12.8.17

Out of sight. In my heart

I hope I can put into words how I was feeling today!

This morning we stopped by the park. Two boys came over (around 8 and 6ish) and Kenzie started playing with them. They were all playing so well at the playground and eventually their games took them away from the playground and toward the walking trail behind it. Soon she was out of my sight. I could still hear them every once in a while. But I couldn't see her. I realized it was my first time ever that she was playing away from me and I couldn't see or hear her at all. Not only that, but she was even playing with complete stranger kids. This was a whole new experience for me. As I sat in the grass with Cooper my mind was racing. 

Should I go check on her? But it's good for her to feel safe and independent while she plays. I don't want her to see me and think she needs to be checked on as she plays. 

There's really nothing dangerous over there. But what if something happens- will I be able to hear it? What if she wanders off and gets lost? 

The boys are playing with her and being really attentive. But what if they get bored with her and run off? Or do something physical that she can't yet but wants to? (Climb walls, scale the hill, etc). 

On and on and on. 

I'm not a helicopter mother. I don't mind them (you do your thing mama) but that's not how I am. And sometimes I think free range parent's are seen as taking an easy route. Look at that mom sitting on the grass in the cool shade instead of going down the hill and following her daughter in the sun. 

But you know what? My heart and brain were ON FIRE as I was letting her be a kid. I was a hot mess inside while she was out of my view. But I believe it's important for kids to be able to play semi-unsupervised with other kids. Even at age 3. And because I believe that, I stayed on the grass with my baby. It wasn't easy. No parenting style is easy. And maybe there are moms out there that don't blink an eye when their kids aren't in their view. Maybe I was a hot mess because she's my first, and I can't believe she's old enough! Maybe it's my anxiety that gets triggered and I go to all those bad scenarios in my head. Maybe I'll send Cooper out the door without a second thought. Or maybe not. 

But either way, I was really happy when the games were over and we could go home. 

4.8.17

Hi Baby: Happy 3rd Birthday

Happy birthday my sweet baby girl.



 I know every mom says this on every birthday- but I can't believe you're already 3! Today after your nap you cuddled with me for a full 15 minutes. And while that might not seem that long to some, for you and your world with big, explosive feelings and energy- it felt like forever. And it was just what this mommy needed. Your sweet soft skin clutching onto that stupid old puppy and still fitting your head right where it needs to be. It was the best 15 minutes I've had this week. You can tell everyone your birthday is "August 5th!" and when asked what you want for your birthday you immediately yell "CAKE!" and then a notch quieter yell "AND POPPY AND NANA AND JAKE". You're an easy girl to please.



I remember August 5th 2014 and being told you were coming TONIGHT, not in 3 days like we thought. I was in labor but your stubborn body was breach which meant we had to do things a little differently. But you came out perfect at 6PM and I've been enamored by you ever since. You have made me a better person. You have shown me my purpose here on Earth. Being your mom is the most satisfying and fulfilling thing I have ever done. Not a day goes by that I don't thank my Heavenly Father for trusting me to be your mom. I pray that I can raise you and love you and mother you in the ways that will help you grow and succeed and flourish. I never want to be the person that dulls your sparkle or rains on your crazy little person parade.



 I've learned to give you space and independence and you're thriving. You have such amazing control over your body and strength. You're such a physical person and I love watching you experiment and test your body's limits. You're starting to draw and I'm pretty impressed by you. You can draw circles and faces and lines that are "mom and daddy and Booger and Kenzie!" You love to use your scissors and still aren't super into toys. You still yell "I'LL HELP YOU!" and proceed to drag a kitchen chair over to the counter to help me cook. You get frustrated, but can be talked down pretty quickly. You throw tantrums, but only when you're tired. You love to watch movies/TV and we usually watch a show in the evening to help you calm down a little bit. You're starting to become sweeter and nicer to Cooper and you two actually played together for 20 MINUTES and I thought I died and went to Heaven.



You're smart, sassy, funny and quick. You ask questions when you don't understand something. You repeat until you totally comprehend what I'm saying. You love making new friends and can play for hours with others. You also sometimes like to act like a "little baby" and need to be held and I don't mind it one bit. You're starting to test bedtime and try to pull the "I need a drink. I'm hungry. I want dad to sing me a song" but I'm still winning that game...for now.



I don't know how to express my love for you. And this last year has been so much FUN. I've loved being able to talk and communicate. I love your funny sayings and demeanor. You make me smile and laugh every day, and I try to make you laugh every day too. You're my best girl. I say a silent prayer every day that we can always be best friends. I hope as I write you something on your 13th birthday I can say that same thing. But for now, I will soak up every sweet moment with my little 3 year old. I love you Kenzie girl.

xoxo
Mom

2.8.17

A little life update

I thought it might be time for a little Bowen family update. Mostly because I'm sitting at the computer and finally have some time and motivation to write something- but a particular topic doesn't come to mind.

We're all settled into our apartment in Herriman and it's totally great for us. A little more space, but all on one level and it's starting to feel like a new home. I feel like we're pretty adaptable and since nothing else in our lives changed, the move actually didn't end up feeling like that big of one. I miss my friends and neighbors, but I know I will make new friends and have new neighbors. We've already met a few and I look forward to getting to know more people as time goes on.

Football season has officially begun and Bart is pouring his heart and soul into the Cottonwood HS team. It's overwhelming and exhausting but also exciting and it's going to be a good year. Kenzie already walks around the school and field like she owns the place, so I don't see us having any problems adjusting.

Cooper seems to be crying more than smiling these days, but I remember reading that same sentiment about Kenzie around the same time frame so I just have to remind myself it's a stage! And his big smile still comes out on a regular basis, so he knows how to melt my mama heart. He's pulling himself up and even starting to stand on his own for a second or two at a time...we'll see how long it takes him to figure out that walking is an option. He's a fun loving little boy and I'm still his favorite. But Kenzie and Bart can get him pretty happy and excited too, so it might be a tie for second place favorites.

Kenzie never ceases to amaze me and I love just being around her (most of the time). She's so dang smart and the stuff that comes out of her mouth makes me laugh. Today she started saying "what the heck are you doing mom". I don't think "what the heck" is a catch phrase of mine...but I'm sure she heard it somewhere. She did start saying "that happens" after an accident (spilled drink, broken something, etc) and I know she got THAT from me. That one made me laugh pretty hard hearing it for the first time.

In general I've really loved having two kids. They both just add something totally unique to the family dynamic and it's a perfect fit.

That's all I have for now- but like I said, football season has started so this single mother and lonely lady will have plenty of time at night to write away all her feelings while her husband abandons her for a group of teenage boys. Don't worry- I'm making him take me on a vacation at the end to make up for it!


11.7.17

Our story behind small and simple living


This is another post for the Small Living Series I've been doing with a group of amazing women all over the world! I love being part of this community and I hope you take the chance to read some of their stories linked at the bottom of this post.
xo

It's funny that I'm writing this "how did we end up here" just weeks before we move away. We're selling our home and renting a different one a town away. The square footage won't change much, but I know that's probably the only thing escaping big changes. So while I could talk about how my husband and I ended up here, I think I'll talk instead about the lessons we have learned as we look back. 

As I mentioned in a previous post, moving into a two bedroom townhome at the time 4 years ago seemed pretty typical. It was just us and we didn't feel the need for a "legit" house with a yard and more rooms and bathrooms than people. We just are very budget conscious and the price range we could afford was a townhome. It's not a very romantic story- but that's the truth. We didn't drastically change our ways and downsize to "start over". Our story was only just beginning. 

But what have we learned since? A few things. Probably the biggest thing we've learned is that life happens and with our life came kids and STUFF. Our big roomy two bedroom didn't feel as roomy as soon as my larger-than-life daughter came into this world. Again, we're pretty frugal/budget friendly and I personally am kind of cheap, so we didn't have all the new baby gadgets and toys and equipment for every stage. But we still had plenty of stuff to take up plenty of space. Soon shelves in the garage were built to store things. Her bedroom went from a simple nursery to a play space to now a bedroom for both kids and a place to play. Our home has evolved right along with us and we have really loved it. 

But a big shift has come over our home and family the last 4 months after I discovered Minimalism and implemented it into our family. Bart caught on pretty quickly because he was too busy to care otherwise (insert emoji here ;) He has appreciated my new habits and I think he's starting to see the lifelong changes I have made and is no longer thinking it's some fad I'll get over.  As I pack up our home I can't help but be thankful I discovered simple living and minimalism when I did. I have thousands of less things to put in boxes and move across town. I'm not as stressed about the things and the errands and the "we need that" and I've been able to slow down and enjoy the ride. 

So while our first move into a small space wasn't based on the notion that "less is more", this new place is. We didn't look for the biggest house we could afford to rent. We focused on things that mattered more than square footage (location, price, quality) and found the perfect space for our little family of 4. It adds a few hundred more square feet, but takes us down from 2.5 bathrooms to one. Its going to be enough. Big enough. Nice enough. Because if I have learned anything these last few months, it's that we don't need a lot of stuff or a lot of space. "Enough" actually starts to look like "plenty" and the gratitude for everything you do have grows exponentially. We have a lot of love and a lot of dreams and living simply is helping us accomplish those goals and dreams in record time. 

For now I don't have a big amazing story of "how we ended up living this way", But I know that down the road we will be able to look back at the beginning of our simple living journey and have many great stories to tell.

This post was written for inclusion in the July collection of the Small Family Homes Blog Community. Read below for more writings on living small from our community of writers. Check back next month for a new topic and posts in the series and follow our community board on Pinterest for the latest small homes and family minimalism pins!


Little Bungalow-- "Accidental then Intentional" : A visual tour of all the small homes we didn’t buy before we bought our most recent smallish home in beautiful Victoria, BC.

Fourth and West-- "The Home That Chose Us" : Realizing the home we had was actually perfect all along.

Tiny Ass Camper-- "Casita Life" : How and why we chose a 17' Casita Spirit Standard as our home on wheels.

600 Sq Ft and a Baby-- "How We Ended Up Living Small" : Looking back on why living small stuck for us.

Fancy Pigeon-- "Why We Live Small" : A vlog on why and how our family has consistently downsized over the years.

The Streamlined Life-- "Why I Fell in Love with Small House Living" : Sometimes our earliest memories have the strongest impact.


This Lovely Day-- "Tiny Transitions" : Follow along with Kate Shaw, a retiring Air Force pilot, as she transitions her family of five from living in a 3200 ft.² century home to a 900 ft.² downtown high rise condo in the city.
The Justice Pirate-- "Minimalism: My First Tiny House" : Once upon a time, a little girl dreamed of having her own tiny house and her dream came true...temporarily.

Family Pedals-- "Finding Abundance in 1500 Square Feet" : In our culture it would be easy for us to view our house as a stepping stone to something bigger, something nicer. For us, the next step we’d like to take is to something smaller, something simpler.


7.7.17

2 Cents: Not every mom is tired

I was reading THIS article this morning and it just got me all sorts of riled up with opinions. They might not be popular opinions, but here they are.

First, I don't agree that every mom is exhausted. I have a 3 year old and an 8 month old and I'm not exhausted. I'm not even tired. Does that make me a bad mom? I don't think so.

There are definitely times I have been exhausted. That newborn stage for 3+ months- I'm a crazy person two steps away from killing over because I'm so tired. After a night with a sick baby, I'm exhausted. But after my newborn gets a little older- I wouldn't say "tired' is on the description list of my life. But this article makes it sound like all moms are tired all the time. And why is that? Because they need some "me time". And since that "me time" doesn't come until after the kids go to bed- that must be why everyone is so perpetually exhausted all the time.

What?!?

Are you all of a sudden incapable of going to sleep? Can your body physically not close its eyes unless you have browsed the internet for 3 hours? Is someone standing over you with a bright light and loud music telling you you're not allowed to go to sleep yet? I didn't think so.

If you're really THAT tired after the kids go to bed....GO TO BED YOURSELF. It's this crazy thing called going to bed early. Without watching TV or playing on your phone. Don't want to go to bed yet because this is the only free minute you've had to yourself all day? fine. But don't complain or be confused as to why you're always tired. You're tired because you are choosing to stay awake instead of go to sleep. End of the story.

My kids wake up really early. Like- 6AM is our typical day and all this week they've actually been waking up around 5/5:30AM. And while I wasn't the happiest about it- it wasn't the end of the world. But after three days of really early mornings and no time for mommy rest, guess what? I crawled into bed at 8:30PM and went to sleep. I didn't catch up on any TV shows. I didn't chat with friends online. I chose to go to sleep early because I WAS TIRED. And guess what? When I woke up the next day at 6AM....I wasn't tired anymore. Weird how that works.

If this article was titled something different I probably wouldn't be so annoyed by it. Because I absolutely agree that at the end of the day it's amazing to have a few minutes to yourself. To not have to get up and get someone a snack. Or to share your own snack. Or to watch something that doesn't have a catchy theme song. I personally like to unwind and spend 30 minutes scrolling through Instagram and watching the IG stories. Or I'll take a bath, write, watch TV with Bart, etc. And yes, that only happens after the kids go to bed. But if I'm exhausted, or if I've had a really emotionally draining day- I actually choose to take care of myself and give me "me time" by going to bed and getting some sleep. It's OK to give yourself permission to be in bed by 9PM. You're not a loser. You aren't wasting your life away. You're taking care of yourself. And if you feel like you're "always tired" and your kids are sleeping just fine- then maybe it's time to reevaluate the priorities you have at night- and go to bed early once in a while.

*The article on Babble isn't talking about moms whose kids are still waking up every few hours. And neither am I. That's a whole other hell world and I'm not talking about that situation here.*

5.7.17

Cooper 8 Months



My sweet baby boy is growing up so fast! He got 2 teeth and learned to crawl this month. He is trying to pull himself up on everything but hasn't quite gotten strong enough yet.  He's been grouchy and fussy most of the time but has been a bit better since learning how to access his toys or move a little closer to mom. He is a total mama's boy and usually doesn't whine for anyone else but me. If I'm not holding him he's not super happy. But I love his snuggles and don't mind it most of the time 


He loves to talk and make noises and blow raspberries. He isn't saying mama or dada yet but definitely loves both of us and gets the biggest smile when he sees me or Bart. Be pretty much with flash a big fat grin at anyone who smiles at him it's darling. 

He loves food! Will eat anything and everything. I haven't been awesome at keeping food around that he can just pick at (blueberries, finger foods, etc) so I don't have him eating as much as Kenzie did (she was always in her high chair having a snack) but when he does eat with us he'll eat just as big of a serving as Kenzie and loves all varieties and textures. 


He's been harder for me to figure out when it comes to naps and nighttime but he'll sleep thru the night and try to wake up around 5-5:30 but I just leave him in bed until we get up at 6 and I'm hoping eventually he will catch on! He seems to every few days. He loves his binki and his thumb but really doesn't use either until he gets tired. I don't have a special blanket or stuffed animal for him (mostly because Mckenzie just steals anything and calls it hers). 

He loves playing with toys, especially if they make sounds. But he is non-stop entertained by his sister and other people and can go hours without a nap if there are enough people to watch. 

He's much more sensitive and snugly and can get overwhelmed and just need to be held and loved on. He still hates loud noises but doesn't cry as often when something startles him. He giggles and laughs pretty easily and has a hilarious chuckle that sounds like a goat that he will just randomly do when he's excited about something. 


This past month has been a little more draining but he's learning and growing so much I don't blame him! I love my little man and can't believe how quickly things happen with the second child! Instead of me waiting around wondering "when will he do this" I just look one day and he's starting a whole new skill or behavior. 

It's no secret I'm obsessed with my little dude! 

30.6.17

When your garbage can has to hide

This is just a public service announcement to let you all know that I will probably not clean my house again until July 20th.

But before I explain that happy announcement.. Our home is under contract and we're set to move the weekend of July 21. Yay! It took 2 days to get an offer, and then a total of 12 to get everything finalized and on paper. And I have to say that it felt like MUCH longer. Having to have a home "show ready" every second of every day is a hellish ordeal I never want to do again! 

I am all for a clean house. My home is kept clean and tidy. But...I also have two children who both happen to be mobile and messy and to make sure there isn't a single crumb on the floor while simultaneously keeping the laundry going so there isn't dirty clothes in the basket and oh yeah your trash can has to be out in the garage and did we mention you have 3 showings today and have to stay away from 1-7:30PM?

So every morning while getting 4 people ready and fed and lunches packed and out the door by 6:45AM and oh crap there's still the hand soap on the counter and we need to hide those towels in a drawer and WHERE IS THE EFFING GARBAGE CAN?!?!? Pull the blackout shades up every morning in case someone comes while we're at work but then take them back down so Kenzie can nap once we're back home and then after the nap PUT THEM BACK UP! NATURAL LIGHT! and then bedtime..back down because it doesn't get dark until 10PM and my sanity and happiness and will to live won't last if my kids aren't going to sleep until 10PM. And don't even get me started on the kitchen and cooking. Cook a meal? Okay but then you have to hide every trace that you ever existed in this room so put away the washcloth and hide the paper towel dispenser and IS THAT A CRUMB? DID YOU SPILL YOUR WATER!? I may or may not have forgotten to feed my poor children lunch/snack more than once because...crumbs and THE GARBAGE CAN IS IN THE STUPID GARAGE. 

Do you get my point? Are my caps coming across as a crazy person? Because that's how I have been feeling. But now...now we can be total slobs if we want because no more strangers will be coming over. So now there is a corner for my dirty laundry, soap on my bathroom counter and a garbage can in my pantry. And if you need me, I'll be making a mess cooking dinner and watching a movie with my children on our own couch because...priorities.

OMG THE LIVING ROOM IS A MESS - me the last two weeks (eyeroll emoji)

27.6.17

Kenzie update



I realized Its been a long time since I've done a little update on Mckenzie! She'll be three in 5.5 weeks and I am amazed at the difference that comes almost every month at this age! It's like she's a newborn again learning new skills and tricks every few days. 


had a blast at the carnival and went on almost all the rides! big girl

Her language has improved a ton and she is speaking in full sentences. Sometimes she is a little slow at completing a thought and you can tell she is searching for the right word in her head. If you give her the chance, she'll complete her sentence using the right words and phrases 70% of the time. She is starting to voice her emotions like "she made me sad" or "I'm having a hard day" or "are you mad at me mom?" Don't worry- that last one had me rethinking all my motherhood behaviors! I can call her on the phone and we talk about her day or I can calm her down if she's upset. She still very much likes to talk through things and that's the fastest way to get out of a tantrum is talk out of it. Either by explaining or putting words to her emotions. 

She loves apples and would eat 3 a day if I let her. And sometimes she does because I'm not in the mood for a battle. She is still a great eater and will try and eat most things. She doesn't really like potatoes but that's the only food I've seen her consistently not like. She still loves oatmeal and cereal and would eat hummus with a spoon. 

She's still napping 2 hours a day and goes down great at night. She's still in her crib and has never once tried to crawl out or fight it. I'm scared of the big girl bed but will start to think about it more after her third birthday. She still loves her puppy and tried to take up the binki again, but after a disastrous weekend when she couldn't have it I told her no more and she's now back to sucking her thumb.

loves to draw and color!

She can totally get herself undressed and dressed and loves to do it herself. She can also brush her teeth and brush her hair. She's basically an adult. She's wearing her summer clothes from last year and she's getting taller but not much bigger. Still in the 2T range. 

The hardest thing for me right now is her behavior toward Cooper. It's like 50% nice and 50% mean and I don't know how to teach her how to be kind to him. It's a struggle and I'm hoping I can help her somehow.

Loves him soooo hard

My favorite things about her right now:
She's awesome at climbing and using her body. Can go up those kid rock walls and ladders, etc. 
She sticks with things and tries until she can figure it out. And then she practices until she has it mastered 
She's turning really social and loves playing with other kids. Calls everyone her friend
Still goofy and likes to play/goof around. Says "I'm just teasing", "stop talking mom", "you're a good parent"

Doing pushups with mom!

20.6.17

Divine Simplicity

I do believe my journey into minimalism and living a simple life had some divine intervention. I was beginning to feel restless and dissatisfied in my life. I saw "everyone else" with their bigger homes and more stuff and I started wanting that. And questioning why I didn't get it. I was convinced that to have a productive day  I had to get out of the house and run an errand, or visit the library, or do something structured. I was feeling discontent and I was being ungrateful. 

After learning all I could about this thing called "minimalism" and living simply my life changed for the better. It didn't look too different. I still went grocery shopping-I just stuck to my list and didn't pick up some random summer toys or holiday decor. We still go to the library and to the park- but only on days Kenzie actually wants to go. Not just because "we need to get out of the house because sitting at home isn't good for you." We have more tea parties and watch movies together. She explores and seems less stressed when our agenda isn't overflowing. 

"Whatever God you believe in, He would want you to live a more simple life"

When I heard that quote from a podcast several weeks ago I immediately agreed. Living a more simple life has made me slow down and focus more on my belief in Christ and to be more thankful to God for all the blessings he has given me. It has helped me not be so focused on what others have, but how I can help those around me. It has helped put my priorities back where they should be. 

I don't think stuff is bad. I don't think buying things takes you further away from God. But for me personally, not buying things and having less stuff to worry about has brought me closer to Him. 


14.6.17

Home For Sale

I can't believe I'm typing out these words, but we're moving! Our home is going up for sale this weekend. It started with a "should we sell our house" 10 days ago and here we are. We have lived in our little town home for almost 4 years and we've really loved every minute. When we bought it as a young couple with no kids we felt like we had all the space in the world. And here we are two kids later and we still love this place.

This is where I brought two new babies home from the hospital. This is where my baby girl took her first steps and said her first words. This is where she learned to walk and run and play outside. She's biffed it on every sidewalk around the neighborhood. She knows where all the parks and swings are. This is her home. She can find her way back after we go on a walk and she knows this place like the back of her hand. This area is where we have trained for half marathons and have gone on countless evening walks. This is where we have built our life.

It's crazy how much can happen in 4 years! So much has changed. We have friends here and Kenzie has friends here. We really love it. But we've been told it's time to go on to our next adventure. We weren't planning it. We weren't hoping for it. We thought we'd be here for a few more years at least! But sometimes changes happen overnight. So here I am, typing away when I should be deep cleaning and getting ready for the photographer and open house. We've filled up a handful of boxes so our house looks less like "a family lives here" and more like "YOU could live here". Our walls are empty and our hearts are full.

I'm scared and nervous and excited and anxious and ready and not ready. We plan on living in the same general area so I'm hoping we can still keep the friends and little tot playmates we have made here and I look forward to meeting new people too. I've grown and changed a lot these last 4 years, now it's time to take that new Megan somewhere else and see what happens.

Wish us luck!

A million memories like this one in our home! 

8.6.17

Hi baby: bedtime snuggles

Hi my sweet baby boy,


Tonight as I was putting you down for bed you passed out in my arms. I held you and sang a song and you were asleep before the end of the first verse. I don't think that has ever happened. I sat there and snuggled you in my arms for 30 minutes before finally laying you down. It was a dreamy way to end the day. I love you so much. I've said this since the day you were born- you bring peace into my life. You're such a cuddle bug and I'm loving it. Your smile and eyebrow-grin is still going strong all day everyday. You're starting to get up on your hands and knees and I think you'll be crawling in a matter of weeks. You're obsessed with real food and you have drastically cut out the milk you want. You're ready for the good stuff!

As I was holding you tonight staring at your perfect button nose and juicy lips I tried to imagine the boy and man you will grow up to be. Will you be a sweet and mellow dude? Or a crazy kid bouncing off the walls? Will you be kind and happy? Or an angsty teen? Will you have addictions or a mental illness? Will you grow up and live a long and healthy live, or does Heavenly Father have a different plan for you? Will you always be my sweet baby boy? Or will you demand independence and space and call me once a week? Will you be responsible and respectful and hard working? Or will you struggle to find your space in this world? There are so many people that go so many different directions. I can't help but wonder what paths you will choose. What mistakes you make. What decisions will guide your life? I can't imagine the little boy or toddler or teen that you'll grow into (well I can, in my mind you'll be that smiley kid that everyone likes and maybe a little trouble...but we'll see if I'm right). But there is one thing I know about the future. I will always love you and you will always be my sweet baby boy. 

Xoxo
Mom


6.6.17

The Truth About Living SMALL

So excited to be part of this community and contribute my thoughts to their monthly topic! I hope you enjoy and connect with me over on IG @minimalistmeg

We are a family of 4 (kids 3yo and 7 mo) living in 1,200 sqft. Some people live in much smaller spaces. Some live in much bigger. Bart and I moved in before we had kids. We thought it was huge! After living in apartments in college, a two level town home felt like a castle. Our home comes with two "master bedrooms" so they're both big, have 2 closets and their own bathroom. Our spare room was totally empty until our first child was born. Babies bring a lot of stuff with them. Now our second baby is 6 months old and we are adjusting to our space that now feels less roomy. Before I stumbled upon minimalism I was getting antsy and unsatisfied. But that's a post all on it's own. Now that I have rearranged my priorities and point of view, I am very happy in our home. We have a kitchen, living room, 2 bedrooms. 2.5 baths and a 1 car garage. Here are my thoughts on "the truth about living in a SMALL home" 




SIMPLE- We live in a small space. And we live a pretty simple life. We go to work. We go to the park. We eat dinner together and kiss our babies goodnight. I don't spend my weekends cleaning my home or shopping for more stuff. We don't schedule out every second of our day- and some weeks are less "simple" than others. Our life in a small home probably doesn't look much different from yours. It's simple. 


MANAGEABLE- Not only is living in a small space manageable, it's enjoyable. We make it work. When my second child was born he spent a lot of time napping in my bedroom walk-in closet because it was the darkest, quietest spot in the house. He still takes his afternoon nap in there while my daughter naps in their room. Bart calls him Harry Potter sometimes. But hey- he doesn't seem to mind. We have toys on both levels. We have one couch and 4 kitchen chairs. It's enough. It also makes cleaning SO manageable. Our entire house can be a complete disaster with stuff everywhere and it takes maybe 15 minutes TOTAL to pick everything up and put it away. It takes maybe an hour to scrub/vaccum/deep clean the entire place. 


ABUNDANT- We are very blessed. We have more than 99% of the people in this world. My small home doesn't equal hardship or scarcity of resources. Could we afford a bigger home? Yes. But we find joy and value in the home we are in. We have an abundance of laughs, good food and happy memories in our small home. We sleep on comfy beds, watch TV and movies, go on vacations. The size of your home doesn't equal the size of your happiness. A small home doesn't mean you're living a small life.  

LESS STUFF- With less space automatically comes less stuff. We have a one car garage that actually houses a car- so we have some shelves to one side and that's it. We don't have a lot of holiday decorations. We don't have dozens of bikes and scooters and countless bins of stuff. We don't have a spare bedroom with everything a house guest might need. (a blow up mattress + a few extra towels is what we can offer!) Don't ask me how I was able to find a few thousand items in my 5-day purge back in March! Our closets, cupboards and drawers are a lot less full. But I do still have to be intentional with our organizing and make the most of the space we have been given. We have stuff. We just have less stuff than others. 


LOTS OF LOVE- A loving family can exist in any size home. Big or small- it's the relationships and people inside those 4 walls that matter. We are happy, thriving and content. One day we will live somewhere else. But today is not that day. So we spend our days in close quarters and right on top of each other. We try to fill the "empty" spaces with lots of love. 

I know some people wonder how we live in such a small space, but to be honest- I wonder the same thing about them and their big house! So what's the truth about living in a small family home? Well...the truth is- it's probably just like living in a large family home with 2 little kids. Messy, loud, sometimes stressful, most of the time wonderful 

Naps in the closet #reallife


This post was written for inclusion in the June collection of the Small Family Homes Blog Community. Read below for more writings on the truth about living small from our community of writers. Check back next month for a new topic and posts in the series and follow our community board on Pinterest for the latest small homes and family minimalism pins!

Minimalist Meg -- “The Truth About Living SMALL” : What does living in a small space look like for a family of 4? Probably not a whole lot different from you.

Little Bungalow-- "Less Space, More Happiness" : In a small home, less space doesn’t equal more happiness. Except, of course, when it does.

600 Square Feet and a Baby-- "The Truth About Living in a Small Family Home" : Living small as a family of four is sometimes uncomfortable, a bit awkward and never boring. Sharing the awkward and imperfect of living small with 4 humans that you always wanted to know (or maybe you didn't.)

Shelley Vanderbyl-- "Five Things You Don't Need in a Small Home" : Gatekeeping is about recognizing what things you don't need or want, and trying to keep those objects from coming into your home.
The Streamlined Life-- "The Truth About Living Small: Less Possessions, Greater Value": Just because you're a minimalist family doesn't mean you aren't sentimental.
The Justice Pirate-- "What Small Home Living is Like" : No matter if I lived in a cardboard box or a small home, I just like being with my family, who are my home.

Our Nest in the City-- "The Truth About Living in a Small Family Home" : My post gives three challenges to living in a small home with our family of five, and counters them with three ways we "cope" and thrive despite it all :)
Fourth and West-- "You Can't Have it All" : Small space living requires compromise and sacrifice.

RISING*SHINING-- "The Truth About Living in a Small(ish) Family Home" : A smaller home is why we're able to live such a full life.


Family At Sea-- "The Meaning of Space: Thoughts from a Former Tiny Home Mom" : After moving onto a boat, I thought the hard work of decluttering and downsizing was done, but I didn't realize that living in a tiny space was the beginning of the real work of the soul.

Real Food Simple Life-- "The Realities of Living in a Small Home with a Big Family" : A look into the benefits and challenges that a family of 6 (going on 7) experiences living together in an 800 square foot home in Scotland.

Tiny Ass Camper-- "I Didn't Know Tiny Living Was For Me" : My thoughts on the give and take of living tiny.

Family Pedals-- "Location Trumps Size" : The truth is, it has been our home's location--not size--that has determined our happiness in a given space

5.6.17

3 Weeks of Whole30

Now I know what you're thinking "Um, Megan....whole30 is something you do for 30 days...hence the name?" and you're correct. Except we only did it for 3 weeks so let's call is Whole21 for this post shall we?

4 weeks ago Bart started up the conversation about how he was feeling exhausted all the time, was emotionally eating (he was at the peak of the business between end of school, start of summer football and start of a new semester for his masters) and just overall not feeling super awesome about himself. So of course I immediately took advantage of his vulnerability and said we should do Whole30! It's not a secret that I have stuck to an anti-inflammatory diet for the last 4 years, but Whole30 is even different and "more strict" than that! So after some discussing and "but can I just have ranch and one cheat meal? (no and no)" he finally agreed to do it with me. This is the FIRST TIME EVER Bart has agreed to do something like this with me that actually had real rules with no exceptions and a required length of time. I was totally pumped because I see so much value in real food and it's connection with health that I knew this would be awesome for him. I was also looking forward to having some motivation for myself too.

So I make a menu, stock up on food and we get this party started. I think Bart asked "how do we feel about Ranch?" multiple times that first week- but he stuck to it! I have to say it was totally easy for me to do this kind of restrictive eating when he was along for the ride. We both had the same things for dinner. I didn't have to worry about adding anything to his plate. He complained about the situation, but not about me and my cooking :) I finally had my person on board with the boring and depressing way I had to eat- haha!

We got the hang of it and got sick of eating eggs for breakfast. Our new favorite snack was a heated up apple sausage with mustard on it. mmmm. Bart ate more vegetables than he had in the last year combined. I was more motivated and did much better too. I usually can have corn and rice, but Whole30 says nay, so we didn't. That was an adjustment for both of us, but I realized I am totally good without it! Bart really missed rice and tortillas, but seemed to be fine without bread. He also really missed his milk. I can usually eat dairy, but Whole30 says nope to that too, and again, I didn't miss cheese or yogurt that much at all! Sure, those things are convenient and make for a quick healthy snack, but not having them wasn't a big issue for me. Bart did fine without them too (although we both agreed cheese makes EVERYTHING taste better).

The hardest thing for both of us was our craving for sweets. A sweet at the end of a long day or on a Sunday night when the kids are in bed- let's just say we tried to fill that void with a smoothie or a bowl of fruit but it didn't quite hit the spot. I am so proud of Bart for staying away from Pepsi! Even though our Whole21 has ended (more on that later) he still hasn't had any soda. Proud wife moment.

Bart lost about 7 pounds almost instantly and I've lost 5 this past month. We weren't too motivated to exercise religiously so I say that's a pretty nice side effect! Bart didn't say "I'm tired" ONCE  that first week and didn't need a Saturday nap (which was pretty awesome). I could tell he was seeing a change, even if he wasn't super vocal about it, because he really didn't complain or ask if we could be done. (okay, so he only did that a handful of times.)

To be honest, we stopped at 21 days because we were both just over it! Bored of the food, and straight up sick of all the time it took to cook/prep. We also felt like we had gained some really good habits and broke a lot of our bad ones (there's something about that 21 day mark!) We also had a discussion before we officially stopped and decided what we wanted to add back in. So we are saying yes to rice (even though I'll probably not include that just because I've been fine without it) and milk for him (but not the rest of the dairy products) and then a sweet treat on the weekends. Whole30 has SO MUCH PREP WORK in the kitchen. Like soooo many dishes and time spent prepping and cooking and cleaning. It can feel a bit much sometimes. But I tried to embrace it and find recipes that were realistic for us to cook and enjoy without taking hours to make. I should note that Kenzie ate mostly what we did, but did have yogurt and sandwiches for lunches here and there.

As much as I hated spending all that time in the kitchen, I was reminded of how warped our perception of eating has become. Our grandparents or great-grandparents spent all day in the kitchen cooking for the next meal. Real food means real cooking. And I'm trying to embrace that. We don't eat prepackaged/premade dinners anyway, but something about these specific food restrictions made it feel like we spent a lot more time prepping and cooking.

When we officially ended the first thing I ate was a bowl of plain cheerios with almond milk. It was so good- and then I INSTANTLY got a headache. -cue the eye roll emoji here- Despite it being gluten free, and only having 2 grams of sugar per serving, my body wasn't super happy about it. My autoimmune disease will always have a big impact on how my body reacts to things and at this point I've just gotten used to it!

So here is a sample menu from one of the weeks:

Breakfast:
Banana pancakes
Fried egg "sandwich" (fried egg on top and bottom with a piece of turkey in the middle)
Sweet potato hash
Scrambled eggs + fruit
Egg muffins
Sausage + veggie hash
Omlets

Lunch:
Leftovers!
Salsa chicken lettuce wraps
Turkey wraps (turkey, lettuce, bacon, avocado)
Salad

Dinner:
Fried cauliflower rice
Chicken poppers
Taco soup
Spaghetti squash + marinara sauce
Salmon + veggies
Pot roast + veggies
Veggie soup
Grilled chicken strip salad

Snacks:
Veggies + hummus
Apple + peanut butter
Fruit
Mixed nuts
Leftovers
Turkey slices


So as you can see, there's nothing fancy about this menu! It's just whole, real food. We didn't make any "whole30 ranch" or our own mayo. We just stuck with what was naturally whole food.

One of my favorite things about doing a restrictive diet like this for a set amount of weeks, is that it helps reset your eating habits. It teaches you what "hungry" feels like, and it helps your mind get over the thought that you really NEED that the-kids-survived-another-day-and-you-deserve-a-treat moment that comes every other night. I don't think it's realistic to do this long term, but I would recommend it to anyone who feels like their eating habits are out of control. Because learning to control your eating and diet is such an empowering feeling! Not to mention your body loves you for it too :)

31.5.17

Little people big feelings

As I crawl into bed after a LONG day with the kids I can't help but think of their little perspective. 

Cooper is cutting another tooth. His second in as many weeks. I can't imagine how bad that must hurt to be growing a bone up into your mouth. Ouch! I remember when Kenzie was teething I wondered WHY? Why do babies have to go through that pain? I don't have an answer. But thinking about it that way- how painful it must be- has helped me be more patient with the teething process. If I was in constant pain I would want to be held ALL DAY too. I would be irritable and grouchy and I for sure wouldn't want my 2 year old sister all up in my grill (no pun intended ;) 

And then there is my big small old baby girl who will be 3 in two months (cue all the crying emojis). She woke up crying and didn't really stop today. And all I could think of as I was driving her to the babysitter's this morning as she screamed and cried the full 15 minutes was how hard it must be for her to have those big huge emotions and not understand what they are or how to deal. I freaking don't know how to deal and I'm 27 years old. So I just let her cry. I didn't get impatient and tell her to stop. I tried talking her off the ledge (because she does like that kind of communication) but she wasn't having it today. She just needed to let it all out. I get it. Sometimes my pillow ends up soaking wet too. 
And then after a dramatic and traumatic experience at the pool where I had her wear a puddle jumper (cue another 20 minutes screaming crying fit) we went home and proceeded to do nothing but watch movies naked (well SHE got to be naked) because I get it. Sometimes all I want to do is curl up on the couch and eat some of my feelings and not wear pants. 
And as I was tucking her in bed tonight she gladly snuggled her puppy and went right to sleep. Because sometimes we just need to sleep off our bad days. 

My little kids are humans too. Perfect imperfect humans that have real big powerful feelings. And I'm just glad I could see it that way today. And I'm glad for bedtime because....these days are exhausting for mom too :)


Questions to ask yourself as you minimize your stuff

I thought it might be nice to write down a few things I say to myself as I'm going through a cupboard, drawer or closet and letting things go. As you gain momentum and a habit for letting go of things that no longer add value, the process becomes a little easier.

First, where to start? If there is a space that stresses me out every time I look at it/open it- I know there is work to be done. First you need to take everything out. As you're removing do the initial purge of things that are clearly good to toss. Expired food or stained clothes. A random piece to a toy you no longer own, etc. it may or may not be garbage, but these things are pretty obvious and easy to get rid of. Next when you have that pile go through it again without putting anything back yet. Ask yourself these questions as you go "when was the last time I used this?" "When was the last time I even thought about this?" "Have my children outgrown it and is it worth storing?" "Why am I keeping this?" "Would I buy this again right now?" "Is it useful?" "Do I really need _(insert number here)_ of these? "Does this go somewhere else?" Etc

At this point if there is a lot of stuff you can start making piles. Make a mess before making everything clean and organized. Make the following piles:

• for sure to keep
• goes somewhere else in the house
• donate
• garbage
• can't decide

I usually give myself just a few seconds with each item. What is your gut telling you? If you go to toss something don't second guess yourself or put it in the "can't decide" pile. Just get rid of it. I have come to trust my subconscious and instinct and it makes the process go by much quicker. I NEVER go back through my get rid of pile. If you give yourself long enough you can talk yourself into keeping almost anything.

It's time to put things back. The goal is to organize as you go. Do you have an extra plastic tote lying around that would work well here? Go get it. Need to refold all those towels to fit better? Now is the time to do that. If you find yourself over-stuffing the space- get brutally honest and either find a new home for things or get rid of them. Remember, fear or greed are the two things keeping us from letting go. Be honest and give yourself permission to lighten your load. You will NEVER regret it.

At this point your space should feel light and stress free. You should be able to open and close the door without having to adjust everything. Everything should have a place. Remember our family's needs change and so can your storage places. If you're kids are growing up you can switch things from down low to a little higher now that they can reach, etc.

Address the other piles. Go put things away in their actual home. Don't just shove them somewhere for now. Put the garbage in the dumpster and your donate stuff in the trunk! You shouldn't put your donate pile/bag/box in a place you can see. Get it out of your line of sight and out of mind until you can drop it off.

This whole process can take 2 minutes if you're re-addressing a small kitchen cabinet or 2 hours if you're going through your closet. Even after purging my home I find myself adjusting and making changes whenever I feel the "flow" is off somehow. Again, if you feel any kind of stress or discontent  when you open a drawer/door/cabinet it's time to make a change.

Hopefully this process will help you! What space comes to your mind as you read this? Let me know how it goes as you simplify and minimize :)

Xo

sometimes what you needed or used even a few months ago- isn't adding value anymore. learn to let go

14.5.17

Hi baby: Mother's Day

To my sweet babies,

It's mother's day and I feel so thankful for you. Without you, I wouldn't be a mother. And being a mother has become my greatest joy. You two fill me with such heavenly love and happiness. Your dad and I are amazed by you every night as we climb into bed. We talk about you both, wonder at you. Mckenzie, you are the best person in the whole world. We love watching you grow up and learn and talk. You make us laugh and shake our heads and we are so proud of you. You're a beautiful little girl who is so kind and thoughtful and loving. You're spicy and feisty and full of life. Cooper! You make my world go 'round. You bring a feeling of peace to whoever is around you. You have a charming smile and when you raise those eyebrows- hearts melt. You are growing so fast and my mommy heart can't take it! You make me so happy. 

So while people tell me "happy mother's day" today, I want to tell YOU, thank you for being mine. Thank you for forgiving me and loving me. Thank you for being patient as I learn how to teach, love and raise you. 

I love you with every bone in my body
xoxo

Mom



12.5.17

3 Misconceptions About Minimalism

I loved sharing some info about minimalism on Good Things Utah last week. It's been such a life changing thing for me, I could talk about it all day. But for now, we settled for a 4.5  minute segment ;)

You can watch the full segment HERE

and here is the text I shared for the web story. We didn't really touch on this during the actual segment, but hopefully you can find some value in the words.

Our executive producer Megan Bowen shares her recent obsession- minimalism. After watching The Minimalists' documentary "Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things" she was inspired to go through her home and get rid of stuff she no longer needed and the things that didn't add value to her, or her family's life. She changed her mindset of how she looks at items and asked, "does this add value or serve a purpose?" and if not, it was donated. She purged more than 1,000 items over a 5 day span and in the past 6 weeks has gotten rid of more than 2,000 items from her home. 
She shares 3 misconceptions about minimalism and 3 tips on how to get started. All of her advice is adapted from what she has learned and applied from The Minimalists and other resources online. She recommends finding more advice/tips/info on The Minimalists' website www.TheMinimalists.com

3 Misconceptions
  1. Minimalists never buy anything

    You can buy things. You just have a different motivation behind buying things. Instead of "because everyone else has one" or "I think I need to fill that empty space" it's more "is this necessary?" or "why do I really want this?". While I personally haven't bought anything outside of groceries for about 6 weeks, it's just because I haven't needed anything. My mindset about need vs want has changed.

  2. Minimalist have no home d├ęcor

    Did I get rid of some of my home decor? Yes. Because I realized I had it up because "that's how your house is supposed to look" and not because I loved it. My home is still decorated. But only with things that I love and that were put up with intention. I love having photos around my home, so those stayed up on my walls. Decorate your home however you want. But be intentional with your decorations.

  3. Minimalists go without

    I have felt zero deprivation in the two months since changing my habits and mindset. I buy groceries when the fridge is empty. I put gas in my car when the red light goes on. I spend more on stuff so I can spend it on experiences, security and to help others. I say "no" to a lot of things so I can say "yes" to the important things.


3 Tips to getting started
 
  1. Watch the documentary “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things” 

    As you watch, remember minimalism looks different on everyone. You don't have to live in a tiny house or have all white walls. Focus more on their message about over consumption and less on the "look" of minimalism.

  2. Pick a cupboard or closet to tackle first

    I suggest your bathroom cupboards. Take EVERYTHING out. Touch everything. Is it expired? Are you really going to use that 4th bottle of travel size mouth wash? Think about the rule "Have I used it in the last 90 days or will I honestly use it in the next 90 days?" If not, toss it. Set boundaries for your makeup/hair/beauty/health items. Organize them into their own space and when that space is full, evaluate and see if there is anything you can get rid of (one thing in, one thing out rule). 

  3. Play the Minsgame (day 1 get rid of 1 item….etc to day 30 get rid of 30 items)

    The Minimalists created a fun way to get started and try it out without going totally crazy. It's called The Minsgame. Find a friend, family member or group of people. Every day post a photo of what you're letting go of. First day is 1 item. Second day is 2 items, and so on. Day 23 it's 23 items, etc until day 30. It's a great way to ease yourself into it, and by the end you have let go of 500 items! (my preferred style was purge for 5 days straight, but not everyone likes that idea) use #minsgame to see other people play and connect with that community.

Follow along @minimalistmeg on Instagram for more intentional living and minimalist posts. Connect with The Minimalists on social media for their "expert" advice.

5.5.17

Cooper 6 Months

Umm...when did this happen?? Cooper baby boy is 6 months old and I may or may not have cried about it. It's so funny how with Mckenzie I couldn't wait until the next milestone. I was always thinking "when will she do ___". It was fun and exciting to watch her master a new skill! And now with Cooper...it's like I haven't been able to stalk him as much so he learns something new and I don't want to believe it. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be a really hot mess when his birthday rolls around.


We just had his well check and he's weighing 17lbs 12oz. He's in the 50% for weight and 30% for height (even though I think the nurse didn't totally measure him accurately). So even though he was born 97% in weight, he has evened out to be an averaged sized baby. He's so strong and is sitting up like a champ and rolls from back to front. He shows no interest in rolling the other way so he's not mobile at this point. He smiles allllll day. His pediatrician said he's the happiest baby he's ever seen! Will totally just look you in the eyes and smile. He loves physical touch and I love cuddling with him. He's a great sleeper and is down to 2 naps a day. He is obsessed with food. If anyone is eating his whole body wiggles until he gets something in his mouth. He's basically eaten everything. I prefer Baby Led Weaning so he's been enjoying the food we do. I've been making these banana oatmeal muffins and both the kids eat the whole batch within a day.



Cooper loves Mckenzie and gets so excited when she is willing to play with him nicely. She will now read him books or have a tea party with him and he is in heaven. She can still be rough sometimes, but the bigger he gets, the better he can handle himself. Toys entertain him more than they ever did with Kenzie and I can put him in the pack-n-play with a pile of toys and he's set for up to a half hour playing. He loves his binki during the day, but is using his thumb still for naps and nighttime.



I always want to remember his big gummy grin and how much peace he brings into my life.

Also- look at this picture with both babies at 6 months! All the heart eyes for these two



16.4.17

Intentional Easter

Today my kids won't be waking up to Easter baskets filling to the brim. There are no decorations or bowls of candy. 

And it has nothing to do with me being anti-consumerism (because I'm not) or anti-celebrate Easter (because I'm not). It's 95% because I have been so busy that I really just didn't take the time to plan this holiday out. 

The last 6 weeks I've been really trying to live a more intentional life. Getting rid of things that don't add value, and being more aware of how I spend my time and money. Easter was going to be the first holiday and I was so excited to see how I would want to celebrate it now! Instead of just doing all the things because "that's what you do for Easter" I wanted to be deliberate and intentional with our celebration. I wanted to figure out what Easter meant for our family and what traditions we wanted to start or continue or get rid of. I talked to Bart about it about a month ago asking "what we should do/get the kids/etc" and he said a nice Easter outfit for everyone and that should be fine. And I liked the idea of getting something "useful" until I really thought about it and realized since none of us NEED any new church clothes, a new outfit actually wouldn't be super useful. It would get used- but we would be totally fine without it too. So I guess that kind of gives you an example of my thought process for this holiday. And I realize you can talk yourself out of buying ANYTHING and that's not my point either. Maybe next year we will get a new outfit because it will be 12 months since I became a crazy person who doesn't buy things & a new outfit WILL be useful. We'll see ;) 

So it turns out being intentional takes a lot more work, time and energy (insert laughing emoji here) because instead of being intentional and have an amazing and special Easter celebration- we aren't doing anything as a little family unit. The Easter Bunny skipped my house this year. Don't worry- Kenzie still enjoyed 3 different egg hunts Fri/Sat and ate so many candies and cookies that by the end of the day she was just throwing candy everywhere instead of eating it. She had a basket and dyed eggs with my mom & I think really enjoyed the holiday weekend. But here we are Sunday morning and as they sleep I can't help but wonder if I did something wrong. I know I didn't- but man, that expectation of how holidays are "supposed" to look is big and bright and hard to ignore! 

As I was grocery shopping last night I could have grabbed everything last minute and filled a cheap basket with cheap grass and candy and toys she wouldn't really want or need or remember in 2.5 minutes. But I didn't. Not because I'm against all that- but because I wanted to buy all of that intentionally and not just last minute because I felt I had to. 

So a few lessons I've learned 

1. The world still turns when you don't celebrate a holiday in the "traditional way". My kids are still babies so Mckenzie will have absolutely no idea that something "should have" been on the table this morning. We're going to have a great day spent with family and food and there really won't be anything missing. 

2. Being intentional with celebrating a holiday is actually a lot of work. And I wonder if that's why many people don't do it. It's so much easier to just do-what-we-always-do or follow that pattern that has been set out for us. (Again, not saying that pattern is wrong! But I think we can all agree there IS a pattern). So don't mind me as I'm over here planning Christmas in April so I don't eff that one up too ;) 

3. There's a surprising feeling of #parentfail that I wasn't expecting. I didn't stress last night after I left the grocery store empty handed. But when the kids were in bed and the house was quiet I thought "this is when the Easter Bunny would come" and it was a moment of ME as the MOM feeling like I am missing out on something. 

4. There has been a really nice feeling about not spending any money or having more things in our home. That is definitely the #1 perk to totally dropping the ball! I'm definitely not stressed, don't have buyers remorse or see more crap I have to clean up. 

So while this holiday didn't go exactly as I thought it would. I have learned a few things and actually feel really happy with how it all turned out. It was good for me to miss out on the Easter Bunny this year to realize how much you can still enjoy and celebrate Easter without him. Today I will spend Easter with my babies and husband and family and think of Christ & the sacrifice he made for me and them. I will eat some chocolate & take pictures and maybe all of that is intentional enough. 

Happy Easter! 

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