Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Life in Fast Forward

Wow, things have been very busy here in the Lyons' household. Summer is officially here, the weather is beautiful and tomorrow is Canada Day! Avery and I have big plans to head south and spend the day with my best friend in St Mary's. The hubby will be enjoying our nation's birthday in style at The Tragically Hip concert (jealous!) and then we have a fun evening out with friends on Saturday.

I haven't been blogging very much this week, either here or at my teaching blog because I am in the midst of quite a few projects. My online course is coming to a head and my cumulative task is due in 2 weeks so that's been sucking up quite a bit if my time. I have some personal projects on the go as well but I think they'd be better shown in pictures!!

First, we learned how to sit up all by ourself!

Then we learned a new facial expression...bottom lips in!

We visited Papa and them!

First real try in a Jolly Jumper. Loved. It.

Gram seems to have forgotten how to feed babies...

Getting better with practice.

How about we try a real cup for drinking?

Notice the tongue out technique?

Gram really thought it was funny...we think this picture is funny.

And this one is even better!! (Sorry, Mom...but I love this pic and had to post it!)

On top of all that excitement, we started "solids" this week! Yummy sweet potatoes homemade by me.

Ready for the freezer.

Single servings.

The verdict? Delicious!

Next week? Green beans!

Or maybe peas!


Since drinking from a real cup didn't go so well we thought a sippy cup might be a better route.

And to top it off, I am sewing a rag quilt for one friend's baby, and...

knitting an afghan for my cousin's baby! Notice the yarn? It's pom poms! Fun.

And that's why there has been little blogging happening around here!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I love...

grocery shopping. I admit it, I do. At least I love it when the store isn't packed and all crazy with people. I have started waiting to go grocery shopping in the evenings once my husband is home. As soon as we finish dinner I hit the streets and head off to get some food! My husband does the last bottle, bath and bedtime. Isn't he a great dad? And husband? I love him, too.

There's just something nice about being able to restock your shelves and fridge and know that tomorrow you have almost endless possibilities for dinner. To be honest though, after growing up in my mother's house my pantry is pretty much never empty. Empty for me is only 3-4 cans of each item! LOL

I also really love reusable grocery bags. They fit so much stuff in them. They are easy to carry and I always feel like I am doing good for the world.

What a lovely Monday evening I've had.

Summer Starting

Sorry I have been MIA for a week or husband bought me a Kobo as a surprise and I have been ereading like a machine. I guess that means my decision has been made too. I am really enjoying using the ereader, especially in bed at night- so light!!

Summer is finally starting to get under way here and it's going to be a busy one for sure. A part of me loves to be busy and have stuff to do and people to see...but once the weekends start to all fill up I begin to feel a little protective of any free time we do have and want to refuse new invitations that come our way. Does anyone else feel like that sometimes?

One of the highlights of this summer is going to be our 2 weeks at the cottage with my parents. Avery and I will be heading there first and then the hubby will be meeting us for the 2nd week. It's going to be a great time. We have my cousin's wedding during those 2 weeks as well so it will be the first time I am away from Avery for an extended period of time and she isn't being taken care of by a family member. My mom's best friend, who is basically family anyway, will be coming out to the cottage to look after the 2 babes- baby baby, and puppy baby!

The one bad thing about the summer starting is that it means I have only 2 months left in my maternity leave and then I won't be spending all day, everyday with my little one. It's my choice to go back to work early, and I know it's a good choice...but it's going to be hard too.

How could I leave this little face?

What a little ham, eh!

Monday, June 20, 2011

So Sweet!!

Just try not to cry... I dare you.

LUCK - NYC Wedding Proposal from Aria Melody DJ on Vimeo.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kindred Spirits

Approximately 17 years ago I worked at a summer camp called Summer Outdoors for 2 months. My 2 best friends and I all got hired to work that summer and I knew many of the other staff so I had no doubt it would be a great summer. It would be my first summer in many years that I would not be a camper but a staff member. It would start me on the road to becoming a teacher. It would give me the opportunity to meet a man that Anne Shirley would undoubtedly describe as a "kindred spirit". Even though I was only 15 and the age gap between us was significant Brian became one of the greatest influences on my life.

For 2 months out of the 382 I have lived (I will be 32 in 2 months) I knew this man and yet he has had a profound effect on my life. Imagine.

Brian and I reconnected just about 2 1/2 years ago via Facebook and I started to read his blog. His frank, open writing style inspired me to start this blog. I wanted to write like Brian. I wanted to have a chronicle of my life and my thoughts. I wanted to be open and honest, and if no one ever read than that was okay too.

Through Brian's blog I have met his gorgeous daughter Zoey and have decided that I want Avery to be just like Zoey when she grows up. I have "reconnected" with Brian's wife June who was a lifeguard at the pool that fateful summer. I believe, but I may be wrong, that Brian and June actually met that summer as well. It was a biggie, that summer.

Brian's family is going through some emotional times, some uncertainty and gut-wrenching worry. I want to just reach out and hug all of them. Instead of rejoicing over the purchase of their very first home they are worrying. Instead of planning and thinking of all the milestones that will be reached in this home, they are wondering how long they will be able to keep it. Anne's always described her "house of dreams", something I call "my forever house" (not there yet!) as the place where you would raise your family, create memories, life the best life you could. And yes you can do this in a rental, in a starter home, anywhere really- but when you have put all your heart and dreams into a house you are going to own you want life to carry on smoothly. You don't need upheaval and uncertainty surrounding the purchase.

Brian's inspirational writing led me to blog and here I am now with two- one personal and one for teaching. I never realized how much joy it would bring me. I want Brian's life to always be full of joy. I want to wipe all the worry away.

Kindred spirits are funny things really. You never know when you are going to meet them and how they will affect your life. Brian and I haven't seen each other face to face in years- YEARS and yet I feel as though he is a part of my life everyday. I knew from the moment I met him and saw how he interacted with the kids at camp that this was someone to emulate. We had many special needs campers at camp and Brian just had that way. That way of never talking down to them, never treating them as less than a person, always listening to what they had to say, valuing them as people. It was this amazing example that led me years later to become the kind of teacher I hope I am for my students. Somehow in those short 2 months Brian taught me the most important factors about my future profession and working with children. It's something I have hung on to for years.

Brian is an eternal optimist. He is always thinking of the positive and writing about his hopes. For Brian to have written some blog posts lately that shows that his train of thought as taken a downward turn just shows how worried he is. And the amount of his worry just shows the kind of man that he is. He's not worried for himself so much as he is worried for the life wants to give his family. The life he wants to create with his family. The memories he wants to hold of his family. Brian is definitely one of the good people. A kindred spirit.

2 months out of 382 and I still want to be like Brian when I grow up. He is someone I look up and aspire to be like.

Brian, June and Zoey- I am thinking of you everyday and keeping my fingers crossed that all your dreams come true.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pottermore: Coming Soon

Can you imagine??? I just heard about this today and I am beyond excited!

Sleep...Life's Elusive Mistress

January seems like a lifetime ago. How did I ever survive getting up every 2 hours to feed my little babe? How did I function on such a little amount of sleep. That is one of life's great mysteries, I think. That and how little you actually remember accurately from the first few months of your baby's life. At the time you think it will never end, you will be tired forever, and can't imagine that you will get your life back in some semblance of what it was.

Then, all of a sudden you baby sleeps for a longer period one night, and even longer the next and lo and behold one day she goes straight through the night and you wake up in a panic when you realize it's 7am and you didn't hear your baby cry once. Thoughts run rampant through your head- "Is she okay? Did I just not hear here? Oh my god, what happened?" and then you realize, if she slept through the night she must be ready to do it right? She wouldn't starve herself.  Your life blossoms before you- full nights of sleep, no more haze of confusion in the morning, maybe you will only need one cup of coffee to make it through the day...maybe.

Everyone told me that as soon as I got comfortable with the routine my baby created it would change but the one area where I have been very lucky is sleeping. Avery has gone almost 11 hours every night since she was 11 weeks old. There was a brief time where we had a middle of the night wake-up after my sister's wedding but I think her routine was just thrown way off kilter. It seems as though she takes after her parents in the sleeping area- something we both really enjoy doing.

So what's up with the title you say? Well, for quite some time now- since my grandfather died when I was in high school I have had sleeping troubles off and on during the year. I don't know for sure if that's when it started it's just really the first time I remember it. The main problem is being about to turn my mind off enough to fall asleep. I can read for hours, stare at the ceiling and nothing really works. Every little noise wakes me and interrupts any sleep I may be attaining. So when you add a week of that to a change in my baby's sleep routine you end up with a very tired and cranky momma.

Avery has started to roll over more consistently and one of the problems I think we are having is that she can roll from her back to her tummy, but not from her tummy to her back. So she has started to roll over in her crib at night and then it wakes her up because she can't get back over and scares herself.... and this has been happening multiple times during the night which of course wakes me up! It's amazing that once you start to get a full night's sleep again to go back to multiple wake ups through the night how tired it can make you!

In an effort to help Avery sleep better through the night we have gone back to The Baby Whisperer's strategy of the dream feed around 10 o'clock and I forgot what it was like to feed Avery in the middle of the night. Everything is quiet and dark. It's just the two of us together in our chair. It's a nice feeling. I am not saying I want Avery to go back to waking up every night for a feed but there is just something special about snuggling with my baby in the dark. She's all mine at that time and I don't have to share her with anyone.

Of course, she's all mine during the day too when it's only the 2 of us here but somehow it's different at night time. It's like all the other people in the world have melted away and she and I are left together. It reminds me of how big she has gotten and makes me a little sad. These past (almost) 6 months have gone by super fast and she has changed so much already...le sigh.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Gone, Gone...all the way gone

I had a great idea for a blog post yesterday and was super excited to sit down and write it out. The something caught my attention, I got busy and now the idea is gone!

Does that ever happen to you?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Reading from my Childhood

Do you ever re-read your favourite books from when you were younger? Do you remember the book that created you as a reader? The book that ignited that spark? I do!

As a child I was in love with Anne of Green Gables (the whole series), and my second favourites were the Little House on the Prairie series and Little Women. It's not so surprising that historical fiction is still my favourite genre as an adult!

There is something special about reading a book that you love. You know what's going to happen, you know the characters like they are friends and yet you hang on every word waiting to see what's going to come next.

If you haven't read Anne of Green Gables- stop here! SPOILER

Every time I sit down to read Anne of Green Gables (which I try to do every year) I feel like I am greeting an old friend that I haven't seen in awhile. I anxiously wait to see if Marilla and Matthew will decide to keep Anne. I am indignant when Gilbert calls Anne "carrots" and enraged when Anne is forced to sit with Gilbert as a punishment. I cry big, fat tears when Matthew dies and wonder how Anne's life will ever be the same.

Reading an old favourite is like a warm cup of tea, or hot chocolate that greets you after a cold winter day. It's a hug from a loved one. It's the feeling I want to inspire in all my students, and now especially my daughter! I bought Avery her very own copy of Anne of Green Gables and it is cone of the most beautiful books I have ever seen. Hardcover. Pink with tea cups, teapots and flowers embossed on the cover. Gorgeous. I wrote a special note inside for my little little and I look forward to the day when I can introduce her to something that has been such a huge part of my life.

As I have grown older I have noticed that I connect with Anne at very different times in her life than when I was younger. As a girl I ached for Anne to get her puffed sleeves, just as I ached to wear the right clothes and "fit in". As a teen I wanted Anne to win that Avery scholarship and go to college just like I anxiously awaited my own university acceptance. I held my breathe on Anne's first day as a teacher and hoped she would be a success and loved by her students. On my own first day I tried not to let me nerves show and thought that if Anne could make it through then so could I.

And now I am a mom. I have finished Anne of Green Gables  and am working my way through Anne of Avonlea. I can't wait to get to the time that Anne becomes a mom. Will that resonate with me like all the rest of Anne's life has? I have no doubt.

In a few weeks time I will be hosting a read along for Donalyn Miller's book The Book Whisperer and am excited to learn and read more about inspiring children to love reading. Along with many fabulous teacher/bloggers we are going to read through this book together and share our thoughts with each other. I urge anyone that is a teacher, a parent, a lover of books to join us and to re-read a favourite from the past.

As I always tell my students-  Re-reading a book is great. You are a different person now than when you first read it and can probably learn something new.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thoughts of 25-35 year olds

I was scanning through my own Facebook profile and I found this note from waaaaaaay back. I don't know who wrote it or where it came from so I can't give credit like I would want to, but please know that I did not write this! If you know where it came from please tell me so I can give credit where credit is due.

These are thoughts that anyone between the ages of 25-35 might think...although, really I think that anyone of any age may think these as well. They just make me giggle.

-I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

-More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.

-Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

-Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

-That's enough, Nickelback. (Yep, thought this!)

-I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. (Oh do I I ever!!)

-Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the "people you may know" feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to be friends with?

-There is a great need for sarcasm font. (!!!)

-I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.

-How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet? (I can do this, and I can do it well!)

- I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

-The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.

- LOL has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

- I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

- Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

- Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

- How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

- I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent someone from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

- Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies"

-What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

- While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

- MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my driveway and out of my neighbourhood. (This is awesomely true!)

- I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

-Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

-I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired. (Nope, no memory of that.)

- Bad decisions make good stories

-Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!

-If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.

-Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....

-You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

-Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

-There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

-I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

- "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.

-I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'

-I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dammit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

- I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

-When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.

-I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

- As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

-Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

-I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

-Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

-My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the hell do I respond to that?

-It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on and the link takes me to a video instead of text.

-I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

-I think the freezer deserves a light as well. (Yes, thank you!!)

-The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There's nothing like being made to feel like a fat bastard before dinner.

I Just Can't Stop...

taking pictures of my baby...

because she would rather use her feet to play with her gym-mini

because her eyes grab my heart every time

because she makes funny, perplexed faces

because her Gram is smitten

because her Papa likes to push her stroller, hold her, hug her, feed name it

because she's mine.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Love Letter

My Darling Dyson Engineers,

Thank you for the Dyson DC25 Multifloor vacuum, it has changed my life. The carpet in my living room is no longer covered with the hair of my beloved puppy. Although Kahne and I are very much in love he does tend to leave his hair all over the house. Your feat of engineering marvel** that is the DC25 is by far the best vacuum I have ever used. I do believe I am starting to fall in love with this wonderful machine. The amount of dirt and dog hair that has been removed from my house is obscene and makes my skin crawl at the thought at how poorly my previous vacuum worked. My house feels cleaner and lighter somehow. For the first time in my life I have a desire to vacuum and was almost sad today when I finished the last room and thought I would have to wait to vacuum again. This may become a daily habit for me...! Oh Dyson Engineers, how I love thee.



**(Yes, I know that doesn't make sense- my husband pointed this out to me- but the vacuum is so amazing it deserves a new phrase created just for it)

What a Wonderful Morning

Woke up to watch this...


Saturday, June 4, 2011

The E-reading Decision- Part 1

Part 1: My Experience with the Kobo from Chapters (Canada)

So I have been still thinking, ruminating, noodling with the idea of an ereader. I read through my favourite book- Anne of Green Gables on my sister's Kobo (from Chapters here in Canada)  and really enjoyed the experience. I am a very fast reader, hence I often read very large books...we're talking 500+ pages on a consistent basis. That kind of book can get very heavy to read in bed which I do almost every might before I fall asleep. The ereader is nice a light, easy to hold while reclining and as long as you have a good bedside lamp relatively easy to read from. I did find that I had to stay lying on my side facing the light, or lying on my back. If I turned over and faced away from the light the Kobo was more difficult to read from which does not happen with a book.

Pros: light and easy to hold while reading in bed especially compared to the chunksters I usually read (500+pages)

Cons: need to face a light source (this could be solved I am sure with the book light accessories available for Kobo)

I also really like that, for the most part, the selection of books available for the Kobo is just as good as books available in the Chapters store or from I looked up a few of the books on my personal TBR list: World Without End by Ken Follett- check, The Emperor's Tomb by Steve Berry- check, Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger- check. There was also some selection of professional reading books available for the Kobo including a those that are on my professional TBR list for this summer, but not all. The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller- check, Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson- check. I am not too disappointed about the lack of professional reading available because I think I would prefer to have the actual book itself if I were going to be using it in my classroom.

Pros:  Great personal book selection

Cons: not a lot of professional titles available (however, I did notice on my last visit to Stenhouse Publishing that they offer quite a few of their titles in e-book format and the Kobo uses e-pub which I believe supports a very wide variety of e-book formats so I may be able to get professional books from other sources, not just Chapters)

One huge draw to getting an ereader is that many libraries now offer ebooks for patrons to check out! Who knew? I love the world we live in. I looked into this at my local library and they do offer the service. It's super simple as well- you go online, check out the book and it "arrives" on your ereader. You don't need to "return" the book when you are finished, it simply expires from your ereader device. How cool is that? Now, if you are in the habit of reading new releases there may be a long wait time to get your hands on one of the library's copy of the book you want but this problem also occurs if you want to read new releases in print form from the library as well. If there is a new release I want to read badly enough I never wait for the 50+ people on the waiting list ahead of me I just buy it anyway, so they fact that there is a similar issue for new release ebooks doesn't really seem like a hug drawback to me.

Pros: ability to check out "free" books from the library

Cons: having to wait for new releases if there is a long waiting list and you don't want to buy it

So there are my thoughts so far on my week's worth of experience using the Kobo and starting to look into ereaders. I am going to post again soon about my research into the various ereaders available and which I think is right for me.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Adventures in Baby Wrangling

It's been quite a week so far! We have been having adventures left, right and centre...

On Saturday we headed out into the Canadian wilderness to spend the day with my cousin and her 2 children while our husband's golfed (yes, it's golf widow season here in Ontario). My cousin's youngest child was turning one and she was having a party that night. It was nice just to hang out with her all day, even though Avery didn't do to well with her naps and ended up a little cranky by dinnertime.

The adventure part came in around lunchtime. I had put Avery in her bumbo and was preparing her bottle in the kitchen (it's an open concept so I could still see her, no worries!) Jamie was getting lunch ready for her 2 little ones- Jackson, who is 3 1/2 and Kaitlyn, the 1 year old birthday girl. We were chatting a little as we got everything ready and the next thing we knew a little voice piped up and told us that Avery liked raisins!!! Jackson had fed Avery, who is 5 months old a raisin from his plate. The 2 of us rushed over but it was gone, straight down the hatch! She didn't choke, never seemed upset and has lived to tell the tale.

Our second adventure was by far the most exciting..for me! I have been waiting forever and she finally did it. ROLLED OVER! Avery's last nap of the day is always her worst, sometimes she sleeps and sometimes she doesn't. It's usually a fight to get her to go down even though she yawns, rubs her eyes and is obviously tired. So we have started to just leave her in the crib to calm herself and see if that works to help her fall asleep...sometimes yes, sometimes no. Sunday was no because all of a sudden there were some really desperate cries coming through the monitor. When I arrived in her room she was on her stomach! That's right she rolled over, I think she scared herself, and started to cry. We have had a few more since then but it's definitely not a solid skill just yet but you can tell that she wants to keep trying. Love it.

Finally, our third adventure came on Monday while we were grocery shopping. I haven't really been able to find any shoes I like for Avery. My cousin has given me a bunch of shoes her daughter has outgrown but they are all either too big or too warm for our current warm streak! So I figured since it was 23 degrees out Avery didn't really need shoes, or socks to go out shopping. A woman in the grocery store disagreed. She felt the need to tell me this.....from across the produce section...that Avery's feet were cold and I should have put booties on her. That's right ACROSS THE PRODUCE SECTION. She didn't even touch her feet. I just smiled, said she was fine and walked away. Just like my momma taught me.

I am so excited about how big and grown up she is getting. Her little personality is coming out and her new thing is talking to herself while she sits or lies around. She has this little voice and sounds like she is trying to make little sentences. It's so cute and makes me giggle every time.

I like being a mom.

Last Words...

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe