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The Return of the Stitch Witch


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While we were in Wales, in a rare moment we actually had phone signal, a call came through. It was our community nursery that RoV had been on the waiting list for since the beginning of the year. They had a part-time opening! Would we like it? Mr and I needed to discuss it—but eventually we decided we should get a foot in the door while we had the opportunity. Unfortunately, several days passed before we could get strong enough signal to call back. I promised myself then, that if this worked out, I would use that time to return to the fiber arts.

 

We got the spot and now I have childcare 4 mornings/20 hours a week (including his existing childminder), and I’m going to make good on that promise.

 

The Return of the Stitch Witch

I’ve signed up for a program called the Artist Residency in Motherhood (ARIM) which is a framework designed to help new parents get back into the arts after the shock of adding a small child into their world. 

 

I’m currently signed up for 3 months (and can extend), and so this will be ongoing.

 

My focus will be exploring and developing a fiber arts direction that’s been invading my imagination all year (but I’ve lacked the time or space to explore)—embroidery as a medium for storytelling.

 

  • 10+ “studio” hours a week on improving technique, creating designs, and the actual stitching related to my residency projects/goals. (Due to the holidays and related trips, there are weeks when I may not be able to do 10 studio hours, but those should be known in advance rather than... accidental.)
  • Take a trip to the V&A to look at embroidery exhibits. (Adventure!)
  • Those who follow my Instagram will see it repurposed as an accountability space for the residency.

 

Continue Spiritual Studies

  • Resume meditation practice at least 5 days a week. Mornings are ideal, but I need to get flexible about it. Perhaps I’ll do it at the start of studio time.
  • Finish my outstanding assignment, plus 1 other class assignment (and associated activities)

 

I’m backing off on progressing this course a little bit to make more space for the arts practice.

 

Tame the Hearth Flame 

  • 4 childcare hours a week for household chaos reduction and outstanding domestic projects.

 

Be an Adventurer!

In the summer, it’s easier to follow up on “I’m going to go out every day!” But it’s no longer summer and with RoV spending most mornings in childcare, I think it’s even more important to spend quality time with him in the afternoons. And embroidering and associated tasks is a lot of “bum in chair” time, so I need to make a point of being active at other times.

 

  • Aim for one outing each day with RoV. Preferably outdoors, but if it’s really miserable out an active indoor activity like the soft play centre is great, too. This won’t happen every day, but it should most. 
  • We’ve also got a couple of trips planned during the span of this challenge, so adventure during those, too! 
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Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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Usually I dive right in during Zero Week, but it’s a transitional week in itself as RoV is going through the settling in period with the new nursery and our old routines are off kilter, while the new one hasn’t yet begun. On top of that, RoV is a bit poorly so we won’t be doing many extracurriculars except for the settling in sessions (which, thankfully, he’s not too ill for) until he’s better.

 

So I’m mostly organizing this week. 

 

Things I’d like to do this week:

 

Stitch Witching:

-Get embroidery supplies moved and ordered in the new organizer.

-Wash/dry the linen I want to use for upcoming projects.

-Sketching/refining designs. I have an intent to come up with a base “template” sampler I can create variations off of for my initial projects.

-Do an archiving/refresh of my Instagram account to reincarnate it for ARIM.

 

Spiritual Studies:

-Meditation

-Review my current assignment and figure out what I was supposed to be doing.

 

Tame the Hearth Flame:

-Tackle some small outstanding projects.

-Create a list of projects I want to tackle during this challenge.

 

Adventure!:

-Contact new friend N (courtesy of Oromendur) about when we should meet up again.

-Otherwise, play it by ear until RoV is feeling better. 

 

I think that’s plenty, thank you.

  • Like 4

Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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Also following!

  • Like 1

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

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On 10/21/2019 at 1:31 PM, Ann of Vries said:

Stitch Witching:

X Get embroidery supplies moved and ordered in the new organizer.

X Wash/dry the linen I want to use for upcoming projects.

IP Sketching/refining designs. I have an intent to come up with a base “template” sampler I can create variations off of for my initial projects.

-Do an archiving/refresh of my Instagram account to reincarnate it for ARIM.

 

Spiritual Studies:

-Meditation

-Review my current assignment and figure out what I was supposed to be doing.

 

Tame the Hearth Flame:

IP Tackle some small outstanding projects.

-Create a list of projects I want to tackle during this challenge.

 

Adventure!:

IP Contact new friend N (courtesy of Oromendur) about when we should meet up again.

-Otherwise, play it by ear until RoV is feeling better. 

 

Updated for the week. As often seems to happen just when I’m driven to get my art life going again, the universe is threatening to pull the rug out from under me. (We haven’t even made it out of Zero Week!) Oh well, I’ll just keep getting up again....

 

  • Like 1

Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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On 10/23/2019 at 10:12 AM, Ann of Vries said:

Stitch Witching:

X Get embroidery supplies moved and ordered in the new organizer.

X Wash/dry the linen I want to use for upcoming projects.

X Sketching/refining designs. I have an intent to come up with a base “template” sampler I can create variations off of for my initial projects.

 X Do an archiving/refresh of my Instagram account to reincarnate it for ARIM.

 

Spiritual Studies:

-Meditation

-Review my current assignment and figure out what I was supposed to be doing.

 

Tame the Hearth Flame:

IP Tackle some small outstanding projects.

-Create a list of projects I want to tackle during this challenge.

 

Adventure!:

IP Contact new friend N (courtesy of Oromendur) about when we should meet up again.

-Otherwise, play it by ear until RoV is feeling better. 

 

I also ended up with Rowan’s cold (worse than him, actually). Ugh. So the week kind of got away from me. But he was well enough to attend nursery, so I got rest in the mornings at least.

 

Meanwhile, a Certain Doom continues to lurk on the horizon, but we’re making the best of it. I’ll be less vague when it does or doesn’t happen. 

Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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23 hours ago, annyshay said:

Sending good vibes to keep the Certain Doom away. 

 

Thanks. I think at this point, our chosen strategy is to embrace Certain Doom and do it on our own terms.

  • Like 1

Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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giphy.gif 

 

My favorite Stitch. :P

 

I'm really proud of you for tackling a busy mom-life while pursuing something you are passionate about, as well. I look forward to seeing you get back up even stronger and more determined than you were before. You can do this.

  • Like 1

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

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Week One, Early Yet

 

Still sick, but improving. Bad insomnia the last two nights,  unrelated to the cold, probably related to A Certain Doom. Really hoping I can sleep well tonight as I think that would help me kick off the cold and just make life easier to handle in general.

 

Yesterday I got in approximately 4 hours of studio time. 2.5 in the morning while Rowan was at nursery, and another 1.5 in the evening after Rowan went to bed and Mr had gone to the pub to meet a friend.

 

Lots of stitching, sketching to get back my atrophied drawing skills*, and many notes about the things I’m trying to make.

 

While sick, I’ve been spending a lot of time communing with my art book on the surrealist painter Leonora Carrington. Mr got me this book for Christmas last year and... I don’t know. Life changing? Mind blowing? I’d had many creative ideas brewing and no idea how to approach them and it caused a crack to peer into for possibilities—even though it’s taken me almost a year to be able to act on it. (Although I’m using thread, not paint. Paint and I have never been friends.)* It also helps she had a life with some exciting misadventures and also moved abroad and also was a mother. I have had difficulty finding good role models.

 

Anyway, being sick hasn’t really encouraged me to get outside adventuring but I’ve been letting Rowan “help” me in the garden while I hang/collect the laundry, which he has been enjoying a lot. And the housework is backsliding again, but eventually I will be healthy again.

 

 

*I originally wanted to be a comic artist/fantasy illustrator/etc. when I grew up. I turned to prose writing eventually because it felt like a much more accessible way to tell the stories I wanted to tell within the reality I was living in at the time. Somewhere along the way, I became a fiber artist (knitting and dyeing/spinning yarn) and I knew that the medium was almost right but it wasn’t scratching my storytelling itch and I went back to writing, and somehow this has all alchemically transformed to telling stories with embroidery as my “paint.” Now I’m dedicating myself for a while (a year, maybe?) to get through a trial/error/level of skill/experimentation that I can see whether I think this has possibilities to further pursue. 

  • Like 3

Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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On 10/27/2019 at 7:27 PM, WolfDreamer said:

giphy.gif 

 

My favorite Stitch. :P

 

I'm really proud of you for tackling a busy mom-life while pursuing something you are passionate about, as well. I look forward to seeing you get back up even stronger and more determined than you were before. You can do this.

 

I have somehow never seen that movie.

 

Thank you for your kind words and encouragement <3 

  • Like 1

Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Link to post
2 hours ago, Ann of Vries said:

I have somehow never seen that movie.

 

giphy.gif

 

It's one of the greatest ever. You must see it and soon!

 

giphy.gif

  • Like 3

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

Link to post

First Week, Mid-

 

A Certain Doom is now Certain, but less Doomy.

 

The short version is we had some suspicions, and then were confirmed yesterday, that Mr’s contract is ending... soon. Very soon. We expected it to end around this time next year.

 

So Operation: Escape London is now on for Winter 2019/Early 2020. 

 

I’m still having lingering sickness, and still dealing with insomnia problems so this week has been a bit... weak. Less getting out than I’d like. Less housework than Mr would like XD  I got another 3 or so hours of “studio” time in yesterday so that’s good.

 

But as I like to say, a challenge wouldn’t be a challenge if I aced it in the first week.

 

I’m going to go have lunch with new friend N today, and we have an adventure in the countryside planned this weekend! 

 

All will be good. 

 

 

  • Like 3

Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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On 10/29/2019 at 6:46 AM, WolfDreamer said:

 

giphy.gif

 

It's one of the greatest ever. You must see it and soon!

 

giphy.gif


I 100% agree. I didn’t see this until I was an adult with children. I saw snippets here and there as a kid but was always getting ready to leave or it was halfway through playing on TV. 
 

Best of luck with Operation: Escape London. Those transitions are always better with a plan!

  • Like 2

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

Link to post

We had a lovely long weekend in the countryside with another family that I didn’t know well but Max has worked with/been friends with for many years now. They have 4 children aged 3-9, and Rowan loved running around with them and being the “little brother” for the weekend. It was rainy with high winds, so we didn’t get out as much as we’d like but they showed us some of the nearby towns that they’d wanted us to consider for a Bristol-oriented move (on the eastern side rather than the Welsh western side).  There was a lot of talking after the kids were all asleep, ruminating about family, living and magic over wine and cider in front of the fireplace.

 

Mr is only working 3 days this week, and the other days I’ve made social plans and maybe I should have thought that one through, but the change of Mr’s work life kind of hit us fast and we’re still finding our feet.

 

And then it will all change again.

 

Because that’s our amazing, wild life. 

 

  • Like 3

Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Link to post
On 10/31/2019 at 3:15 AM, Ann of Vries said:

Operation: Escape London is now on for Winter 2019/Early 2020. 

 

Ooh, congratulations!

 

On 10/31/2019 at 3:15 AM, Ann of Vries said:

I’m going to go have lunch with new friend N today, and we have an adventure in the countryside planned this weekend! 

 

I love everything about this :wub:

 

On 10/29/2019 at 2:42 AM, Ann of Vries said:

I have somehow never seen that movie.

 

If it makes you feel better, neither have I. It's on the list though.

 

7 hours ago, Ann of Vries said:

Because that’s our amazing, wild life. 

 

The very best thing to do is enjoy the ride :)

 

Happy that the doom is less Doomy and you are moving forward! 

  • Like 2

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 ]

[ Current: The Last Homely House ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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Let me sum up:

 

My fiber arts went in another direction. I went into a total knitting jag, which is not what I planned on at all but great in its own way. What’s important is that I’m making time to make. So far I’ve made a New Favourite Scarf (my old favourite scarf had developed a hole which I plan to mend but figured if the urge to knit was there, I should go for it and the new one is more suited to my current hair/wardobe palette). I’m almost done with hat, as I lost my hat last December during my adventures in Edinburgh. I think exposure to New Friend N has played a part in this, as she’s also a keen knitter. And I ran into a couple of more at our event over the weekend I hope to keep touch with.

 

Mr ceased going into the office last Thursday (he’s “on call” until Christmas, though). We were away for our annual LARPing convention over the weekend. All and another round of colds has shattered our usual routines, but we’re carrying on. 

 

(I was pleased to find that all of my costumes fit as well-if-not-better than they did pre-pregnancy.)

 

I’ve still not made forward progress on my witchy homework, but I’m still doing personal practices and reading other witchy materials, and I’m starting to wonder if that means that I’m just not connecting to lessons/path this particular school teaches. I’m unsure if I should push through the lesson and see what’s next or just move on. I’ll decide by the new year, I think.

 

I’m working on the Hearth Flame. Again, Mr being home changes the balance of everything and we’re discussing how to find our feet. He’s usually pitched in a lot more on the housework when he’s home, but that comes at the cost of his job hunting and other backed-up admin, but handling day in and out for 3 is more work for me than 2, and I’m already struggling with 2, and you can see how we both managed to get pulled into the flames.

 

I am putting together an American Thanksgiving dinner this week for a few friends. It’s the first time I’m hosting a Thanksgiving myself, so we’ll see how that all goes. One of our guests we have learned since inviting her is now terminally ill with cancer which is obviously distressing for us as friends, but also makes me feel like I want make it as wonderful as possible for her and her husband.

 

I’m not doing well at being an Adventurer outside of our planned weekends away, as Seasonal Affective Disorder, colds, and lousy weather have made me just want to stay inside under a blanket and watch Pepa Pig with Rowan. But we’ve got the sun lamp set up now, the colds will go away, and we’ll find some better days.

 

All in all, minus the news of our friend, life is good. And I’m fairly content with the state of things even if, as usual, they aren’t quite matching up to the goals I made at the start of the challenge. My goals are always an ambition to start from, not iron-clad rules. 

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Link to post

I’m sorry to hear about your friend. 

 

I know I’m a more seasonal Adventurer, and I think most of us ebb and flow in the lifestyle. Your note of that and the lamp made my work view pretty funny, though. A small daylight lamp with a world map behind it. 
 


 

 

7F5C349B-0C20-422F-A528-1DD7856457F8.jpeg

Adventurer, Half-Dwarf Chaotic-Good Paladin

Ne me dites jamais les chances!  ¡Nunca me digas las probabilidades!

Character Sheet Training Logs Challenges Prepping for Adventure PrepAdventure Prep Fall BabyWhen Are We Again, Anyway?WhirlwindThe Leaf's LocusHarnessing Hamingja New Roots More Beginnings, More Roots Cleaning Up Facing The Hailstorm Yo Ho Yo The... Keto Life For Me? Taming the Beast Another Step Towards the Future Baking, Suburban Homesteading, and Health, The Adventurers of the Lucky Vale IIIIIIIVVVI, VII VIIIIX

Spoiler

Perennial goals: Sleep 7+ hours a night, retain (and continue to learn) French and Spanish as a family, increase Spanish Proficiency for work and play,  read like a maniac on my own and with my kids, carry heavy stuff

Long term goals: Cut to 13-15% bodyfat, And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs, so I'm roughly the size of a baaaaarge! -> Someday I'll challenge a Disney world Gaston to a push up contest and win

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