Valentines 2018

Oh Valentines Day, a day of love and romance and sweet gifts. Unless you’re me. I am wildly unromantic and feel this day is an overrated money grab. Somehow I managed to marry a super sweet romantic man and even though it’s never anything huge, he always manages to outshine me on Valentine’s and make me feel like a real jerk haha for example, this year he brought home a bottle of coke (my fav), a gift card to Tim Hortons, a bag of my favourite candy and a handmade paper flower because I hate real ones. All of this was accompanied by a sweet love note.

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You know what I got him? A bag of almond m&m’s that came in my popcorn combo at the movies the night before…..but I saved them especially for him because they’re his favourite so that counts right?? I know, I know, I’m the worst haha

We did actually have plans for the evening of shopping for vacation clothes and fast food (seriously, we are not fancy people) and my mom was going to drive to our house to make dinner for our kids and spend some time with them, but because we’ve been having the worst winter in years, a storm rolled in and the roads were too awful for any of us to be driving on the highways. So we made dinner a little early, ran to the store for treats for the family, rented a movie and Brad and I closed ourselves up on our bedroom for a very romantic night of the newest “Saw” movie.

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Im not going to lie, I was just as happy doing this as I would’ve been going to the city and I’m sure Brad was relieved because I’m not always so easy to please haha

Anyone else have to change their Valentines plans due to the weather?

C

Snow, Snow And More Snow

Ok, I get I live in Canada, but this weather is really getting on my nerves. Is this snow ever going to end!? It feels like the last week has been especially annoying. Maybe it’s because we’ve had all 4 kids here for a week so getting Dylan and Robyn to school in another town has made us overly aware of terrible driving conditions, but it seems like we’ve spent every night listening to the kids obsess about whether school would be cancelled the next day or not. It’s driving me up the wall!IMG_5483

We have had just about every kind of bad winter weather lately. If it’s not snowing, the wind is blowing making the snow we’ve recently had blow through the country side causing white out conditions. Then it’ll get warm enough to melt a little causing slush EVERYWHERE. Then rolls in the cold snap. I’m not kidding you, 2 days ago it was -45c with the wind chill when I left for work. So all that slush on the roads….it’s now nothing but ice. That wonderful deep freeze was followed up by a winter storm warning today!! Come on! Kids came home early from school, buses tried picking kids up but ended up turning around and heading back to the school and highways starting shutting down. Needless to say our Valentines plans were cancelled. Today we had snow, wind AND icy highways.

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We are all starting to go a little stir crazy. We’ve tried filling our time with board games, movies and whatever else we can think of, the boys have even bundled up a couple times, loaded up a hockey net and hit our towns newest pond for some ice hockey with friends. The effort is there but the gloom is really starting to set in and irritate all of us. This family of mine needs some sunshine asap.

Brad and I are heading on a vacation in April and there’s a chance may not return haha

Anyone have any other ideas of how to cope with constant winter?

C

 

Mommin’ Ain’t Easy

Mom guilt, it’s a terrible thing. The worst part is, I don’t even know where it came from! I never used to feel this way about every decision I make and now suddenly I feel like everything I do is somehow going to affect my children negatively. I make plans with friends, I feel bad for leaving my kids. I stay home, I worry if I’m spending enough time with my kids while I’m there, which I know I’m not because my kids would rather not hang out with me anyway lol then I worry about schooling, or their social life. Are they studying enough? Are their grades where they should be?What if they go out to much or not enough? Do I contribute enough to getting them to their social gatherings? Should I allow friends over more than I do? At the same time, trying to keep my sanity that I KNOW is slowly slipping away. This mom gig is HARD and seems to be getting harder as they get older and have their own opinions on life. Oh, and now, I have 2 more kids that I need to worry about that aren’t my own since birth and don’t really have to love me despite my terrible decision making haha what if I have a bad day (which I do a lot) and they take it personally? Or feel I don’t want time with them? The stepmom gig…HARDER.

I miss the days of small children that liked going anywhere I took them with no complaints. Or when they ate every meal I made and all the outfits I picked out. Uggghhh

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This right here is a daily self reassurance for me. It could always be worse right? Mom guilt is definitely something that should have been written in “What to Expect when you’re Expecting” because this stage of parenting keeps me awake at night.

I strongly believe every mom needs to do some self care. Or self medicate, either one works haha but seriously mamas, take time for you. Go out with friends, get in the tub with that glass (or 2) of wine, watch a chick flick and ugly cry, hit up a yoga class, do whatever it is YOU need to wash away that guilt and recharge, and do it WITHOUT feeling guilty. You won’t regret it.

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Anyone else suffer from major “mom guilt”?

What are some ways you get some guilt free mom time?

C

 

More And More Family Time

Just incase the holiday season wasn’t packed full of fun family activities, our house hold spent last weekend doing even more. Wait, correction, Brad and the kids did fun stuff, I was stuck at work all weekend.  Boooo. Because of this, there will be no pictures in this post haha

Friday we decided to utilize all the movie passes my mom gave us for Christmas and hit the theatres for Pitch Perfect 3 (my mom included).  There were mixed reviews, some of the kids loved it and some did not. It’s not my favourite of the Pitch Perfects but it was still pretty good, it helps that I’m a sucker for “Fat Amy”.

Saturday I begrudgingly went to work before the sun was up and the fam jam slept to their hearts content. The girls made plans with my mom to have a sleepover that night so bead met her in the town halfway between ours and hers and then came home to have an airsoft war at our local fishpond with the boys and one of Briggs’ friends. I made it home before them, with pizza in hand and enjoyed the half hour to myself. The boys arrived home with all kinds of war stories and ate quickly before they had to get ready to head to the city. Dylan recently had a birthday so to celebrate, Brad took Briggs, Dylan and our nephew Ace to a WHL game. I once again enjoyed the silence and had a quiet evening home alone relaxing before having to go back to work the next day.

Sunday I was a tired wreck at work due to us letting the boys have Ace sleep over which resulted in me being kept awake until 1am. Normally I’d be pretty angry but I have a bit of a soft spot for our sweet nephew so I did my best to suffer in silence. I drug my but around all day and got home just in time for Brad to go meet my mom again so Dylan and Robyn could go back to their mom and Reegan could come home.

I barely mustered up the energy to go to my inlaws and some friends house before coming home to make dinner and then hitting my bed for the evening.

So, that was our weekend, even a boring weekend at home never stays boring for us and I am most certainly looking forward to a somewhat peaceful weekend coming up of just Brad and I.

C

 

Family Traditions

All I can hear as I try and write this is Hank Williams Jr. singing “Family Traditions” in the back of my head. Great. Even though our traditions aren’t quite the same as Hanks, our little family definitely has a few of our own. Boxing day shopping is probably one of the the favourites.

Every Christmas our kids manage to score a couple hundred dollars in cash and gift cards and we pick a day to hit the city and blow it all on boxing week sales. We don’t usually go on actual Boxing Day due to dinners, but nobody minds.

This year we had to wait until the Saturday after Christmas because that was Brads next day off. We got to a bit of a late start due to laziness but we managed to get the kids fed lunch and headed out around 1:00pm. Of course we hit a hitch in our plan as soon as we tried to drive away, for some reason our power steering wasn’t working and we could see a trail of fluid all the way down the snowy driveway. Back in the house me and the kids went where tears flowed and disappointment was everywhere. Brad immediately looked under the hood, called around for advice and headed to a friends to try and figure out the problem. Low and behold about an hour later he had managed to find AND fix what was wrong! Turns out a hose had come off and it was an easy fix. He’s seriously my hero! The kids were so relieved and couldn’t wait to hit the highway.

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We figured out which stores closed earliest and hit them first and then headed to the mall to do a majority of our shopping. I love taking the kids shopping when they have their own money to spend instead of mine, they suddenly are aware of prices and sales and they have a very hard time deciding if something is worth their money. I feel like yelling at them “Welcome to the real world suckers!” Haha

Our mall has recently gotten these oversized stuffed animal looking things that you can rent and ride around the mall. Dylan and the girls decided this was something worth their money, Briggs of course, was too cool.

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Watching them race and occasionally run into eachother was hilarious! The girls had to get off theirs for a couple minutes to wait in line for booster juice so Brad and I had a little fun of our own on them and I used the opportunity to embarrass Briggs as much as I could.

Soon their time was up and we were getting hungry and tired of shopping. We decided to finish up and head to little Caesars for some pizza. It’s seriously one of the best places to fill up a big family and not spend a fortune.

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By the time we finished eating it was around 7pm and we still had 2 places to stop. Needless to say by the time we finished at these places it was super late we were soooo ready to go home. This is when Dylan’s nose decided to start bleeding profusely and we had to spend a good 15 minutes in the Costco parking lot waiting for it to stop. That was our cue, time to go home.

This might be the first year the kids have come home from this adventure with money left over, I was pretty impressed. It was also the first year I couldn’t buy anything because brad and I are saving up for a trip in the spring, it was pure toture for me really haha  All in all it was time well spent with my adorable  fam jam.

C

 

NYE 2017

Does anyone else think New Year’s Eve is totally overrated? I personally am not a fan. I don’t see the need for big fancy celebrations that never go as planned. Don’t even get me started on the resolutions that nobody follows through on. To me New Years is nothing but an end to Christmas. I actually feel relief when it’s over, decorations can come down and life can somewhat go back to normal. If it wasn’t for my kids and husband who insist on celebrating, I’d gladly stay home and watch movies until midnight.

Just like every other holiday, we alternate our kids with their other parents and this year was our turn to have them for New Years, so despite me wanting to stay home, we planned a small gathering with Brad’s brothers and their kids.

We started the night off by renting our local curling rink for a couple hours. It’s two lanes so we thought adults could take one and the kids could take the other but instead the kids spent the time playing twister and hide and seek while the adults curled haha

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Briggs and Dylan only came on the ice so they had room to throw a ball around.

We didn’t have quite enough adults to make 2 teams as our group consisted of me, Brad, Brandon and Morgan, my BIL Ryan, Ryan’s ex wife Miranda and her husband, Adam (yes, you read that right) but we had a blast. The highlight was definitely the multiple times Brandon fell down haha

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After a couple hours we headed to Brandon and Morgan’s where more friends arrived. We tried to play some games but it got too loud and we eventually ended up just visiting while the kids ran wild with their cousins.

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Our kids were already exhausted and a couple of them had asked if we could leave before midnight, but we toughed it out and made it long enough to celebrate with everyone. Finally, 2018 had hit and we could go to bed.

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I think Ruby felt the same way I did

Most people think of the new year as a fresh start, I don’t get it. I’m exhausted, broke from Christmas, ready for my kids to go back to school, and living in total chaos and piles of cardboard because the dump is on holiday hours. Im going to need a couple weeks of major organization before “fresh” is a thing for me haha

Happy New Year everyone!

C

Christmas Holidays 2017

Before I get into how awesome Christmas was this year, let me enlighten you to how we have done Christmas the last 4 years with 4 kids and 2 other parents to divide them between because it’s a question I get asked A LOT.

Normally we have 2 kids for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, then those 2 go to their other parents and we get the other set for Christmas afternoon and Boxing Day. Depending on which kids we had, is where we would spend our time. For example, the years we had my kids for Christmas Eve, we spent it at my moms house in another town and then would meet their dad at noon to drop them off, pick dylan and Robyn up from their mom and go to my in laws. The next year we would do it opposite of this. This meant I spent Christmas Eve day dividing the kids presents, packing them into the vehicle and driving them to my inlaws and then the half hour to my mom’s and then doing even more driving the next day to get the kids where they need to be and all their presents to our house. It made for very chaotic, exhausting holidays and our kids didn’t even get to see each other on Christmas! This year Brad and I had enough, so I gave up my year of Christmas Eve and morning with my kids, let their dad have them, and we got all of our kids at noon on Christmas Day. It was possibly the best Christmas I’ve ever had!

Christmas fell on the tail end of our weekend without kids which was perfect. It allowed Brad and I to finish up our shopping on Friday night, have some good friends over for a game of cards, and get some quality time together before the madness started. Saturday evening my grandpa graciously took my whole extended family out to eat in the city at Luigis and even though we were child free, we borrowed our children from their other parents for a few hours.

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There was about 18 of us and things got a little crazy

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After dinner we stopped in at my dad’s to exchange gifts with him and my stepmom but unfortunately it was a short visit as it was getting late and we had to return our kids.

Sunday morning was glorious, other than Brad was not feeling well. We managed to sleep in (almost unheard of for me) and laze around watching Christmas for most of the day until it was time to go to Brandon and Morgan’s for Christmas Eve.

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Christmas Bingo

Christmas morning was also incredibly relaxing. We once again slept in and then took our time making sure everything was ready for when the kids got home. I even made homemade hot chocolate and set up a little station complete with marshmallows and whip cream. The kids loved it and asked if it could be a new tradition.

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Finally it was time to go get the kids! We had sooo much fun finally having a Christmas all together and in our own home. The girls were the best, they literally squealed, screamed and jumped up and down over a couple presents.

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After presents were all opened, the kids played with their new toys for a bit and then we headed back to Brandon and Morgan’s for Christmas dinner where we did a gift exchange and once again over ate and played games.

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Robyn and I were the game winners!

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Boxing Day we drove the half hour to spend the afternoon with my family. We went to my moms house first to exchange gifts with her

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Then we went a couple blocks to my aunt and uncles for another dinner and more gift exchanging with my extended family.

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We ended up leaving the girls for a sleepover at my moms and by the time we got home I was exhausted and totally over Christmas festivities. I couldn’t wait to get into bed.

The next day I tried to get my house some what organized before I had to go back to work Thursday morning, but it just didn’t happen like I wanted. Does it ever though?

A week of nonstop activity and company and it was still one of the most relaxing Christmases I’ve ever had. It was seriously so great. I can’t wait to continue to have Christmas as the 6 of us and start some new traditions for our family

C

‘Tis The Season

We are well into the Christmas season and I am loving it! In my opinion, this really is the most wonderful time of the year for so many reasons! It’s not even Christmas Day I love so much, it’s all the things leading up to it.  I thought I’d share a few of the things I love about Christmas time.

1)The Decorations–There is nothing I find prettier than Christmas lights and garland everywhere! Mine went up about 2 weeks earlier than usual this year and I wish I never had to take it down. It makes my house feel so warm and cozy and my favourite thing to do is shut off all the lights in the house except a small lamp in the living room and read a book by the lit up tree.

2)The Parties–For some reason, the gatherings with friends and family this time of year feel so much more special to me. The first weekend of December we attended my staff Christmas party where we stuffed ourselves with all you can eat Chinese and had hilarious conversations with my coworkers. It was really nice to talk to people in a more relaxed setting

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The second weekend we had an ugly Christmas sweater party at Brandon and Morgan’s,complete with an appearance from Santa!

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3)The Shopping–I love shopping on a normal day but this time of year is so much more fun for me. Brad comes with me pretty much every time and it turns into fun dates of picking out the perfect presents for the kids. We both get so excited when we find something we know they’re going to love. I love the hustle and bustle of the stores, the Christmas carols playing everywhere and running into people you haven’t seen forever.

4)Family Activities–I have so much fun doing Christmasy things with my kids, even though the boys are older and don’t like to participate, the girls love it just as much as I do. Every year our little town has a hometown Christmas where they block off mainstreet, light up a big tree in front of town hall and all the stores stay open late and have fun activities (like gingerbread house competition and chocolate fountains) and deals. We get free hot chocolate, wander the streets, do a hayride and of course, visit Santa at town hall. It is the epitome of small town Christmas and its awesome!IMG_5069

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4)Elf On A Shelf–this is not a favourite for normal reasons. Normally I hate the elf. This is a favourite because this year is the last year I have to do it! Our girls got snoopy, found some things they shouldn’t have, and realized the elf was not real. I think they were already on the fence about it but I took this opportunity as my out. I fessed up and they were surprisingly ok about it. I told them I’d continue to do it this year because it’s fun for them but next year Chip the Elf is staying in the drawer. Hallelujah!!!

I could go on and on about all my favourite Christmas traditions and activities but we would be here for days and nobody wants that haha I thought a little peak into my top favourites would suffice and now I can’t wait for actual Christmas to arrive!

Hope everyone has the Merriest of Christmases!

C

 

Mom Down!

They say mom’s don’t get sick days,  usually whoever “they” are, is right, not this week though. The last four days have been nothing but sick days for this mama. Mostly because I was so close to death I had no choice. I honestly can’t remember the last time I was this sick and I hope it doesn’t happen again for a very long time because I do not deal with it well.

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I always hear moms saying they’re house falls apart when they’re sick, or they have to just keep on truckin through their illness because life goes on, and I get it, I’ve been there. I’ve gone to work sick, I’ve gone to kids sporting events sick, so on Sunday when I felt a cold starting I figured it would be the same as always. I was so wrong. It got worse and worse as the day went on and by Sunday night I had a full blown fever partnered with the chills and then the sweats and every bone in my body ached so badly I didn’t sleep for more than 5 minutes. Not to mention the awesome seal barking-like cough I developed.

Monday morning, in true stubborn mom fashion, I drove to the city to get groceries, because life goes on right? Halfway through Walmart I realized if I didn’t get out of there soon, my life probably wouldn’t go on. I was leaning on my cart so heavily for support I’m surprised I didn’t tip it over, thanks to the fever, my face was on fire and I looked like I had a sunburn. People were staring. I got what I needed as fast as I could and headed home where I unloaded groceries and succumbed to my illness. I immediately fell asleep for 3 hours, not even hearing Brad come home for lunch. I woke up in the evening long enough to eat a little and start a movie but fell back asleep for a few hours leaving Brad bored out of his mind.

This is usually the part where moms complain about their houses being destroyed because if moms not able to clean who will? I was fully expecting that to be my house. Instead I woke up to my kids fed, dinner cleaned up and my husband baking homemade cookies! I know, it sounds fake but this is how has been for the last four days, I’m bed ridden and Brad has been killin it! Hes run several errands, cleaned everything repeatedly, taken care of my kids including getting them to and from school and catered to my every need. If I wasn’t so sick, this would be heaven.

Yesterday I thought I was on the upswing so I decided to have a shower and maybe finally put on clean pjs. Turns out, I was not on the mend and the shower just made it worse, back to bed I went for another long nap. About dinner time I realized there was no way I was going to make it to work the next day. I miserably laid in bed all night feeling feverish again until I finally fell asleep just to wake up at 3am soaked in sweat. And I mean SOAKED. It was literally dripping down my neck. I’m really hoping that was a breaking point and now I can actually start feeling better and get back to work. On the up side, I’m pretty sure I’ve got the start of a six pack from all this coughing and the loss of appitite and strict diet of bro citron has caused me to lose 4 pounds haha

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Exactly how I feel!

Anyone have any home remedies for getting rid of nasty colds?? I’m up for anything at this point.

C

2017 Hunting Season

This year’s hunting season is officially over and while I had originally planned on making several posts, I got too busy with actually hunting and time slipped away from me. So now you’ll have to deal with a recap.

This season was a little different than usual. One, because it was Dylan’s first year and 2, because I managed to tag out 2 weeks earlier than usual.

Opening day was pretty exciting because like I said, it was Dylan’s first year and pretty much the day he’s been waiting for his whole life. He told us he wasn’t going to shoot a tiny buck, he wanted to wait for a decent sized one. So after trudging out before the sun rose and waiting in a make shift blind for a few hours, we finally saw a little buck, which I actually had been looking at for awhile thinking it was a doe. Dylan decided this was his deer. We knew the holding out for a bigger one wasn’t going to happen haha so Brad helped him load the gun and line up his shot. First shot and Dylan had his first ever buck down!! We were soooo excited! The three of us took off across the field to check it out just to find it was wounded and down, but still alive, so Dyl took one more shot and put the deer out  of its misery. He was so proud of himself and I’m not even going to lie, I shed a few happy tears for him. Ok, I shed a lot and Brad’s still teasing me about it.IMG_5005

Since we didn’t have a pick up truck, we loaded the deer on to the top of our Tahoe, like true rednecks, and took it to Brandon and Morgans to hang it and skin it.

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We spent the afternoon of opening day in a different part of the countryside trying to find a mule doe for me to shoot. We found a few, I shot at a few, and I missed a few. I was getting pretty frustrated. Finally we found another herd and I managed to crack one.

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Pretty successful opening day.

We spent the weekend after opening day trying to get me or Brad a buck but neither one of us had any luck and not for lack of trying on my part. I was having a rough season and couldn’t seem to hit the broad side of a barn, never mind a deer. Finally, the following Wednesday, was my lucky day. I spotted a buck I wanted and was determined to get it. My determination paid off and I got us some more meat for our freezer.

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The second weekend in November we had the chance to take our niece Jazzy out. We hoped to find her a buck but didn’t have much luck. She wasn’t picky and just wanted to shoot something so we got her lined up on a pretty hard shot, across a little lake, on a doe. She totally nailed it! I was so impressed and she was so excited!

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That same weekend we got to do an evening hunt with Brandon and Morgan, where Brandon filled his doe tag, and we went on a day trip a few hours away with some other friends hoping to find Brad his white tail buck. We had no luck in the buck area but we saw a huge herd of elk so we ran to the nearest town to buy a tag but unfortunately by the time we got back, the herd had just crossed over a fence line into land that was not huntable.

Brad spent the following week looking for a couple huge bucks we had seen on the previous weekend but had no luck. The following weekend he took Dylan out to get his mule doe and my father in law even joined. Dylan was really excited to get his second deer with grandpa watching.

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It was a fruitful day because just before the sun went down, Brad got his buck! He lost his wedding ring while gutting it but small price to pay for a deer. Or so I’m told….

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And just like that, we were all tagged out and our freezer was full. We are usually out hunting until the very last minute of closing day so it was a little weird for us to have time left over but it give us time to get everyone’s deers butchered and packed away. Also gave me ample time to clean the blood off of my steering wheel, seats, windshield, roof and pretty much everywhere else on my SUV. Including the carpets in the very back of the vehicle because Brad thought he could just throw some deer in there no problem. Yes I say some, it was plural.

Those who don’t hunt don’t understand it, but it’s seriously some of the most fun I’ve ever had and it gives you the BEST stories. The meat is good, the antlers are great, but you can’t beat the memories. Btw, Brad actually found his wedding the next day! Haha

C