Tag Archives: Delancey Dream Home

Completed Home Study

Today, I wanted to tell our readers that we have an approved and completed home study. A few weeks ago we received a phone call from our chosen agency asking if we would take an emergency placement, we agreed. We just had to complete mine and Kevin’s medical forms.

In December I will be uploading a video on one of my channels that will discuss our first foster experience. I will also be discussing what our next step in our foster/adoption journey will be.

Please understand that we cannot divulge certain things, nor can we show photos of the child, so we will only be discussing our feelings and our overall experience with fostering a child. Keep your eyes peeled for a video on my Channel around December 4th.

I would l0ve to tell you more but that would just ruin the opportunity for me to make a video. I am trying to get back into the YouTube swing of things now that life has somewhat calmed down. With only one kiddo home during the day I can get more done and dedicate some time to batch recording some videos to upload in coming months.

Today is a little out of the ordinary, Zachary is at home sick. Poor guy had a fever yesterday and still has one today, so we’re hoping that he feels better tonight or tomorrow so he can go back to school on Wednesday. We just have to see what the next 24 hours holds for my sweet little guy. Since Zachary is not feeling well, I’m unable to get an real YouTube related work done.

Now that I’ve covered everything and more that needed to be covered in this post. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

Check back soon for updates!

 


The Life We Live

Never in a million years did I ever think I would tell random strangers about our personal life. But here I am telling the whole world about the life we live. I can’t really pinpoint a reason as to why I love to blog, but I do. I hope that eventually my blog will inspire others or teach others something of value to them. Not everyone is going to get the same thing out of my experience in life. So welcome to the life we live and I hope you find some tidbit of value in here somewhere.

I have spent the last month or more playing catch up in life. The whole month of May seemed to bring us bad luck. Five negative things happened pretty much back-to-back. I think there was a sixth, but I can’t remember what it was at the moment so it must not have been that bad.

  1. Kittens broke my laptop
  2. Hot Water heater started leaking
  3. Kevin injured his back at work
  4. Kevin’s truck died while in his mom’s possession
  5. Zachary (our 5-year-old) broke his elbow while we were at First Aid/CPR Classes

Thankfully, the laptop had a protection plan with the GeekSquad. So it took 2 weeks to get my laptop back. It’s still not 100% perfect like it was before it was broken. But it works, for now.

I replaced the hot water heater with minimal help from Kevin. He couldn’t lift anything because the same day he picked up the hot water heater from Lowe’s is when he hurt his back at work. So I ended up having to wait until that Friday to replace the hot water heater. Our old one was leaking, so we turned off the electricity running to it, drained it the best we could and then I rocked it to where I could put it on some cardboard from the new hot water heater and slid that sucker out the back door. I’m so glad we purchased waterproof flooring because the hot water heater was still half full of water, it wasn’t draining properly because of sediment from our well water.

Kevin ended up on some pretty heavy duty meds for about a week. So he was home with me and the kids resting up. In that time frame, his mom called him to tell him that his truck died on her. Come to find out, his truck threw a rod for the 2nd time since he purchased this truck in 2010. He loves this little Ford Ranger, but man does this engine in it suck. It had less than 70k miles on it, when it threw a rod for the second time. If only he would have gotten an extended warranty on that dang truck. Oh well, you live and you learn.

Now, Zachary’s broken elbow is a giant fiasco in and of itself. All I know is that it happened at the playground while his big brother was swinging on the swing set. He ended up needing surgery. We’re 4 weeks post-surgery and finally have his pins out.

So all-in-all, we’re finally started to get back on track with the life we live. It’s been a crazy ride and I hope that the rest of 2017 goes a little more smoothly than the month of May did for our family.

We need to get back on track with our debt journey. A few things set us back a little, but we’ll get back on track soon.

 


2017 New Years Goal

Every single year I set myself up for failure with my New Years Resolutions of losing weight or whatever I goal I set. Well I’ve finally set my 2017 New Years Goal… Can you guess what it is? Nope it’s not to lose weight, get fit or anything like that.

It’s to start couponing to bring the cost of my monthly grocery budget down. My goal is to cut my budget for our monthly groceries down to $400 it is currently around $800-$1,000 for our family. I’ve always tried couponing at the grocery store, Target, etc. But I could never really get a savings of 50% each and every single time I was shopping. In all actuality, I’d like to get my monthly out of pocket grocery expenses to less than $150 for our family of 7. Will this ever happen… Probably not. But I’m sure going to try.

So I’m on a quest this month (December 2016) to really learn the art of couponing in order to save our family some money. With all the money I hope to save, we plan to pay down the credit card debt that we have from the purchase of home improvement materials and the cost of our handyman’s labor. Things got a little out of hand there with our credit card spending these last 5 months, so I hope to have less credit card debt than when we purchased our house or have no credit card debt at all by December, 31, 2017!

I’ve always been good at getting great deals at Kohl’s, but I’ve always struggled to get the good deals at the grocery store and Target. I mean I might occasionally get some great deals, but I want the best deals possible. I want to save money and get out from under all this dang on credit card debt once and for all. Will this be the answer to pay off all our credit card debt, NO! We’ll have to use our tax return for 2016 to help and probably double minimum payment amount in order to get down to where I want to be. I have high expectations, but I have the ability to work on achieving this goal. As a stay-at-home mother I can dedicate a few hours each week to finding the deals, matching up my coupons and much more. Just so I can stay home with our children and lead a more financially stable life.

What are your 2017 New Years Goals?
I’d love to know so leave a comment below!

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Slowly Making Progress

I am slowly making progress in all aspects of my life. Our house is slowly coming together. We have a few things we want to do this weekend to finish up the basement, we still need to pressure wash the house and front porch and I have the never ending task of mowing the front lawn. Yes, I mow the lawn once a week unless it’s raining. I’m hoping to get out there this evening before it gets dark to mow the lawn. Kevin has to work tomorrow for about 3 hours in the morning. So once he gets home from that we’re going to do our normal weekend errands (grocery shopping, school supplies, gas, etc).

I am slowly making progress on my weight loss efforts. When we moved into our house I gave up drinking soda all day long. I occasionally get a 20 oz soda here and there, but I’ve basically given it up. I went 2 whole weeks without a single soda!!!! In the last 2 months that we’ve been in our house, I’ve lost 15 lbs!!! I’m more aware of my how many miles I walk each day thanks to my FitBit Flex. I’m also getting rewarded for all those miles I’m walking via AchieveMint. You get rewarded with MONEY to log your food intake, your sleep, your step count, etc. Talk about easy, I just set up my FitBit and then use MyFitnessPal app to track my food intake and then connected all the apps to my AchieveMint account. So that’s pretty motivating, that I’m earning money while getting healthy.

Yesterday, I took a walk with Zachary and Ryleigh in the double stroller, my calves burned so bad by the time I got back to the house. The terrain in our neighborhood is horrible, a lot of gravel and dirt and partially paved roads. There are also a ton of hills; REALLY STEEP HILLS. So I’m getting a really great workout every morning when I take the kids on a walk. We’re going to keep doing a daily walk for as long as the weather holds out this fall and winter. I don’t want Zachary and Ryleigh outside if it’s too cold, but we’re going to attempt to walk around the neighborhood even in November. We’ll just have to bundle up. If it’s too cold, we’ll just have to put the stroller in the truck and go to the mall and walk 3 miles, it will just suck because I’m hoping that the uneven and rough terrain is going to help me get to where I want to be faster than any flat surface/terrain.

My life has been super boring lately, Kevin’s been working a lot doing Annual Preventative Maintenance at one of their sites in Virginia. Each Generator takes 12 hours to shut down, do their APM work and then for the engineers to start them back up and do an hour long load banking test to make sure nothing has failed or is wrong with the unit. That’s what he’s been doing all week and has 2 more weeks after that, then he’s headed out of state for 4 days, comes back for the weekend and then heads out of state again for another week. He really misses out on a lot of things, but we know we both have to make sacrifices to provide for our family.

Eventually, all of our current stressors will be dealt with, the house will be in order and we’ll feel at peace when we’re spending time at home. Until then, we’re just going to keep doing things little by little, we’re still slowly making progress.  And I’m slowly but surely making progress towards my weight loss goals.

If you’re struggling with anything, just keep reminding yourself that you have to take it one day at a time.

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Installing a Honeywell Lyric Thermostat

Kevin and I purchased this thermostat more than a month ago in hopes of having our handyman install the thermostat when he was here last, but he wasn’t comfortable installing a Wi-Fi thermostat. Fast forward to 10pm yesterday… when I stupidly thought “Oh hell let’s install this thermostat. It can’t take that long.” Oh, boy was I just a little wrong. If you’re interested in installing a Honeywell Lyric Thermostat read on….

So let my start from the beginning. Our house had the old school rectangular (York brand) thermostat with two mercury bubbles in it. We wanted to be able to change settings on our A/C and Heat for energy saving purposes and the Lyric does that automatically. I can set it to change when we leave the house for more than 2 hours, it changes when we leave a certain radius around our house (you can change the actual radius) and it goes back to your normal settings when you get back into your pre-defined area.

When I decided to do this last night, Kevin let me take the lead because I’m the tech savvy person in the household. Kevin struggles with technology sometimes, he’s more mechanically inclined. I come from a family with 2 electricians (one is about to get his Masters license) and my sister’s boyfriend is an electrician as well. So I have tons of resources available to me. I just didn’t want to use them… ha ha ha. As a new homeowner, I wanted to do this myself. I am also very mechanically inclined and am not afraid of jumping in and figuring it out along the way.

Now on to the installation process.

  • Make sure you turn off the FURNACE & the A/C at your circuit breaker!
  • Have needle nose pliers handy it can really be a tight fit.

Before you start taking the wires off of your old thermostat to take a picture NOT while in the APP. The app doesn’t save the photo to your gallery. I luckily have dropbox saved to my phone and set up so every single time I do ANYTHING to my phone it’s saved to my dropbox account.

This is what the wiring for my old thermostat looked like…

York Mercury Thermostat

York Mercury Thermostat

All of the wiring in this thermostat is color coordinated with the corresponding letter. BUT that does not mean that your wiring is going to be color coded correctly. Normally, Red is Positive (Power) and black is Negative (ground), white would be A/C and yellow is Heat. Blue is called Common, green is normally the fan, and the orange has something to do with the A/C as well.

Now on to the good stuff. I unhooked all the wires straightened them out and went to town on hooking it up to the Lyric. We have a common 1 zone heating and cooling system. So again, I thought this was going to be easy.

Honeywell Lyric Wiring Setup

Proper Honeywell Lyric Wiring Setup for my house

NOTE: I already put electrical tape on any exposed wiring from where the casing has peeled or split; to prevent any problems. I just took the picture before hand so you could see the colors of the wiring.

 Don’t forget that your wiring colors may be different than mine and they may go to different corresponding letters on your thermostats (both old and new) than mine. This post is only meant to show what my wiring configuration when going from a Merury thermostat to a digital thermostat. I am NOT an electrician or an HVAC tech, just a homeowner who likes to do things myself, when and if I can.

 

I started with the R wire which just so happens to be red. THIS IS HOW LYRIC POWERS ON YOUR HEATING AND A/C!

Green goes to my fan so it corresponded with the G on my Honeywell Lyric.

Yellow goes to my Heat Pump it corresponded with Y on the Lyric.

Orange is part of my A/C equipment it went into W, if you only have 4 wires your white wire SHOULD be the one to go into W; IF the person who wired your house followed the recommendations for color coding wiring.

White is also part of my A/C so it goes in W2.

The only other color I had left that wasn’t used is Blue. This is the common wire. The Honeywell Lyric does NOT need a C wire. This is normally meant for GAS units. We don’t have a gas unit, so no need to connect it.

The Lyric app didn’t give us a wire configuration because of the Blue and Orange wire. I was literally on my own. Kevin had no clue because he’s a generator technician, not a residential electrician. So after much trial and lots of errors, I decided to call their support line and the guy had me remove the blue and move the orange and white wires.

It really wasn’t horrible, just frustrating. So if you are switching from an old school mercury unit and have 6 wires, this setup should help you!

Once you have all your wires hooked up, turn the breakers back to the ON position and let your Lyric start up. Download the Lyric app (both Apple & Android Compatible), create an account if you don’t already have one.

REMEMBER the APP can give you wiring configuration IF you have a common wiring setup. Ours was not considered common so it didn’t give us any wiring diagrams.

If you have any issues, don’t hesitate to call their support line. It really was easy once I had the proper information regarding the wiring digram and my old thermostat.

Honeywell Lyric Thermostat working properly

Finally installed and working properly

 

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 *This post contains at least 1 affilate link. This post was not sponsored, nor am I employed by any brands discussed in this blog post!


Daily Grind

Kevin left this morning to get back to the daily grind. He’s flying out to Texas for the week, he comes back for the weekend and then he’s off to Peurto Rico for a few days. I’m on my own with the little ones all week. I’m also waiting for our new furniture to be delivered. So I really don’t have much planned for the week.

Watching Kevin drive away this morning was a little hard for me. I actually started to tear up a little. I got this. I know why he works so hard and why he took this job that requires travel. He does it for the kids and I. I’m so thankful for that man and all that he does.

The house is still unfinished. The basement still needs a little bit of flooring installed, one 4 1/2 rooms need painting. I need our guy to have his drywall guy come out and fix a hole from Bailey’s knee. She was jumping on mine and Kevin’s bed and put her knee into the wall.  So I’d rather have the drywall guy come fix it.

We still need some other little things done… like our bathroom needs the toilet replaced and to make sure that there isn’t a clog in the drain/pipes. So our handyman is going to do that for us as well.

I still have a few other things that need to be done, but I think Kevin and I will do them ourselves. Like the kids bathroom needs to be painted and some little screw holes need to be patched. So It’s just one of those things that we can do on our own, a little at a time.

I’m looking forward to this weekend with Kevin. Friday we’re going to enroll the kids at their new schools. Then the rest of the weekend will be full of relaxing, minus the grocery shopping that we’ll need to do when he gets home.

Well I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday. The kids and I are going to spend some time watching movies.

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Getting Settled

We have spent the entire weekend getting settled. But in all reality, everything about this out-of-state move sucked. We spent a lot of money on a full-service move. Our furniture was ruined in our storage unit due to moisture which caused mold. So we went out Sunday and bought new furniture, from Ashley Furniture Home Store. We ended up with two couches and an 11 piece dining room set (the package we got came with two extra chairs and the leaf to expand the table). So if you are in the market for new furniture and near Leesburg, VA head on over to the Ashley Furniture Store and see George, he was phenomenal. The washer we had in storage, is still in our storage unit so we don’t know if it has any mold issues. So we just bought a new one because our 4-year-old is highly allergic to mold. We also had to have a whole new water softening/ purification system put in the old system wasn’t doing anything at all. So that was another large expense that we weren’t expecting.

The washer we had in storage, is still in our storage unit so we don’t know if it has any mold issues. So we just bought a new one because our 4-year-old is highly allergic to mold. We also had to have a whole new water softening/ purification system put in the old system wasn’t doing anything at all. So that was another large expense that we weren’t expecting.

This house is only our starter home and we’ve put a lot of money into it already. We may sell it in a few years as our kids grow and as Kevin gets more time with his job. He’s only been there about 8 months. Our goal is to have a custom home built.

Life is just crazy hectic right now. With the kids home for the summer, we’re trying to find things to do that all of them can participate in. We’ve found that all the kids enjoy shooting Kevin’s BB Gun and Connor’s airsoft gun. Of course, we’re teaching them proper gun safety, even the littlest ones. Not only that but Kevin and I are the ones that hold the guns for the youngest two. Therefore, they aren’t even in control of the gun.

The last few days have been rather boring. Filled with chores, cleaning, grocery shopping and solving problems. So hopefully, next week will be pretty calm because Kevin leaves for Texas on Monday. It is going to be a challenging week without my love here. We sure are going to miss him.

Well, I need to go get some things done. I need to find all the kitchen boxes that are in the garage, then I need to wash all the dishes. Hopefully, the kids will give me the opportunity to really get something done today.

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One Week Away

OMG! We are one week away from closing! Just 7 whole days until we sign our lives away for the next 30 years (our goal is to pay it off sooner, but we’ll work on that later). My anxiety about large purchases is kicking in. Anytime I’m faced with making a purchase over $2,000 I get a little anxious and then my stomach ends up in knots. Considering this is a purchase that totals up to way more than $2,000  I am really at a place where I constantly feel stressed, sick, anxious, etc. I’m ready for this to be over, so I can start feeling better. We’ve been on this roller coaster ride since March 11.

Since March 11th, we’ve had a ton of stress from the crap with Navy Federal, then having to switch banks on May 2nd. In 3 weeks, we’ve gotten everything done and ready for closing. We’re just one week away and yet it feels like an eternity.

I’m ready to be moving to Loudoun County. It’s probably one of the more expensive areas that we could have lived in, but it’s a good place for our kids to grow up. The schools are great. But property taxes are outrageous.

I’m waiting for the bank to update the loan tracker, so I can see what point we’re at in the game. We’ve got an estimated cost of $1,600 that will be needed for closing. So we’ll need to get a Cashier’s Check before we meet up for closing.

There are no words for how excited I really am about being a homeowner by this time next week. There are so many things that need to be done. I need to find the number for the electric company so we can start service in our names, then we need to get cable setup, and I need to get a flooring company out to give us a quote for hardwood floors in the basement. I don’t want carpet, so I need to get rid of it ASAP!

There are so many feelings running around in my head that I can’t even think straight. I’m just ready. Ready for things to get back to normal. Well, our new normal. I know that shortly after we get the house, Kevin will be traveling for work. So I’ll be home caring for the kiddos, getting them enrolled in their new schools, etc.

Well, this will most likely be the last post I make until we’ve gotten settled into the house and have internet.

Wish us luck with traveling with our 5 kids. Nothing can prepare you for such a stressful thing like that.

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Closing

OMG! We’re closing on our FIRST house together in 15 days! I cannot believe that I will be a homeowner in just over 2 weeks!

A lot has happened in the last few weeks and it has been smooth sailing towards our closing date now that we’re no longer working with Navy Federal Credit Union. I wish we could just close out ALL of our accounts, but that would just be stupid on our behalf. We have too many accounts that are linked to those cards, that I just don’t see the point in disrupting everything just because we’ve had one bad experience with our bank. But I’m glad we dodged the bullet with them as far as our mortgage goes.

Our house sorta “failed” the VA Appraisal portion. Basically, the VA sends out a licensed appraiser to make sure the house is in livable conditions. They don’t want active duty service members or veterans to purchase a home that needs extensive repairs that would overwhelm  them financially. So it’s really just a way to make sure that a service member or veteran doesn’t over extend themselves financially trying to fix a home and then default on their home, causing it to go into foreclosure.

So our house needs to have some minor repairs done in order for them to come out and “re-inspect” the things that failed the first time. Basically, they just wanted to make an extra $100 off the deal. But it’s whatever!

So our agent set us up with one of her licensed handyman connections in the area and he’s heading out to the house to fix the two faucets, make sure the automatic garage door opener works, and to paint our front steps! Another $450 that we’ve put into our home, not including the re-inspection fee of $100. I kid you not, we’ve put out $400 for a broken window (that alone would have failed our home for the VA appraisal), we put out $460 for a home inspection, $450 for the original appraisal fee. We’ve spent $1,900 in like 2 weeks time!!! UGH! That’s not including the $500 “good faith deposit” that you put down when you put in a contract on a home! Thankfully we still have plenty of money in savings to cover the 1/4 point for our 3.375% interest rate, plus the other closing costs.

The expenses of purchasing a home are freakin’ NUTS! Which I already knew that there were a lot of things involved, I’ve done extensive research over the last 2 years. During that time frame, we were working on paying off debts and making sure our credit scores were the highest we could get them before we ever applied for our mortgage loan. We wanted to get the best rate possible without putting out money for points. Obviously, we have REALLY GOOD/EXCEPTIONAL credit in order to get a 3.375% interest rate from the bank. If you are in the process of buying a home or are planning on it in the near future, make sure you shop around for the best rate. Check out your bank’s website. See what the lowest interest rate is BEFORE you apply. Make sure you know what your credit looks like. At the time, when we got pre-approved via Navy Federal the lowest rate was a 3.375%, when we had to get a pre-approved via Wells Fargo the lowest rate was 3.5%, a bank can automatically lower it 1/8th of a point without needing approval from a supervisor, so that’s what our loan specialist did. Since I really wanted that 3.375% rate, I agreed to pay $250 at closing (points are prepaid interest on a loan). Granted it was only $13 a month difference in our monthly payment, but it would have cost us more in the long run to have a 3.5% interest rate over the life of our loan! I’ll gladly pay the $250 in order to save THOUSANDS over the life of our loan.

Being that we are so close to closing, my anxiety is overwhelming. Like part of me is nervous about having another bill to pay. Well 3 or 4 more bills to pay each month…Mortgage, Electricity, Cable, etc. We still pay for the Maryland house, haven’t seen a dime from my in-laws in almost 3 months and before that it was like 4 or 5 months! They are so inconsistent and NEVER make a full “rent” payment so we can stop covering the mortgage payment on that damn house! But oh well, we’ve got a bank who sees that we’re on the up and up and that we can support our household even with two mortgage payments!

I’m so ready for closing day, ready to finally be able to plant roots and watch our children grow! We’re counting down the days to closing!!!! FIFTEEN DAYS!

I’ve started packing and purging the things we do not need anymore. Going to sell a few things, so we don’t have to drag them with us. EEEKKK… I’m so excited that this journey is finally changing chapters. We’re on to bigger and better things, one day at a time!

 

Well I’m off to fix my two little loves and myself some lunch!

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Remaining Stagnant

For the last 2 years, I have been in this funk or a rut. I feel like I am remaining stagnant. The longer I am here, the more I feel like I am unable to get out of this funk. I feel alone here. I feel tired. I just don’t feel myself. By remaining stagnant, I am not helping my children. I’m tired of submitting to this awful feeling.

So what does remaining stagnant have to do with anything? Well, I’m currently conditioning my mind to start over with our move, our new house, and all the space we’ll have available to us.

I’m really looking forward to being in Loudoun County. The schools in our area have great ratings. So I’m looking forward to them getting settled in and growing roots for the first real time in their lives. We know our house isn’t our dream home, so this is just a starter home. We plan on being there for about 10 to 12 years, while paying off the house. Once we’ve paid it off, we can use it for rental income and we can then move forward to buying our dream home (even if that means that we have to have one built for us).

I’m already trying really hard to eat better, but that really isn’t going to do much for me if I’m not active. Being here has ruined any kind of motivation I’ve had to lose weight, to better myself as an individual, etc. So I’m ready to get moving and get this show on the road. For the sake of my children I need to get back to the old me. I cannot keep on this path of remaining stagnant, my kids deserve the best.

By starting fresh in a new place, I’ve got to explore. I’ll be setting up a small home gym in the garage. Treadmill, punching bag, weight bench, free-weights, etc. All of which I have either in storage or my brother has offered to me since he is not using them anymore. So I have no reason not to workout once we move and I set everything up. I just will have to get up at 4am with Kevin. I’ll be working out and he’ll be getting ready for work.  I’ll be able to take my laptop out to the garage for some music and/or to use for BeachBody Workouts Videos.

I’ll also be spending more time doing things other than sitting on my butt. I have to be more active if I wish to lose weight and keep it off. I have to eat healthier and actually stop skipping meals. So I’ve already got containers for meal prepping, I have two digital kitchen scales to weigh my proteins for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. I have a Ninja Blender to make shakes. I’m doing everything I can to set myself up for success from the get go. We just have to get into our new home. If I start out on the right foot, then I think I’ll be able to keep myself on track.

We’re going to cut back on eating out (me not wanting to cook, so I order pizza) and also cut way back on my soda consumption. I’m also going to start buying a massive amount of fresh veggies and shrimp, so I can steam them daily for my lunches and dinners. Basically, I’m doing everything I can to keep myself motivated and preparing for the changes ahead.

There will be no option for me to allow myself the opportunity to continue to remain stagnant. I am moving away from this place and cannot wait to reunite with our family. We’re moving on to bigger and better things. I’m moving on to a better and healthier me! I just have to survive the next few weeks of “torture” and then we should be smooth sailing.

I know that there will be a time where I post a “before & after” photo. But I will probably also post during photos! But only time will tell. At this time, I cannot make any promises, as I don’t want to let anyone down.

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