Friday, May 31, 2013

My 6 Week Break

I wonder when I'll realize that I never know best, He does.  

I've written about my faith journey, finding my church, being saved and baptized (here and here) before and recently I thought that I needed a break.  A break from church, from the routine, from the Sunday morning Sunday school and service.  From fellowship.  From God.  

My week is busy, my husband and I each work full time and work opposite shifts, have family obligations, dance class for Olivia, grocery shopping, errands, friends etc.  so when I felt overwhelmed about 6 weeks ago I felt like I needed a break from something and I decided to skip church. 

 As I sat back relaxing that warm Sunday morning I watched the clock.  9:59 I remember thinking that we'd usually be settling into Sunday school - the Shipmates room, talking, drinking coffee, having a snack and getting ready for our lesson.  As the time ticked by I distracted myself with different things.  Glancing at the clock again it was 11:15, just about the time the worship music would be ending and we'd start the service in prayer.  A little pang in my heart told me that I knew I was missing something I loved so much.  The joyful noise that fills the room when the band starts playing and the choir starts singing gives me goosebumps every week and where was I?  At home missing it.  The day went on and I tried to not think about how this Sunday was the first in over a year that I'd missed church.  As the day ended I'd convinced myself that it was no big deal.  

The week went on and then Sunday came again.  I didn't go to church that Sunday either.  Against my better judgement I decided I still needed a break.  For the next 4 weeks I did the same thing.  Mother's Day was mixed in there, my mothers birthday, Olivia had a cold - all reasons I told myself that missing church had to happen.  That it was ok.  

Within these past 6 weeks something's changed though.  I've been irritable, easily frustrated, not praying as much, arguing with my husband over little things.  Doing all the things I do less of when I actually go to church, when I'm in the word, when I get refreshed by his grace each Sunday morning.

So many women from church reached out to me over these past 6 weeks and I love them for it.  Messages saying 'I miss you and the family, are you ok?, Can we pray for you? Do you need to talk? I'm thinking of you and praying for you!'  Each one made me smile and feel a little bit of regret and shame at the same time.  
This past week I knew that we needed to go back.  Being away for 6 weeks had done enough damage.  I'd missed enough lessons, bible studies and time in His presence.  I woke early on Sunday morning determined to go and Satan surely put every obstacle in my way.  My daughter being a bit fussy, spilled drinks, feeling tired and even a flat tire on my way there.  But, we made it. I felt such a peace as I pulled into the parking lot and fell right back into my Sunday morning routine.  The routine I thought I needed a break from felt so familiar and comfortable.  

All of my friends welcomed us back with open arms and hearts.  

It's funny that I took a break because I felt overwhelmed and too busy, little did I know He's my reprieve and my rest.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Beaulieu Family Bucket List - Summer 2013

I've always considered Memorial Day weekend the official kick-off to summer (even though New England weather isn't quite cooperating) and now that it's behind us it's time to start checking things off of our Beaulieu Family Bucket List - Summer 2013.

Beavertail State Park, Jamestown RI - Gorgeous ocean views, the salty breeze, the cliffs to climb down into the shallow water pools along the oceans edge.  Beavertail is seriously one of the most beautiful places in Rhode Island.  I can't wait to pack a picnic lunch, teach Olivia how to fly a kite and relax by the ocean. 

Beaver Tail
Canobie Lake Park, Salem NH - I grew up visiting Canobie Lake every single summer, it was my birthday tradition and I can't wait to share this with Olivia.  She's going to love riding the rides, going on the train and ferry, eating the pizza and playing in the splash park.  So much fun in just one day!
New England Aquarium, Boston MA - We've taken Olivia here before and she loved it.  One of the perks of my job is free admission to the aquarium and we definitely don't go as often as we should.  This summer we're definitely going to take advantage of it and visit a few times.  
New England Aquarium
Boston Children's Museum, Boston MA - Like the aquarium, we've been here before and Olivia loves it, we also get in for free with our work badge which is a bonus!  Right in the heart of the city we can visit the museum and see some sights all in one day. 
A place where kids can explore and experiment to their hearts content, The Boston Children's Museum is located at 300 Congress St. along Fort Point Channel.
Boston Duck Tour, Boston MA - I've lived in Rhode Island my whole live, been to Boston countless times and I've never once been on the Duck Tour.  It's a bus/boat that drives in the street and also goes right into the harbor and gives you a tour of the city both on land and in the water.  Pretty cool I think!  I can't wait to check it out.

Boston Marathon Memorial, Boston MA - to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing I want to make it a point to visit the memorial that's set up on Boylston Street where the tragedy took place.  Boston Strong!

Host a BBQ - We had friends and family over for a Memorial Day BBQ and it was!  I can't wait to do it all over again.  I'm thinking smores, fireworks, lawn chairs, sprinklers and late nights outside. Perfection.


4th of July Fireworks - every year we go to the fireworks show at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket - home of the Pawtucket Paw Sox.  They always have the best show and we know exactly where we like to sit!  I can't wait to see Olivia's face!

Celebrate my 30th Birthday - Turning the big 3 - 0 this year and I want to do it with a bang.  Not quite sure what we'll do yet but it will be perfect as long as I have my family by my side.


Beach Days - Olivia loves the beach and asks to go all the time.  We have so many great state beaches locally that we'll have to make it a point to visit each one!  Sandcastles, sandy sandwiches, wet hair and red cheeks!  I can't wait.


Drive-in movie - Now that Olivia is old enough to sit through a movie, the drive-in is a must.  You pay by the car load, bring chairs and camp outside of your car while watching a movie.  It's so fun! 


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Stacy's Story - Postpartum Depression

I am honored to have my dear friend Stacy guest post today and share her heart-wrenching and heart-warming story of learning to love her son Leo.  Her story brought me to tears and I hope that you enjoy it just as much as I did.  If you are or know someone who is dealing with similar postpartum symptoms please read all the way through and seek help.

Stacy, thanks so much for sharing your story so honestly. 

Stacy's Story - Postpartum Depression

I always knew I wanted to be a mom. My hope was to have four kids. All girls. But like most things in life plans changed, and they changed in a big way.  This is my story. Well, maybe that's not right, it's mine and Leo's story. Who's Leo? My baby boy. My beautiful, smiley, happy little guy. Already seeing the change? There's much more to it. This is not a funny story. It's not even a strictly happy story. It is raw. It is real. It is painful. And if any of it is familiar, please, force yourself to read it through.

Two years ago my husband and I gave birth to a beautiful, 7 lb baby girl. She was perfect. Dark black hair and gray eyes. Like the sea on a stormy day. Within one hour of her life she was taken away from my arms and placed in an oxyhood. My baby couldn't breathe.  She needed oxygen pumped straight into her tiny little lungs for 7 days straight. We finally got to bring her home on day nine. After that Bill and I had a serious talk about having any more children. God granted us this amazing gift and very quickly showed us how fragile she was. We decided not to be selfish. We would be grateful for the one angel baby we were given. It was much easier than we thought. We loved her so much! How could we ever have enough room in our hearts for another child? It was decided, Penelope would be our only child. Spoiled, loved and cherished above everything in our lives. Then, one month after celebrating Penelope's first birthday I found out I was pregnant.

An unplanned pregnancy, and though I denied it at the time, an unwanted pregnancy. We weighed the options and finally decided to put our faith in our Faith. If God wanted us to have another child we would have another child. I had a knot in my stomach when we told my mother. Felt nauseuous when we told my in-laws and then my father and his wife. By the time we were teling our friends the disdain was evident in my voice. I covered by saying I was fearful of a delivery like Penelope's. It was a viable excuse. No one could imagine going through what we went through once, let alone twice. Of course I was afraid. Inside I told myself I would feel better once I knew for a fact I was carrying another little girl. 

And its a boy. My husband is elated. My sister is ecstatic. My best friend actually does a little dance up and down the hallway. And I am miserable. I feel nothing for this alien child inside me. This child that I even refuse to think of as mine. I have no bond with him. I begin using his name, Leo, hoping it will help. It doesn't. How can I feel anything for this child I didn't want? Still don't want. Especially when I am watching this beautiful little girl grow. When she laughs, I melt. When she tells me she loves me and gives me kisses, I feel my heart bursting with love for her. There is no room for this other child. This boy. And I don't just mean in my heart.

We live in a two bedroom apartment. We are struggling to pay our rent already. And now we have a fourth mouth to feed. And where are we going to put him? Questions like this keep me up at night. Cause tension in my marriage. Make me feel even more resentment towards the baby inside me.  Then one night, three weeks before he is due, I go into labor. And barely make it into the delivery room before he comes out.

He cries right away, a sound we never heard with Penelope. And for a moment I think I can love him. I think I just needed to see him. To hold him. And all will be alright. But then I find out Penelope has had a terrible asthma attack and almost ended up in the hospital the same night I was giving birth. And suddenly this new baby doesn't matter anymore. My child, the child I've gotten to know and love for almost two years, needs me. Bill will take care of Penelope. All will be well. I need to focus on bonding with Leo.

I breastfed Penelope for nine months. I never had a problem. I cannot breastfeed Leo for even a week. He doesnt latch right, and my nipples become chapped and bleed. This does not help. It is like he doesn't want me anymore than I want him. Leo also suffers from acid reflux, though I do not know this for two months.  For two months all I know is I have a newborn who cries incessantly. And then my help leaves. The novelty wears off, the holidays are over (Leo was bornDecember 7), and everyone returns to their homes and jobs. Bill too, goes back to work. I am home alone with two very young children.

I will not go into all the details, but will cover some highlights. There were times when I locked myself in the bathroom and cried, while they both screamed on the other side of the door. There were times when I left Leo in his crib screaming while I held Penelope and acted like I couldn't hear him. There were times I would hold him, but away from my body cause I couldn't bear to look at him. There were times I would scream at him-scream-to shut up and go to sleep. I thought about giving him up. I thought about leaving him naked in the bathtub with the window open. I thought about taking Penelope and running away. I hated him for taking time away from my sweet girl. I hated my husband for not understanding. And in the few moments of clarity I had, I hated myself for having such thoughts and feelings. I talked to no one, for who could possibly understand. I didn't understand!! This was not me! I am a loving person, a compassionate person. A person who had dedicated her life to bettering the lives of children!  I have a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. I worked for a year in a preschool with special needs children. Surely, I could find some love for my own child?  I needed help.

I finally talked to my prenatal nurse. I did not tell her everything. She would hate me for being such an awful mother. I told her I was feeling overwhelmed. It was hard taking care of two young children. She gave me rules. Whether she knew that I was suffering from post pardum depression or just suspected, I don't know.

These are the rules:
1 Get our of bed.
2 Get the kids out of bed
3 Get dressed
4 Get the kids dressed
5 Take a shower
6 Make sure to eat and feed the kids 5-6 meals/snacks/bottles

Anything beyond that- ANYTHING, washing dishes, picking up toys, folding laundry, grocery shopping or even giving the kids a bath,-was extra. A bonus. A gold star on my chart of life. There were several days where I did not get a gold star. I only did the things on my list of rules. There were days where I had to force myself to complete some of the rules. But I forced my self to complete my to do list every day. And every day little, by very, very little, I felt better.

And then the day finally came. The day came when I looked at Leo and cried. I held him and cried, and apologized over and over and over again. I told him I loved him and I meant it. I loved this precious little boy more than my own life. My heart was full of Penelope, and it didn't make room. Instead I grew a second heart. A place for Leo alone. A place full of this sweet child. A part of me will never forgive myself for things I thought, said and did, but I will spend the rest of my life loving this little boy and being the best mommy I can, to try and make up for it.

If you are or have ever gone through postpartum depression. Or think you might be, please, talk to someone. Anyone. You are not a bad mother. You are not weak. You are a woman who has gone through a major life event. And most importantly, you are not alone. Follow the rules. Do not live day by day if that is too big. Live hour by hour. Minute by minute if you have to. But most importantly, have hope. You will come through this, and the love you have for your child will be so much stronger, because you had to fight for it so much harder.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 23 - What life has taught me.

While I've totally let this 'blog every day in May' challenge go out the window but I'm back for day 23...
Things I've learned that school won't teach me.
Where should I start. I could probably go on for days and days...
I'll highlight the more important few today.

~ Love yourself. When you have no one to turn to, you should be able to turn inside and feel comforted, feel confident with the person you are.

~ Don’t be so hard on yourself, we all make mistakes, fail, fall and get back up time and time again.
That's part of living life and the beauty in tomorrow’s.

~ You’re a good Mom. Regardless of the bad day, the yelling, the time-outs, poor manners, frustrations, you're still a good Mom. That love you feel inside for your child is like nothing else in the world.
It's surreal.

~ You can do hard things. Challenge yourself Laura, really. Push yourself to be great, to go outside of your comfort zone, to try new things. Just do it.

~ It's ok to not have the last word in an argument. It's ok to be the one to walk away and bow out of a fight. You’re actually the stronger person when you’re the one to swallow your pride and apologize first. Pride is ugly.

ps - next week I have a guest post planned by a really great friend of mine discussing a very real and raw topic about motherhood. You don’t want to miss her story.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Day 9: A moment in my day.

Finally the warmer weather is here.  The sun is shining and the days are longer.  This has to be my favorite time of year.

My sweet Olivia and I have developed quite a fun little tradition - nightly Popsicle's on our front bench.  Every night after dinner we clear the table and it never fails, she heads right to the freezer and asks for a 'pa-zikle'. 

I scoop her up and let her choose her color, most of the time it's red!  Once we get to the front bench she scoots up next to me as I open her little snack.  We talk about our day and sometimes she holds my hand.  

When she's done, typically she surprises me by picking some flowers and finding some rocks and she loves when I get so excited about my presents!
I cherish these moments.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day 8: Pieces of advice.

Live like there's no tomorrow.
Laugh a lot.
Chores can wait.
Be silly with your kids.
Tell your family and friends how much they mean to you.
Hug often.
Work hard, play harder.
Make memories.
Paint your nails and toes.
Take risks, small ones.
Find a best friend and keep them close.
Fall in love and stay in love.
Try your best.
Allow yourself and others grace.
Enjoy the small things.
Find a hobby your love.
Be yourself.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day 7 - My biggest FEAR.

I can already tell, this is going to be a tough one for me to write.  Something about feeling it and then putting this down, pen to paper, is a lot to take in. 
Today's prompt - my biggest fear. 
My biggest fear.
As a mother I have so many worries, fears and concerns but this is supposed to just be about the biggest one, so here goes.
My biggest fear is dying
Now, I dont mean dying after living a long fulfilled life at the ripe old age of 99, I mean dying young. 
Leaving my husband without a wife and even more importantly my daughter without a mother
Just typing that makes me tear up.  Thinking about my daughter having to go through this life, in such a scary place without security and love from me, her mother, makes my stomach turn. 
I just can't let my mind go there for very long. 
I can't imagine someone else taking my place. 
I can't imagine my husband marrying someone else. 
I can't imagine not being the one to teach my daughter all the important life lessons. 
Teaching her how to be a good girl, a respectable woman, a Godly woman. 
Teaching her about love, life, faith.
I can't imagine missing her first day of school, the father/daughter dances, seeing her off on her first date, helping her choose a wedding dress, just being there for everything.
I can't imagine missing out on the late night talks about life where I share with her about me and my life, my experiences, my mistakes.  I can't imagine her learning about me from someone else - as just a memory.
No one would ever do as good of a job raising her, teaching her, loving her as I will.
I can't imagine the sense of loss she would feel if I weren't around.

I can't imagine missing all the good stuff that's to come.  I even can't imagine missing the bad stuff.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Day 6: If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer the question, "what do you do?"

I Mom.
The greatest gift and "job" all rolled into one.  I've been so blessed to become a mother and it's my number 1 priority day in and day out.  Since Olivia was born our lives have changed. 
I parent constantly.  Teaching her about the world, manners, love, Jesus, everything.
There's no down time. 
Every single decision I make revolves around Olivia and her best interest.   
Since becoming a mother, the world has become both a more beautiful and scarier place. 
I see things new through the eyes of a child. 
The wonder and excitement she exudes at the simple pleasures that we tend to take for granted - a singing bird, a train going by, an airplane taking off, bugs, singing "super higher"... the list goes on and on.
On the contrary, the tragedy and evil in the world seems to weigh so heavily on my shoulders.  Mama Bear has to protect her child.  The desire to keep her close at all times but give her independence and teach her who to trust.  The fear of having to slowly let go and let her be exposed to this world. 
It's all so overwhelming.
So, what do I do?  I Mom. 
I take care of the greatest gift God has ever given me. 
I provide, teach, play with, love, love, love, discipline, pray for, pray with and raise my baby girl.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day 4: Favorite quote and why you love it

Today's topic - easy peasy. 
She is Clothed with Strength & Dignity. Proverbs 31:25 Scripture Print.
This verse - where do I start?  What don't I love about it.
Since accepting the Lord last year this is one verse that has really stood out to me in every single aspect of my life. 
"She is clothed in strength and dignity..."
As a woman of God, a wife and a mother I always pray that God gives me the strength to be dignified and strong in all situations.  I pray to not falter.  I want my husband and daughter to see me as a strong Godly woman who always held herself in the highest regard even during difficult situations. 
"...and laughs without fear of the future."
 I spent so much time before worrying about what would, could or might happen.  Doing that never left much time to enjoy.  My focus was on the what if's. 
Well, knowing Jesus now I know that He's got it. 
He is in control and my worrying isn't doing any one any good. 
Now, don't get me wrong.   
Do I still worry?  Yes
Do I still dwell on things sometimes? Yes
Do things still bother me?  Yes
...but ultimately, He is in control. 


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Day 2 - Educate on something you know a lot about.

Today's prompt - Educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at. Take any approach you'd like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic).

This one threw me for a loop.  Hmm, there's a lot of things I know a little bit about but for some reason why couldn't pinpoint something I know a lot about.  I really don't give myself much credit I guess.

One thing, er, person I know a lot about is myself.  Over this past year alone I've learned more about me than ever before and I'm pretty sure it has to do with the Big Guy upstairs.  He makes me think. 
So, here's my list of things I know about me. 
Quirks, likes, dislikes, frustrations - you name it.

~ I'm terrible at saying "I'm sorry".  My husband can attest to that.  I'm working on it.
~ I'm a good mom.  I try my very best all the time.  Nowhere near perfect, but definitely good.
~ I'm great at making excuses for myself.
~ I could be a better wife.  My husband is awesome and we definitely are still learning how to do this marriage thing 3 years in so being a better wife is always something I'll strive towards.
~ I'm a good friend.  I love my friends so much and always try to be there for them.
~ I'm a good cook.  I make a mean lasagna, chicken and baked fish.
~ The sun shining makes me happy.  Automatic mood enhancer.
~ Praying makes me humbled.
~ Hearing my daughter pray makes me cry.
~ I drive too fast sometimes.  I've gotten better though.
~ I look best with dark hair.  I've tried to go lighter with highlights many times and it never, ever works.
~ I don’t do bangs well.  Also not a good hair idea.
~ I have big feet and I hate them.
~ I'm trying to be better about taking pictures and learning how to use my Nikon.
~ I have to wear mascara every day, specifically 2 kinds.  It gets the best results.
~ I feel prettiest when I wear black.
~ I always have and always will struggle with my weight.
~ Poor grammar makes me cringe.
~ I'll always consider myself "in progress".
~ I love my family more than anything.
~ I'm a proud child of God.

So - there you have it.  A bunch of tid-bits on information about myself.  Growing up and getting wiser to me means really taking the time to learn more about yourself.  This past year has definitely been a huge learning experience for me.  I've dug deep and remained thoughtful.  If you have any questions feel free to ask, I love sharing about myself. 

Now go link up!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Day 3: Things that make me uncomfortable.

This little blog challenge has really gotten my wheels turning.  Today's topic is things that make me uncomfortable.... I could talk about this for days, weeks even.  So, let's jump right in, shall we?
~ Being home alone.  Don't like it, never have and never will.  Not to be confused with alone time, that I enjoy, I just rather there be someone home and in another room.
~ Empty public bathroom, you pick a stall and then someone comes in and chooses the stall right next to me when there are 8 other options.  Why?
~ Car problems.  ugh.  My husbands car started making this mysterious noise literally a week ago and what do you know, $4,000.00 worth of repairs on a 2002 isn't happening.
~ Medical problems.  Enough said.
~ When you lend someone money with the promise to be paid back and they never pay you back.  It's awkward to ask and frustrating to be owed.  Not good.
~ Having a conversation with someone who has a different political/religious view than I do and knowing it's going the wrong way and fast.  I'm all for a friendly debate but when the person is a butthead and can't ever see another side to the story those conversations make me want to run for the nearest exit.
~ The gynocologist, cuz that's always fun.
~ The blow test at the eye doctors.  I'm an eye doctors worst nightmare.  I hate having anything close to my eyes so I pretty much freak out the entire time and refuse all the tests.

...well I'm thinking this is enough for today! Apparently lots of little things grind my gears! Hah!


Day 1 - Story of my life

Day 1, Wednesday: The story of your life in 250 words or less
I was born on August 19, 1983 and am an only child.  I grew up in Rhode Island and lived with my parents with family always close by.  As a child I was always overweight and it's still a struggle today.  When I was 19 years old I met the man I'd marry 7 years later.  May 29, 2010 we married and on October 7, 2010 we had Olivia.  The past 3 years have been amazing, tough, exciting and scary all at the same time. 
I've never known a love richer than having your own family unit.
I have a few close friends that are sisters I never had.  We've been through a lot over the years and I love them dearly.  
In 2012 my husband and I accepted Jesus as our savior and our lives have changed for the better.  Our main focus is to honor Him every day and raise our daughter according to His will.  We're still sinners and we struggle all the time but we're forgiven and it's beautiful.    

Blog every day in May Challenge

...I just stumbled upon the best link up ever - a "blog every day in May" challenge.  I've been struggling with what to blog about lately and I'm really excited that this will give me topics to think about.
Here's the list of topics that were given.
Day 1, Wednesday: The story of your life in 250 words or less (or one paragraph... no one will be counting your words... probably)
Day 2, Thursday: Educate us on something you know alot about or are good at. Take any approach you'd like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic)
Day 3, Friday: Things that make you uncomfortable
Day 4, Saturday: Favorite quote (from a person, from a book, etc) and why you love it
Day 5, Sunday: Publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your blogger friends. What makes them great? Why do you love them? If you don't have blogger friends, talk about a real-life friend or even a family member
Day 6, Monday: If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer the question, 'what do you do'?
Day 7, Tuesday: The thing(s) you're most afraid of
Day 8, Wednesday: A piece of advice you have for others. Anything at all.
Day 9, Thursday: A moment in your day (this can be just a photo or both a photo and words)
Day 10, Friday: Most embarrassing moment (s). Spill. 
Day 11, Saturday: Sell yourself in 10 words or less
Day 12, Sunday: What do you miss? (a person, a thing, a place, a time of your life...)
Day 13, Monday: Issue a public apology. This can be as funny or as serious or as creative as you want it to be.
Day 14, Tuesday: Ten things that make you really happy
Day 15, Wednesday: A Day in the life (include photos from throughout your typical day - this could be "a photo an hour" if you'd like)
Day 16, Thursday: Something difficult about your "lot in life" and how you're working to overcome it
Day 17, Friday: A favorite photo of yourself and why
Day 18, Saturday: Tell a story from your childhood. Dig deep and try to be descriptive about what you remember and how you felt.
Day 19, Sunday: Five of your favorite blogs and what you love about them
Day 20, Monday: Get real. Share something you're struggling with right now.
Day 21, Tuesday: A list of links to your favorite posts in your archives
Day 22, Wednesday: Rant about something. Get up on your soapbox and tell us how you really feel. (a pet peeve, a current event, a controversial topic, something your husband or roommate or neighbor or boss does that really ticks you off)
Day 23, Thursday: Things you've learned that school won't teach you
Day 24, Friday: Your top 3 worst traits
Day 25, Saturday: Something someone told you about yourself that you'll never forget (good or bad)
Day 26, Sunday: Something you read online. Leave a link and discuss, if you'd like.
Day 27, Monday: A letter to your readers
Day 28, Tuesday: Only pictures
Day 29, Wednesday: Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories. Use Grooveshark or YouTube to include them in the post
Day 30, Thursday: React to this term: Letting Go
Day 31, Friday: A vivid memory