my new love

I have a new lady in my life. Sweet Lady Spray Paint.

I can't stop spray painting things. I even dream about it.

Look at the update I gave my sweet and ugly gold owl... now she's perched proudly in the living room.

What do YOU guys like to spray paint??


birthday party ideas!

Psssst... looking for some great ideas for kids' parties that aren't the same old thing they do at every party?? I am always looking for great kid craft ideas, and I had never thought of doing a craft at a party - brilliant.

Enjoy the great ideas courtesy of Melissa with the Blog Content Guild.

Most Fun Arts and Crafts Activities for Kids’ Birthday Parties

My eight-year-old daughter and her friends absolutely love arts and crafts. Most of them are Girl Scouts, so they spend a lot of time making cool things at their meetings and they’re always in the mood to do more.

For my daughter’s birthday party this year, I got some Super Mario Bros party supplies (because Super Mario 3D Land is her favorite game), and I planned out some arts and crafts activities for the kids to do at the party. The party ended up being a whole lot of fun.

I highly recommend that other parents incorporate arts and crafts into birthday parties they host for their kids. It definitely keeps all the kids occupied and engaged. Here are some arts and crafts projects that kids love for your child’s next birthday party:

1. Friendship Bracelets – Young girls in particular love to make friendship bracelets for each other, but boys enjoy this activity too. Friendship bracelets are not only fun to make. They also strengthen the relationships of the children at the party. Making friendship bracelets is a great way for kids to bond and feel appreciated in each other’s lives. All you need is some colorful embroidery thread to make friendship bracelets. There are several methods of making them. You might have to search around online to find one that is an appropriate difficulty level for the age group.

2. Cards – All you need is some construction paper and markers for kids to make cards at your party. This is the perfect activity for very young children. If a holiday is coming up, they can make holiday cards. The children could also make a card for their parents or the birthday girl or birthday boy.

3. Finger-paintings – Kids love to finger-paint! It helps them release creative energy, use their hands, and get a little messy. Finger-painting is ideal for kids who are around the ages of 4 to 7. If the children at the party are a little older, they might like to paint with watercolors. It will make them feel more grown up, and they’ll have as much fun as younger kids do with finger-paints!

4. Seasonal Projects – Depending on what time of year it is, you might want to work on some seasonal arts and crafts projects with the kids. For instance, my daughter’s birthday falls around Halloween, so we carved pumpkins one year at her party. If your child’s birthday is near Christmas, you might want to make ornaments with the kids. Or you could dye eggs in the Spring.

So, get creative for your child’s next birthday party and keep the kids engaged with some arts
and crafts projects they’ll love!

Thanks for the great ideas, Melissa!



pinterest project

I will be doing many, many more of these!! Found on Pinterest. You can find the source here.

- Buy a piece of wood (I found mine at JoAnn for about $2)
- Paint
- Sand the edges a bit to distress
- Mod Podge a picture to the front

I may put some hardware on the back to hang, but that sounds like work, so maybe not...

BAM! Instant awesome.

getting christmasey and crafty

I love crafts. That's all there is to it. Here's what I've been doing around the house lately when I'm not making jewelry, chasing Carsten or getting sassed by Taylor.

Mustache Ornament:
Easy-peasy! I drew half of a mustache on a cereal box, folded it and cut it out to make my mustache. I put mod podge on the top and threw glitter on it. Put some yarn on the back to hang it with and BAM, there's a glittery stache on my tree.

Yarn-Wrapped R & Yarn-Wrapped Jars:
I keep seeing things on Pinterest (my newest obsession) that are wrapped in yarn. I own yarn. I do not crochet or knit. Yet I have yarn. I must have known that I'd want to wrap everything in the house with yarn...

smarty pants!

I was making ornaments with my youngest this morning and when it was time to put them in the oven, I was wondering how I'd make the holes for the string. And then BAM! I found a piece of garbage on my kitchen floor. (I swear I'm not a slob!). But the piece of garbage was a straw...

... As it turns out, straws are PERFECT for making the holes in the dough before they go into the oven. YAY for smarty pants moments, right!?


I can read!

I didn't think the day would come that I could actually sit down and read. You know. Read a book. Not just the back of the cereal box, or the shampoo bottle, or the facebooks... but an actual book.

I never had tons of free time being a mom to one, and when number two came along (the child, not the poo), I lost even more spare minutes in my day. But guess what... I've read 4 books in less than one month. That is amazing, folks.

Want to see what I read? I highly recommend them.

1. Sweet Misfortune, by Alan Milne (my FAVORITE book!)

2. Fruit of the Lemon, by Andrea Levy

3. Mermaids in the Basement, by Michael Lee West

4. Fishbowl, by Sarah Mlynowski

Over and out, and nighty night.


Beyond Bedding

If you know me well enough, you know that I don't like decorating the boys' rooms with baby-ish themes. I like to pick a color palette and then accessorize in those colors, with a few fun items or decor pieces thrown in that coordinate. I don't like things to be all matchy-matchy, but I don't like it too wild, either.

Recently Carsten got new bedding from Beyond Bedding - in green and brown Hotel Modern (pictured) - and I love it because it's a great staple or foundation. It doesn't have clowns or anything scary, and it doesn't look too fancy, yet looks pulled together. It's a fine line between over-done and not decorated enough, isn't it?!

Beyond Bedding is a great site to find all sorts of bedding from cribs, toddler beds to teens and even have decorations and accessories, too. I don't have a daughter, but if I did, you know I'd be pretty darn tempted to get all wild with the zebra

Like something a little more traditional, but still cute?? Dinosaurs, butterflies and ladybugs are just as fun, among so many other fun choices. Go check out Beyond Bedding and tell me which your favorite is!



my morning

1. Carsten found a bowl of Greek yogurt where he could reach it.
2. Carsten proceeds to condition his skin with said Greek yogurt - to get ready for swimsuit season.
3. Once undressed and while I am cleaning the floor, Carsten comes over and pees on my back.
4. He runs away laughing.

Feels like a Monday.


Preschool Graduate

These boys, these boys!

Tuesday night was Tay's preschool graduation and spring program - and it was awesome! The kids have grown so much over the past two years and it feels so surreal that tomorrow is his last day at preschool.


time is flying

Tomorrow is Taylor's preschool spring program and GRADUATION! How the heck did this happen?! Sorry I've been slacking on the blog, but I'm hoping to be back soon!!


wise words wednesday

Absolutely true. But I need to remind myself of this daily.

What words inspire you today??


effin' Jillian Michaels

I did my second day of Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred and you know what? It was easier than yesterday, however, I am so sore that I want to go to a small, dark corner and die.

When does it hurt, you ask?

- It hurts to lift my hands up to wash my hair
- It hurts to walk up and down the stupid stairs
- It hurts to dry off after a shower - and makes me just want to roll around on the bed so the sheets can absorb the water
- It hurts to bend over and pick up Carsten
- It hurts to roll over in bed
- It hurts the most knowing that I have to put that effin' DVD in the player tomorrow and have 25 more minutes of hell

I know this will be worth it. I'll be a MILF in no time flat.


running diaries: waiting to start... still

I haven't forgotten. I pinky swear. I'm going to start running, just give me a semi-dry day. I really mean it.

Any tips for a beginner?

Also, I just purchased Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred DVD, and I'm starting today when Carsten goes down to nap. Pray for my survival. I wonder how many times I'm going to drop the F-Bomb.



I'm challenging myself to do more DIY projects for myself, for others and for my home. I need something to blog about besides sore nipples, boogers and Lemon Kissed.

So the other day I stumbled upon this amazing blog,
Ruffled. Maybe I'm the last person in the world to learn about Ruffled, but then again, maybe not. I feel the need to share. It's a beautiful blog that is all about weddings, and while I'm already married, there's still so many DIY projects that I have found that I want to work on. The pictures are all so beautiful, and it seems to be a great source of inspiration for all things creative, not just for weddings.

I think I'm going to start on this DIY Moss Frame first. (The picture credit belongs to Ruffled). I will share my version when I complete it, and then of course I'll share my sub-par pictures of my own moss frame. Excited? I am. I've never been so excited to purchase a bag of dried sheet moss.

Have any fun DIY projects that you think I should try next? Send them my way, please.

Smooches + happy Sunday evening,


keyboard confessions: volume 6

Keyboard Confessions is not my idea, but I'm going to use it anyway, because I think the best way to compliment someone is by stealing their idea. Or just borrowing it and giving them a shout-out and some credit. You may also find awesome Keyboard Confessions from Kearsie of Sounds Like Tomatoes and from Amber of What The French, Toast.

1. It's been so long since I've done a keyboard confession, (like 6 months), I'm really sorry, kind of.

2. I'm trying to be a better blogger. Probably because I want to be the best at everything I do. Or just really good. Yeah, I'd settle for really good.

3. I failed at learning how to crochet before I turned 28. I don't like failing. Maybe that's why I don't even want to try to learn to crochet - I'm kind of terrified of being terrible at something.

4. It's Friday and that makes me really happy. My littlest is sick and has a fever, so I got an early start to my day - snuggling him at 4:45 this morning, but I didn't mind. I will take the snuggles. I just hate feeling him so warm.

5. I am scared that I'm running out of things to confess. OR that I will confess too many things that will scare all of you away.

6. I can't stop buying t-shirts from Woot and from TeeFury. In fact, I just bought today's Woot shirt. Sometimes I buy them for me, but usually for Trask, because that way I feel less guilty. Wait, there's nothing to feel guilty about, because that's all I ever want to wear: t-shirts and jeans. I just stumbled across a site that has $6 t-shirts, too, but I'm being too lazy to look for that one. I'm sure you can just google it.

7. Speaking of jeans - my sweet cousin just gave me 4 pair of hand-me-down jeans and I am in HEAVEN. I've lost about 22 pounds since December, and the jean choices that I have were dwindling. She swooped in and saved the day, and it helps that she's my height, too, so I don't have to walk around in jeans that cover my feet by 6 inches.

8. What do you guys want to hear me confess? I'm pretty much an open book... you tell me what you want to hear.

9. I mean that.

10. I have nothing else. I feel like I failed you all. I better go figure out some things to confess, because if I'm not making all of you feel uncomfortable, then what is the point of reading my blog?


Carsten is one.

Well, it's official. I have a toddler in the house. Carsten turned one a few weeks ago and I've been so consumed with other things that I have neglected this blog, once again. I feel like that is permissible, because I'd rather neglect my blog instead of forgetting to take care of the kids. But in a perfect world, I'd be able to juggle all of it - blogging, Lemon Kissed, Lemon Shack Vintage, keeping in touch with loved ones and making sure my husband and kids are insanely happy. I think I need more arms. Or a real hot assistant.

So, Carsten is one. He started walking at 11 months. He started running last week. He started screaming whilst running only yesterday, with his hands in the air for added dramatic effect. He is talking a lot. He loves to call his brother "bo bo", much to Taylor's disappointment in that. He has a hankering for mischief AT ALL TIMES. He is so dang cute, and the problem with that is: he knows he's cute. I need to take him down a notch or two. He so lovingly likes to pull up our shirts to pinch us, all while smiling and trying to tell us that this time he's not going to pinch. Yeah right. If he's grumpy or in melt-down mode, all I have to do is get out the camera. He pauses, composes himself and then smiles for the camera, as he runs his fingers through his wild locks of hair. (I'm really not kidding).

So, my life has been insanely full and happy. That's not to say that I sit here on a cloud of bliss, wearing size 2 pants and shitting show ponies... it's just that I'm learning to love everything that life gives me at that exact moment, and you know what? It makes me a better, happier person, on the days that I can actually remember that whole mantra.

Onward and upward. I can't wait to blog more. And just so you know, I'm considering giving up exclamation points up for Lent. We'll see how it goes, I'm doing a test-run now to see if it's even do-able. Kind of like your mom. Yes, that do-able.

Missed you guys and I know you missed me.



Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Fundraiser

Now through the end of April, every time you purchase a purple piece of jewelry from Lemon Kissed, more than one person is benefiting. Not only is purple a great color, but it's going to help raise money to save lives.

Lemon Kissed is donating 50% of all proceeds from purple jewelry sales to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). The money is going towards the fundraising goals of 2 dear friends (who also happen to be the most wonderful and caring couple we know!) who are running in the Eugene Marathon in May to help raise money for the LLS.

If you'd like to donate directly to the cause, you can find my friends' fundraising pages here and here. Thank you, Skye and Joe, for being heroes and for letting Lemon Kissed help in any way that we can.

I will continually be adding more purple pieces to the shop - so check back whenever you get the chance! I have dedicated a special section in the shop to all the pieces that help fundraise for this cause: Charity Benefit.

Thank you for your help, compassion and kindness. I know that together we can make a difference.

{Lemon Kissed}



I've been M.I.A lately... sorry, but it's just that the littlest is going to be ONE in 3 short days and that has been consuming each and every moment of my day! He's sick, he's getting like 12 teeth and all he wants to do is nurse or yell at me. My nipples are sore and my ears hurt :)

I look forward to blogging more soon! Stay tuned for my blog post for Carsten. In the meantime, if you wanted a refresher on his birth story, you can check it out here!


puddle jumping

On Monday night we took Taylor out to a nearby trail and wetland to go puddle jumping, and I thought since I was letting Taylor do something fun, he'd let me take a few pictures of him. He was so happy to puddle jump that he didn't even mind pausing for a few pictures. We had a blast. It wasn't too cold, and it wasn't raining, which for January in Oregon means that it was a nice day out.

I'm feeling pretty darn lucky to be able to call these boys mine.

Happy weekend to all of you!!


be still, my heart...

What the what?! I am speechless. I am without words. All I want to do is eat this... someone make this happen for me. Has anyone tried this yet?! I may have to order this and VLOG it. Yes, that's right, VLOG it (video-blog, yo!), because I know you'd want to watch video footage of me eating...


decorating help!

Okay you guys, I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do with my honking huge mantle in the living room. I don't want things to look crowded. Is it too late for that!? I don't like themes. I just know what I like and what I don't like. And I'm just going for relaxed.

Also, I'm going to be incorporating a small deer antler on the mantle, and it's old, so it's almost white-ish. Did you want to know that?! I saw a fake one at Kohl's and I loved it. So my mom went and found me one at an antique store for $15. Is this weird? I have a vision. Trust me. Is anyone understanding me?!

So, I just wanted to see if you all had any ideas for up there. It's about 2 feet deep (that's what she said...), and there's no electrical outlets up there, because that would be too convenient. So, are you up for the challenge of helping me decorate?? Oh, and it has to be budget friendly! (Dumb, huh?! I think so, too!).

Ahem, Kristi, I'm so addressing this blog post to YOU!


a little update...

... because you are totally curious about what I've been doing - since I haven't been blogging (for months!), and all. Well, grab a cold one and maybe a blankie, then sit back and relax while I lull you into a nice, deep sleep with the tales of me and hot-shot lifestyle.

First, for all of you who have been trying to peep into my windows, or who have been trying to stalk me in the still of the night, or during the harsh light of the day - you won't find me. I'm not hiding from you, so sit tight and I'll tell you where you can find me now. So, we moved. We couldn't handle the apartment any longer - and we moved.

The whole process of finding the rental house (thanks for the link, Julie!), to moving in was under 3 weeks. And it was SMACK-DAB in the middle of December. If you know me well enough by now, you know that change isn't always easy for me. Change is especially not easy for me if I haven't had proper time to plan and worry and get really anxious and scared. This rapid-move was great for me, in a lot of ways. I had NO time to worry, because I had an apartment to pack up and the holidays to prepare for.
We are now in a lovely little home, still outside of Portland, in the Beaverton-Hillsboro area, and I'm loving it. I'm slowly getting used to having a 2-story home, as are my thighs. I'm discovering that whatever floor I'm on - my phone isn't. We went from having 950 square feet of apartment to having 1700 square feet of house. All the extra space is awesome, and things don't feel so crapped or tense. I'm slowly trying to get the decorating just right, but I'm a perpetual decorator, so it's never actually DONE. Trask will never understand this, but I don't expect him to, I suppose.

In other news, the boys are great! Taylor is loving school, but just wants to skip ahead to kindergarten. We register him for kindergarten in a few months. I'm excited that he is so excited! I like watching him grow and get more brilliant every day. Now if only he'd stop saying "butt crack" all the time. He's proving to be the perfect big brother - with just the right amount of love, with the perfect dose of torture and teasing. Carsten loves it all, the hugs, kisses, pinches and shoves. And, well, to be honest, Carsten is usually the one who starts all of it.

Carsten is as sassy as a kid can get. He is always up to something, and I think that's what I love most about him. He's sneaky and a little intense, but I like a good challenge. Now it's not that he can't be sweet, because he can, but Taylor is our definite sweetheart. Carsten is more of a spit-fire. I wonder how birth order comes to play in all of this. Carsten is now 10-1/2 months old and has two bottom teeth, and is closer to walking each day. He's mastered 3 steps solo, a few times, and I'm sure in a few weeks he'll have it all mastered.

Well... I just got hungry and I'm going to go grab a snack and try to hide it from the boys so I don't have to share. To lure you back here again (or to make you never want to come back), soon I'll be blogging about a trauma wound from nursing a boy with two bottom teeth.

Peace out and smoochies!


a haunting.

Around the middle of October, Trask and I found this trunk, just sitting next to the dumpster, waiting for garbage pick up the next day. I get very excited when I find things - pennies, sales, a new use for something old, a new blog... whatever it is, if it is something that I've discovered, I get really excited. This is usually accompanied by clapping or fist-pumping, along with squealing. I'm just enthusiastic like that. And believe me, it doesn't irritate Trask one bit. Never. Ahem...
It was a sunny but chilly October afternoon, around 4 pm, when we drove past the trunk, on our way to park the car in front of our apartment. I caught a glimpse of this beauty next to the dumpster. And if you know me, you know that I adore trunks. I could fill a whole house with trunks. I love their aged look, their beauty, and I love that I can store (or hide) crap inside them, making me appear neat and tidy. I also adore free things. I immediately told Trask to stop the car RIGHT NOW and get out and get that trunk. I was feeling anxious and rushed. I didn't want an unlikely neighbor to swoop in and snatch it in the 15 seconds it was going to take Trask to walk to the dumpster area to retrieve this beauty made of wood. It had to be ours.
Eventually, after Trask telling me to calm down and go upstairs with the kids, he came up with the trunk. It was beautiful! The canvas on the sides was in great shape, and you could tell it was old, but it wasn't battered, especially for its age. It smelled musty, but it wasn't moldy or damaged. The hardware was in perfect condition and I had plans for this beauty.
We opened the trunk and found that it was full of things. It was like finding a treasure chest or a time capsule. There were newspapers in there dating 1909 and 1926, from St. Louis and from Winter Springs, California. There was a beautiful hand mirror, a few old pieces of clothing that looked handmade. little keepsakes, handkerchiefs, hat pins, a doll made out of a wooden clothespin and crepe paper, and papers with the name Rachel Sager on them. There was an obituary about the death of Rachel's mother. We did some research online and found out a bit about Rachel (she worked for the newspaper in Winter Springs) and about her family. We have NO idea how the trunk ended up in Hillsboro, Oregon.
This was AMAZING. I was so curious as to why it was going to be thrown out. And which one of my neighbors would have this trunk, and just cast it aside? And didn't that dumb-ass know that trunks are worth a lot of money?! For a moment it was quiet, and Trask said it was probably haunted. We laughed nervously, or at least I was nervous, but then again, I am always nervous. I suggested that maybe someone inherited it and they kept what they wanted and just tossed the rest, I didn't want to think about ghosts.
Let's stop for a moment here and talk about my passion for the show Ghost Hunters on the Sy Fy channel. I've blogged about my love of ghosts and this show before, here. Go read it real quick and come back... And now that you're back, you know that I love ghost stories and I find them thrilling. YET, it's good for you all to know that I am a huge scaredy cat, as well.
Well, strange things started happening once the trunk came into our home.
At first, it wasn't anything too out of the ordinary, just weird. A few different times when I was up at night walking into the bathroom, while the hall was pitch black, I swore I saw a tiny flash or beam of light, moving all sorts of directions, not just straight, out of the corner of my eye. I would rush in to the bathroom and rush back to bed. It scared me a bit, but I have an active imagination. Some say I'm delusional.
On one strange occasion I was telling Trask goodnight and I laid my head on my pillow, and hadn't closed my eyes when I saw a flash of light down on the floor by his side of the bed, by his head. I told him his phone was ringing (on silent) and was lighting up. He picked up the phone and looked, he hadn't missed a call, there was no message, and besides, it was facing DOWN on the carpet, not up, so I wouldn't have been able to see a flash. THAT scared me. The same night I woke up in the middle of the night and saw that down the hall, Taylor's light was on in his room. His light is a pull-string light, attached to his ceiling fan. I turned it back off and went to sleep. The next day we tried re-creating a situation where the light would come back on (like pulling the string halfway and seeing if it turned on or off, etc., but we found nothing).
We also had Carsten's sound machine turn off at different times of the night, without an alarm being set, and with no malfunctions of any kind. It would just turn off. We'd realize this when I'd get up to feed Carsten and there was no sound coming from the machine. There was also one night that scared the piss out of Trask and I where Carsten's sound machine alarm went off (it was never set!), and not only was it going off, but the volume was going up and down, up and down, until Trask got up and turned the whole thing off. (THIS gives me goosebumps and chills still as I type this).
Another day (mind you, this is all in the time span of 3 weeks) the boys and I were at home and I had an eerie feeling like someone was there. Of course, we saw no one, but I couldn't shake the feeling that something was off. At this time, our security alarm system by our front door (the one that we have NEVER used, turned on, etc.) started beeping. It was quiet, and I didn't know where the beeps were coming from at first. After looking everywhere for a broken toy and not seeing anything, I saw the alarm panel. It was beeping. And the word "trouble" was lit up on the box. No button that I pushed could make it stop. For 5 minutes it did this. I called the maintenance office for the apartments and didn't get an answer, but later found out that this doesn't happen if it needs new batteries or anything, it would just keep beeping or show the "service" light if that were the case. I was hoping it was from needing service, but this was inexplicable, and stopped after that time, and didn't happen again. I was frightened, but not that worried.
At this point Trask and I are both kind of scared. It bothered us that whatever it was went into Taylor's room, and was messing with Carsten's sound machine. If it was just us, maybe it would have been okay. BUT, this is where it gets strange. I was in the kitchen and Taylor was on the couch. Carsten was on the floor by my feet, as always. I heard something down the hall, like something shifting in my bedroom closet. I thought it was just Tay playing in there until I saw that he was in the living room. At the time I was looking at him, he looked at me and said that he saw a man in a white shirt walking down the hall and into my room. This scared the crap out of me. He told me he was tall. I called Trask at work and got brave and walked down the hall to my room. Nothing was there. Nothing in my closet had shifted or had fallen over. What happened to make that noise, I have no clue. No matter how many times I asked Taylor about the man, the story never changed. This was not a Taylor-fib.
So, it was decided that we wanted to get rid of this beautiful trunk. We had sent in pictures of it to a few trunk experts to get the date and some information on it, and found out it was from the late 1800's and was a nice, expensive trunk. We didn't feel right just throwing it out, especially because it had Rachel's belongings in it, and they must have been treasures to her. We decided to ask if anyone wanted it, and disclosed it was haunted.
Trask's boss ended up taking it to her home. The day Trask was going to take it to his boss, I was loading the washing machine and felt someone behind me - a presence. I knew no one was in the room with me, that I could see with my naked eye. All of a sudden the musty, old smell from the trunk filled the laundry room. I didn't have any of the items from the trunk in there, so I knew it was the ghost. I told it that it was going to go with the trunk somewhere else, and when I turned around (scared as could be), the smell and the weird feeling was gone. Trask took the trunk that morning.
The trunk is now at Trask's boss's home. And guess what happened at her home... She had it in the living room and she fell asleep on the couch. She woke up because she felt something pull her hair, hard enough to wake her up. She looked around and saw nothing. She pulled her hair back a bit, in case it got snagged on the couch or something like that, and went back to sleep. She was awoken two other times, from a deep sleep, by the ghost pulling her hair. She finally sat up and looked at the trunk and said "quit it!", and it hasn't bothered her since, that we've heard. She told us she had the feeling that it was a child.
As soon as the trunk was out of our home, the weird instances and feelings stopped. The sound machine hasn't turned off, nor has the alarm sounded. Taylor hasn't spoken of the man in the white shirt. The smell hasn't reappeared. Taylor's light never did that, and I didn't see lights down the hall while it was dark. I'm not sure if others would call this a haunting or not, but I believe it was. I don't think it was harmful at all, but most likely just wanted us to know it was there. I'm so happy it found a new home though, because I'd rather watch Ghost Hunters on TV than experience it in my own home, although I wish Steve and Tango would come hang out with me in the dark...