Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"I saw it on Pinterest!"

Everyone has heard of Pinterest, right? You know, the virtual place that shows you how to create a beautiful wall hanging from a toilet paper tube, bake cakes or meals with 3 ingredients or less, teaches you 12,357 uses for olive oil, or how to do your hair in any way you could possibly imagine....THAT Pinterest.

Although I don't "pin" much on my boards (because really...everyone would know my secrets if I actually pinned stuff) I spend quite a bit of time perusing the site. It's amazing!

But sometimes, I feel like people put random stuff out there just to see who's gullible enough to try it. (read: I'm gullible enough) I can't help but feel like someone somewhere is watching me try their ideas and laughing their heads off.

I mean, I'm not paranoid or anything...

First, there was this pin:

Always eager to save some money, I tried this one when my cyan ink ran out in my printer at work the other day. No joke, I think I spent 10 minutes trying to find a reset button on that blasted ink cartridge.


If you find one on your ink cartridges, send me a picture and make me a believer.

I also tried one with a two ingredient recipe for lemon bars. Delicious, chewy lemon bars with only TWO ingredients?? Yes please!

You know what mine looked like? A cake. A very poofy cake that spilled over the sides of the cake pan while it was baking. Not cool Pinterest. Not cool at all.

Finally, this one:

Since I'm currently experiencing a horrendous breakout on my face, I was ALL OVER this one! Plus, it's so much cheaper than buying the expensive pore strips.

I have to be honest, the jury's out on what I think of this one. Mainly because I'm still sitting here with the goo on my face.

It smells like rotten flesh and I have zero face mobility at the moment.

I also might have gotten a little close to my eyes and my bottom lashes are glued to my face. All in the name of beauty, right? Matt is totally getting a kick out of this process ("What's that supposed to do to your face?" "You look like one of those women who got Botox and can't move their face!") and keeps making me laugh. But  I can't move my face so I'm sitting here rocking back and forth laughing like an owl "Hoohoohoohoo..."

We're a mess I tell you.

I think I might need to stay away from the pins that sound too good(easy, cheap) to be true. Maybe I should just look at the clothes or decorating ideas. It would certainly be a little safer! :)

Does anyone have a chisel I could borrow? I think it's time to remove my granite mask...


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Self Therapy

Writing is therapeutic for me. Sometimes I hesitate to blog because I often write from a place of extreme emotion (happy, sad, or other) and it can come across as too personal and raw. Occasionally I choose to throw caution to the wind and share what goes on in the deepest parts of my heart and mind because I think that surely there is someone out there who has felt the same way...

When I think about the way I've always pictured my life, I have to admit that it isn't what I always expected that it would be.

There. I said it.

I want to believe that I'm making a difference in the world. Right this moment, if I could, I'd open a battered women's shelter. I'd be a foster parent. I'd run an orphanage in Kenya. I'd feed the homeless and comfort the sick.

The other day I was telling someone about my Bucket List and said that I feel quite certain I'll need about five lifetimes to accomplish everything I want to accomplish. Surely I'm not the only one who feels overwhelmed by things I want to do with my life? Yet in my state of overwhelmed-ness, I'm doing nothing that really matters in the grand scheme of the world. I have a job that I genuinely enjoy. I'm good at what I do, and I truly don't dread going to work in the mornings. But does it make a difference?

Matt and I have been married for over four years now. If you'd asked me while we were engaged what our life would look like in four years, this isn't it. I thought we'd have a house. I thought we'd have kids.

Don't get me wrong, life is great overall. But if I'm completely honest with you I have to admit that I feel a little...disappointed.

There is a growing restlessness in me that I just can't put my finger on. I question things a lot more than I used to. Things like, Am I being the best wife that I could be? Am I the best daughter/sister/auntie that I could be? Do people know that they can count on me? Am I a good friend?

Am I living my life to it's fullest potential today and every day? Or am I missing opportunities in which I could be making a difference left and right? I am caught in a place where I feel like I'm waiting for my life to start and watching it pass me by at the same time.

I don't know how to pull this one together. How to make my point yet wrap it all up with a cute story or comment about how everything in life is rainbows and cupcakes. But you know what? I have to think that it's okay if I don't always have all the answers. It's okay to sometimes feel confused and frustrated.

A coworker gave me a bracelet a couple of weeks ago with a small anchor charm on it. She had no idea what was going on in my life that very week, but I was anticipating some news that could either have been very good or very bad. As soon as I saw the anchor shape of the charm, the first thing that popped in my head was "my anchor holds." No matter what type of news I received, I knew God had a plan and everything would be okay. Over and over those three words rang in my head..."My anchor holds. My anchor holds. My ANCHOR holds."

I ended up getting good news. The news I was hoping for. But you know what? The same three words holds true today in this situation.

I feel a little confused, but my anchor holds.

I'm restless and uncertain, but my anchor holds.

Thank you Jesus for being an anchor that holds!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Midlife Crisis

Am I too young for that? Am I too old?

So I have a birthday coming up in a couple weeks, and I will be turning 26! I'm still a baby, right? My life isn't even close to being half over, right? So why does the very sound of "I am 26 years old" cause my chest to tighten and a lump in my throat?

Matt and I were awake way too long the other night contemplating this. I'm not freaking out about the age itself, I'm freaking out because I swear just yesterday I got married. I swear it was a week ago I left the only home I'd ever known to start my "grown up" life in college. Wasn't it just last month I was sitting with my youth group friends talking about what we did last weekend?

My point is that I was a kid, I blinked my eyes and now I'm an adult. There is no more "when I grow up" because I'm here. This is it!

This totally freaks me out because it makes me realize that 20 years from now I will probably say "I swear I was just 26 yesterday!"

So what's my point? Live each day to its fullest. Stop wishing for things you used to have or want to have. Stop waiting for tomorrow to do the things you know you should do today.

I'm talking to myself here, but can you relate? Life is short. If you blink you will miss it!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fabulous Fourth

Our anniversary is next week!

I sometimes tend to be a little bit overly sentimental with things. If you don't believe me about that, just ask my husband (or my mom) about my tendency to hold on to every little thing because it reminds me of someone or something that I love.

So in anticipation of our fourth anniversary, I spent some time looking through old pictures tonight. My goodness what a flood of memories! It was striking to me that in almost every picture from our wedding, I am laughing. Not just a slight giggle here or there, but genuinely laughing as if I just heard the funniest joke of all time. I loved every minute of our wedding. It truly sticks out in my mind as the happiest day I have ever experienced. Every single detail was (as far as I know) perfect. I had amazing friends beside me the entire day, making sure that each of those details was perfect. I felt spoiled and loved. And happy. So incredibly happy.

It hit me a couple months ago that we were coming up on four years of being married and I panicked a little. Our life is far from what I always thought it would be when we had been married for four years. I figured we'd already be living the "American Dream" somewhere on the East coast. You know, two story house with a white picket fence and exactly 2 .5 kids...

But here we are. In Texas, in a cramped apartment with exactly 2 .5 doggie "kids." (Lu counts as 1 .5 because the dog truly has THAT much personality...) But you know what?

I have my most amazing best friend beside me every single day, making sure that each detail of our lives is perfectly covered in prayer. I feel spoiled and extremely loved. And happy. So much happier than I could have ever dreamed four years ago.

I always believed people when I heard them say things like "I love my husband even more today than I did when we first got married." I just didn't understand how that could be possible. But today, as I reflect on the last four years and all that they have held for us, I can honestly say I'm starting to understand.

So this one's for you, darling! Thank you for every moment every day. For every time you have me rolling on the floor with laughter. For every tear we have shed. I love you!

Happy anniversary!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mis-Matched Success!

Well hello there, blog world! Did you think I forgot about you? I didn't. Not for a second! The truth of the matter is, life has been extremely busy and I needed a break to get some other things done and clear my head a little bit. 

Curious what I've been up to? 

For starters, Matt and I started a business! It has been such a fun project for us to tackle together. I've mentioned before how opposite we are, and we have really seen our differences come out as we've worked on business stuff. Again I say we couldn't be more perfect for each other! We're not ready to quit our day jobs just yet, but we are very pleased with our sales so far.

Speaking of jobs, I got a new one! This could be an entire post in and of itself, but I'll just suffice it to say I am so. incredibly. BLESSED.

I'm getting a baby nephew in a few months! Naturally, I have a few projects in the works for precious Baby C. More on that later!

And now, a project I *can* show you!

We had the opportunity a while back to buy a new (to us) kitchen table. The top of it is glass, which is perfect when you're in a cramped apartment! I figured it would make a difference, but I was shocked how much it really opened up the space. The only problem I had with the table was that the cushions on the chairs were just slightly different in color than the walls in our apartment: white and blah. This girl needs some pattern and color!

Clearly this translates into "Ooh, a new project!!" I have been meaning to recover the chairs for several months now, and even went with my sister to pick up some fabric samples. I just couldn't settle on anything, and something else always came up that I'd rather spend the money on, so it just wasn't happening. As a part of our business, Matt and I have started perusing antique shops around the metroplex. Lo and behold (did I really just use that phrase? Ew.) I stumbled upon piles of sample upholstery squares sitting in a shop for $1 each. Total JACKPOT!! After spreading nearly half of them out across the various shelves and floor space, and wrecking the nice neat piles, I finally settled on four different prints. I've never attempted a mis-matched style before, so it took a little reassurance from Matt that they really would look good together. Can I just say, I love that man of mine!

So I finally had an excuse to buy an upholstery stapler (staple gun?) and I went to town!

$1 Each at an antique shop!

My new favorite "tool"

"Before" picture via Instagram

Waiting to be made colorful!

Not sure this is the officially correct way to do the corners but I like how it looks

Cutting off the excess on the bottom so it looks nicer

Nice and square on the bottom

Finished cusions!

Ever tried to take pictures of a glass table? It's impossible to get the lighting right...

Love love LOVE my new chairs!

Eventually, the iron part of the table will get re-done too. I am envisioning a cream or light gray crackle coat on top. We'll see how many times my mind changes before I actually get it finished.

So hopefully, now that I'm back in a regular routine and enjoying daily life again (it's true...the old job wasn't a very happy place) I will be back at my blog much more regularly. Until next time,


ETA: I realize that the layout of some of the pictures is wacky. Sometimes, I really think it's more difficult to add pictures than necessary. Something a little more user-friendly would be much appreciated. That's all.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Piddly Pillow Project

It's not news to any of you that I have dogs. What might be news, however, is that my dogs think they're people. Shocked? I didn't think so. When faced with the option of lying on the floor or snuggled into the couch, the couch wins 100% of the time. They're small, so I really don't mind them being on the couch, but what I do mind is that they have claimed my couch pillows as their own.

Because of this, my pillows are a wreck. And they are decorative, so they don't have a removable (read: washable) cover. What to do, what to do...

Never let it be said that I had a problem I didn't creatively try to fix.

So I pulled out my handy dandy sewing machine and went to work!

I wanted to save as much money as possible, so I decided to reuse the stuffing from the old pillows. This took FOREVER to re-fluff. I literally thought I would die at the ripe old age of 107 before I got it finished. But then my TV show ended and I realized I was actually almost done. Not nearly as bad as I thought after all! 

My plan (as always) was to take pictures along the process to show you exactly what I did. However, my desire to work uninterrupted outweighed my desire to have quality pictures, so all I have are these few snapshots that I took on my cell phone. 

I am now accepting applications for a live-in photographer to capture my every move as I work on a project. Or, we can just go with these cell phone shots and call it "art." 

Since I was recreating the pillows from some I already had, I did remember to take a "before" picture. I got the pillows all laid out, went to grab my camera, and this is what I saw when I turned around to take the picture. Now do you believe me about how much they LOVE pillows?

I had a flat sheet from a set we were given as a wedding gift. The fitted part ripped while we were trying to make the bed up after washing the sheets. Evidently that was not an appropriate time for us to test our tug-of-war skills. (um yes, we act like children sometimes) The sheet ripped apart halfway, so instead of throwing the whole set away, I saved the flat part to use for this project. This was cut into squares and sewn up to form the actual pillow part of my project. See?

I bought this fabric about six months ago intending to use it as curtains in our bedroom. Evidently it's important to measure your window height before you plan curtain panels. It's been stuffed on my shelf ever since.

Oscar wanted to help SO bad, so I let him hold one side of the fabric while I cut out the squares for the covers.

I sewed up the pretty fabric on three sides then inserted a zipper on the fourth, so the cover can easily be removed to wash. Hallelujah! No more unwanted doggie slobber on my pillows!

And here's the finished project!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The place where God speaks

I'm in a weird spot in life these days.

My absence from blogging lately is mostly because although I want to be real with you, I want to be an encouragement of sorts. There has been a whole lot that I could have said, but I desperately don't want to be a sinkhole of negativity. Nobody really likes a Negative Nancy, right?

Overall, I think I'm learning that life is spent more in "weird spots" than in normal, perfectly happy ones. You grow more when you're uncomfortable than you do when everything is flowing along smoothly. I never want to be okay with not growing and becoming stronger.

That being said, I'm extremely happy in my unhappiness. Clear as mud, yeah?

There is something I've been praying about for a long time. I'm not ready to share exactly what it is yet, but it's something that has caused me much discomfort over the last couple of months. It has robbed me of sleep and made me cranky at times. I've cried and I've wanted to scream out of frustration. And I've prayed. A lot.

The last several days, I've been trying to pray about it but just feel like I don't even had the words anymore. How do you pray when you've prayed everything you know to pray? When you're so tapped out mentally that you don't even want to think anymore?

Throughout my life, I've always had a place I could go to just be still and listen instead of blabbing away. To sit down with my prayer journal and just spill my heart out without holding back. To listen to music and just worship my Creator. In the past, I've been close enough to the edge of town (or lived in a small enough town...) that I could get in my car and just drive until there were no more distractions. Just me and God.

Since I've moved to the DFW area, I have realized that it is impossible for me to drive like that because I would have to drive for hours (literally) to get away from the distractions of the city. Also, there is a good chance I would wind up getting myself lost, and that totally defeats the purpose of having a quiet retreat. :)

There is a small "canal" across the street from our apartment complex. If you follow me on Facebook at all, I've referenced the canal and a certain doggy of mine taking a Superman dive into it after a duck the other day. *sigh* Well, they have planted cattails and scattered large rocks along the sides of it to try make it look nice, instead of just a drainage ditch. Much to my delight, one of the rocks hangs just over the edge of the water, and is a nice flat spot for sitting. I spent quite a bit of time there the other night. Despite the fact that they're building another apartment complex on the other side of the canal, and the fact that we basically live on the DFW airport runway (...or at least it sounds like it) I had the most amazing quiet time there.

I wrote in my journal a little bit, but mostly I just sat and listened. Have you ever experienced how calming the rippling of water is? How healing the wind is as it brushes tears off your cheek? How amazing it is to sit and observe the presence of a MIGHTY God, right in the middle of His creation?

I sat down on the rock that night feeling like a mental and emotional wreck, and stood up to leave feeling refreshed and peaceful. How thankful I am for my walk with the Great I Am!

So this is my place, where is your favorite spot to experience the presence of God?


Monday, March 5, 2012

Crafty Cone Trees

I am totally in love with those cone-shaped decorative trees that you see everywhere. So I set out to create them myself instead of forking over big bucks to buy them!

Like most craft projects, I started out at Hobby Lobby to buy the styrofoam cones to decorate the way I wanted. Have you ever seen how expensive they are??? Just the foam cone alone ranges from like $7 to $15 (ish) EACH!!!

I really don't get it. Isn't part of the point of crafting things yourself to help you save money? Aside from the fact that it's super fun, of course. Anyway, I wanted a set of 3 cone trees and there was NO WAY I would spend around $30 just for the base of my project.

Enter Pinterest. I know you've all heard of the site, because you are probably just as addicted as I am. Most of the time I don't even get around to pinning stuff because I get so enthralled in what I find there. Anyway, I found the idea on there to actually make the cone base for my trees using cardstock and a plastic cup instead of buying styrofoam. Brilliant! Eureka! Voila! You get the point.

I just happened to have a bunch of Red Solo Cup Blue Solo Cups in the very back of my pantry.  Cost: $0, essentially (The song which is now stuck in your head is just a bonus. You're welcome!)

During the Thanksgiving/Christmas season, several holiday card catalog sources sent us (my office) card samples a couple times a week. Naturally, I pulled all the samples out to keep before I threw the catalogs away.  Cost: $0 (Thank you, Galleria!)

Over a year ago, I was re-painting a room in our house, and bought a roll of "painting" paper. It was supposed to serve as sort of a drop cloth edger thing, I guess. Not really sure. Anyway, I thought it would look cool as the covering for my cones. Cost: $0 (for this project anyway)

I will warn you, doing the cones this way is NOT a project for the faint of heart! I did all three cones on different days, several days apart, because my fingers got so sore. It probably took about 2 hours just to make my paper "ropes" and then another hour or so to glue them on the cone form. Definitely well worth the effort, but not a quickie project by any means.

The cups I used were a little smaller than normal. I think the normal ones would probably be too big for this project.

I started by cutting the paper into approximately 1-1.5 inch strips.

Then painstakingly twisted each strip as tight as I could, without ripping the paper. I didn't want it to look completely uniform.

I used the cardstock to form a cone shape, then fitted it over the cup.

Once I had all the strips twisted into "ropes" I simply started as close as I could to the bottom of the cone and glued the rope around in small segments. This part takes quite a while, because you have to make sure the rope stays twisted and that you glue close enough to the previous row that you don't have any white space in between.

When I got to the top, I went around one more time, then tucked the end of the rope down through the hole in the top and glued it into place. This is what gave it the "finished" look on top. Then I took a brand new rope and went around the very bottom edge of the cone one more time, to give it some more sturdi-ness and to finish that edge as well.

And there you have it - Crafty Cone Trees! (They're really not crooked, it's just the way I took the picture. Photography is not my strong suit.)

At some point, I think I'll make another set that has a few more embellishments on it. For now, these go perfectly in my living room and I love them!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sidewalk Poo and a Mudpuddle

Over here at the Murphy house, we're trying to get a little healthier. And when I say "we" that means ALL of us. Our babies are not excluded.

I often tell people that we don't have wiener dogs. We have a bratwurst and a little smokey. Bless his heart, Oscar is a little husky.

Not "A" husky. He IS husky.

He really likes to eat. Since Lu is afraid of her food dish (and everything else in the world... *sigh*) he often polishes off her dinner before I can catch him and tell him no.

So, the healthy revolution has started and we have started to walk/jog after I get home from work at night. They crack me up so much that I decided to take along my camera tonight and try get some pictures.

First, I tried to capture the moment when I asked the babies if they wanted to go for a walk. This first one made me laugh so much! It definitely captured what I was hoping for. Pure excitement right there, ladies and gentlemen!

Since I walk them both by myself while Matt is at the gym, I have to have a system to keep control of both dogs and hold the doo doo bags. 
And the camera, of course. Because everyone who is walking two extremely hyper dogs should stop and take pictures periodically. 
I think I'm crazy.

"Let's GO mom!" 
I was trying to get all three of our shadows, but Lucy moved at the last minute. Bad dog!
Kidding of course.

This right here is a woman on a mission. Thankfully, she likes to run ahead, because the girl stopped to "tinkle" no less than 17 times during the course of our walk.

Then she decided to poop in the middle of the sidewalk. What kind of silly dog does that??? I quickly looked around, locked their leashes, then fumbled around with the doo doo bags. 
And grabbed the camera. 
Priorities, people!
Okay, actually I cleaned up the mess THEN grabbed the camera. But only because I couldn't get the doo doo baggie open with one hand, so I had to improvise with my leash holding. When I realized how silly I must have looked, I just had to take a picture.

As I was bent over to clean up her mess, a lovely little couple came walking up the sidewalk behind me while I had my back end sticking up in the air. Um yeah, I got some strange looks from them.
What do you even say? Lu doesn't like the pokey grass, can you blame her? 
Oscar was embarrassed.

"Are we almost done yet?"

When we finished our walk, I noticed that the dog park inside our apartment complex was empty (that never happens!) so I took them over there to run free for a while. In typical boy fashion, Oscar found a nasty stinky mud puddle to play in, so when we went home he was carried straight upstairs and put in the tub.

Call me a crazy dog lady if you want, but I do love my babies!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Superpower: Supporter

Have you ever taken a personality analysis? I've taken a few over the last several years, and I've always been so surprised how accurate they sometimes are!

Last night Matt was telling me that he found a free personality analysis online through Crown Ministries. He started reading his "results" to me and we totally cracked up. Let's just say they NAILED it! His personality type is "Driver" according to this specific test. In a nutshell: he's a leader, easily makes decisions and sticks with them, and can be assertive. If you're familiar with the animal personality traits, he is almost 100% Lion with a little bit Golden Retriever.

Naturally, it made me curious to see what the same test would say about me. I love it when we both take the same analysis because it shows us areas where we are similar and different, and opens discussion about how we can communicate with each other more effectively. We are SO different from each other in so many ways (you know what they say...."opposites attract"!)

I took the test this morning, and here's what it had to say about me:

Sandra - your profile type is Supporter

General Description
As a Supporter, you naturally thrive when given the opportunity to help, encourage, or cooperate with others. You make loyal friends and employees and gain fulfillment by helping make others successful.

Typical Areas of Strength
Supporters, like you, typically are excellent team players, at home or at work, due to your desire to cooperate, help others, listen, be patient, loyal, steady, and support the efforts of those in charge.

Typical Areas of Struggle
You may sometimes undermine your effectiveness by compromising too much, vacillating on important decisions, being too passive, resisting change, or compromising quality to protect the feelings of others.

Your Preferred Activities
Because you work at a steady pace, you demonstrate an excellent ability to follow through on projects. You cooperate well with others in order to complete activities.

Your Communication Style
You communicate best by using your superior relational and listening skills to convey care and compassion to people in need

It also produces a graph of your personality traits. Not surprising at all to see that when you put Matt's chart and mine together, they are almost completely opposite of each other! My animal personality trait is mostly Golden Retriever with a little bit Beaver and a little bit Otter.

So interesting, right? I love that Matt and I are so different, because it gives us an opportunity to truly be "one" together. To rely on each other's strengths, which are typically our own greatest weakness.

If you're interested, take the assessment for yourself by clicking here!


Monday, January 30, 2012

New Look!

Well....I'm just about finished with my re-design so I guess time to ask, "What do you think of the new look?" Yes, it's extremely simple and kind of plain, but it fits me better that way! : )

Also, check out the new tabs across the top!


Monday, January 23, 2012

***Caution: Construction Ahead***

I have severe ADD when it comes to the layout/design of my blog. For a long time, I've been wanting to take the time to completely design and customize the look and feel of this, so it is completely "me." Know what I mean?

Well I'm happy to say, the time has come!

Therefore, if you check in at some point during the next few days (or week...who's counting?) and things look a little "off" please take heart I will get it fixed! :)

See you on the other side, hopefully with a new fresh look!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Recent Events

It's finally Friday again!! Does anyone else feel completely different on Friday than any other day of the week? Since there's a party going on in my brain and I'm having a hard time organizing my thoughts, I'm just going to give you a random run-down of recent events (in no particular order) for your reading pleasure.

Humor me, okay?

1. We joined Gateway Church last Saturday! I was excited, but had NO idea the sense of "belonging" we were missing out on without being an official part of a church. So thankful to be part of the body!

2. I'm headed to The Fabric Yard with Kari tomorrow, to look for fabric to re-cover my kitchen chair cushions. Just being in that store makes you feel all crafty. Love it!

3. We recently got a new kitchen table! It has a glass top with iron legs and iron chairs with a cushion. Right now the cusions are white, but I'm thinking re-covering in a bright pattern would be a fun way to brighten up our white kitchen. (Um, told you this was in no particular order. Please see No. 2 above...)

4. TOMS are the best shoes ever. Period.

5. FPU has started up again. If you haven't heard of the class or aren't sure if it's for you or not, I promise you that it is! Whether or not you have debt, this class is life changing and I can't express that enough! We are hoping that we can continue to be involved in this great ministry, and are looking forward to being small group mentors in the fall!

6. I think God is going to do something amazing in 2012. I can just feel it, can't you?

7. Please see Number 4 above.

8. I was able to go to the women's event at church last night. Big bold step for me, because I didn't know what to expect. Thankfully I was able to meet a friend from our last FPU small group, so there was a friendly (and familiar) face expecting me. It was an amazing night and I am SO glad I went!

9. It's Friday!!!!!

10. We paid off our first debt last week. You would have thought we won the lottery, we were THAT excited. So excited, in fact, we took a picture of the check before we mailed it! (now.....what do you do with a picture of a check???)