Browsing the archives for the My life category.

Organized Discombobulation

Mr. Tolerable, My life

Have you ever head the saying, “An insane person never questions their sanity?”  If that’s true I must be the most sane person on the planet because I question my level of lucidity daily.  It doesn’t help that I recently decided I no longer need to be on the antidepressants that were prescribed to me when I was going through infertility treatments.  It was a hard time in my life and I found myself in a dark hole.  The medication helped tremendously.  Now, however, I am the blessed mother of two beautiful, healthy little rug rats.  My thinking was that I no longer need that medicine.  But, being the “jump first look later” woman I am, I just stopped taking it.  Fast forward a week or so and I was suffering from nausea, headaches, exhaustion, and moodiness.  When these symptoms didn’t go away and the home pregnancy test alleviated the thoughts I had of pregnancy, I Google, “going off Prozac” and turns out there are all kinds of warnings about going off of it cold turkey.  Wish I would have read that BEFORE I decided to stop taking it.

I waited another week (we are now up to 3 weeks) and saw my family doctor.  Honestly though, I didn’t really go to the doctor about the Prozac withdraws, I went because my asthma had come back full force from the days of my childhood.  I had started using my rescue inhaler 4-6 times a day, using a nebulizer at night before bed, and awakened in the night with attacks as well.  They put me on Advair – all is well.  Haven’t had to use my inhaler or nebulizer once since I started taking it.  Awesome.  Anywhoooo……while I was at the doctors office I told them about how I had gone off of Prozac cold turkey.  I was warned about it but they realized it was too late for that and said that there is nothing they can do now since it had been 3 weeks.  Had I gone in when I wanted to go off of it they would have put me on a decreasing dosage regimen.  I would take a total of 2-3 months to be fully off of it.  So, their advice was to just grin and bear it – the worse was almost over. So, I still have headaches, nausea, dizziness, moodiness, and just feel like crap.

Meanwhile, externally things are not doing much better.  My father-in-law passed away last week.  I had grown to love this funny old man.  He reminded me so much of my husband that it was hard not to see how much he had influenced and created the man that I hold so dear.  Funerals, Catholic Mass, prayers, and tears followed his death but also a lot of laughter.  As my husband and his two siblings went through his belongings we were all surprised amused at the level of organization this man had in everything he had.  From cassette tapes, to videos, to his check book.  We found ledgers dating back in the 50’s!  All in order, all together in a box.  He had a plan for everything.  Nothing happened by chance – it was all planned, scheduled and well thought out.  This is one of the many traits Jim the Tolerable inherited from his father.  Thank God.  Left to me, nothing would get done.  I am easily distracted.  Fly by the seat of my pants.  And live in a sea of spontaneity.  We balance each other out.

So, getting back on the train of thought I had when I started this post – Everything is crazy around here.  If you were to look at my calendar on the fridge you would see that pretty much every day had something on it.  Then, throw in a funeral, a sick grandmother, and a social life and we have not been home more than 5 days total this month.  We all feel out of sorts and are ready to just BE HOME.

I’d love to finish this post but I have to get in the shower so we can head out of town to visit my grandmother in the hospital, then to a wedding rehearsal and dinner.  Tomorrow a wedding.

Wake me up when November arrives.

EDITED TO ADD: The night of the wedding we got the call from the hospital that my Grandma passed.  I’m a weird blend of releaved, saddened, and happy for Grandma.  I will miss her but know that she is finally with her beloved Walter.  We stayed “away from home” several more days.  Now maybe will be able to relax at home as a family for a bit.  Time will tell.

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National Lampoons Camping Trip

My kids, My life, Parenting

Never before have I had more of a respect for Clark W. Griswald as I did this past weekend.  I am always trying to make sure my family and I have a good time but sometimes life gets in the way.

The husband, kids and I packed up the camper/travel trailer, the SUV and our expectations for fun and headed north to Speedway, Indiana.  The racing capital of the world?  Where they race the Indy 500?  So, you’ve heard of it?  Good.  This Sunday was the first motorcycle race at the legendary speedway in almost 100 years.  Since my husband would watch ostriches race at the IMS we had to go.  Being the sport I am I looked at it as a time that the family can get away, maybe hit the zoo or Children’s Museum and have the picturesque camping adventure as seen only in the RV brochures.

PASHA!  The first two days were the closest to hell I think I have experienced.  First off, it was humid, hot and oh yea, OUR GENERATOR DOESN’T WORK.  This is not that big of a deal except it rained and rained and RAINED (thanks to hurricane Ike).  Imagine being stuck inside a hot camper where you can’t open the windows due to the rain, no TV, no microwave, and toddlers who seem as if their shoes have springs.  Not my idea of a good time.  Jim, being the dutiful husband and father headed out in the rain and bought another generator!  I hated the idea of spending the money but I have to admit, I was beyond happy when the air conditioning hit my face and I heard the theme song from “Word World.”

Second day, more rain but that’s ok.  Jim is going over to the track to watch practice and I am taking the kids and meeting a friend and her son at the Children’s Museum.  What a great day this will be.  When I arrived at the museum I turned into a parking lot that was only for school buses and handicapped vehicles.  As I am attempting to leave said parking lot a woman who obviously takes her job as security very serious flags me down.  I roll down my window and she says,

“You are going to cause a WRECK!  You went the wrong way all the way through this parking lot!”

Playing a sheepish stupid girl I say, “Oh, I’m sorry – I’m just trying to get out of here and over to the parking garage.”

Angry rent-a-cop: “Well, back up, go down THIS aisle and exit THAT exit.  Cross the street and you will find the entrance to the garage.”

Me:  “Oh, OK.”

Rent-a-cop:  “Be careful and don’t cause a wreck!”

I back my big ol’ Excursion up and try to do the right thing.  Evidently I didn’t see the curb and ran right over it as I went down “that” aisle.  I didn’t even look back at the evil woman and I felt my face flush in embarrassment.  I can only imagine I looked like Big Foot crawling over cars as my head just about hit the ceiling as I bounced around inside.  I should have seen this as a omen of things to come…..

Once inside the museum, Val and I watched the boys run around the Dynosphere looking at the skeletal remains of a T-rex.  Sam was showing Jackson all the cool cubby holes and hidden treats.  About 40 minutes into this dreamlike outing I turn to get the stroller (where Alex was) to head to the train exhibit and Jackson has disappeared.  My heart stopped.  I just knew this was not good.  That kid is the fastest thing this side of the Ohio.  I was right.  Frantic searching by both me and Val yielded nothing.  As each second went by I could feel my level of anxiety rising.  Val says, “Follow me.” and I’m try my best to do just that.  But, let me qualify this by saying Val is one of those sick people who actually run for “pleasure” so the speed at which she twisted through the Egyptian catacombs exhibit left me panting behind her and trying to just catch a glimpse of her shadow so I didn’t lose her trail.  She leads me to a security officer who has the bright idea to help me search for him.  At that moment I wanted her to call the head of security, have all the doors locked, and have every single person in that place look for the “little boy with a grey shirt that says ‘my Dad rocks.'”  But, we searched the floor AGAIN and she finally called head of security.  Now this is where my memory gets a little foggy – maybe I was in panic, shock, whatever.  But, the head of security who has an ear piece in his ear says, “There is a code Adam matching this description.  I’m with the mother.”  Silence as he listens to the other end.

Then he says, “Is your little boy wearing a grey shirt, blue jean shorts and loves race cars?”

“Yes! Where is he???”

“They are going to bring him to the concierge desk.  Follow me.”

I get there and wait, wait……head of security again is obviously listening to someone talking in his hear and then he turns to me and says, “It seems they are having a hard time getting him to come with them.  I’ll just take you to him.”  I’m confused by what all this means but at this point all I want to do is see my son, hug him, smell his sweet hair and ring his little neck!  We go up to FLOOR 4. That’s right, the little monger got 3 floors away from me!  We step off the elevator and what do I see?  Jackson sitting inside an Indy car.  It seems he wouldn’t let any of the security take him out of “his” Indy car.  When he sees me he says with the utmost excitement, “Hi Bobby, I in a racing car….a Indy Car!!!”  So proud of himself.  I scoop his butt up out of that car hug him so tight and hold back the tears then through clinched teeth I say right in his ear, “Don’t you ever run away from Mommy again or I’ll spank your butt so hard your head will spin.”

After all of this it was hard for me to relax and enjoy this wonderful museum.  It was fun though.  I just had that adrenalin rush and such a rush is hard to come down from.  Val stayed with us for about another hour.  We saw the rest of the “kid friendly” parts of the museum.  Jackson saw it all from the safe haven of the stroller, much to his chagrin.  Then Val and Sam left when it became painfully obvious it was time for Sam’s nap. LOL.  I went ahead and stayed at the museum and saw the rest of the museum..another hour or so.

The trip back to the camper was uneventful – no curbs were harmed.  No rent-a-cops angered.  Kids all safely strapped into car seats.  I did get lost for a bit but a call to Jim got us headed in the right direction.  At the camper Jim and I realize we are about out of milk and other such staples.  He heads to the grocery store while I stay back with the kids to feed them.  While I am trying to microwave their chicken nuggets the NEW generator pops a breaker.  I head outside to flip the switch.  While I’m out there our neighbor comes over and says, “I thought no one was here so I turned your generator the other way – it’s just so damn loud.”  I explain how it was an “emergency” buy.  How our “quiet” generator went out and this was just the one they had at Lowe’s.  He was nice about it but made it clear that he didn’t like the noise.  I turn, flustered and embarrassed for the 3rd time today when my hand pops off the door handle.  It is LOCKED.  Jackson was able to reach the door from him high chair and just my luck, LOCKED ME OUT.  No keys, no cell phone, no patience.  I just sit down on the step and hold my head in my hands.  You would think I would just sit there and cry but all I could do was laugh.  I hang off the hand rail and do some sort of contortionist back bend to see into the trailer.  Jackson sees me and smiles, “Hi Bobby…what cha doin?”  “Unlock the door Jackson.  UNLOCK THE DOOR!”  He fiddles with it a bit until finally, success. I am inside.  When Jim got home he and I had one hell of a fight.  I cried, he apologized and we both agreed tomorrow would be (had to be) better.

It was.


Going to be away for a bit

My life, Random Stuff

Although in my heart I will still be

Writing nonsense

I won’t be able to put them down on paper

Or a screen.

Plan to return from a family trip

Full of stories.

In the meantime remember me like this

Here but not quite.

Here but not quite.

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I want to see what the (Vice) President (candidate) sees.

My life, Random Stuff

How many of you out there caught the Republican National Convention and saw the speech that Sarah Palin gave as she accepted the nomination as the candidate for the Vice President for the United States?  Evidently 21.5 million of you did.  Did anyone else have this conversation with their husband in response to it?

Me:  I need new glasses.  I guess I’ll set up an appointment tomorrow morning.

Hubby: Huph

Me:  Think I would look good in glasses like Sarah Palin’s?

Hubby:  I thought they were pretty hot.

Me:  Wonder what kind they are.

Hubby:  Wonder how many other women in America are asking that same question.

Then the next day we see this article.  I guess I’m not the only one wanting to look hot AND be taken seriously in glasses.  Something I think Palin pulls of with her look.  Think I, too, could pull it off.?  Not that it matters as I’m not about to drop $400 on frames alone.  Just a hypothetical question really.


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Hello, my name is Me

Just my opinion, Mr. Tolerable, My life, Parenting, Random Stuff

I have been at my Mother and Father’s house for about a week along with Mr. Tolerable and the kiddos.  It was sort of like an extended vacation since the hubby is sans employment at the moment.  We have never really had the opportunity to join in on the weekly Friday night bon fire parties that spontaneously ignite when the fire does.  It would drive Jim crazy to hear about all the fun that was had in his absence since he was the sucka who had to get up and go to work every stinking Saturday and Sunday.  Well, he now is even more pissed about it because we had so much fun these past few weekends.  I laughed so hard one night I think I counted 3 times I had to use my inhaler (the measure by which I decide how good of a time I had).  My brother cooked a brisket and we ate Aces High Corn on the cob.   Then we all stood around as my brother cooked up his second try at home-brewed beer.  It’s so neat to see everything that goes into it – the levels have to be just right.  Add the hops “NOW”. Check the temp often then make sure you get the temperature down FAST so it doesn’t get an infection.  I learned so much just standing there and the men just seemed mesmerized by the whole process.  I lost interest and found my way to where the women were collected but once someone brought up menopause I found myself back at the beer garden with the men.

One of the things I worried about when I was pregnant with my children was that I would cease to be and I would totally and wholly become a Mother – forgetting all the things I previously enjoyed.  Turning into those cliche over sized SUV-with-the-little-stick-family-on-the-back-window-driving Mommies.  It seems that I have successfully done both!  I have little problem leaving my kids with my Mother for several days while I go and get my redneck groove on camping at a Nascar event.  I love the feeling of getting my kiddos fed, bathed and safely tucked in bed.  Then turn the monitor on to go out back and sit around a fire-drinking, laughing and cutting up until as late as midnight (aren’t you impressed?) LOL.  But, on a regular Monday morning if you were behind me on the road as I make my trek to my normal playdate you would see this picture on the back glass of my Excursion.  So, any of you preggos out there reading this, or those unfortunate women out there who have let themselves be engulfed by the wonderful envelope known as children, I am proof that it can be done.  You can still be a sexy woman with a good social life, great sex life, AND a fantastic mother.  Don’t buy into the lie that in order to be a good Mom you have you stop all things about you.  You are still your husband’s woman and lover.  Your bed should be the location for risque acts of love not only a social landing point for everyone in the house.  You are still your friend’s choice for a dinner, coffee, or a good laugh.  You are still you.  And thank God, I am still me.


What a stupid talent.

My life, Random Stuff

I guess I am what you would call and auditory learner.  I love audio books and podcasts.  Most days while my kids are napping you will find me busy at housework with ear buds tucked nicely in my ears.   Oddly enough, I have noticeably small ears.  My grandma used to tell the story about when I was born my ears were like my Dad’s; no bigger than a fingernail.  That does not seem to affect their ability to distinguish voices at such accuracy that it is actually something I am known for in my family.

While watching ANY animated TV show I can tell you, with stunning accuracy, who is performing the characters’ voices (if the actor or person is well known).  Sometimes it get really creepy when the person is NOT well known but does multiple characters on several different and separate shows and I recognize it.  I will say something like, “The guy who does the voice for Ed the Frog on this Musical Baby DVD is the same guy who plays the giant in Jack’s Big Music Show.”  A search on Google will confirm my golden ears have struck again with eerie accuracy.

Why on Earth, if I have to a talent, does it have to be so useless?  I always dreamed of being a singer.  Adored by fans.  Showered with fame and fortune.  Instead I sit on my couch and recognize that the guy who plays Fez from That 70’s Show does the voice for Handy Manny!!  No one cheers.  No one pays me.

How stupid and useless.


He will provide

I am blessed, Jim the Tolerable, Mr. Tolerable, My life, The job hunt

I’m not the most religious person in the world.  I’m a Christian, that is true, but I have a hard time spouting phrases like,

“What great fellowship we had.”

“That song really spoke to me.”

“I feel I’m being led by God to  ________.”

There are times, though, when I cannot ignore the “Old Man” as my hubby likes to call him.  My family is going through what should be total turmoil but I believe God will provide for us (another phrase I usually would not spout).  Today Mr. Tolerable called me and said his boss told him he did not have to work out his full 30 days he gave for notice he was leaving.  Honestly, we were hoping that would happen because it does not affect his pay and allows him to spend some time with the family before he starts a new job.  The HR department has assured him his commissions that are due to him for the next 3 months are his regardless.

On this same day, Mr. T also found a position that he is so excited about.  He has already submitted his resume  It is at a local horse racing track as an administrative manager.  I know it might sound like something not everyone would be excited about but for my husband it is a great opportunity.  There are MANY responsibilities such as hiring, firing, organizing, training and (his favorite part) making sure accommodations are made for the horsemen, owners and trainers.  He will get to meet (if he got the position) those that he reads about and looks up to.  It would be the “in” that he has been looking for.

I have a hard time believing this is all coincidence.  If I were to make a made up position that I wanted my husband for, I would have put almost the same things as what was on this position AND it’s at a horse racing track.  Divine intervention?

As I type this, Mr. Tolerable is packing up his belongings from his office to come home.  Saying goodbye to a job that he did well, very well.  One that only a year ago he enjoyed.  But after almost 7 years, going through ups and down.  The original company being bought by a bigger “better” company.  We can both finally say, “Good bye and GOOD RIDDANCE.”

Do you out there think God works that way?  That He creates opportunities for us?  Or, are we just reading into these events and since we like them we think they are from Him?  Have you ever had God show you a path to take and DID IT?  What was the outcome and do you regret anything you did?  Did you ever NOT do something that you now see probably was an opportunity opened up by God Himself?  Why did you not follow that path?  What happened afterward?  I guess I am just looking for someone out there to confirm to me that we are not completely insane!

Maybe I am just full of ignorant optimism and in a couple of months we will be living in my parents back yard in our camper eating Ramen noodles and beans.  Maybe then I could break out my plastic high heels and bracelets and head down to my local Wal-Mart and apply for a job.  Heck knows I’ll be there enough with my dirty, shoeless, shirtless kids buying my Camel Lights while my kids scream that they want a WWE Nascar toy.  Nothing against people who work or shop at Wal-Mart; I go there all the time.  That is why I know what the patrons look like.


Back from the abyss

My life, Random Stuff

I know I haven’t updated in a while but I have been at my Mother and Fathers for some time and am now back to my version of normal.  Nothing to post now but I will be updating soon.  Hope I didn’t lose anyone during my sabbatical.


Sometimes I’m good…sometimes, not so much.

My kids, My life, Parenting

Am I the only one that feels on some days I have this whole mothering thing figured out and on other ones I am thinking “I suck at this” ?  Today is a good day.  Kids didn’t watch “too much” television.  They ate decent breakfasts and were changed and dressed by 10am.  We went out to eat at a local Mexican restaurant and the kids were angles.  We even got praise from an older couple sitting a booth over about how well mannered our two were (never happened before!!)  Then we went to the library where I let Jackson and Alex pick out some books to read and picked up a book on CD for myself.  (Just as a side note and because I think it’s a cool idea – I am ripping that CD to my computer and then putting it on my iPod so I have that to listen to as I clean house).  The kids and the husband are all napping right now and I am about to commence at folding the baskets of CLEAN laundry I have waiting for me.  Then we are headed to the park for the “Back to School Bash” where there will be firetrucks for Jackson to climb on and in, games and fun to be had.  I’m sounding like a good Mom at this point right?

Yesterday…..(Let me qualify the following paragraph by saying we just returned from vacation and I had a ton of laundry, cleaning and dishes to do to make this house livable again – when I work I have ear buds in my ears at all times).  The kids never did get out of their pajamas and that’s what they slept in again last night.  For breakfast Jackson had pretzels and juice.  Alex, a more sensible meal of butter cookies.  They watched TV for approximately 4 hours throughout the day while I was cleaning and either on the phone or listening to podcasts.  We didn’t go outside.  We didn’t really play together much and the kids were left to fend for themselves in the way of entertainment all day long  except for a break where I let the kids finger paint.  In order for me to sweep and mop our upstairs hard wood floor I had to lock them in Jackson’s room for about 30 minutes (checking often).  What was for lunch?  Um…..Jackson took it upon to make a “sammich.”  It consisted of a hamburger bun, and well…nothing else.  Alex begged off of him.  Sippies all around though!  I then fixed hamburgers and mac ‘n’ cheese for supper but all Jackson wanted was pickles.  Alex did eat part of a hot dog.  At the end of the night I didn’t give them a bath as is customary but I figured they hadn’t DONE anything to get dirty so why bother.  (Oddly enough they both fell asleep better and faster than ever before!)

So, am I the only one who feels like a shinning star on one day and like the worse mother on the planet the next?


Church Politics

I am blessed, Just my opinion, My life, Random Stuff

I attend a rather large church in my hometown.  It isn’t large in comparison to some of the “mega churches” in the bigger cities but for this area it is large with attendance usually around 1200 people.  When we moved to this town we searched for a church we could call “home.”  We entered several “traditional” churches and never felt a match.  I remember going in one and only talking to the secretary (as the preacher was gone).  Later that evening when we got home we had a message from the preacher saying he thought his church was a perfect fit for us and for us to call him back.  We chuckled since he had never even met us or talked to us.  I finally talked my husband into going to the “big church on the highway.”  He was afraid it was one of those “weird” churches where people lurch in the aisles and talk in tongues.  I kept assuring him that a church THAT big wouldn’t be “weird.”  It has to be somewhat mainstream in order to get that big of a congregation.  I was right in my assumption.  We walked in on a Wednesday and told them we were new in town and looking for a church.  The secretary introduced us to a man by the name of Alan.  He was wearing blue jeans and was completely laid back.  He gave us a tour of the church, explaining their goal to “reach lost people and guide them to a personal relationship with Christ.”  He also said that even if this church wasn’t a fit for us he wanted to help us find one in town that was.  That struck us so deep.  He was more worried that we find a church than stay in HIS church.  He spent almost an hour with us and listened to us.  We decided to give it a try that Sunday.  Much to our surprise Alan was the lead pastor and was giving the message that day.  We looked at each other in disbelief because we had no idea who this man was who was spending all that time with us.  We assumed he had SOMETHING to do with the church but we never would have thought it was the lead pastor – he was so normal, so real, and so unlike any other preacher we had every met or talked to.  Then to listen to this man’s sermons….wow.  He was really concerned with lost people and the congregation showed it.  It was an audience of misfits.  Divorced men and women, recovering drug addicts and alcoholics, and your regular lost person (like you and me).  We instantly felt we had found our church home.  The love for Christ, the focus on him, and helping everyone cultivate a PERSONAL relationship with Him was awesomely overwhelming at times.  The church grew and grew.  The vision of the pastor, Alan, was to reach 10% 30,000 lost people in our county (so 3000 people for all your mathematically challenged out there).

Before we reached that goal, Alan said he was feeling the calling to go out to Colorado to grow new churches.  The percentages of unchurched and lost people there were staggering.  So, he left.  It was a sad day but we all new Jesus Christ had not left the building so we would be fine.  Fast forward a year and a few months and we were still without a lead pastor.  The family and small groups pastors stepped in to give sermons as well as guest speakers but all the upheavel had made the attendance dwendal.  My family and I weathered the storm and kept attending.  There were rumors that they had pastors lined up to come in and do a “trial” sermon on which the congregation would vote wether they would become our head pastor or not.  Never did that happen….

The congregation grew so hungry for a leader, so willing to just do SOMETHING to create some normalcy to the state of things again, that when they did finally find someone to apply for the job the congregation (in my opinion) rushed to accept him.  He is a good man.  A good father.  A good friend.  But, a leader with a vision that he has the ability to follow through with?  I don’t think so.  I guess we weren’t the only ones that had this opinion.  The congregation numbers continued to drop and more people began to voice their concerns about the “spirit” of the church.  The elders made the decision to “move in a different direction” and asked him to step down from lead pastor to small groups.  He declined and left.

I am with the rest of the congregation who thinks the WAY the elders came to their decision did seem rash.  The congregation was so surprised with the news.  It was probably not the best way to do it but I also don’t know how else they could have done it.  Would it have been right to tell the congregation, “We are putting your pastor on probation and if he doesn’t shape up he’s gone?”  I’m sure he (the pastor) knew that the elders and (most of) the congregation weren’t happy with the state of things and he was notified as much.  It would have probably been unfair to let us know that.  He would have felt like he had a magnifying glass on him and worried about everything he said and did.  So, I just don’t know how else the elders could have done what they did.  It’s a rough situation for everyone.

So, once again we are sans leader.  Rumors are flying around this little town like wildfire that Alan is showing interest in coming back and has even had a couple of interviews with elders.  There are some totally seperate issues going on with him and why he left.  He has told me in emails that he knows now that him leaving was nothing short of the age old sin of pride.  He thought he had outgrown our little church and he should move on to bigger and better things.  He has had a rough few years learning this lesson.  I just pray that the congregation can accept him as the “prodical son” with open arms and forgive him for his humaness.  I am so impressed that he would admit this that I am ready to have him back and let him finish what he started here – to get that 10% of lost people in this county to find Christ.  Only time will tell if the elders and the church will have him back.  From the conversations I’ve had with other members, we are willing to forget and forgive and move on to growing the kingdom.  Now if only the politics don’t get in the way…..

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  • Why I Write this Stuff

    My children called me Bobby when they were toddlers due to not being able to prounounce "Mommy." They are now 7 and 8 years old and I am Mommy. But my real name is Mandy. I just do this so I can keep in touch with the REAL me. Being a Bobby is a dream I thought I may never realize and I do not take it for granted. I homeschool (more specifically unschool) my two children and it's easy to lose yourself in the tasts of the day. I just want to make sure that after 19 or so years have passed,and my kids have moved out, I'm not stuck looking in the mirror and squinting in hopes of seeing Mandy again.