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To My Dearly Loved Grandfather

Posted by Live Love Mom on September 18, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Dr. Stéphanie McEndree


Dear Grandpa,


I can't believe you're gone. I was sure we would have at least a few more years together. I wasn't told that you were in pain, or that your health was declining. I wish I had been informed sooner, before it became too late. I was told before you went, you had no more pain. I am glad that you were able to pass away with your dignity intact, and that you are no longer suffering. You never wanted to be in a nursing home, so I am relieved you never had to go in one. You were able to stay home with your wife and close to your loved ones. 


I am very thankful that you came to my wedding. My brother and myself, and my girls were able to see you one last time before you passed away. My brother hadn't seen you in three years before then so it was especially important. You got to meet his girlfriend of now seven years. I am glad that I went to visit you April of last year. We got to spend a week in your home where my girls brought you great joy. My oldest particularly enjoyed your company, and would cuddle and hug you a lot. We all sat together during mealtimes and ate well. 


Not many men live to meet their great-grandchildren, and I am so happy you met yours. I never had the pleasure of meeting any of my great-grandfathers, and here both my kids met both of theirs through me. It truly is a blessing. You were there for the most important milestones of my life; my children's blessings, and of course my wedding. You got to meet my kids when they were babies, and got to watch them grow up to school age. That certainly is something.


I remember you fondly. My brother and I would play in your basement when we were just kids. As we grew up, we got to spend more time with you. I would cook with Grandma and my brother would accompany you in your wood-working. I'd knit with my grandma and you'd play outside with my brother. We were always well fed, loved and pampered when we went to your home. We got to spend time with my aunt Trina and all her dogs. You even came to visit us during different holidays. It was very special having grandparents who not only spoke english, but who were so active in our lives. There wasn't a birthday or Christmas that went by without us getting a card from you and Grandma, even as adults. 


When I visited you in PEI, you told me your life story. I wanted to share that with the family now, and I can tell you that I won't ever forget it. You were a strong and brave man, and you loved your family the best you knew how. We will always remember you and keep you close in our hearts. We love you, Grandpa. We attended your funeral and there was no dry eye, not even my kids. They understand now that you're gone and you aren't coming back. They also know that you are watching over them now. Rest well, Grandpa. Rest in peace.



You were born the day after Christmas in 1939 to Alexandre Hallis and Marie Marguerite Baker, in Montreal. You were their first child, and you would later have six brothers and sisters. The youngest of your siblings was born when you were 9 years old. Your family lived in Longueuil, and you were particularly close to your Aunt Rosie. When you were about 15 years old, you were given to an all-boys orphanage. Your mother was deemed mentally unfit to care for her children, and your dad was working. Your siblings were also put in orphanages. You spent your teenage years in that orphanage, and you were able to visit your family for Christmas. They always gifted you clothes, since toys were not allowed to be brought back with you to the orphanage. You got to spend holidays with them. The orphanage wasn't easy, as the boys would cause fights and there were bullies there as well. At 16 years old, you finally got out of the orphanage. Orphanages were being abolished and a foster care system was set up, and you had nowhere to go. You told me that your younger brother Georges was taken from your parents and placed with a foster home at that time. You said he was the only one never to have been put in an orphanage, and you suspect he was abused. You signed up after new year's in January, in the military by telling them you were 18 years old. You chose the Air Force, and started out as a Private. Finally you could start your career, and you had a place to go. In your 20s, you were stationed in Prince Edward Island, where you met my grandmother. You were married in August when you were 23 years old and settled on the island with your wife. The next year, you had my dad. My grandma got pregnant twice more but unfortunately miscarried. She was told by the doctors that she would never have any more children. You moved to Bagotville since you were assigned to the base there, and Grandma was pregnant again. Thankfully, 6 years after my dad was born you had a healthy baby girl, my aunt Trina. You stayed there for a few years and that's how my dad and aunt learned french. You knew french already since you were born and grew up in a french province, but it was new to my dad and his sister. Grandma of course refused to learn the language so it must have been lonely for her. As live went on, you were stationed in Nova Scotia, and even Germany as my dad recalls. My dad told me that at one point you were in boarding houses for military families, and there were rats that came in the house out of the toilet. I was told that you killed the rat, flushed it down the toilet, so that ''those other rats know not to come up this toilet''. That actually worked. You found your calling in the air force as a firefighter and put out fires in military airplanes. You had accululated so much vacation time that you ''went on vacation'' when you were 52 years old. By the time you were 55, you had retired at the highest rank, Chief Warrant Officer. You settled in PEI with your wife and daughter. You wisened into old age and watched your kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids grow up. You did wood-working as a hobby and didn't do it for a profit. You could figure out measurements just by looking at a photo of something. You were really talented. Your father's family came from the Ukraine and Poland, and your mother's family was french. You were buried in Pleasant Valley, PEI. 


Rest In Peace

Jean Hallis

1939-2020

Edible Weeds To Forage From Your Backyard

Posted by Live Love Mom on August 13, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (7)

by: Dr. Stephanie McEndree


Edible greens can come from surprising places. Some are so hardy that they grow through cracks in the sidewalk! A lot of people simply remove weeds and throw them away. You can simply harvest them, wash them, and eat them. In fact, here are the most common weeds in almost every backyard that are not only edible, but bring a lot of nutritional value to your daily meals.




Clover has many different uses. You can pick it directly from the ground and wash it, and stick it in a salad. You can also leave it out in the sun to dry, and use it to make tea with the flowers. They are also edible raw and can be sauteed in different meals for a splash of color.




Plantain has both medicinal and edible purposes and is very popular for the forager. They can be added topically to soothe burns, rashes, stings and wounds. The leaves, whether old or young, can be sauteed, steamed, boiled or eaten raw after being washed. The seeds can be ground into a flour or cooked like a grain. These can also be used as fiber supplements or laxatives.




Dandelion is probably the most common weed listed here, and it can be very invasive with how fast it grows, spreads, and comes back even after removal. The roots go in very deep into the soil that they are nearly impossible to remove for good. The plant can regenerate and grow from a broken off root. The young leaves are considered less bitter, but the older ones are also very much edible. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and every part is edible. You can add the leaves in a salad, steamed or sauteed, even added to soups. The flowers can be eaten raw, breaded, fried, or used to make wine or syrup, or even salves. Roots are often dried to make tea, or roasted, or added to root vegetable recipes. Dandelions are way too useful to simply be pulled out and thrown away. In the past, people used to remove grass to plant dandelions.




Wood sorrel can be used as a thirst quencher and is said to be very refreshing to eat, so it's also popular for foragers during the hot summer months. The flowers, leaves and immature seed pods are edible but are said to taste sour like lemons. They can be a wonderful addition to salads, soups, seasoning and sauces. They look like clovers, but can be differenciated by the heart-shaped appearance of the leaves. They also have yellow floweds, when clover has purple or white flowers.




Curly Dock also known as yellow dock, is recommended to be eaten in moderation. The leaves can be eaten raw when they are young, and the older leaves need to be cooked and can be added to salads or soups. Stems can be peeled and eaten raw or cooked, while the mature seeds can also be eaten raw or boiled, and can also be roasted to make a drink similar to coffee. Change the water several times when you cook them because they are high in oxalic acid.




Purslane is most often found in damp areas where there is ample shade, so it is often never far from a body of water, a valley, or anywhere that regularly gets hosed or collects a lot of rainwater. You'd never think to look twice at this weed, but it's actually in the succulent family that can be eaten raw, cooked, or added to recipes for a natural pepepr flavor. Both the leaves and stemps are extremely rich in omega-3 and antioxidants. Add them to a stir-fry, salad, or to stews or soups. 



Lamb's Quarters are in the spinach family and are also known as goosefoot. The seeds are similar in appearance to quinoa and can be eaten as a side or main dish. Goosefoot can be eaten raw, steamed, sauteed or used as a replacement for spinach. 




Chickweed can be made into a tea and used as a slight diuretic. With both edible and medicinal properties, this weed is always a joy to have in your backyard. The leaves, stemps and flowers can be consumed cooked or raw. It tastes like spinach and can also be used topically for small cuts, rashes and burns.




Wild Amarath also known as pigweedare popular with vegan foragers as the seeds are a great source of protein. They can be gathered and cooked whole grain or as a ground meal. Older leaves can be cooked similar to spinach, and younger leaves can be used in any recipe that requires leafy green vegetables such as salads or garnishes.




Mallow also known as malva or cheeseweed is mainly found in the United States in lawns or gardens. The leaves and seeds are edible either raw or cooked, especially when they are young. More mature leaves are best cooked, steamed, boiled or sauteed. Like the name might suggest, it doesn't taste like cheese and is not a cheese replacement.



Celebrate Your Birthday During Coronavirus

Posted by Live Love Mom on June 12, 2020 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (1)

by: Stephanie McEndree


Wondering how you can celebrate your birthday during a lockdown complete with social distancing? Are these times with the coronavirus making you wonder how you can still have a nice birthday? Are you wanting to celebrate your birthday without putting your health or anyone else's health at risk? You've come to the right place! Here we explore different ways you can still have a great time while also keeping everyone healthy and safe. If you are someone planning a birthday for your loved one during the pandemic, here are some good ideas for you as well.


Have a video call conference. Call all your friends and family into one place, or one at a time. They are sure to sing you happy birthday, wish you happy birthday and want to celebrate. Reminisce over the old times and walk down memory lane. Talk about your favorite moments together.


Get some balloons. If you want, have some balloons you can blow up or get some already filled up. It will give your place some ambiance and help you get into the headspace that this is a celebration. Turn on your favorite music if you like.


Bake a cake. Get some ingredients together or even just a cake mix, and bake a birthday cake of your choice. Don't feel like baking? Get one at the grocery store that's already pre-made. Get your favorite flavor, and make it festive with sprinkles and candles. Blow them out and make a wish!


Spend time with your housemates. Whether you live with family or friends, now is the time to take advantage of their presence. Cuddle with your significant other, play with your kids, enjoy time with your friends. Play board games, watch tv, go for a walk. 


Go to a drive-through. Get some takeout or go to a drive-through so you can get some hot food. Eat your favorites! Some places even offer free dessert if it's your birthday. Just show them your ID! Be sure to wear gloves and a mask when you go out just to be safe.


Go to a drive-in movie. You can go to a drive-in movie if they are open where you live. Stay cozy in your vehicle and watch a good movie outside. You can also put camping chairs outside and bring some popcorn and soda and some blankets.


Have a picnic. Go in your front or backyard or even in the living room. Place a blanket on the ground and have a nice picnic. You can have some grapes, cheese and crackers with some deli meats or have some sandwiches, salad, whatever you like.


Look at the stars. Lay on a blanket or in a sleeping bag and watch the stars. In August, there are even shooting stars and if you live up north you can admire the northern lights. You can look up constellations first, then try to find them in the sky. There are even some apps that help you identify and locate them. 


Got any more ideas? Comment below!

I Stand With You

Posted by Live Love Mom on June 1, 2020 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (4)

by: Stephanie McEndree




I can't imagine what mothers of children of color are feeling right now. Can you imagine being afraid every day for your child to die? Can you fathom a world where unarmed people of color are shot and killed in their own homes? Can you imagine that the very people you call to help you, those who are supposed to serve and protect you from harm, end up killing you, a family member, a friend? Can you imagine hundreds of years of racism, and even during these times where people are realizing they were wrong in different aspects of prejudice, people of color are still facing racism so bad it's deadly? Can you imagine seeing the police as judge, jury and executioner as they gun down innocent black chilldren, men and women? Can you imagine these people being put on paid leave and temporary suspension, if any? This is the world we live in.


The only way I can possibly relate is to try to imagine what mothers of color are going through. But the fact of the matter is, I will never understand. No white person ever will, because we are born with a privilege. It's not right, and it's not fair. However, we need to use this privilege to stand up for and protect for our black brothers and sisters. We need to speak up because their voices aren't being listened to. We need to make sure their voices are heard. We need to do absolutely everything we can to protect them. 


Here is what you can do to help. Please add to this list in the comments if I have forgotten anything.


Join the protests. Peacefully join protests. Carry signs, join chants, walk. Stand in protest. Show you support the black community. Show that you are not okay with the deaths of innocent black children and adults. Show you are against police brutality.


Assist them. Form a human chain around them with others. Protect people of color. Especially during the protests, stand between them and the police. Do not let any harm come to them. The police will not use accessive force against you, especially if you are unarmed. 


Record it. If you see a person of color being mistreated, pull out your phone and start recording. Yell at the police officer or whoever is attacking them, to stop. Call attention to this mistreatment. Don't let them get away with it. File a complaint. Even if the cops tell you to stop recording and are being forceful, keep recording. You can pretend to stop recording and put your camera down, but have it still pointing to the abuse if you can. If not, at least keep it going so sound is still recorded.


Protests have been the peaceful way for centuries to show opposition against unfair policies. One of the most famous ones are the Boston Tea Party, and also Martin Luther King Jr's marches, and Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat for a white man. 


To every person of color out there, I am with you. I support you. None of you deserve to die. What happened was wrong. I stand with you.

How To Spend Time WIth Family During COVID-19

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 29, 2020 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (4)

by: Stephanie McEndree


It can be hard being apart from your family during this pandemic. Here are some ways you can spend time together despite the coronavirus.


Video calls. Whether you use facebook, skype or even snapchat, you can video call with your family. People are starting to use Zoom so they can video chat with many people at the same time. Have an online family reunion and spend some time together.


Play games. There are apps linked to facebook that you can play together. You can also play games via video chat, such as bingo or battleship. You can play almost any game through video chat if you try hard enough, or are creative.


Activities. Do activities together online. You can go on video chat and watch the same youtube workout video and do the workouts together. You can try Zumba as well and laugh as you try to dance like the instructor. You can also learn a dance from TikTok together.


Phone calls. Pick up the phone and call your family! Especially with the older generation, they love having a phone call from their loved ones. If you're not sure what to talk about, you can always mention the weather and ask how they are doing and what they've been up to lately. A popular topic is how everyone is passing the time being cooped up.


Send them something. You can send a letter, a card, flowers or even a delivery meal to brighten up their day. If it's their birthday soon, mail them a small gift if you can afford it. It will let your family know you are thinking of them even during these hard times.


Got more ideas? Comment below!


How To Socialize During COVID-19

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 19, 2020 at 8:10 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree



It's harder now than ever to socialize with people during the coronavirus pandemic. Plenty of people, especially extroverts, are finding these times trying and very difficult. Without further ado, here is how you can keep connected with your friends during COVID-19.


Social media. Scroll facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube, pinterest, and whatever social media accounts you have. You can keep up with your friends and how they're doing by reading their posts. You can also like their posts and comment on them to let them know you're thinking of them. For those who are anti-social or introverts, this can be the best way to reach out to your loved ones without being emotionally overwhelmed.


Online games. There are plenty of games out there where you can socialize with your friends, loved ones and even strangers. There are plenty of games on social media you can play with someone else. You can also get involved with more complexity such as MMORPGs. They are computer role playing games and are very popular. You can also bust out your PS4, or your Xbox or whichever gaming platform you own and start a friendly game. 


Video calls. Zoom, Skype, Facebook or more can be used to video call with your loved ones. You can do it either through your phone or on a computer. For computers, make sure you have a mic and a webcam so you can effectively communicate. Be sure you also have a good internet connection or the video will cut out a lot.


Emails. For the more old-fashioned people and for those who have elderly friends or who aren't used to the whold fuss about social media, emailing can be a familiar platform for communication. Send emails back and fourth and it can be as quick as instant messaging. 


Instant Messaging. Also known as IM, this is found virtually on every social media platform. You can IM on yahoo, google talk, facebook, pinterest, tumblr, instagram, twitter and more. Just make sure the both of you are online and start chatting! 


Phone calls. Scroll your phone and find the phone numbers of people you would like to talk to. Call them and if they don't pick up, leave a nice message. It's especially important during these times to check in on our elderly friends and family. Call your grandparents, your neighbors, your great-aunts and uncles. You can even offer to get them some groceries at the same time as your own to save them the trouble. Not sure what to talk about? Talk about current events, the weather, whatever you can think of!


Letters. For those special friends who live across the ocean, or even someone who enjoys recieving mail, write a hand-written letter. If you don't like your handwriting or it isn't legible, type up a letter and print it. Be sure you know the person's address so you can mail it to the right place. 


Have any other ideas? Comment below!

Precautions To Take When Going Out With Kids During The Pandemic

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 18, 2020 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)
by: Stephanie McEndree



Wear a mask. Have the kids wear a face mask as well as yourself. With coughing, sneezing or even talking launches airborne particles of the virus into the air up to ten feet away, it's better to prevent than to treat. Even if you don't have medical-grade surgical masks or N95 masks, a cloth mask or bandana is better than nothing. 


Wear gloves. Put on gloves on the kids hands as well as your own. Be sure not to touch your face while you have these gloves on. Discard them at the trash can by the grocery store's doors after you leave. This way you avoid cross-contamination on your vehicle and other objects you touch every day.


Social distance. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between people at all times. The only exception is the people you live with, and health professionals such as a doctor that has to examine you. There have been lines outside grocery stores before being allowed to go in. Maintain a distance of six feet between those people and yourself and your kids. 


Bring wipes. Use clorox wipes or similar to wipe down shopping carts, as well as door handles and light switches. Not only are you protecting yourself and your family, but you are also protecting others and minimizing the spread of the virus. Remember, baby wipes are not anti-bacterial and contain no anti-viral properties.


Disinfect groceries. When you get home, wash the reusable bags and wipe down grocery boxes and bags. As more and more people are infected every day, it's important to keep things clean. A box of cereal can be touched several times a day per person, so can the milk or juice carton. Keep things on the safe side and wipe it down with a disinfecting wipe.


Wash your hands. Wash their and your hands when you get home. Be sure to use warm water and soap and wash for at least 20 seconds. You can sing songs to help you remember, such as singing ''Happy Birthday''. This is also a great time to teach younger kids proper handwashing techniques and hygiene if you haven't already.


Order online. Some grocery stores offer an online cataloge of groceries that you can order in advance and have them delivered the next day. This is especially useful if you are a single parent or if one of your family members are high risk. 


Got any more suggestions? Comment below!

How To Get A Full Body Workout Indoors

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 8, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree



With the coronavirus happening, it's impossible to get to the gym. Here is how you can get a full-body workout from the comfort of your own home. Remember to stretch first!


Jumping jacks. These work out the full body and you don't need any equipment. All you need is the weight of your body. When you start feeling the burn, that's when you know it's working. You move your arms and legs which gives them a workout, you engage your core as you jump to keep your balance, and it engaged your glutes when you slap your legs back together. Your chest also gets flexed as you move your arms apart and together.


Stair runs. Run up and down the stairs and it doubles as cardi an strength. It's equivilent to a stair stepper and a treadmill at the same time. Keeping your balance engages your core, and your legs and glutes get a good workout. Move your arms up and down like you do when you run, and you will work out your shoulders, biceps and forearms as well.


Push-ups. These are great for upper-body strength. If you're a beginner, you can always do wall push-ups or ''girl'' push-ups. If you are more advanced, you can always push yourself up and clap your hands before landing, or also do one-hand push-ups. Depending on where you place your hands on the ground, you can work more your shoulders or your chest as well as your arms.


Crunches. These work your abdomen. They are easier on the back than sit-ups. This is what people do to get a great-looking core. If you want to get abs, you have to do crunches. These mostly work your upper abdominal muscles and make it easier for you to keep your balance and get up from a sitting or laying down position.


Lunges. These are great for your legs and strengthen your glutes. You can do jumping lunges, alternating lunges, or side lunges. They work your calves and thighs and are very useful to keep you limber, strong and fast. It's great that you only need your body weight, however you can add some weights and work your arms at the same time as well.


Squats. These are great for both legs and glutes. They tone your backside and your legs at the same time! Since the hips are the heaviest part of the body, you are giving your legs a great workout by doing squats. You also tighten up the glute muscles, and make it easier to lift yourself up from a sitting position.


Scissors. These will shred your abs. You are sure to feel the burn with scissors. These work your entire core and are a surefire way to get abs. For those who don't know what scissors are, it's when you lay down and point your left knee and your right elbow together, then right knee and left elbow, and back and forth. Bonus points for never putting your feet or legs down, as this will maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.


Leg lifts. These are great for your core as well as your legs. Some find it easier to put fists under their backsides to help stablize them. These work your lower abs so you are sure to get a six pack or even an eight-pack instead of just the four-pack that crunches can offer. If you never let your legs hit the ground, you add more resistance and you get the best effects from your workout.


 

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I Got Pregnant On The First Try With These Tips

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 7, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree


Getting pregnant can take a young, healthy couple up to twleve months. But who wants to wait that long? Here are the tips I used to get pregnant on the first try, not once but twice!


Chart your cycle. There are plenty of free charting websites out there. Personally, I am partial to fertility friend. Record the first day of your period and you will recieve a fertility estimate of the days which you are the most fertile. It will even predict your ovulation day. This way, you know which days you should be having sex to maximize your chances. You should have sex the day before and the day of ovulation.


Use ovulation predictor kits. Never use first morning urine, however, as LH is synthesized in the morning. By peeing on these sticks, the lines will let you know whether you are ovulating or not. If the control line is darker than the test line, then you have not ovulated yet. If the test line is darker than the control line, then you are ovulating and it's time to get busy!


Take prenatal vitamins. You should take these three months before you even start trying to get pregnant. These vitamins prevent neural tube defects, and the folic acid boosts fertility. If you take certain SSRIs, be sure to take 4mg extra of folic acid as well. Be sure to check with your doctor first.


Don't spit. It can be tempting to use lube, water, or even spit as lubricant. Saliva kills sperm, so it's better to avoid using saliva as lube. If you want to have oral sex, wash thoroughly after with soap and water to avoid the sperm dying. If you require lots of foreplay to self-lubricate naturally, I highly suggest lots of kissing and manual stimulation.


Lay still. After the deed is done, put a pillow under your hips and lay still for at least 5 minutes. This gives ample time for the sperm to swim up the cervix and to your waiting egg. Scientifically, it hasn't been proven that more than 5 minutes works, so you can go ahead and get up after 5 minutes.


 

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How To Balance Motherhood And Dating

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 5, 2020 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Melinda Humpherys



It can be tricky to know the rules for motherhood and dating. There is no rulebook for this, and every mom has a different opinion. Here are some tips picked up along the way by single moms everywhere.


Meeting the kids. Don't let your date meet the kids for as long as possible. This is essential to keep the lives of your kids secure and stable. You want to know for sure and be certain that things will work out with your date in the long run before introducing them to your kids, so if you do break up, your kids aren't crushed about it.


Background check. Check to make sure your date doesn't have any recent criminal history, especially anything dangerous such as violent crimes, drug crimes or crimes against children. Trust me, you don't want that around your kids.


Demeanor. Make sure you pick someone who is kind and patient. You want to show your kids what a healthy relationship is all about, and how a woman should be treated.


Tell your kids. Let your kids know that you are back to dating again, so it doesn't come as a surprise when you do introduce someone. Be sure to have them talk about their feelings with this news.


Stability. Learn from my mistakes and be sure you pick someone that has their life together. Make sure they have a job and their own place. The last thing you want is to be supporting a leech as well as your children. No one falls in love faster than a man who needs a place to stay. Be very vigilent. 


Family. Pay close attention how your date treats their mother. This is often indicative of how he will treat you, and will show how he's been raised. 


Friends. A man who treats you the same way whether in front of his friends or not, is a real green flag. This shows he isn't too proud to treat you well and his friends don't find him ''cool'' if he acts like a jerk.


Listen. Does he express differing views from your own? Does he say that it's all his ex's fault for the breakup? Does he seem hung up on his past? These are all things to look out for. When you do visit his place, check to see if it's very messy. You don't want someone you will be picking up after as well as yourself and your kids.


Have fun. When you make time away from your kids to go out, whether with him, friends or family, be sure to have a good time. It's good to be out of the house, so enjoy it!

 

 

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