It’s time to plan ahead and book your family pictures for later this fall NOW. Whitney Gossling Photography is donating $100 for each session booked in the month of September to the Amanda Riley Foundation. Go gold!
It’s 7:30am and I’m sitting at my kitchen table eating a slice of cheese pizza leftover from last night (Make A Wish Foundation built my nephew, Grant, an incredible playground in his back yard and last night was a little party / reveal for it – post on that later). Usually I come home from seminary and crawl back in bed in hopes of getting at least 30-45 minutes rest before Jude wakes up. But, this pizza is now inspiring me to blog. I have so many pictures, I ought to do something with them.
So spring is finally here! I have been very ready for it for a while. Our days are finally warming up and green is popping up everywhere. That has me pretty excited because last summer we had some perennials and bushes planted and, after a brown and dead winter, I am starting to see the green shoots come back up! I really shouldn’t take the credit because my mom and dad basically did all the work when they visited after Jude’s birth. My contribution was going to Grower’s Outlet and picking out what plants we wanted. Though this spring/summer since I’m not pregnant or recently out of surgery – I should be able to handle it.
This weather already inspired another trip to Grower’s Outlet and lots of weeding. Little Jude gets to spend that time with me outside, though he’s been a trooper about it. I often sit him in the grass with some of his hot wheels or hang his jumper in the doorway of the breezeway. He loves it!
James and I have been planning out our vegetable garden too. I am bound and determined to make it successful this year. The last two summers we have been in the middle of moves and it never happened. This year is our year! We are starting completely from scratch and it’s going to be a lot of work. There aren’t many flat areas around our house and, of course, there is no spot that is not 100% packed red Georgia clay. The abundance of deer and other critters also add the need for fencing or other protection. Luckily, my husband is awesome and enjoys working with his hands and figuring out projects. I am always amazed at the things he does. I’m the type of person that would jerry-rig something for a quick solution or “make do.” James is not. He’s all about exactness, measurements, efficiency, and quality. For example, if I’m going to hang something on the wall – I stand back and kind of eyeball where I want it and then hammer that nail in. Sometimes I end up making a couple holes before I get it where I want it. That drives James nuts. He would go get his measuring tape, this contraption that shoots a laser onto the wall for leveling, and a fancier wall mount for hanging pictures. It seems like too much work to me. Whatever though! He does everything well and likes doing it (or so it seems). So, I have no doubt that our raised beds will be top notch by the time he’s done. I can handle the planting and upkeep. He likes building, I like gardening – it works out well.
Just this week he decided to build a wall for a flower bed in our backyard where the slope makes everything muddy. He finished last night. I need to take a picture of the final deal once I plant all my pretty plants in it : ).
We love where we live, but it definitely was a “fixer upper” and we have had our work cut out for us. It’s ok though because looking back at what this place once was and comparing it to what it will be makes me excited. What a fulfilling feeling.
(We dog sat this last week for our friends, Matt & Laura. Though I had to laugh at the fact that pampered Duke did not like playing outside as much as we did. I blame Laura entirely lol!)
Jude had his first “play date” this last week. My friend, Ryan Phipps, moved to Georgia for the summer & her little babe is only a week younger than Jude. It was cute watching them. It was Jude’s first time really interacting with another person his size and age.
He is starting to get better with balance and can even stand on his own for about 3 seconds. I know that seems like nothing, but he’s a quick learner!
I’m very obsessed with watching James and Jude together. Once Jude is bigger it will only get better! I imagine he will follow James around all the time. They love each other and that melts my heart.
Here is one from last night… of this special little family of mine that I love so much … haha : )…
And so that I’m in at least one picture. Thank you, Summer! – Who came and hung out with us for an afternoon this week. …
The month of February sped by for us. Little Jude turns seven months old today, and he has quite the personality! He sits up like a champ and likes standing up in our laps. I swear this little dude is going to skip crawling and go straight to walking. Though I’m hoping we can hold off on that for a while. This stage of sitting content surrounded by toys on the floor without being mobile is very ideal. Though he drools constantly, we’ve yet to see any teeth coming in. And he is at that stage where everything he handles goes straight to his mouth. He loves to eat all that we give him (other than peas – he gags when fed pureed peas), and his rolling thighs and many chins prove it.
Jude continues to be such a “chill” baby. He jabbers and smiles all day long. Fussiness really only happens if he’s hungry or tired. And boy does this little guy fight sleep! He likes his exersaucer and doorway jumper and absolutely loves being outside. James often will take him out there when he’s checking on the animals. Jude gets very excited when around animals, especially when he sees Kitty – he starts squawking and waving his arms around. When he gets the giggles, Jude stuffs his fists into his mouth. We think it’s because he likes the feel of the sound on his hands. Recently, he discovered smacking his lips and does it all the time. It’s really cute!
Ohmygoodness! I am a little obsessed with this giggle fit he had last week…
We have finally (this last week) decided to let Jude cry it out at night. He’s always gone to bed well, but has been waking up about two times at night – expecting a bottle once usually. It’s time we stopped that though, and did so cold turkey. It’s been so nice sleeping through the night since! Honestly, I’m not even really sure if he’s waking up and crying at night because early morning seminary makes me so tired. Regardless, I am loving the non-interrupted sleep.
Our winter weather has been super wack this year. Kind of like last year. Though we had a gorgeous foggy morning recently followed by a warm sunny day. Even though it’s super early, I really enjoy getting home around 7am and being up to see the mornings unfold. It’s usually the best time to take pictures anyhow. And then, go figure, there was snow when we got out of seminary today. Whatever to this weather!
. . . . .
James and I celebrated our third Valentine’s Day together this year. We take turns “being in charge of” Valentine’s Day and our Anniversary. This year it was his turn for V-Day (I get our anniversary), which is super awesome because I didn’t have to do a thing! Literally – not a thing is expected on my part. It’s a wonderful tradition.
James planned a great date for us. We started out the evening with a 90 minute couples massage in Athens at Urban Sanctuary Spa. It was fancy and relaxing and a little taste of heaven. Afterwards, we had dinner reservations at 5&10 – a classy white tablecloth dining experience in Athens. James and I were in heaven sampling a handful of dishes from their menu. We decided it was Southern food with a fancy French twists. Their Grapefruit Pudding Cake was to die for. But then again, so was their crisp, melt-in-your-mouth Carolina Trout and Pickled Shrimp and their Sorghum Glazed Pork Belly (that literally melted in my mouth). Ooooh…I’m making myself so hungry thinking about it right now. We would definitely go back! Great choices, James. He always plans the best dates, so it wasn’t much of a surprise.
. . . . .
Hopefully spring comes soon. I’m looking forward to leafy trees and getting our garden going. Fingers crossed that this year we will finally be successful – no move or pregnancy in the mix should make it much more doable.
I have not been a very good “journaler” (is that a word?) since a baby came into our life. Which, I will have a post coming soon dedicated specifically to our little dude. We love him so! Though sweet Jude is already 4months old. Time flies! And I have months of events to catch up on. I assume I will start with the most recent before it becomes old news.
This last Friday was my James’ birthday. He turned a quarter-of-a-century!
I wanted to make it a special day for him because he has been super busy the last few months. He has made me one lucky and blessed wife being a husband as hard working as he is. …Going to school full time, working full time, and trying to start up a business on the side. Not to mention the time it takes being a parent now. Oh, and there are ALWAYS projects around here- with the animals, the land, or the house. He puts in many late hours on all of the above. How he functions on such little sleep blows my mind. Physically, I cannot do what he does. I would be a mess with his schedule – which is one reason I feel so lucky. James is amazing.
I was sure to have some of James’ favorites to eat: filet mignon (any excuse to eat good – I’m all for!), shrimp cocktail, smoked gouda & brie with crackers (we are both obsessed with “cheese platters”) were some of the specialties I had. Usually James is easy and loves his favorite chocolate pudding pie for his birthday. This year, I decided to be fancy and make my first cake from scratch. I opted for a layered caramel cake. It started off great….but when it came to layering and frosting that bad boy… I am not shamed to admit that it may have been a bit of a disaster and took much longer than I thought. Regardless, it came out good. We just have a lot of cake leftover now because neither of us are big “cake” people. Turns out homemade caramel frosting is SUPPPERRR rich too.
Thankfully, our rad neighbors were up for coming over to help celebrate and eat cake! Having family next-door is a wonderful thing. The kids helped me “craft” some birthday decorations and cards earlier in the week as well. What a blessing that they have all been home together for the last couple weeks with a spunky little Grant & were able to come over. James and I also enjoyed getting to babysit them one night last week. Family time is so precious. June & Grant were back in the hospital the very next day – so it’s the little tender mercies of timing that are such blessings.
I’ve already blabbed about him some, but I just feel so mushy gushy about James! He has been the sweetest husband to me – SO thoughtful and always full of surprises. Even though he may not think so, he is very patient with me because let’s be real – I can be a little cray-cray and emotional sometimes. But just SOMEtimes 😉
Now that I’ve seen James as a dad – It has been reconfirmed that he is the best thing that has ever happened to me (with a very close second being our sweet baby boy). My heart melts when I watch my two boys together. Of course, now some adorable pictures are to follow…
….I have WAAAY too many daddy-son pictures. I’ll keep it at that for now. 🙂
And… just a throw back to the adorable boy I married…
Time is an interesting thing. It never changes, yet this summer I feel like it’s sped up and slowed down both at the same time. Didn’t school just get out and suddenly August is right around the corner?! I’m sure I don’t stand alone when I admit that I have multiple to-do lists from the past months and have yet to accomplish the majority of it as planned or even at all. It can be frustrating. As I am learning over and over again though, life does not stick to your plan. And honestly, what a relief! Looking back, I’m glad that everything in my life has not gone as I had planned because if it had – I would not be where I am right now. And I know I am exactly where I should be right now. When it comes to time and life, there is a plan – but it’s not mine. Today I am feeling especially grateful to know that God, who is the author and creator of life, steps in and adjusts my priorities as He sees fit. He has a plan far greater than any of ours and when it takes over, just wait because you will never be disappointed in the end.
So what am I getting at? I have a lot going on in my head these days. As I sat down to gather my thoughts on the last couple of weeks, it hit me – – has it really been only a month since this “cancer” word came into our lives so personally?? And at the same time – – Wow, it’s only been a month. Back in June I would have thought I’d be complete tunnel vision right now and journaling strictly about pregnancy, my fat ankles & all of my worries about becoming a first time mom in only a couple of weeks. But life happens, and I am glad that this last month’s events have realigned my priorities and perspective to better prepare me for whatever lie ahead in my soon-to-be life as a mother. Unexpected bumps in the road often do that.
We were blessed as a family to be able to have ALL of the Gossling’s together on the 4th of July (See prior 4th of July post). Grant, June and Michael had spent two long weeks in the hospital and finally made it home the night of July 3rd. In just two weeks, Grant had undergone more surgeries and painful tests than any child his age should have to endure. Though answers were found and he was also able to begin the road to recovery and started round one of chemotherapy. Seeing little Grant after that first chemo cycle broke my heart. He was just that – little. He looked drained and tired. It was another eye-opener of the reality of the road ahead when Grant had to be admitted back into the hospital the very next day because of a fever. His blood counts were too low, so the next four days were spent at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
As soon as Grant made it back home, it was decided that a final family picture before his hair fell out was a must. The morning of the photos, Grant’s hair had already started the process. If I touched his head, it would come off on my hand. Our little guy was not in the best of moods for family pictures – which he has every right to be cranky! – but I’m satisfied with the morning’s captures. I prefer photos that speak truth instead of overly forced. There were frowns as well as smiles & it’s good to remember both.
^Little Sydney. Uncle James is always giving kisses (which she secretly LOVES!)^
^…and a Big Sis Grant Cheeser!^
^Stick fights with little James were fun for a while. Grant tries to still monkey around the best he can^
^He even bonked Mommy on the head!^
^When tears come, Spidey and Mommy to the rescue^ (James & I laugh at the picture on the left because it requires a double take)
^Grant really wasn’t thrilled with the picture taking that morning. Thank heavens for dum-dums though! The right shows his efforts at a cheeser for me^
Right after family pictures, Brenda arrived. She has been cutting Grant’s hair for a while, but this time was much more emotional. The reality is that everybody relates cancer with a bald head. At least I do. Seeing little 2 year old Grant already so frail and now lose his hair brought tears to my eyes. For me, it was another humbling moment of “this is really happening.”
^Brenda put on a superhero cape to make him more brave^
I’ve tried to put myself in June and Michael’s shoes. Accepting that your child has cancer is one thing, but with that comes the extended hospital stays, sleepless nights, managing three other children, trying to be there for them & help them understand, keeping up with work and your home, and trying to maintain a state of normalcy and find peace in the situation. It’s no wonder the phrase “One step at a time. One prayer at a time.” has become their motto.
I am grateful to be a part of this journey – To be a part of such a close-knit and faithful family. I feel that little Grant’s illness has brought us even closer together and closer to God… Not only our family, but friends and strangers as well. I am a firm believer that God is our Heavenly Father. We are His children. He knows us and watches over us – – – Though it is usually through other people that he meets our needs and answers our prayers. The support and love shown to June, Michael, Grant & the entire family from people nation wide are a perfect example of this. It is a reminder to me that a huge part of this life is about reaching out, blessing & uplifting those around us.
Uncle James decided to go under the shears for Grant as well. He doesn’t exactly have the prettiest of heads without hair, but that’s ok. Hairless is in his future, and so we first had to do a tribute to Grandpa Goose…
…Like father, like son…
^Here’s our remake of the infamous Geezer Cheeser!^
Only four more of these three week chemo cycles left (trying to stay positive) with round two starting this coming Monday. One step at a time though. After these chemotherapy cycles there’s more chemo and a lengthy & rough stem cell transplant coming. I cannot fathom what it takes for Michael and June to keep their calm when spending so many days and nights in those small hospital rooms. This is a long road, and I admire them for dealing with the situation so well.
The family has been blessed to be able to remain at home since July 9th… so we’re going on a full week now! Grant’s head has lost much more of the few stubbly hairs left. His blood counts have risen and that brings more joy to these days at home. There will be many ups and downs in the future though. Come Monday, the chemo starts again and there will be less smiles from our little Monkey.
Going back to time and plans… Cancer was definitely not in the plan for this summer. Or ever really. Though I will accept it because it has already been an incredible growing experience for me. Hardships mold and shape us into better people even though we may not see the results for a while. This battle isn’t even directly mine, yet my eyes have been opened to a more eternal perspective of God’s plan, to the vitality of faith in my daily life, and the blessings of cultivating a desire to selflessly serve and sacrifice on behalf of others. I’m about to have a baby – technically any day now! – and I’d say that having this fresh on my mind couldn’t be a better way to prepare for parenthood.
There was a time in my late teen years that the following verse took on a profound and very personal meaning for me…
Joshua 1:9 – – Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
I had a psychologist explain to me that the word “dismayed” meant allowing all of the negative “what if’s” to creep in. It is dwelling on the worst, the glass half empty instead of half full. I have learned that where there is faith, there cannot be fear. Where there is faith, there is peace and comfort.
In the past month I’ve seen tremendous strength, great courage, and unwavering faith that God is present in this fight against cancer. I’ve seen more unity, more prayer, more encouragement, and more smiles than you’d think would accompany such a heavy burden. I’m not saying it’s been easy. I look at Michael and June and see complete exhaustion sometimes. The sadness and frustration exist. They’re expected. But as the quote goes and rings even more true as time passes, “The future is as bright as our faith.”
I love the 4th of July! As far as holidays go, it is ranked up at the top right after Christmas in my book. Why? Well, Happy Birthday, America! Duh! I am blessed to live in such a country that has so many freedoms and opportunities. I am grateful to those who came before me, who suffered and fought to make my current lifestyle possible. Our Constitution is indeed inspired and…We the People should be proud to be Americans! I know I am.
On the 4th there is no gift giving or exchanging. Awesome! There is summer weather, parades, festive gatherings, pie, watermelon, meat fresh off the grill, pool parties, picnics, friends, family, fun, and FIREWORKS! What is not to love? Especially when everything is decked out in red, white, & blue?!
This year, the fourth crept up on us because life happens & it has been one busy summer. We were terribly blessed though to spend the day with the entire Gossling family together. Weather was perfect – seriously, the Georgia humidity did not take over! – food was delicious, James and Uncle Adam drove up to the Carolinas for fireworks the day before, and the day’s company was more than ideal. …Our biggest blessing was that little Grant, Michael & June finally made it home from the hospital the night before (after Grant’s first round of chemotherapy). Getting to see them outside of the hospital and all together as a family made for a perfect Fourth.
James and I started the day by waking up in time to catch the “neighborhood” Tractor Parade. We’d never seen it before and weren’t quite sure what to expect, so we met over on the road in front of Michael’s property at 8:30am. I had been playing Neil Diamond’s “America” on repeat all morning up until this point – which James LOVED. Haha! This is my 4th of July jam!
Anyway… Michael, little James, and Grant joined us out front waiting on the parade. We saw it pass up the street on the corner, but not turn our way. Turns out that we wouldn’t see the parade pass for about another 45 minutes and that we were the LAST house on the route. By the time it made it our way – there were only 2 vehicles left in the parade! We will be better prepared for next year. At least the boys enjoyed burning sparklers while waiting & the girls showed up in their pj’s in time to collect the candy thrown during the 15 second drive-by parade.
Later in the afternoon, we headed over to Philip and Shellie’s house for the family get-together. The evening was laid back and very enjoyable.
^James, me, & our 36 week baby belly!^
^Uncle Michael lifting up Sam to catch the parachute poppers^
Seeing how much Grant’s physical appearance had changed after only “two weeks” of having cancer in his life was eye opening. His little body was so frail and his face had thinned out so much. Chemo is no joke. We were happy to see some smiles throughout the evening though – especially during the fireworks.
The kids had a blast with the sparklers, fountains, smoke bombs, & other goodies!
^He always has ideas up his sleeve & sure enough, Grandpa Goose got his minions to dance around the strobe fireworks with him^
About a week ago, James and I were babysitting our nieces and nephews that live next door. The kids LOVE their Uncle James…especially the boys, who spend the majority of their time jumping on, rolling and wrestling with him. I’m always amused by little Baby Grant – who is 2 and a half – and will literally climb up and wrap his legs around James’ neck and come out unscathed when he’s tossed off onto the couch! It supports why his parents and family call him “monkey.” 🙂 The night was filled with giggles and endless energy and, of course, no one got to sleep until way past their bedtime.
A few days later, Father’s Day, the Gossling clan came over to celebrate the day together. The kids played and ran around, Grant included; though it was noticed that Grant would whine and say “ouch” whenever he was picked up. It seemed that maybe he had fallen and hurt a rib, his arm, or maybe his lymph nodes were a little swollen because he had been under the weather the day or so before.
June took Grant to the doctor for an x-ray to see what was wrong on Wednesday. The x-ray led to blood tests – which confirmed that Grant’s platelet count was entirely too low. The doctors informed June and Michael that this was an immediate concern for cancer and they needed to have him sent to the hospital right away for further testing.
I am astounded and humbled by how quickly a person’s life can change. And, in this case, it is far more than one person’s that has been changed forever.
Since the first doctor visit just this last Wednesday, the doctors have found a large mass on little Grant’s adrenal glands and another abnormality on the bone in his arm. At his age, Grant is now only the third case of high risk, stage 4 neuroblastoma admitted to the Aflac Cancer wing at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta this year.
Our hearts have been broken and constantly poured out in prayer since we’ve received the news. To try and put myself in June and Michael’s shoes is incomprehensible; though they say that the tremendous reaching out from hundreds in just the last couple of days has been a blessing to help lift the burden they now carry.
Grant was supposed to go into surgery for a biopsy this last Friday, but it was postponed until Monday due to a delay in him receiving blood in time. What a blessing that has been because it allowed a break from all of the testing and poking – to just breath… and better soak in all that has happened in such a short period of time. James and I were able to spend our afternoon with Grant, June, and Michael yesterday at the hospital.
I wasn’t sure how I would handle our visit. Walking through the wing to get to Grant’s room had me tearing up as I saw little babies in hospital gowns being pulled around in red wagons in the halls to some puppies that had been brought to cheer them up. Being able to see June and Michael finally since the news was calming and reassuring for me. For being in a more difficult place than I can imagine, they are both so faithful. Though they shared how heart wrenching it was each time they had to hold down their screaming baby for him to be “poked” or sedated for testing – they also spoke very positively and gratefully – – regarding the path that was paved leading up to this event, how they had been prepared, about how God has a plan, and about the flood of support, love, and prayers being offered up on their behalf. Visitors, comments, and love coming from family, friends, and strangers are keeping them strong in this rough time.
It really is incredible how little Grant is bringing people together and how good hearted the world is. You can read more details about it and Grant’s story with the daily little miracles/updates on his facebook page: Grace for Grant – it is kept up by his parents, Michael and June.
It was hard to see Grant in so much pain. He would cry as soon as June got up from his side in bed. He didn’t want anyone to touch him.
His body is weak and sore – they have a “Fall Risk” band around his ankle because even walking is not easy or even possible at this point.
I was impressed at how well he did when the nurse came in to check on him and give him more pain medications. He only fussed when they lifted his arm to take his temperature.
^^ even Spidey got his temperature taken ^^
Though the majority of the afternoon Grant was in pain and fussy – He allowed his favorite Uncle James to touch him and was able to get some smiles out of him, if only for a brief minute or two! These photos warm my heart…
Grant will go into surgery tomorrow. They will do a biopsy to confirm whether the stage 4 mass in his abdomen is mature or still immature and prone to rapid spreading. We are hoping it’s mature (which means it won’t be spreading quickly). If the tumor is a solid mass and easily removed, they’ll go ahead and take it out during surgery – but they said not to count on it. Though we already know Grant is high risk – these upcoming tests and biopsy will confirm exactly where all the cancer has spread and what types of treatments will be needed. Soon we will have more answers. Which also means that soon Michael and June will explain to their other three children (9, 7, and 4 years old) Grant’s situation. Up until now, they visit and know that Grant is “sick” but do not know the extent of it. They wanted to wait until more was confirmed. Using the “cancer” word will be hard because their beloved family dog currently has cancer and the kids all know that any day now he may be gone. When it rains – it pours …but God is always there.
^^ “hello?!?!” on the foot phone ^^
Neuroblastoma has no known cause – but starts in the nerves (usually around the adrenal glands) and can spread to the bones, skin, liver, etc. It is not very common – but occurs most often in young children/babies.
Julian is turning eight years old in July and making the wonderful step of baptism later this summer! I love his excitement and our fun session at the Atlanta LDS Temple last night. He was beaming while wearing his dad’s old missionary tag and insisted we use his well worn scriptures for the pictures. Adorable! I couldn’t resist already sharing a few on here as I was culling through and editing this afternoon.
This post is also found on my photography business’ website, but I am just obsessed with #1- this Boho photoshoot and #2 – Moving somewhere so beautiful that I couldn’t help but share it here too…
I am thrilled to announce that Whitney Gossling Photography is moving to Monroe, GA this summer! Living out in the country is, in my opinion, a perfectly inspiring location for a Georgia photographer. The scenery and lifestyle is absolutely beautiful and something I am looking forward to SO MUCH. I’m nothing but smiles when I think about it! To me, the surrounding open fields, adorable downtowns, cozy pastures, and hospitality – Those are nothing but southern! If I have a say (which I do), I will probably never leave Georgia.
Being in Monroe, I love that not only am I still shooting Atlanta Senior Portraits, but I am so very very close to Athens, Georgia. Unlike other Georgians, I have not spent much time in Athens. Some may say that’s a sin. I have at least been to one UGA football game though, so calm down! With Athens being much closer now, I am starting to unveil and discover its incredible southern flair and personality. Recently, I was able to explore the beauty of Athens, GA when shooting a Boho themed portrait session with University of Georgia student, Gabriella. Athens had so much to offer – I will definitely be going back soon!
In honor of her leaving today to spend her summer in Peru – here are a couple teasers from our session! …
I don’t need to say it, but Gabriella is gorgeous – and beautifully Boho! More from this session coming up soon…
In the meantime, if you live in Athens, Georgia and want to give me another great excuse to come that way, I would not complain!
Athens Georgia Photographer | Now booking Custom Portrait Sessions at $250 | Engagement Sessions $300
We may have had an ice storm and snowy winter weather in Atlanta just two days before, but the skies cleared and this day was nothing short of perfect for Lindsay & Todd – The new Mr. and Mrs. Greener!
Todd and Lindsay have a love that is so real and infectious. The way they looked and smiled into each other’s eyes all day long warmed my heart! I love being able to document true love and the beginning of such a wonderful journey for two people. It was apparent how perfect Lindsay and Todd are for each other and I wish them all the best in their adventures ahead.