Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas~

Hope everyone had a very merry Christmas! Kelsey had a lovely Christmas eve and day filled with family, gifts and food. Say hello to the new member of our family "Sparkle" aka her horse :) I'm keeping a low profile lately, Mom's recurring illnesses have me very sad and not at all merry, so I keep my postings limited. I really wish things would look up, just not getting the signals yet. Please keep us in your good thoughs, life is tough right now. But here are some photos to enjoy.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


well, it's been over 2 months since my last post (confession?) and I probably have a ton to say. However, I really don't want this blog to become constant negativity, so I've held off posting.

My Mom's illness has really taken a toll on all of us, our family, me. it's turned me from a planning, confident woman into someone who can't even think what will happen tomorrow. My cell phone rings constantly with assisted living, caregivers, rehab centers, etc. There is never a phone call for me. I talk to my sister constantly -but we have to remember to talk about our lives. This is rougher than my Dad's illness and passing because we all knew and were prepared that there was no hope...this feels more insidious because we have some great days and then some days where we rush to the ER.

I'm still unemployed and it hurts, stings, and makes me angry, sad and scared simultaneously.

I'm going to try to go back to posting more on this blog and in a more positive manner. I find myself lost in my own thoughts constantly. I look forward to writing some of the more interesting ones down for folks to see.

Here's my girl from Halloween - a perfect, luminous light in my life!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Night I Met Steven Curtis Chapman.

I'd like to speak a bit about Faith and Fate...I have Faith, first of all, in God, secondly in myself and finally in our family...we were meant to be together. Kurt, Kelsey and I were drawn to each other from across many planes and became a family.

The night I met Steven Curtis Chapman was a magical evening. The date was 9/24/04. I know this date by heart because it was 2 years ago to the day that my Dad passed away. The first anniversary of his death I spent alone peeling wallpaper off my bathroom walls. The 2nd anniversary, my then boss Steve, asked me to attend a meeting in Washington, DC with our Promotional Agency, Strottman. He also said there was an event I was to attend called "Angels in Adoption."

Kathleen Strottman, the DIL of the head of the agency is Chief Aide to Senator Mary Landrieu (LA) who is an amazing woman. They call her "the Adoption Senator" and has sponsored the Angels in Adoption gala for years. This celebration supports everyday people who work effortlessly in adoption arenas across the US. They are nominated by their Senators or Congresspeople, so every state is represented.

We had front row seats to this amazing event. Everyone at our table was connected to Kathleen - but I was the only one in the process of adopting a child. Kathleen and I chatted and she introduced me to the Senator who was a lovely woman. At the time, we were waiting for our approval from the I600. Everyone was warm and encouraging that night. I also got to meet Steven Curtis Chapman, who performed that evening, Jane Seymour and the Watoto Children's amazing group of African children whose parents died of AIDS. They all live together in a village and are united by their passion for music and singing.

I was so moved to be there listening to people talk about what adoption meant to them and how it impacted their lives. Steven sung, and I cried. He talked about his foundation (then called Shoshannah's Hope. It was a wonderful, moving event. I know my Dad was happy that I was there celebrating the next step of my life, rather than mourning his passing. That evening, I felt a peace settle into me...I knew we'd be getting our beautiful baby girl...this was fate!

Two of the lovely gifts we received that night was a stuffed white bunny from Shoshannah's Hope and a book called "Shoey and Dot." My Kelsey sleeps almost every night snuggling that special bunny in her arms. I wanted to share the story with her how she came to own that special bunny - but right now she's too young to understand it. So I decided to write this blog entry down so I could share it with her when she's older.

Finally, the following year, our good friend and former Facilitator of CHATS, Alyce Jenkins was honored as an Angel in Adoption. I was so thrilled, because NJ couldn't be represented by a better Angel.

I believe that these people were placed in my life for a reason at that exact moment in time...because THIS face was waiting for us in China.

And that face became THIS face today!

So this was OUR fate....and thank God for that!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Three Word Sunday - A Bit Later Than Planned

I had a full post written and lost it, plus a slower than normal computer meant I missed it. But it's probably okay that I didn't have it's not pretty or happy.

My week sucked....
I didn't get EITHER job I interviewed for. The first org used my interview to convince themselves that they can't afford what they want so they hired a coordinator.

The second job hired a Harvard MBA who lived in the same town. Can't compete with that.

Sadly, this wasn't the worst part of my week...Mom's back in the hospital in ICU due to a bleeding ulcer caused by taking her blood thinners and not eating properly. She lost so much blood we almost lost HER! But they scoped her and cauterized her ulcer and gave her many many units of blood and plasma. Due to the low volume of blood in her system, she had a heart attack as well...this has been AWFUL!

She's been in ICU since Thursday and finally woke up yesterday (Sunday) however she is pretty disoriented. But she does know us and we'll take progress in baby steps.

Kurt's still traveling for work so Kelsey's going through all this with us and hasn't been happy spending hours in the ICU, but we've tried to give her as much fun as possible. She's been acting out and whacked her forehead on our bed last night. Luckily she's got a hard head..but it was a scary night and she's fine and perfectly normal today.

Kurt's leaving for his next trip a little later today -so he's going to spend some quality time with our girl at the park today. But all in all, my 3 word is summed up as

Let's hope and pray this week is better...Mom gets well and I get some more job leads!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Three Word Sunday...It's Keeps Getting Better!

Well, as you can see by my daughter's face, when the going gets tough, the tough don fairy costumes! Actually, not really, we've just been finally getting in the game. I've been praying for a break in the job hunting game and I've received it.

Tomorrow (Monday) I have my second interview with a FABULOUS non profit on the Jersey Shore. On Tuesday I have a first interview with another FABULOUS non profit in East Orange. I have a good shot at both opportunities and I am praying for one or both to come through and give me an offer.

So, definately seeking the answers to my prayers - so please send them up tomorrow, good thoughts, any positive ideas you have please!

Does that have anything to do with my daughter's photo? Not really except I loved the expression on her face - I could tell she was thinking "they'd better be looking at ME!" (and they were! :)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Three Word Sunday!

What would you call...
2 job interviews
Daddy working locally ALL WEEK
A visit from Uncle Jimmy

At Casa de Hoppe, we call it....

by the way, this was a shot of Kelsey last weekend eating (and loving!) her first 'smore. We had a fabulous time in beautiful Brattleboro, VT and will write more about our adventures shortly!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

It's BACK!

After about a year, our good friend PM has re-instituted 3 word Sundays. I loved these because it really helped me to focus on my blog and on the week that has just passed.

I've really neglected this space since Facebook, but really want to go back to it. However, there is something that I want to go back to more right now...

As sung in the Broadway show " A Chorus Line"...

"I need a job...I need THIS job...oh God, I need this show...
Well, I have zippity in the pipeline. Nilch, None, Nada, Zippo...and I am "freakin' tired" of not working...

So while this really doesn't sum up what happened in my life this week, it's the running theme of my world right now...

I am currently a SAHM, but in reality I'm a Marketing Director, Non Profit Development Director. There are many things I am qualified and well skilled in working at...this economy has really screwed up a lot of fantastic organizations and many people are out of sucks. While I love being home with my girl, I recognize and accept that I need to have a career that sustains me and gives me the opportunity to not only provide a living for my family -but also gives me an important sense of accomplishment. Even if I was wealthy and didn't need to work....I'd absolutely HAVE to do something to make my time on Earth well spent. So, my three word is...

Oh, God, I need a JOB...I need to WORK...I need this for my sanity soon, please!

Monday, June 29, 2009

On the job front....

Janet....great new job, hired same day

Kurt....great new job, hired over the phone after being recommended by several contacts

JoAnn....job interview tomorrow...fantastic position!

God, please, can I have this? I need to work and this is a great job helping girls become tomorrow's leaders!
Pretty please? With Sugar On it?
I have most of my friends on Facebook sending prayers and good thoughts on this...if bloggy readers who like me and would like my family to continue to have a stable life, please send your own good thoughts/prayers.

God...Pink is NOT you well know.

Friday, June 05, 2009


There is a blogger whom I've been following for about 2 years now. She is an infertile woman who desperately wants to be pregnant. I originally liked her blog because she blogs about this topic, home improvement, decorating and gardening. I've emailed back n forth with her because I have mentioned to her in the past that *FOR ME* the pain of infertility was over when we began the process to adopt Kelsey.

Lately, however, her blog has taken a turn for the worse...whiny, complaining and bitchy. For me the final straw came tonight when I saw this on her blog....I am nauseous and disgusted by her entitlement attitude. And the coward hides behind zero comments and emails. I am posting part of her post today because I her to know that is she ever reads my blog that this is NOT don't call adoption "BUYING A BABY."

Now, don't get me wrong, I completely understand the fact that this woman is tortured by the fact that she cannot get pregnant and really wants a biological child. She has every right to persue this avenue. However, by her post below she clearly feels adoption is last choice and beneath her. This is what I object to (besides her insisting on her Mom paying for treatments when she is a non working housewife.)

So Lori...I am getting uber bitchy here because your post really ticked me off and I have ZERO ways to tell you so you will understand...let me spell it out for you because clearly you are not intelligent or mature enough to understand subtlety:

1) No one owes you a baby...your Mom doesn't have to pay for your fertility treatments. Put on big girl panties and get a job to pay for it yourself.
2) Adoption is for people who want to parent a child....NOT BUYING A BABY!!!!! For that statement alone you should be denied the RIGHT to adopt if you EVER choose to go down that path.
3) This kind of statement sets adoption and adoptees back decades. The ignorance is not to be believed!!!!!
4) Stop whining and complaining about everyone else's pregnancy! Women get pregnant and want to celebrate it! If you finally conceive would YOU want someone complaining about YOUR baby?

Seriously, get some help for your mental health. I am so glad I don't know you personally, because I would NEVER EVER allow you near MY child...

My blood is boiling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Freaking COWARD to not allow people to protest this!

This is the very selfish Lori her finest.....

"I'm very curious about the adoption process but I'm not ready to adopt yet (or ever). I really want my own child with my and my husband's genes. And I feel like I deserve every opportunity that I have to make that happen. And when everything is gone, every hope is gone, then maybe I'll think about adoption, but it's not on the radar right now. And I feel like once again my friend is thrusting adoption on me like what I'm going through is a waste of energy and it's not. It means everything to me. Seriously, I feel sometimes so lost when I think about not ever getting pregnant, and never knowing what it feels like to have the belly that T has, the intimacy that she and her husband have sharing this experience, and going through labor and that final moment when the baby is born, and to never look down and see a reflection of myself and my husband in our baby, I feel like I'll crack, that I won't make it, that it's too much to withhold from me, it's too much to bear. So to reject that and say, hey why go through the trouble, just buy someone else's baby, isn't helpful. And I don't even think that's how the email was intended to be but it's how it felt. I feel like, once again, I have no one to turn to when I feel so empty, no one understands."


Monday, May 25, 2009

A Recurring Dream....

I've had a dream quite a few times in the last few weeks....I dream that we have been given a referral for another daughter - once in China and last night she came from Korea. I see her photo and then all of a sudden she is in my arms, small and incredibly real and sweet. These dreams happen in the very early morning, right before I wake up. Every.single.time. I wake up sad and heartbroken because I would love to have a sister (or brother) for Kelsey. However, due to cirumstances beyond my control, this is off the table.

Today is particularly sad because today is our 12th anniversary, so formally marks 12 years when we began to try to have a family. Happy Anniversary Kurt, I love you and look forward to the next 12 and then the next 12 after that!

We are so blessed with Kelsey and I feel greedy to want another child, but if I just can't stop this nagging feeling that somewhere out there NOW is a child who needs us to be their forever family.

We had a great Memorial Day weekend, very low key and relaxed. The house is clean and I'm mostly caught up on the laundry. I'm looking forward to some more gardening this week.

Mom is still at my sister's home and having more challenges with her heart rate. My sister and I are starting to have conversations that aren't fun about going forward. At the end of June Mom has more Dr.'s appointments and we need to ask hard questions then.

Nothing has changed on the job front...let's hope June shakes some stuff loose.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

After THAT pity party...

I needed to get all that stuff out in writing so I could read it. I am truly grateful and appreciate for every comment and wonderful thought and prayer that all our friends, family and acquaintances have served up for us.

Here is the "half-full" perspective on this big glass...

1) Kelsey is happy and healthy. Even though she is testing our patience, this is all part of her new transition and also because she is 3. We will all get through this together.

2) My Mom is getting better slowly. We don't know what the "new normal" is now or what's going to happen. We are a family of planners so this is new and slightly scary for us. I am personally getting through by taking the "one step at a time" approach. We had to get Mom to the ICU, then out of ICU, then into rehab, and now we are thinking "out of rehab" and then she'll go to Janet's for a few weeks. Time will tell on this...Mom really wants to live in her house in TR, so this is motivating her.

3) So many people are out of work that there are all kinds of new programs opening up. I think it's not the worst thing that the layoffs came now because if they came later, it might be even harder to look for work. It is discourgaging and disappointing, but we didn't lose our jobs because we aren't talented smart people...we lost them because we had the misfortune of working in industries affected very badly by the first huge waves of the recession (auto and non profit)

4) Kurt and I are trying to enjoy the simpler family life more than ever. We were never jet-setters but we have scaled back some (and will do more soon) and are also in the process of creating an ebay business. We've had the beginnings of success. Next will be a yard sale (specifically to fund a brief summer vacation to NE this year - we HAVE to attend Kelsey's orphanage reunion and then we want to go visit Jimmy and Judy in Maine)

Everything happens for a reason, it's in God's hands and you just have to trust in the higher power. I certainly talk that talk and now I have to walk that walk better. As a "person who likes to be in control" this is a huge wakeup call that I am certainly not the one in charge here.

So again, thanks for stopping by and visiting here. Thanks for listening to me kvetch and vent. and thanks for thinking of our family and especially our beautiful girl!



Sunday, April 19, 2009

That old adage works here in blogland...

The old adage I'm referring to is "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." So, I haven't....2009 has been the most awful challenging year of MY life (I won't speak for DH but I know he's not feeling the love for the year either) I'm going to do a simple topline of this...and know this has all happened to us this year.

January - I got sick Christmas eve and remained sick for an entire Month! Cold/sinus that turned into an ear infection. It sucked.

Early Feb - Kelsey got sick with a bad case of the flu, felt horribly conflicted because both Kurt and I needed to take time off with our girl to help her recover....she was really really sick with high fevers.

Mid Feb- I had a ticket and a car accident in Irvington. I love the teachers of Irv, but HATE the layout of the the car I hit the policeman wouldn't write the report and the guy didn't give me any information...he was in a store and claimed it was his car...wanted me to give him cash...ended up going through my insurance...that was a PITA.

Late Feb - some warnings of the bad stuff to come...

Very early March - I got the layoff call from my job. I was half expecting this because of the bad economy - my job would end at the end of March and my PTO would carry into April.

One week later - Got the worse news that all my org was at risk and the timing I thought I had, I didn't have any longer. I used up my PTO to finish up some stuff and still volunteered for some other projects I didn't get to complete

Mid March - I twisted my knee and had to have an MRI. My benefits ended on March 23. Luckily it's only the beginning of arthritis.

March 20 -My Mom was supposed to have an angiogram and perhaps a stint. She ended up being in congestive heart failure and a irregular heartbeat. My Brother came from Maine to help her out and extended his stay, but had to leave before everything was resolved. I begin the daily 2 hour round trip drives (her hospital was closer than her house is)

March 23 - Mom has angiogram and 1 stint

March 25 - Mom has 2 additional stints inserted

March 25 - Kurt received phone call from his co that 2/3 of his org has been laid off, including himself. No severance, and his benefits had been terminated before he was laid off. I am STILL FUMING OVER THAT!!!!

March 26 - Mom comes home from hospital. Kurt, Kelsey and I bring her home. My Aunt comes to stay with her

I had 3 interviews and wasn't offered any of the jobs (rare for me, but I guess not in this bad job situation anymore) however, I got a few phone calls from people wanting to speak with me and when I returned their calls - they NEVER CALLED ME BACK! I mean, yes this is a bad, stinking economy...but have some manners....if YOU call a possible job candidate and leave a voicemail saying you'd like to speak with them about a job...then HAVE THE DECENCY TO SPEAK WITH THEM WHEN THEY CALL YOU BACK!!!!!! It isn't such a stretch to think that people are NOT glued to their phones 24/7 is it?

April 4 - Happy Birthday Sis, Kelsey runs a fever and misses school. Her spring break is next week. we make some tentative plans for some inexpensive fun. I helped out at the Easter Egg hunt at Church today - it was fun.

April 5 -My Aunt leaves my Mom to go back home

April 6 -My Mom has a stroke. Due to her rapid irregular heartbeat. Luckily her neighbor realizes a problem and calls me and insists I come down. I left my house at 11:30AM, and find Mom confused, dizzy and disoriented. I take my Mom to her Dr. and he instructs me to take her to the local emergency room - We got there at 3pm. I leave at 10:30pm because they didn't know what time they'd be able to move her to a room. Mom was sleeping most of the time and I couldn't sit in the chairs anymore. (3 hour drive)

April 7 - My sister and I both drive down to the hospital. Mom is worse today and in the afternoon it got scary. She wasn't responding to any of us and they ended up moving her to the ICU for 5 days. We called my brother and he and his wife drove from Maine to TR in the late evening. They stayed until good Friday.

April 9 to 15 - Mom slowly starting to come back....much relief and happiness. We continue to make trip almost every day (3 hour round trip)

April 12 - Easter...tried to make this fun for Kelsey. Definitely didn't feel it this year, but I thanked God in Church that Mom was recovering and our daughter was healthy.

April 15 - Mom released to rehab in WO (an excellent is thrilled and relieved!)

We're making the trip every other day now and this is only half and hour vs. an hour...such a relief! I have removed myself from volunteering at my former org because I was so stressed out over all the work that had to be done...I felt guilt on the day after my Mom had her stroke and was so unresponsive because I was supposed to attend an event that I had done all the work for...I honestly couldn't deal with that anymore.

Kelsey's spring break over and that poor little girl had about zero fun and no Mommy all week!

She's beginning to act out and get frustrated when she doesn't get her way RIGHT away and will begin the whining and crying for whatever "it" is. This makes Mommy and Daddy not very happy and I really lost my temper this AM.

So, that' really why I haven't been posting or available for much fun. I've been updating Facebook - it seems to be the easiest way to keep the lines of communication open.

So with Mom in the excellent hands of her rehab center, I can go back to hunting for a's discouraging out here folks....

I'm leaving you with a photo of the love of our lives...which is what makes this all work...I can survive this all and overcome everything that life (and GOD) throws in my path as long as I have Kurt and Kelsey in my life.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just When You Thought The Suck Couldn't Get Worse!!!!!

It gets worse...ugh!

On Saturday we will celebrate the 3rd anniversary of becoming a family of 3 with Kelsey. What should be a bright and shining moment in our lives (and deserves to be CELEBRATED BIG TIME) is tainted by the ill-effects of the most miserable economy since the Great Depresssion.

Thanks miserable politicians and greedy businesses and you too folks that had to "keep up with the Joneses" and then defaulted....YOU (wait for it...wait for it...) SUCK!

I think I am going back to all Kelsey all the's the bright spot in my world of SUCKY right now...

Monday, March 23, 2009


Ugh, this year is AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let me just put 5 things out there that make me smile....
  1. The smell of my daughter's hair after her bath...intoxicating!
  2. Kurtfee (for those in the know)
  3. Spring is here! We can hang out on our porch again!
  4. Got an eye exam, my eyesight actually got better!
  5. Earrings

Let me add a bonus 6th thing, we have a new Pastor after 18 months. And she's a woman! I love that!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Brushing Away The Cobwebs from the Ole' Blog

People, I've been busy...if there is anyone left to notice.

Some comments in bullets:
  • Work - I am doing some of the best, most important work of my life. I am making a difference in the life of children and teachers. What I am doing moves the human race forward. Does this matter in the long run? Perhaps not. All that may matter is that raising money is almost impossible in this economy. Sad...
  • Kelsey - was very very sick two weeks ago with the flu. I picked her up from daycare and her temp was over 102. I had to do everything in my power not to lose my mind and break down, but she was sick and scared. We got her to the emergency Ped, who said it was a virus - but it turned out to be the flu...Kurt took a few days, I got sick myself and took a day and my MIL also came over and spent a few days with us taking care of our girl. She's back to perfect health - except she's a bit anemic, so we're upping her iron intake.
  • We passed 3 year anniversary of our referral for the Angel Face...I really need to update this for her again. 1/25/06 was our amazing day!
  • I filled all the vacancies for CHATS this year, I had to bust a move to get this done. Wasn't really fun this time...
  • Kelsey's ballet class is incredibly enjoyable for her and for me.
  • I'm keeping the down-low on spending right now...I need to save more of what I make and figure out how to make more.
  • Kelsey is now completely potty trained. It's liberating and fun for us
  • She is a pretty great conversationalist. I cannot believe this child can hold a complete chat and have opinions. it's so fun!
  • I got lost in Irvington (not a good place to be lost in!) on Tuesday. I thought I was making a legal lefthand turn,but it turns out the sun was in my eyes and I was wrong. A cop pulled me over...I was lost for a while and upset about it and the cop surprised me and started blaring his shrill horn and freaked me out...while I was pulling over I bumped another car parked on the street. My first accident since I was 25...a very very long time ago! After the cop gave me the ticket he asked me what I planned to do about the bump. Seriously it was a small dent and a scratch. A man came out of a store claiming to own the car and I said let's go through insurance and the cop didn't want to write this up! So, no one gave me any info, but I said I would pay for the repair if it wasn't the cost of the deductable. I was very very rattled and should have insisted on more information and taken photos of the car/liscense plate (stupid girl) so his "cousin" called me and said the cost was $650!!!!! I said NO WAY and then he said he'd get another quote...the original guy called me a few minutes later and said he would go to the police again...and I said go ahead, cause I'm going to call them myself and report this through insurance....I can't believe I was so stupid and trusting. ARGH!!!!!!
  • Today my org had a special event for the top achievers of our Drive Service Event. Our partner was an org called Soaring Words. Soaring Words created quilts and pillows and has students draw on them and post inspirational words. The quilts and pillows are then delivered to chronically ill children. We did this today with 40 students and went to the hospital and met some of the children. It was an amazing powerful event, and made me feel so very blessed to have a healthy happy child. Also, it reminded me of the 100 good wishes quilt that we made Kelsey while waiting for her.
  • A powerful quote from Robert Zend was used in our event today. Simple, but important.

There are too many people, and too few human beings.

How many human beings do you know? I had a great time today with about 40 of them!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A long post with mostly photos since it's been a long time coming!

Merry Christmas a Few Weeks late!
We're back to business as usual, but I'm still recovering from my sinus infection gone awry.

This is Kelsey and her cousins on Christmas Eve at their house (my Sister's) Everyone always has a great time!

Christmas morning @ Casa de Hoppe - just look who is all smiles and being extra good before carefully tearing into her presents ---she's a careful ripper - no haphazard craziness for our girl! (yes, most of those gifts are hers...I started early and "forgot" how much Santa stashed away!)

Kelsey was delighted to learn that Santa ate bites out of the cookies and milk we left for him on Christmas Eve. Plus Rudolph came and ate the carrots as well. She was especially impressed with that. I just really loved our tree this year, Kelsey had a great time putting up the tree this year.

"It's just what I wanted! Thank you Santa!" Kelsey cried each time she opened up something wrapped in special Princess wrapping paper. It's so much fun figuring out how to keep the Santa alive for Kelsey. We've never done this before, so it's been really fun, creative and nerve-wracking! I don't want to spoil the myth for her for a long time! After we unwrapped our presents (yes Santa was good to Kurt and me too!) we had our puffed apple pancake breakfast and got ready for our Christmas celebration at the manse :)

This is Peter and Jocelyne's huge tree. See how small our girl is in comparison?

Kelsey was stylin' in a pretty silver sweater and black velveteen jeans (a Christmas present from my sister and her family) Mommy got Kelsey the Tinkerbell silver "K" for Christmas!

Kelsey and her Lola

The Hoppe family wishes everyone a very happy holiday season!

Kelsey went nose to nose with a reindeer ---I think she won!

Kelsey's favorite gifts this year were her 7 Disney Princess dolls, Barbie Guitar, My Little Pony Ponyville House and her Puppy Knows Your Name...but she really does play with almost everything she got...Candyland, a neat computer game, coloring books...she's into everything this year!