Week 33

Quick work update: I don’t know that I have mentioned it here previously but I have been working a lot of hours lately, definitely more than I’ve ever worked before. 8 (8:30am to 5-5:30pm) hour days were pretty typical for me with a break for lunch a few days a week to go to bootcamp at the gym but since around June I’ve been working more like 8:30am to 6 or 7 plus working weekend hours and more evening hours than I used to. I am certainly not complaining, as a business owner being busy is a good problem to have but as a pregnant lady looking into a very different future, it’s hard to imagine how I’m going to keep up. My plan to play it by ear and go with the flow and just get done what I can get done. Work responsibilities are definitely going to change. It’s actually been a pretty good thing for me to be working hours other than just 8-5, around appointments and other things, because it has shifted my thought process and how I think about when I should be working. I know that once Baby Girl is here I will just grab the hours when they’re available (hopefully on some sort of a schedule). Luckily, most of my clients also tend to email me at all hours of the day and night so the transition shouldn’t be difficult for them. I am struggling with being out of the office so it’s also been good for me to see that it keeps on running when I’m out. Just some thoughts I want to remember in the future.

On to baby update! We are 33 1/2 weeks along so moving into a 6 week countdown. Are we ready? Yes and no. We still need some items (baby monitor, Rock ‘n Play sleeper, her crib sheets, more diapers, first aid kit, etc.) but the car seat is in the car (not professionally checked yet) and the nursery is mostly done. Mentally, I’m over being pregnant and don’t think you’re ever just ready to be Mom. photo 3 photo 4

Yesterday was my pre-natal appointment and the midwife said my growth and weight gain has been text book. I think she doesn’t agree with me having weekly ultrasounds – she thinks BG is growing fine. Hopefully tomorrow’s will be the last one. We get another growth scan and am hoping for a release from weekly visits. Last week the ultrasound tech gave us a 3D view of her little face because I waited so long for my appointment (of course, it came with an extra charge too but I can’t say it’s not worth it). She’s apparently a thumb sucker!photo 2

Baby Girl at 32w6d

Baby Girl at 32w6d

Here are some belly updates. I’m definitely feeling large and in charge these days. I’m up to 147lbs (started at 125) and will definitely hit my minimum gain of 25-30 lbs by the end of it. I was gaining a half pound per week but apparently I am up to 1.5/week now. Must be all the football season nachos and wings – hopefully it means she’s also had a growth spurt! Maternity pants that aren’t full panel are being avoided or are remaining unbuttoned – hoping this isn’t a problem as Fall weather has appeared.photo 2

33 weeks

33 weeks

33 weeks

33 weeks

She has also really started moving  her limbs – no one tells you how that changes in terms of feeling when they’re actually real, hard bones! Last weekend P had his hand on her, rubbing, and all the sudden it was like an elbow popped out! It was really strange yet cool. She is definitely flexing her muscles which is awesome for a proud momma but also feels very very weird.

We had our first baby shower 2 weeks ago in VA with P’s family and it was really nice. It was owl themed and super cute. His aunt and cousin always make their parties adorable. We got some really cute outfits, a pack ‘n play, quite a few blankets (a couple handmade that were really impressive), and a variety of other recommended Mom accessories. It’s wonderful having so many experienced mothers in our family – lots of hand-me-downs and lots of good advice and shared knowledge.photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

This weekend is our second baby shower in Charlotte with my family and some old friends. We are lucky to get to have three to cover the three geographical areas that we have family and also our local friends in Greenville. I’m excited about them and getting more and more excited about having this baby!

P and I went to an all day (9-3) birthing class last weekend at St. Francis, even though we are delivering at GHS. I liked their class description better although come to find out from another expectant mom in my pre-natal group that the video and teaching tools were the same. I think P is actually glad he went and learned a lot about what we have ahead of us. And I learned he gives really good back massages! I feel a lot better about him being my birthing partner and support team (with help from my mom and BF) because now I know he kind of knows what to expect. It was good for both us and a bonding experience for us too. I’m more and more grateful for him and know he is going to be a wonderful father.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

I do like the trend of posting every day for 25 days to Facebook during the month of November 25 things we are grateful for in life.  However, it seems like no one actually makes it 25 days without skipping a post and then they have to catch up for like a week of missed posts – this would totally be me.  Then there’s the whole thing of OMG I can’t think of 25 things to be thankful for that aren’t  kind of dumb and at the same time how can I limit my thankfulness to only 25 things (depends on the day guys).  So, I’m going to start my list here and post it once.  Please believe this does not encompass all that I have to be thankful for or that there is any order to this.

I am thankful for…

1. for a husband who asks my opinion and whether or not it is okay to buy expensive items (even if we both know he is just going to buy or do it anyway).

2. that we can afford to occasionally splurge on big ticket items (i.e. the new Xbox – not mine) and not break the bank because we are both well-employed and actually are both doing something we absolutely love.  (This is a big one!)

3. for 4 working wheels and a fast car even though we are hoping to sell my 2008 Altima Coupe and get me a new, larger vehicle. It is nice to not have to worry about how I’m going to get around town or worry about my car breaking down.

4. our house. I LOVE our house.  I thank God every day when I walk through the door and look out the windows that he blessed us with the luck to find this gem and also the ability to purchase and renovate it to our dream home.  I will be buried in the back yard.

5. getting together with old friends.  After a wedding last weekend, some of P’s friends that we had not spent time with in a while came over with their significant others.  We had a great time and it made me think, why do we not hang out more? Here’s the hoping for many double/triple/quadruple dates in the future.

6. new friends with open minds. That same night we hung out at our house we had some of the deepest conversations into well into the evening.  Oh, hello 2AM. We talked religion, we talked marriage, we talked hot & controversial topics.  I haven’t had discussions like these since college and man do I miss them, especially with people who are open-minded and just want to understand you even if they don’t agree.

7. this season. I wish these feel-good, let’s be thankful and all gather-round holidays were spread out throughout the year. I wish I had an excuse to see our large and spread-out families more often and that I was reminded to publicly (and privately) acknowledge how wonderful life is!

8. our families! Can’t say enough here. I love that my mom and I email back and forth all the time and that I can have an hour long conversation with my mother-in-law that only stops because one of us loses service. I love that my uncle calls me to talk about his coffee shop in Mandeville, LA and my father-in-law will call just to check in and make sure I made it home okay. I can text my dad for any kind of advice but definitely about house and car stuff.  I can go on. P and I both have really wonderful families – the ones we chose and the ones we didn’t.

9. my friends. I have really amazing girlfriends, most from college and a couple from even further back. I love that I can get together with them and it’s like no time has passed. That they have seen me at my worst and my best and still love me. Several of us were able to get together this year for Furman Homecoming and it was one of the best weekends I have had. Good for my soul.

10. new friends. I’ve met some really, really great new friends over the last year. Some are new to Greenville and others have recently moved but it is a blessing to have more inspiring women in my life. I am thankful for the ability to form true and lasting relationships as adults.

11. my husband. There is not enough I can say about him really. He does yard work. He is becoming extremely handy and I love watching as he puts personal touches on our house, often with blood, sweat, and tears, well, maybe not tears. He keeps me warm at night and tells me he loves me once a day, at least. He builds fires and chops his own firewood. He is one of the most generous person I know, sometimes giving me heart attacks, but I wish I could be more like him in that respect.

12. Rain so I don’t have to water our plants! Although next year I’m hoping that some of our plants don’t drown.

13. a fun work environment. Most of the day I sit in my office alone which allows me to be productive. But, I spend one day a week and visit several times a day the “other side” where my creative team sits. I always know I will laugh and laugh and laugh.

(whew, this is a lot)

14. apple picking. I went apple picking with one of my best friends in October and P’s mom and grandparents went and sent apples home with us. We have been eating our apple a day in oatmeal, muffins, grilled cheese sandwiches, and simply bitten into.

15. Harry & David pears, otherwise known as the best and juiciest pears on Earth, if a trifle expensive at $30/box.

16. our health. Even though P and I are both trying to not gain the first years of marriage poundage we are still extremely healthy. We continue to strive to eat better and be more active every day.

17. good wine and a husband who has learned to enjoy it with me. We have two wine racks in our house that remain decently stocked but we really enjoy to open a bottle and split it at home. Sometimes it is a sign of a special occasion, sometimes a rough day at work, and other times it just goes down well with dinner.

18. Thanksgiving at my mom’s house! Mom is a great cook and she always makes sure that we all, from my grandfather to my younger sister, have our favorite items on the table. I think the menu this year had 15 or so items! I cannot wait for mac ‘n cheese and Brussels sprouts.

19. for steady clients and a growing business.

20. for the Overdrive library app on my phone which is by far the most used app I have. I can download free library books, read them, and return them wherever I am.

21. the ability to do yoga even if I have been seriously negligent of my practice the last couple of months. I’m definitely going this week to make up for all the eating I plan to do!

22. fun gym classes with people who make me laugh while we get tortured. Thankfully it is only 30 minutes of torture!

23. the internet. Cannot imagine life or work without it.

24. Black Friday shopping with my mom – a tradition that we missed last year because P and I Thanksgiving’d with his family.

25. girl’s nights! And the hope that we can make them happen at least once or twice a month especially when we can do them on a comfy couch in our pjs.

and 26, just because! I am grateful for a bright and shiny and exciting soon-to-be 2014 and everything that it will bring, know and unknown!

theideagroup Blog

So I blog in two spaces, here (obviously) and there:  http://theideagroup.co/blog/.

That is my company’s website – it only took us a year to launch it!  Of course, that means we truly were so busy with client work that we just didn’t focus on ourselves.  A common problem, we see it all the time with our clients.  I guess we don’t always practice what we preach?  :)  But our focus is on you!

If you’re curious as to what I do, check out the website.  Yes, that is a .co not a .com address.  It’s the wave of the future.  .Coms are running out.  Blogging there is more professionally minded so if you don’t care what I eat or what the borrowed dogs are doing, you can pick my brain there.

Been a while…trip to VA

So it has been a long, long time since I’ve been here and part of it has been being busy, part of it is having lots to say but no real desire to, and the other part is that I have been switching my hosting over.  I switched my hosting from Bluehost – didn’t have any issues with them just didn’t want to pay for hosting any more for a blog I barely use – to Rackspace.  I have an account with Rackspace through my company and figured I would use it!

There has been quite a bit going on this April!  P finished the bar in our house and the deck on the side of the house (will do full posts of pictures later), one of my best friends got married, we signed a big client at work, I hosted an unsuccessful Aloette party, ran a 5K, and lots more…

This past weekend P and I took an impromptu trip to VA.  His mother passed out at the hospital where she works in Williamsburg, VA and after tests she was transferred to MCV in Richmond.  Apparently, after her heart attack in 2012 the cardiologist prescribed Plavix, I think it is a blood thinner, and never took her off it.  One of the side effects of Plavix, especially after more than 2 years!, is ulcers. Well, my mother-in-law did get an ulcer, one that was slowly bleeding her out.  Slowly but then very quickly since it was on an artery!  Thankfully she was at the hospital where she works when she passed out because that saved her life.

As you can imagine, P was concerned (as was I) so we decided to leave work early Friday and make the 6+ hour trip to VA to make sure she was ok ourselves.  P is very close and very protective of his mom.  One night while we were there his mom wasn’t answering her phone, probably sleeping, so he called the nurses station and gave them his cell number in case anything changed in her condition.  It was kind of sweet.

Going up to VA is kind of crazy especially when only for a weekend.  It’s like when we visit Charlotte where my family is.  Parents, grandparents, old friends, etc.  Lots of people to see and only so little time.  We covered as many bases as we could while also spending time with his mom at the hospital.  We saw his aunt at the hospital, took his dad out to dinner for his birthday, spent the night with P’s best friend and his wife in their new house, and had lunch with his grandparents and aunt and uncle.  All within about 36 hours.  I would say it was a successful weekend especially because by the time we left P’s mom was in much better condition. We are hoping that she will get to go home soon!

Lots to catch up on, lots of pictures to share, lots of sleep and house chores to catch up on!

Toastmasters

A couple of months ago I joined a new Toastmasters club specifically for Young Professionals.  Of course, everyone’s definition of Young Professionals is a little different.  In this case, I think it’s probably 20-40ish years.  I joined because the idea made me uncomfortable and I knew that being pushed out of my comfort zone was exactly what I needed to do.  This came around the time that I was starting to look at my extracurricular activities and trying to prioritize and figure out what I really needed and wanted to be a part of.  Toastmasters made the list while there were several organization that I decided to let go.  I used to be the networking queen, an event every week if not more.  But it got stale.  I stopped wanting to go, stopped wanting to approach strangers and have the same conversations.  I hope to get back to more networking events and continuing to extend my professional network but I needed a break.

I think the benefit of a group for Young Professionals is that it is often easier to get up in front of your peers and speak especially for younger people.  I think those of us in our twenties are very aware of our age, especially when we are the youngest people in the room.  I know I do.  Being a business owner, I often find myself in the room with CEOs and top executives of large companies and even though I’m supposed to be there, in the meeting, in the conversation, I don’t always feel like I belong in the room.  It is because I feel young, I feel inexperienced.  I’m working on getting over my occasional lack of confidence and I think being in Toastmasters will help.

The basics of a Toastmasters meeting is there are three speeches, all different topics.  There are also “table topics” where people are put on the spot, asked a question, and expected to answer eloquently, in the time allotted.  These are probably the hardest!  Then every speaker, every participator, is evaluated on grammar, content, word use, etc.  Even the evaluators are evaluated.  So we get practice speaking in public, both rehearsed and on the fly, practice giving constructive criticism and evaluating another person.  These are all skills that can come in handy professionally no matter what position and especially for me when managing a team and clients.

I gave my first speech last Wednesday.  Once of my critiques was the title, 2012, which I had to come up with before I had even written the speech – oops – they wanted more description.  But I think it went over well.  It was an “ice breaker” speech, an introduction or story about me to give people insight into who I am.  My speech was entitled 2012 and that is what it was about, my life last year: wedding planning, starting a business, buying and renovating a house.  It was a crazy year and set the stage for where I am currently.  I felt pretty comfortable up in front of the group and didn’t even have to reference my notes that much but I need to get to the point where I can move beyond the podium and not rely on their presence.  It is fairly easy to talk about yourself, it are the later speeches that worry me, figuring out the content.

If you’re considering joining a Toastmasters club, I would definitely suggest it.  I’ll keep you updated as to my growth and progress!

Inspiration from Sharon Decker

My company, theideagroup, is a partner with the Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s new Diversity & Inclusion intitiative.  We named it, Capacity, we have branded it and created several sub-brands and programs.  I’m really excited to be a part of this initiative, especially as a woman owned business.  I have had the opportunity to rub elbows with some very powerful and influential people in the Upstate and beyond.

Today was the Athena Leadership Symposium, a breakfast event about advancing minority, specifically women, leadership and corporate board service. As part of the pro-bono work we have been doing for the Chamber we have received sponsorship honors.  For this particular event we had a 10 person table, our logo in all programs/signs, and a shout-out from the introduction speaker.  Even though we got this exposure, the best part of this event was being able to invite some clients and partners to sit at the table with me and enjoy a wonderfully inspirational speech by Sharon Decker.  Sharon has a lengthy bio, from a mother of 4, to the first VP of Duke Energy, head of several non-profit and corporate boards, including the Coca-Cola Company, etc.  She is the current CEO of The Tapestry Group (a group I had not heard of until today).  A very successful women, a leader, and a great speaker.

If you follow me on Twitter (@sydney_doing or @sydneywilliams) then you probably got slammed with quotes and ideas from her this morning that really stuck with me.  I felt like a lot of what she was saying applied directly to me and I’m sure everyone else in the room felt the same (except maybe the men).  Some of her biggest points revolved around using what you’ve got.  What is your giftedness and how can you use it.  During her career with Duke Energy Sharon felt like she was lacking because she wasn’t an engineer but that was exactly what she brought to the table, a different perspective and a different approach.  We focus too much on what we are not instead of what we have that sets us apart and gives us an advantage.  I went up and spoke to Sharon after the event was over and explained to her where I am career-wise.  I am a 26 year old woman who has started a business with a man in his 40′s and I struggle often with confidence especially when I feel like I am the youngest person in the room.  Sharon told me that was my advantage, take my youth, my different perspective and put it out there.  It is what will set me apart, a perk instead of a challenge.  A quote I loved, paraphrased, was: no one can make you feel inferior without your permission.  I give way too many people that option, allow it to happen instead of recognizing and embracing my own confidence.

A big point she brought up which I took very much to heart because I could see it being a potential future for myself and my husband is that people lose their effectiveness when they are balancing too many things.  We are so guilty of trying to balance so much, work, social life, families in different states, our marriage, and we don’t even have kids yet!  Sharon said you have to say no sometimes but be strategic about it!  Say no to something but look at it as an opportunity to say yes to something else.  Instead of life being a balancing act, see it as a dance with transitions and ebb and flow of speed.

Be still.  Seek silence.  With all that we balance as people, we have to seek that time and space to just be quiet, meditate if that’s your thing.  How can we hear ourselves think or hear God or the universe speak to us if we don’t have those periods of silence?  There were several funny anecdotes Sharon threw in here that had me laughing especially about a particular day of silence she and her husband partook.  One day of silence led her to making two of the biggest decisions of her personal and professional life, simply because she took the time to listen.  An exercise she did when learning how to meditate was to put a raisin in your mouth and don’t chew until it tastes like a grape, until it goes back to it’s beginning state.  The point was that we rush through life without really tasting it, savoring it.  A goal of mine, for multiple reasons but a big one being to have that time for myself, is to do yoga once a week.  I felt confirmed after listening to Sharon that this was something incredibly valuable to my well-being, mentally, physically, etc.  I’m going today and I’m not going to feel guilty for taking two hours of my day.  (I will work late though to make up for it especially since I would have worked out after work anyway.)

I’ve immortalized, in a way, on Twitter the points that hit me but wanted to write a out more in depth.  These are points I will revisit as I continue to grow as a woman, a business owner, a professional, a wife, a mother, and whatever life transitions may come next.

This Week!

Last week was long.  I cannot even remember what I did last week.  Actually, I know I worked, I know my family got another shot of bad news, I got a shot of steroids to deal with my out of control allergies, I wrote thank you cards, and I am sure there was more.  But it doesn’t matter because I have moved on to this week!

This week is my last in the corporate world.  Some people may think I should be sad leaving behind a job but I’m not.  There things/people I will miss – I am grateful for the friends I have made and the people I have met.  I will miss having a paycheck every Friday and not having any responsibility at all – of course, I had also gotten bored and am really hoping for a challenge.  Owning your own business will certainly be a challenge.  I have been working for a food retailer so I also will miss the free food – lots of samples given out around here.  Then again, my waistline and my wedding dress will probably be better for it.  It is a step on my journey I cannot regret even though for the most part, I did not enjoy it.  But I have learned valuable lessons and gained valuable relationships and truly believe there was a reason I was here for this short period of time.  I will be able to take everything, good and bad, into the next step in my life.  Good luck to me.

Also, this Friday marks Day 1 of my bachelorette where my closest friends from near and far will descend on my house.  This has never happened – all of these women have never been together at one time.  I don’t know that my body and mind can take the excitement.  Even of my college friends, we haven’t all been together since college!  I know they have big plans for the weekend which will start in Greenville at my house for a night in and then continue in Asheville, NC for the weekend.  I really don’t care what those plans are but just hope to bask in their presence.  Unfortunately, I have one friend from New Orleans that may be affected by Hurricane Isaac – fingers crossed this city is affected minimally if at all (P and & both have family and friends there) – but I hope she  can still make it.  It wouldn’t be the same without her!

This week is also the week our upstairs bathrooms are supposed to be completed.  All tile is down, we just need our vanity to come in.  Once again, cross your fingers that this actually happens.  With 8-10 women staying at the house on Friday I’d like to be able to show off and use the two new bathrooms and not the one that is getting ripped out.  I don’t care if the plumber is still there on Friday when people start arriving – I just need to see a finished project.

In other house notes, lots got accomplished this weekend!  I stained, I painted, I hung artwork.  We (P& I) had a minor skirmish – he likes sleeping in the basement but I want to finally feel settled in my own room- about it but we finally have moved into our own bedroom, permanently.  I’ll post pictures soon!  Get excited about the week(s) to come – so much to look forward to!

Anything special happening for you this week?  At least we all have a long weekend coming up!

 

2 months to go

Yesterday was the official 2 month mark until our wedding.  2 months.  And I believe they will be the craziest, most fun, amazing two months of our lives.  Here is just a taste of what we have to look forward to:
1- This weekend, 1st couple’s shower and a chance for some of our extended families to mingle.  (Plus my dress fitting and meeting with the pastor to go over the details of the wedding ceremony!)
2- Our final catering tasting is this Thursday (should probably be #1 but just can’t compete with my excitement level for this weekend).
3- August 31, my last day in the corporate world!
4- Also, August 31 my bachelorette party begins.  Can’t wait to host my dearest friends at my house for the night and then let them take me away for the long weekend.
5- TBD, but our house should be done sometime within the next two months.  Sometime…
6- And then September is just full of stuff: last minute details, being my own boss, two more showers, P’s bachelor party, etc.

Wedding Countdown app keeps us up to date.

I cannot believe it is so close but I am seriously thrilled.  So much to look forward to (and to do)!  How was your 2 month countdown?  Crazy busy, relaxed, or a roller coaster like I think ours is going to be?

Poop Happens

As you may have noticed that last few weeks have been a bit hectic – we moved, we’re living within a renovation, I’m constantly removing wallpaper, I’ve been continuing to plan a wedding, attempting to be a good bridesmaid for two friends, and have continued to basically work 3 jobs at once plus look for a part-time job for the near future.  This seems like a lot when I write it all out.  And it is.  But it’s become our normal.  Some days it’s overwhelming and some days I feel like I could conquer the world on top of everything else.  Unfortunately, it was brought to my attention this past weekend that in my attempt to do it all I didn’t notice a pretty big mistake.

Early last week I mailed out our wedding invitations.  I had ordered them a few weeks prior on the same day that I ordered invites for a couples shower my grandmother and aunt are planning.  I ordered them both through Vistaprint just like my save the dates.  I probably should not have ordered them both the same day but I was on the site and the final invite files had been sitting in my email for a couple of weeks.  In those couple of weeks, P and I had gone back and forth over the designs (designed by the same guy who did the save the dates) and I’d shown friends and coworkers to get their opinions.  Even after they had come in I’d shown my mom and a couple of friends the one on my fridge.  Somehow, with all those eyes on them, not one single person noticed that the it had the wrong year.  Yep, instead of “The Thirteenth of October Two Thousand and Twelve” it read “Two Thousand and Thirteen.”  Slay me.

I get a call on Saturday from my grandmother, leaving me a message, “I didn’t know you were getting married in 2013…”  No, she’s not an idiot, just making a point.  I freak out and race upstairs in only a towel despite my future BIL being there to tell P, call my mom and P’s mom (neither of which had noticed), to prepare them for confusion and/or questions from guests, and continue to feel sick to my stomach. Then I get an email from my other grandmother, “Did you realize your invitations say 2013?”  Um, no.  If I had, do you think it would now be on your fridge?  I cannot tell you how upset I was.  How upset I still kind of am despite trying my hardest to take the road my grandmother did and say, “Poop happens” and laugh over it.

My hope is that not everyone will notice.  We decided to not be proactive in notifying guests since our friends and family know the correct date, in fact, there was a sticker on the envelope clearing stating October 13, 2012 not to mention save the dates, a website, and a multitude of other events this year.  I’ve only had three admit to it noticing and my friends probably wouldn’t say anything because they know how I would feel.  My theory is since the day is the 13th, another thirteen on the invite doesn’t read as wrong especially when you’re brain already knows the correct date.  I should have had another person proof read them.  I did have people proof them but my concern was that the time was correct (right below the year on the invites) and that the wording of “Mr. & Mrs. Request the Honor…” sounded okay.  I made a big, fat, unconscious assumption that the designer who had done my save the dates knew the year and would get it right.

Lesson learned.  I am having the error fixed and printing a handful of corrected invitations for keepsake purposes.  This way when we’re 85 and looking through scrapbooks we’re not confused about the year we were married – or P doesn’t get confused even now because he half the time doesn’t know how old he is.  If it had been a mistake by the printer I would have been making calls and getting them redone for no charge but since ultimately I proofed them and I ordered them online, the mistake is on me.  The funny thing is, the same time I ordered the invites, I noticed that the day was wrong on the shower invites my grandmother needed ordered.  Guess I was only able to catch one error per day.  As my future mother-in-law said, if this is the only thing that happens throughout the course of this whole thing, we’re lucky.  Let’s hope it is.  I’ll just continue to be extra super anal about all the little details, at least the ones I think about.

 

Just a Hint…

This is just a hint as to what has been developing in my life the last week.  It’s only fairly, mind-blowingly exciting.  Just slightly.