are the french doors on the right that lead to the kitchen.

The Kitchen

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So much more life in the seller’s pictures. Did I mention that this house vomits wallpaper and it will all be stripped (if I can help it) this weekend? Because yes…that. We will paint this room gray. You may notice that the dishwasher and trash compactor are insanely outdated — nevermind, they actually look better in these pictures than they do in real life. No matter, we bought a new stainless steel dishwasher and refrigerator this weekend (more on that later…spoiler alert: we got incredible deals)!

The Kitchen – breakfast area

Sorry guys, I apparently missed this shot, but you can kind of see it in the second kitchen picture. There is a charming bay window which I LOVE and never expected to have anytime soon. Ah, and more wallpaper.

The Laundry Room/Half Bath

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African Safari, anyone? Seriously…WHO MADE THIS WALLPAPER?!?!? Anyway,  I don’t’ particularly love paneling, but it doesn’t hurt my feelings either. So we will just slap a nice neutral color and paint those cabinets white. Whatever we do to the laundry room, we will do to the half bath since it’s such an awkward place (the door doesn’t open all the way because it opens into the washer and dryer…oh yeah, we bought a washer and dryer along with previous mentioned good deal).  I really doubt the bathroom gets used much, but I suppose it’s nice if we ever need to sell the home. “I’m sorry, what were you saying about you’re 2 bath home? I couldn’t hear you over my 2 1/2 bath home” **snub**

I suppose at this point it’s work mentioning that the garage is right past the laundry room. Nothing really to see there, it’s a pretty standard garage, but it does have a spacey storage room.

The Living Room

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Here we have the living room that makes me smile. I mainly smile because Eme and I had the EXACT same reaction when seeing it for the first time: “THIS IS GOING TO BE SO PERFECT AT CHRISTMAS!!” That’s right…we freakin’ love Christmas. Buddy the elf could be our BFF.  Anyway, the window open to the sunroom, and it has the fireplace I’ve always wanted. Not particularly THIS fireplace, I just want a fireplace. I am but a simple lass. We also love the vaulted ceiling, chunky beams, and the part of this room that is not shown in the pictures above…

The Bar

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That’s right, we have a bar. Which, as you can see in the first picture, is currently serving as our dumping grounds. Jason and I LOVE this space. Not so much for the bar-aspect, but for the entertaining-aspect. We love that it’s in the living room and not the kitchen. It makes it feel more like it’s a place for friends to gather for games/parties/idle Friday night rather than a watering whole. Either way, we feel so blessed to have it. It only seems like rich people who are bored with having money in their account have these.

Hallway

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Not much to see here. I’m mainly showing you for you guys to get and idea on the layout. This hall curves to the left and has a twin sister of that hideous, hideous light (you gotsta GO).

The Playroom

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Yeah…I”m no photographer, but you get the idea. Our house is technically a 4 bedroom, but this room is much smaller than the others and has no closet. Luckily, we don’t need and immediately decided that this would be Eme’s playroom (girlfriend is loved and we are vomiting toys). This is probably the room I’m most excited about. Picture me Joker-grinning while rubbing my hands together. I can fulfill all me crazy, outside-the-box dreams in this room. We are going to paint it a marine blue (all her toys are pink it seems…we thought it would help contrast), and that wall straight ahead will be a chalkboard wall (AHH!). We will also take down the fan and add a more playful statement light fixture, but that’s down the line. I have some SERIOUS plans for this room, but I kind of want them to play out first. Stay tuned….

The Guest Bedroom/My Office

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Again with the paneling! This is the second largest bedroom (Master is the largest), so I had already planned to make this my office, as well, but Jason didn’t know the desk was built-in so that was a nice surprise for me after the previous owners moved out — especially since we were going to have to buy a desk. We are fans of keeping dollars in our pockets. We plan to paint the room grey. and make an accent wall where my desk is to kind of “separate the areas.” Call me crazy but we’re going with navy (and I will eventually paint the cabinets white). My decision was finalized when I was telling Eme about it, and she said “COOL! Your wedding colors! And New York Yankee Colors!” Did I mention I love that kid? Also, The stud you see in the bottom picture I had previously, he didn’t come with the house.

Hall Bathroom

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Again, pretty standard. I like to keep bathrooms a sleek and clean as possible. So the walls will stay a light gray, and the shower curtain will more than likely be white.  The cabinet above the toilet will more than likely come down. It’s not really needed and I feel it minimizes the room, especially since there is no window.

Eme’s Room

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This is the first room we will finish because we want Eme to feel right at home. So instead of me telling about the plans for it, be looking out for pictures in a week or two.

The Master Bedroom

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Yes, that is grass wallpaper. I cannot rip it down fast enough. Although from what I’ve been told and read, it is a NIGHTMARE to get down. So I suppose we will do what we can and call in a professional if needed. If you look close in the top picture, you can see two light switches mid-way down the wall. I didn’t even notice these, but Jason pointed out that they are for either side of the bed to turn off the overhead lights. Extremely unorthodox, but I like it! Because nothing is worse than being snuggled in bed, putting down a book, and realizing you have to get out to turn off the lights. Especially if you’re like me and have a beagle that gets quite upset when she’s asleep and is moved. I know… **first world problems** That light you see shining through the bottom picture is a large sliding glass door that leads our onto our sunroom. More on that later.

The Master Bathroom

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BY. FAR. the most unorthodox room of the house – but I dig it. Where to begin? Let’s start with the toilet/phone booth….WHAT? I can’t decide who to call first! I feel like this is something that Billy Bob Thornton would do. It makes me laugh so much (yes, I have the humor of a 12 year old boy) that I kind of want to keep it. Next you see what will be my closet. There are two of these, not much to see, but it does have convenient storage space. That next picture…no big deal that’s just our sauna. It seems to impress people the most and is kind of cool to talk about – “aw, you’re laying out in your pool? That’s sweet, I was just stepping into my sauna.” But I have to confess, I have never been in a sauna. Well, that’s not entirely true. One time I was working out at a swanky hotel in Kansas City and all the cool rich people kept using the sauna so I thought I’d see what it’s all about. I walked in and immediately thought, “I thought I left Arkansas…what’s going on here?” And immediately walked right back out. Plus I’m not really down with sweating with strangers. I do feel obligated to use this thing, though. Someone please teach me what to do.  The shower is pretty standard. The Jacuzzi tub is uniquely tucked away in a corner – I like that. and then we have a lovely vanity. The red room has got to go. I believe this room will look much better with a light grey on the wall.

The Sunroom

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Another thing on the “Really want but didn’t expect to have list.” This is where we envision watching games and visiting with friends/family in the fall. We can’t wait to slap on a dark mocha color on the floor! Ps…thanks for the photobombs, Aspen.

The sunroom leads onto the deck which is in desperate need of repair. We have a fenced in backyard and a storage building outside (no photos…sorry, I forgot). Just for fun, here is an amateur (and not in ANY way to-scale) layout of the house so you can get a feel for the flow:

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We can’t wait to post pictures after we do some damage (the good kind)! Stay tuned!